Replies: 22 - Last Post: Apr 18, 2013 2:09 PM Last Post By: daveelmstrom
Apr 16, 2013 5:59 PM
Our plan is to travel 5 weeks to the following destinations from 1st September:
London - 3 days
Paris - 3 days
Amsterdam - 3 days
Berlin - 3 days
Prague - 3 days
Italy - 14 days - better to hire a car or train everywhere?
Barcelona - 5 days
We have budgeted for 200 Euros a day for both of us - this is to include all our travel, activities, food, drinks, accom - everything basically. Is this a sufficent budget if we would like to have dinner out and a few drinks, stay is reasonable/ budget accom (no dorms, shared rooms) and enough money for buses, trains getting around etc and still have enough for sightseeing?
I understand that some places are cheaper than others - we are coming from NZ, I don't want to get all the way there and have to miss out on things due to our lack of daily budget.
Any suggestions on time in destinations welcome - or alternative route etc.
Thanks for your suggestions :)
Apr 16, 2013 8:37 PM
1Exactly what are you going to do in Italy? I'm not a big fan of Rome, and if you told me you wanted to spend only two days there I would say go for it. Others on this board would be aghast at the notion.
I would find a way to add at least a day to London, better two. You will be dead on arrival. I would add two days to Paris. You could take a day off Barcelona and not miss anything.
Apr 16, 2013 8:41 PM
2have you read this?
to be honest i wouldn't call this an itinerary- it's just a random list of capital cities thrown together without any apparent plan.
Apr 16, 2013 9:04 PM
3Any suggestions on time in destinations welcome - or alternative route etc
Please read the link provided by MTL above.
a random list of capital cities thrown together without any apparent plan
I totally agree - I don't see the point of spending 3 days each in 5 different (capital) cities in 5 different countries. Would you consider 3 days Auckland, 3 days Wellington and 5 days Sydney a meaningful way to explore your part of the world? I guess not - and that is not even taking into account that the population density and varied and long history of Europe has resulted in a much higher number of interesting sights per km2.
Apr 16, 2013 10:29 PM
4Have you chosen these places because you have decided they would be the most interesting possiblkities in Europe,based on what you like doing?
Or just because they were the first names that came into your head?
As mentioned above,this is not a 'route' ;-)
What do you like doing? What kind of things are you interested in?
Apr 16, 2013 10:32 PM
Apr 16, 2013 10:46 PM
6This is a nice idea, but in reality what this would turn out to be after jet lag, sleeping, getting lost, checking in, checking out, getting to airports, from airports, to train stations, from train stations, going out for drinks, hangover recovery, laundry, calling/emailing home, having a coffee to chill out, and getting orientated in a new city...
London - 3 days = 1 day lost to jet lag = 2 days left (NB: You could easily spend a full week in London without getting bored)
Paris - 3 days = 2.5 days cos it takes 2 hrs to get to Paris on the Eurostar (book ahead for cheapest price); once you toss in security plus getting to/from your accom at each end, that's a half day. Again you could spend a week in Paris without getting bored.
Amsterdam - 3 days = 2.5 days because it takes 3:15 by Thalys train (book ahead for cheapest price) + getting to/from accom again = 1/2 day lost. Which in the case of Amsterdam is sorta OK. You could skim it at high speed in 2.5 days. Another 1.5 days would be good, particularly if you're a stoner and/or a museum buff, but it's just about doable.
Berlin - 3 days = 2.5 days; this time the train = 6:21by day or there's a sleeper train (which is popular and can sell out) which does it in 9.5 hrs. I'd give Berlin 4 days myself.
Prague - 3 days = 4 3/4 hrs by train, so 2.5 days left. I didn't take long to do Prague myself, so I'd suggest 2.5 days is fine, but others would be aghast at anything under 4.
Italy - 14 days - better to hire a car or train everywhere?
Italy depends on where you wanna go and why.
Barcelona - 5 days - I'd chop 1 day off min, ideally 2, you'd not miss much. Toss the days gained onto London.
The good news is you'll be out cold on the plane home. This is quite a punishing trip, but would be rewarding so long as you don't overdo it and instead grab early nights wherever possible :)
Apr 16, 2013 10:47 PM
Apr 16, 2013 10:51 PM
8I just want to expand on what some of the other people are saying. There is something to be said for a "Capitals of Europe" tour. The grand buildings, cathedrals, and museums are generally located in the capitals.
But there is also something to be said for at least seeing what some of the smaller towns look like. I don't know what your Italy plans are; perhaps they include time in some smaller towns.
But that said, if you want to see the capitals of Europe, go ahead. but just be aware that as you have it planned out, you are not spending much time in each spot. I've been to Europe perhaps 15 times and have never been to Berlin or Prague. I really want to go to Prague! But I'm simply not going to trek all the way over the continent to see one city, even if I might be tempted to.
Is there a chance you will come back to Europe in the next 10 years? If so, you can schedule Berlin, Prague, Munich and Vienna on a future trip.
Apr 17, 2013 12:43 AM
(i) Regarding budget, I (and most backpackers) have travelled comfortably on less. It comes down to you finding your own comfort level, where you're willing to cut corners, and so forth. Even something as simple as how much to spend on alcohol -- one person might 'need' 2-3 glasses of something per evening, while the price for that covers someone else's museum itinerary for the day.
(ii) yes, you will miss out on some expensive stuff, but will you care?
(iii) you are going to 'miss out' on a lot of things anyway, aside from limited budget, you have limited time. Again, so what? We can't do it all in a few days. It will be more productive for you to focus on and enjoy what you can do.
Perhaps I, as non-European, am somewhat more sympathetic towards the grand tour concept of a visit to Europe. I don't see anything wrong, limiting, impractical or otherwise disadvantageous with that. Besides, we wouldn't want to fall into the contradiction of spreading yourself too thinly over too much (cities and countryside and small villages), would we now? You can't do it all. Make your choice and enjoy yourself.
I would give more consideration to the proportion of time spent getting from one destination to the next (travel, in and out of accommodation, waiting time etc) in relation to the time actually spent relaxing and experiencing the places you presumably want to visit.
Apr 17, 2013 1:43 AM
10Have you calculated the cost of your traveling? I think you should do that first and find out how much money is then available for food, lodging, sight, sitting on a terrace etc. I checked the price of a car in Italy for 2 weeks in september and just the renting will cost you at least 400 euros and then you'll have to add the cost for fuel, toll and parking. Use http://www.viamichelin.com/ to find out the cost for fuel and toll for the route you plan to take. (I put in: pickup in Milan and drop off in Rome)
Apr 17, 2013 1:48 PM
11Thank you everyone for your replies - I feel like i've been told off !!!!
But very fair points and has made me re think our trip completely.
I feel like I to re post my question so here it goes:
Couple travellling - early 30's. From NZ.
What we want out of our trip simply is to, experience the cultures, eat and drink at tuscanys wineries, visit quaint little towns outside of Paris, visit local markets - we both LOVE markets, go to stage show in London and Paris. I want this trip to be relaxing to a degree - not rushed and yes i now realise my previous post was OTT.
Regarding budget for two people - daily 200 euros. I had done my research, but I just wanted to ensure we were on the right track with what kind of holiday we wanted etc. We are happy to sleep on hostels etc but not keen on shared rooms or dorms, so hopefully this is enough money to eat good food (street stalls, deli's FINE with us), have a few drinks (probably everyday since im on holiday) and stay in reasonable accom - obviously enough money for travel between destinations and sightseeing.....? Is 200 euro going to be sufficent.
The NEW and improved plan is (slightly nervous about feedback here)
London - 6 days - we are going to Newquay for a night trip to visit friends aswell
France - 7-8 days
Paris - 2 days ?
from here I would appreciate suggestion as to some places to visit I am not familiar with France but according to our above interests can you suggest any towns?
Italy - 16 days
I have been to Rome - so dont need to go back - Vienna making our way up to Como (train?) and spending 6-7 days visiting this area. Then moving down to Tuscany - this is what im excited about so we have planned to spend 10 days exploring this region.
Barcelona - 4 days
Then its home from here.
Apr 17, 2013 1:50 PM
Apr 17, 2013 1:55 PM
Apr 17, 2013 7:47 PM
14JamieLaura, I think your revised format looks great. You will tinker with it some more to suit your needs. Personally I think two days is short for Paris; make it at least three, but one of those three can include a day trip to Versailles or elsewhere.
I really can't help you with the small towns of France. We've only taken a few day trips out of Paris.
If you get the chance in Italy visit Padua and see the Scrovegni Chapel and its murals. Padua is outside Venice on the way to Florence. This needs to be booked ahead on the Internet. You can check your suitcases at the train station and make this a three- or four-hour stop. Just a thought.
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