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Europe trip itinerary suggestions

bobdxcool

New Member
Hi guys. I and my friend in our late twenties are planning to go an europe trip from 27th of this month to the 15th of october.

We plan to fly to and return back from Paris.

Here is a initial plan we have come up with:

Day 1,2 Paris
Day 3 Brussels
Day 4,5 Amsterdam
Day 6, 7 Cologne, Frankfurt
Day 8,9 Munich (oktoberfest)
Day 10,11 Berlin
Day 12,13 Prague
Day 14, 15, 16 Vienna, Budapest
Day 17, 18 Dubrovnik (croatia)
Day 19 Paris (flight from dubrovnik to paris)

Planning to take the eurail pass as I am a non-european and use it for my entire trip. Costs about 550$ (15 days in 2 months) as per raileurope. Is it worth taking this pass or better to buy individual train tickets while travelling between countries ?

Also, for booking hotels/apartments/hostels, will airbnb be the cheapest option since we are on a budget ?

Also, please recommend any changes to itinerary and suggest any exotic/scenic places to visit in the countries listed above .

We were planning to include spain and portugal too, but looks to be a bit of detour and requires more days. Or we were thinking of replacing some countries above with these two if spain and portugal are worth visiting this october.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Hello, and welcome to the forums. I think you have too many destinations in your trip and you won't really see and experience these places with so little time.

Skip Brussels and add that day to Paris. You will love Paris.
Skip Cologne and Frankfurt and add one day to Amersterdam and one to Munich.
You are zig zagging around too much from Munich up to Berlin then down to Prague. Can you go to Berlin from Amsterdam, then down to Munich? Skip Prague?
I would do Vienna or Budapest, not both.
Not sure about Dubrovnick, I haven't been there, but have read it is fabulous but very crowded with cruise ship tourists.

Also you are only going to cities. Any smaller towns appealing?

With so many destinations you will find that you are just running around each place quickly seeing the must-sees. The cities will all run together in your memory. I think you should remove several destinations. Spend at least 3 nights in each place.

Airbnb is good for cheaper options but you are restricted because you have to plan and book ahead. You are also limited with checkin time, usually having to meet the owner at a specified time. Instead think about one or two star small hotels. Small hotels in Europe are affordable and very nice. You can book a few before your trip, but then book the rest while traveling. When you arrive by train in a city there is usually a tourist office close by and they will recommend hotels to you.

I did a six month trip around Europe when I was in my early 30s and we booked our hotel in Paris where we arrived, then figured everything out as we were traveling.

The train pass is a good idea. This also gives you freedom to travel when you want to.

Have you read a good basic travel guide for what to expect in Europe? Rick Steve's European guide is very good, telling you what to expect.

I hope you have a great trip and return to Europe often!
 

bobdxcool

New Member
Hello, and welcome to the forums. I think you have too many destinations in your trip and you won't really see and experience these places with so little time.

Skip Brussels and add that day to Paris. You will love Paris.
Skip Cologne and Frankfurt and add one day to Amersterdam and one to Munich.
You are zig zagging around too much from Munich up to Berlin then down to Prague. Can you go to Berlin from Amsterdam, then down to Munich? Skip Prague?
I would do Vienna or Budapest, not both.
Not sure about Dubrovnick, I haven't been there, but have read it is fabulous but very crowded with cruise ship tourists.

Also you are only going to cities. Any smaller towns appealing?

With so many destinations you will find that you are just running around each place quickly seeing the must-sees. The cities will all run together in your memory. I think you should remove several destinations. Spend at least 3 nights in each place.

Airbnb is good for cheaper options but you are restricted because you have to plan and book ahead. You are also limited with checkin time, usually having to meet the owner at a specified time. Instead think about one or two star small hotels. Small hotels in Europe are affordable and very nice. You can book a few before your trip, but then book the rest while traveling. When you arrive by train in a city there is usually a tourist office close by and they will recommend hotels to you.

I did a six month trip around Europe when I was in my early 30s and we booked our hotel in Paris where we arrived, then figured everything out as we were traveling.

The train pass is a good idea. This also gives you freedom to travel when you want to.

Have you read a good basic travel guide for what to expect in Europe? Rick Steve's European guide is very good, telling you what to expect.

I hope you have a great trip and return to Europe often!
Thanks for your suggestions, I have cut down on the number of places.

Also, now I plan to land in paris and leave from prague (works out cheapest for our dates). I dont intend to see too much in paris (as I have been here before), but see only a few important places here as my friend who accompanies me hasn't seen paris before (he isn't much interested in paris as well). So would spend a fewer days here.

Germany: Munich, Berlin, Rhine valley/black forest

Netherlands: Amsterdam

Czech republic: Prague

Hungary: Budapest

Austria: Vienna

France: Paris

Cannot miss Oktoberfest in Munich.

So, the plan is to do the above in around 18-20 days. Please suggest an itinerary to travel all these places. Also, please suggest any scenic mountains and any other good nature spots close to these cities which I will try to accommodate if time permits. If needed, I'm ready to drop out on one more city from the above list if it still looks undoable.

I want to party the most , see some good scenic spots and also see a bit of European architecture.
 

Ian Sutton

500+ Posts
Hi Bob
We may be rather a long way apart on what we think is practical, and rather more pertinently - enjoyable.

Whilst speed of travel does vary on this site, it is 'slow europe' (arising from the old slowtrav site) which indicates people who stop long enough in a place to get a feel for it, to observe and even embed in the culture. Generally this group sees travel (even by train, often the most enjoyable of mass transport experiences) as a necessary evil that nonetheless takes time away from actually enjoying being in the place. Members might be onto their 20th, 30th or 40th vacation in Europe, and every one of them would say you can't properly get to see even a single region of a single country in 3 weeks, so your ambitions to feel you've seen these places is unrealistic unless you just wish to travel - sleep - see touristy locations - eat - see more touristy locations (rinse and repeat).

You're using an open jaw (different arrival / departure) which makes sense.

Now let's look at the logistics of the revised route:
- 8 base locations in 18-20 days, in 6 different countries. That's 8 times packing bags, 8 times unpacking, 8 times getting to the train station in time to catch a train, 8 times arriving and then getting to your accomodation. 8 times checking in, 8 times checking out. All of this subject to waiting around, often with heavy bags. In order to not be lugging around 25kg rucksacks / suitcases, you'll need to factor in (say) 2 visits to a launderette, wiping a reasonable chunk out of those days.
- On arrival you'll feel lost, but will leave before you feel at all confident you know where you are.
- You'll presumably be hitting all the big tourist locations, so with time short you'll be eating in the nearby tourist trap restaurants. Fine for convenience, and they'll all speak English / have an English menu. Quality is typically sh*t, and the price elevated because of the location.
- Feeling unwell / tired? Tough luck, there is a fixed itinerary and no time for rest
- Getting to those scenic mountains / good nature spots? On such a fast itinerary? Not going to happen.

I'll suggest 2 options:
1) grab one of those glossy brochures, or even a cruise ship brochure that offers the prospect of 'seeing europe in 3 weeks'. They do the logistics, getting you to all the famous sites / sights. Still loads of transfers and 'hell on wheels' as far as I'm concerned, but they satisfy the need of those thinking that more locations = seeing more.
2) Take a step back. Ink Oktoberfest in, work out the ideal days to be there, with arrival at least 1 day beforehand so you can find your feet. Then based on that choose 2-3 other locations (i.e. 3-4 in total), ideally with a balance between city and the scenery you also want to see. Plan a convenient route between them. Forget the interail ticket and buy cheap rail tickets in advance which should save you money.

I am very conscious that all this may sound rude, and for that I apologise (even if you disagree I'm still apologising, because I think it's worded strongly, albeit with a genuine desire for you to have a great holiday, not a tiring and dispiriting one).

Regards
Ian
 
Last edited:

veronicafrance

100+ Posts
Ian and Pauline are absolutely right. It sounds horrendous. I think you may not have appreciated all the logistics. Distances may look short to you, but you're underestimating the time and hassle of getting to/from stations, finding hotels (airBnB not a good option if you're only staying a couple of nights in each place), language issues, and so on. Everything takes longer than you think it will. Especially if you were up late partying. Plan it round Munich and cut it down to three countries, max.
 

GailS

100+ Posts
Since you said you plan to travel by train, take a look at schedules online. Try to come up with a plan using real selections for the trains to show how much travel time vs. sightseeing time you would have if travelling to the cities you list. Figure an hour for departing/getting to accommodations (including packing up, check in/out) on each end of a move. It may help to give a sense of what you are hearing here about not underestimating travel time vs. how much time you will have to actually see things.
 

DHC

10+ Posts
I was going to chime in to do the logistics math, but Ian and Gail did it first. You are basically devoting 8 days, i.e. an entire week and a day, to logistics' days, not café sitting, partying, sightseeing. Do you really want to give up over a week of your vacation that way? Instead of cutting out cities, on your next downsizing go-round, cut your travel days/logistics days in half if you want to reclaim 4 days from your itinerary for fun. Yes, this is Slow Europe, not Racing Around Europe, so maybe the wrong site to work out your itinerary. If you following Gail's idea of looking at schedules, you'll see the problem right away. Bon voyage(s).
 

veronicafrance

100+ Posts
FWIW, we've just travelled from Narbonne (France) to Sulmona (Italy) by train. It took us 2 days (overnight stop in Nice) and 6 trains. The Italian logistics were horrendous, due to 3 out of 4 trains being late -- the last one was on time, so we missed it, eventually arriving over 12 hours after we left Nice. So DHC's point is very valid!
 

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