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Planning to travel europe alone. Help please.

Travel Forums Europe Planning to travel europe alone. Help please.

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1. Posted by Zak Holmes (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

Hey. Im planning on travelling europe on my own pretty soon but i have never traveled a different country completly alone before so i have a few questions.

I've heard of train tickets that can take you all round europe. How much are these and are they really worth it. I figuer most of the traveling i will be doing will be via train so this does sound like a good option at the moment.
Im not looking at staying in 5 star hotels or anything like that but i dont want to sleep in a hell hole, how good are the hostels in europe and what are the prices like.
I wont to travel to maybe 10 different cities in about 6 countrys and look aroud the museams and take in some of the culture, maybe a day trip or two aswell. what size budget would you recomend and what kind of timescale.
Finaly anywhere you think would be unmisable to see?

Thanks for your help guys.

2. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 8y

Hi Zak

Firstly, I'm assuming you're from the US, in which case you're probably talking about Eurail passes - prices on the website.

Hostels in Europe have generally improved quite alot over the past 15 years and are now mostly of a good standard - I find that a room in a hostel, as opposed to a dorm, is often preferable to a bargain hotel room. There are still some dodgy places though - best to ask for tips on this site when you know exactly where you want to go.

If you're interested in historical and cultural stuff, Italy is my top choice. Visiting Rome and Pompeii are absolute musts, and think about including Florence, Venice and Verona as well.

Paris is my top choice for art - my favourite is the Musee D'Orsay, but the Louvre and a host of smaller museums are also well worth visiting. Paris is mostly a lovely city too with lots of interesting things to see. Other historical cities in France I visited last year and really enjoyed were Avignon and Carcassonne.

London - naturally - great for museums - the British Museum (with all the historical stuff we nicked from our former colonies), the Tate Modern, the Victoria and Albert, the Science Museum, blah blah blah - and always Theatre stuff and music on too, so good from a cultural point of view. London is only 3 hours from Paris by train because of the high speed link so its dead easy to get between the two.

Europe is expensive to travel around. I would say $60USD as an absolute bare minumum, particularly if you are mainly visiting the larger cities (which tend to be more expensive).

Hope this starts to give you an Idea, feel free to PM me if you would like any specific info on anything...

Edited so that it made sense

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 31, 2008, at 9:58 AM by magykal1 ]

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 8y

Let me add the Catacombs in Paris (as well as the Cemeteries) plus maybe a trip to Brussels and Brugge. I also second Venice - it's so beautiful and unique. You won't see anything like it anywhere else.

4. Posted by alsalis (Full Member 63 posts) 8y

My favourite cities in Europe would have to be Rome, which has to be unmissable on a European trip and Prague

5. Posted by kowabungah (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

Honestly i don't think the Eurorail passes are worth it. When we were traveling to most of the big cities we were able to get cheaper bus and plane fares. I guess it depends on where you want to go in what order. There is also this company called Busabout which hits all the main cities in Europe.. I think if I had traveled alone I might have considered this because it seems like you can meet other travelers easily.

All of the hostels I stayed at were pretty nice, just look at the reviews on Hostel World and use your own judgment. If you book a place for one night and decide you don't like it, move to another hostel.

I would give a timescale of 2-3 months but since sometimes that unrealistic, I wouldn't try to rush myself. When I went we would arrive somewhere, scope it out, if nothing particularly interested us or we saw the "tourist attractions" then we would go to the next city. I guess most Europeans think this is "the American way" of traveling. Trying to see everything in three weeks. It depends on what type of person you are and what you want to get out of traveling. I don't think you can see a culture in just a few days.. not even in a few weeks.. so... you have to decide that for yourself. As far as budget, I've heard stories of people traveling for maybe a month on 1,000 or less. All over. So, again it depends on the luxuries you want.

Prague... is indescribable.

Sometimes you'll just figure things out along the way.
Good luck.

6. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Some general rules for time frames:

  • For major cities like Berlin, Paris, Rome, etc you need to plan on 5 days there.
  • In order to see a certain country you need to plan on 2-4 weeks depending upon size and geographical variety.

Your 10 cities in 6 countries thus call for roughly 1 1/2 to 3 months of travel.

Budget should be 50 EUR (70 USD) per day. You'll need 4000 to 7000 USD for this trip, depending upon length and season. This includes the cheapest available flight tickets across the Atlantic.

Typical price for a hostel bed is between 15 to 25 EUR, more in cities like Paris or London.

7. Posted by Zak Holmes (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

Cheers for the advice guys. Just to say that im from just outside london so travelling to 'mainland' europe wont be to difficult. I've decided to narrow it down to Amsterdam (as i've been there before but only for about 18 hours and wont to see more), Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and one more place which i cant decide on yet. Im thinking of either pruage, venice or berlin. Not sure which.

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

If you are a Brit then what's the hurry... Your plan sounds like the typical American once-in-a-lifetime Europe in 15 days whirlwind tour... Slow down a bit, all these cities will still be there for you in the future.

If you focus on 1-3 countries visiting more than one city in one country you'll reduce the money you'll need to spend on transport and have more time to get to know a certain country. The cities won't blend as much and (unlike some other people I met) you won't place Brandenburg Gate in Paris after your trip.

If you are set on Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid you could focus on France, Spain and the Netherlands. Maybe add Belgium with Brussels and Brugge. In this case you could consider catching a Ryanair flight to Morocco and then travel back to London overland by bus, ferry and train. (You're going to have the trip of a lifetime if you do this, guaranteed.)

http://lexicorient.com/morocco/index.htm
http://lexicorient.com/spain/index.htm

The reason I did not include Rome in the above trip is that Italy deserves a trip of its own. Places that are a must in Italy are Palermo, Catania, Naples and the Amalfi Coast, Rome, Florence and Tuscany and Venice. It would be a true shame to go to Rome and not visit the other cities I mentioned.

9. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 8y

haha.. I guess you won't be visiting London as part of your trip then... :)

10. Posted by rdmalta (Budding Member 12 posts) 8y

if you're in Barcelona visit Montserrat. If you'ere in FLorence go to San Gimignano, Siena. You can squezze these in a day. ANd they are simply beautiful.