Switzerland-France-Italy itinerary feedback
Replies: 8 - Last Post: May 27, 2013 10:23 AM Last Post By: nomad_morax
May 24, 2013 6:33 AM
Switzerland-France-Italy itinerary feedbackHello,
We are a couple in our late twenties/ early thirties planning a 3 week trip to Europe (Switzerland, France and Italy) in September. We like scenic places, mountains and beaches, and aren't very big on museums.
Below is the first draft of our itinerary, would appreciate your feedback - are we trying to do too much? We don't like very hectic trips and have tried to keep in medium paced but maybe we underestimated the time it might take to do things.
We are planning on flying open jaw, but we would like to use our Lufthansa miles at least one way, and the only direct flight from Dubai to our destinations is to Zurich. Due to this, we are considering making Switzerland our first stop (Zurich), but would appreciate your thoughts on whether this would significantly increase our travel time. Would be great if you have any suggestions on accomodations as well - we are not looking for anything fancy but we would like the hotel to have a lift (as we will have luggage) and the rooms to be clean and have a private bath.
Apologies for the long post and thanks in advance!
30 Aug (Fri):
Land early morning in Zurich from Dubai, take train from airport to Lucerne, check in at Hotel Ibis budget Luzern city
Post lunch, visit the Water Tower, wooden Chapel bridge and maybe do a small biking trail to lakefront promenade
31 Aug (Sat):
Do the "Golden Round Trip" to Mount Pilatus, have lunch at the mountain and spend some time there
Drinks at Lake View Lounge of the Art Deco Hotel Montana
1 Sep (Sun):
Attend mass at Church, have brunch
Checkout and take the 1pm or 2pm train to Wengen
3. Checkin at Sunstar hotel Wengen
2 Sep (Mon):
Vist Jungfraujoch peak if weather is clear else switch with plans for 3 Sep/ 4 Sep
Take the lift up to Mannlichen and do the famous ridge walk
3 Sep (Tue):
Visit Trummelbach falls or Staubbach falls
Have lunch in Lauterbrunnen and explore the city
4 Sep (Wed):
Do the "Schynige Platte" walk
Relax and prepare for next day journey
5 Sep (Thu):
Check out and take the train to Paris
Check in at Hotel Montparnasse Daguerre (sound proof room)
6 Sep (Fri):
Visit Notre Dame in the morning (climb to the top of Notre-Dame for the gargoyle-eye view of Paris, visit the crypt and the Deportation Memorial), pop into Shakespeare and co bookstore
Visit Ile St Louis in the afternoon (just walk around, relax and try Berthillon ice cream)
Visit Louvre in the evening (about 3 hours, to get a feel of the place and see some specific pieces)
7 Sep (Sat):
Visit Arc de Triomphe (climb to the top for the view)
Walk The Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the Tuileries Gardens from the Arc de Triomphe l'Étoile to the Louvre
Enjoy the Trocadéro scene in the evening and cruise the Seine River (the Vendettes de Pont Neuf boat cruise in the evening)
8 Sep (Sun):
Visit Disneyland (big fan of amusement parks, so a must do for us even though it would take a day)
9 Sep (Mon):
Free day, maybe try one of the French Mystique Bike Tours if we have the energy or
Visit Tour Montparnasse for the view and Caveau de la Huchette in late evening
10 Sep (Tue):
Check out and train to Villefranche sur Mer
Check in at Hotel Welcome
Relax, have drinks at Le Cosmo and enjoy the harbour view
11 Sep (Wed):
Relax at the beach
12 Sep (Thu):
Visit Monaco/ Monte Carlo and Eze
13 Sep (Fri):
Evening Easy jet flight from Nice to Venice
Check in at Pension La Calcina
14 Sep (Sat):
Visit St. Mark's Basilica and Square
Relax and see the city
Cruise the grand canal (Vaporetto)
15 Sep (Sun):
Day trip to one of the islands
Gondola ride (maybe from Jewish Ghetto through Cannaregio and Santa Croce)
16 Sep (Mon):
Train to Rome (Eurostar) or flight to Rome (Ryan Air or Easy Jet)
Check in at a hotel/ BnB in the Trevi Fountain area (maybe Cenci BnB or Residenza Torre Colonna)
17 Sep (Tue):
Visit the Colosseum, Forum, Capitol Hill and Pantheon
Walk from Piazza del Popolo to the Spanish Steps
18 Sep (Wed):
Visit Vatican City (St. Peter's, climb the dome, tour the Vatican Museum).
Dinner at Campo de' Fiori, walk to the Trevi Fountain
19 Sep (Thu):
Free morning/ day
Afternoon/ evening flight back to Dubai
May 24, 2013 2:39 PM
1wow, what a carefully planned itinerary, fantastic !
your itinerary sounds good. you could of course spend 2-3 weeks more to make it even better, but still.
i'm swiss, and i love paris and venice. your itinerary is doable, but for me it would be to stressful. i would see / do what are your "must" do and see places / activities. and allow for couple of days for places you really like and you would like to spend more time at, or meeting somebody telling you about a fantastic place on your way.
May 25, 2013 1:04 AM
2Thanks nathalie2 for the response. An additional 2-3 weeks would be fantastic but unfortunately beyond our budget :) I will take your advice and prioritize our must dos so that we cover those at least and the rest are optional.
Based on your travels, are there places in the list that you feel we should include/ exclude? My list is based on google search. but I know that some of the best places to visit are best found through suggestions from experienced travellers! Thank you!
May 25, 2013 6:20 AM
3Enjoy the Trocadéro scene in the evening
What scene would that be? The only thing to do at Trocadéro is look at the Eiffel Tower from across the river. Unless of course you are planning to go the architecture museum.
If the best suggestions come from experienced travellers, the only one I would make is to plan less and go walk around without aiming for a specific landmark. The Champs Elysées, particularly on a Saturday, is rammed with people, the stores are all chains you would find anywhere else...
Paris is an extremely good city for walking. It's fairly compact, there is a lot to see, the public transport system is great. You can get some good ideas from here.
And if you are looking for accommodation with elevators because of your luggage, then check how much flying with discount airlines is going to cost you. Both carry-on and checked baggage are limited in size and or weight, in fact, you will pay a bundle for checked baggage.
May 25, 2013 7:06 AM
4Thanks bjd. I'd heard that it is quite lively at the Trocadero with a bunch of restaurants, some musicians and a good view. Was thinking of spending the evening there just walking around and having dinner. Thanks for the heads up about the Champs Elysees Saturday crowds - we'll perhaps skip in given that Dubai pretty much has all the shops from everywhere.
Will go through the link you shared - seems to have a wealth of information.
I wasn't aware that all checked luggage is chargeable - thought that a 20kg check in was standard. Useful piece of info - thanks! Would you be aware if there are similar charges in trains as well?
May 25, 2013 8:43 AM
5No baggage charges in trains. You just have to be able to carry your stuff, and try to put it on an overhead rack, or if it's a really big suitcase, there are racks beside the doors.
All the low-cost airlines have their own rules. I think they all charge for checked baggage now, but, for example, Easyjet has a size limit for carry-on, Ryanair has a weight limit (don't know about size) for carry-on. You have to check the websites. You also get charged if you haven't printed out your boarding pass, if you want priority boarding, to choose a seat, use the toilet (just kidding about the last one!).
Regular airlines allow 20 or 23 kilos of baggage, of course. But for 2-3 weeks, you probably don't need that much. You can check to compare prices though -- sometimes it's worth taking regular flights.
Have a streetview look at Trocadéro, and you will see what it looks like.
Maybe I shouldn't discourage you from going to see the Champs Elysées on your first trip to Paris. There are things to see on a first visit, like that or the Eiffel Tower, but don't get your hopes up about it being particularly interesting or enough to fill a day.
May 25, 2013 9:47 AM
610-09 Supposing you will take the TGV than you have to change the train in Nice for a regional one called TER who stopped in Villefranche. Arriving at the station you need to go down, turning right along the sea front to your hotel - walking distance 10 minutes - dont dream about to take a taxi.
11-09 Which beach and where?
12-09 This is a round trip. You can go again by train to Monaco, just 7 minutes and 4 stations far. Inside Monaco you can walk or using the local bus system. You wrote Eze and I think you do not mean Eze at the seafront as there is absolutly nothing to do or to see. Eze-Villige is the place for tourism. Take the bus No 100 in MC, direction Nice who use the middle Cornich and stopped in Eze Village. To klimb up to the old town only walking is possible. Outside the village you also can visite a perfum factory. After you need again the bus to Nice and 2nd one (or the train again) back to Villefranche.
13-09 Back to the airport. You can take the train again (TER) to the western station in Nice St. Augustine (15 min). Out of the station turn left, cross under the bridge and turn right. On the next corner left hand you will find a school and here just after the traffic light a bus stop for the free airport shuttle (blue busses) who pass by each 10 minutes. Take this as you need to go out at terminal 2 if using easyjet. The departure is on the first level.
May 26, 2013 7:33 AM
7Disneyland will be more crowded on Sunday than on a weekday, so if swapping your free day on Monday to Sunday is an option, I'd recommend it. Less time in queues means you'll be able to experience more rides and get more out of the park.
Check the calendar on the Disneyland Paris website closer to September for opening hours to make sure Monday isn't a shorter day though.
Also wdwforgrownups.com has some lovely Disney fanatics who might be able to give you some tips and tricks for making the most of your day.
May 27, 2013 10:23 AM
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