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Old 01-26-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
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Default Ireland/Amsterdam/Germany/Switzerland/Italy-First Europe Trip Itinerary

Heres my itinerary for my first trip to Europe! It isn't set in stone so let me know what you think or if I should add/subtract anything. I know it is a lot to try to fit in but I've never been to Europe before so I'd like to see as much as possible (without spending all our time in transit of course)...do you think we are trying to do too much? I'd really appreciate any input :-)

-fly into Dublin-
Dublin-2 days
Wicklow Mountains/Glendalough-2 days
-flight from Dublin to Amsterdam-
Amsterday-1 day
Cologne -2 days
Koblenz area-1 day---We want to spend one day either driving or taking a river tour of the towns along the Rhine River from around Cologne to Koblenz...if anyone has any suggestions for this part of the trip or if you think we should spend one day in Cologne and two days driving or floating along the Rhine, this is the part of the trip I am still a little undecided on so I'd love suggestions!!--
Interlaken area-4 days-we want to do some hiking in this area and we will also be taking a side trip during this time to Grimmelwald
Cinque Terre-2 days
Rome-2 days
-fly from Rome to Dublin and then Dublin to home-
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:55 AM   #2
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I've done the fast-paced trip through Europe a few times now myself and its a little rough but it features its own rewards too.

2 days in Dublin is probably fine, especially since you've allotted other time to the area outside the city.
1 day in Adam might be kinda short, especially depending on what time you get there from Dub. I'm guessing you're flying again to Cologne which eats up some time (getting to/from airport, etc).

Cinque Terre can be covered in 2 days. Its pretty laid back, just hiking and hanging out anyways.

2 days for Rome isn't that much considering all the city has to offer but you can certainly see the major attractions (Colosseum, Vatican, Forum) and partake in a bit of the nightlife.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:16 AM   #3
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2 Days in Rome (especially if you are arriving form Cinque Terre) is really cutting it close. I think you need at least 3 days there to be honest.

Arrival day - stroll around the city take in the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, sample some good Gelato, hang out in Piazza Navona etc.

Day Two - The Forum, Colloseum, Villa Borghese
Day Three - The Vatican and departure

That would be leaving off the Appian Way, the Catacombs, and a few other things.

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Old 01-28-2009, 12:12 PM   #4
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last summer I spent 2 days in Cologne and really I wished I would have done 1 there and spent more time somewhere else. I mean the big thing is the Dom and as soon as you walk out of the train station, it's literately RIGHT THERE. the Rhine is gorgeous in Cologne and a few other places I checked out - especially Heidelberg. Get up to Dusseldorf if you can - I believe it's only a half hour or 45 min train ride from Cologne. there may be a Rhine tour that will take you up that way. if you'd like to check out my pics from Cologne, you can click on the link to "personal gallery" in my signature!


also if you're looking for a place to stay there, I stayed at the Black Sheep hostel, 20 euros a night, nice clean place, great staff, free breakfast and internet, and in a great little neighborhood.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:55 AM   #5
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I agree, add a third day on to Rome. Rome isn't very big, so you are able to walk everywhere, as far as I know most of the hostels give away free maps with the sights bolded - which is very helpful.

But ja, definitly add an extra day onto Rome, its definitly worth it.

(Did anybody else find it really hard to find Piazza Navona or was it just me?)
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:56 AM   #6
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Oh, and the Trevi Fountain is best seen at night. Really cool.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:31 AM   #7
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Thanks a lot for the suggestions! I'm going to take your advise and add a 3rd day to Rome and cut one day in Cologne. I had looked up Heidelburg before as well and after doing a little more research I'm going to also stop there for a day too. I also cut one day in Interlaken (I'll still have 3 1/2) and added one day to Amsterdam. So the trip is going to look more like:

Dublin-2 days
Area Surrounding Dublin (Wicklow Mountains/Glendalough)-2 days
Amsterday-2 day
Cologne-1 day..going to try to find a Rhine tour of the city or surrounding area when I'm here
Heidelburg-1 day
Interlaken area-3 days
Cinque Terre-2 days
Rome-3 days

What do you think about this trip? One other question...should I add one more day to Heidelburg and cut one in Cinque Terre or leave it how it is?
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:03 AM   #8
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Oh my goodness, Heidelberg is SO beautiful, favorite city I've been to so far in Europe. A few tips for H-berg:
-there's 1 backpacker hostel, the Sudpfanne Hostel - very nice place - also a bar and German restaurant. it's located really closed to the big castle
-the train ride from Cologne to H-berg might have been in my top 3 favorite parts of my trip... it's about 3 hours and it's SO beautiful.
-you will have no problem catching a train from H-berg to Interlanken... when you are at the Heidelberg hauptbahnhof use the electronic kiosk there to check out the trains... some are faster some are slower, depends on which train and which route... you can reserve your seat on there too for like 3 euros... nice if you want a window seat but I found that reservations are only necessary if you are traveling during the morning commutes and evening commutes and on weekends
-do not plan Heidelberg on a Sunday - much of the city is closed down... I went in a Sunday and it was still awesome but I wish I would have gone the day before or after
-also the Heidelberg hauptbahnhof is kind of far from the rest of the city... if you have a heavy pack, it will be a LONG hike. it was literately on the other side of the city from where the hostel is... I ended up taking a cab for like 11 euros and it was worth the non-hassle
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:11 AM   #9
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and also as far as Rhine tours go in Cologne, if you are at the hauptbahnhof/Dom area, the Rhine is like, right behind it... you will cross a HUGE bridge over the Rhine as you get into the train station... if you walk down to the river (very short walk) you will see in that area are all sorts of gates and often boats docked. if there aren't boats docked where the gates are there are phone number and websites to the places that do the tours.

if you're looking for a good tour though, the folks who run the hostels always seem to know everything about the city. as soon as I checked into the Black Sheep hostel, the owner gave me a map of the city and wrote in his favorite bier garden and places to eat and things to see.

if you like beer, try to catch the bier bus... it's a great time!
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:44 PM   #10
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Thanks so much pinknic for all the tips! I can't wait to go to Heidelburg now! I looked up the Sudpfanne Hostel and the Black Sheep..they both look like pretty nice places. There seem to be pretty many Rhine tours going out of Cologne so it doesn't seem like finding one will be a problem. It is nice to hear the hostels are so helpful though. I will most definitely have to check out the bier bus...that just sounds interesting. Love your pictures of Heidelburg and Cologne...and thanks again for the info!
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:58 PM   #11
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you are very welcome! glad to help!
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