Journey to Spain, France, Italy and Greece

Travel Forums Europe Journey to Spain, France, Italy and Greece

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1. Posted by TheRedeemer7 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!


I will be undertaking a journey during the month of December to the aforementioned countries. I will be going there a month or so.

I will be flying from city to city in each country. This will be done in order to save time.

I will be traveling to Madrid, Barcelona and Ibiza in Spain. France will be Paris, Monaco and St. Tropez. Italy will be Rome, Milan, Venice and Florence. Greece will be Athens, Mykonos and Santorini. I still haven't decided but might also head to Marrakech.

Economic resources will not be a hindrance. Can i please get suggestions as to what to do in each city?

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 999 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

> I will be flying from city to city in each country. This will be done in order to save time.

I assume you mean you will be flying from country to country rather than between cities in each country? If not, I suggest you do more research. Once you have added in time taken getting to and from the airport (airports are not in cities!), for check-in, security and baggage reclaim flying from city to city in Italy and Spain actually takes longer than using the high-speed trains (as well as being more expensive, obviously).

Madrid > Barcelona takes from 2h 45m on the AVE train. Milan > Venice from 2h 25m, Venice > Florence from 1h 53m, Florence > Rome from 1h 18m......

Check train times, details and fares in English on the official sites:

Italy (use Milano, Venezia, Firenze & Roma to search):


[ Edit: Edited on 11-Nov-2018, at 00:52 by leics2 ]

3. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 999 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

As for 'what to do' it would be helpful to know what you are interested in e.g. historical sights & museums? Art? Clubbing? Shopping? Eating out?

Some ideas for Italy:

Milan: Book online in advance to see Da Vinci's Last Supper. Go to the Duomo (especially the roof), Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio, Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore, the art inside Basilica San Maurizio di Monasterio, the Navigli district for nights out, the Brera district, visit one or several of the excellent museums, use the train for a daytrip to ancient Pavia or to Como.

Venice: Expect the city to be expensive and crowded with visitors and accept that fact. In December you may well experience an aqua alta or two. Go to the Basilica San Marco, the Palazzo Ducale, Piazza San Marco, as many ancient churches as you can (most of them have fantastic artwork within), the Jewish ghetto area, maybe the Guggenheim. Walk and walk and walk...the city is pretty small and the less-visited sestiere of Dorsoduoro, Canareggio and Castello are just as ancient and just as interesting. Get a good map and expect to get lost. Daytrip by train to Verona.

Florence: Expect lots of visitors and book online in advance for the Uffizi. The Duomo, Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, San Miniato al Monte, Orsanmichele, the Accademia, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Pitti Palace, Piazza Michelangelo, Piazza della Signoria, the Sant'Ambrogio market (more 'authentic' than the tourist-focused Mercato Centrale area) .... Daytrips by local bus to Fiesole and by train to Pisa.

Rome: Far too much to list here. Hundreds of Roman remains, hundreds of ancient churches, loads of excellent museums (book online in advance for the Vatican Museums). Colosseum & Palatine Hill, Pantheon, Circo Massimo, Largo di Torre Argentina, Castel Sant'Angelo, Basilica San Pietro (in Vatican City), Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Basilica San Clemente, Pantheon, Basilica Santa Maria in Trastevere, Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano...and many, many more. Go to at least one set of catacombs (e.g. San Sebastiano, San Callisto, ) and, if the weather is decent, walk through Parco Appia Antica along the Via Appia Antica. Daytrips by train to Ostia Antica (a massive Pompeii-like site which was ancient Rome's port) and to Fiesole (Villa d'Este, Villa Adriana).

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Nov-2018, at 00:53 by leics2 ]

4. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1260 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I can only reinforce what leics2 above has suggested. Seriously consider taking the train between cities. When you factor in time involved, i.e. getting to the airport, going through security, waiting for the plane, possible weather problems in December, waiting for luggage at arrival, etc., it invariably takes quite a bit more time than simply hopping on the train. Since your budget isn't a problem, it won't matter that the train will probably cost less too, but booking ahead on the high speed trains can also save money if you want to spend it on something else like fine dining.

Paris to Nice might be the exception for taking the train although I would still opt for the train since the train is only about an hour more than the airport experience. On the train, you settle in with room to move, the ability to get up and walk around, gorgeous views along the way and ending up in the middle of the city. I'm suggesting Nice since it would be the logical base point for visiting Monaco and Saint Tropez by train or bus from Nice. Nice is also a lovely place to visit especially in December.

Suggestions for sightseeing in Paris:
(1) If you enjoy art museums, the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay are the most famous. The Orsay has the Impressionists that everyone wants to see. The Louvre has more traditional artists and a very diverse collection. It is also so large that it takes many visits to see most of it so check the web site and see what interests you and where to find it so you don't waste time wandering aimlessly . . . unless you enjoy wandering aimlessly. I do and find all sorts of interesting things there.

(2) Everyone wants to see the Eiffel Tower and you can see it from many places in Paris. If you want to go up the Tower, be sure it's a clear day. Fog, rain and snow don't help the view. A fun alternative is to take the elevator to the top of the Montparnasse Tower and enjoy a beautiful view of Paris including the Eiffel Tower. When you are on the Eiffel Tower, you can't see it; you see the very plain, nondescript Montparnasse tower instead.

(3) Churches - Don't miss the famous Cathedral Notre Dame. If you can attend a concert there, it's a marvelous experience and December is a great time to do that. There are other interesting churches in Paris. We particularly enjoy St. Sulpice with it's Delacroix paintings, St. Merri for good concerts and the activity outside in the adjoining square and St. Eustache for spectacular organ recitals.

(4) Gardens obviously won't be at their peak in December, but they are always full of people so are interesting. My favorite is the Tuileries right outside the Musée du Louvre with art obvious and hidden in odd corners and lots of people walking through to get to the Place de la Concorde. The Luxembourg Garden would be a second choice. The museum there nearly always has a visiting exhibit and they are always very well done. The Medici Fountain in the garden won't be covered with flowers but it will still be beautiful. Again, there will be people wandering and fun to watch. There are many other gardens both large and small all over the city. If you are walking, you'll see them and can go through them as easily as around them. We always go through as it's much more fun.

(5) Other museums would include the Invalides that has the War Museum inside along with Napoleon's Tomb. The War Museum is a rather heart rending emotional experience so you might want to skip it on a December visit. I'm thinking of Christmas cheer and keeping happy. It really is worth a visit at some point in time since it really brings the effect of WWII to immediate awareness.

I can only assume you don't have more than 3 or 4 days in Paris since you have only a month and are visiting quite a few places so if you get to most of these, you will have a good feeling for Paris. There is much more to the city but it takes time. Public transportation is excellent but walk as much as you can because even in the rain, Paris is a stunning city. Click here for Must-See Sights in Paris by Beausoleil

Here is a link to my TravellersPoint blog on Must-See sights in Paris:

If you would like to share your interests with us, perhaps we can make more specific touring suggestions. It's difficult to make recommendations when we don't know what you enjoy visiting or doing.

5. Posted by AdamFrankie (Inactive 12 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

While in Barcelona visit Camp Nou and for Madrid visit Santiago Bernabeau. Football is considered as religion in Spain. Exploring these 2 stadiums will be a great memory for you.

6. Posted by Nuski (Budding Member 8 posts) 49w Star this if you like it!

It depends what you are keen to.

In Madrid there are very beautiful places such as: Puerta del Sol, Parque del Retiro, La Almudena Cathedral, The Royal Palace, Sabatini Gardens and the Austrians neighbourhood.

In Barcelona you can visit the Gotic quartier, The port area and la Barceloneta beach, Casa Batló, Montjuic and Sagrada Familia Cathedral :)

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by Betty56 (Budding Member 2 posts) 47w Star this if you like it!

As you arrive in the morning, you should catch the earliest flight possible to Santorini. The primary appeal of Santorini is the view, so I'd highly recommend staying in Oia in a hotel with a balcony and caldera view.
If you really want to see Mykonos, then ferry there from Santorini before returning to Athens. If you'd rather see a more traditional island, then replace Mykonos with Naxos. You'll probably save some money and get a much better feel for Greek culture. But if you really want to explore the best of the island I would highly recommend a car at least for a few days --snip-- Getting to some of the best beaches, such as Porto Katsiki and Gialos, is impossible by public transport (unless you use taxis, in which case it might end up costing more than renting a small car).

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

9. Posted by LeeXee0819 (Budding Member 37 posts) 47w Star this if you like it!

By the way, I know this is out of the question but be careful. There are a lot of pickpockets out there.

I experienced it first hand. Maybe an Im an easy target.

I had my first experience in Paris while boarding the train to Versailles, a guy opened my backpack, luckily I was quick enough to notice that something is up.

The second one in Venice, my friend has her small shoulder bag and a guy opened it, we were close enough to losing our passport and money. The funny thing is that when i saw him opening it i shouted at him and they (couple) pretended to be mad at us.

I dont want to spoil your vacation but just be cautious. Some of my friends did not experience it when they where there. There are some countries you just have to be extra careful.

But overall we enjoy our european trip.

Good luck.

10. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 47w Star this if you like it!

Quoting LeeXee0819

we were close enough to losing our passport and money.

There are a number of more personal ways of carrying the really important paperwork/money on your body (rather than in a separate bag).
Money belts and various pouches that you wear under your clothing, with various levels of accessibility.
I have a simple pouch on a cord which goes around my neck (and inside my shirt), which is used when I know I will need access to the documents.
But I also use a money belt when I really won't need access to the documents and where I keep larger amounts of cash.
Maybe it's an unnecessary thing but I'd rather not lose any of the important stuff and then wish I'd used these things...