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First EVER Europe Trip! Suggestions in need!

Chicago, Illinois
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First EVER Europe Trip! Suggestions in need!

Hello Everyone! My name is Shannon, I am 25, and I am beginning to plan a 3-week trip touring a few countries in Europe at the end of May-June 2013 and need some assistance, tips, and feedback from your past tours! I am taking on this trip solo (not my first trip I've conquered alone), so please take that into consideration as well. My main concern is transportation - hire a car or use public transport? I am also on a limited budget, thus I would be looking to stay in hostels or apartments. I am open to all suggestions!

My first destination will either be Shannon or Dublin, Ireland. I would like to spend 3-4 days in the country seeing a few tourist sights - Cliffs of Moher, Guinness Brewery, Old Jameson Distillery, castles, cathedrals, beaches, etc... but I would also like to stay in a smaller town one night conversing with the locals. Where would be the best places to go and see?

The next place I will visit is England. From Ireland should I fly or take a ferry? I've read mixed reviews and both have their pros and cons. If I took a ferry where should I start? I would like to be in London for 2 days at least! What are the main attractions I must see? St. Paul's Cathedral is a must in London other than that I am open.

After England I will fly or take a ferry to France. I will be meeting up with a friend in Paris here and staying for 2-3 days. He will show me around the town there. Then by the time I leave Paris I will be dying to find an exquisite vineyard tour to try! Any recommendations?

My last destination will be in Italy. I will have just over a week there and want to see Rome, Venice, Naples, Pompeii, etc. I will have the most time here so I want to see the tourist and local's places. I haven't done much research on Italy yet, hence the reason I came to TripAdvisor!

Thanks in advance for your help! As many tips and suggestions as you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

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1. Re: First EVER Europe Trip! Suggestions in need!

If you're on a budget, I would say forget car hire, certainly in Ireland. I'm no expert but in Dublin I loved the HOHO tour which was great. It's been a few years since I stayed in a hostel in Dublin but we used Jacobs Inn and it was pretty good. From Dublin it would be easy enough to go to the coast.

With more time, you could add in Galway which is a vibrant city, easy to get to from Dublin and gateway to the Aran Islands and Conemara.

Generally I would advise using Low Cost airlines for your flights. Be careful with Ryanair as they are very strict with hand luggange dimensions adn their airports can be quite out of the way. But generally easyjet, aer lingus, jet 2 to name but a few are well worth considering and can be as cheap as a ferry.

I love Paris - have fun:) You won't need any advice for there if you have your friend to show you round. It's a great city. I've been 4 or 5 times and still haven't made it into the Louvre! There is just so much to see and a great cafe culture.

In Rome, I stayed in a truly dreadful hostel called Hostel Eden near the railway station. We had a fantastic holiday - but it was the worst hostel I have ever experienced and we made sure we were out from 9am - 10pm.... starting to itch thinking of those fleas....

I do find thorntree forum pretty good for backpacker info also.

Have a look at hostelworld for reviews of hostels.


Happy planning:) Hopefully others on here will come on to help you specifically with the Ireland segment.

Edited: 09 February 2013, 21:01
Dublin, Ireland
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2. Re: First EVER Europe Trip! Suggestions in need!

Paddy's Palace just around the corner from Jacobs Inn should be OK and they are tied with the Paddywagon tours. I think they collect from the airport too. The coach station is very close by too and there are connections to London via ferry. Check out Bus Eireann's website.

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: First EVER Europe Trip! Suggestions in need!

If you only have 3- 4 days to devote to Ireland, definitely choose Dublin over Shannon, primarily because there's a lot to see in/near Dublin and transportation will be so much easier.

With 4 days, I would recommend 2 days in Dublin, a one-day tour to Glendalough NP/Wicklow and, either: 1) a one-day tour to Newgrange and the surrounding sites or 2) a day in Howth to walk the cliffs and the seaside. This is a place you could stay overnight for a taste of a smaller Irish town. Howth is easily reached from Dublin by DART.

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4. Re: First EVER Europe Trip! Suggestions in need!

You can Fly into Shannon have night 1&2 in Galway and nights 3&4 in Dublin before flying on from there. That said the 10 countries in a month approach does little more than get stamps in the passport and photos on a disk.

Have a think about what and where you really want to see/do and try no more than one country a week, even that is pushing it, but at 25 you probably have the time to make a few trips in the future,

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5. Re: First EVER Europe Trip! Suggestions in need!

take the train from England to Paris.

6. Re: First EVER Europe Trip! Suggestions in need!

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