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Traveling solo to France, Switzerland, Amsterdam...advice please

Traveling solo to France, Switzerland, Amsterdam...advice please

Sep 5th, 2008, 02:33 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2008
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Traveling solo to France, Switzerland, Amsterdam...advice please

Hello,

I am new here and apologize if this in the wrong forum. I am studying abroad in Athens, however I really have not bonded with any of the people so it looks like I will be traveling solo. This is a daunting task, so I was hoping maybe someone could give me some advice. We have a long break in October from the 23rd to Nov. 2nd. I was roughly planning to visit Paris, Amsterdam, and either Geneva or Zurich (although if anyone has any modified suggestions, please let me know). So I already have a Eurorail Flexipass (good for 10 days). I know flying to the destination country is a must from Athens. I was thinking of maybe flying from Athens to Paris. Then after Paris taking the train to Amsterdam, then after Amsterdam taking the train to Zurich or Geneva, then the train back to Paris where I would fly out of (bc flights thus far seem cheaper from Paris to Athens than Amsterdam and Switzerland). I know it seems odd going in a triangle like that, but in my head it seemed to make sense. I guess I'm curious if this is a lucid idea to anyone else. Please let me know if I'm missing something, like you can't take the train to one of the places or the eurorail pass can't be used, ect. Also if anyone knows of any cheap hotels/hostels, or has any ideas on how to improve/modify/implement this please let me know, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm a little hesitant about traveling solo, but I refuse to not enjoy Europe because I don't like the other students here.

Thanks so much
uberdirk41 is offline  
Sep 5th, 2008, 02:50 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,126
Hello,

Well you already have the pass, and sounds as if you have done some research. I don't have the relative prices of flights off by heart but if you've looked at my fave site to see where you can go to from where (cheaply) then you're a step ahead, If not, check out:

www.airninja.com

To be honest, I'm not sure I would use a pass. You might do better just buying point to point tix. But maybe price is not an issue for you. If it is, and if you can get a refund on the pass, and if you don't mind committing to specific trains, you might be able to save a bundle. Check out www.bahn.de

Acccommo? Try:

www.hostelbookers.com
www.hostelworld.com
www.hihostels.com

I haven't been to Paris in years; never been to Geneva or Zurich. But I was in Amsterdam just this June - and if hostels don't appeal I can recomment the Hotel Washington at 60 euros a night single en suite.

Don't worry about travelling alone. It gives you total freedom of movement. If you stay in hostels you will meet other people. There are thousands of people travelling around. Just like you.

Do the research, know the geography, get a good guide book, and it'll be a doddle.


Enjoy!!
afterall is offline  
Sep 5th, 2008, 10:55 AM
  #3  
 
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Let's Go Europe will be an invaluable source for you - esp on zillions of budget hotels and hostels.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 5th, 2008, 11:03 AM
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Paris, Amsterdam, and Zurich are all good choices. You might want to get to Lucerne while in Zurich as that is a beautiful city on a lake in the mountains. It's only an hour from Zurich by train. I didn't find Geneva very interesting at all.
Cimbrone is offline  
Sep 5th, 2008, 11:46 AM
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Well I wouldn't have bought a train pass, but sounds like you already have done so? Amsterdam to Geneva is one LONG train journey (it's 2 hours by air!).

Amsterdam is a very easy city to see solo. I had a fun time there for 5 days on my own. I used Let's Go Amsterdam as my guidebook.

Rather than Geneva I suggest the towns of Lausanne, Vevey, and Montreux which are also right on Lac Leman 1 hour outside Geneva by train. They are beautiful smaller towns and much more interesting imo than Geneva itself. There is an excellent hostel in Vevey, right near the train station and on the lake called Riviera Lodge.
www.rivieralodge.ch
suze is offline  
Sep 5th, 2008, 11:53 AM
  #6  
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Another option i was thinking is Athens to Paris, Paris to Amsterdam via train, Amsterdam to Prague via train, Prague to Vienna via train and fly out of Vienna to Athens. I saw tickets from Vienna to Athens were far cheaper. Does this sound reasonable?
uberdirk41 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2008, 09:48 AM
  #7  
 
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Paris
Amsterdam
Prague
Vienna
...all by train is an awful lot of ground to cover in only 10 days.
suze is offline  
Sep 6th, 2008, 10:13 AM
  #8  
 
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If you have ten days, perhaps you could do Paris (5 days) and one other city for 5 days. You don't want to feel like you've spent your ten day break sitting on a train!

If it were me, I'd choose Paris and Amsterdam.

Good luck! I think it's great that you're ready to travel solo!
siena1 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2008, 10:17 AM
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Good for you for going solo. You can have a great trip.

Really it comes down to how much time you are willing to spend sitting on a train vs. *being* places.

To me having a long train ride and moving cities every 2-3rd day just wouldn't be much fun. But certainly some people do it, it's possible for sure.

suze is offline  
Mar 25th, 2009, 03:14 AM
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bkmk
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Mar 25th, 2009, 03:34 AM
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I'm a solo traveller who's been to all of the cities you're planning to visit and I had a wonderful time - you will have no problems going solo.

You really don't have a lot of time, though. I would suggest going to Paris and Amsterdam. Otherwise you're going to end up spending most of your time travelling on the train instead of exploring the cities you want to visit.

Can't help you with cheap hotels or hostels. You might want to try www.tripadvisor.com for suggestions.

Happy travels!
mscleo is offline  
Mar 25th, 2009, 05:04 AM
  #12  
 
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I agree that you don't have a lot of time. But it would be a real shame to go to Switzerland and only visit a city! Take a look at the Lauterbrunnen valley (Interlaken, Murren, etc.) and the various mountain railways.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 25th, 2009, 05:06 AM
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This post is originally from September last year, and was the OPs one and only posting!
hetismij is offline  
Mar 25th, 2009, 05:12 AM
  #14  
 
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I wonder if they got robbed at Sloterdijk and swore us off for good, huh???
Dukey is offline  
Mar 25th, 2009, 07:56 AM
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lol, Dukey.
AnnMarie_C is offline  

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