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7 weeks in Europe - itinerary advice/suggestions please!

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7 weeks in Europe - itinerary advice/suggestions please!

Hi all,

I've roughly planned a seven week trip across a few European countries for May-June 2012 and was hoping on getting your thoughts!

A bit of background, it's our first and maybe our only trip to Europe therefore we are hoping to see quite a lot but as we are doing this ourselves we also want the itinerary to be achievable in the amount of time we have. We are planning on taking the train unless otherwise stated.

Prague - 3 nights

Berlin - 4 nights

Amsterdam - 4 nights

Brussels - 3 nights

London - 4 nights

Paris - 4 nights

Zurich/Bern - 3 nights

(Possibly fly from Geneva to Nice..thoughts?)

Nice - 3 nights

(Fly Nice to Venice)

Venice - 2 nights

Florence - 4 nights

Rome - 3 nights

(Fly Rome to Athens)

Athens - 3 nights

Mykonos - 2 nights

Santorini - 3 nights

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated :)

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1. Re: 7 weeks in Europe - itinerary advice/suggestions please!

I can't help but think that you are trying to see too much. Spending a week or two with only a few nights in each place is one thing, but 7 weeks of it sounds exhausting. You are attempting to see 9 countries in that time, and on top of having to check in and out of hotels etc, finding your way to and from train stations and airtports and generally orientatng yourselves, you will also have to deal with cultural and language changes every few days.

Why not limit the places you stay to 6 or 7, and book into hotels, apartments or cottages for a full week at each. You can then use that as a base to explore a city properly and even see towns and villages nearby on day trips. For example, you could probably spend a bit more time in Paris, and take the train for a day to Brussels.

Alternatively, you could reduce the time you spend in some places (do you need 4 nights in Amsterdam?) so that you can spend more time in others (eg. you suggest Venice for only two nights - effectively only one full day's sight seeing, which is not long enough to see much).

Greece is a bit of an "outlier" on your itinerary, and I think it is too ambitious to visit two islands for just two/three nights each. If you're determined to go to Greece, why not have a few days in Athens, and then a full week on one island - giving yourself a chance to slow down and recharge the batteries before moving onto your next destination. You can always choose an island which allows you to go on day trips to others.

I am not you, but I would consider cutting out Switzerland and Brussels at the very least, but you may have your own reasons for visiting them. Whatever you decide, don't underestimate the hassle and time it takes to be constantly on the move. If you try to see too much, you will end up just ticking things off on a check list of "must-sees" and your memories will just be a series of photos of places you never really experienced.

Edited: 13 February 2012, 00:18
Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: 7 weeks in Europe - itinerary advice/suggestions please!

Ha, you must be very young !!

Can we please have a few more details -

What airport / country are you flying into & departing from ??

How are you planning to get from A - B ??? Car / train / plane ?

Your itinerary is doable & due to business I sometimes have to travel like your above itinerary.

Just looking briefly at the itinerary it looks a little messy to me.. I would like to know firstly before giving suggestions your arrival & departing port. There should be NO backtracking on an itinerary.

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3. Re: 7 weeks in Europe - itinerary advice/suggestions please!

I agree with the above. For a 7 week trip, you'll want to put in some longer stays to catch your breath, relax, do laundry, sleep in, and generally get to know a place more than superficially.

Also, you have a lot of cities. You may prefer cities (I often do), but do consider smaller locations, too.

Resist the urge to treat this as your last trip ever to Europe. It may or may not be, but trying to cram everything in means each place will be rushed.

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4. Re: 7 weeks in Europe - itinerary advice/suggestions please!

I take your points that the itinerary may be a bit too full on.

We have taken it on board and are taking out Mykonos and trying to work out another city to sacrifice, any suggestions on which city?? And any advice on which cities we should be adding the extra nights apart from Venice?

Ellemay, we are flying into Prague and out of Athens so we won't be backtracking.

Thanks for your input so far!

Edited: 13 February 2012, 15:40
Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: 7 weeks in Europe - itinerary advice/suggestions please!

Having recently been to Zurich I can't say it would be high on my itinerary to visit again and Switzerland is very expensive. If you cut it altogether you could then travel on the TGV Paris to Nice in a few hours.

Unless you are very keen art students, give more time to Rome and less to Florence.

You time so far amounts to 45 days which is a bit short of 7 weeks. Add the time to Paris/Venice/Rome

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6. Re: 7 weeks in Europe - itinerary advice/suggestions please!

Switzerland is expensive, but the mountains are amazing. One should stay in a small town there, not the cities.

I'd consider removing Nice from the list, since it's a geographic outlier, and adding the days to Paris and Rome to give you a couple of longer stays to break up the quick pace. And, if you get restless, each offers opportunities for good day trips.

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7. Re: 7 weeks in Europe - itinerary advice/suggestions please!

I would cut time to Amsterdam and Florence (unless it includes trips out to Sienna and other Tuscany towns), double your time in Rome.

Brussels I presume included day trips to Bruges/Ghent/Antwerp.

Would your time in Nice include Aix, Arles, Monaco, and other villages in Provence? I don´t see Nice itself to warrant a stay.

For Switzerland, your interests should be on routes rather than cities. E.g. from Paris through Basel to Lucerne; take Golden Pass route and spend a night up in Murren for a hike, before heading to Lake Geneva. Alternatively, through Basel to Zermatt overnight. See the Matterhorn before heading to Geneva; or if you can cut Nice, head into Italy, whether straight south or via Glacier Express and Bernina Express. You don´t have ice and snow in Melbourne, right?

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8. Re: 7 weeks in Europe - itinerary advice/suggestions please!

Personally I would drop Zurich unless you want to visit Lake Lucerne and Mount Pilatus. Also Brussels is just a working city, the jewel of Belgium is Brugge.

Berlin is very popular with backpackers and students, and Venice is pretty but two days is enough. Tuscany is quite magic and Florence is the birthplace of the Italian renaissance, the towns in easy distance from Florence are Pisa and Lucca by Trenitalia train, and bus to Siena www.busfox.com/timetable

We did a six week eight destination grand tour of four countries of europe last October, it just flowed and we loved it.

The importance is to detail your itinerary, to measure your enjoyment and expectations.

Train Prague - Berlin www.bahn.de

Train Berlin - Amsterdam www.bahn.de or Fly www.easyjet.com

Train Amsterdam to Brussels www.thalys.com

Train Brussels to Paris www.thalys.com

Train Paris to London www.eurostar.com

Fly London ro Nice www.easyjet.com

Fly Nice to Venice www.easyjet.com

Train Venice to Rome www.trenitalia.it/homepage_en.html

Fly Rome to Santorini www.easyjet.com

Fly Santorini to Athens www.aegeanair.com or www.greekgferries.gr

Accommodation www.venere.com www.wotif.com

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9. Re: 7 weeks in Europe - itinerary advice/suggestions please!

I think you have too many big cities on your list. After a while, they will all start to look more similar than different. Spend some time at the country side, smaller towns, villages and vineyards so you are not focusing so much on big cities, museums, cathedrals, etc.

Make a loop of your train plans and see if the travel time makes sense using resources online. For example, between Geneva and Zurich, there is little reason to fly. Just take the train, visit Bern and perhaps other smaller towns, villages and mountainous areas in between. Zurich and Geneva themselves aren't particularly interesting cities to visit. You can also opt to spend less time at Amsterdam and Brussels.

Not sure how Greece will look like come the summer given the current instability so just keep that in mind, especially for Athens.

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10. Re: 7 weeks in Europe - itinerary advice/suggestions please!

Ok deciding between cutting out Nice or Bern.. Which would ppl suggest?