First time backpacking in Europe.
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Feb 19, 2013 7:27 PM Last Post By: rebelyell
Feb 15, 2013 3:39 PM
First time backpacking in Europe.Me and a friend are planning to a backpacking trip to Europe and I don't even know where to begin! We're looking at 2 weeks in July, not long I know but it's all we can get off work! We plan on doing as much as possible.
The only places that are a must are Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam (for a few days preferably) Florence and Rome. Anything else would be a bonus!
Not sure on how much I'm going to need or places to stay, travel! Really the lot! Any tips or useful resources would be gravely appreciated!
Feb 15, 2013 4:48 PM
How long these places should take:-
Paris - 3 to 7 days
Berlin - 2 to 5 days
Amsterdam - 2 to 5 days
Florence - 2 to 4 days
Rome - 3 to 7 days
Skimming at high speed (and it really is superficial skimming): 12 days
Doing it in depth level: 28 days.
Travel duration (fastest possible public transport mode, discounting car hire) but not including check out, transport to the train station or airport, checking in, any security, and the reverse situation at the other end - for this add 1.5 hrs each end for train, 2.5 hrs each end for plane as a rough yard stick:
Paris to Amsterdam = 3:15
Amsterdam to Berlin = 6:30 by day train, 9:30 by night train (although you sleep whilst you move, critical advantage in your case), 1:20 by plane
Berlin to Florence = 2 hrs by plane (Vueling, not every day of the week), don't even bother with the train, you don't have the time)
Florence to Rome: 1:30.
In short, even skimming at the most superficial level, this as it stands isn't really too practical. You're a fellow Brit; it would be a bit like those Japanese tours you hear about that do London to Oxford to Stratford Upon Avon to York to Edinburgh to the Lake District to London in a 7 day week.
I would humbly suggest you aim for a min 3.5 days per destination, which means 1 destinationat minimum (and given the distance between Benelux, Berlin and mid Italy), probably 2 need to be binned if you only have 14 days available. This is ignoring any hangovers, laundry jobs, phoning/emailing home in internet cafe's, chilling out having a coffee, stopping for a sit down lunch or dinner. Toss those in and the time requirement per destination ramps up.
On the good side, it's exceptionally likely that they'll still be there in 5 years time. Plenty of time to fill in the gaps as you get older. FWIW, I'm 34, and I still ain't filled in all the EU gaps I'd like to. I'd say don't rush too much, but this is (with full respect) beyond hardcore as it currently stands. :-)
In case you're wondering which one you should bin, I'd go for Berlin. Justification: Paris and Amsterdam are relatively close, ditto Florence and Rome. Berlin is stuck out on its own with your geographical routing.
Feb 15, 2013 4:49 PM
Feb 15, 2013 5:21 PM
3Please read this: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2153476
It addresses all the mistakes you're making.
Feb 16, 2013 12:10 AM
4AS well as reading that link...read a guidebook!
LP 'Western Europe' is a decent start.All your general questions above will be answered there......
Feb 16, 2013 1:33 AM
514 days is a nice amount of time to travel from Amsterdam to Paris or Berlin and visit a couple of smaller places in between.
It's probably physically possible to set foot in every city you mention, but a quick look at travel times (and) costs involved in that plan would tell you that it's a massive waste of money.
Feb 16, 2013 10:10 AM
6I agree with all of the above. You are making the classic mistake of trying to see/do too much in too little time.
"We plan on doing as much as possible." People commonly confuse the word 'much' with the word 'many'. They are not synonymous. The way to see as 'much' as possible is to spend time IN places not in BETWEEN places.
I suggest you start (after reading the comments above and following the links provided) by changing your thinking from Europe to a much smaller area. You will also save money if you move less. Plan no more than 3-4 stops in 2 weeks.
Feb 16, 2013 10:12 AM
Feb 17, 2013 7:06 PM
Feb 19, 2013 7:27 PM
9I agree with most of what #1 said. You need to cut some things out. Florence and Rome are great places to visit, but they are also out of the way. You either need to scrap Berlin or scrap Italy.
I do think it is okay to "blitz" a city, even a major one. Arrive at night, eat dinner, look around. Spend all the next day sightseeing. Then spend one more night and get up early and be on your way. Now with that said, you should probably only do this once during a two-week trip. Twice at the most. Use the time you free up to spend a more relaxing time in some of the other places. Don't try to add more!
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