Need Itinerary help!!
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Apr 26, 2012 7:12 PM Last Post By: aaa4200
Apr 23, 2012 11:10 AM
Need Itinerary help!!Hi there, I am planning a trip to Europe (i leave in just a week). I have a rough itinerary but it seems I may be overextending myself. I want to see everything but also want to get a sense of the culture and be rooted a little where I am! (Cant have it all I know) I have about 6 weeks on my own and will then meet my sister from Italy, then Berlin, and Lisbon and a few nights London at the end. I am more interested in big cities than countryside although a little variation is nice. Also would love to have some beaches mixed in to rejuvenate.
Fly into Glasgow then take train to Edinburgh (my dads hometown).
This is my rough itinerary (i will make some cuts to add more days!). Which places are unmissable for me (I have Paris, Neuchatel (visiting a friend), Istanbul (really want to see), and Prague/Krakow/maybe Budapest (I want to see some of the east). Should I just cut out spain? Or narrow the focus on my Eastern/Central part?
2 Munich? (CUT OUT? For time)
Apr 23, 2012 11:12 AM
Apr 23, 2012 1:21 PM
To me, doing all this in 6 weeks sounds like a marathon... Can you tell us the order you have in mind to do it? I mean, London, Paris, then where, to Marseille, to Spain, to Croatia, to Munich... ¿? Do you already have the flights booked?
I think you should add more detailed information about the trip. An itinerary would be perfect. Roughly I would skip or Spain or Croatia, because I think you are not having in account the time that you will loose in traveling by bus or plane between places.
Apr 23, 2012 1:22 PM
3Right, so if I've understood this you're thinking about doing the list above, then hooking up with sis to do Italy, Berlin, Lisbon and London after. And you've got 6 weeks before you meet up with sis.
Going down the list...
Edinburgh makes sense, you might as well.
London makes no sense at all given you'll do it with Sis later. Simply skip and instead fly Edinburgh to Paris. Pick from Flybe.com, Airfrance.com or easyjet.com. Ryanair.com also do it, but they fly to Beauvais, which is blooming miles and miles from Paris proper, so don't do that.
Paris is reasonable enough - you could possibly chop a night, but dropping down to Neuchatel to then leap back up to Amsterdam doesn't make sense.
Actually, scrap the list order, lemme totally reorder it :)
Glasgow, then train or bus to Edinburgh.
Fly easyjet.com from Edinburgh to Amsterdam then
Take the thalys.com train from Amsterdam to Paris before
Taking a TGV train from Paris to Neuchatel via Geneva (NB: You may have to swap TGV's in Lyon en route).
From Neuchatel pop back to Geneva and then drop down on yet another TGV to Marseilles/Arles.
From Marseilles/Arles trundle round to Barcelona by plane (cos the train takes an eternity) - pick from airfrance.com or vueling.com.
Welcome to Spain.
Once you've knocked off Barcelona take the super fast AVE train to Madrid.
From Madrid, take another super fast train down to Seville.
That leaves you with Munich, Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Vienna, Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik. You've also got sis turning up who wants to do Italy, Berlin, Lisbon and London, the four of which couldn't be much further apart and stay within Europe if you tried (and that's gonna cost you in time and money as a result).
So, assuming sister will turn up in Italy, lets get you from Seville some place else. Now, flights out of Seville don't go to E Europe, but flights out of nearby Malaga do, so get yourself there. Bizarrely Ryanair fly direct some days of the week from Malaga to Krakow (I wouldn't have thought there's much demand but hey), so use Ryanair.com.
From Krakow you could then trundle across to Prague before
Leaving Prague on a train for Munich and then
going back East out of Munich towards Vienna, before
The short trip down to Budapest.
From Budapest things get slow and maybe buses are faster than trains (but I'm not totally au fait with the current bus situation, hopefully someone can fill in the gaps). Until the gap's filled by someone more knowledgable, you could take a train from Budapest to Split, but it's 18 hrs, including a 3.5 hr layover in Zagreb.
From Split get a boat to Hvar before a bus to Dubrovnik.
From Dubrovnik there's a ferry across to Bari in Italy, where you could meet up with sister.
That's the good news, it's feasible, but by god there's some punishing travel involved, you'll be on the move a lot as you seek to cover an entire continent in not much time.
Apr 23, 2012 4:02 PM
5Thanks so much guys! Esp Fwoggie! I know I should cut it down I am just not quite sure what.
It is actually closer to 7 weeks on second look 45-48 days.
I know it is too much, but with the cheap flights it is just so tempting. I have done one backpacking trip a few years ago around southeast Asia and I stayed in Vietnam alone for a month and loved the fact I wasn't rushed. I just can't seem to decide what i should/want to cut out in Europe as everything is so close and reasonably accessible!
I have done a lot of research on flights etc....
So I have.....
start in Edinburgh 3 nights.
Maybe fly to Amsterdam for 2 nights? (Worth it you think?)
Train to Paris (4 nights, maybe 5)
Train to Neuchatel. (2 nights)
Train to Zurich (couple hours)
Flight to Istanbul (4 nights) from Zurich Direct. Pegasus. 180
Istanbul to Marseilles (nights Provence) direct for 100. Pegasus
Marseilles to Seville (3 nights) is direct for 50-60ish. Ryan air
Train to Madrid (3 nights)
Train to Barcelona (3 nights).
Fly Barcelona to Munich direct (or Krakow might make sense...) 2 nights Munich
Train to Prague (4 nights)
Train to Krakow (3 nights)
Flight to Budapest (3 nights)
Train to Vienna (2 nights)
Flight to split (2 nights)
Ferry to Bari and meet family!
Then 2 weeks Italy
4 nights Berlin
6 nights Lisbon and maybe south of Portugal
2-3 nights London.
PS we are doing Italy as a family trip with others, and then my sis really wants to see Berlin and will have a week and a half left (Flying home from London), I thought Lisbon would be a nice final destination for 4-6 nights.
What would be recommended for most cities (3 or 4 nights)?
Apr 23, 2012 4:08 PM
6I am thinking cut out croatia, spain or Istanbul maybe 2 of them!
I would put Istanbul 1st priority slightly, then a tie between Croatia and Spain. Croatia seems so beautiful but a real hassle to get into.
Any thoughts on which place bt Croatia and Spain is more enjoyable in a week-9 days?
Or if Istanbul is worth the effort and money to see on this trip (seems really neat to me)?
Apr 23, 2012 4:10 PM
Apr 23, 2012 6:01 PM
8Too many places and constraints with your travel (meeting sister, friends etc) so the only advice I will give is that to minimise the cost and maximise the time, travel in one direction and not back and forth across the continent.
That is what Fwoggie tried to do for you so before you go changing the itinerary or add and cut places, get out a map and draw up your plans and see how it looks. If it's a like a big loop, its good. If it looks like chicken scratching its bad.
Apr 23, 2012 7:14 PM
9I miss Copenhagen and Stockholm in your plan. Wonderful places. And what about the beaches you love to go to? See the sunset on the beach of The Hague on your way from Amsterdam to Paris. From where I've been, you could well miss Split, but don't miss Dubrovnik ! And why Krakow if you also do Prague and Budapest? You don't miss much if you skip one of these three places. Take only Prague and you will find a bit of Krakow and a bit of Budapest. Or skip Prague instead and you have a big and small city in E.Europe. Prague is easier going than B, but P. is known by the many thefts among tourists.
Good advise of #8, make a drawing on the map. I would add the climate in choosing what first and what later. The beginning of may has usually nice weather in southern Europe but in may it's often still cold and rainy in Edinburgh, London and Berlin. Save those places for the second half of your trip, if you can.
Apr 23, 2012 10:38 PM
10What you need to do next OP is
1) Get a copy of a map of Europe (Google maps is fine) and plot where these places are (as #8 said). Loops = good, crossing back and forth = bad as it's wasted time and money to keep crossing your track.
2) Get a spreadsheet and start figuring out travel durations and costs for each leg - nobody will do this for you cos it's tedious and not much fun and you know the dates better than us and can still change them at will.
For flights see http://www.expedia.com (old school established airlines) and http://www.skyscanner.co.uk (budget airlines - a la southwest, jetstar or air arabia). For the latter site, click on the widgets section at the bottom of the screen and you'll find an interactive map that you can use which is great for figuring out who offers direct flights.
For trains refer to the excellent http://www.seat61.com for general train info and links to each country's rail sites - hit the departing country website and search for the relevant info. Buy the individual tickets (if you don't go for the pass) as soon as possible to lock in the cheapest price, but bear in mind that most of those cheaper tickets are train specific, i.e. you have to catch that train at that time, which a rail pass doesn't insist on. Note that rail passes do not fully cover you for high speed trains and sleepers which you will have to use a lot due to your very high mileage; supplements apply for these. See http://www.eurail.com for more information if you don't live in EU, http://www.interrailnet.com if you have lived in the EU for the past 6 months.
A europe wide train timetable is available via http://www.bahn.co.uk.
How much money have you got for all of this btw (in €)?
Apr 23, 2012 11:40 PM
11OP it isn't difficult to understand that you can't see everything in one go. It is hard to come to the realization of it though.
Fwoggie just did a very nice thing for you and did up your itinerary for you, based on his previous travels, I think he knows what he is talking about. It wasn't very polite of you to just over look the itinerary he took the time to make for you then you post a whole new itinerary.
The less destinations you have the more time in each you will get. Also you'll save a lot of money in the process. I've just overlooked your 'new' itinerary in post #5 and it amounts to 72 days, I thought you said your only going for 45-48 days? You also have nearly 25 destinations spread all across Europe.
I plan to go to Europe this fall for 3 months (90-100 days) and I only plan on going to 30 destinations tops, roughly 3 days in each place. I have a list of 30 places/cities I want to see but I probably won't get to them all. You are zig zagging all over Europe and trying to see too much in too little time
Listen to the guys above, they obviously know what they are talking about and wouldn't give you false advice just to be spiteful. If they say you are trying to go too many places in the time you have they are right, they have been to where you plan to go before, they live in Europe, they know what its like to travel to each place.
Just my two cents. Good Luck
Apr 24, 2012 12:26 AM
12Thanks again Fwoggie! And to the previous poster, I wasn't dimissing his plans I was just giving my more detailed Itinerary that I had already sketched out. (and by the way my 72 night itinerary had only about 24 places in it for 72 days which is comparable to your original plan).
I appreciate the help and as I stated a few times I realize I have to cut some places out that is why I asked for advice.
Yes I have 72 nights total including the the portion with my sister, where we have to Italy, and Berlin (per her request).
Budget is 7000-8000 Euros approx.
I think I will take the advice and cut either Kracow or Budapest and I may cut Madrid and Seville (and maybe even Istanbul) too. Is it worth going just to Barcelona?
I may also cut Croatia, but I was looking for a place with sun that I could relax for a week before departing on the last month of the journey. Any other places that are reasonable.
Apr 24, 2012 12:28 AM
Apr 24, 2012 12:54 AM
14Yes, but I don't plan to go to all 4 corners of Europe.
(5 star Hotel)
From US$261.19 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$15.36 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$0.00 per night