Two Month Itinerary--too crazy?
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Sep 19, 2012 9:10 PM Last Post By: gawkabout
Sep 17, 2012 9:40 PM
Two Month Itinerary--too crazy?I'm graduating college in May 2013 and plan to go to Europe for about two months after. Here is my rough itinerary. Just wondering if it's too much, too short of time in each place, etc
Dublin - 3 days
Amsterdam - 3 days
Cologne - 4 days
Vienna - 3 days
Ljubljana - 5 days
Venice - 2 days
Rome - 4 days
Sicily - 5 days
Bologna - 3 days
Cinque Terre - 4 days
Milan - 3 days
Marseille - 3 days
Barcelona - 3 days
Madrid - 3 days
Bordeaux - 2 days
Travel back to Dublin and fly out
I've been to Venice and Rome but have to go back. I have family in Sicily so that is why there are so many days there and I will not compromise any of those.
I'm mainly looking for the most beneficial itinerary and what will have me get the most out of my trip since it probably will be once in a lifetime. Travel between cities is not really a problem as long as it does not exceed a days time.
Thanks for your feedback :)
Sep 18, 2012 2:01 AM
Sep 18, 2012 2:03 AM
2BTW 5 days in Sicily is not 'so many days'.
Sicily is a large island where you could easily spend a month or more,without repeating things or getting bored.....
Sep 18, 2012 2:06 AM
3On the specifics...why did you choose these places? What do you want to do in each one?
There are some which most people wouldn't find very interesting...eg 4 days in Cologne and 3 in Milan.Unless there is something specific you want to do there.
There are others where the allocation of days seems bizarre...5 days in Ljubliana and only 3 in Barcelona for example...
Sep 18, 2012 2:58 AM
4Hi - and welcome to Thorn Tree.
Are you just intending to stay in the stated cities- or do some excursions outward for the day or overnight?
I wouldn't spend five days in Ljubljana, unless staying with family, friends or had other solid plans there.
4 days in Koln.... Why? or are you just a city person with dislike for countryside?
What mode(s) of transport are you using for the trip?
Over to you.
Sep 18, 2012 5:07 AM
5I don't understand why people on "once in a lifetime" trips visit the Netherlands and only go to Amsterdam, but hey, that way we locals have the nicer parts of the country to ourselves. The same goes fo most other countries, by the way: it seems like 95% of non-European visitors ignore 95% of Europe's gems.
Personally I don't see why you'd spend more than a day (if any at all) in Milan, Marseille or (based on hearsay) Bordeaux. And while Dublin has a couple of worthwile attractions, I'd hit myself for going to Ireland and spending 3 days in its capital, skipping what makes this country so special - the west coast, its Celtic ruins, cute little villages.
Having said that, you haven't mentioned why you picked these places and how you came to the number of days per city, so it's hard to see where you should spend more (or less) time or which places you should add, remove or replace.
Sep 18, 2012 7:32 AM
6To be honest, I was slightly basing the trip on one of those pre-planned group things. I'm not fond of having to be here at a certain time or there for only a few hours with group trips so I was going to use that as a backbone but plan my own thing.
I've already traveled to Sicily, Rome, Florence, Venice, Amalfi Coast, Brussels, Bruges, Paris, Salzburg, and Munich so I was trying to stay away from those with the exceptions of Sicily, Rome, and Venice.
I supposed I hadn't researched some of these places enough from what y'all say. Obviously I'm giving Cologne and Ljubljana too much credit. However, I have a cousin stationed in Frankfurt and was going to meet up with her while in Cologne. As for Ljubljana, I've never even thought of visiting until I started researching for this trip and it looks beautiful (however, I see where 5 days might be too extensive).
battybilly...I appreciate a countryside over a city. I just find it difficult to extensively research a countryside location and I am skeptical about visiting a place I know barely anything about. I will be traveling by train mostly with the exception of plane from Dublin to Amsterdam and bus within countries. Day or night excursions are possible.
Arlbo...I only chose Marseille and Bordeaux to break up the traveling between countries. Not a good idea? Where else in Ireland would you go specifically? I'm part Irish and have always wanted to go but know nothing outside of Dublin.
More insight on me and my likes...My favorite place thus far has been Rome and I love everything about it. Therefore, I guess you could say I favor the historical but yet busy and modern cities. I appreciate the fact that I find Rome considerably easy to navigate. Paris, on the other hand, was too spread out and hectic for me. I know a little French and Italian and can get by slightly with Spanish. Language isn't really an issue. I'm just looking to get the most out of my time over there.
I appreciate the feedback. You have all been helpful so far
Sep 18, 2012 7:38 AM
Sep 18, 2012 7:42 AM
Sep 18, 2012 8:15 AM
It occurred to me that it might make sense to spend a little more time in Ireland especially at the start of your trip as I'm assuming you're flying from North America and are likely to be at least a little jetlagged. If you spent the first week of your trip there you could spend the first couple of days in Dublin seeing the sights and then head to Cork, Galway or Belfast - all are no more than 2/3hrs by bus/train - or do some day tours to Glendalough, Newgrange or Kilkenny. Then when you move on to Amsterdam your body clock will be more adjusted to European time.
I would also maybe try and fly home from your last destination, be it Spain or France, rather than fly back to Ireland and then on again.
You've plenty of time before you leave. Have fun planning :)
Sep 18, 2012 8:18 AM
Sep 18, 2012 9:23 AM
11If you go to the W. Europe branch at the top of the first page you will find a 'sticky' thread on Budget & Itinerary questions. I suggest you read it. You are obviously making the classic mistake of attempting to visit too many places in too little time.
This is the Shoestring branch and yet I see nothing in your post that relates to a 'shoestring'. As it stands your post would be better off posted in the W. Europe branch.
You use two phrases that are commonly used and senseless. 'Trip of a lifetime' and 'get the most out of'. As already mentioned it is hardly likely to be 'the trip of your lifetime.' If it is you have my sympathy. Imagine the rest of your life without ever travelling again.
As for 'get the most out of', you are making the classic mistake of confusing quantity with quality. The most often used form of this phrase is 'to see as much as possible'. The word 'much' is not synonymous with the word 'many'. But that is what you are actually talking about. The way to get the most out of your time is to spend time IN places, not IN BETWEEN places. In travel, less is always more.
For purposes of planning you could use the Rule of 3s which says, never spend less than 3 full days/4 nights in a place unless it is just an overnight stop between A and B. Even following that rule will mean 25% of your total time is spent on moving days. That's a lot of mainly lost days.
If you apply that rule to your 60 days minus your arrival and departure day you will see that it would allow for a maximum of (58/4 = 14.5) 14 places to visit. Your list has 16 (Dublin twice) so not much over but note the words 'less than' in the Rule of 3s. The 3 full days is a minimum. If you add additional days in 5 places as you have then your total number of places should decrease. So if you want 4 or 5 days in those places you should probably reduce your total number of places to 12 or less.
In addition, you like many others have come up with a list of cities. NO country is just cities. So you have to ask yourself what you hope to accomplish on this trip. You say to 'get the most' out it. Will just visiting cities do that for you? If you spent 2 weeks in each of 4 countries with a 50/50 split of your time between cities and smaller towns/villages how might that affect the quality of your experience and how much you therefore 'get out of it'.
By your own admission, your list is simply a copy of some tour company's list. Is that the best way to go about deciding where you will spend your time? What about your interests? You have actually said NOTHING about that even though you wrote, 'More insight about me and my likes'. What insight? What likes? You like Rome you say but tell us nothing about what it is you like about Rome other than you found it easy to navigate. Does that mean you are only interested in places that are easy to navigate?
I suggest you get a couple of good guidebooks from the library (or do some reading online) and READ them. Then decide what interests YOU, not some tour company's list of places. Then post on the W. Europe branch with any specific questions for which you still have questions.
Any 'what do you think of my itinerary' post is easy to answer. I like it, I don't like it, it's fine, it's crap. All of which tells you nothing really. Do your OWN homework first, then post. Asking if I think 4 days in Koln is too much or too little is pointless. The question is how many days (if at all) you will want to spend there and that depends on YOU and YOUR interests, not mine or anyone else's.
Sep 19, 2012 1:22 AM
12Where else in Ireland would you go specifically? I'm part Irish and have always wanted to go but know nothing outside of Dublin
In addition to the suggestions given by #7, ideally you could rent a car and spend a week or so driving past the west coast. The Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula and the Connemara all offer a good combination of stunning coastal scenery, ancient ruines and cute villages, and people who know Ireland better than me suggest Doneghal County is even more impressive.
Kilkenny is a nice town. Glendalough and Cashel have impressive Celtic ruins, and the prehistoric mount at Newgrange is even (much) older. Just a few suggestions from the top of my head, this list is by no means exhaustive - but apart from its pubs, most of Dublin pales in comparison with all of it.
An interesting way to travel onwards from Dublin is to fly Ryanair (but do check their surcharges!) to Eindhoven, from where you could go straight to Amsterdam, but instead better break your journey in Den Bosch (officially known as 's Hertogenbosch) or Utrecht; both are on the Eindhoven-Amsterdam train line and are lively and architecturally interesting towns without the tacky sex & drugs scene and tourist crowds of Amsterdam. Depending on what time you arrive at Eindhoven Airport, you could either spend the night in Den Bosch or Utrecht or, if you arrive early in the morning, drop your bags in a locker at the train station, take a look around and move onto Amsterdam later in the day.
Sep 19, 2012 9:10 PM
13Dublin seems to have nothing to do, with the rest of your tip.
Fly to a hub, like Frankfort or Paris, of one close to the main cluster of your iten.
have fun / not schedgules.
Traveling Europe is not just old places. Its helpful kind chatty people. Don't just do something. Sit there. Talk at length with folks.
Not just your own nationality. They can teach you nothing.
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