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Hey, would appreciate advice on my itenary for Sept-Nov 09

Travel Forums Europe Hey, would appreciate advice on my itenary for Sept-Nov 09

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1. Posted by quick90 (Budding Member, 18 posts) 20 May '09 10:09

Hey guys, me and my friend are going to be doing this trip in September. We are Canadians leaving from Detroit on Sept 15. We will be bringing about $5800 U.S, not including airfare. Will be doing some clubbing around 2 nights per week. Other than that mainly sightseeing. We will be staying in Hostels. Please let me know if you think I should skip some cities or travel to different ones. We have free accommodation in Madrid, Cologne, Edinburgh, and probably London as we have friends in all these places.

* [16 Sep 2009 - 18 Sep 2009] Madrid, Spain
* [18 Sep 2009 - 20 Sep 2009] Barcelona, Spain
* [20 Sep 2009 - 22 Sep 2009] Ibiza, Spain
* [22 Sep 2009 - 26 Sep 2009] Rome, Italy
* [26 Sep 2009 - 28 Sep 2009] Florence, Italy
* [28 Sep 2009 - 30 Sep 2009] Venice, Italy
* [30 Sep 2009 - 01 Oct 2009] Munich, Germany
* [01 Oct 2009 - 04 Oct 2009] Zagreb, Croatia
* [04 Oct 2009 - 07 Oct 2009] Belgrade, Serbia
* [07 Oct 2009 - 10 Oct 2009] Bucharest, Romania
* [10 Oct 2009 - 13 Oct 2009] Budapest, Hungary
* [13 Oct 2009 - 15 Oct 2009] Vienna, Austria
* [15 Oct 2009 - 18 Oct 2009] Krak├│w, Poland
* [18 Oct 2009 - 21 Oct 2009] Prague, Czech Republic
* [21 Oct 2009 - 23 Oct 2009] Berlin, Germany
* [23 Oct 2009 - 26 Oct 2009] Copenhagen, Denmark
* [26 Oct 2009 - 29 Oct 2009] Amsterdam, Netherlands
* [29 Oct 2009 - 31 Oct 2009] Cologne, Germany
* [31 Oct 2009 - 03 Nov 2009] Paris, France
* [03 Nov 2009 - 06 Nov 2009] London, United Kingdom
* [06 Nov 2009 - 09 Nov 2009] Edinburgh, United Kingdom
* [10 Nov 2009] London, United Kingdom

We are also considering shortening the trip by two weeks, in order to save some money :( The cities we are thinking about taking out would be Belgrade, Bucharest, Vienna, Krakow, and Copenhagen. Please let me know what cities you would recommend taking out if we were to shorten the trip by two weeks. Thanks a bundle guys, I appreciate the feedback. Braden

2. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 20 May '09 10:55

Travel to half the places on your list. You'll be spending half the time of your trip on the train or in transit if you don't. A lot of the cities on your list deserve a lot more time than 1 day. (Come on, that little time for Berlin? Or Amsterdam? And going all the way to Ibiza and stay there for such a short time?) On your initiary it might look like 3 days, but with the time you you'll spend travelling you essentially loose the arrival and departure day.

You should also try to visit some smaller places, preferably at least one in each of the countries you visit. All the places on your list are big cities - not very representative of their country. In Germany I can recommend Quedlinburg, Weimar or Wismar. And as party animals the place to be in Hungary is Siofok at the Balaton. If you are in the area then you might as well soak in the hot springs at Balatonf├╝red.

Important: you'll be in Munich during Octoberfest - you better arrange for accomodation fast. If you are unsuccesful finding something go to Stuttgart - they have a similar fest at the same time as Octoberfest in Munich that is far less overrun by tourists.

You also travel south-north - it would work out better weather-wise if you went north-south.

And if you are trying to save money I would not take out Belgrade, Bucharest or Krakow - they are some of the cheaper cities on your list. But if you must, I would go Munich-Vienna-Prague-Berlin or Munich-Budapest-Berlin. There are sleeper trains from Munich to Budapest and very cheap flights from Budapest to Berlin. Or skip Prague and go straight from Krakow to Berlin - there is a night train with sleeper carriages.

I agree with you about Copenhagen - very nice city, but expensive. You'd be better of with more time in Berlin and Amsterdam. Paris will also still be there in a few years - what about going from Cologne straight to London? It is possible to do that by train should you have Eurail passes.

About Spain: If I was travelling all the way from Canada to Spain I would be sure to visit the Alhambra in Granada. http://looklex.com/spain/

[ Edit: Edited on 20-May-2009, at 11:00 by t_maia ]

3. Posted by Buzzcock (Full Member, 178 posts) 20 May '09 11:13

Quoting t_maia

Travel to half the places on your list. You'll be spending half the time of your trip on the train or in transit if you don't.

I agree entirely as well as with the point of travelling north-south rather than south-north. Edinburgh in November can be pretty chilly, shrouded in pea-soup fog, known as the 'haar', that rolls off the North Sea, September there being just about OK. You can try and visit too many places in a short space of time and not really properly experience any of them. It's as well that you have free accommodation in London as that would eat into your budget quite a bit. As such, assuming you do have free accommodation I'd be tempted to spend at least five full days including one day-trip out of London to Oxford (cheap and easy to get to). I'd drop Ibiza, it's not worth it for one full day and merge that time into Barcelona instead. Amsterdam and Paris both require more than two full days: a minimum of three in Amsterdam and four in Paris. Florence with day-trips to Pisa and Lucca requires three full days; Rome, three full days I would say is the minimum.

4. Posted by quick90 (Budding Member, 18 posts) 20 May '09 11:24

Hey, thanks for the replies. I appreciate it.

Firstly, I just want to say me and my friend are both 19 and have lots of energy to do a lot of traveling haha

Now, I can understand cutting out cities, but then the problem is that we would have traveled Europe but missed out on a lot of the major cities. It is likely this could be our last time traveling Europe. I have been once before as has he. Also, with both of us growing up in big cities, we naturally want to visit others.

I'll talk to him and see if he wants to cut out a bunch of cities then...lol

Keep in mind, we are the type of people who will go to a city, hit all the major sites, and be happy leaving. We aren't the type that feel the need to "soak up" everything the city has to offer. So it's tough to find a balance seeing a lot of europe but then spending enough time in each city.

Reason for short trip to Ibiza - Tiesto is closing that night at Privilige. It's practically my life dream to visit there and see him @ Privilege. This is why we have to start the trip in the South if we want to see Tiesto. We are both Canadians and are used to cold temperatures, but I do understand going North to South makes the most sense weather wise. I'll talk to him about it.

And yes, I realize Oktoberfest is going on. Basically the plan is we get there in the morning off the night train, spend the day at Oktoberfest, sleep at the hotel and leave the following day. We just want to go there to say we have did it haha. And I will be booking the hotel in the next week or two.

And yes I realize this whole post sounds defensive and me not wanting to listen, and you guys do make complete sense to me, but at the same time we want to see as much as we can in Europe :)

Thanks for the advice! any others? haha

5. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 20 May '09 11:49

Basically the plan is we get there in the morning off the night train, spend the day at Oktoberfest, sleep at the hotel and leave the following day.

Sleeping at the hotel is what will be the problem. Even cheap 2-star hotels charge 150 EUR per night and person during Octoberfest. I would really recommend finding a night train with a sleeper carriage out of Munich. Failing that hop on the train to Salzburg, you won't regret it.

(BTW, you are 19, where did you find the money for a hotel, not a hostel? Especially since you complain about money?)

[ Edit: Edited on 20-May-2009, at 11:52 by t_maia ]

6. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive, 1004 posts) 20 May '09 11:51

I'm sitting on the fence - and looking both ways with this one.
I've been to everywhere on your list (lucky me - and soon.... Lucky you as well!!) and I wouldn't say cut it down by 1/2. That would be a great shame. If you've the budget you speak of, then you should be able to get some very good low cost one way flights - if booked well in advance, to save time.
As a recommendation (through where I've been and what I've seen) I'd suggest the following..........
Cut out one of the Spain destinations - doesn't matter which one (personally I'd avoid Madrid). Moving on....
All 3 in Italy, do ''em - you'll love 'em. Munich - perfect period of time there. Zagreb, Beograd and Bucuresti - 2 days Maximum in each of them. Bucuresti is a huge, very dirty (with thousands of wild dogs roaming the streets after dark. They're still there during the day, but are either slepping, or pretending to be friendly as they scrounge at all the tables in the outside restaurants) and smelly city. Beograd is one of Europe's greatest undiscovered cities for nightlife (especially at weekends). Zagreb has endless museums and a lot of old buldings. not much more of anything to grab you really. If I was gonna ditch one (and I would - through my knowledge of the places), it'd be Zagreb. Even after what I said about Bucuresti. If you're only ever going to visit Romania once and you find yourself in the capital, then you just 'Have' to see the 'People's Palace'. The 2nd largest building in the world, after the Pentagon. Personally though, I'd scrap Bucuresti altogether as well and try and get a budget flight to Turgu Mures. Much nicer. You don't need 4 days in Budapest. 2-3 will be ample. The rest of it looks very well planned - although 4 days in Edinburgh?? 2-3 (tops) would suffice there too.
About possibly condensing it at your own choice. I'd go along with cutting out Vienna. It's really not the most exciting (or cleanest) capital in Europe. But Don't disgard Krakow. It's a short ride to Auschwitz and that aside - it is one of the world's most beautiful cities. Beograd isn't a fantastic sightseeing wonder either, but as I already mentioned, it has some of Europe's greatest nightclubs. A very cheap city overall too. Try and keep in Copenhagen if you can.
A place on your list that I just absolutely hated - from the minute I got there, until the second I left, was Venice. For me - just a flithy, extremely smelly (even more so if it's hot - it just stinks of raw sewage) overpriced everything, falling to bits dump. Just an opinion. I've been both agreed with and slated for saying that. Honestly though, out of all the people I know that have been there - many more agree with me, than don't.
So maybe, if you considered doing what I've suggested - it'll give you more time to see the places that I'd definately spend more time in.
Good luck with your plans.... Your thoughts??

7. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 20 May '09 12:01

One more thought: Have you worked out yet how you are going to get from Ibiza to Rome? Making an educated guess I think you'll have to take the ferry back to Barcelona and fly from Barcelona to Rome. And if you are really into partying consider spending more time in Ibiza - it is Europe's main party spot. And since you'll be hitting all big cities afterwards you might want to spent a day at the beach, dipping into the Med.

8. Posted by quick90 (Budding Member, 18 posts) 20 May '09 12:10

T_maia

The hotel is an expection to the expenses because all the hostels are basically booked up from what I looked at. And I've done lots of research and realize how much it will cost. And I have earned my money through, surprise, working

Redpaddy, I really appreciate your response, what you said made a lot of sense to me. On your opinion I may very well scrap Zagreb. I *have* to go to Madrid to visit my friend Rosa, but I do get a free place to stay so it's not that bad. And when you consider the travel dates, I'd really only be in Venice one full day, but I want to go just to go, if you know what I mean.

My biggest question for you Redpaddy, is, with 2-3 full days in the major cities, for two guys who are basically interested on keeping a busy schedule just checking out the major sites, do you think the way it's planned is a reasonable way to go?

Edit: just saw t_maia's other post

I will be flying from Ibiza to Rome, and I have already checked out flights. Only 33 euro. And I'd love to spend more time in Ibiza, but honestly it's another one of those places I'm planning on going just because I've always wanted to go there. I don't have the budget to spend a bunch of nights partying there, sadly. Especially considering how much entrance to clubs is and drink costs. I'm sure I will find other great clubs in places like Budapest though :)

Second edit:

Also forgot to mention, we are staying three full days/4 nights in edinburgh because my friend's relatives live there, so we get a free stay, and because he wants an extra day to visit them as he's only visited them once before :) I don't mind at all though

Third edit:

Want to mention as well we will both be getting Eurail global passes (15 days in 2 months if we are doing a longer trip, or 10 days in 2 month for a shorter one)

[ Edit: Edited on 20-May-2009, at 12:30 by quick90 ]

9. Posted by Rena13 (Full Member, 24 posts) 20 May '09 16:44

Hey there,

Sounds like you're gonna have a fantastic time. When you're coming from the other side of the world to travel, I can fully understand you wanting to fit in as much as possible without making it completely ridiculous. If time is limited you don't always feel like your going to have the opportunity to make it back again, so a little 'taste' of each country/city is going to have to be enough.

If you're travelling round with mainly a global pass and you want to cram in as much as possible in the time you have - pre book all your train travel; keep the short legs of your trip down to 4.5 hours as a maximum and leave by 9am; for longer legs of travel, get a cabin (if you can) and travel at night. Sleeper cabins cost more but you'll sleep better than a recliner seat - you're already saving on regular accommodation costs too. Getting a pass and prebooking does end up costing more, but in the long run it saves time because you already have your tickets telling you exactly which train, what time, you have no lines to buy tickets. All you have to do is rock up shortly before the train leaves, find the correct platform and train, find your seat and sit in it. Checking of your tickets and passports etc happens on the way.

Google map all of your accommodation before you book it, so you know exactly where it is in relation to the train station; you know whether it's walkable and you've got directions printed out. If you're arriving early in the morning after a night of travel make sure the accommodation you've picked will allow stored luggage until you can check in (very important!!! Last thing you want is to be lugging around a 20kg pack for a morning of sightseeing. Sort of cramps your style). Day travel on the train (if you do the above) usually gets you in around 1-2pm, when most places will let you check in.

p.s somebody mentioned leaving out Prague - for my two cents worth, don't, it's a gorgeous city and well worth going to...

Hope some of this is useful......have fun. Rena

10. Posted by quick90 (Budding Member, 18 posts) 20 May '09 16:48

Hey thanks for the reply Rena

How do I prebook my train travel? Do you just mean go to the station a day or two before the train departs and purchase my reservation aboard the train?

And what I am going to do is put a list of the few top hostels in each city, along with a jpeg picture of google maps of the location, and put it on my blackberry. That way I have all the information with me, along with the top sites, places to get food, and other important info.

And don't worry, I'm def going to Prague. And the train advice is good too.

Braden