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Old 05-06-2015, 01:41 AM
 
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Me and my wife plan on travelling to Italy, Barcelona, Spain and Paris, France for 13 full days.
The cities we plan to explore in Italy is Rome, Florence and Venice. When we arrive in Rome on our flight we plan to immediately go to another city as we want to explore Rome before we head back. My question here is what is the most cost effective and best way to travel between these cities and optimize our time? Is 13 days too ambitious to see all the sights of these cities. Which city should we spend more time in? Please note we are planning on mostly seeing the main spots because of the time constraint. Also, is it a good idea to get the hotels in advance or is it easy to get a hotel the same day as we do not know how long we are going to be in each city.
Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Pesare View Post
Me and my wife plan on travelling to Italy, Barcelona, Spain and Paris, France for 13 full days. The cities we plan to explore in Italy is Rome, Florence and Venice. ...
Five cities in three countries in thirteen days. I would say it is not doable. Think about covering that amount of cities in the U.S. with the same distances involved, and being more familiar with the U.S. you may realize more easily that it is not realistic.
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Old 05-06-2015, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Brussels
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It is doable, but I don't think it is worth it.

I would cut down. 13 days is a good amount of time for Rome, Florence and Venice (5/4/3 days) or to Paris and Barcelona (6/6 days each)
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Two Rivers, Wisconsin
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I agree, definitely way too ambitious. Rome alone, during prime tourism season, is time consuming. I was there in late October and there were long lines. You did not mention time frame, I'm assuming summer months. I would consider doing just Italy as there is more than enough to occupy your time.
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:56 AM
 
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Beyond ambitious unless you want to spend your time waving to things as you pass by.

Rome itself needs 4-5 days to touch the highlights.

Other than Rome to Paris there isn't a good, direct way to get between those cities by train. You could fly, but it could be costly--the discount airlines charge for everything from any checked luggage (and only allow a small personal item as carry on). You can take high speed rail (TGV) between the two cities. I think it's around 12 hours. TGV is a pleasant ride with spacious seats and you'd have some great views.

Frankly I would probably look at Paris and Rome or just stay in Italy the entire trip. If you haven't already bought airfare, sometimes Madrid can be cost effective and it's easy to get from there to Paris or Lisbon as another option.

You would need advance reservations for plane or train or you will end up paying a fortune as the cheap fares go early. So a definite plan that includes hotels would be the sensible way to do this trip. Additionally some attractions you would want to but admission online in advance to avoid hour long queues for tickets.

Last edited by annerk; 05-06-2015 at 09:07 AM..
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:06 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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Cost-effective transportation and maximize time on location are usually at odds.
I think Rome-Venice-Florence-Paris is doable by train (less stressful) if you can fly into Rome and leave from Paris
but it sounds like you are arriving and departing from Rome so I'd just stay in Italy.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:38 AM
 
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To the OP, it is definitely doable, but your 13 days trip will involve too many flights, trips to and from airports checking in and out of hotels, and that's what makes it not a pleasant trip.

People keep saying Rome requires 5 days or Paris needs 6 days... it really depends on people's traveling preference. Some people like to spend 5 hours just exploring one museum, or 4 coffee breaks each lasting more than an hour, or extended lunch enjoy wines and conversations, or leisurely walk in a park, or shopping at local markets for hours, but that's not for everyone. Shorter time is possible and can be enjoyable too. I myself find 3 days in Barcelona enough for example.

I recommend about 3 days in Rome, 1-2 days in Venice and Florence each (with a night stay), 4 days in Paris and 2-3 days in Barcelona. So on paper, your time barely allows it, but keep in mind you will lose a lot of time flying/getting to airports/getting to hotels, so it will be a bit of a rush. You won't want to see all these places yet most of your memories end up being about airports and finding hotels.

For your time, I think two countries are more manageable. Italy offers far more than those three most popular cities and France has far more than just Paris. As to Spain, Madrid, Seville, Granada all sounds must-go places in addition to Barcelona. So why all the rush and only see the few most touristy big cities in three different countries?
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:02 AM
 
12,686 posts, read 14,063,903 times
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
To the OP, it is definitely doable, but your 13 days trip will involve too many flights, trips to and from airports checking in and out of hotels, and that's what makes it not a pleasant trip. ...
Exactly my reason for saying is wasn't doable, too much like "If It's Tuesday, It Must be Belgium" minus the humor. No fun, unless the OP is just cutting notches in his travel gun.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:19 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
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Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
To the OP, it is definitely doable, but your 13 days trip will involve too many flights, trips to and from airports checking in and out of hotels, and that's what makes it not a pleasant trip.

People keep saying Rome requires 5 days or Paris needs 6 days... it really depends on people's traveling preference. Some people like to spend 5 hours just exploring one museum, or 4 coffee breaks each lasting more than an hour, or extended lunch enjoy wines and conversations, or leisurely walk in a park, or shopping at local markets for hours, but that's not for everyone. Shorter time is possible and can be enjoyable too. I myself find 3 days in Barcelona enough for example.

I recommend about 3 days in Rome, 1-2 days in Venice and Florence each (with a night stay), 4 days in Paris and 2-3 days in Barcelona. So on paper, your time barely allows it, but keep in mind you will lose a lot of time flying/getting to airports/getting to hotels, so it will be a bit of a rush. You won't want to see all these places yet most of your memories end up being about airports and finding hotels.

For your time, I think two countries are more manageable. Italy offers far more than those three most popular cities and France has far more than just Paris. As to Spain, Madrid, Seville, Granada all sounds must-go places in addition to Barcelona. So why all the rush and only see the few most touristy big cities in three different countries?
You have been to Barcelona--probably several times over, so three days is probably enough. For a first trip (and it sounds like a first trip to Europe) that might not be enough for the average tourist.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by annerk View Post
You have been to Barcelona--probably several times over, so three days is probably enough. For a first trip (and it sounds like a first trip to Europe) that might not be enough for the average tourist.
My girlfriend and I are going to Barcelona for 4 days in a couple of weeks. In planning out or itinerary we were kinda faced with a conundrum here...while we like to go to museums, it can eat up a lot of our time there so we're hitting the usual spots (Sagrada Familia, Ramblas, etc) and taking a 'free' walking tour. I think if you're a museum enthusiast, then you should probably go to Barcelona for 5-6 days or any of these cities the OP mentioned. I think 3-4 days in each is probably enough to get to most of the tourist spots w/out having to step into the Louvre, etc.

Heck just even google some mock itineraries of Barcelona and most of it involves going to a Church or a museum, if the OP isn't into that, then 3 days should be plenty IMO.
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