I've been reading through some of the threads, and you guys seem really knowledgeable and helpful, so was hoping you could help me now!
I'm planning an inter-rail trip round Europe in the summer, and have a rough idea of an intinerary (I have a flight booked to Pisa):
Pisa - Rome - Florence - Bologna - Verona - Ljubljana - Split - Dubrovnik - Zagreb - Budapest - Bratislava - Prague - Cesky Krumlov - (Prague) - Berlin - Cologne - Belgium.
I am hoping to spend 4 days in Rome, but only about 2 or 3 days in most other places, possibly more in Prague. I have a friend in Belgium who I will stay with, but I'm not entirely sure where she will be when I get to round there in September.
Does this seem relatively feasible? Is there anywhere that I'm missing out on? I have been thinking about taking an internal flight in Croatia to get from Dubrovnik to Zagreb as I believe the trains aren't too reliable, and flights seem cheap.
Any help would be much appreciated!! Thanks
The cities you are visiting seem a nice mix, but they seem to be rather jumbled and i fear that you would spend more time travelling than actually seeing places.
Firstly, how long are you planning on going for? Also, are you planning on travelling around by train all the time?
Id probably recommend making your way around / down Italy, seeing Pisa, florence, Bologna (really a big industrial city, with not a lot to see), onto Rome and then take a ferry across to Dubrovnik or Split. I did this a few years ago and it was fine.
In croatia, the bus network is the way forward, and the buses between Split and Dubrovnik offer some of the best views around. You can also get the bus up to Zagreb, which is what i did. Zagreb though isnt really that nice, it was meant to be the prague of croatia, but i was really disappointed with it.
From either Split, or Zagreb if you choose to go there, you can go onto Ljubljana, Budapest, Bratislava, cesky krumlov (really cool place to go, though you will only need a couple of days here as not a whole lot to see) and then onto Prague before going to germany and Belgium.
To do all this justice id say youd need at the very least 4 weeks, but ideally 6 or more.
If there is anything else you need, just let me know.
I can see at least one place you are missing out and that is Venice. I think if you are going to visit Rome and Florence you might as well add a day in Venice at least maybe arrive early morning and depart late the following afternoon so you have one and a half days.
Apart from the leaning tower of Pisa it has nothing at all worth seeing and even the leaning tower is a big dissapointment and very expensive to go inside. I think assuming you don't arrive late at night, you should look at going to either Florence or Venice the same day you arrive in Pisa because it is hardly even worth a stop.
On one of my trips to Italy I started in Rome went Florence-Pisa-Florence and then the next day got the earliest train to Venice and then the following day I got the latest train back to Rome. I felt that that was just enough time in Venice but maybe 2 full days would have been a little better to not have to rush around so much.
When in Belgium you should definitely go to Bruges if you are going to include Cesky Krumlov.
Have a great trip.
Have you considered visiting Vienna instead of Bratislava? Bratislava is a nice place certainly, but to me it can't really compare to Vienna which is one of the most enjoyable cities in Europe in my opinion. The two cities are very close together so if you wanted to visit Bratislava it can be done as a daytrip very easily. Vienna is also probably a bit more practical as far as trains are concerned. Obviously it depends on your interests, but just throwing an option out there.
Cheer for the help so far.
I had thought about Venice, but people I know who have been there have all said the same thing: it stinks, is ridiculously busy and they didn't enjoy being there at all. Having said all that, it would be good to see and judge for myself.
I'll probably be away for 5 - 6 weeks. I do take your point Nickla about travelling too much. Guess I just wanted to fit loads in! I have been thinking about taking some internal flights as well as trains. I probably will go for the buses in Croatia too.
I get into Pisa around mid-day, wasn't thinking about spending too much time there. I wasn't sure if I would have enough time to see the Leaning Tower, and also head to Rome without tiring myself out. Also, I didn't want to arrive in Rome late at night. My main problem with staying overnight at the moment seems to be the lack of budget accommodation available in Pisa, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
just one tip: try to make a list in the order you want to visit the cities, and add to every city the number of nights you want to stay.
After that check the ways to get there, good tools are the website of DB: www.bahn.de (trains) and www.flightassistent.com (budgetflights).
Once you've done that it's easier to give an opinion, on your trip, and to give you advise on things to do, and possible daytrips.
Yeah, 2 or 3 days is OK, for most places.
And spending 4 or more days in some locations will give u some rest and relaxation. Long term travelling can be wearing. Of course there are many places u are missing out on. There always would be, no matter how much time u have.
Sleep on night trains, when the journeys are long enough, to save time and money. But be careful, on night trians, in some places, because of thieves.