Replies: 20 - Last Post: Nov 21, 2012 8:23 AM Last Post By: europetravel12
Nov 19, 2012 5:04 PM
Europe ItineraryHey everyone!
I have never been to Europe before & am planning a trip for my graduating year (june-august) for about 60 days (give or take a couple) with a friend. I have a general idea of everywhere we want to go and just want to know if this itinerary is realistic. I do want to see the major sites in all of the countries/cities I have written, but am not a huge history/art fanatic. With that being said, for ex. I want to go to the Louvre in Paris, but I don't have to visit each museum the city has to offer. I'm a university student, so just experiencing new things and new cultures will be an awesome part of the trip.
My budget for the trip is about $10-11,000 (CAD) per person (not including flight home). This budget has to include transportation around Europe, food/drink, attractions, accommodations. Please let me know if it's realistic for the itinerary I have. We're planning on staying in hostels/budget hotels so that we can spend more money on attractions & food/drink.
Also, if anyone could recommend if a Eurail Pass would be advantageous for this trip, it would be greatly appreciated! I am getting mixed reviews on whether or not buying one is worth the money paid since you have to pay reservation fees, etc.
I'm going to be in Lisbon, Portugal on exchange, so I will be leaving from there to start the trip off in Madrid.
Madrid (2 nights)
Ibiza (2 nights)
Barcelona (3 nights)
Nice (6 days)
with daytrips to:
Paris (7 days)
with daytrips to:
-Normandy (Mont St. Michel)
Brussels (1 day)
Bruges (2 days)
Amsterdam (3 days)
Prague (3 days)
Budapest (3 days)
Athens (2 days)
Crete (2 days)
Santorini (2 days)
Mykonos (2 days)
Amalfi Coast (3 days)
Rome (3 days)
Florence (3 days)
Pisa (1 day)
Venice (3 days)
Milan (2 days)
Lucerne (2 days)
Jungfraujoch (1 day)
Munich (2-3 days)
Fly home from Germany
THANK YOU to everyone who can help me out & comment...much appreciated!!
Nov 19, 2012 10:09 PM
1Hello Andrea and welcome to Thorn Tree,
A few comments:
- note that 2 nights gives you 1 full day in a city; inter-city travel tends to take more time than you probably realize, so in many cases you can write off your arrival day, or at least part of it (even if a train timetable shows a travel time of 2 hours, this does not include the time you need to get to/from your hotels, wait for your train to depart, possible delays enroute etc; this will add at least 1-2 hours to your total journey time, provided your train/plane arrives on schedule
- this itinerary is doable in this timeframe, but it will be extremely rushed and I doubt you'll enjoy spending 3 days each in capitals that are 10 hours by train or 2 hours by air (plus another 3+/- to travel to/from the airports, go through security check etc) apart
- not many people here keep track of the CAD rate; please convert your budget into euros, as that's what prices in most countries you visit are listed in anyway
Which cities you should add, keep or remove depends on your interests; given that you put them on your wish list, I assume all of them have a particular appeal to you, but I'm not quite sure if it's wortwhile spending 2 days in Milan and making day trips to Cannes and Monte Carlo while you're only allowing 2 days for Crete or 3 for Rome.
If you want to take a lot of pictures and don't mind spending a lot of time in transit between places rather than sightseeing in places, this itinerary may work for you - though in my experience, it's not unlikely that after a week you'll find yourself longing for a break from all the churches and monuments and all the tourist crowds.
If you like to get a feel for a particular city, spend at least 3-4 days in them (though Rome, Paris and London, for example, can keep you amused for at least 3-4 weeks). If you want to get a feel for a country and its culture, don't limit yourself to the capital and/or the major tourist hubs, but get out into the country, visit some smaller towns - every single country in Europe has several towns and cities that aren't as popular with non-Europeans as the ones on your list, but are at least as rewarding (as a sidenote, destinations like Nice and Milan seem to get much more attention from non-Europeans than from people who know France/Italy really well).
The Eurail pass question isn't easy to answer, I'm afraid - the only way to find out is to check fares for each segment on the national railway company's website (avoid the likes of RailEurope) and compare the grand total with the price of a rail pass + surcharges. If you're really serious about travelling the cheapest way possible, look up bus and air fares for each segment too.
See http://www.seat61.com for all you want to know about rail travel in each country, and for a discussion on the pros and cons of rail passes.
Nov 19, 2012 11:02 PM
Nov 19, 2012 11:05 PM
Nov 19, 2012 11:32 PM
Nov 19, 2012 11:53 PM
Nov 20, 2012 12:44 AM
Nov 20, 2012 12:53 AM
7How much is that budget in European dollars?
More than 6000?
Nov 20, 2012 12:56 AM
8On the islands..Ibiza,Crete etc.....either go there for a decent amount of time,or don't go.
You will have no time to do anything other than getting there and leaving again...
Also agree with regards on Nice....6 days there and only 3 in Rome ?!
Nov 20, 2012 1:31 AM
9OP I hope you take this as creative criticism but I honestly think that you have picked up some locations only by name or just looking some pictures... but you haven't check carefully on the logistics or what's there to see and do. At least the Greek part of your trip doesn't make sense at all. Budget wise, with so much moving around, I would think a 70 euro/day is an absolutely bare minimum that would allow very cheap accommodation, self catering food, a low cost attraction every few days etc... Note you seem to plan for Italy and Greece towards the end of your trip, so depending on when you start this trip, Italy and Greece on July/August.This is high season and so reflects on the costs too.
Nov 20, 2012 1:46 AM
10two nights only gives you one compleat day anywhere.
Its almost a day trip itself.
these places took centuries to accumulate. Lots of differnt eras of active history.
The number of places you see, can detract from the value of your trip.
Stop. Have a coffee talk with people. learn things not in books. Don't jusy do something. Sit there. People watch.
And avoid talking mostly to people of your own nationality.
Nov 20, 2012 2:01 AM
Nov 20, 2012 10:45 AM
12Thanks Aribo for the feedback...that makes a lot of sense.
I didn't really take into account delays in transportation and by the time you factor in airport security & all of that, it will end up taking a lot out of your day...
In terms of my budget, when converted to Euros, its about 8000-8600
I do want to spend more time in cities than I spend traveling...I do not want to be rushed because it's my first time & I want to be able to see things. I will shrink down my itinerary and allot more days to bigger countries (such as Rome).
Would it make more sense to take Crete out, and add the days to the other Greek islands??
The common idea that 6 days in the French Riviera might be too much is what I'm curious about. How many days would you suggest with the places I want to visit there? 3? 4?
Nov 20, 2012 10:52 AM
Yes, thank you! I am looking for as much feedback I can get...I'm trying to plan a trip where I can see the most, but not spend SO much time traveling between places.
I have about 2.5 months in which I can do the trip, which happens to be the summer (middle of June-end of August), leaving from Portugal, I figured it would be best to start in Spain and work my way around.
I know in Greece I definitely want to go to Santorini, and Athens...if I take out Crete is that more do-able? Or would you say it still doesn't make sense? Is there a different path I should take in Greece? (any islands not worth the trip or any islands that are surprisingly unique and worth a visit??)
Nov 20, 2012 11:21 AM
14Hi again and you are welcome! I think looking on a map is the first thing to do in order to see how large a place is and where it is located in relation with your other destinations...
Anyway, just to put things into perspective: Athens to Santorini is a 30 minutes flight or a 6-8 hours ferry ride, depending on ferry type/route. Athens to Crete is a 45 minutes flight or a 8-16 hours ferry ride, depending on ferry type/route (faster ferries have a tendency to mechanical problems, and are keen to delays or cancellations due to weather conditions). So choice obviously if you fly it doesn't makes lots of difference time wise. BUT:
Santorini covers about 73 km2 (28 sq mi) territory while Crete 8,336 km2 (3,219 sq mi) ! Obviously you see nothing on Crete in 2 days! I think that 3 nights/2 FULL days are an absolute bare minimum even for Santorini that is a tiny island.
Athens is a 6 million modern metropolis with a few thousand years' history and I can not see how or why you would not want to spend at least 4 nights/3 FULL days there to visit some of the major sites, visit a couple of museums and enjoy just walking around and soak in the ambiance. And of course you need to allow some time to just sit in a local tavern, enjoy fabulous food and socialize the Greek way (lots of food, lots of talking, lots of drinking!) You need time for this! lol
(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