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Advice needed for Europe 2013 for a mature female

Travel Forums Europe Advice needed for Europe 2013 for a mature female

1. Posted by ricepeanut (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

ricepeanut has indicated that this thread is about Travel Tips and Advice

Hi All,

I'm planning my 1st trip through europe this summer june 1st till julyish. I am from the states, female, 24, and will be traveling alone.

I am currently living in helsinki for the semester, and studying architecture. i am low maintenance and trying to save money where possible. hostels, trains, bus, or no sleep and bread for food, maybe a few decent meals here and there. i will be traveling w/ a 65 liter bag (no more than 30 lbs)

for my trip i am interested in seeing art, culture, architecture, mountains, waters, things w/ character, authentic food, being safe, meeting fun people along the way, and marveling at all the beautiful things i will see. i dont mind the tourisy hotspots, but i want the city to be real as well, not just a stereotypical place i can find anywhere/can get the feel from a magazine...I am not interested in shopping or souvenirs, clubs, partying.

i am on a budget of 3,0000ish USD, and i'm willing to make adjustments for this to be possible. I am hoping to spend only 1-2 days in the smaller places, and 4-6 days in the bigger/more diverse, activity filled places.

rome+venice will be done during spring break, so it will not be on this trip.

i need help on figuring if all these cities are worth visiting (say if one is really similar to the other)? the recommend time frame i should spend in each city?, if using tram/bus/subway for nearby cities is possible? and rail (europass or ticket at the station?) or plane is better between legs? and MUST NOT MISS OUT places (castle, gorges, bridges, etc- something to take my breathe away) in whichever city? and any other city of recommendation? i'm up for trading things out. or any other advice you may have for a first time solo traveler! thanks for helping me make this unforgettable journey possible.

-Y

currently my trip is split into 5 legs.

Leg 1:
malmo, sweden 1
lund, sweden 1
copenhagen, demark 2

Leg 2:
Budapest, Hungary 2
Gyor, Hungary 1
Bratislava, Slovakia 1
Vienna, Austria 2
Linz, Austria 1
Munich, Germany 3
Prague, Czech 2

Leg 3:
Cologne, Germany 3
Dussel, Germany 1/2
Essen, Germany 1/2
Utrecht, Holland 2
Rotterdam, Holland 2
Breda, Holland 1
Antwerp, Belgium 2
Gent, Belgium 1

Leg 4:
Nice, France 2
Gorge du Verdon, France 1/2
Nimes, France 1
Montpellier, France 1
perpignan, France 1
barcelona, France 4

Leg 5:
Sevilla, Spain 3
Lisbon, Portugal 2

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4420 posts) 1y

Interesting mix of places you have there! Nice to see someone not going to Amsterdam in the Netherlands for a change, but to stick to some smaller cities.

I'm a bit worried about your pacing for this trip. Although the travel distances between most places in the various legs are small (nice job stringing them together!), travelling ever onward still ends up being pretty exhausting, and you don't have any leeway in your schedule. I'd purposefully plan in some rest days - extra days spent in a destination you wouldn't mind seeing more of, but which you don't plan on using, so that if you need a break from everything, you can take it without feeling "guilty" that you're not out there seeing everything you had planned.

In the Netherlands, I think Breda is not a very interesting choice of city, given your listed criteria. It's not bad, but unless there's a specific architectural masterpiece there you're interested in, I'd recommend swapping it out in favour of Delft, Haarlem or Leiden (all pretty easily doable en route from Utrecht to Rotterdam).

Post 3 was removed by a moderator
4. Posted by budgeteurotrip (Budding Member 38 posts) 1y

Quoting ricepeanut

for my trip i am interested in seeing art, culture, architecture, mountains, waters, things w/ character, authentic food, being safe, meeting fun people along the way, and marveling at all the beautiful things i will see. i dont mind the tourisy hotspots, but i want the city to be real as well, not just a stereotypical place i can find anywhere/can get the feel from a magazine...I am not interested in shopping or souvenirs, clubs, partying.

i need help on figuring if all these cities are worth visiting (say if one is really similar to the other)? the recommend time frame i should spend in each city?, if using tram/bus/subway for nearby cities is possible? and rail (europass or ticket at the station?) or plane is better between legs? and MUST NOT MISS OUT places (castle, gorges, bridges, etc- something to take my breathe away) in whichever city? and any other city of recommendation? i'm up for trading things out. or any other advice you may have for a first time solo traveler! thanks for helping me make this unforgettable journey possible.

currently my trip is split into 5 legs.

Leg 1:
malmo, sweden 1
lund, sweden 1
copenhagen, demark 2

Leg 2:
Budapest, Hungary 2
Gyor, Hungary 1
Bratislava, Slovakia 1
Vienna, Austria 2
Linz, Austria 1
Munich, Germany 3
Prague, Czech 2

Leg 3:
Cologne, Germany 3
Dussel, Germany 1/2
Essen, Germany 1/2
Utrecht, Holland 2
Rotterdam, Holland 2
Breda, Holland 1
Antwerp, Belgium 2
Gent, Belgium 1

Leg 4:
Nice, France 2
Gorge du Verdon, France 1/2
Nimes, France 1
Montpellier, France 1
perpignan, France 1
barcelona, France 4

Leg 5:
Sevilla, Spain 3
Lisbon, Portugal 2

Hi,
I'll try to give you my personal advise.
First of all I'm wondering why, if you are interested in 'things w/ character, authentic food, being safe, meeting fun people', you are skipping south of italy, where you can find all of those.
Being safe is a big concern, especially for a young lady on her own, but generally south italy is safe enough.

However, in the second leg, i wouldnt dedicate 3 days to munich. As far as I remember Linz wasn't any special. Maybe you can think to use that day for visiting cesky krumlov, in Czech rep, once you are in Prague.
In the leg 3 I would reconsider to not visit amsterdam, is a wonderful city, despite the mass tourism. Rotterdam? it was bombed during II ww and is only about modern building. Antwerp disappointed me, Brussels has more spirit with an intense meltin pot life.
Nothing to add for leg 4. I think you might regret to not spend more time at leg 5 (cordoba in spain and porto in portugal are very nice and interesting spots).

I'd like to add some cities and countries not considered, Sarajevo in Bosnia, Novi Sad in Serbia, Dubrovnik in Croatia, Plovdiv in Bulgaria. Balkan regions are very safe and incredibly authentic, for people, food, locations, culture, languagge...

I wish you to enjoy your trip!

5. Posted by ricepeanut (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

Budgeteurotrip,

gawwsh, wow. thanks for the advice about the balkan region, i'm doing a bit of research on it, and now i'm in the biggest pickle ever! ekkk. this region seems to be a bit more planning required than others, mainly cause i'm flipping clueless about it. but we'll see what i can do, i will definitely post the revised and finalized route on here. hopefully i can decide my march and search researching the heck out of routes and start book stuff.

linz will prolly get axed, i only consider it cause it was on the way to munich. i haven't really research munich, but your pointer puts me on edge. everyone i've talked to always raves about munich in germany... hmmm.

didn't know the factoid about rotterdam... we will see what happens with amsterdam.

you really helped. thank you.

Sanders,

thanks for the advice about holland. I was wondering a bit about breda too. the "rest" days will definitely be added, i'm starting to realized how expansive this is really gonna be. furthermore i will definitely screw up somewhere in which i need a day to make up for it- total newb. thanks again.

-Y

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4420 posts) 1y

Rotterdam - due not not having much of a historic city center left, is actually quite interesting from an architectural point of view (I presume, not knowing much of anything about architecture). Close to the old harbour (which I love as an area), there's the cube buildings (including one which you can visit for cheap) and various other rather unusual buildings. The Netherlands is of course full of historic architecture, but given your studies, I'm assuming you're also interested in more modern examples. (Also, Utrecht has the Rietveld Schröder House.)

7. Posted by ricepeanut (Budding Member 3 posts) 1y

Sander and BudgetEuroTrip

So i made a 2nd revision to my itinerary, and i think it is gonna not change much anymore after this unless its due to transportation. i'm pretty happy with the variety between big and small, known and unknown, and architecture. after looking at all these places and more, i feel like i can find a plenty of museums, churches, cathedrals, galleries, rivers, mountains, cobble street, and beaches throughout euro..so i'm sure my view will change (and prolly often at that). i am scared about seeing too much of the same type of things, so then i'll get jaded or something... :/ also sorta worried about the foreign-ness of the trip, like its a bit off the normal path, so transportation/english is a concern..or if i can easily find tourist amenities

my new biggest problem is how many days to spend in each place, and between the legs where to fly/train/bus/ferry out from depending on it being a transportation hub. so again, transportation/ease of access might be the deciding factor now.

if you two can write back in how much u suggest i spend in each city or if each 2 places are identical and i could go see one and not both would help too, i would realllllly appreciate it.
for the most part, i'm thinking i'll spend overnights in the big city (smart for cost wise?) and day trips to the really small ones/singular attraction (least to my understanding, these are in bold)... ideally i dont want this trip to be more than 60 days, so it looks like i might have to take one or two cities out (which u should tell me which to reconsider/take out). my comprehension of things to do in each city, as well as travel time is not very good, and those are big factors too.

copenhagen/malmo is being debated upon between tallinn/st.petersburg, during my stay in helsinki.

-Y

leg one:
bucharest, romania
sinai, romania
plovdiv, bulgaria
sofia, bulgaria
novi sad, serbia / exit festival july 10-14
sarajevo, bosnia
dubrovnik, croatia
bari, italy
pompeii, italy
naples, italy

fly to budapest from naples

leg two
budapest, hungary (mixed feelings about this one)
bratislava, slovakia (mixed feelings on this one)
vienna, austria
cesky krumlov, austria
prague, czech
dresden, germany

train to cologne from dresden?

leg three
cologne, germany
maastricht, holland
utrecht, holland
rotterdam, holland (might get axed for possible rest day)
brussels, belgium
gent, belgium
brugge, belgium

train or fly from brussels to nice?

leg four
nice, france
monaco, monaco (might be tay long for this place)
eze, france
marseilles, france (might get axed for rest day)

fly to barcelona from marseilles or nice?

leg five
barcelona, spain
granada, spain
sevilla, spain
faro, portugal (might get axed for rest day)
lisbon, portugal

fly to chicago from lisbon?

8. Posted by walk2rhythm (Budding Member 5 posts) 1y

Leg 2 on your trip looks great. Budapest is a city like no other and the most beautiful city on the Danube River. Hungarians are polite and curious, and will be happy to show you a good local restaurant or pub when traveling in the city. It is also very accessible and cheap to travel by train to the other nearby cities that you have on your list for leg 2.

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