Europe trip for two months!! Need help with Itinerary please
Replies: 23 - Last Post: Oct 5, 2012 11:27 PM Last Post By: everbrite
Oct 3, 2012 12:53 AM
Europe trip for two months!! Need help with Itinerary pleaseI'm off to Europe this May for approximately two months. However some of my family is telling me that I won't have enough time to see all the places I want to go to.
What I have so far as a rough draft itinerary is:
London- Paris- Barcelona- Venice- Florence- Rome- Athens- santorini- Istanbul- Dubrovnik- Budapest- Vienna- Munich- Frankfurt- Amsterdam- Brussels- London
Istanbul and Santorini are still not 100% but I would love to go. I don't know if I have enough time but I'm a little nervous. My budget is also around $5000 for the trip and I would be going Eurorail.
I need advice from people who have been and how it all sounds please!
Oct 3, 2012 1:04 AM
your planning means 3.5 days for each destination. This time included the traval time and it seems you will have a stressfull time if doing so. Cities like London, Paris, Barcelona, Istanbul need under normal circumstances each 3 or 4 days just to see a little bit of. Of course it depend in what you are interested as all places have a long, a different and interesting history, some are thousands of years old and some are just with a little interest. Can you tell what the reason is for such a trip?
Oct 3, 2012 1:09 AM
Thank you for replying.
My reasoning would be site seeing, like the museums and the night life, the food, the culture.
There are places where I would definitely like to stay longer such as Paris, Franfurt (family is there) Italy, Croatia. And then there are places where I would stay shorter like Vienna and Budapest.
Oct 3, 2012 1:14 AM
3Whether or not you have allowed enough time is entirely personal. If I were to decide, I wouldn't try to travel to every corner of the continent in 2 months time (you are covering a massive distance in those 2 months) and I'd allot at least the following number of full days (to get 1 full day means you have to stay somewhere 2 nights) excluding day trips:
Paris - 4
Barcelona - 3
Venice - 2
Florence - 2
Rome - 4
Athens - 1
Santorini - haven't been
Istanbul - 4
Dubrovnik - haven't been
Budapest - 3
Vienna - 2
Munich - haven't been
Frankfurt - 0.5
Amsterdam - 3
Brussels - 1
- travel takes a lot of time too; with this itinerary, the shorter distances (e.g. Florence-Rome, Athens-Santorini or Amsterdam-Brussels) will take up half your day if you add train/flight/ferry travel time to how long it takes to get to/from your hotels, wait for your train/plane/ferry to depart etc.
- traveling Europe in my opinion isn't about seeing as many capitals and big cities as you can; Amsterdam and Brussels for example are nice, but there are tens of equally interesting smaller towns in the Netherlands and Belgium that offer beautiful architecture, interesting museums and far fewer tourists. Frankfurt is not worth going out of your way for given how many gems Germany otherwise has, if Athens wouldn't have the Acropolis it would just be a boring dump (and honestly the Acropolis - if the guards aren't on strike and you can actually climb it, that is - is far less impressive in reality than it looks on pictures) and Vienna isn't my cup of tea either.
My budget is also around $5000
"$" is used to refer to many different currencies (Chilean peso, Hong Kong dollar etc), none of which is used in Europe. Please give your daily budget in euros, after deducting flight costs.
I would be going Eurorail
I presume you mean "Eurail" - just for the sake of clarity, this is the name of a rail pass, there are no Eurail or Eurorail trains as such.
Oct 3, 2012 1:16 AM
4Almost all destinations you mentioned need a bit more time... you can't think to spend a day only in Vienna or Budapest, but also in Amsterdam, Munich, Athens... And travel time by train can be very long, so you should consider some flight. There's plenty of time to find cheap deals with flights, have a look at www.skyscanner.net for Ryanair, Wizzair, Easyjet flights even under €10 per way.
Oct 3, 2012 1:24 AM
5Yes I know I shouldn't try to rush it, that's why I'm on here for advice! I can take as much time as I need but I'd rather stay around 2-3 months. And yes I meant Eurail, obviously.
I wanted to go to Franfurt because I have lots of family there and would like to meet my aunts and uncles.
I'm highly considering just flying to some places like from Paris- Barcelona for example. Because as you've stated it's a lot of travel time. I'm just eager and want to see the world while I can.
And I meant 5000 dollars Canadian. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
Oct 3, 2012 1:29 AM
Oct 3, 2012 1:34 AM
Oct 3, 2012 1:43 AM
8Your 5000 CAD budget translates to 65 € per day (2 months), which is on the low end, but doable (if this is after you paid for your rail pass and airfare). You'll have to settle for supermarket food with the occasional dinner out; you will have to make choices on what attractions to visit and your budget for partying will be very limited.
If you can, save some more money (and stay a little longer then).
But I like your eagerness :-) so please do come and have fun !
Oct 3, 2012 1:56 AM
Oct 3, 2012 1:57 AM
10#7 - dont be sorry, it's a good idea.
Concerning tour operators offering trips by coaches in Europe of course you can do the same in much more time but you need to work it out, you will not have the same prices in hotels and to travel you get normal rates.
The time/days given in #3 by Aribo (beside Frankfurt as you stay with your family) are realistic and as said with 65 Euro per day you will be short in most of the places in your list.
Oct 3, 2012 2:00 AM
11Funny you mention Contiki. I was just reading this:
Oct 3, 2012 2:14 AM
12Sorry I'm new to Lonely Planet threads
No need to be sorry, every one of us was new to this forum once (says grandpa) and most of us have made all the typical "mistakes" (too many places in too little time, too many big cities, underestimating travel times etc) when we travelled for the first time.
€65 per day is about enough for basic accommodation (with shared bathroom), a combination of self-catering and street food, a local bus ride or two per day, entrance to a few museums and a glass of wine or cup of coffee every now and then. Don't expect anything remotely luxurious for that budget, though.
And that's all assuming your air tickets and Eurail pass aren't included in that $5000- by the way, note that rail pass holders still have to pay surcharges on many long-distance services.
I'm highly considering just flying to some places like from Paris- Barcelona for example. Because as you've stated it's a lot of travel time
On this particular route you could fly or take an overnight train; the former has the advantage of being faster from airport to airport, but will still take up most of your day because you need to be at the airport around 90 minutes before flight departure, you'll probably have to wait for your luggage to come out on the carroussel at Barcelona, find your way to the bus or train to the city center etc.
The overnight train has the advantage of saving one night's accommodation and you won't lose sightseeing time; the downside is that many people, including myself, have trouble sleeping on them - especially when you travel on a reclining seat.
to help me with planning I was on the Contiki tours website and see how they plan they're trips and for how long in each place. So I assumed if they could do that much in 39 days I could do it in 60, just a thought
That's smart (using their itinerary as a guideline but allowing about twice as long to a place as Contiki does, I mean). One caveat, though: organized tours take care of all travel practicalities - transportation mainly, but often also places to eat, hotels etc. They also decide for you which cities you visit, what sights you see, how much time you spend there etc.
When you travel solo, you have to do that yourself, and you'll be surprised how much time you need to book trains, find a place to stay, figure out where to eat and what to order etc. That's all part of the fun of travel as far as I'm concerned, but it also gets tiresome after a few days (especially when you're dealing with foreign languages). Make sure you build in some slack to stay in a place a day longer only to stay in bed longer than usual, to have a few cups of coffee in a local café or outdoor terrace, or to read a book in a park.
Oct 3, 2012 2:27 AM
13#11 interesting article, especially because it shows the false economy involved. While it is of course entirely personal whether or not it's fun to rush around "hitting a lot of different places" with a group of perpetually drunk and/or hungover Anglophones, I doubt that many people who chose Contiki over solo travel realize that:
- "you might not be located in the city. In larger cities (Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, etc) you’ll be staying far outside the city (sometimes 30-60 minutes by train/taxi). These locations are often not on any public transportation routes so you’ll have to fork over 40-50 Euros for a taxi ride if you want to spend time in the city."
- "In some cities there are optional “special meals” that are served at restaurants. I believe these meals cost an extra 35 Euros per person. Some have reported that the meal is delicious and some told me that it was mediocre at best. For a budget traveler, 35 Euros is a ton of money and I know you can get a really good meal for 20-25 euros in any European city"
- "you’ll see a lot in a short amount of time but things often tend to blend together when traveling at such a fast pace"
Another comment in the article that I've often seen here in defense of organized tours is "it gave them a good overview of where they want to visit again when they come back for their next European trip" - does anyone who spent half a day in Amsterdam looking at red lights, smelling wafts of marihuana and getting drunk on a pub crawl before spending the night at a campsite in, say, Hoofddorp or Almere, really be tempted to ever visit the Netherlands again because they got such a "good overview"?
Anyway, apologies for the digression. Back to the OP.
Oct 3, 2012 6:55 AM
14guys, surely somebody should have pointed OP here before even attempting to answer this question: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2153476
All the usual comments apply.
I am not sure using Contiki as a reference makes a lot of sense- unless you want to do another package tour. Some Contiki tours spend about 8 real hours in a city like Paris. I think we all agree you could spend a week in Paris and still not see it all. So maybe multiply Contiki times by 10?
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$171.47 per night