'Virgin' Eurotrip

Old Jan 26th, 2012, 06:55 PM
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'Virgin' Eurotrip

Hi everyone! I'm from Singapore, and coming June/July, I will be heading to Europe for the first time.

I'm planning to visit London, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and Lisbon for 22-23 days.

Since I'm Asian, I need advice on whether is it really worth it to visit the stated cities? I would love to see suggestions as well!

Thanks!
Norfaiz is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2012, 07:07 PM
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you want to visit 5 cities in 5 different countries spread over much of Western Europe in 3-ish weeks. That is very aggressive. When you deduct travel time, jet lag time, and general acclimating, you will have about 3 or 3.5 free days in each city.

Are 5 cities doable in 3 weeks - sure. Just depends on what you want to see in each place. 3+ days will give you a tiny glimpse of Paris or London.

"Since I'm Asian, I need advice on whether is it really worth it to visit the stated cities?"

I honestly have no idea how to respond to that. Why does being Asian make a difference?
janisj is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2012, 01:19 AM
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I think that will give you a good overview of the major cities so you will know what you enjoy next time you visit.

All of those cities are very worthwhile (not sure what being Asian has to do with that either???).

I would fly into London and out of Lisbon to save backtracking (open jaw). You can fly from London to Amsterdam easily, then train to Paris, then fly to Barcelona and then fly to Lisbon. Check out these sites for cheap airfare (but be very aware of extra charges, and very strict luggage restrictions!!)

www.whichbudget.com will tell you what cheap airlines fly between your routes.

For your train from Amsterdam to Paris use this website:
http://www.thalys.com/nl/en/

As for what to see - be sure to get a good guidebook on each city. Top 10 guides will give you a good idea of the top sites, I also like Michelin Green Guides.

Have fun planning!
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Old Jan 27th, 2012, 02:32 AM
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airasia.com cheapest flights for you usually into LON
eurocheapo.com great guides for your cities.
affordabletours.com many nice tours goodfor a newbie who
wants to see a lot I did Globus they were nice.
If budget do cheap hotels or hostelbookers.com
eurolines.com cheapest best way to go around budget to all
European cities.

Good luck!
qwovadis is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2012, 02:41 AM
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Since you're Asian???

Whether or not people like certain cities is very subjective. I know people who don't like Paris or Florence and I love them both.

I did not care for Lisbon although many people love it.

I would definitely visit London, Paris, and Amsterdam. I have not been to Barcelona so cannot comment but it looks beautiful and different from the other cities on your itinerary.

I would cut one city from your itinerary and have more time to explore the other 4 cities.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 08:17 PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions and recommendations. Do you know the average traveling time when traveling via plane and train? Well, I've decided on extending my trip to 28 days. So I'm looking at including Brussels as well.

So my trip would go something like this (leaving out 2 days for accumulated traveling time):

UK (Leeds-to visit my cousin, Liverpool and London): 5 days
Amsterdam: 4 Days
Brussels: 4 days
Paris: 4 days
Barcelona: 5 days
Lisbon (for a music festival): 4 days

To those seasoned travelers, I would love to hear from you on which city should I spend more time and which to spend lesser time.

Thank you so much everyone!

Oh and 1 more thing, is couchsurfing safe? Anyone has an account here? hehe
Norfaiz is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2012, 09:42 PM
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First - you have more than 2 days 'accumulated traveling time'. Not counting the 2+ full days getting to/from Europe, you have another approx 4.5 days in transit.

You essentially have no time in London. A jetlagged arrival day, a day for Leeds, a day for Liverpool, and 1.5 days in London.

You made a good decision to add days . . . but then added another major city.

IMO you are cutting London and Paris VERY short . . . But especially London since you are going to spend at least 2.5 days going to Leeds/Liverpool.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 10:45 PM
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Absolutely agree with janisj - drop Brussels and add the time to the UK. Give London 4 full days, maybe 2 days in Leeds with your cousin and 2 days in Liverpool (btw - 2 full days = 3 nights, not 2 nights). you may have less time in each place than you think.

Every time you move deduct 1/2 day on average to account for travel to and from the train station/airport, hotel packing, finding your way etc.

Brussels is way lower on the list of things to see in Europe compared to the other great cities you have. There is just less to see imo. Its worth maybe a day, but I would drop it completely for this trip.

And there is no way I would couchsurf as a woman. You are essentially crashing on a strangers couch...just doesnt seem safe to me and I wouldnt chance it (have never done it though).

Check out www.eurocheapo.com for cheap places to stay.
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 02:48 AM
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Listen to janis and jamikins - they are completely correct regarding your itinerary.

>

Plan on 1/2 to 3/4 of a day when flying between cities. You can check the train times on this site. Don't forget that you must add time to get to and from the train stations so it's not just the time on the train that counts.

http://www.bahn.de/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 04:41 AM
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I've been on Couchsurfing since 2005. While it's generally safe; you do have to take some precautions, i.e. - find a host that has their profile filled out, have pictures, and most important of all, have references. My friend and I (both female, one Asian) Couchsurf'ed our way throughout Italy and it was a great experience. We had such wonderful and accommodating hosts (all were male, btw). They showed us local eateries, local hangout spots, and gave us good advice on how to get around and see things.

If you're not sure yet whether you want to stay on a strangers couch/extra bed, I suggest signing up for the Group postings and find if there's a Couchsurfing meeting happening during your time in one of the cities, and if there isn't, initiate one yourself. For the most part, a lot of 'surfers are willing to meet up for sightseeing, drinks, etc. I find this the best way to meet people when travelling alone.

As for the Asian thing; if you're worried that you'll be judged because of your race, basically if act the fool you'll be judged on your behaviour, not your colour.
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 05:10 AM
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European trains are fantastic and to cover long distances there are many overnight trains so you can cover ground at night and also save on the cost of a hotel to boot. If traveling as much as your OP indicates then look at some kind of railpass - flying open jaw - into one city and out of another - say into London on your OP and out of Spain back is a good idea and often not that much more costly.

Great sites for planning the train part of your trip - www.ricksteves.com (good rundown of various railpasses); www.seat61.com (great info on online advance discounted tickets) and www.budgeteuropetravel.com (download the latter's free online and superb IMO European Planning & Rail Guide for many itinerary suggestions in your target countries.
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