I'm headed to Europe in March and have a fairly flexible schedule. I'm planning on spending at least 4 weeks there but could spend up to 6. I have quite a few friends overseas so I'm not planning on spending much on lodging, but I need help in making an itinerary that makes sense within constraints on my travel in terms of when my friends can see me. I'd like to know if the following sounds ridiculously redundant and in desperate need of reworking or if it's okay (I know it's not ideal):
Dublin --> Aberdeen --> Aix --> London....
From there I have lots of options. I have two weeks blocked out for this part of my voyage. So for the next 2-4 weeks I need advice on how I can see the most (and still enjoy, have enough time, etc) with the time I have out of these possibilities (and any specific recommendations of cities, etc are very welcome! I've never been anywhere in Europe except the UK and France):
Germany (Strasbourg, Frankfurt)
Austria (Salzburg, Vienna)
Italy (Bologna for sure because I have someone to stay with there; otherwise Florence and Rome would be next on my list as per other forums suggest)
Lastly, couple of logistical questions - this part of my trip would be with another female...is Istanbul a safe city to travel in as two females? Are there any other countries/places we should be steering away from? Instead of going the Istanbul/Athens/etc route, another option would instead be to go north from Germany and go to Poland, Sweden, Norway, and maybe (that's probably a big maybe) Iceland.
I guess I'm kind of floundering in terms of which way to go/where to go in general because I know there's way more on either list than is doable in even 4 weeks. I need to start planning very very soon so any and all help would be extremely appreciated!
Sorry for such a long post!
When you said Aix, do you mean Aix-en-Provence in France?
Hi, do you have to go to London after Aix?
it would be easier to travel to the south of France, stay for a couple of days in Nice or San tropez, you are then close to Italy, visit your friend, in Bologne, then travel east to Florence, and Venice. You could then hop over by ferry to Croatia (Dubrovnik is stunning and definitely worth considering) and then on to the Greek Isalnds, and on to Istanbul. I have travelled many times to Istanbul on business, quite often alone, and can honestly say I never felt threatend.
Maybe stop off in London on the way home.
It does seem a little odd to travel to Aix in between Aberdeen and London. And Barcelona would be an awkward city to have on the itinerary as well, as it's not easily accessible from south of France, i.e. Aix. Strasbourg is in France and it is another one that's just slightly awkward to travel to but you could do it as return trip to/fro Paris after visiting Aix. Any particular reason for going to Frankfurt? There's not much there really.
One possible itinerary:
Dublin - flight to Aberdeen - flight to Barcelona (via overland travel to Edinburgh) - train to Aix - flight to London (via overland travel to Marseille) - train to Brussels - train to Amsterdam - train to Berlin - train to Prague - train to Vienna - train to Salzburg - train to Bologna/Florence/Rome - flight to Athens - flight to Istanbul.
But I must say, 6 weeks seem tight and you should cut down by 3-4 cities from the list above. For major cities e.g. London, Barcelona, Berlin, you should allocate 4-5 days for them, slightly smaller cities e.g. Amsterdam, Prague, Vienna, there should be at least 3-4 days, and at least 3 days for the rest. Add in travelling time, now you can see how everything adds up.
I personally would leave Barcelona, Athens and Istanbul for other trip(s). I've also taken out Strasbourg and Frankfurt.
Thanks for the responses! And quickly, the list I originally wrote isn't going to be all the cities I see, it's just a list of some possibilities. I think I'm going to go from Aberdeen to Aix and then meet my friend in Berlin and either do Berlin/Prague/Vienna or Berlin/Amsterdam/Brussels. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Hi, I much prefer the Berlin, Prauge and Vienna option, though for me they can't compare with Italian cities of Venice Florence and Rome, but you may have already been there? I would definitely consider them if you haven't.
If you decide on Berlin let me know, my daughter in law is German, and currently works in Berlin I'll get some 'insider' knowledge for you.
Personally I would also go with Berlin/Prague/Vienna - I'm quite fascinated by the history of Austro-Hungarian Empire (although by no means knowing them all yet - I have lots more to learn) and the wealth of cultural stuff to do there. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed visiting Amsterdam and Brussels too, but the feel there is quite different from Prague and Vienna.
Thanks everyone! Itinerary is almost finalized, and it's changed some but makes the most sense for meeting up with everyone I'm trying to see. It also matches what you all have been saying:
Start in Italy - do Florence/Rome - 1 week
Aix - 1 week
Berlin-Prague-Vienna - 2 weeks
Aberdeen - 3-4 days
London will either be before or after B-P-V.
Thanks again! I appreciate the advice.