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Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 03-24-2006, 11:01 PM   #1
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Hey everybody,
I've been reading this site for the last 2 days and have learned a whole bunch of useful information. I thought I could get some help on my Itinerary. I am planning on backpacking through Europe between 4/24-5/18.

My ex-girlfriend (not really ex/ not really gf.. you know how it is =) ) is studying abroad in London this semester. I am flying into London and staying at her place for 2 days. She's traveled a lot through Western Europe and wants to go to Prague. So, from London we are flying to Prague. From Prague she's flying back to London and then back home to New York. I, on the other hand have never traveled through Europe and will somehow get to Amsterdam and meet up with my roommate. From there, we plan to go to a bunch of different cities. Here is a tentative schedule of ours. Please help us!! We know we wanna hit the big cities but we don't really know how to plan this trip out!!

4/24 - 4/25: NYC to Gatwick
4/25 - 4/27: London (staying at ex's place)
4/27 - 4/29: Prague
4/29 - 5/1: Amsterdam (Queen's Day!!)
5/1 - 5/3: Paris
5/3 - 5/5: Lucerne or French Alps
5/5 - 5/6: Milan
5/6 - 5/8: Florence
5/8 - 5/10: Rome
5/10 - 5/11: Ferry from Rome to Barcelona (!!! sounds like fun but its $$ any suggestions?)
5/11 - 5/14: Barcelona (maybe a night in Ibiza!)
5/14 - 5/18: Madrid (we are going to cut down our time in Madrid by a day and it the day somewhere else... )
5/18: Madrid to NYC

All help is greatly appreciated! Thanks Tpunkers =)
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Old 03-25-2006, 12:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
We know we wanna hit the big cities but we don't really know how to plan this trip out!!
First off you need to figure out your flight to and from. Obvioulsly you are flying into London, so the cheapest flight back is going to be back from London. Here is my advice.
London
Prague..from there either have your friend fly to prague, or have him meet you in Milan.
Then hit up all of Rome. Florence then Rome. Then, hit up the boat to Barcelona. I dont know much about it, the cruise from Italy to Greece was awsome (bring booze).
Then...barcelona, ibiza, maybe Valencia instead of Milan.
Then, up to France and Amsterdam.
Then take a cheap flight back to London (ryanair, easyjet) about 50 bucks.

Just make sure you dont spend your whole time traveling. Leave some time to relax in the cities.

I will be living in Italy for the next 5 months. I will be in Godo Italy, 2 hours south of Venice. Need a place to stay, let me know.

cya...lilchappy
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Old 03-25-2006, 09:25 AM   #3
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As I'm sure most people will point out, you have a lot crammed into a little bit of time. Don't forget to think about time traveling to these cities. About a week into it, you'll probably be exhausted from going going going and not really having the chance to enjoy a lot of the stuff, especially in the cities you're going to. There'll be a lot to see. I'd seriously consider eliminating a few places. Yes, I know, you want to see everything, but you'd probably enjoy seeing fewer places with more quality time.

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Old 03-25-2006, 09:47 AM   #4
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I have to agree with Jamie, it's a pretty rushed schedule. If you're planning to travel by train, you need to factor in the length of the trips - if you stick with the current schedule, you'll end up with little more than 1 day in Paris, when you factor in the travel time, and really, it's worth a lot more than that! If you fly, of course, you won't lose as much time, but you still have to get to the airports in advance and get in and out of the centres (remember the cheap flights go to outlying airports), so they can still eat up several hours of your travel day.

It's difficult to narrow down a trip, especially when it's your first and you want to see everything, but if you can possibly do it, you'll probably enjoy having a more relaxed pace, and you won't miss the things you didn't do... I dropped two weeks of travel in France once, so I could go to Spain and Morocco instead -- no regrets!

I haven't been to Milan yet but from what I've heard, it isn't the absolute best place in Italy, so I'd drop that in favour of more time in either Paris or Florence/Rome. I'd also drop the stay in Lucerne or the alps, unless that's an absolute must for you and your friend. It's beautiful, just depends on your priorities.

Check out some of the other itineraries in the itinerary forum, to see what others are doing with their time - it might answer some of your questions, and provide a different take on possible routes and so forth. Of course, it'll probably also give you half a dozen more suggestions of awesome places to go...

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Old 03-25-2006, 10:03 AM   #5
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I would personally say that if nothing else leave yourself more time in the Alps and in Rome. So much to see!

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Old 03-25-2006, 10:46 AM   #6
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It's pretty well thought I'd say , with the 3 night stay we like to suggest. However, doing so many cities so, you'll find it maybe exhausting and will certainly have the feeling you're rushing and seeing... nothing ! 3 nights means that you only have one full day to spend. So maybe take one or two cities out of your itinerary and focus more on one you really want to know better.

Since you're there in April and May, during the off season, you won't need to book in advance your hostels. You can remain flexible and just reserve the previous day by internet.

And before I forget : welcome to travelpunk.com ! :P
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Old 03-25-2006, 01:01 PM   #7
 
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I'm going to have to agree with the others on saying that's an awful lot of places to visit in a short time! when i went to europe over the winter, we thought we were going to go to all these places. it was a good thing we were flexible, because my friend got sick in dublin, when we were going to leae for paris. instead we decided to take a flight to sweden because a friend just happened to be visiting his mother their for the holidays. this obviously messed up our timing and iteneraries, since we hadnt planned on traveling to the great white north of sweden in the first place. then the train we were going to take from stockholm to amsterdam was 2 hours late. we missed our connecting train in copenhagen, stayed there for a day, and then had to take a much slower train ride to finally arrvie in amsterdam 2 days later than what we planned. with all these changes, we ran out of time, and the patience, to go to italy. so just keep plans lose, if you can make all those places, great, but if it starts to become more of a hassle than it is worth, just take one place out. you'll be surprised by how much more you will enjoy yourself!
p.s. it's possible that you won't have any problems at all, but i just thought i'd tell you of my issues! the trip sounds like a blast!
Beth
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Old 03-25-2006, 01:14 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of your help everyone... We decided to cut Lucerne and Milan out!! Maybe someother time ! I'll keep you all posted
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Old 03-25-2006, 01:27 PM   #9
 
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Welcome to t-punks!
Yeah, the others are right, to much to see, and too little time to see it in.
It's a hard choice, crossing cities off the list. but unless you really like the veiw from a train, you need to drop some stops from your trip.
Don't forget, you can alwase go back to europe again latter.
I'm planning a trip to europe myself, and this all sounds SOOOOO familiar. My original itinerary was more than twice as long as the itinerary I have now.
Instead of a "marathon" trip around europe, not getting to really see anything, pick out the places you want to see the most. Try to have at least 3 days in each city, unless there isn't much you are interested in in a perticular city.
And don't forget about the amount of time it takes to get from one city to the next.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
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