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4 weeks in Europe

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11. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 6y

I feel it is a waste to spend 2-3 days in London so maybe I should remove that city and extend my stay in other cities such as Rome and Paris.

Agreed. I mean I love London, but you are just rushing around too much.

Is there any nice locations that I have missed out? Thank you.

Berlin.

Ok, I am biased since I am German and I live not far from it. But it is one of my favourite places in Europe. I am especially upset that you intend to visit Neuschwanstein yet plan to skip Berlin.

There are cheap flights from Berlin to Istanbul and Izmir too.

Berlin is great because there is so much recent 20th century history there, it is the one thing the city has over all others in Europe.

12. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 6y

I'm not particularly familiar with Greece and Turkey, so I'm not going to adjust/suggest anything for your first part of the trip. The second half though, my suggestion would be:

10th-13th: Rome
14th am: travel to Florence
14th-16th: Florence
16th pm: travel to Venice
17th-18th: Venice
18th overnight: train to Paris
19th-22nd: Paris
22nd: travel to Frankfurt

I don't feel particularly strongly against Neuschwanstein Castle, because afterall, if it's something you're interested in and have always wanted to visit, then well go for it. Admittedly Salzburg is lovely, cultured and historical, and it's really not too far from Munich.

While there are ferries between Greece and Italy, given your time constraint, I would opt to fly. With ferry, you're very likely required to first travel to a port city such as Igoumenítsa, then from there the ferry over (anything between 6-8 hours in general) but to the east coast of Italy such as to Brindisi, so that means another few hours on the train before you get to Rome. I doubt you'll be making much monetary savings after you add everything up, and time spent to make the journey would be longer.

Similarly, re train in Germany (or anywhere else at all). Check first that if you have connecting trains and the trains are local services, then consider the total travelling time as opposed to the slightly more expensive direct train option. I don't know about you, but personally, I'd rather spend €20 more if it means buying myself 2 extra hours in my destination city than be inside the train. At a rate of €10 per hour, I believe it's worth it. But of course, if the train is later in the day which by the time you arrive it'll be dark anyway and you won't be able to do much, then an extra hour or two of travelling time to save some money is reasonable trade-off.

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jan-2010, at 23:10 by lil_lil ]

13. Posted by wyemarn (Budding Member 29 posts) 6y

Thank you for your suggestions. My flight to Frankfurt from Japan is fixed because I have bought flight tickets. I will be landing on 23rd Feb and will be departing on 22nd March.

I have found some cheap train deals like Frankfurt to Munich for 29euros, ICE and Paris to Frankfurt 39 euros.
For Venice to Paris night train, I found one and the price is more than $200. I think flight will be cheaper than that. Regarding ferry from Greece to Italy, the journey is too long and the price is not really cheap.

I do plan to travel around Germany more but time wise, it will be a challenge. The cheapest flight I found to Izmir is from Munich the travel date is only 26th Feb. Sorry if I may have insulted some of you but I do agree that my schedules are pretty tight and I'm having a hard time to decide so I"m glad anyone could give me some suggestions.

t_maia : I would love to visit Berlin and I plan to remove London, bring forward Paris and travel from Paris to Berlin and then from Berlin to Frankfurt. Or should I travel to Berlin from Venice, and then to Paris and back to Frankfurt from Paris? I would be glad if you could offer advice on this.

Lil_lil : Thank you for your Salzburg suggestion. I have done some findings and a day trip from Munich seems possible. Do you have any ideas on the best way to travel there from Munich and will a day enough to see the main attractions?

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jan-2010, at 23:37 by wyemarn ]

14. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 6y

So you land in Frankfurt on Feb 22nd and fly out of Munich 26th? How much are you paying for the flight? 100 EUR would be a good price.

(FYI, I found a flight from Nuremberg to Istanbul on the 28th for 80 EUR with Condor and from Berlin to Izmir for 59 EUR on the 26th, 27th and 28th. There might be more offers after Jan 18th, check www.ltur.com/de.)

Assuming you fly out of Munich on the 26th:

Go to Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the 22nd or on the 23rd.

If your flight arrives in the late afternoon give yourself some time to adjust for the jetlag. Buy a Welcome Card for Frankfurt and take the train into the city. Walk around Frankfurt for a bit. You can easily see all the sights in Frankfurt in half a day. Stay at the hostel at Deutschherrenufer, then leave the next day for Rothenburg early in the morning.

When you buy the train ticket to Rothenburg use the trick with "only local transport", travelling after 9 am (take the 8:34 train) and buying a ticket to Kahl am Main and a Bayern-Ticket Single. It is the cheapest way.

Bayern-Ticket allows unlimited travel for one day on IRE/RE/RB trains (not ICE/IC/EC trains!!!!) in Bavaria, so you can go all the way to Salzburg or down to Füssen for Neuschwanstein with the ticket you bought. You just have to buy a regular ticket from Frankfurt to the Bavarian border at Kahl am Main. The train that departs 8:34 at Frankfurt (am Main) Hbf passes the border at 9 am, so it meets the 9 am rule the Bayern-Ticket has.

I suggest you spend a few hours in Rothenburg, then use the Bayern-Ticket to go all the way to Salzburg. Or stay for the night in Rothenburg. It is definitely worth it.

Then see Salzburg on the 24th.

You can then cram in Neuschwanstein on the 25th if you really must. Or go and see Munich.

15. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 6y

The overnight Artesia that I found, assuming travelling date on 18th March from Venice to Paris Bercy, is €127 from Trenitalia website. On TGV-Europe website, the cheapest price right now is €35 for second class couchette (or you can go first class couchette for €65). I'd say go with the TGV-Europe website, and do it soon as the ticket will be delivered to you by post in Japan and you don't want to not have your ticket by the time you travel.

Re Berlin/Paris etc. To be honest, if you want to go to Berlin, skip Paris. If you want to go to Paris, skip Berlin. Unless you rejuggle your whole itinerary again. By cancelling London and try to bring forward Paris in order to fit Berlin, you're going to end up just as rushed as if you've gone to London and Paris without Berlin.

Well, Salzburg was initially t_maia's suggestion. It is doable as day trip from Munich but an extra day in Salzburg wouldn't hurt either. You can organise to go to Salzburg yourself, otherwise there are also tons of guided tour offers for day trip to Salzburg. If you're short on time, one day is fine too as Salzburg is quite a compact city.

16. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 6y

t_maia : I would love to visit Berlin and I plan to remove London, bring forward Paris and travel from Paris to Berlin and then from Berlin to Frankfurt. Or should I travel to Berlin from Venice, and then to Paris and back to Frankfurt from Paris? I would be glad if you could offer advice on this.

Note that I found a flight from Berlin to Izmir on Feb 26th for 59 EUR.

If you haven't booked anything yet aside from the flight to Frankfurt that would be a good option.

Fly into Frankfurt, take the train to Berlin, fly from Berlin to Izmir.

From Venice you can then go to Paris as planned. Or take the train to Munich or fly to Frankfurt.

17. Posted by wyemarn (Budding Member 29 posts) 6y

I managed to find a promotion flight from Munich to Izmir on Feb 26 and the price is 30 Euro (50 Euro including tax). On other dates it will cost as much as 100 Euros including tax. I found out that budget airlines sometimes are cheaper than the cheapest train/bus tickets which takes more time. I really appreciate your suggestions but I'm kinda lost. Between Paris and Berlin which would be the better place to visit?

Edit : My flight will reach Frankfurt at around 1800 on Feb 23rd and will be departing from Frankfurat at around 2025 on March 22nd. I'm 24 and would I be eligible for discounts for train tickets?

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Jan-2010, at 00:12 by wyemarn ]

18. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 6y

Choosing where to go is subjective to different opinions and preferences. Both Paris and Berlin merits 4-5 days of visit each, at the very least. Any less would be doing them injustice.

I, for one, love Paris and I would highly recommend it to anyone who ask. Then again, my experience of Paris had been very positive each time I visit, and on added advantage that I have friends who are from Paris and/or live in Paris. There are so much to do, so much to explore, so much possibilities in Paris.

Have a look at the TP guide of Paris. I've contribute a reasonable amount of materials to the articles that are related to Paris, pouring in as much information that I know/am aware of. See if they appeal to you. If they do, then perhaps you should consider Paris.

As for youth discounts, I'm not sure about Germany but in France and Italy, you'll need to apply for a youth card first, and usually there's a cost associated to it. Since you're not using that on a long term basis, it's nearly not worth getting the card out to start with.

19. Posted by wyemarn (Budding Member 29 posts) 6y

I managed to find flights from Berlin to Izmir for 69 Euros with Condor. The rate is almost the same so I have the chance to extend my stay in Munich and the travel to Berlin for a few days. After that I will fly to Izmir and then finishing my trip from Paris. How long should I spend in Munich and Berlin? For Munich, I have Neuschwanstein castle and a day or two trip to Salzburg in my mind.

20. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 6y

I'm afraid some sacrifices will have to be made. If you want to go to Berlin, you may have to forgo Salzburg. Or trimming your itinerary somewhere else, like go straight from Berlin to Istanbul. Cobbling everything together, the itinerary could be something like this:

23rd: Arrive Frankfurt, train to Munich
24th: Munich (and to get over jetlag - you don't want to be tired right from the start of the trip)
25th: Day trip Neuschwanstein
26th: Day trip Salzburg
26th pm: overnight train to Berlin
27th-1st: Berlin
2nd am: Flight to Istanbul
2nd-5th: Istanbul
5th: night train to Athens
6th-10th: Athens and Peloponese
11th: travel to Rome
11th-14th: Rome
15th am: travel to Florence
15th-17th: Florence
17th pm: travel to Venice
18th: Venice
18th pm: overnight train to Paris
19th-22nd: Paris
22nd: train to Frankfurt