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Where should I go in Europe to see as much as possible in 9 days?

Where should I go in Europe to see as much as possible in 9 days?

Old Jan 17th, 2015, 01:02 PM
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Where should I go in Europe to see as much as possible in 9 days?

I have an opportunity to go to Europe in early June for 9 days (Fly out on the 10th day). But I'm leaving from Iceland (If it matters, I'm American) so only have the choice of a few destinations.

I don't want to average more than $100 per night for rooming, whether it be a hotel or hostel or something from airbnb.

Unless the destination is especially interesting (or maybe easy/cheap to move around in the country), I would prefer to try to move around in this time frame to see as much as possible.

So I'm thinking cities like London or Paris are more at the top of the list because as far as I know, they are some of the easiest/closest places to go to and from by train.

One more thing: It could be possible for me to fly out of a different city than the one I flew in to. (For example, flying into London then train to Paris and then either stay in Paris the rest of the time or go to another city via train and then come back to Paris to fly out)

So here are possible destinations, the flight's all are around the same cost with Copenhagen a couple hundred cheaper than the most expensive flight:

Amsterdam
Barcelona
Berlin
Copenhagen
Dublin
London
Paris

Thanks for any help!
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 01:14 PM
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Wanted to add:

1.) It'll be two people travelling 2.) Neither of us have been to Europe 3.) Besides the hotel budget, looking to save money on food purchases by eating cheap mostly, activities can have a reasonable budget, nothing crazy. 3.) Climate doesn't matter 4.) Interests are pretty varied, noteworthy is interest in history but not necessarily in museums.
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 01:40 PM
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thename,

The most important thing for you to be aware of as a first timer is this:

The more you move around, the more you spend and the less you see.

That is the basic equation.

Since you seem to be traveling on a limited budget and are probably young, you WILL return. Don't try to do it all on one trip. It is impossible.

Pick a major city and stay there for 9 days with the possibility of a short day trip or two via public trans. Return from that city.

Plan B would be to do limited time in 2 major cities that have easy and quick trans between.

Don't even think about doing more. Plan B means a minimum of 1/2 day goes to travel. You are now down to 8.5 days. A bare minimum for 2 major cities.

Where you go is up to you. You must do some basic research. Start with some guidebooks to get ideas and see what most appeals to you.

Happy planning!
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 01:46 PM
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Good advice from Dayle.

I could make an argument for any single or pair of those cities. My choice -- probably London or London+Paris, but each of the others the others would be OK too.

Ask 10 Fodorites and you'll probably 15 different recommendations. So do get a guidebook or two and decide which city(s) appeal to YOU the most.
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 02:22 PM
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I agree that the most important thing to do if you want to see as much as possible is to stay in one place - or at most, two places. It doesn't really matter what city/cities you choose, there will be more there than you can possibly do/see/experience in the time you have.
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 02:26 PM
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Thanks for the response guys!

Ignoring money for the moment, would you find the logistics of doing something like

London > Paris > Amsterdam > Copenhagen via train (fly into London and out of Copenhagen) (night train from Amsterdam to Copenhagen)

Impossible? It would be one full day in each city with one extra full day to be added on to one city.

On one hand 4 days in two cities is 1.) much more relaxed/less hurried and you get to experience much more per city. On the other hand, with the proposed schedule you get to experience two more cities while still having the time to see 1-3 major things in each.

Am I underestimating the difficulty of this plan? If so, would London>Paris>Amsterdam be reasonable?

Thank you for any insight!
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 02:54 PM
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Well, London, Paris and Amsterdam would certainly be more reasonable.

You say ". On the other hand, with the proposed schedule you get to experience two more cities while still having the time to see 1-3 major things in each"

And I say no, you don't get to "experience" two more cities. You get to spend more time in transit, and experience more trains and train stations.

You are leaving no time for delays (which happen) and difficulties. You might get to walk around a little in each of these four cities, but you will never be able to acclimate yourself, and you will spend a lot of time coming and going. It can take an hour to get some place that looks two transport stops away, and if the train gets stuck or doesn't come or is rerouted, there goes your perfect plan of running from place to place.

Getting to and from airports alone is time consuming. I say don't do it.

Two cities with a possible day trip in one or the other is perfect. Three might be doable with some great planning and even better luck. Four is expensive, impractical, and unlikely to be enjoyable.

Do you want to just set foot in each of these places, or do you want to "experience" what they are like, and see some of the reasons that people love them?
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 02:58 PM
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Impossible? No. Enjoyable? Not by my standards. YMMV. Particularly if these are the cities you most wish to see, I would recommend AT MOST 2 of them because they each offer SO much. If it makes you feel better, include a day trip from each of the two you select(e.g., Oxford from London or Chartres from Paris or the countryside from Amsterdam or Roskilde from Copenhagen.)
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 02:59 PM
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You don't get to experience more cities - you get to experience more train stations, trains, and constantly checking into and out of places to stay.

You have picked expensive cities - Copenhagen, Paris, I would suggest Prague where food and beer is cheap and lots of people your age. Then Budspest. Or perhaps Amsterdam, I don't know about costs.

Pick 2 and you will be happier than trying to cramp too much into too little time.
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 03:03 PM
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you can do one in comfort, and two with little inconvience.

When we get to three it gets rather more tricky - you could do London - Paris on the Eurostar, and then somewhere else in Europe by train from Paris, but however much you like train journeys, you are still spending time moving from one place to another. in a short trip, that's quite important, plus there's the time to settle into the hotel, orient yourself in a new city, become familiar with the transport system, find the nicest bar in the area, the cafe that does coffee the way you like, etc. etc.

London-Paris-Amsterdam would certainly work, but wouldn't give you much time in each place; you could spend years in each of them and still not see all they have to offer.
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 05:00 PM
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Going to these cities for one day each is IMHO just a waste of time and effort. You will barely arrive and get your bearings than you will have to move on.

Plus the cost of traveling between them will be significant.

And the cost of doing anything in Copenhagen (lodging, food, etc) is going to be high in comparison to the others - none of which is cheap.

The cheap places to stay woudl be Spain and Portugal or central europe.

I understand why you have picked the places you have - but wouldn't count on $US 100 per night being enough for 2 people if you want something clean and central. If you have $10US per night per person it would be easier - but still not a lot.

Honestly I would do one place with 1 or 2 day trips - or just 2 cities - if you really want to see much.

You must remember that the more different places you go the less you will see.

Pick one city and determine what you want to see there. Then figure out how long that will take including transit or walking around the city - and it will tell you your minimum days. For London I would NEVER do less than 4 days (5 nights) for a first trip. The same for Paris.
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 06:01 PM
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Even in my 20's it wouldn't have been an interesting trip. How much time are you willing to spend moving from one location to another? Just stick with a couple of places and go with it!
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 06:03 PM
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What on earth do you hope to accomplish w/ one day in London, one day in Paris etc. That is plain silly. You spend TONS of money and TONS of time dashing about and would only see maybe one major site and LOTS of trains/train stations. And the more you move the more you spend on transport - you are already on an low-ish budget for accommodations.

Pick ONE city w/ a day trip maybe out into the countryside . . . OR . . . two cities w/ no day trips. Adding more places will just be ticking things off a list (and really only ticking the train stations off the list)

If you pick London -- then I'd definitely recommend one city only. Ot is ENORMOUS and there are TONS of things to see/do. If you decide on London/Paris - you could get a tiny taste of each but it is doable.
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 07:06 PM
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You are getting great advice.

Some places do not work as well as others logistically. Research and look at images of possible cities.
Pick a combo of two cities. If you find after a couple of days, you feel finished with that city, you can do day trips on the fly, cheap, easy, still interesting.

Three easy and reasonable.
Fly into London, train to Paris, home from Paris.
Fly into Paris, fly cheap on Vueling to Barcelona, home from Barcelona.
Fly into Paris, train to Amsterdam, home from Amsterdam.

Fly into London or Paris, fly to Berlin (would depend on cost of flights and timing), fly home from Berlin.

All would be excellent choices, depending on your interests.
My choice might be Paris and Barcelona because Paris has so much and is almost a given for first trips to Europe. Barcelona because the culture, food and art is a unique contrast to Paris.
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 07:23 PM
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You should be able to get a decent hostel in London for around $100 per night. Check www.yha.org.uk to see what's available.

Use www.fancyapint.com to find pubs with good food. For lunches, we either stopped at a grocery store and picked up sandwiches or bought some picnic supplies.

Another plus - most of the museums in London are free.

Lee Ann
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 06:13 AM
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Strange how questions seem to flow.. There is a question running along side this where someone is having difficulty trying to fit a very similar amount into 10 times as many days.

I think you need to sit down and think very hard about what is achievable given the limited time you have available. as has been said your list is achievable, provided you plan to be constantly on the move.
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 07:10 AM
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thename,

Again you MUST do some planning homework. Just use London and Paris as an example since those 2 might be the best pair logistically.

You must find the cost and time required for both. Find:
airfare, open jaw, hours required
lodging cost
train cost, hours required

Then you must READ THE GUIDEBOOKS
Decide what you want to see, when it's open, cost

You will very quickly see that just 4 days in each city - regardless of which you pick - will not be enough to see what you want, let alone "soak up the culture".

Compare the number of hours required for transit vs. the money spent to move between cities.

LISTEN to the advice you are getting here. You asked for it and it comes from very experienced people.

Happy planning!
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 07:27 AM
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There is no night train to Copenhagen any more afaik, so that wouldn't work anyway.
Choose one, or at most two cities. Either London or Paris or London&Paris or maybe Paris&Amsterdam.
You could combine Copenhagen with somewhere in Sweden, but I suspect you would be over your accommodation budget.
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Old Jan 19th, 2015, 09:18 AM
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London and Paris everytime.

Just got back from a weekend in London: such a vibrant city these days, so much to see and do.
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Old Jan 20th, 2015, 12:13 PM
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I agree with recommendations of London and Paris. But you could easily spend your whole time in London or in Paris, with day trips.
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