I am planning a 2 week trip this September starting in Oslo, Norway and ending in Munich Germany. This is my first time not traveling in a group. I am trying really hard to have things organized. I feel like there is so much to see and do but not enough time in each place. I would like any advice and recommendations anyone has. I would like to do the tourist things but also would like to get out of the main cities and see the native culture and life. So we are starting in Oslo then going to Stockholm, Sweden, then Copenhagen, Denmark, then Berlin and then ending in Munich for Oktoberfest. Each place we are staying about 3 days. So again any advice on hotels/hostels or how to get around, anything I would love to hear.
Also any advice for finding the cheapest airfare? I am willing to fly into anywhere and then take a short flight to my end destination.
I am planning on buying the eurail pass for 4 countries, do you recommend making reservations before I leave or when I get there for each train. I am sad that there are no overnight trains from my locations. Do you have any advice what to do if I get to my destination and cannot check in to my hotel, what do I do with my luggage or vice versa what if I check out and dont leave until later? Are some hotels nice and have a place for us to keep them?
Again thank you in advance for your time and help
I feel like there is so much to see and do but not enough time in each place.
You have already summed up the problem very nicely. Two weeks, going from Oslo to Munich, stopping in at least 5 places (Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Munich)? And planning to get out of the cities too and seeing some of the culture of the countries in question? That means really means rushing around. The only way to do this is having a very focused and well planned initiary. Not an easy thing to do when it is your first time without a tour company and especially tough if you have never been to these places before.
You did not say where you are from, but if you are flying intercontinental chances are that your 2 weeks are actually 12 days, which gives you approx. 3 days per country or 2 days in each city, not counting the time you loose when you move from place to place.
Your wrote: Each place we are staying about 3 days. I would like to argue that. To have one full day in a city you need to spend 2 nights there. Taking travelling time into account I think that you'll actually end up having 1 full day per city, not 3.
If I was you I would cut down on the places to see. I would suggest going Copenhagen, Berlin and Munich plus some sidetrips into the countryside. Or go Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen if you are more interested in Scandinavia.
Also any advice for finding the cheapest airfare?
Big question - from where?
I spent a month just in Scandinavia alone, and really only saw the highlights. If you only go to Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen, you've missed all the wonderful small towns in Norway that are so fantastic because you're so rushed for time! What's the point of your trip, to travel as far as you can in 2 weeks, or to see (and experience) the countries you visit?
I dont know what to do know. I know I was taking on more than would be recommended to be able to enjoy everything that I want to enjoy. But now how do I decide what to cut out and how do I tell the person I am traveling with we aren't going to all the places we wanted to. I need a lot of help! I am so overwhelmed now and dont know what to do. Do you have any suggestions on a new plan for me We will be flying out of Chicago. THanks so much
I am going to copy here part of what I wrote in the pm to you:
I really want to do Norway since that is where I am from and she really wants to do Germany.
Then I suggest you split: 1 week Germany and 1 week Norway. Acknowledge that you cannot see it all, that you'll only be able to see some carefully selected highlights. And that you'll probably need a holiday after the holiday because you'll be racing around a lot, hitting a new place every day.
In Norway I suggest you focus on Southern Norway, Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim. In Germany I would suggest you focus around Southern Germany, Frankfurt, Munich, Salzburg and a few places in between (Heidelberg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber).
So far that seems to be the only sensible solution to your problem. Or does anybody have another idea?
Flying from Chicago I would suggest flying in and out of Frankfurt and then catching a budget flight to Norway. Or fly into Oslo and out of Munich, this might cost a little more but will be more comfortable and safe you time (which is essential on your trip).
To connect from Norway to Germany I then suggest catching a budget flight to Germany from Norway.
how do I tell the person I am traveling with we aren't going to all the places we wanted to.
Let her read what I and the others wrote. If she doesn't see sense you probably don't want to travel with her!
[ Edit: Edited on 21-Feb-2010, at 14:00 by t_maia ]
I totally agree with everything everyone is saying but I dont know if it is possible to change my plans. I have heart set on seeing them all and so does my traveling partner but I do know if I am going to be rushed through the whole trip I wont be able to enjoy it as much. I have talked with my friend and her thought is she doesn't want to see everything she just wants to hit the main stuff. Since she isn't a seasoned traveler I worry about what she expects and reality of it. I am always trying to think bigger than I can do and I think I did that. Now my heart is set on going to all these places but deep down I know we shouldn't but I just can't not go. I have decided to cut Berlin out of my trip which will give me extra days to count for travel between destinations and will give me about 3 full days in each city. How does that sound? I know one of you said if my traveling partner doesn't agree I shouldn't go with her and that has crossed my mind because she is so inexperienced but we are good friends and I think we will have fun together. I am hoping if I have everything organized and I plan everything she will just have to go with what I plan No this might not be the ideal situation but it is the way it is and I want to go with my friend and go to these places. So I truly do value all of your advice and would love have more advice on how to plan my trip to make it the best it can be on my time schedule. The plan is right now to leave Chicago Sept 8 and arrive in Europe (probably Oslo) morning of Sept 9. We will spend a couple days there, where I will travel outside of Oslo to see where my family ancestors are from. From Oslo we then will take a train to Stockholm and spend 3 days there. From Stockholm take a train to Copenhagen and spend 3 days there and then lastly hopefully take a night train from Copenhagen to Munich where we will end our trip. We have to leave Europe Sept 23, so that gives us a total of 14 days not counting the 2 days of travel to and from Europe. I know again this isn't ideal, I wish I could get off work for a month but I cant so this is the best I can do. I am planning on getting the eurorail pass to get from country to county, do you agree that is the best way to travel, cost wise it is best but I think time wise taking a small plane would be faster but what do you think? I have been looking for airfare from Chicago to Oslo and then Munich to Chicago. the cheapest I have found is $880 USD, I think that is pretty good but I would like your advice. Do you think I can get it cheaper, when should I buy, any suggestions? And then if anyone has any suggestions for each city that we will be visiting and anything right outside the city. Thanks so much
I have been looking for airfare from Chicago to Oslo and then Munich to Chicago. the cheapest I have found is $880 USD
Take it, you will be hard pressed to find it any cheaper than 800 USD even in off-season. Note that prices in and out of Munich will go up significantly for the Octoberfest season, if you wait until June you can expect to pay around 1200 USD in airfare.
We will spend a couple days there, where I will travel outside of Oslo to see where my family ancestors are from. From Oslo we then will take a train to Stockholm and spend 3 days there.
Southern Norway is a beautiful place, I strongly recommend having more time there. You should definitely visit Bergen and maybe Trondheim. That will take you around 4-5 days I think plus the time you need in Oslo. Therefore 3 days in Norway is not enough, which is why I recommend skipping Stockholm and maybe Copenhagen.
hopefully take a night train from Copenhagen to Munich
There is a night train, but it doesn't always run. Check carefully. Also look into flying, the distance is long enough.
As for Munich: Try to minimise your time there during Octoberfest. Normally Munich is a very nice city and I can strongly recommend visiting for several days, but during Octoberfest the city is full of drunk people and prices skyrocket. One day at the fair will be enough. If you have some time left I strongly recommend going to either Salzburg, Füssen or Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
You should also look for flights into Oslo and out of Frankfurt - if you can find a good deal there plan on visiting Heidelberg for the day before you fly back to the USA.