Hi everyone. I am planning a 2 month (can extend to around 75 days if needed) trip to Europe next May. I have an itinerary, but it has too many days and places. I could use some help trimming it down. Some places, especially France and Italy, I feel as though I have overlapped the regions and don't need so many destinations. If you see some cities that you would suggest leaving off, PLEASE let me know. This will be my first solo travel experience to Europe and I think I have over zealously chosen all these places.
Here is the itinerary:
Main Destination (days at destination)
-these bullet points mean side trips while using the destination mentioned as a home base
without further ado
Rhine River Valley(5)
-various side trips in the rest of Czech
Interlaken Region (4)
Lake District (3)
Cinqque Terre (4)
Rome\Vatican City (5)
Greek Isles (5)
Dordogne Region (3)
Loire Region (3)
Alsace Region (3)
-Various Surrounding Cities (Bath, York etc)
North Wales (3)
Northern Ireland (4)
Southern Ireland (4)
as you can see, there are too many places and probably a lot of overlapping. any input into trimming it down would be greatly appreciated. THE MUST HAVES: Rome, London, Paris, Gimmewald (in love with this place), Sognefjord, Cinqque Terre, Florence. I will not budge on these places, they are the main reason I want to travel to Europe.
Travel can be as simple or as complex as you CHOOSE to make it. I prefer simple and so my plan would be to fly to A and see what happens after that. I would stay in A for as long as I needed to see/do what interested me. When I was ready to move on (and not before), I would decide where to go next. I repeat that process until either the maximum time available runs out or the funds available run out. Then I go home.
That method insures that you do not spend too much or too little time in any place you choose to visit. At the same time, it insures you get the maximum possible out of your time available.
If you insist on planning a tour then you can if you want, for planning purposes, use the Rule of 3s to guide you. That says, 'never spend less than 3 full days/4 nights in a place unless it is only an overnight stop between A and B. Note the 3/4 which allows for a travel day between places. People often fail to count travel time. So when you write 2 days in X, in fact it will not be 2 days in X, it will be at best 1.5 days in X and often really only 1 day in X. Also note the 'less than'. Most people would agree that somewhere like London, Paris, Rome, etc. really require more than 3 full days to see much of anything.
There is no prize for the number of places you get to in a given amount of time. What matters is whether you got as much out of each day as possible. Spending 10 full days in each of 7 places can in fact result in getting more out of 70 days than spending 5 days in each of 14 places.
If you use the Rule of 3s as a guideline, then 60 days would allow for 14 places and since you want Rome, London, Paris and Florence for sure, I would add at least 2 more days for each which would reduce the maximum to 12. Then I would settle on 10, go to the first and then play it by ear from there. I might get to all 10, I might only get to 7, I might end up going somewhere not even in the 10 at all.
What I would have is no stress whatsoever over trying to decide where to include and for long long in each place. In travel as in many things, less is more. The less you move the more time you have to see and do things. Keep it simple.
I agree with OldPro that you should reduce the amount of places you plan to visit. With your current itinerary you're going to be exhausted and will get fed up of all the moving around.
Berlin, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting and exciting cities in Europe with lots to see and do, so I'd recommend spending more than 2 days there. I spent 5 days there and didn't cover everything; it's got a great vibe too so I'd surprised if you found 2 days to be enough. I thought Copenhagen in comparison was pretty dull, so I'd reduce your time there or preferably cut it out completely.
I think one day in Milan is enough - there's not much to see and it's not a particularly attractive city - so instead of 3 days there I'd recommend going to Bergamo instead. I went there last year and totally fell in love with it, so much so that I booked a flight back pretty much straight away and visited again 3 months later. It's one of the few hidden gems of Europe and is so much nicer than Milan! (I'm planning another visit this year!).
You could cut Prague down to 2 -3 days, and perhaps cut London down too, just giving yourself enough time to do the main highlights.
As OldPro says, you should give yourself some flexibility and see how you feel when you get to each place; you may like somewhere and want to stay much longer than planned, or not be keen on a place so decide to move on.
Suggest you focus almost exclusively on your top priority ("must have") destinations, then add nearby places if you have time. For example, Siena is near Florence; and is easily accessible by bus.
You don't have enough time to visit the Greek islands. It would be a shame to allocate only five days there. Go from Norway to Scotland and/or England; cross over to France, move to Switzerland, then on to Austria and Italy.
Hopefully you'll have a generous budget, as your "must haves" include some of the most expensive destinations.
Gimmelwald is a beautiful place. But I don't think Gimmewald is, especially if the residents there are constantly thinking of gimme, gimme, gimme!
[ Edit: Edited on 27-Mar-2016, at 19:39 by berner256 ]
Just wanted to support bex76 that Berlin is amazing. Would allocate 3 days for it, but maybe 2 will be enough for you. Nice, that you've listed Munich too, it's another lovely city worth visiting. Hope, you'll enjoy the Bavarian atmosphere
[ Edit: Edited on 06-Apr-2016, at 05:39 by Candice_88 ]
You will not want to spend 3 days in Naples itself, it can be very dangerous and not tourist friendly. My GF and I visited her family there and her Nonna would not let us out the house without her or a family member and you can't take bag out with you.
I would take the train from Rome to Naples (2 hours) €27 euro and get to naples before moving on down the Amalfi Coast. Stay in Naples for a night if you'd like to see Pompeii but not directly accessible from the City itself. Spend time in Sorrento, amazing and stunning only a few hours from Naples!