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Old 12-29-2006, 08:19 PM   #1
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Default Western Europe, June 2-22 2007

Hi there! My friend and I are in the midst of planning our trip to Western Europe this summer. She is going on exchange in England and I am meeting her in London early June. So far our itinerary goes as follows (P.S.This is all in June):

2-4 Amsterdam
5-6 Germany... We can't decide between Munich or Berlin, any suggestions?
7-8 Venice
9-10 Rome
11-12 Nice
13-15 Barcelona
16-17 Madrid
18-20 Paris
21-London and flying out of London on the 22nd

Thanks for the help/input!
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Old 12-29-2006, 08:51 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome to travelpunk.com !

Please forgive me being straightforward, but I see one huge problem with your itinerary : there is no time travel included anywhere although you're covering long distances. This is a typical mistake while preparing an itinerary, and most of us have done it... and learned from it ! Think of it, you'll be leaving/entering a new city almost every two days. You arrive one day and leave the next one.

If you include time travel (will you be flying or using the train ?), your itineray will breathe a little. 3 days in big cities is the minimum we like to recommend, it allows you one or two whole days to visit and time to heal your hangover...

Night train is a very helpful option for very short trips.

3 days per cities means that you'd need to skip one or two from your list. Paris, Germany or Amsterdam, that all are at some distance from the rest, could be left for another time, or spend less time in Spain... My two cents.
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:08 PM   #3
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Atchoum pretty much nailed it. You want three days minimum in the big cities. I am assuming you are traveling by rail the whole time (and using night trains a lot):

I would modify it like this (eliminate Nice and Madrid unless you have a burning desire to see those)

Version 1

2-4 Amsterdam (If you are there for the canals, consider Brugges, Belgium instead. It is easier to navigate if you haven't been to Europe before)
5-7 Paris (A'dam (ditto for Brussels if you go with Brugges) and Paris are close to each other so it is probably a good idea to them back to back, plus they have high speed connections)
8-9 Munich (If you are visiting Neuschwanstein, that takes pretty much the whole day, depending on how "must see" that is, you may want to just stroll around the Marienplatz and visit beer gardens...by this point you may be ready for a break)
10-13 Rome (include a day trip to Naples for Pompei or Caserta Palace)
14-15 Venice (I saw Venice in a day, ymmv. The Milan Barcelona train was the nicest I rode on while in Europe)
16-18 Barcelona (I assume you can get to Paris via night train from Barcelona--when I was in Madrid, I had to change in Pais Vasco because the rail gauge in Spain is different than the rest of Europe)
19-22 London and flying out of London on the 22nd

Version 2

This version skips Spain altogether and is "calmer":

2-4 Amsterdam
5-7 Paris
8-10 Munich (day trip to Neuschwanstein)
11-12 Venice
13-15 Florence (daytrip to Pisa)
15-19 Rome (day trip to Pompei)
FLY to London
19-22 London

You have to make a couple of decisions. Is this a once in a lifetime opportunity? How much do you care about seeing each city? Do you like seeing sights or just walking around soaking up the atmosphere?

If you choose Munich and Florence let me recommend the Wombat and Archi Rossi. Both are near their respective train stations and both are good hostels.

Have fun,

--Joey
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:25 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for your helpful advice. We were wondering why you suggest going to Paris after Amsterdam and then to Munich? Isn't that backtracking? It seems like most books say to do a loop and go to Paris last. We weren't necessarily going to take the train the entire time. The flights look so cheap. Am I right?
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:26 PM   #5
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Yes it is. Ignore my advice

I researched it that there was a direct train from Amsterdam to Munich. I thought I didn't have that option for some reason while I was traveling but maybe they just didn't have vacancies since it was on a Friday night.

It looks like a fast trip to, 7 hours Enjoy your trip!

--Joey
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:29 PM   #6
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They are cheap, but they do add up. I'd recommend that you search for all your connections in flights, and then add them up. Then you can figure out if you'd rather fly or buy an Eurail pass (and which one would suit you best).

Also, sometimes you have to think differently and you'll find better deals. For example, one one part of my trip I was set on going Prague-Dublin-Galway-Cork-Paris. But after reaserching and looking for the correct flights I realised that from Prague to either Dublin or Cork it costs €71. But from Cork to Paris it's €74, while from Dublin to Paris it's €45. See what I mean? Now I'm entering through Cork and leaving from Dublin. Sometimes you turn your scheddule around (specially when flying) and for weird reasons it turns out being cheaper!

Justo go on line and look for the prices!
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Old 01-08-2007, 03:37 AM   #7
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everyone's pretty much taken care of you here... but I'll just say my vote is with Berlin over Munich. Of course you should see both because they show two COMPLETELY different sides to germany, but then so do most german cities. After the cool walking tour and the beer, I was pretty much done with Munich. I spent about three weeks in Berlin all up and I still feel like I need to see more. It's a very cool place.
And I also think Nice is more of a day trip kinda place. or, stay in Nice and do a day trip to Monaco. It's definitely worth seeing.
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