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Three weeks in Europe - ideas please, Thanks! :)

Travel Forums Europe Three weeks in Europe - ideas please, Thanks! :)

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11. Posted by dc484153 (Budding Member 16 posts) 5y

You might not be able to see all of the countries on your list, but you can see a good amount depending on your pace.

You have three weeks. I think you can easily do Amsterdam, Belgium, and France. From France you can decide whether or not you want to go to Italy or Spain. Austria will be difficult, so at least with my itinerary, I would count it out.

Day 1-3: Amsterdam (assuming that is the only place in the Netherlands that you want to go)
Day 4-7: Belgium (Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp...wherever.
Day 8-12: Paris. You could possibly fit in Versailles. I spent three days in Paris and saw all the major sights, and would have loved an extra day for Versailles
Day 13-15: South of France (Nice, Cannes, Monaco...anywhere)

Then with your last 6 days, decide whether or not you prefer to go to Spain or to Italy. For Spain you could take a train from Nice to Barcelona (perhaps overnight) or look into budget airlines like Ryanair or Easyjet if they have flights from Nice to Barcelona, and do:
Day 16-18: Barcelona
Day 19-21: Madrid

with Italy, you can take a train from Nice to Genova. From Genova, I recommend going south to Florence, and on to Rome. Northern Italy is beautiful, with cities like Milan and Venice, but the reason I recommend going South instead of North is because it looks like you will not fit in Austria. Austria is very close to Northern Italy, so on another trip you could easily see Northern Italy and Austria, and other countries in that region. So going south, from Genova, you can do:

Day 16-18: Florence
Day 19-21: Rome

Since it looks like you will not be able to fit in Austria (at least with this itinerary), might I suggest going South to Florence and Rome instead of up North, should you choose Italy. On another trip in the future, you can try and go to Northern Italy and Austria, as they are very close and it would be easy and quick to navigate through that region.

you will of course have to factor in travel time between points. Amsterdam-Belgium-Paris will be an easy train ride, they're not far apart from each other at all. Plan to leave early if you can so that you can arrive at your destination by noon. from Paris to Nice you can take a TGV train. I recommend doing this journey overnight if you can, as you will be paying for your transportation and night's accommodation on the same ticket, instead of a hotel room at night and the train ticket in the morning.

In general, Spain is cheaper than Italy, so if you'd prefer a cheaper destination, go with Spain. Travel from Nice to Barcelona is quite far and involves many connections. You need to get from Nice to Montpellier (about 5 hours) and from Montpellier to Barcelona (about 4 hours). It would be quite a bit of traveling and take a whole day. There are overnight buses via Movelia that you could look into, if that is your thing. They have one that departs at midnight and arrives at 10:15 for €58. You can book a flight if you'd prefer, but there are none on budget airlines Ryanair or Easyjet that will get you from Nice to Barcelona. I just did a search on a travel website of flights, and you can get a plane ticket for as low as $85, but you should plan this in advance, as the price jumps form $85 each (nonstop) to $159 each (with layover), and then to $307 (with layover). That was just for the date in May that I randomly looked up...your date could be different. If you can plan far in advance and get a deal on a flight, go with the flight. Then from Barcelona, you can catch the AVE train to Madrid, which will get you there in about 3hours. Trains leave every hour. The price is $161 each.

On the other hand, you can decide to travel to Italy. In my research, there are budget airlines from Nice to Rome (Fiumicino) for as low as 30 euros. so you can do rome first, and THEN florence. this may be better, as the trains from Nice to Florence involve 2 connections and it takes about 10 hours total in transit and will cost $122 each. Then you can take a train from Rome to Florence for as low as $42 for a 3 hour train, and $62 for a 1.5 hour train. Trains leave very frequently from Rome and they involve no transfer.

So this would be my final itinerary for you. it's just up to you to decide if you want to see spain or italy the most!

Day 1-3: Amsterdam (assuming that is the only place in the Netherlands that you want to go)
Day 4-7: Belgium (Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp...wherever.
Day 8-12: Paris. You could possibly fit in Versailles. I spent three days in Paris and saw all the major sights, and would have loved an extra day for Versailles
Day 13-15: South of France (Nice, Cannes, Monaco...anywhere)
Day 16-18: A: Barcelona or B: Rome
Day 19-21: A: Madrid or B: Florence

the last thing you have to decide is whether or not you want to purchase two one way tickets, so that you could arrive in amsterdam and leave from either Madrid or Florence, or if you want to buy a round trip ticket and make your way back to the airport that you flew into for your flight home. if you buy round trip from amsterdam (looked up NYC-amsterdam in may, $660 round trip each), you can look into a budget airline from your final destination for the day before, and spend the night in an airport hotel. or you can decide on an itinerary and buy one way from home to your first destination, and one way from your final destination to home. if you decide to just buy a round trip ticket and you need to make your way back to where you started, you will have to cut out a day from somewhere to account for making it back to your starting point in Europe for the flight home. look into budget airlines for a plane ticket to your starting point.

hope this helped a little bit. it's a bit wordy, i apologize. i just wanted to explain everything carefully you can definitely fit in a few countries...you just have to plan carefully and be willing to travel at a bit of a fast pace.

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