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First time visit to Europe

Maricopa, Arizona
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328 posts
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First time visit to Europe

We are in our mid 30's and we are planning a 10 day trip to Europe within the next 18 months.

We both have always wanted to visit Europe, but no place in particular. We want to just see and experience the sights, cultures, but have nothing we MUST see. We just want to take in what we can for 10 days. We are using 13 days, but 3 days of traveling, giving us the 10 days. But, we have budgetted to spend up to 14 days in Europe if it appears we may need the full 2 weeks.

Since the train system is so good, we would like to visit about 3 countries during the trip.

We have come up with a list of places we'd like to consider. I would just really appreciate anyone's thoughts about what places may be the optimal places to go on 10 days with the best train schedules. Again, we have nothing we must do, we just want to finally experience Europe.

Here are the places are considering. Thank you all for your help in this planning. If you ever have questions about Phoenix...let me know!!!!









Zurich or Geneva









Old Field, New York
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1. Re: First time visit to Europe


While all of the cities you listed are worthy (I have been to everyone save Geneva), I urge you to please limit the number of citis visited in a ten day or two week trip. If you do a "Tuesday it must be Belgium" whirlwind tour, you will have few lasting memories and will not truly learn about and experience any location. If I were making my first trip to Europe, I would allocate my time as follows:

London (and side trips): 4 Days

Paris (and side trips): 4 days

NoteL possibly add one day to one of above cities

Amsterdam (and side trips): 3 days

Bruges: 2 days

That would give you time to get a flavor of four very different cultures; minimize the amount and cost of train travel; and avoid packing and unpacking every other day.

Then, the next time you visit Europe (and believe me there will be a next time) focus on another "cluster" of cities.

I know the temptation is to do the grand sweep but that consists of little more than a superficial jumping from point to point.

Have a wondreful trip. I remember my days t the San Carlos Indian Reservation near Globe and how much I enjoyed getting into Phoenix on occasion.


Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg
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2. Re: First time visit to Europe

If you want to visit three countries on your short trip, then pick three that are close to each other, preferably by where the three countries meet. In and around most places in Europe should be at least a week or two of excellent sights and things to do. You are wasting precious time on traveling through probably mostly uninteresting countryside while you could actually be seeing things.

Personally, I enjoy staying places for a week. That's adequate time to see the best local sights, discover some hidden gems, and be able to relax and ENJOY yourself. To me, travel is enjoyment, not rushing frantically about trying to see everything, an impossibility in itself.

There are countless places that may be more interesting to visit than the ones that you list, and you shouldn't limit yourself only to large cities. But from your list using the three country requirement, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam probably would best fit your requirements.

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3. Re: First time visit to Europe

I agree, you would waste your first time trip to Europe if you tried to get too much in on your first go. You can't possibly see all there is in some of these places in the timeframe. If it were me I'd do:




London and Paris would be definites for me - I'm British so love London and Paris because I live in France....and well, you just have to as it's so beautiful. Have never been to Brussels, but as it's on your list and as all three cities are linked by the Eurostar, they will all be easy to go between. Then perhaps when you come again, you could lump all the Italian cities together or Berlin/Munich/Prague/Zurich, etc


Amsterdam, The...
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for Munich, Amsterdam, The Ardennes
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4. Re: First time visit to Europe

During which season will you travel? In summer, I would advise on a northwestern part of europe:


And save central Europe (Prague-Munich) and Italy/ Spain for another trip, e.g. when going in may or september

5. Re: First time visit to Europe

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