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One month european itinerary - start London end Rome

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One month european itinerary - start London end Rome

Hi all,

I need some guidance on planning a one month trip to Europe with my husband. We just came back from Paris (first time in Europe) a week ago and I am already itching to go back to Europe, but this time a bit longer. We're both students and are on a pretty tight budget so this trip would be a graduation present. Our preferred transport around would be train.

I just made up this rough itinerary and no clue if it works or not so any input is welcome.

Start London (3) -> Amsterdam (3) -> Frankfurt or Berlin (3) -> Prague (3) -> Vienna (3) -> Venice (2) -> Florence (3) -> End Rome (3)

23 nights in total and I figure the rest of the time is travel time. Can we add more places in between? Should be eliminate some cities and replace with another? We want to see as many places as possible - more like a glimpse of Europe this time around, but we don't want to be too exhausted either.

Also, we would really like to visit Spain also but it's so out of the way that I'm not even sure if it is realistic. If you have a better route in mind, please share! Thanks!

Edited: 26 January 2010, 12:17
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1. Re: One month european itinerary - start London end Rome

I'd certainly agree with doing the trip by train. I'd miss out Frankfurt which is more a modern business city, but otherwise you have chosen (in my opinion) an excellent selection of Europe's exciting/beautiful cities. I also think you have allowed enough time in the cities to get a good feel of each place.

Of course, there are a great many more locations (Switzerland, France, S Germany, Spain, Scotland, Ireland and so on and on) but you only have so much time!

I'd also suggest you try and make some of the rail journeys overnighters (especially those around N Europe where the scenery is not that exciting) so you have more daylight-time in the cities. The countryside of S Europe, especially around the Alps, the coast and throughout N Italy, is spectacularly beautiful and has to be seen.

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2. Re: One month european itinerary - start London end Rome

You could also try posting on the Train Travel forum.

But you do seem to be city-focussed, which means missing a lot of beautiful places. (Unless you take day trips...).

I'd skip Frankfurt, and add Budapest. I agree about the overnight trains- saves a hotel bednight. Not sure that Vienna and Florence need 3 nights if you are trying to squeeze more in. Edinburgh would be a good train journey.

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3. Re: One month european itinerary - start London end Rome

Thanks to both for your replies. I was not thinking about visiting both Frankfurt and Berlin. It was actually either or 'cause I was looking at a map and just trying to figure out logistically which city makes more sense to go to Prague so I think Berlin would be the better choice.

Is this a better itinerary (below)?

Start London (3) -> Amsterdam (3) -> Berlin (3) -> Prague (3) -> Budapest (3) -> Venice (2) -> Florence (3) -> End Rome (3)?

Or is Budapest ->Venice too long of a train ride that I'll wind up wasting time; thus replace Budapest with Vienna? Again, thanks for your input!

BTW - we're trying to travel in Sept, October the lastest so I understand these are expensive months to go to Europe so budget is key for us.

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4. Re: One month european itinerary - start London end Rome

I agree with World Traveller, including on Berlin having priority over Frankfurt and the seletive se of some overnight trains, thereby aing more time to see the city you are travelling to and saving on accommodtion. For both general and specific information/advice on rail travel in Europe look at www.seat61.com

By aiming for 3 nights in each city you would have the opportunity of dy trips to other nearby cities if you felt like it, for example from Florence to Pisa, or from Amsterdm to almost anywhere in the Netherlands.

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5. Re: One month european itinerary - start London end Rome

Your revised itinerary is pretty good but if I were you I would now buy the Thomas Cook European Timetable and a Europe guidebook and work out whether your itinerary makes sense in the real world and whether it covers what you really want to do. Then you can adjust number of nights/destinations as appropriate.

If you want to do Spain then something else would have to give; for example, if you dropped Berlin, Budapest and Prague and spent only 2 nights in Florence, then you could probably fit in Madrid, Seville, Cordoba and Lisbon, taking the train that goes from Italy round the S.Coast of France and into Spain. But then you miss out on Prague etc.

You could maybe look into using low-cost flights and trains, so that you pick, say 3 hubs, for example - Amsterdam, then Vienna/Prague/Venice/Rome, then Madrid/Portugal and fly between the hubs, using train to get between destinations in the hubs. Local train travel can sometimes be cheaper than using those international Eurail type passes and low-cost air fares can be very cheap. Try posting queries on the Train Travel forum and also ask on local fora for local low-cost flights - Easyjet and Ryanair are the best-known although Ryanair is more UK-focussed (ie flights tend to originate in the UK - easyjet has more of a european network).

Otherwise, you could look at long-distance coach travel with Eurolines. I just checked out the fare from Amsterdam to Vienna in March (timetable for the summer is not up yet) and it's 21 euros. It won't be the most comfortable way to travel but it is cheap!

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6. Re: One month european itinerary - start London end Rome

Drop Frankfurt, it has little to interest the tourist. Between Berlin add Prague I would certainly try and fit in Dresden for a day or so. Also a sidetrip to Budapest is recomended. If your itinerary allows it I would also try and fit in berlin on the germanic part of the tour,

Florence for 3 nights is more than enough, I would try and fit a day or more in Bologna when you head from Venice to Florence.

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7. Re: One month european itinerary - start London end Rome

Berlin is by far the best city to see in Germany - in fact in many ways culturally it is by far the most exciting city to see in Europe because of its rather startling recent history. It has a kind of historic energy missing in places like London.

Prague is probably the most beautiful city I have visited in Europe, and well worth a few days - especially as it is so easy to take side trips from Prague to places like České Budějovice which is reputed to have the largest town square in the woorld (and is the original home of Budweiss beer) and Kutna Hora (with its silver mine and striking if macabre ossuary).

I would try to visit Budapest, which I find much more interesting that Vienna (a city of schlosser and belgian tapestrys). However, the overnight train journey from Budapest to Venice is a bit of a pain - straightforward but sleepless because it crosses so many borders, at each of which you are woken up - sometimes twice.You could always break this journey with a night in Zagreb or even Ljubliana.

Italy is chock full of cities worth visiting - so many its impossible to make recommendations. Fortunately, many are quite close by train so you can either choose to stay less time in each or - if you hate switching hotels - base yourself somewhere and do day trips. For instance, Bologna is stunning, has very few tourists and is an easy day trip to both Venice and Florence by train (as well as Verona - of Romeo & Juleit fame - if it takes your fancy).

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8. Re: One month european itinerary - start London end Rome

Thank you so much for all of your detailed replies!!!

Our tentative schedule looks like the following: (Now I just have to figure out transportation, costs, etc.)

Tentative travel date: October 3 - Nov 3

10/3 -10/4 - overnight flight NY to London

10/4 -10/7 (3 nights) London

10/7 - train London to Amsterdam

10/7 -10/10 (3 nights) Amsterdam

10/10 - train Amsterdam to Berlin

10/10 -10/13 (3 nights) Berlin

10/13 - train Berlin to Prague

10/13 -10/16 -(3 nights) Prague

10/16- train Prague to Budapest

10/16 -10/19 (3nights) Budapest

10/19 - train from Budapest -> Vienna

10/19 - 10/22 (3 nights) Vienna

10/22 - 10/23 overnight train Vienna to Venice

10/23 - 10/25 (2 nights) Venice

10/25 - train Venice to Milan

10/25 - 10/27 (2 nights) Milan

10/27 - train Milan to Florence

10/27 - 10/30 (3 nights) Florence (side trip to Pisa)

10/30 - train Florence -> Rome

10/30 -11/3 (4 nights) Rome

11/3 - flight Rome --> NY

Total: 29 nights

Please feel free to edit my tentative schedule. Originally I accounted to too many days of travel time so I had to re-count the days again.

Although I'm a bit nervous about 2 nights in Venice and 2 nights in Milan - not sure if I should cut Milan out altogether and add 1 more night in Venice (making it 3 nights total) and another night in Florence (making it 4 nights all together due to Pisa side-trip).....or forget about Budapest and just stay in Milan longer....*sigh*

I figure at the end leg of the trip we'll be pretty tired and 4 nights in the last 2 cities will give us a better pace for winding down. What do you guys think?

Again, thanks for all the great information you all have provided to far =)

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9. Re: One month european itinerary - start London end Rome

If you travel overnight by train in a sleeping car, then that saves hotel bills and you're travelling while you're sleeping

http://www.seat61.com/Europe.htm#overnight

and if you're 26 or under then you can get discount tickets, and in any case can get monthly or period rail passes that will cover you for travel over most of western Europe. The exact information will be found somewhere on the terrific website www.seat61.com

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10. Re: One month european itinerary - start London end Rome

Hi,

Just a reminder that you'll find the seat61.com site invaluable.

Also, I'm struggling to think how Vienna would occupy you for 2 days, never mind 3. It's fairly small and I don't think it has the same buzz or number of attractions as Berlin or Amsterdam. Budapest, I suggested as it is different from the "western" european capitals. Like Prague, under communist rule until 1990, but it has amazing public baths. (google 'gellert baths')

whatever, enjoy..

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