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Europe: Western Cafés, castles, architecture, art, wine, the Euro, gastronomy, let´s meet up, and pub crawls.! Oh oui, backpackers paradise...

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Old 08-02-2005, 09:34 PM   #1
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So im going to europe for the 1st time (yeah finally)... My dad lives on a canal boat in south France. I'm going to meet him in Tolluse<sp?> for 2 weeks while we move his boat else where... After this im going to have a week for myself before I leave. Now I know this isn't that much time so I want to get as much in as I can but not sacrafice quality. So this is what I was thinking... Madrid for a couple days, Barcelona?? (is it a must see) and a couple days in Paris before I fly out. I do love to party... but don't want to blow a bunch of money doing it (wanted to hit up ibiza but don't think I have the time or the $$$). Also what is the best way of getting around... i know there is a eurorail France and Spain pass but it pretty expensive and kind of confusing. Also on average what would you say a good budget be? Are there other options besides hotels and hostels (how much do hostels run?). Like are there families that rent out rooms to travelers and if so do you recommed doing that? And finally what are the DO NOT miss places to see?

A little info about me: I'm a 29 year old male from the San Francisco bay area. I'm going to be arriving in Paris on the 25th of aug. and I will be in europe till the 15th of Sep. Anyone else going to be there the sametime... It would be cool to see what other people are going to be doing and maybe bounce some idea's off eachother....

Thanks in advance and happy traveling to you!
Tyson
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Old 08-03-2005, 12:55 AM   #2
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Welcome fellow Bay Arean!

First off, let's look at your budget. Including accomodations and food, I'd budget at least $50 a day, more so if you're a partier or a shopper. That said, Toulouse is cheap compared to Paris, but you'll find stuff to be much cheaper in Spain. (With the exception of Ibiza, because I don't think you want to be paying 40€ cover charges, and it'll be dying down/dead by the time you get there.)

Speaking of Spain, Toulouse is pretty close to Barcelona, which in my book is a must-see. You can just buy several train tickets for less than a Eurail pass if you pick the right times - check the schedules to find the lowest fares. You can also take the bus, which is what my friends from TLS did whenever they wanted to go to Barca. Personally, I'd go there over Paris because a) I like it more, B) Paris is expensive and c) it's easier to see everything in Barcelona in a week than it is in Paris.

Hostels are great - you'll meet other travelers and you simply can't argue with the price. In much smaller towns, you can do homestays simply by asking around at your train station when you arrive, but I wouldn't count on it.
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Old 08-03-2005, 09:26 AM   #3
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^ What he said-- definitely go for Barcelona! I think you'd have a very difficult time trying to squeeze in Barca, Madrid *and* Paris. I love Paris, it's wonderful, but you'll definitely get more, uh, bang for your buck in Barcelona. A ticket from Toulouse isn't going to be too expensive either. Hostels are definitely the way to go, in my opinion... I stayed at the Ideal Youth hostel right on Las Ramblas in Barcelona; other people have recommended the Kabul and a couple of other ones I can't remember at the moment.

You can check out places to stay on the TravelPunk main page.

Have fun, whatever you do! And welcome to the boards.
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