Hey everyone. I'm hoping to do a trip this summer (early July) to Europe. I'm hoping to go to Pamplona, Spain to participate in the Human Race (a protest against the Bull Fights). I can get a cheap flight to London and PETA will bus me to Spain. I was thinking of getting a Eurail pass and doing a tour across many countries- Spain, to France, Northern Italy, Switzerland(Geneva), and hopefully as far as Czech (Prague) and maybe Vienna/Bratislava on the way, and back to Paris. I would really like to see some of these places, but am wondering is it worth it to do this much travelling on a trip that will be VERY MAX of 3 weeks (maybe only 2)? Should I stick to just one or two countries? (I've already briefly visited Paris, Riviera, Florence and Rome). Also how long do some of these train rides take? Any input would be greatly appreciated!
That is a really long bus ride from London to Pamplona. I would save time by getting a flight on Ryan Air to someplace closer and then taking a local train. You can get a flight from Standsted to Zaragoza for about 40 dollars. Then take the regional train, only 1 or 2 a day, but really cheap and pretty comfortable up to Pamplona.
I would concentrate your trip on a few locations. For 2 weeks, just 3 or 4 places. It depends on you travel connections. If you can sleep on the train for the longer trip, that is a great option. Make a reservation for a bunk first if you buy the eurorail pass or you will be sleeping on the floor if the train fills up. For shorter trips the bus is a good option. Northern Spain is beautiful and from there you could head back north through France if you have to catch your plane home in London. You can see more if you pack light and hit smaller places, but you will want to plan your departure when you arrive in case there is only one train or bus per day.
Look at the rail connections and times before you decide to go too far out of your way, and try to take advantage for night trains.
I would say that if you could make it to Switzerland you won't regret it as it's by far my favourite country to travel to. I'm not so big on Geneva though as Bern's more my cup of tea, but it depends on what you're looking for. Bern is very quiet, quite small, but very beautiful, Zurich is more of a big city affair and Geneva is a bit like the French Riviera with lots of flashy rich boys running around. I really like Luzern too, lots of museums and very pretty and also the Lauterbrunnen valley is beautiful. Anyway enough rambling! I really love Switzerland so I'd say if you had the time it's worth a visit.
Hey thanks for the advice... I really would like to see Switzerland. I have a friend in Basel at the "tri-border", any experience in that part of the country? OH and thanks for the warning- i do like to avoid the flashy rich boys.. kind of an ego crusher I have to say. haha jk. Any idea on how long it takes to take the train between Swiss cities... and even between other European cities (ie Paris- Basel) Thanks
I think it is personl style that dictates if u want to see as much as possible in a short period of time, or if u want to see a few places in lots of detail. I personally prefer the see as much as possible option, as, if u like somewhere you can always re visit it at a later date. I like to think of it as a taster course
For train info use http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en?ld=212.63&newrequest=yes& I find that its really useful for train travel throughout EUrope and will give u train times and lengths of journeys,
see one or two countries - 3 weeks is not much - u can always go back and see more later.
I would seriously suggest that with 3 weeks you pick some highlights and enjoy them. Otherwise all you'll do is be able to do is say you saw railway stations. Nearly every city in Europe could do with 3 weeks on its own.
I would seriously suggest you pick just 7 cities, maximum, an spend a couple of days in each. Cities that are seriously worth a visit would include Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon, London, Edinburgh, Rome, Venice and the list would go on and on.
Have an amazing time.
thanks jason, i'm now thinking definitely paris and barcelona... kind of want to get to Switzerland to see a friend in Basel, though there are other places i'd like to see... hmm. Could be as short as two weeks... well thanks for the input.