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Traveling to Europe for the first time by myself

Travel Forums Europe Traveling to Europe for the first time by myself

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11. Posted by phl6677 (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

So, I've been looking into it a little further and it'll will be a substantial difference if I fly to London and the head south from there. I'm having a tough time getting my british passport stuff in order, so I might just go for a few months and then fly back to Canada and get my stuff together (I do wanna make sure I like it before I spend thousands gettin everything lined up).

I know the weather in England right now is fairly poor. I guess my question is, 'Is there still stuff to do this time of year without it costing me a bunch of money to hide from the elements'???

12. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Well, either you are entitled to full British citizenship (and thus EU citizenship) or not. Or are you looking at the ancestry visa?

Sorting out your documents regarding British citizenship before you go is a good idea, as full British citizenship (=EU citizenship) gives you the right to live and work indefinitely in the EU. You should even be entitled to social security payments from the British government if the shit hits the fan.

Your Canadian passport only entitles you to 90 days out of 180 days as a tourist inside the Schengen Area and to 180 days as a tourist in the UK. If you want to stay longer you have to do it like this: Arrive London, hang around for a bit, go for 90 days inside the Schengen area, come back to the UK, stay for 91+ days inside the UK and Ireland, go back to the Schengen area.

There are things to do in the UK that don't cost a lot of money, but apart from hanging around in the common room at the hostel and watching TV the majority of them won't be free (especially if they are indoors). London has enough museums to keep you occupied every working day of a full year. Note though that London especially is easily the most expensive city in the whole EU, so if you are on a tight budget try not to linger too long. (I suggest you open up a new thread "London for free?" or check the archive.)

If you are undecided about where to go first, UK or Spain, check how the costs would work out if you fly into London first and then catch a cheap budget flight down to Spain. See and for flights.

13. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 769 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Quoting phl6677

I know the weather in England right now is fairly poor. I guess my question is, 'Is there still stuff to do this time of year without it costing me a bunch of money to hide from the elements'???

The weather in the UK is never really great so nothing is really worked out around the weather, which makes it a good place to visit at any time of the year. If you are looking for sunshine then I suggest leaving out the UK completely!!

14. Posted by operaa (Inactive 2 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

If traveling through Balkans, you will notice that different nationalities living in neighboring countries are not so different at all. They share so much history and their looks, customs, food and other are very similar. It is important to be open minded when going to places like Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia etc, as there are so many ways to enjoy your stay just by avoiding prejudice. People are welcoming, food is grate, nightlife vivid, and culture very colorful and rich.

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

15. Posted by galka_mak (Full Member 169 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Don't forget about Germany also - especially Bavaria (Munchen, Nurnberg and surroundings) - you can have a great time there.
Spain and France are my favourites. In France don't focuse only on Paris. This is a great beautiful city but French province is also worth to be explored. in Spain - don't miss Barcelona - you can live in surroundings where you can also have great time on the beaches.
Talking about Europe is neverending. There's so much to do and to see. I've travelled few times by my car from Ukraine - to the Atlantic coast and each village I've visited - I remember with a great pleasure.

16. Posted by bellaouch (Inactive 19 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

don't forget to visit Portugal too it awesome country too ;)

17. Posted by OHCarlos (Budding Member 38 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hey there phl6677

You already have some nice answers there so I hope I am not going to repeat anything..

Europe has so many different things to see so you can not see everything but if I where you I would plan a route that gives you some variety in what you will see. The ´western´ part of Europe has most of the famous sights in the bigger cities. With that I mean: the main tourist attractions are to be found in cities like Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Athens, Berlin.
If I were you I would indeed start in Spain and go to Madrid and Barcelona to catch the first real nice days (I am currently in Barcelona and sun has been shining almost non stop for over a week already with around 15-20 degrees Celsius). Then stay in the south and travel in direction east passing Italy and Greece to see some of the ancient Greek and Roman cultural heritage.
After some time over here you could go into the eastern part of Europe slowly travelling in northern direction to get some more peaceful weeks. I have to be honoust and say that I do not know as much about eastern European countries but from stories and pictures I understood that the nature there is beautiful and the people very warm and welcoming, so you could relax from al your ´big city´ impression during that part of the trip.
Then travel back to the western part passing for example Berlin and Amsterdam (I am originally from Holland and will tell you, DO take a weekend -thursday, friday, saturday- in Amsterdam to enjoy the nightlife, maybe going into one of the smaller cities like Delft or Leiden one of these days) and after Amsterdam down to Paris and up to London (or vice versa, the good thing about Europe being pretty small...).

I think with this route you get a nice variation of city impressions and some relaxing time in beautiful surroundings before taking up some more cities again.

If you want some tips about specific cities (in ´western´ Europe) don´t hestitate to ask!


18. Posted by phl6677 (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hey OHcarlos,

Thanks alot for your information. I'm thinkin about doing the Amsterdam thing right away, you know, spending a couple weeks a little farther north and then heading dow to all the warmth and beauty of the south. I'm afraid once I get to places like Spain, Greece, italy, etc....I'm not gonna want to leave:). I've been up and down the website and can't find any flights down to Madrid/Barcelona from amsterdam, so I might have to trek on over to Germany and fly out of Frankfurt. I leave from my cosy home in Alberta, Canada and out to the big "Europe" on Sat. morning. I'm pretty excited and I appreciate the help. Cheers, Phl6677

19. Posted by OHCarlos (Budding Member 38 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hey phl6677

Yeah you might be right about not wanting to leave the south when it is nice and warm..

Ryanair does not fly from Schiphol airport (Amsterdam) but from Eindhoven airport, in the south of Holland (but, Holland is so small that it will take you only about 2 hours by train from Amsterdam to get to that city).

I know as well that they do not fly to Barcelona but to Girona which is a little north of Barcelona, you can transfer to Barcelona directly from the airport by bus, or -if the weather is really nice- go to one of the beach towns close to Girona before going down to Barcelona.
A little north of Girona is a village called Cadaqués which according to my colleague is very nice to visit, and on your way there or back you can check out the Dalí museum in Figueres (Dalí himself liked to go on holiday to Cadaqués as well). If you do not want to go north before going down to Barcelona, there are many popular beach towns in the southern direction as well, like Lloret de mar and Tossa de mar but it might be a bit quiet there now since it is mainly popular for its nightlife and mainly amongst teenagers, (don´t know your age..) who will arrive around June. Pff.. so much to choose from! haha, it depends on what you like to do and see... Just check google maps for the distance to those towns.

Indeed Ryan air also flies from Germany, you could also choose to visit (west)Germany first before going to Spain.

Another option is flying from Amsterdam to Barcelona directly with Clickair or Vueling (and some cases Iberia). They are low-budget airlines like ryan air but based in Spain. I used clickair and my family flew with Vueling on this route. You get very little space for your legs but besides that, nothing wrong with it and cheap. If you want a bit more comfort you could also check Transavia, I flew with them before as well and they are really good but you have to be lucky enough to find a good offer.

This is a Dutch website on which you can search for all tickets on specific dates and routes but (like usual) sometimes the airlines promote even cheaper tickets on their own website. And beware that at least 25-30 euro will be added to the price you see at first sight (admin. costs etc.):

pfiew.. that´s a lot! Enough for now I think, I am excited for you! I am pretty sure you are gonig to love it here!


[ Edit: Edited on 13-Mar-2009, at 06:13 by OHCarlos ]

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