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first trip to Europe and no idea where to start

Travel Forums Europe first trip to Europe and no idea where to start

1. Posted by scpattn1 (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

I am getting the opportunity to study in Eichstaett for nearly a month (3 and a half weeks). Since I've never been to Europe or out of the country by myself I decided I should leave early and possibly stay a little later to hang out and check out the sites. And because I've never been out of the states by myself before I'm also a bit lost on where to even start planning. Anything you want to suggest or advise would be very welcome. I'm a little nervous about being a female on my own especially since I plan on staying in hostels. That won't be a problem though will it? I'm up for just about anything and I'll be leaving after June 10th. My program in Bavaria is July 14th through August 8th. I want to make this an amazing trip and I know you guys are the people to ask. Thanks in advance!

2. Posted by vickim (Full Member 125 posts) 8y

Why don't you start with www.busabout.com

It is a Hop-on-Hop-off bus network in Europe. If you are worried about your safety you can actually be tracked if you decide to use their hostels. If you want to do your own thing, Busabout will at least show you the hotspots they hit. That should be a starting point.

Europe is pretty diverse so you should decide first what you are interested in: art, landscapes, beaches, party places etc. It's pretty hard for anyone to suggest something becuase everything is good...depends what you are looking for.

Let's Go Europe is a great book for suggested itineraries and tips.

If you plan ahed you can book hostels on various sites. I like www.hostelworld.com
I would suggest book ahead. The last thing you want to do is carry your bags around looking for a bed.

Hostels are perfectly safe. I think they are actually more safe than a hotel if you are travelling alone. You aren't by yourself in a room...plus you get to socialize. It can get lonely if you spend day and night alone.

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

Quoting scpattn1

I am getting the opportunity to study in Eichstaett for nearly a month (3 and a half weeks).

I had to do a google search to confirm that yes indeed, there really is a university in Eichstaett. Eichstaett is a really small town with only 14.000 inhabitants and according to wikipedia it is the smallest town with a university in all of Europe.

But I think you'll like it, it is beautifully located in Bavaria. It is not far to München, Nürnberg, Augsburg and Regensburg - you can and should do weekend trips by train to these cities.

BTW, Eichstaett celebrates the 1100 year anniversary of being given the right to hold a market this year. There will lots of local festivities.

The city is also located at one of the cycling paths in Germany. If you get a chance, get yourself a bicycle, some panniers and do a few weekend cycling tours on this route. (3 months will fly like nothing.)

http://www.altmuehlradweg.de/
http://www.bayerninfo.de/

Thats it so far on Eichstätt. I assume the university will arrange for accomodation?

As for the rest of your trip, I would get my hands on a good guidebook and use it. Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Let's Go are good for what you intend to do. Problem is - how much can you reasonably cover with your time frame and budget? Tell us please: How much time do you have for travelling before and after your trip? Which city will you be flying into? Munich, Frankfurt or ...? What is your budget? You need to plan on bringing 75 USD for every day you intend to travel before and after your exchange, so that is kinda limiting.

Any cities or places in Europe you've got your heart set on?

4. Posted by scpattn1 (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Thanks for the advice so far!

I'm really into getting the best and most real experience about a place and trying to live like a local while I'm there.
I'm into art, music, and beaches. I'm a photographer/artist of sorts with quite a few quirks and interests. I'm not a big partier so I don't think it would be in my nature to go out every night but a few here and there never hurts :).

As for time for travel I'm not sure when I should leave in June...I was basing this on various activities going on in Europe. I was thinking about leaving around the 11th or 12th of june and flying into London first. So I'd have a little over a month to travel around before having to be in Eichstaett for the program. I have to be back in the U.S. for my own fall semester by August 25th or so. So all in all I'm fexible and it depends on money more than anything I would guess.

You guessed right t_maia, I payed money for tuition and room and board. There are two dinners provided (banquets), our rooms are hotel style with a roomate, and we have traditional German breakfasts provided for us every morning. Lunch and most dinners are on us when we are there.

I'm considering going to school in the UK after I graduate undergrad here so I want to travel around England, Scotland, and Wales deff. Ireland, my sister is going to be in Spain for a short time so I might meet up with her and another friend will be in southern France on a study abroad trip so I might go to the beach with her while I'm over on a weekend. I would love to go to Italy for a small while too but obviously I'm going to have to narrow this all down. I'm also looking at some music festivals in Belgium. Any countries or cities that I just shouldn't pass up while I'm there?

I'm deff. going to see about doing weekend trips to those cities while in Eichstaett.

5. Posted by delacroix (Budding Member 38 posts) 8y

I want to hang around in the Uk for a while around your date of arrival to London.. If you are not taking a direct plane from London to Germany, we cound company each other for a week maybe so.. I have had enough of the London area myself, but I'll be glad to show you around as much as I can, including London..

Please reach me via message so we'll try to set up an Initary if we can.
xx

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

Don't know whether you are still around and reading this, but best way to do trips to Munich, Augsburg, etc is by using Bayern-Ticket.

Buy the ticket at the vending machine for 19 EUR and you get a day of unlimited travel on regional trains all over Bavaria.

As for flying, fly out as early as possible. The earlier the cheaper the flight.

Ireland and the UK are very expensive to travel in, better bring at least 100 USD per day.

For a combined Ireland and UK trip you'll need at least 4 weeks to see everything properly.

For cheap flights within Europe use www.skyscanner.net . Book soon, July/August is the high season. Flights going north-south in July will be completely sold out by late June.

7. Posted by Erik85 (Respected Member 274 posts) 8y

Spain/France/Italy are sounding good for that type of thing, should perhaps try Greece too? A lot of people I meet go on about Croatia for beaches so you might also wanna check that out.

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 29, 2008, at 8:53 AM by Erik85 ]

8. Posted by drewap (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

How exciting. I would recommend that you start in the east then move west using a rail ticket - although they seem expensive i found that they were well worth it - esp if you grab a 10 trip over 2 month deal. Also i have met alot of people that went by bus too and had a blast.

Definately stop in to Croatia you will not forget it. I loved Croatia and its a bit cheaper than most other countries.

Would love to give you some tips on exactly where in Croatia to go and how to get there if you think you may end up in croatia??

Cheers
Adam

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

9. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1989 posts) 8y

I would visit some of the major well-known cities--London, Paris, Florence, Venice, and Munich. And, for me, the small towns in the Tuscany section of Italy (near Florence) or the valleys of southern Switzerland are the greatest places to spend my vacation time.

Enjoy