I'm 19 years old and am thinking about going travelling alone this september. Just going for a couple of weeks or something to start with, as its my first time.
I'm very tempted by Italy, particularly the south... I'd love to know your suggestions of where to go and what to do and in fact any advice you've got for a first time traveller in Italy.
My mind isnt set on Italy though, so other sugesstions/recommendations are welcome!
Many ppl travel alone, actually, if you stay in hostels - you never completely alone anyway!
May I ask where r u from and which languages u speak? It’d help to take a right advice.
IMPORTANT! - For 1st trip should be minimum logistic with transportation, place to sleep, etc. I’d suggest choosing 1 city as a “base” – usually enough for 1 full week, and, if you have about 2 weeks – the second week you can make day-trips from there or move to 2-3 additional places in same area. Prepare for maximum visiting 2-3 (4) places in 2 weeks, and if you move out – try don’t go same way twice, but make circular path or return home from the last destination, if possible.
In any case – it’s better to book first 2-3 nights for advance. You can do it online easily, just need Internet connection, passion and sometimes credit card for pre-booking. If you plan to stay in same place, probably reasonable to book for all the time of stay.
You didn’t say when you are going to travel. August is extremely crowded, September – the best for Europe.
So, where to begin planning?
1) Your ability to travel: u need know when, for how long and budget (minimum- maximum)
2) Check up frequency and prices of direct (!) flights/ train/ what ever would be your transport. It’s important issue.
3) Your expectations – what you want and would like to do, what r your interests.
4) From all this you’d know where you want to go. Below u’ll find some ideas. If you have more questions – don’t hesitate to ask.
1. Barcelona – Probably it’s the best option for you.
Young, alive, amazing city. Great beaches and good sea, many youth hostels, great night life, nice food, etc. Not snobbish at all! Try to live in the area of La-Rambla Street, then you cover almost everywhere by feet. Dozen museums and unique architecture (take a look online) of Gaudi! Just great! U can easily spend there a week and continue travel around/from Barcelona if u like.
Very interesting! Vibrant, full of young travelers, everyone is bikecycling! Not too expensive. Festivals, parties, beer, much to see, etc, etc, etc.
3. Ios – island in Greece. Known for non-stop parties and as a meeting-place of youth from everywhere. It’s kind of Ibiza.
Relevant only if you have a direct flight to Santorini (famous and fabulous, that worse a visit) or, in the worse case – to Athens (could stay for a day or two for sightseeing, mostly historical) where from you need get ferry. Little bit complicated about transportation for not-experienced traveler.
4. Italy– the best choice ever!
Well, my opinion cant count because I just in love with Italy! ;-)
But, being serious for a while:
I afraid it will be not the best choice for your 1st independent trip, especially if you r going in August. Ask for more details if u need help.
Enjoy your trip!
[ Edit: Dodgy link removed. ]
Wow! Thankyou very much for your replies guys! Gave me lots to think about...
A few answers to a few of your questions first up, so you know a bit more about me etc.
I'm from the UK, 19 and male. I speak (very!) little Spanish (i did a tiny bit at school). I've been to Spain (Sevilla) and Italy (Tuscany) before, although neither were by myself.
I forgot to mention before, but i'm planning to go mid septmeber...
I have to say, you've defintiely got me thinking about Barcelona. It sounds amazing. I'm definitely up for seeing some beautiful building and sights, but i am also keen to have a few days relaxing (hopefully on a beach..?). For this, i would love to escape the city for a bit, what places are there near barcelona that would fit the bill?
I was considering Italy mainly for Naples... The city seems amazing, and the Amalfi Coast is nearby - which is why it suits me so well. I can have a week or so in Naples and then relax for a few days in a small town on the Amalfi Coast. What do you think?
Thanks again for your help guys! Any more advice you could give me with the new information would be great!
Middle September is great and still good weather in both – South Italy and Barcelona.
Naples + Amalfi Coast – sounds good plan as well. Don’t expect it will b similar to Tuscany. I don’t like to speak stigmas, but I have to accept that Italy is pretty different between South and North, and it comes not only abt surroundings, but abt national character. More South you are going – country-style becomes more Mediterranean: emotional, spicy, sometimes shabby and little bit lazy . Tuscany is the heart of Italy, it’s nothing to compare. As well if you are going North from Venice and up to mountains in direction of Austria or Switzerland / France – everything is getting more “Austrian”/ “Swiss” then “Italian” – it’s about breathtaking landscapes (mountains, forest and lakes) , very good food (includes meat, mushrooms & Apple Strudel), perfectly clean (even in the forest) and much more calm (about character). Lakes in mid September r getting lil cold, but mb for Englishman it’s still ok, lol.
I was in Barcelona in mid Sept and was going to the city beach to swim – it was warm enough. Already told you – try to stay next to La Ramble (it’s many hostels around, I staid in huge dormitory, but was absolutely satisfied – it was clean, friendly, comfy and surprisely not noisy. La Ramble is running perpendicular to the sea – at one side finishes in the Port (cheaper area, at night getting full with drug-sellers and prostitutes – don’t get scare, just want u know) and opposite direction – it comes to huge square that is official City Center (more expensive as well). To live in the middle of La Ramble means go almost everywhere by feet, also it’s metro station right there. Just take a look on map to understand how it’s going.
Barcelona is formal Spain, but it’s Catalonia – it’s a bit different culture.
Lovely, colorful. + Football!
Take a look:
and http://www.aboutbarcelona.com/barcelona/towns.asp - both around Barcelona
Figueres – famous for Salvador Dali
All this makes an appetite to travel, ah?
Hi, I think that both Spain (Barcelona and Costa Brava) and Italy are great!
My first all alone trip was to Italy.
You would probably prefer to stay at hostels, so you willl easily find people to share your time with, and may be get help if needed.
Good hostels organization all over the world is http://www.hihostels.com/ .
The following might be helpful links about some of the places in Italy and Spain: