My wife and I are traveling for the first time to another country...we are from the USA. We are planning a short trip and we want to visit Scotland, Ireland, Rome, and Cinque Terra. Can any of you give any pointers as far as places to stay (we want economical places to stay, don't have much $$$), things that we need to make sure to see, transporation?
I really appreciate your insight...Thanks
[ Edit: Edited on May 5, 2007, at 4:40 PM by jstap ]
Maybe I should clarify what we are planning so far. We are flying into London...we we were thinking about going right away to Edinburgh, We thought about going up to shetland...we thought about staying in scotland for a few days. We thought about a day or two in ireland...maybe Belfast. Then we want to go down to Rome for a few days...then spend a few days in Cinque Terra relaxing before we fly home. We have 2 1/2 weeks to do this.
We want to experience the cultures...see lots of landscape...and just get an overall feel for the places we are visiting. I know we don't have very much time in any of these places. But any ideas on what's the best things to see...best, most economical places to stay, eat....
Since it's your first time overseas, I'm tempted to suggest you pick one or two places to visit and leave the rest for another time. That way, you can really get a feel for each place and make the most of your time. You do seem to have specific cities picked out, though - and if you're flying from one to the next you won't be spending too, too much time in transit.
Belfast is a lovely city. It's nice just to walk around in, and you can take a day trip up to Giant's Causeway and visit Bushmills while you're there. It's also a 2-hour bus ride to Dublin of you can fit that in - or maybe rent a car and just tour the countryside. It's hard to go wrong in Ireland!
For Rome, we booked a reasonable place to stay through Cross-Pollinate, which someone on this site recommended. There's a ton to see in Rome - all the classics are mostly within walking distance of one another. Give yourself the better part of the day (and get in line early) if you're planning to see Vatican City and the museums.
Tuscany has the most beautiful landscapes if you have time to venture out there. Plus Venice is simply breathtaking, although it's a bit of a train ride to get there, and your schedule makes it tight for time.
Enjoy your trip!
About Rome, you could start a day from colosseo station (metro B), walk in the forum until Venezia square, then Via del Corso until Spain suqare (you will see also Colonna square and Montecitorio square).
The second day you could arrive in San Giovanni in Laterano suqare (metro A), take bus n° 87 until Navona square, then visit Pantheon, Fontana di Trevi, Via del Corso until Piazza del Popolo.
The third day you could go to San Pietro square (Ottaviano is the station on metro A) and visit Vatican City.
The ticket for metro and bus costs 1 euro. You can do a trip in metro and in bus for 75 minutes. But you can do only 1 trip in metro for 1 ticket (and then you can get on a bus).
Sorry, maybe you can't understand my English...
However... enjoy your stay!
Thanks alot for these posts. It really helps to get some info. If we were staying in Edinburgh does anyone know of inexpensive but decent places to stay? Also, what kind of day trips can you take from edinburgh? We want to do some outdoors types of things. Are there any mountains to hike up, is there any coastline that we just have to see?
I've been in Edinburgh, but I stayed with a family... However, there are two Hills to hike up: arthur' seat is the best. You could go to the seaside, but it is too cold (well...for me, maybe... ).
On august, it was cold in Edinburgh as on march in Rome
Awesome...do you know how far it is from Edinburgh? How cold is cold?
No, I don't know how far it is...
And about cold... You could see the meteo before you leave!
On august, there was 17 °C...but maybe I have been unlucky!
I can really recommend Edinburgh. I traveled around Scotland back in August with a friend for a week. Scotland one of my favorite countries – there is so much to love!
I only stayed in Edinburgh for 2 days though. It's a lovely city!
You didn't say when you were going there. During August there are tons of festivals in Edinburgh, so make sure you book accommodation in time.
If you are interested in the festivals check out these links.
Edinburgh International Festival
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
If you don't want to spend a whole lot of money on accommodation I can recommend you to stay in a hostel. In Edinburgh I stayed in a place called Edinburgh International It was £23 per night and person. However they only have single bed rooms. It’s located in Old Town with only 2 min away from The Royal Mile.
You can check out these sites for hostels.
There are also plenty of Bed & Breakfasts in Scotland, and they might be a little bit nicer than hostels.
Other useful links:
I also did go on a daytrip (by bus) around Scotland, which was basically a trip to The Highlands and Loch Ness. The trip that I did go to was very hectic though. Most of the time we were stuck in the buss, there were like 3 stops which did not last very long, during the whole trip. The company I went with was http://www.scottishtours.co.uk. However there are many different companies that arrange trips around Scotland.
http://www.haggisadventures.com/ is supposed to be good. I haven’t gone with them though but you could check out their site.
There are many things to do in Scotland, it all depends on what you’re interested in, and what you want to do and see. How many days are you planning on staying there? How are you going to travel around the country? There are tons of beautiful castles (you can even stay in a few), lakes (I went to a place called Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park), the nature is just so beautiful (the highlands is well worth a visit). There's whisky, kilts/tartan, bagpipes, haggis, and hamish cows. You can go fishing, hiking, golfing, or biking. You can visit small villages and towns. If you’re into movies there are a few locations you can visit where films like Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter, Braveheart, Bond, and Monty Phyton have been filmed at. There are tons of things to do.
I can highly recommend you to go to your local library and borrow a few guidebooks. You can also use the sites I provided above. I also think it’s important not to do too much - it’s not necessary to go crazy and see as many things as you can…it’s important to enjoy a few things rather than having a full packed schedule. Sorry this turned out so long - I hope I helped you some, if you have any questions feel free to ask me and I will be happy to help!
[ Edit: Edited on May 8, 2007, at 6:20 PM by sapphire ]
Awesome...do you know how far it is from Edinburgh? How cold is cold?
Portobello Beach is in Edinburgh so only a bus journey through Leith and Seafield. It's a beach but not that great - if you want to visit a beautiful beach get on a First Bus to Gullane Beach which is really really nice. It's on the east coast. For either beach the bus will cost you a pound each way. If you're here in the summer it wont be cold Arthurs Seat is in the middle of Edinburgh and you get great views of Auld Reekie from up there! There's also the Blackford Hills or the Pentlands if you fancy more hiking - and the steps leading from Cockburn Street up to the Royal Mile will provide ample hiking opportunities especially if you've just had a couple of pints in The Malt Shovel which faces the bottom of these steps on Cockburn Street Hope you have fun - let me know if you need anymore advice!