Easter Europe 2013 questions about my itinerary
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Nov 13, 2012 8:37 AM Last Post By: bjamesgali
Nov 11, 2012 3:52 PM
Easter Europe 2013 questions about my itineraryI've been doing a lot of reading the past couple of days and what I was hoping would be an impulsive and spontaneous trip has turned into a very planned and structured one. At first I picked a few destinations I wanted to visit and after reading many, many forums I've made adjustments. One piece of information that doesn't seem to have a great answer is how to get from place A to place B in Eastern Europe. That's why I'm posting my map and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for my trip specifically.
I start off in Canada, and land in Amsterdam during the last week on January.
Once in Europe, here is my plan:
Amsterdam --> Berlin (Intercity train €49)
Berlin --> Prague (Czech transport €32)
Prague --> Krakow (Czech €40)
Krakow --> Budapest (Orangeways buslines €17)
Budapest --> Belgrade (Eurail €14)
Belgrade --> Bucharest (Eurail €9) train suspended right now?
Bucharest --> Varna (Zahir travel €20)
Varna --> Istanbul (Eurail €10)
Istanbul --> Thessaloniki (some bus company?) currently no buses going in and out of greece??, what's my best option
Thessaloniki --> Ohrid Eurail €13 via Skojpe)
Ohrid --> Tirana --> Kotor OR Bijelo Polje --> Dubrovnik --> Sarajevo --> Plitvice --> Zabreg (difficullt to find prices, is it best to just wing it when down there?)
Zagreb --> Ljubljana (Eurail €12)
Ljubljana --> Mayrhofen (no simple route, any suggestions) http://Snowbombing music festival to end my trip...
Mayrhofen --> Munich (bus)
From Munich I'll take the plane back to Canada during the second week of April.
Total of 20 destinations in ~75 days
It's definitely not concrete. I just though I'd create a back bone to my trip and am open to any suggestions.
A few questions I have are:
1) Are my prices reasonable, does anything seem out of the ordinary?
2) Are any of the destinations I mentioned above a destination not worth seeing (ie one city has everything that another city would have, so may as well skip it for efficiency)?
3) Plitvice lakes or sarajevo? I feel like having both makes for some confusion.
4) Is Amsterdam worth it, or should I save the 10 hour train ride and go straight to Berlin, for that matter is Berlin worth it? or should I go straight to Prague?
5) Is this feasible in 75 days?
6) Considering a majority of my time is in the Balkans, I was curious as to how much money I should budget for the 75 days (per day).
7) I'm skipping a lot of the real Eastern Europe (not by choice, but for efficiency), would it be worth it to stretch my map to the Ukraine?
8) I'm a CAN traveller, does anyone know anything about visas in turkey and croatia? Do I just arrive at border and pay for it upon arrival?
This is all I can think of for now. I appreciate all your advice (especially all the advice I've already received by reading other posts). This is a great community and am excited to join it!
Happy travelling :)
Edited by: bjamesgali
Nov 12, 2012 4:15 AM
1First of all, weather will be big a factor during your Eurotrip.
2) I think it a really nice itinerary. However, I would skip Bucharest as it's nothing special and you'll visit quite a lot of big cities anyway. If you want to see some Romania, choose Transylvania region. I haven't been to Bulgaria, but many people say that Veliko Tarnovo is the prettiest city in Bulgaria. Then again, Bulgaria isn't really about cities. Thessaloniki is another city I'd consider skipping, especially in March. Unless you just want to say you've been to Greece, of course :) Above all, you chose these destinations, so I hope you have some reasons to go there.
3) Completely different things, both interesting.
4) Although I am not a big fan of Amsterdam, many people love it and it will be different from other places on your route.
5) Yes, very feasible. You will have time to make a few day trips I think.
6) Impossible to tell. Prices vary quite a lot from country to country and it depends on your travel style the most.
7) Stick to this route.
8) Does CAN stand for Canadian? I am pretty sure you don't need a visa for Croatia.
Don't worry about traveling from A to B, you will work that out when you get to Europe. But I bet that you can find info for every route on your travels. I really have no idea why so many people seem to have problems with that. I typed Ohrid Tirana bus in google and got many answers on tripadvisor and lonely planet forums, with timetables and prices.
Belgrade Bucharest train is suspended until further notice. There are some buses from Belgrade to Timisoara. if you want more itinerary suggestions, you need to tell us your interests.
Nov 12, 2012 5:52 AM
2You might be restricted time wise with Skopje-Thessaloniki Bus.
As it goes very earliest in the morning or early evening. Simeonidis Tours, from berth 4 at Makedonia Bus Station, Price is €20 one Way.
There is another option.
Öz Batu Bus from Istanbul to Bitola in Macedonia goes via Saloniki, you might be better off taking that Bus, lending in Bitola, have wander around there spend the night
Next day take Bus to Ohrid, ( price €4) that way you are cutting good 320 km Off your trip. From Ohrid/Struga Bus to Tirane, at 9:00, 12:00 , 18:00, 21:00 (price €17)
Tirana-Shkodra furgon from the side street at Skenderbeg Square ( price €10)
Shkodra- Ulcinj ( Montenegro) Bus/furgon twice Daily , Price €10
Ulcinj via Kotor Bus to Dubrovnik with Libertas Bus, same Bus to Sarajevo via Mostar or to Split. ( nearest town to Plitvice) than back to Split and onwards to Zagreb.
Nov 12, 2012 9:46 AM
Is weather going to be bad throughout my trip? I guess I should look things up, I haven't really considered it up until now. Thank you for the heads up.
Thank you for your responses! I'll definitely take your advice into consideration. I'm actually thinking of taking bucharest off my map, as it seems there is a pretty large consensus that there is nothing special there, and it's not one of my "places to see." Also, it'll make it easier since the train from Belgrade to Bucharest is suspended.
I guess I can just leave this how it is and when I get to Europe I can always decide whilst on the road :)
Wow! I really appreciate this. This pretty much lays out my southern part of the trip! This is great and very affordable. Bitola looks like a beautiful stop. I'm working these plans into my itinerary as we speak! Thank you so much.
Nov 12, 2012 10:05 AM
Nov 12, 2012 12:08 PM
5For Özbatu Bus look here
Greater Istanbul Bus Station No: 149
Bayrampasa / Ist.
or call +90 (212) 658 02 55 for Macedonia
Hope this helps
Nov 12, 2012 1:01 PM
61. Amsterdam-Berlin €49 is realistic (though rates may go up when the new timetables are published in December) provided you book these tickets in advance. Same-day purchase is much more expensive.
Also note that "Eurail" is the name of a rail pass, not a train service - trains are operated by the national railway companies.
2. Any reason why you plan to visit only capital cities in most of the countries you're passing through? Why Bucharest and not, say, Sighisoara or Brasov?
4. Why did you consider Amsterdam and Berlin in the first place? How should we decide if they are "worth it" for you?
Nov 12, 2012 2:46 PM
7I haven't been to Amsterdam, but loved Berlin so would say that's definitely worth keeping in the itinerary - although obviously I don't know you so don't know what would make somewhere unmissable! But I found it a very interesting and eclectic city with a great variety of things to do, so I think there'd be something for everyone. I don't know many people who've been to Berlin and not liked it.
I went to Sarajevo earlier in the year and I would recommend it to anyone. You can get a bus from Dubrovnik to Sarajevo, I think it'll be only once a day at that time of year. It takes about 7 hours, but the scenery is stunning and is a good day's activity in itself! I found it near-on impossible to find accurate bus timetables (we did the route in the opposite direction, Sarajevo > Dubrovnik) but you should hopefully be able to find something reliable out at the Dubrovnik bus station if you're there for a couple of days beforehand.
For Sarajevo > Zagreb (again, we did it in the opposite direction) there's an overnight train, which although it didn't have a sleeper train (although I did hear rumours at the time about a new sleeper train being planned...don't know when that's for) did have separate compartments with a padded bench down each side, which were very comfortable and made a very nice bed each for the night. Again I'd just book it at the train station in Sarajevo when you're actually there. I'm afraid I can't help if you do decide to go Plitvice between the two, but Zagreb and Sarajevo are both well worth a visit (I have heard wonderful things about Plitvice too though!)
All in all it sounds like a brilliant trip. I'm a little jealous!
Nov 13, 2012 8:37 AM
Thank you all for such wonderful advice and suggestions. I'm taking everything into consideration and have adjusted my itinerary accordingly.
I plan on skipping bucharest and burga entirely to save road time and visit timisoara and sofia (also, I'm open to venturing off the beaten path, so this is not solid, just a rough backbone) and then make my way down to istanbul. From Istanbul I'll travel through the Balkans and end up back in Vienna, Austria to cap off my trip.
I shifted my travel period from February-April to March-May. This is just to compensate for the colder weather, and I am from Canada, so anything greater than -30 degrees C is good enough for me :) :).
I'm hoping to meet people along the road and maybe alter my itinerary as I go along (although it is off season, so I don't know how likely this is), but I'm open to making detours to other cities other than the main capital cities etc..
Again thanks for all the tips, and if it seems like there are other things I'm missing or could be missing, feel free to comment.
P.S. This is a great community and resource!! It makes planning a trip a lot easier and fun too!
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