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1st time backpacker to europe for 2 months! ineed your help!

Travel Forums Europe 1st time backpacker to europe for 2 months! ineed your help!

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11. Posted by iamjordan (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

thank you so much for your advice. i've considered intercontinental flights, but after doing some research i think that i'm going to settle with the eurorail youth flexi pass 15 rides in 2 months (even though i'll have to pay supplements.) i've thought a lot about the places that are must-sees (even though some aren't the cheapest) and i've narrowed down my itinerary to this:

reykjavik- 5 days (layover flight from icelandair.com)
london- 4 days
amsterdam- 4 days
paris- 5 days
barcelona- 4 days
nice, france- 3 days
florence- 3 days
rome- 5 days
split, croatia- 3 days (ferry ride, possibly? is plane/train ride worth it?)
budapest- 3 days
vienna- 3 days
cesky krumlov, czech republic-3 days
prague-3 days
berlin- 3 days
copenhagen- 4 days
stockholm-4 days

with the plane ticket, rail ticket, and equipment costs already taken care of, I will have a remaining 4000$ to spend while I am there. is my itinerary a bit more realistic now? i have only left the capital cities that i am really interested in seeing and have cut a few destinations from my original itinerary and added some new ones. please let me know what you think.

Though I am only spending a short time in each city, I feel that while i'm young (and can still hit up my parents for a bit of money) I should see as many places as possible, then when I am more limited on money I will spend more time in one country such as italy or spain.

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 16, 2007, at 8:59 PM by iamjordan ]

12. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

I personally couldn't think of much worse than spending 4 days in Amsterdam. If you are keen on trying any illegal substance known to man and getting stoned out of your mind, then it may be alright, but even then I think 4 days is too long given your style of trip. If you want any chance at all of getting sleep, be sure to stay in a dorm with a small amount of beds, because the one I stayed at one called Anna's Youth Hostel and that had something like 20 beds in the one room. With Amsetdram being known for drugs and prostitution, you'll undoubtedly have the same thing I did with morons who tried drugs and were giggling at nothing being said for a good 5 hours straight. At least if you stayed in a smaller dorm, you'll have less chance of having that same experience.

I think a better option for your trip may be to take one day off Amsterdam and add that to your Italy section to fit a quick trip to Venice in. I was there for 1 and a half days (2 x 3/4 days) and I feel I got a reasonable taste of Venice which is defitely worth seeing more than Amsetdram in my view. One thing you definitely have to factor in to with your days in all these places is the travel time between them, because I can recall when I was in Oslo, this woman was doing something like your trip and was heading to Copenhagen which on the map doesn't look too far. It was going to take something like 10 hours for that distance that my flight was going to take 40 minutes for. Sometimes you might be able to get overnight trains which would allow you to use your time more effectively. I tried to get trains that would allow me to either arrive before 9.00am or not much after or get early morning/late night flights to make sure I had a full day of seeing a city so I didn't waste much daylight time.

Your new itinerary certainly looks a lot more do able but whatever the case is you'll be needing to be up early every day if you want to see places relatively well. My days were normally consisting of at least 12 hours of walking when I did my first trip to Europe which was of a very similar nature to yours.

One thing I might add for your sake is when you go to Prague, DO NOT stay at a place near Florenc Station. Down near that station is the most horrific hotel (which has hostel in it's business name) you would ever hope or dream about seeing. I think sleeping in a pigs pen or horse pen that hasn't been cleaned would be about as enjoyable (and of a similar hygenic standard). The bathrooms and toilets which look more like a toxic waste station, were nasty and that is describing it in the nicest way possible! The showers were meant to have white tiles on the walls, but they were black from mold which hadn't been cleaned for what seemed like 100 years and the toilets were inoperable filled with a mixture of toilet paper and sewerage up to almost the smashed seat rims and even had spilled out on the floor through the smashed sewerage pipes. Even getting in to the bathroom is a danger of going falling through the huge hole in the floor right in the middle of the doorway without any warning sign. That's just the bathrooms and the rooms aren't of a much better standard! I didn't write the name of the hotel in my diary, but I wrote the name of the train station it was near down. You'll know if you enter it, because the reception is covered with metal bars that resemble the bars on prison cells where you pass your money through. So avoid that place at all costs unless you want to lay claim to staying in what must be the most inhumane hotel in the world!

Hope you have a great trip

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 17, 2007, at 6:19 AM by aharrold45 ]

13. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 9y

[quote=aharrold45]I personally couldn't think of much worse than spending 4 days in Amsterdam. If you are keen on trying any illegal substance known to man and getting stoned out of your mind, then it may be alright, but even then I think 4 days is too long given your style of trip. With Amsetdram being known for drugs and prostitution, you'll undoubtedly have the same thing I did with morons who tried drugs and were giggling at nothing being said for a good 5 hours straight.

Well I couldnt disagree with that more. Amsterdam is a fantastic city with so much to do. It is very small so you can just wander around on foot. It is a beautiful place and I highly recommend it.

If you are keen on trying any illegal substance known to man and getting stoned out of your mind

This sentence is just plain wrong. The ONLY drug that is tollerated in amsterdam is Marjuana and Mushrooms (only fresh mushrooms, not dried ones). So if you go to the coffee shops then of course you can have a spliff, what is wrong with that?

With Amsetdram being known for drugs and prostitution

Prostitution is also legal but only in certain designated areas. If you dont go to the red light district then you wont see any prostitution. Making brothels legal has done a good job of keeping the girls off the streets so that both they and the punters and the general public are safer.

I also dont think many people from amsterdam would agree that amsterdam is only known for its drugs and prostitutes.

You will love amsterdam, and it sounds like your whole trip is going to be great, I hope you enjoy it! :)[i]

14. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

Quoting bwiiian

If you are keen on trying any illegal substance known to man and getting stoned out of your mind

This sentence is just plain wrong. The ONLY drug that is tollerated in amsterdam is Marjuana and Mushrooms (only fresh mushrooms, not dried ones). So if you go to the coffee shops then of course you can have a spliff, what is wrong with that?[i]

This may be the case that it is what is tollerated, but it isn't all that is available, I got offer coke(cocaine), x(extacy), marajuana (loads of times) and mushrooms (on regular occasions) and all of this was before Ice was the in drug, so undoubtedly that'll be there in large quantities as well now. If you enjoy taking drugs or are willing to risk being hospitalised from experimenting then sure Amsterdam would be much better. I don't know if you went to the same Amsterdam that I did, but the Redlight district covered most the main part of town where the backpacker type travellers stay. It was definitely an eye opener with all the gorgeous woman and some not so gorgeous women in almost no clothes in their little booths with the redlight above the door, but unless you were in to trying the drugs I can't see how you can say Amsterdam was enjoyable, but each to their own.

What you said about the locals wouldn't agree, well that is kind of like saying that the locals in Los Angeles wouldn't agree that overall it is a pretty dangerous city. A lot probably wouldn't, but if you go there as a tourist by yourself as a whole you'd most likely say you felt unsafe in many areas. Tourists see things a lot differently to the way locals do, locals see it in a bias way, otherwise they wouldn't live there when they have many other places to stay. I reckon if you were in your early 20's when you went there, stayed at the same hostel I did and you weren't experimenting with the drugs, your views on Amsterdam would be very much like mine, because at your age even though you aren't old, you will get hasselled a lot less than a young person (the general picture of people willing to try drugs who aren't drug addicts).

15. Posted by durexxx (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

Why do you skip Belgium on your trip?
If you're going from Amsterdam to Paris you pass through it.
You can as well spend one or two days in there, there is a lot to be seen.
Belgium has very nice cities with great midieval architecture.
try Ghent, you get there easily by train and it's not that expensive.

16. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 9y

Quoting aharrold45

Quoting bwiiian

If you are keen on trying any illegal substance known to man and getting stoned out of your mind

This sentence is just plain wrong. The ONLY drug that is tollerated in amsterdam is Marjuana and Mushrooms (only fresh mushrooms, not dried ones). So if you go to the coffee shops then of course you can have a spliff, what is wrong with that?[i]

This may be the case that it is what is tollerated, but it isn't all that is available, I got offer coke(cocaine), x(extacy), marajuana (loads of times) and mushrooms (on regular occasions) and all of this was before Ice was the in drug, so undoubtedly that'll be there in large quantities as well now. If you enjoy taking drugs or are willing to risk being hospitalised from experimenting then sure Amsterdam would be much better. I don't know if you went to the same Amsterdam that I did, but the Redlight district covered most the main part of town where the backpacker type travellers stay. It was definitely an eye opener with all the gorgeous woman and some not so gorgeous women in almost no clothes in their little booths with the redlight above the door, but unless you were in to trying the drugs I can't see how you can say Amsterdam was enjoyable, but each to their own.

What you said about the locals wouldn't agree, well that is kind of like saying that the locals in Los Angeles wouldn't agree that overall it is a pretty dangerous city. A lot probably wouldn't, but if you go there as a tourist by yourself as a whole you'd most likely say you felt unsafe in many areas. Tourists see things a lot differently to the way locals do, locals see it in a bias way, otherwise they wouldn't live there when they have many other places to stay. I reckon if you were in your early 20's when you went there, stayed at the same hostel I did and you weren't experimenting with the drugs, your views on Amsterdam would be very much like mine, because at your age even though you aren't old, you will get hasselled a lot less than a young person (the general picture of people willing to try drugs who aren't drug addicts).

Well I am 38 and I have been going to Amsterdam for many many years about 6 times a year for both work and holidays so I probably know a bit more about it than you. I am sorry you had a bad experience but that happens i suppose. The Red Light District is just one area of amsterdam out of many, it is one of the main areas but not THE main area. Backpackers either go there or Leidseplein or in the main city centre. Of course if you walk about the RLD you will get people offering you drugs, you do in every big city, but you have to be pretty stupid to buy drugs on the streets from someone you dont know as a tourist. I don't know how long ago you went but Amsterdam does not have so many pushers on the streets now as it used to anyway.
Most people in their early 20's staying in hostels will expect to have to put up with a bit of noise and will probably join in!!!!

17. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

Quoting bwiiian

Well I am 38 and I have been going to Amsterdam for many many years about 6 times a year for both work and holidays so I probably know a bit more about it than you. I am sorry you had a bad experience but that happens i suppose. The Red Light District is just one area of amsterdam out of many, it is one of the main areas but not THE main area. Backpackers either go there or Leidseplein or in the main city centre. Of course if you walk about the RLD you will get people offering you drugs, you do in every big city, but you have to be pretty stupid to buy drugs on the streets from someone you dont know as a tourist. I don't know how long ago you went but Amsterdam does not have so many pushers on the streets now as it used to anyway.
Most people in their early 20's staying in hostels will expect to have to put up with a bit of noise and will probably join in!!!!

I don't doubt for one second that you know a hell of a lot more about Amsterdam than I do, but I am just going on what I saw and experienced in my brief stay in 2005 when I was there on a very similar style European trip to the one iamjordan is planning. If you have a room to yourself in Amsterdam it would be a lot better if you don't want to try the drugs, but the accommodation I had there made my time in Amsterdam a lot less enjoyable. Being from a place where I've never been offered any illegal drugs not even marijuana in the 26 years I've lived here, the fact I was asked regularly if I wanted drugs didn't make me like the place much. The hostel I stayed at even had the police come because they suspected it of having something to do with the dealers that hang about only metres from there.

I think that the young people ie 18-26y/o if they posess the "I'll try anything once and if it doesn't kill me that's a bonus" attitude like many 18 y/o's, they probably wouldn't care about buying from street dealers because a lot of 18-21 y/o don't even think until it is to late. Mid aged people generally are a lot more street savy and more careful by doing the things like you mention.

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 20, 2007, at 5:49 AM by aharrold45 ]

18. Posted by stuthkfl (Budding Member 115 posts) 9y

Reyjavik, iceland unnecessary and expensive
London, England
Paris, France
Barcelona, Spain
Marseille, France don't forget cannes and monaco! ;)
Rome, Italy
Venice, Italy
Zagreb, Croatia unnecessary but cheap, however Slovenia will be cheap as well and more worth to see I think! ;)
Budapest, Hungary unnecessary but cheap
Vienna, Austria
Bern, Switzerland don't forget to get on glacier express! if you have eurail pass of course, still you need to pay supplements, otherwise switzerand is unnecessary and expensive too
Prague, Czech Republic
Berlin, Germany
Copenhagen, Denmark unnecessary and expensive
Oslo, Norway unnecessary and expensive
Stockholm Sweden
I'd definetely choose only Stockholm to see the Scandinavian lifestyle, others are exactly the same but Stockholm always better with its nature. ;)
add Florence, Athens, Istanbul, Seville...

well I didn't read all messages in here! have a nice trip!

19. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

To contribute to the Amsterdam discussion:

I don't do drugs and I am not interested in prostitutes, yet I did enjoy my 4 days in Amsterdam and wish I could have stayed longer. Amsterdam really is a beautiful city, the museums alone are worth going there. (I'm an art and history freak, btw.) So no, 4 days in Amsterdam are fine.

But, that needs to be said, I also agree with cutting off a day off Amsterdam in order to see Venice. Both options have things going for them, and whatever you do it will be worth it.

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