Around 35 days in Europe July/August 2013....first time looking for opinion
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Nov 21, 2012 10:40 PM Last Post By: i_like_turtles
Nov 19, 2012 2:48 PM
Around 35 days in Europe July/August 2013....first time looking for opinionA group of 3 people looking to do a eurotrip for around 35 days. We have a budget of around $4,000USD/3,123 euros if we decide to go with the global pass or $5,000USD/3,900 euros if we decide to skip the eurail pass altogether. Here is the itinerary we have come up with. Bare in mind I realize that we are on the verge of seeing too much in too little time. These are the places we would like to see though. I plan on coming back later in life and I hope this will give me a feel for the places I want to further explore. Here is the rough itinerary. Your advice is helpful and I know everyone has different opinions on how to travel. We are trying to take as many night trains as possible to save time.
Arrive: Barcelona- 4 days
overnight train to Paris
Paris- 4 days
Marseilles- 3 days
(no good options of travel from Marseilles to florence or rome? Might cut this out if so.)
Florence- 2 days
Rome- 4 days
(fly to split, croatia? No other fast options?)
Split- 4 days
(I have read that there are overnight trains in the summer months from split to budapest. Has anyone done this?)
Budapest- 3 days
Prague- 4 days
Berlin- 3 days
(any overnight trains?)
Amsterdam- 3 days
Fly out of Amsterdam to Chicago
What are some of your recommendations? I am really confused as to whether I should get the eurail global pass which is right around $1,000USD or to just buy tickets in each city. I am worried since it is around holiday time for much of europe that sleepers will be hard to come by for 3 people. I have read a lot of great information from seat61.com which is actually making this a hard decision. The problem is we don't necessarily want to have an exact schedule. We might like one place and dislike another causing our plans to change a little, but these are the places we have agreed on seeing.
Nov 19, 2012 3:31 PM
Nov 19, 2012 3:38 PM
Nov 19, 2012 3:44 PM
3Sorry I was not clearer. We are not pooling our money that is how much each of us plan to bring.
MHache thank you for the idea. I will consider it for sure. I was really hoping I could get 2 places in France on my trip as I don't think just visiting Paris is going to do it justice as I have ready many threads on here. Unfortunately it is looking like Marseilles might have to come off due to the travel factor.
Nov 19, 2012 5:25 PM
4Personally I'd nix Marseilles off the list, its a big port city. There are many other places in France with much more charm and culture that you could visit. Carcasonne is a famous walled medieval city if you like history. Another medieval city not far off from Marseilles is Avignon.
You could go with i_like_turtles' suggestion and use those days in another country altogether. The high speed train from Paris to Zurich is about 4 hours. From there there are many trains options into Italy.
Alternatively, you could go directly from Paris to Italy and use those extra days there. Two days really doesn't offer enough time in Florence. The city itself has so much to see not to mention endless opportunities for day trips (Pisa, Lucca, Siena, Cinque Terre, San Gimignano and various other Tuscan towns).
To get from Rome to Split you will almost certainly have to fly. The only other convenient option would be if you factored Venice into your trip, from which ferries go from Venice to various ports in Croatia. (Some of these ferries are included with the Euro pass/Interrail pass or are offered at a discount). Ferries also leave from Bari, which is on the Adriatic side of Italy about as far south as Naples.
Nov 19, 2012 6:47 PM
5Thank you Nikki for the suggestion. I will consider all of the above. I was hoping that since it will be summer I could add another beach city into my itinerary hence Marseilles, but it sounds as if I might have to nix it. If I add another day in Paris do you think there will be enough time to add a day trip to the countryside as I would really like to get a feel of France outside if Paris?
Nov 20, 2012 9:53 AM
6If you want to get a feel for the countryside in any of the countries you visit, don't just hop from one big city to the next, which is what you current itinerary does. And, the countryside really is different both between countries, and within them. The Harz mountains in central Germany are nothing like the Alps in Bavaria, the rolling hills of Tuscany are completely different from the Apennine mountains in Abruzzo or the Cilento National Park south of Amalfi. If you want to see some countryside, then something else is going to have to go from your itinerary, and you will need to spend longer in fewer places. I would have thought you need a couple of times in your schedule when you stop for 2 or 3 days or r and r, chill out, do the washing etc. Just a thought - google agriturismo and see the sort of places it brings up - can you see yourself having some down time in somewhere like that? And southern Europe is hot in July and August 30C+
Nov 20, 2012 11:31 AM
7There are no real overnight trains between Prague and Berlin since the leg is so short. Travel time is only 4:45. Thus using the night train would not give you enough time to sleep. Doing Prague_berlin during the day you could also consider to make a stopover in Dresden which is exactly between Prague and Berlin.
There are direct buses Prague-Berlin, f.i. www.berlinlinienbus.de and I guess there might be shared car rides as well: http://www.carpooling.co.uk/ (I don't know if the UK-Version lists all trips in Czech Rep.+Germany, too)
Nov 20, 2012 12:47 PM
8Mike thanks for the info. I looked into it and I don't think 2-3 days in a countryside is suited for us as of right now. I could see a day trip somewhere, but as of right now we are planning on using the night trains to sort of "relax" and recover. Hopefully that is possible. We could be in for a big surprise though.
European...yeah it looks like that will have to be one of the few day trains we need to use on the trip. I will look into Dresden.
Nov 20, 2012 2:10 PM
9OK, so it's countryside-lite! But on your itinerary there just aren't many overnight trains, the journeys are too short. Have you checked actual travel possibilities on websites like bahn.de (which has details of virtually all western European trains)? I think (haven't checked ) there are night trains Budapest - Prague and Berlin - Amsterdam but don't be too certain of a deep relaxing sleep!
Nov 20, 2012 4:21 PM
10Mike as far as I could tell on seat61 ( i have tried looking on many of the national websites and they are a little confusing) I have a decent amount of night trains.
Barcelona to Paris
If I cancel out Marseilles
Paris to Florence
Split to Budapest
Budapest to Prague
The day trains I would have to take would be Prague to Berlin (possible stop in Dresden thanks for the advice!) and Berlin to Amsterdam.
I will probably do easyjet from Rome to Split to save time.
Marseilles is just not convenient. I am considering a stop in Switzerland, but obviously have to talk to my comrades.
Nov 20, 2012 8:08 PM
Nov 21, 2012 1:23 AM
12we are planning on using the night trains to sort of "relax" and recover. Hopefully that is possible
You'll relax and recover much better in a hotel room than in a berth on a moving vehicle, in my experience. Especially if you're a light sleeper, you will catch less sleep than you would in a hotel bed.
Also note that reserving a berth costs extra; overnight trains can save you quite a bit of money if you travel on a seat, but having done that myself quite a few times, I wouldn't recommend that as you'll feel ruined the next morning.
Budapest to Prague
I had a quick look at the Bahn.de (German Railways, but also the most user-friendly website to find timetables throughout Europe) and the only direct night train I could find on this route leaves Budapest at 20:05h and arrives 3:59h - not a great time of the day to arrive in a new city.
Nov 21, 2012 2:45 AM
Nov 21, 2012 5:27 AM
14The night train I took from Madrid to Lisbon, was self propelled party. I had a cot in a couchette. 4 beds. Got a little sleep. with pack on belly.
It arrived 07:30 b4 cafeterías were open.
Yoyu'll need real rest. And an occasional day off. Where eyes get rest too. And time to mull over what you've learned.
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