Thanks for all the advice, it really help. We have made our decision on where we are going on this trip and have decided to split what we are going to do into two trips so that we can enjoy the cities for more then a day to better take them in. We are going to Italy (4 days Rome, 3 Florence, 2 Venice, 1 Milan and Verona) We then plan to take an airberlin flight from Milan to Berlin since it is only like 70 per person (just need to make sure we aren't screwed on baggage). Spend 3 days in Berlin then to Krakow for 3-4 days, then to Munich for Oktoberfest, then Salzburg since it is right there. And take the rest of eastern europe on our next trip and go from prague-vienna-budapest and then through the balkans to Istanbul.
Now we just need to find out where to stay in Munich during Oktoberfest 2013. Hoping if we book early enough it wont be too expensive. We would like to stay in hotels do you think $15,000 is enough for too ppl for the Italy, berlin, munich and krakow including flights, hotels, food, etc
Hey Joe - Istanbul is definately a fabulous choice, I moved there for 2 months to study and it is my favourite city . If you go the grand bazaar first thing in the morning you will most likely get a better deal as the vendors believe that the first sale of the day is lucky so you can haggle down very low. I also studied in Italy and it is worth knowing (as it took me 6 weeks to discover this) that Italy has special train tickets called SMART tickets, they are a fraction of the cost as they are booked in advance - i got a ticket from Milan to Switzerland for 19 euro each way. I think they also run within Italy too. They are also available online, they only sell a certain number of these tickets and when they are gone they are gone so keep checking for them. Ryanair (although terrible) are very cheap and are usually much cheaper than the rivals for Europe hopping, easyjet and BMI baby also work quite well (you may get screwed on luggage with these though, it's £15 each way for hold baggage and they are very stingy at the gate so ensure you don't overdo the limits on handluggage, the fine heavily!). When you get to Krakow, many people will try and sell you a trip to Auschwitz which includes everything, it is relatively expensive in the town and we decided to get there ourselves. The trip cost around 45 euros if I remember correctly but when we took the bus from the centre (it was direct to Auschwitz) it was about 1.50 each way and it was 12 euro entry so we saved a lot of money here . As for hotels I usually do a mix of www.trivago.com and www.lastminute.com they are both good at different times and you can often get really cheap 4* hotels, I always check both before I book either. Anyway, hope you have a great time, if you have any questions about individual places, I can usually help as more often than not in Europe I have been there !! If you want luxury in Istanbul be sure to visit the Hamam !!