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4 weeks in Europe

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

Quoting Utrecht

Wow, this forum post is getting like a soapseries. But some good advice/tips

Still, don't make yourself crazy Wyemarn with details,
Try to focus on several places, instead of doing those wirlwind trip to for example Fussen.
And like Lil said: don't let €20 be in the way...take the thing you want if you can afford it.

It's a good thing to use the nighttrains if possible and use budget flights if it's the better thing. Try to avoid to travel too much really.

Have fun though

Sorry, I might be thinking too much;) This is my first time to Europe so I'm kinda worried. I've have roughly plan my itinerary so now it's time to ask some specific question on travelling around the city. Here are my questions:

1) Munich - I know there is Bavaria-Ticket which enables unlimited single day trip. Should I use this ticket for my day trip to Salzburg and Fussen? Or it's cheaper to join locar day tour from Munich? For travelling in Munich city, is this the best deal or is there any cheaper single day ticket?

2) Berlin - I have come across Berlin Welcome Card which can be used for 48,72 hours. I plan to buy the 72 hours ticket because I have exactly 72 hours(27th March noon to 2nd March noon). Can use this ticket to travel to Schönefeld airport? Is there any cheaper alternative other than Berlin Welcome Card?

3) Istanbul, Athens, Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris- I'm not sure what is the most efficient way to travel around or any special tickets for these cities. Would be glad if someone could help me with this.

I feel I should do some research but so far I have problems finding the on the net for these infos. If possible, please give me some links to travel guide sites. Thanks!

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

I'm afraid I don't have time to go into everything, and you must not have looked at the right places because there are tons of places you can get information from.

The TP has a good collection of travel guides written by fellow TPers, and there's also Wikitravel articles to look for information. The official tourism bureau for these cities would also have tons of information.

Otherwise, just go and buy a good guide book (or borrow them from your nearest library).

Ps: I can't speak for other articles in TP travel guide but I have recently very comprehensively updated the information for Paris. Pretty much anything you need to know would have been there. If there's still anything you think is missing, let me know. I'll try to answer them and update the guide at the same time.

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

1) Munich - I know there is Bavaria-Ticket which enables unlimited single day trip. Should I use this ticket for my day trip to Salzburg and Fussen? Or it's cheaper to join locar day tour from Munich? For travelling in Munich city, is this the best deal or is there any cheaper single day ticket?

Cheapest way for the day trip to Salzburg and Fuessen is by using the Bavaria-Ticket. But not buying it - you wait at the platform and hook up with other people going in the same direction. The regular "Bayern-Ticket" costs 29 EUR and allows up to 5 people to travel together. It is thus cheaper to find people to share than to buy a "Bayern-Ticket Single" that is valid for one person and costs 19 EUR.

Alternatively you can use another ticket to Salzburg: Freizeit-Ticket München-Salzburg. It costs 30 EUR for one person, but allows you to use the fast ICE/EC trains and local transport in Salzburg.

You can buy here: http://www.bahn.de/p/view/angebot/preis/freizeit/muenchen-salzburg.shtml (Click on the left button, München-Salzburg buchen)

Forget about the tours.

There are cheaper single day tickets inside Munich, but if you are doing a day trip the Bayern-Ticket for 19 EUR is a good deal. A single day ticket for Munich Inner City is 5,20 EUR, if you want to go to the outskirts it will be 10,40 EUR. There is also a 3-day ticket for the inner City, this costs 12,80 EUR.

2) Berlin - I have come across Berlin Welcome Card which can be used for 48,72 hours. I plan to buy the 72 hours ticket because I have exactly 72 hours(27th March noon to 2nd March noon). Can use this ticket to travel to Schönefeld airport? Is there any cheaper alternative other than Berlin Welcome Card?

I am frequently in Berlin and I never bother with the Welcome Card. I always use regular day tickets.

The Welcome Card for 72 hours is 21,90 (Berlin AB, inner city) and 23,90 (Berlin ABC, including the Schönefeld airport and Potsdam).

Compare that with the prices below:
- a 7-day card for Berlin AB is 26,20 EUR.
- 3 day cards for Berlin ABC are 3 x 6,50 = 19,50 EUR and for Berlin AB 3x6,10 = 18,30 EUR.
- If you use single tickets (one ABC ticket to get from the airport into the city and some AB tickets for 2 EUR each when you buy in packs of 4) you might even get it done cheaper than with a day ticket. Make full use of the 120 min free ride you get after stamping the ticket.

That said I think that the Welcome Card is a good deal if you want to see as much as possible and go into a lot of museums. There are some good discounts with the Welcome Card. The map that you get with it is a bonus in a city such as Berlin.

44. Posted by eroltoksoy (Full Member 173 posts) 6y

your plan is almost great. if I were you I would spend a few days in florence too.

45. Posted by ecca (Budding Member 16 posts) 6y

hello wyemarn,

if you will travel so many countries around europe and plan to take trains, you really should consider to buy the eurail pass instead. this rail pass is only for visitors living outside the europe countries. only travelling within a country from city to city that can already cost you much.

www.eurail.com

a eurail pass can cover most of the trains in the countries (please read the details from the website), night trains (sleeping cars) usually have to pay for extra per trip. you definitely will find the pass very useful and convenient to your trip.

i agree with t_maia, should visit Salzburg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. personal opinion, Neuschwanstein is a bit disappointed, nothing much you can see there.

good luck with your planning!

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

Quoting ecca

hello wyemarn,

if you will travel so many countries around europe and plan to take trains, you really should consider to buy the eurail pass instead. this rail pass is only for visitors living outside the europe countries. only travelling within a country from city to city that can already cost you much.

www.eurail.com

a eurail pass can cover most of the trains in the countries (please read the details from the website), night trains (sleeping cars) usually have to pay for extra per trip. you definitely will find the pass very useful and convenient to your trip.

i agree with t_maia, should visit Salzburg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. personal opinion, Neuschwanstein is a bit disappointed, nothing much you can see there.

good luck with your planning!

Thanks for the suggestion. I find Eurorail pass pretty expensive because I wont be using train that much. I have bought most of my journey tickets and these are the prices I paid so far:

Frankfurt - Munich : 31 euro, ICE, reserved seat
Munich - Berlin : 31 euro, ICE, reserved seat
Venice - Paris : 45 euro, night sleeper, reserved seat
Paris - Frankfurt : 41 euro, TGV and ICE, reserved seat

The only train ticket I havent bought is Istanbul-Athens, Rome-Florence, Florence-Venice and some day trip tickets to Salzburg and Fussen.

Thank you for your suggestion on Salzburg and Rothenburg. Actually I have 3 full days in Munich and I can make 3 day trips to Salzburg, Rothenburg and Fussen but I wouldn't be able to travel in Munich city. Do you think I should skip travelling in Munich and go to these 3 places?

For Italy, I have roughly 9 and half days. I plan to visit Rome, Florence and Venice but I'm not sure how many days should I spend in each of these cities. I have read many guides and heard from some and it seems that each of these cities has their speciality. I would be glad if someone could suggest how many days I should spend. I will be travelling between these cities with train( or bus is cheaper?)

Finally, I really want to thank everyone who had give their comments and suggestions. Your feedback truly helped me to plan my journey. I'm sorry if I have offended some but your advice really made my planning much easier.:)

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

Munich and the daytrips:
The more day trips you do, the more time you're spending on train travelling to/fro the cities and also associated costs for the train tickets. So weigh these up yourself and and decide what you want to do. My impression so far is you're not keen on spending time in Munich - any particular reason why?

Italy:
What are your interests? If you're looking for the heartbeat of Renaissance, you should spend more time in Florence. But if you're interested in Roman archaeology and magnificent cathedrals and basilicas, Rome will be the right place to spend more time in. Venice is lovely too but I personally felt, when I visited, it was thronged too much by visitors and so there was a lack of Italian/Venetian heartbeat that I was looking for.

I'm not familiar with inter-regional bus travel, so I have no knowledge re them but certainly between my friends and I, we always travel by train. If you think the fast ES* trains are too expensive, you can opt for the intercity (IC) or regional (R) trains, which would be cheaper. Discounted price are available for ES* and IC trains if you buy in advance, but not on R trains. If your itinerary contains a combination of ES* or IC with a R train, then discount will not be available either. Discounted tickets are usually not shown on the main search result pages (they show only the base 1st and 2nd class fares) so select an option and go to the next page to see what kind of discounted tickets are still available.

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

Quoting lil_lil

Munich and the daytrips:
The more day trips you do, the more time you're spending on train travelling to/fro the cities and also associated costs for the train tickets. So weigh these up yourself and and decide what you want to do. My impression so far is you're not keen on spending time in Munich - any particular reason why?

Italy:
What are your interests? If you're looking for the heartbeat of Renaissance, you should spend more time in Florence. But if you're interested in Roman archaeology and magnificent cathedrals and basilicas, Rome will be the right place to spend more time in. Venice is lovely too but I personally felt, when I visited, it was thronged too much by visitors and so there was a lack of Italian/Venetian heartbeat that I was looking for.

I'm not familiar with inter-regional bus travel, so I have no knowledge re them but certainly between my friends and I, we always travel by train. If you think the fast ES* trains are too expensive, you can opt for the intercity (IC) or regional (R) trains, which would be cheaper. Discounted price are available for ES* and IC trains if you buy in advance, but not on R trains. If your itinerary contains a combination of ES* or IC with a R train, then discount will not be available either. Discounted tickets are usually not shown on the main search result pages (they show only the base 1st and 2nd class fares) so select an option and go to the next page to see what kind of discounted tickets are still available.

I agree with you. Maybe I'll just spend a day in Munich and two days for day trip. All the places suggested to me seems interesting so I'm little lost in choosing them.

I'm thinking of 3 and half for Rome and full 3 days for Florence and Venice. Or 4 days in Rome, 3 days in Florence and the rest in Venice. I have no idea how big are these places and whether a few days would be enough to finish visiting the main attractions. I found out that ES trains are 10 euros more expensive but travel time is quite reasonable. Most probably I will take up ES trains.

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

In term of city size, Rome is certainly the largest so allocating 4 days will do it quite nicely. 3 days in Florence and 2 in Venice can't go too wrong either. Certainly, taking ES trains mean you'll be spending less time in train and more for sight-seeing. :)

[ Edit: Edited on 24-Jan-2010, at 13:04 by lil_lil ]

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

Thank you for the suggestion. Do you all think it is worth to take a day trip from Rome to Pompeii? There are some local tour companies doing that.