First time to Europe January 2014; any suggestions
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Feb 5, 2013 2:43 AM Last Post By: arizona
Feb 4, 2013 9:13 PM
First time to Europe January 2014; any suggestionsMyself and two friends are visiting London in late December and would like to take in as much of far-western Europe as possible. Our jumping off point is London, but after that we'll have about two weeks to visit other cities. I'd like to know if there is a certain city we should fly into that is cheaper than the others. Currently, we're thinking of going from London-Paris, staying in Paris for 3 nights and then buying a Eurail pass to take us to Amsterdam (stay for 3 nights), then to Hamburg (3 nights), then to Copenhagen (3 nights) and, finally, flying back to London from there.
I'd just like to make sure we're not spreading ourselves too thin. We're pretty certain we'd like to see Amsterdam and Copenhagen, but Paris and Hamburg are definitely negotiable. It's just difficult, as this is our first time, to see everything we'd like to see which, of course, is not possible in two weeks.
Does anyone have any suggestions in Belgium or other parts of France and Germany that they'd recommend to three 20-year-olds? Any tips at all would be really helpful.
Feb 4, 2013 10:04 PM
1I'd like to know if there is a certain city we should fly into that is cheaper than the others. Currently, we're thinking of going from London-Paris
The train will be cheaper, faster and more convenient if you consider the cost and time of airport transfer. A single ticket will cost 48.50 if you book early enough.
then buying a Eurail pass to take
Point-to-point tickets will cost less if you book early. To read more about train travel in Europe, visit http://www.seat61.com.
Does anyone have any suggestions in Belgium or other parts of France and Germany that they'd recommend to three 20-year-olds?
Montpellier is a lively city with 70,000 students, so it's a great place for 20-year-olds. It's only 3 hours 19 minutes from Paris by train.
Feb 4, 2013 10:09 PM
21) Assuming the flight to London ain't booked yet, consider booking an openjaw where you fly into city A and back from city B. Tis a waste of time and money to return back to your entry point, unless there's a valid reason of course :)
2) You only have 2 weeks. London could last you 5-7 days easily, ditto Paris. At minimum you should give both 3 nights. This leaves you 13 nights - 6 = 7 nights.
3) With the 7 nights remaining Amsterdam is good for 3 nights for sure (consider a day in Brussels or Brugge en route from Paris).
4) I'd allocate the rest to Hamburg or Copenhagen, but would chop Copenhagen to max 2 nights - you could get away with 48 hrs in the place if you wanted, it's pretty but not that huge.
As for transportation, for trains see http://www.seat61.com for general info and http://www.bahn.co.uk for a europe wide train timetable. Train tickets go on sale 90 days in advance (more for the Eurostar) on a first come cheapest served basis. If your itinerary is fixed, you may well find it cheaper to buy point to point tickets in advance for less overall cost, but they're fixed to a particular train on a particular time. Depends whether you want to trade cost against flexibility. Note also that high speed trains and sleeper trains accrue supplements, although in the case of the sleeper trains it's roughly equivalent to a dorm bed in a hostel anyway.
Also note that late December can be problematic getting around if a helluva lot of snow falls - it can cause chaos - so you may have to adjust expectations on very short notice. Days are short, nights are long (which can be a pain for any photography geeks). Make sure you're ready for the temperatures if you're not Europe based; you should expect them to be sub zero most of the time, particularly in Hamburg or Copenhagen
Feb 4, 2013 11:20 PM
3Your allocation of days is possible...presumably based on what you want to see and do in these places?
I could easily spend the whole 2 weeks just in London or Paris......based on MY interests.
Why did you choose these cities? What are your likes and dislikes? What are you planning to do there?
Feb 4, 2013 11:22 PM
4Then....at that time of year,there is absolutely no need to book it all in advance.
These cities have loads of hostels,and these hostels will be half empty in January ;-)
Why not just fly into London (maybe book a few nights there if its your first time) and then see how you like it before deciding to move on?
Its true this may cost you more in train fares,but it will also give you the freedom to move on when you want,and where you want...taking into consideration how much you like a place,the weather,how you are feeling etc etc.
Feb 5, 2013 2:43 AM
51. London - Amsterdam by Stena Line, look for Dutch flyer
(London-Harwich-Hook van Holland-Rotterdam-Delft-Den Haag-Leiden-Haarlem-Amsterdam: you might take a break in one of these towns depending on interests, weather ..?..)
2. Amsterdam - Copenhagen by City Night Line|http://www.citynightline.nl booked well in advance € 29
Might be interesting to make a daytrip to Malmo.
If you want to travel in daytime, megabus.com might have some good deals. London - Brussels (and visit more lively than Brugge: Gent or Antwerpen) or London - Amsterdam. Also Paris is connected by them.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$133.01 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$23.08 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$184.38 per night