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How much is too much?

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11. Posted by Peter (Admin 5809 posts) 11y

I would recommend Budapest as another great city, probably my favourite (that I've been to) in all of Europe. I don't think you need 5 days in Prague. I was pretty much over it after 3 days. But it is a beautiful city and well worth visiting. And it's true, it is impossible to see everything in two months! In fact, you'll barely scratch the surface

12. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 11y

What happened to Scandinavia? At least Copenhagen! Not interested at all?

//Susanna

13. Posted by wplemon35 (Full Member 45 posts) 11y

I was trying to break up Europe in to managable bite sizes.

See map here >>>http://www.spymac.com/gallery/show_photo.php?picid=441818&size=big

This is just a rough idea

14. Posted by angela_ (Respected Member 1732 posts) 11y

You really don't have to stay a night in Monaco.. It's really, really expensive and not really much to do there. I would just recommend a day trip there from Marseille or something.. Well manageable.

15. Posted by wplemon35 (Full Member 45 posts) 11y

Quoting angela_

You really don't have to stay a night in Monaco.. It's really, really expensive and not really much to do there. I would just recommend a day trip there from Marseille or something.. Well manageable.

Sounds like good advice

16. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 11y

If it's the first time you've been to Europe and don't mind a fast trip, then this might be an acceptable list. IMHO, do a quick stop in Bordeaux, Monaco, and Brussels but don't stay too long. On the other hand, there's so much to see in Europe that 30 days really isn't enough to really digest it all. You can easily spend a week in both London and Paris alone. And while I say "keep Monaco short", Nice, Cannes and the French riveria are near by. That's several days of good exploring right there. You're also missing out on Tuscany, Rome and Greece. Which is an essential part of any good tour of Europe in my mind. I've probably given you more questions than answers, sorry.

Good luck. What ever you decide it'll be good!!

17. Posted by moonschein (Budding Member 41 posts) 11y

you mentioned "what you can afford," so here is my honest opinion: land in london, then get to Europe. London is an amazing city, but ridiculously expensive esp. while the dollar is already weak. from the states, "hopping the pond" is reasonable esp. if you get your timing right, from NY you could have a long weekend trip to london or paris pretty cheaply including hotel. on certain travel sites you can even find good rates for Prague!

for this exploratory trip I'd recommend getting to the backpacker haunts that are harder to get to from the states, and that you appreciate more when you're younger and sleeping on benches is still an exciting novelty...

you also mentioned putting it into blocks; not to say "hold off for another trip" b/c maybe you realistically can't forsee another trip soon. But consider tackling a region at a time; for this trip, don't worry about eastern europe or Italy, they each deserve their own month! Spain is easy to see a lot on a little money, whereas Northern Europe is very expensive, esp. travel-wise.

Also remember most Europeans head South during July and August, so accomodations at hostels in Spain and France fill up fast.

18. Posted by wplemon35 (Full Member 45 posts) 11y

Quoting moonschein

you mentioned "what you can afford," so here is my honest opinion: land in london, then get to Europe. London is an amazing city, but ridiculously expensive esp. while the dollar is already weak. from the states, "hopping the pond" is reasonable esp. if you get your timing right, from NY you could have a long weekend trip to london or paris pretty cheaply including hotel. on certain travel sites you can even find good rates for Prague!

I found a flight to London from Philadelphia for $565.55 (USD) {round trip, no hotel}

for this exploratory trip I'd recommend getting to the backpacker haunts that are harder to get to from the states, and that you appreciate more when you're younger and sleeping on benches is still an exciting novelty...

So you are saying I should try the sleeping on park benches and in Metro stations route of accommodations? That was one of my idea for saving money, but we'll see....

you also mentioned putting it into blocks; not to say "hold off for another trip" b/c maybe you realistically can't forsee another trip soon. But consider tackling a region at a time; for this trip, don't worry about eastern europe or Italy, they each deserve their own month! Spain is easy to see a lot on a little money, whereas Northern Europe is very expensive, esp. travel-wise.

That is exactly how I broke the continent up. Central Europe (france, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, plus London Barcelona and Northern Italy), The Mediterranean countries, Eastern Europe, and Northern Europe. See this link for a better idea http://www.spymac.com/gallery/show_photo.php?picid=441818

19. Posted by wplemon35 (Full Member 45 posts) 11y

Thanks for all the advice keepm it coming. I should have a tenative calendar soon.

20. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y

London (a must as we land here), Paris, Bordeaux, Barcelona, Marseille, Monaco, Lyon, Geneva, Bern, Zurich, Milan, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Brussels.

Not much time to answer properly as on the road, but here's a bit:

Agree with whoever said not too plan too much. You will change you ideas on the road by talking to locals and otehr tourists, ameeting people in hostels etc. Some places you'll love and stay longer, otehrs you won't and will leave ealier.

Accom to save money - Join www.couchsurfing.com &/or www.hospitalityclub.net. You get the bonus of meeting some locals as well, although don't go solely through them as you then miss out on the real hostel experience which can be great.

That is exactly how I broke the continent up. Central Europe (france, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, plus London Barcelona and Northern Italy), The Mediterranean countries, Eastern Europe, and Northern Europe.

In which case and your leaving the Med until later, dump Barcelona (an utterly amaing place, but awkward-ish to get to from Bordeaux, so you waste time), and Northern Italy and add then to your Med trip.

Of the places you list, i've been to all of them at least 3 or 4 times, so in a nutshell:

  • Bordeaux is ok, but i think Bayonne?Biarritz further south are more interesting
  • Marseille ditto. It's an interesting place, but not really touristy (if thats what your looking for). The Cote d'Azur is a better bet.
  • Monaco is only worth staying the night if you suss free accom. If not, stay in Nice (20mins away)
  • I personally love Lyon, so wouldn't suggest dropping it as some do.
  • Why the feck have you listed 3 Swiss cities, when by far the best thing about the country is the landscape and Alps???? DO NOT ignore it! The cities are all fine (Zurich and bern good, i personally dislike Geneva), but places like Gimmlewald, Interlaken, Luzern and the whole Bernese overland plus Zermatt, St. Moritz etc will give alot more variety to your trip and are amongst the European highlights.
  • theres not a whole lot to see/do in Milan unless you have huge amounts of money and are into fashion. There's nothing wrong with it, but you can do better (assuming you don't leave it to a later trip)
  • Frankfurt is more of a business than seeing city, whilst Stuttgart and Hamburg are both fine (i like both) without being touristy and can be dropped. Hamburg would be relatively easy to add to a Northern European trip later on if required. Agree that somewhere like Heidelberg would be a good addition. Rothenberg &/or Regensberg are other Southern German options. Black Forest area is stunning, but hard to get around worthwhile without a car. Dresden could be an option.

In addition, agree that Bruges is worth adding, and to your existing route i would also suggest adding Salzburg (take the day train between Zurich and Salzburg - or Vienna if you choose - for the scenery), and if you have time, Ceske Krumlov or Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic on your way to/from Prague. It would also be a shame if Amsterdam was the only Dutch place you saw (as most do) as the country has some lovely smaller cities which are barely visited due to Amsterdam's reputation and alure.

If you do drop Frankfurt, Stuttgart and leave Northern Italy to later, i would suggest a route change as well. From Switzerland, go to Munich/Bavaria (via Lindau, possibly for a short stop if weatehr good) and then Salzburg, Wien, (Ceske Krumlov), Praha and Berlin. If travelling by train, this will save you a chunk of time and be much more logical with regards to schedules.

Sorry, no time for anything else right now.
Good luck