My girlfriend and I are currently planning a 3 week trip to Europe; we're looking to travel to Paris & Rome, because we're both university students we're planning to go next year after graduating, in August of 2010. I've been reading different online articles which have conflicting opinions on whether travelling in August is a good idea or a bad idea. This has made me curious as to whether or not the plans we're making are going to end in dissapointment.
That being said has anyone who has travelled in august had an experience which was overwhelmingly positive/negative, or does the time of travel actually make very little difference to the overall experience?
Once again, any help would be extremely appreciated!!! Thank you.
Various things to consider:
- Paris empties out in August: all the French leave for holidays, only tourists remain. Cultural life outside the museums pretty much comes to a standstill (as I imagine it does in every large city during high summer)
- Rome can be downright awful in august: extremely hot, and even though local public transport now runs lpg-fuelled, airconditioned busses, the smog still can get pretty bad. Plus like Paris all the locals leave; unlike Paris, Rome tends to get incredibly crowded in August with other tourists such as yourself.
All things considered, if you have any choice at all, I'd go in september rather than August. You'll get more out of your trip that way.
One more thing to consider: If you go in August you'll have to pay a lot more for the flight ticket to Europe. Try to go either before June 15th or after Sept 15th, prices for flight tickets should drop significantly if both departure and return flight are outside the summer season.
[ Edit: Edited on 03-Aug-2009, at 13:59 by t_maia ]
There are some good replies here already. I'd just like to add that the flight tickets don't have to be expensive if you book your flight many months ahead. This should be feasible in your case.
One more thing that I would take into consideration is the purpose of the travel. People that really know France and Italy would say that if you are looking for romance or getting to know the culture then stay out of the capitals. A short visit to see the main attractions would suffice but the good stuff is far from there.
Have a great trip. You will love it here.