My first backpacking trip and a girl travelling solo
Replies: 24 - Last Post: Feb 17, 2013 2:10 AM Last Post By: akana
Feb 2, 2013 11:50 PM
My first backpacking trip and a girl travelling soloHey guys, I am graduation in 4 months and I am planning a solo backpacking trip for about 20-25 days somewhere around June or July. I am aiming for the following places:
Country - Place of Arrival
Austria - Vienna
Germany - Frankfurt
Belgium - Brussels
France - Paris
I have kept a budget of 25 Euros per day for food, 20 euros for internal travel. I've selected a 3 country Eurorail pass for Austria, Belgium and Germany, a ticket from Germany to France (since France is no longer included in Eurorail sadly) and an individual Rail pass for France.
I need to finalize hostels and home-stays and for that. I'd like your help in figuring out which places are must-visits or strategically located in each of the above mentioned countries. Any particular events of festivals happening after 10th June anywhere?
I would love recommendations centering around art, history, museums, hikes & adventure, food & classical music/Opera.Could you guys help me out with any interesting places located nearby? I am looking at a date between 10th-15th June for departure from Mumbai to Vienna and then 3 weeks there onward.
A little confused at the moment with the sheer number of things to do and see!
Feb 3, 2013 12:09 AM
Feb 3, 2013 1:05 AM
Forget Frankfurt there is nothing of much interest there.It is more a place to fly into Europe. Belgium, is not really on many peoples to do list. What is your motivation to visit Belgium.
Just a suggestion. If you have 25 days this is what I would suggest.
Fly into Vienna.
Train to Salzburg
Train to Munich.
Train to Brussels
Train to Paris
Cheap flight back to Vienna for you flight back to Mumbai.
You could do a day trip to Brugge in Belgium if you want.
That gives you plenty of time in each place and options of adding in day trips out of those cities.
Feb 3, 2013 2:08 AM
Feb 3, 2013 2:11 AM
Feb 3, 2013 3:05 AM
5I would say you should fly in to Vienna and out of Paris.
Maybe Vienna - Salzburg/Innsbruck - Munich (and surrounds) - Heidelberg - Champagne/Ardenne - Paris.
Around Munich visit Fussen and Regensburg.
Another option would be to replace Heidelberg and Champagne with the Black Forest and Strasbourg.
Feb 3, 2013 3:17 AM
Feb 3, 2013 4:14 AM
7Hi, a lot of misconceptions here.
First, read this post:
Note that if you must have an itinerary , it shouldn't contain more than 6-7 places, and you already have 4.
Second, the idea of using Paris as a base to explore france is just a little ridiculous. Paris is a great base to explore Paris, and perhaps make a few day trips.
You're underestimating the size of countries, the number of places to see and travel times.
Third, there is no need to book all your accommodation in advance. Believe it or not, you can actually just show up and find a place. By prebooking everything you are creating your own package tour, conmpletely inflexible.
The best trips allow room for spontaneous decisions and seredipity.
It's hard to provide meaningful feedback as I don't know whether you have already booked flights/trains into those 4 cities.
If you haven't, I'd start from scratch.
Feb 3, 2013 4:29 AM
8Tryfan, Thanks for those suggestions. I'll take a look at them. I don't want too much city life in Germany though.
I already read that post. I guess I'm skipping Belgium, so I now have about 6-7 days in Austria, 6 days in Germany and 10-11 days in France. Paris is merely the city I will be arriving in by train. I will definitely be moving around and living in at least 2-3 different places.
Which is why, I need suggestions on places worth staying in France that lie not too far from Paris.
Feb 3, 2013 4:38 AM
9Your time is limited, so you have to make tough choices.
It is wise to skip Belgium. Not because it isn't a nice country, but it'll cost you too much travelling time.
Between Vienna and Munich, Salzburg is a more logical place than Innsbruck. When in Vienna, try to see something of their amazing cultural explosion around 1900 (Klimt the painter, Otto Wagner the architect) and their no less unique social housing projects from the 1920s (Karl-Marx-Hof is a landmark).
Between München and Heidelberg, you could try to manage one of two nights in Nürnberg for something quite different. Alternative would be Würzburg, further on direction Frankfurt and Heidelberg, for easy walking opportunities. Take the train or the excursion boat to Veitshochheim (nice palace gardens!) and walk back through the vineyard above.
In northern France, Reims with its world-famous cathedral could be a worthwhile stop before you head on to Paris.
For your railway planning, you can't do better than use www.bahn.de (with an English language button). It's German railways, but their schedules cover the whole of Europe.
Feb 4, 2013 12:07 AM
10Belgium has a lot of WW1 battlefield history, if that's what you like. And a lot of people running away from France.
Do you have a budget for hostels and for entry fees to some museums, etc?
I actually liked Frankfurt for 24 hours - it has some good old things and some very interesting tours, etc, and I liked a day trip to Bad Homburg, pretty little place.
Feb 7, 2013 7:30 PM
11@tonfromleiden Thanks! Why not Innsbruck though? I heard its a beautiful mountainous place? If I have about 7-8 days in France, which region should I concentrate on?
@Nice_But__ I do have a budget. I'm putting down about 400 Euros as the upper limit for accommodation and another 100 Euros for inter-city travel/museum fees. Is that adequate? Would you suggest I stay in Frankfurt or some other city in Germany?
I am planning via Euro Rail and for some reason, Euro Rail does not include France in its combined pass scheme anymore. Are there any such similar passes?
Because of this little snag, I am selecting the Germany-Austria pass, a train ticket from Germany to France and a separate French national Rail pass. The total come to about 450 Euros. Is there any cheaper alternative?
Feb 7, 2013 8:44 PM
12400 Euros over 20-25 days? That's 16 or 20 Euros per day. Possibly just about barely ok.
I liked Frankfurt and Belgium, but you have lots of ideas and opinion om this boards now so you need to decide what you want to see.
Entrance fees; I'm not sure, perhaps others can advice likely costs.
Transport; confirm where you want to go, and see whether individual tickets is cheaper; often these passes are only worth it if you travel 50% of the days you are there.
Feb 7, 2013 11:13 PM
13€400 over 20/25 days would force you to prebook a long time in advance to ensure you could secure the cheapest hostel dorm beds because that's exceptionally low.
There's no such thing as eurorail. There is eurail though. Google it. You may find that buying point to point tickets is cheaper overall than a pass. Refer to http://www.seat61.com for information why.
Stop thinking about Frankfurt. It's not that great, it's a very business orientated city, not really so much for tourists. Trust me, I live near it. Go for the other German places listed, or Cologne, or Heidelberg.
€100 for intercity travel and museum fees is nowhere near enough. That's €4.50 per day and it's not going to work. Examples of entry fees:
Mozart's birthplace in Salzburg: €10.
Walking tour of Heidelberg: €10
Chocolate museum in Cologne: €8.50
Lift to the second floor of the Eiffel tower: €8.50
Louvre museum: €11
Versailles Palace: €15
Feb 8, 2013 12:27 AM
14Agree with above...that accommodation budget is very low.
Possible if you sleep in the cheapest (and largest) dorms available,in most cities.
The 'attractions/museum fees obviously depends on what you want to see,but for me it would be far too little (on a first trip to places I hadn't been before).
You couuld easily spend all of that on one large city like Paris in a week......
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