driving from amsterdam to venice
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Dec 10, 2012 5:29 AM Last Post By: Fwoggie
Dec 9, 2012 2:59 PM
driving from amsterdam to venicemy wife and I are planning a europe adventure, we want to drive from amsterdam-venice, spend about 2 weeks( my wife lived in germany and switzerland for a few yrs.) so language barrier not so bad, do I need a special license to drive in europe? we plan to stay in amserdam 2 nts. pu car, drive to biel, switzerland, stay 2nts. drive to brescia,italy stay 1nt. continue on to venice where we think we should stay for a week, is that enough time in venice or too much? then fly back to U.S , budget of $10,000,planning country stops along the way, sound close?, any feed back greatly appreciated
Dec 9, 2012 11:08 PM
1Personally I'd do it by train, not by car. Lets pick the first 2 weeks of March for this trip, cos you didn't say. Explanation why:-
Amsterdam to Biel by car = min 8.5 hrs (depending on traffic) on boring motorways. Cost = 120 EUR including fuel burn + Swiss motorway vignettes.
Biel to Brescia by car = minimum 5 hrs (depending on traffic) on not so boring motorways (interesting engineering in this part of Europe). Cost = 90 EUR including fuel burn + Italian autostrada tolls.
Brescia to Venice by car = about 2:45 (depending on traffic). Motorways are not exciting. 114 miles. Cost for this leg = 33 EUR including a whacking huge Italian autostrada toll.
Total cost = 243 EUR and about 16 1/4 to 16 1/2 hrs of driving.
However, you must include the cost of hiring the car in the first place. Lets go relatively cheap but still comfortable (cos driving all that way in a Ford Ka is not gonna be wonderful, and driving it in a 5 series BMW is gonna be ridiculously pricy). Lets go for a VW Golf. Hire car from Amsterdam airport to Venice airport one way for Hertz for a VW Golf for the first 2 weeks in March, hiring on the 1st March itself, is 1413.20 EUR.
Total cost for running around Europe by car is therefore circa 1656 EUR for the 2 of you
Amsterdam to Biel by train = 8:36, changing in Frankfurt and Basel. http://www.nshighspeed.nl will sell you a ticket for the 10:34 departure for €101.90 each, so that's 203.80 EUR.
(To be honest, I'd fly from Amsterdam airport to Basel with easyjet and then continue by train from there for far less, cos easyjet.com will fly you on the 21:25 for €112.64 total (that's the final price for the 2 of you combined) including seat reservations + luggage allowance). But you wouldn't see anything of Europe if you flew. Decisions decisions.
Moving on, from Biel to Brescia if you depart on 3rd March at 12:52 takes 4:59 (so again roughly the same as the car), and http://www.sbb.ch will sell you a ticket 63 Swiss Francs each this far in advance, if you're prepared to have a non refundable non exchangeable ticket. (63 CHF = 52 EUR).
Brescia to Venice is very easy of course; 4th March has multiple trains with prices starting from a quite frankly insane 9 euros each per person (and they wonder why the Italian economy has issues). It's 1:47 duration, so rather quicker than the car before the faffing about of finding the airport and dehiring.
Train costs therefore adding up the above are (in EUR) 324 if you don't take the easyjet option I mentioned. (If someone could review that'll be awesome, but I think I've done my maths correctly here).
PS - Venice only needs about 3 nights, it's not that big. Extend your time in the Swiss mountains and double up on the currently allocated time in Amsterdam, they're both beautiful. Alternatively consider a stop off in Heildeberg, the Ahr Valley just south of Bonn or Freiburg en route from Amsterdam to Biel - they're all worth an overnight stop.
Dec 9, 2012 11:51 PM
2Excellent advice by Fwoggie, agree with most of it.
Honestly, while the Netherlands and Germany have more to offer than you could ever see if you'd spend two weeks in each of them, I don't quite see the point of driving through them if you don't allow time to get off the motorways. I think you're seriously underestimating driving distances and times and don't see where you have time for stops in the country.
Not to mention that if you have only 2 nights in Amsterdam after you've arrived straight from the US, it's likely that because of jet lag you won't have much energy (and certainly not enough time even if you don't think about the jet lag) to explore.
I found 3 nights in Venice more than enough, but all depends on what you plan to see and do there - you won't get bored if you'd stay a week.
P.S. Europe doesn't use $, please convert your budget into € if you need feedback on that
Dec 10, 2012 12:12 AM
3I forgot - source for the car information: http://www.viamichelin.com. Whatever you do, I recommend booking in advance to secure cheapest prices. European public transport and airlines invariably work on a first come cheapest served basis. Train tickets tend to go on sale 90 days in advance usually, refer to http:///www.seat61.com for all the info you could possibly ever need about trains worldwide.
The reason the car hire is so damn expensive is because you're dehiring in a different country; in your case considerably far away from the Netherlands. Car hire companies strongly dislike customers doing this, so they stick on a major premium as a result. Alternative hire car companies in Europe that are big and legit include Europcar, Sixt and Avis.
Dec 10, 2012 12:39 AM
4And No, you dont need a special license in Europe. What can be ask if you come into raod controll can be an international driving license - what in fact is just an official translation from your permit. For details about ask the company (by mail or phone) where you will rent but not the day you take the car.
Dec 10, 2012 1:31 AM
5A car is handy if you want to see the country side and villages and towns and it gives a sense of freedom.
Driving in the inner city of Amsterdam is no fun and really hard, lots of bicycles coming from all directions, the parking fees are very high in Amsterdam.
What is your main interest? Big cities or the country side?
Dec 10, 2012 2:09 AM
If you want to limit your visit to seeing a few of the main attractions, then 2-4 days might do it, depending on how many of the attractions are on your list.
There are a few hard-core types who'd consider a day in Venice too much -- a few hours is enough to get their 'been there' credentials.
Dec 10, 2012 5:05 AM
7so you're planning to drive to Venice in days, right? that doesn;t leave any time to see any countryside.
Dec 10, 2012 5:29 AM
8Depends what type of $ it is. Probably Canadian or Aussie, but the OP needs to clarify.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$44.03 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$142.16 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$24.77 per night