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Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 12-02-2007, 12:01 PM   #1
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Default Europe itenerary, some advice please!

Okay I had a thread to my initial itenerary but my dates have shifted and I've shit canned some places, but here's what I've put together for myself:

-June 12th: arrive in Frankfurt
-13th-15th: Immedaitely head up to the Benelux area...
-15th-17th: Back to Germany and to Stuttgart & Munich... Celine plays in Stuttgart on the 16th
-17th-21st: Krakow - must see Auschwitz and taking everyone's advice and spending more time in Krakow
-21st-23rd: Prague
-23rd-26th: back to Frankfurt, with a trip to Bonn to see my great aunt, and also to Cologne, then fly back to C-bus on the 26th.

Seems pretty feesible to me, but I would like to slip over to Zurich somewhere. I do not have my heart set on Benelux, so if the general consensus is that Switzerland would be a better trip than Benelux, then I'll just replace Benelux with Zurich, cos I don't see it fitting in anywhere else.

My only other drawback is that I would like to spend some more time in Munich, so I may shift the leg from Munich to Krawkow to the left a day.

What do you guys think?

edited to say: also I am sort of dumb on train travel in Europe. I know I have to get a rail pass for all the countries or whatever, but do I need to make those reservations for tickets early, or do I just show up at the show time of the train and hop on? also is there a place I can go to find the travel time between each destination?
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Last edited by pinknic38; 12-02-2007 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 12-02-2007, 12:19 PM   #2
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My only tip would be to skip Stuttgart on 16th, I can't see there's much fun to be had, hahaha.

Sorry Nic, I had to get in there before anyone else did
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:03 PM   #3
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LOL don't hate!!
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:12 PM   #4
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I spent maybe a day and a half in Krakow in addition to one day at Auschwitz. And while I loved Poland and am dying to go back (my Baltic plan includes flying into Warsaw and bussing around!) I didn't feel robbed with 2.5 days total. So I'm pretty sure you're safe giving an extra day to Munich. If you have an extra day in Krakow, the salt mines are cool, but as far as the city itself, go spend some time with the dragon, check out the university, laugh at the tower bugle, and do some street shopping and nighttime drinking in the heavy metal/hair band bars and you'll be square.

I spent most of my time in Europe with college, so my train travel was planned. But Rick might be able to help you out:

http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:17 PM   #5
 
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The Euro 2008 tournament is held in Switzerland and Austria, and includes Zurich. So if you want to go check out the party, by all means. It should be a quite diverse city over that time period. There is a game June 17th... France vs Italy. Talk about two powerhouses, I couldn't imagine being in the same city, let alone at the game(which would be un-affordable)

Thats the only information I have.
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:48 PM   #6
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thanks guys! yeah I have officially decided that zurich is on the list instead of benelux. I want to go to a-dam but when I am able to spend more time there. also, I know that I will not behave there and as soon as I get back to NC, I will get a piss test. I want to go to a-dam when I am legally able to enjoy the fern without worrying about passing a piss test, LOL. stupid army.

I need to scout around for hostel reccs for zurich, if anyone has any (or any that suck so I know to stay away), let me know.
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:59 PM   #7
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the way my itenerary works out, my first friday & saturday I will spend in zurich and my second friday & saturday will be spent in krakow. I hear nightlife is fun in krakow so hopefully it is in zurich as well. don't want my first weekend to be a bust!
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Old 12-02-2007, 02:22 PM   #8
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Sounds like a fun itinerary. Just remember though that transport between most places is going to eat up a day or the better part of a day, especially when venturing towards Poland. Or are you booking night trains?
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Old 12-02-2007, 02:36 PM   #9
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hoping to book night trains, esp to krakow from munich and from krakow to prague, saves on hostel costs too

and hopefully night train to & from zurich as well, the rest of the distances aren't too bad... 2-4 hours
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Old 12-02-2007, 02:55 PM   #10
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I would be careful about saving on hostel costs-sometimes night trains can be expensive because they make you reserve a bunk.
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Old 12-02-2007, 02:59 PM   #11
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actually, with the help of this distance/time map, I realize the longest one is prague to krakow, which is 8 hours

wow I thought zurich was further than 4 hours to franfurt (and munich) but I guess not!

check it out

http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/comparetickets.htm

and click time and cost map
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Old 12-02-2007, 03:26 PM   #12
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would it be smarter to fly to krakow from prague or wherever?
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Old 12-02-2007, 03:56 PM   #13
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If I keep my original itenerary (including zurich instead of benelux), I found a flight from munich to krakow for 60 bucks, and then I can take the rail from krakow to prague and then on with my trip. this gives me more time in krakow and less time enroute. fab!
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:58 PM   #14
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so in summary, I bought the ticket to Krakow cos it was like 60 bucks and I will pay 60 dollars if it means I don't sit in a train for 9 hours. Also it helps me be able to spend more time in other places. With my extra day in Munich I decided to take a day trip to Füssen to see the Neuschwanstein castle cos it looks amazing. shit canned Benelux for good in exchange for Zürich which I am getting pretty stoked about.

Now I just have to look at some stuff to do where I will be and work my transport and expenses and figure out this whole "Europe by rail" concept, and I will be good. But no worries, I have an elaborate excel spreadsheet with several tabs to help me. OCD does Europe... I think I will entitle my travel blog this. LOL

Thanks for all the help though, guys!
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:55 PM   #15
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I would get the 3 country selectpass. They have 5, 6, or 8 day options for $279/306/364 according to RickSteves.com. The only two countries it would be valid for are Switzerland and Germany though (just pick a random 3rd country when buying it). The thing is I would buy it now because when they update their prices probably in early January, the prices will go up because the dollar has gone down again. So I would buy before the prices go up. The Krakow-Prague ticket price should not be too bad, however I cannot give you a figure because I haven't done it myself.

To give you an example of the night train reservation fee (as of May 2007): when I went from Berlin to Munich, a "reclining" seat was 10 euros, and the next thing up which I think is an actual bed, but you share the compartment with 3 other people is 30 euros. So it can work out to be more than a hostel.
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:08 PM   #16
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you know, I saw there was a czech republic-germany one but then you can't mix the czech republic with any other country except austria, but you can on;y do 2 countries that way. I don't really understand that one.
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:24 PM   #17
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Germany and Switzerland are gonna be the more expensive ones so I would worry about them. Put in some of your train journeys to see sample fares on the Deutsch Bahn website. For Example: Berlin to Munich (~6 hours) is 100 euros. From Warsaw to Krakow (~5 hours) was 25 euros. Czech Republic would be similarly less expensive, and I had read about a Prague supplement to rail passes but I don't know if they still have it.
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:33 PM   #18
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oh good call! but doesn't it have to be validated within 6 months of purchase?
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:38 PM   #19
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actually according to die bahn, it's cheaper to pay for the leg from zurich to stuttgart than from prague to munich, so perhaps a germany-czech republic pass is the best one...

oh but then I forgot, I have to GET to zurich first from frankfurt, so that's paying for 2 train tickets instead of one... oy vey.
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:53 PM   #20
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yeah i forgot you're going in june. wow that is cheaper than i thought for those countries. too much for me...but cheaper than i thought lol
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