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Old 07-09-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
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Default 1st Time Europe - 97 Days

After a couple false starts, I'm finally definitely going to Europe For my graduation (next year) I'm getting:
- A plane ticket to Europe
- A 3-month global Eurail pass (doesn't cover Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia)
- $50/day for 90 days

My ideal is to save up enough that I will have a total of $85/day for 97 days, plus transportation for the countries not covered by my railpass. I plan to spend a week in England, then 90 days in the Schengen countries (that's the max allowed, right?) I want to see A LOT, because I want to take advantage of my railpass and I have over three months, but I don't want to burn out, and I have a pretty strict budget. Are there any places I should add/cut days? I left two weeks on the end as a bumper, and I'd be fine spending that all in Greece, or adding it in other places for detours or more chill time.

I know this will probably go out the window in a matter of days and will change a ton before I ever leave, but I'm basically terrified (though excited) to be in Europe on my own for so long, and I want to have a solid and thoroughly researched plan I can fall back on, even if I don't end up sticking to it.

1 - London (day trips to Stonehenge and Stratford)
2 - London
3 - London
4 - London
5 - London
6 - London
7 - London
8 - Early Eurostar/Ryanair flight to Paris
9 - Paris (day trip to Versailles)
10 - Paris
11 - Paris
12 - Paris - Night Train to Interlaken
13 - Interlaken
14 - Interlaken - Overnight train to Luxembourg
15 - Luxembourg - Train to Bruges
16 - Bruge
17 - Early train to Amsterdam
18 - Amsterdam
19 - Amsterdam
20 - Amsterdam - Night Train to Berlin
21 - Copenhagen (Day Trip to Aero Island)
22 - Copenhagen
23 - Copenhagen
24 - Copenhagen (Night Train/Ferry to Oslo)
25 - Morning train to Helsingor, evening ferry to Helsingborg, night train to Oslo
26 - Oslo
27 - Oslo
28 - early train to Stockholm
29 - Stockholm - Night train/ferry to Helsinki?
30 - Helsinki
31 - Helsinki
32 - morning ferry to Tallinn
33 - Tallinn
34 - Tallinn
35 - morning bus to Riga
36 - Riga
37 - Riga
38 - morning bus to Vilnius
39 - Vilnius
40 - Vilnius
41 - morning flight to Krakow
42 - Krakow (day trip to Auschwitz)
43 - Krakow
44 - train to Prague
45 - Prague
46 - Prague
47 - Prague
48 - morning train to Cesky Krumlov
49 - Cesky Krumlov - night train to Ljubljana
50 - Ljubljana
51 - Ljubljana
52 - morning train to Lake Bled
53 - Lake Bled - night train to Budapest
54 - Budapest
55 - Budapest
56 - Budapest - night train to Venice
57 - Venice
58 - Venice
59 - Venice
60 - Venice
61 - Venice
62 - morning train to Florence
63 - Florence
64 - morning train to Rome
65 - Rome
66 - Rome
67 - Rome
68 - Rome
69 - morning train to Pompeii
70 - Pompeii (Day trip to Vesuvius)
71 - morning train to Bari (6hrs), hang out, catch Bari-Patras ferry in evening
72 - ferry
73 - train to Athens
74 - Athens
75 - Athens
76 - Athens
77 - Athens
78 - Santorini
79 - Santorini
80 - Santorini
81 - Crete
82 - Crete

Days 83-97 - ???

THANK YOU for any advice :D
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:21 PM   #2
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My one biggest piece of advice is "be flexible". The plan seems great, but don't feel that once you're over there, you have to stick to your schedule; if you're having a blast in Tallinn, stay and extra day. Or two. Remember, with so many days planned in your trip you can make up time as you go, so to speak. Esepcially given that you have nothing concrete planned for the last two weeks at this juncture.

Have the outline of your schedule, but don't be afraid to fly by the seat of your pants. Have a blast and seize every day- this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity!
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for replying Kyle, I think that is really good advice, and I plan to take it to heart. Despite my current planning obsession, one of the things I'm most looking forward to is being able to do just about whatever and go wherever I want. Freedom!

I noticed I made some typos, oops There should be four days of Berlin between Amsterdam & Copenhagen, and Day 24 should just be ignored. (No point in going to Oslo, then to Helsingor then back to Oslo!)
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:42 PM   #4
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The only thing that I noticed while quickly glancing through is where you fit Interlaken in. Central Switzerland is my favourite place in the world, so I personally would fit more time in there, but maybe do it somewhere between the prague and venice part of your trip.
I'm jealous...
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:57 AM   #5
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If you like to party, do not miss Ios in Greece. It's like a drunken disneyland for 18-30 year olds.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:38 AM   #6
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I'd say that maybe France needs a little more attention on your itinerary. It's a beautiful country.

Also, definitely agree that you should be flexible. It's not uncommon to meet a bunch of peeps that you dig hanging out with and may want to explore other places together. Allow some extra free days for that.

And with that budget, you'll do just fine especially in the Eastern European countries.
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:39 AM   #7
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When ever there's a body of water involved it's nearly always better to fly. The eurostar train from London to Paris was very expensive last time I checked. The trains in western Europe (bar Ireland) are brilliant, they're on time, fast and usually go every hour.

The ferrys are probably worth any extra you'll pay due to what you'll be able to see.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:04 PM   #8
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Looks like you're on the right start, and it's good to know that you're willing to be flexible. The biggest piece of advice is to avoid trying to see it all in just one trip. It looks like you're doing a good job of this so far though! Welcome to the boards and continue to ask questions!

Also, central Switzerland is awesome. It's about an hour from Interlaken to a small town named Gimmelwald (popularized by Rick Steves and word of mouth) where you can stay at the Mountain Hostel and wake up every morning looking out at the alps. I spent 10 nights there last summer and it was the perfect way to end my trip.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:02 AM   #9
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To add to what MeTurk said - if you want to avoid the pricey eurostar from London to Paris, you can get a ferry from Harwich (near London) to Hoek van Holland, then a train onto Amsterdam. You'll have to make a few connections but it should work out ok, if you wanted to switch your schedule round a bit?

I'd maybe suggest cut down a day or two in Venice and staying a bit longer in Florence / Rome. It's an amazing place, an absolute must-see, but I went for 3 days and was ready to leave by the end! It's quite pricy and a nightmare to negotiate, even with a map. Walking around the main island on Venice is like being inside Tomb Raider (but without traps, guns and animals that attack you).
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:46 PM   #10
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Apparently we are pretty similar! I am currently making an itinerary for my 8 month trip, but only as a rough guide. Places I would like to see with times I think would give me enough time for a relaxed trip (no fewer than 3 nights in any one city, with a few exceptions). Like you, I know I am going to be flexible and I know that the plan will probably get thrown out the window, but it's always nice to have something to fall back on.

When exactly are you going? In addition to a rough plan, I am scoping out recs for hostels in the cities I will be visiting, will take a list and plan to book 1-2 weeks ahead, probably closer to a month in the high season.
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Old 08-13-2009, 02:20 AM   #11
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I dont know if anyone would agree with me but from my experience you only really need 3 days max in Venice, its a beautiful place but i would say 5 days is too much. Same goes with Rome, i would dedicate an entire day if you plan on visiting the Vatican as queues can be HUGE!! i waited at least 2 and a half hours to get in so get there early! Also, a day trip to Pisa from Rome is easy, its pretty touristy, not much there except restaurants and hotels but the Leaning Tower is a definate must see! A day trip to Sienna from Florence is also worth it aswell.
Also, i would add on at least a few more days in Bled, theres plenty day trips to take and there are so many activites such as canyoning, paragliding, white water rafting etc if you want to splash out a bit , its definately worth it! The place is gorgeous, you wont want to leave! Slovenia is by far my favourite place in europe! the scenery is unbelievable!
Hope this has been some help
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