12 countries in 2 months?
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Nov 30, 2012 9:43 PM Last Post By: am6699
Sep 17, 2012 7:11 AM
15It's kinda hard to get your head around how much there is to see in a given landspace somewhere else in the world.
I've "done" Canada from Montreal to Vancouver in 3 weeks, and got a fairly decent taster of what Canada's like. For the record, Montreal to Ottawa to Toronto to Calgary to Banff to Kelowna to one or two other places to Vancouver. A pretty punishing trip you'll no doubt agree. Whilst distances are vast, there's not a big population to get in the way to slow you down, and total amount of attractions is not that high.
But whilst Europe as a whole is only slightly bigger a land area than Canada on its own (10.2m sq km vs 9.9), Canada's population is 35m give or take, whilst Europe (depending on how you define it - I'm using Google's definitions) is 738m. And for sure there's vastly more points of interest to consider, cities to navigate through/around (even if you simply stop en route on a train it slows you down). Road transport can be slow too depending on where you are due to sheer volume of traffic.
A further point to consider is Europe's much older and more established of course than Canada, which is still relatively young. More stuff has built up to grab your interest, from Stonehenge (prehistoric) Rome (really old) to Oxford Uni (just under 1,000 years old) through to the Eiffel tower (only a couple hundred years old) and up to present day ever changing cities throughout Europe (Berlin for example, which is continuing to redevelop even now after the fall of the Berlin wall).
To do them justice, in my personal opinion (and others will differ here), examples of cities or natural areas of beauty would take:-
London, Paris and Rome could each occupy you for 4-7 days without a sweat.
Venice, Florence, Berlin, Dublin, Barcelona, Madrid, the Bernese Oberland in Central Switzerland, Amalfi coast, Budapest, Amsterdam could each happily take 3-4 days.
Cologne, Brussels, Bruge, Stonehenge, Versailles, Pisa, Geneva, Stockholm, Copenhagen could (depending on which one we're talking about) each occupy you from anywhere between 1-3 days.
A good rule of thumb (again in my opinion) is to plan an average of one destination every 3.5 days. This takes into account downtime for sleeping, showers, eating, hangover recovery, phoning/emailing home, getting to/from airports/hotels/hostels/train stations, orientating yourself in a new city, laundry and simply stop to chillax over a coffee.... as well as actual sightseeing.
It's lovely you guys want to come over and see what we have to offer, but if your other half thinks he can see all of Europe in 2 months he needs to think again. The fact we're all united on this should hopefully give him pause for thought.
Given you say that you're a student and money will be an issue, note that Switzerland + the Scandinavian countries are known to be expensive, or very expensive. In some bars in Zurich or Basle you can easily hit 7 or 8 euros for a single beer alone, never mind dinner. Also, the more moving you do, the more you will spend on travel. And travel is also tiring.
Absolute subsistence (minimal travel, minimal pay to entry sightseeing, dorm beds, self catering, and minimal alcohol) is viewed at 50 euros per day per person in Western Europe. Hitting the countries I just mentioned and setting up a high km to cover will only bump that up.
Sep 17, 2012 8:56 PM
16Wow, thank you everyone for all you wonderful (and brutally honest) input. I've learned I have a lot to consider, and it's great to have such great feedback from people who have actually done this before. I'm not gonna lie, if it were any way possible for me to see all of these places in two months I would. I really would love to cover as much ground as I possibly could because although I'm sure I'll get to go back to Europe someday, I don't think it'll ever be for this long and may not be for a while. And also the fact that I'm not travelling alone, I also understand that my traveling partner should get to have as much input in this as I want, so we're definitely going to have to figure out some kind of compromise. I don't want to damper someone else's experience just because of what I want and what I think works. But it's true, covering as much ground as possible is not the same as seeing as much as possible, and I'm scared that I'm gonna spend a whole lotta money to get places but not really see much. So I'll definitely have to think about this.
Thanks again, everyone! You've been a great help :)
Nov 30, 2012 9:43 PM
I will be travelling to Netherlands(Amsterdam and near by town/cities) from June 29th - July 7th 2013. And most likely will be staying at Stayokay Hostels.... So if you are backpacking to Amsterdam during that time and would be Interested in travelling together then lets plan out something
(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