Me and a friend are setting off on a 2 month interrail tour of Europe at the end of May before we start university, and were looking for some advice on where to go and what to see. We have come up with a itinory and some things we would like to do (other than the usual sightseeing).
It would be really helpfull if you could comment on our itinary and give us any suggestions or advice you have.
Paris (4 nights) ---- Go to Parc Asterix theme park
Madrid (2 nights) ---- Go to a bullfight
Barcelona (2 nights) ---- Watch a match at the Nou Camp
FLY TO IBIZA
Ibiza (7 nights)
FLY TO BARCELONA
Barcelona (1 night)
Nice (2 nights) - visit Monaco?
Lausanne, Sion and Interlaken (7 nights)
Venice (2 nights)
Rome (3 nights)
Florence (3 nights) - visit Pisa?
Milan (2 nights)
Vienna (3 nights)
Budapest (3 nights) ---- Use Budapest baths
Krakow (2 nights) ---- Visit Auswitch concentration camp
Prague (3 nights)
Berlin (3 nights)
Copenhagen (2 nights)
Amsterdam (3 nights)
Brussels (2 nights)
Leaving 2 or 3 days as backup.
Hi, firstly, good luck with getting a ticket to the Nou Camp, i tried that a couple of years ago and had no luck. Matches tend to be be booked months in advance.
In regards to Krakow, be aware that a trip to auschwitsh will take a whole day, esp if u plan on getting the bus onto Birkenau as well, so if ur only there 2 nights, ull have to do some power sightseeing on 1 day. This is perfectly doable as i did itlast year. Just dont expect to have a break!!
With Venice, you will find that it is very expensive, so rather than going on a gondolo, 80 odd euros, take a ride on the water canal, just as good and about an eighth of the price!! Oh and eat pizza abd have ice cream, absolute musts.
Unless u have a lot of money, and im assuming as ur off to uni that isnt the case, then you may not find a whole lot to do in Milan - my highlight was seeing the San Siro!! Oh and make sure u dig ur heel into the taurus on the floor of the main shopping centre - is meant to be good luck.
Budeapest and Prague are both amazing places with loads to do and see, as in fact is Amsterdam. A bike ride is always fun, and if u have time take in the Vondelpark - there are always some weird perfomances going on in the summer.
Think that is about it for different things to do. otherwise it is the gneral sightseeing bit.
Hi! Great plan to do a trip like this before starting college! This is the time to do these things, and it's nice to go on a long vacation after, well, about 14 years of school
About your itinerary: Paris is beautiful, I don't know if you're aware that entrance to the Louvre is free on every first sunday of the month? That's probably good to know before you show up on monday ... like I did once! Also, a very nice part of Paris that not to many tourists know of is the 13th (I think) arrondissement, which is like the "Chinatown" of Paris. Parc Asterix is not that big a deal from what I've heard of it, but that was from one person who went a long time ago, so it could have changed a lot!
In Venice you can get a day ticket for the ferry to the surrounding islands: Murano, Burano and some other islands. Murano is a bit of a tourist trap, mostly glass shops, but Burano is very pretty, lots of coloured houses etc. Also, a day on the boat hopping on & off seeing all the islands is very relaxed.
I'd definitely go to Rome and Florence, really beautiful cities. I found Pisa a bit dissapointing, very small and touristic, but it's nice to be able to say you've seen it Like nickla said, Milan isn't great, especially compared to Rome&Florence.
Visiting a concentration camp is a really great idea!! I didn't go to Auswitch, but to Buchenwald (because my granddad was kept there) and it was very impressive.
And seeing as I'm Dutch I have to give the Amsterdam promotion speech: it's great!! Vondelpark is nice, as is just walking around a bit, getting the atmosfere. Try not to expect windmills&clogs when you come to Holland, because if you do, you'll be disappointed. If you want to see those things, try the Openluchtmuseum in Arnhem. Then you'll also be able to visit me in Nijmegen If you plan on going to the Rijksmuseum: it's being renovated at the moment, so a large part of the paintings are either not visible or in a new wing. That's all I know of it, but maybe it's wise to do some research before going.
Have fun on your trip, I hope this info is useful to you!
You will have a great trip, my two pence worth...
At home it is very easy to get a bit overexcited and include too many places which I think you have done. You have included some great cities and places on your trip, if not ALL of them within 2 months, the problem is that you might not discover them beyond the tourist streak which is a mistake imo when you're only there for a couple of days. I'd say it's better to visit fewer places and have more time to get to know the place a bit better, I think you'll discover that all places are so much more interesting beyond the tourist attractions.
Can't say I agree with Seskie about going somewhere just to be able to say 'I've been there' - who cares really if you haven't got something interesting to say beyond that?
Spend some more time in Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Rome, + Copenhagen if possible, all of them great cities with something different to give.
You'll have the time of your life so enjoy!
Have a great trip! Having 2 months as opposed to the normal month is a definite bonus, so try and use it well, and you should have a fantastic experience.
The first thing that springs to mind is the timings. If your planning on 2 months (call it 60 days) and you’ve listed about 56 nights here, I think you will be struggling a couple of times due to sheer transport issues. You don’t seem to have any night travel planned, but some of your journeys are long and without using Night trains, mean you would spend several full days in travel, and also large chunks out of a number of other days. I think your either need to scale back your plans (i.e. destinations) a bit, or the number of nights you spend in places, or possibly both.
One thing i would say - as you will be using 2 interrails, see if you can be clever - can you finish/start zones between tickets which maye save you? Can you finish a journey one day/evening, and not have the ticket start for 2 or 3 days? - that may gain you some extra days. Also, if time isn't as much of an issue, see if you can do a bit of buy as you go in the middle. Foir example, if you are likely to end the first one in Rome, italian tickets are cheap compared to most of W Europe. Finish one ticket in Rome, and enjoy it there, and then buy a single ticket to Florence and enjoy there. Possibly even the same again to Venice or Milan. And then have the next ticket start. That way you can add an extra week or two travel without wasting days on the interrail
Other bits - The route looks fairly logical, although I would suggest a couple of changes -
I’m not sure where you are starting from , but if it’s the Uk, I’d say chuck Paris to the end and fly direct to Madrid.
Reasoning: If under 26, no discount on Eurostar to Paris at all, plus then 4 nights in Paris with no use of your ticket (i.e. wasting days on it), plus a likely Night train of some description to Madrid (or a full day spent in travel), and if you use the direct Night train, because it’s a private company, you only get a passholder discount, so still pay 30 odd pounds even with a interrail. So unless you need to be in Paris at the start, aim to finish there instead (not a bad place to finish anyway!)
If you plan on catching a game at the Nou Camp (and it is absolutely fantastic), check your dates. If your trip is starting end of May, and your aiming on 6 nights before you hit Barcelona, the season will be over, or as good as over, before you get there, so you won’t get a game. It may be necessary to fly London – Barcelona for the game, then Ibiza, fly to Madrid and back to Barcelona, or something similar. If your not there for a game, consider flying in and out of 2 different places anyway – I assume it should be possible to fly Ibiza-Nice, which would make more sense than going back to Barcelona for just 1 night before going all the way around, and will save you time.
You have an interesting 3 places named for Switzerland, and apart from Interlaken are a bit different to the normal places, but don’t let that dissuade you. Are you planning on using Sion as a base for Zermat or something similar?
Monaco is dead easy from Nice and certainly easy for a day trip or even a few hours. And it has to be seen! Nice to Switzerland isn’t always the most straight forward of journeys, so make sure you have an idea beforehand of how your going to do it. The obvious choice for your places would be the overnight train Nice-Geneva - easy for Lausanne – but unfortunately they withdrew the train (and the other easy option, the St. Gervais train) last year, and it’s at best uncertain that it will be back this summer. There is a direct day TGV Nice-Geneva, but it takes about 6 hours out of the day, plus transfers, and it can sell out well in advance on popular days.
Maybe Nice-Milan-Switzerland-back to Italy could work much better in some cases.
I’d also be inclined to shuffle your Italian itineries. Go to Milan straight from Switzerland (you have to go through there anyway), and also in daylight top catch some of the great scenery. Then Florence/Roma in either order, and Venice, which is then easy onwards to Vienna or Budapest. Pisa is an easy daytrip from Florence as you say, and can possibly add a stop in Empoli (between the two) as well. Siena is also worth a day trip if you have the time.
Going directly North from Venice gives you the option of doing Vienna and Budapest in either order on direct trains (night, plus 2 day to Vienna was well), which may help as these can get busy in summer
Krakow - yes visit Auschwicz, BUT don’t plan on doing anything else that day or traveling that evening. It more or less has to be seen, but it takes allot out of people, and even just drinking on the town in Krakow the night after visiting often seems unapropriate and you just don’t feel like it.
As per Vienna/Budapest, Prague and Krakow can be switched order fairly easily as well if necessary.
There’s lots of other places I could suggest you add, but I’m not sure thats going to help. One thing I would say though, is that if you do decide you have to drop somewhere, remember that with easyjet/ryanair there are lots of very cheap flights to some of these places. For example, if you decide that for whatever reason, you just can fit Copenhagen (taking a place at random) in, you and your friend could arrange to fly there for a weekend at some point later on, maybe with new friends from Uni. Weekends like that away and on the cheap from Uni are a great way to catch up/relax etc and get you away from the slog of term. Just a thought!
If you discover you want/need to drop some places in order to save day, I would consider Milan (or at least cutting it down drastically) first – yes, it’s quite pleasant, but it’s mainly a business/shopping city (barring football, and you’ll be in off season anyway) and in terms of beauty and things to see etc, I personally don’t think there’s all that much when you compare it to most other Italian cities. I’d also consider dropping Copenhagen. Yes it’s a great city (I’m only a couple of hours away, and go there frequently, and love it), but it’s unfortunately not all that easy/straight forward to get to, and on a Berlin-Kbh-Amsterdam trip, I’d guess you‘d loose at least 36 hours in travel time. There are some options, but they tend to be more expensive (Berlin-Malmo night for example, is very easy, but only every other night and is sleepers only, so even with an Interrail, it’s a good 40gbp extra). In addition, it’s relatively easy and tends to be among the cheaper destinations of easyjet, so could be done as a separate trip later.
If you can get hold of a book called Paupers Paris by Miles Turner you should. It lists the best places to stay, eat and shop and I found the restaurant section very useful.
If you are in Paris for 4 days I would visit Versailles.
I didn't see any comments about Brussells, I've never really heard anyone say it is a must-visit city.
Have a good time anyway, should be a great trip.