I'm a recent college graduate who is currently working to save money to travel to Europe. I have travelled the US extensively and this will be my first trip overseas. Prior to the economy taking a nose dive, I originally planned on a three month trip, two months touring Europe and one in Thailand. However, with the economy in the state that it is my trip has been shortened to two weeks. I plan on sticking to two countries so I can get a feel for the culture. Can anyone recommend some key things to see, hostels to stay in, restaurants, etc. I've heard all about the red light district and studied ancient Rome so, that's already on the to do list!
Give me your (roughly) budget - and I'll PM you with some details and prices. I've done both many times - still do.
first of all congrats in graduating.
you should definitely but the Eurail pass its so convenient for travelers. I bought mine and I was going to country to country and you would somewhat the difference which was like 20euros such a deal. Italy has amazing cities and breathtaking islands. The beautiful cities in Italy, Positano, San Gimigano, Roma, Firenze, crotona and much more but those were my favorite ones.Amsterdam it's amazing but its wild so get ready to keep your mouth open constantly.......moreover, have a great trip.
Thailand sounds amazing it's been my dream place to go but I haven't yet gone there.My goal is when i receive myself I'm going to Thailand.......... BREATHTAKING............
Price out a Eurail pass before you buy because I spent three weeks in Italy and a week in Greece last summer and could not make it make sense to buy. It would've saved me maybe ten bucks and I had to plan carefully what days to use it. Italian trains aren't that expensive so you may be better off just buying individual tickets rather than spending a lot to get a pass that works in multiple countries.
I'm with Lauri on this. Especially in your case: you have SO much time that you can easily take regionali all the way (local trains which are incredibly cheap; almost for free from the Dutch perspective).
When I visited Rome I stayed at the Yellow and had a good time there. The staff are very friendly, and all speak English, but are also well-versed on the area. It's in a good location, right by Termini station and within walking distance to a lot of things. The best part about it is the bar downstairs with patio area, which makes it extremely easy to meet fellow travellers.
As far as things to do in Rome, the one thing I'd be sure to do that wouldn't be an automatic (ie, Colosseum, Forum/Palatine Hill, Vatican Museum/St. Peters, Trevi Fountain) would be the Baths of Caracalla. It's one of the places I remember most - absolutely loved it! Also a couple other things I enjoyed immensely in Rome were seeing Michelangelo's Moses at San Pietro in Vincoli and going on the "tour" of the area beneath San Clemente. Of course, it seems everyone has different favorites in Rome The only thing I did that I wish I hadn't spent the time on was the Crypt di Babi (though I'm sure my spelling of this is not correct.)
Best of luck with your trip!