My brother and I are doing our eurotrip overthe month of July and we have the global eurail passes. I'm currently in France so I know what to do here, but I was just wondering if you could offer insight on what to see in the countries we're visiting, or some countries that we should be visiting. I love the city, but I'd also like to see some things that are a bit off the beaten path. Anyways here's our rough intinerary:
Spain: Pamplona (for the bulls)
Southern France: was thinking Monaco
Italy: Rome and Venice
Hungary: Budapest (family there)
Germany: Berlin or Munich
- you only have one month
- it appears to be your first time in Europe
- you already bought a global EUrail pass
I'd make the most out of my EUrail pass. It would be a total waste of money if you didn't. This means that travelling around like crazy (something that I never recommend, if it weren't for the fact that you have that pass already) is probably best for you. This in turn means that you won't have time to get off the beaten path.
Ah, sometimes life can be so simple
well we havn't bought it yet...bad choice of words on my part..oops but what would be a better suggestion of travel?
Pick 2 countries and stick to them.
It is usually recommended that you plan on 1 week for a big city and 2-3 weeks per country in Europe, so in 1 month you can reasonably see 2 smaller countries or 1 big country and 1 big city.
Since you got family in Hungary I would focus on Hungary and other country with easy transport options. Austria, Germany or Czech Republic would be good choices.
There are cheap flights from Berlin to Hungary and to London. You could fly into London, catch a flight to Berlin and then a flight to Budapest. Buying point-to-point tickets in Hungary and Czech Republic is cheap, so no rail pass is necessary.
A real shame you state "Europe", but apart from Praha (probably the biggest tourist trap of all), you want to stick with just the Western bit - pity.
I do not agree with t_maia that you should only do two countries (I believe that for most of the big cities 3 days is enough to at least get the feel of the city) but indeed 13 cities and still wanting to go off the beaten path is practically impossible in a month. You should take some countries and cities out of your intinerary. It seems that you are especially focused on Pamplona and Budapest because you got specific reasons to go there. In this case I would advice to skip France and go from Barcelona (this city is worth it!) directly to Italy, I have to be honoust and say that I have never been there but according to my brother (he took a month trip with eurail some years ago) Tuscany was one of the most beautiful areas he has seen on his trip.
After Italy go directly to Hungary to visit your family and stay a bit in the east of Europe. Again, I have little experience with Eastern Europe but if you like to go off the beaten path, this is where you should be. Beautiful nature combined with lovely and historic cities and villages. Less touristy and usually cheaper then western Europe.
You should take a look at cheap flights for longer distances and indeed point-to-point trains instead of the eurail pass. Especially in the south of Europe this is usually much cheaper and in case you are really enjoying one country or city you can stay longer because there is no pressure to use up your card.
You will be travelling around in July which means that it can get really hot in the south of Europe. If you are in Barcelona and want to enjoy the sun I would advice you to take a train to Sitges or another coastal town. It is a very short train ride and much quieter and beautiful then the Barcelona beach which will be filled with tourists around this time. The train to Sitges (around 20 min) drives along the coast so you will also get some nice views.
If you want some advice about certain cities let me know
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I'm with Maia: Austria, Germany and Czech Republic is about all the ground you can cover in a month. Those countries are also a good choice because they're fairly easy to travel: people are friendly and helpful, generally speak decent English, and public transport options are plenty.
Some words of advice on your original itinerary:
- It is extremely difficult to get accommodation in Pamplona during the running of the bulls. Moreover, it's the type of event that draws two very different crowds: hard-core tourism (think big cameras, busses, expensive hotels), and spanish groups of families and friends. Neither are particularly suitable for you, I think, so you might feel a bit lost there
- Berlin or Munich: do both if you can, but don't miss Berlin
- Belgium, Netherlands: skip them if you're gonna follow maia's advice to visit Germany/Austra/Cezch R. It's too far off, and it will still be there the next time
- Monaco: tourist trap. Extremely expensive, and not that interesting. If you want to see some of the Cote d'Azur, go to smaller places. Cassis (near Marseille) is nice; also, Toulon is worth a visit
- Italy: don't do Italy in a one-month trip, or only do Italy. There's too much to see there, and cities like Rome easily take you a week to explore
I would just like to add.... The running of the bulls is not for animal lovers - or even for people that have the slightest soft spot for them. I'll leave it there.
If you're in Barcelona, I'd catch the Ferry over to Mallorca, hire some bikes and head off into the hills. North west of Palma. The scenery is truly breathtaking, I've never seen anything close to it.
Whilst you're there, Palma is a beautiful old city with some awesome clubs and bars near the yacht harbor.
Post #9#.... Nice comments about Palma, I totally agree with. What a wonderful city with lots going on.