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Old 03-06-2016, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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When I think about areas I would most like to see in Europe I think about the scenic areas of Austria and the historical areas of Italy - Rome / Florence. Does anyone have tips for planning such a trip? I've never planned a multi destination trip to different countries.
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
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I would start by listing the cities that you want to visit and then figuring out the most efficient way to travel between them. Once you have your route roughly planned out, be sure to check for travel times and costs for getting to each city look at both flights and trains. For example last year I flew into Milan from the US, I then flew to Paris a few hours later since we were already at the airport and from Paris we flew to Rome using low cost carriers for each leg. From Rome we then took the train to Florence, Venice, and then to Milan for our return flight. Travel to these cities took about 3 to 4 hours max which didn't cut too much time out of my time in each city.
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:00 PM
 
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Rome - Florence - Venice - Innsbruck -Salzburg - Vienna if you have at least two weeks to travel.


travel to take the train, which in most cases is convenient and not too long.
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Old 03-07-2016, 02:13 PM
 
3,565 posts, read 1,876,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ms12345 View Post
When I think about areas I would most like to see in Europe I think about the scenic areas of Austria and the historical areas of Italy - Rome / Florence. Does anyone have tips for planning such a trip? I've never planned a multi destination trip to different countries.
I would suggest a maximum of two cities per week.

Most flight websites have an option for multiple destination flights. I would check flights both starting in Austria and starting in Italy, and I would check multi-destination flights including a flight between Austria and Italy, as well as without that flight (and booking that flight separately). I would fly between the two countries, but use high-speed trains within each country.

I use wikitravel, tripadvisor, and triposo for ideas about where to stay, what to do, and where to eat.

Rome is fairly easy to navigate by walking and transit. My personal choice would be to stay in Trastevere, Celio, Sant-Eustachio, or Regola.

Florence is highly walkable. I would stay near the center and north of the river, preferably in the area between the Bargello and Piazza Santa Croce.

I haven't been to Austria, so I offer no specific suggestions there.

More generally, figure out what you absolutely must do in any given city/region and make sure to give yourself ample time to see those things. Also, give yourself additional time to explore on foot, away from the sights you know you want to see.
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Old 03-07-2016, 06:29 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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That is a pretty area to travel via train. You can access the small towns this way. I would add Switzerland, since it is next door.

Be sure to buy your Eurail passes BEFORE you leave the USA (or at overseas PX / military base). They are not available in Europe, but each country has a similar version, just tough to cross borders on the same pass. When living in Spain, we would board after 10PM, as that gives you until midnight the next day on one punch. We would travel overnight to furhest destination, then back track the next day. Saves you individual fares and saves you a hotel night. (Use the Bunks on train, 2nd class, no sleeper required). We did this with 7-10 yr old kids, it is fine, and very common way to travel in Europe.

You can also rent a car and fly very cheap. I just booked 6 flights in Europe for under $50 each. Fuel and tolls can kill your daily budget in Italy.

You will meet the best people, who will help plan / suggest your optimal routing / local events. We stay with locals, so they are a big help. (And you can't beat $10/ night worldwide, except with Couchsurfing, which is fine too.)

There are many hospitality guest stay directories, more choices if you are over age 40. Or sign up with Servas

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servas_International

These stays have really made my trips memorable for last 25 plus yrs.

Look at Ricksteves and lonelyplanet for some interesting hints on your chosen region.

Book flights early, go and have fun.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
I would suggest a maximum of two cities per week.

That really depends on which cities. Some smaller cities/towns really only deserve a day trip. With Cities like Rome or Florence I would agree with you.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post

Be sure to buy your Eurail passes BEFORE you leave the USA .
people tend to make this mistake. Fact is, in most cases, a eurail pass is simply not worth it.
of course it depends on your itinerary, but it is dangerous to assume a pass will save you money in the end. I took 7 Europe trip so far, and every time I calculated, the pass is too expensive.
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
people tend to make this mistake. Fact is, in most cases, a eurail pass is simply not worth it.
of course it depends on your itinerary, but it is dangerous to assume a pass will save you money in the end. I took 7 Europe trip so far, and every time I calculated, the pass is too expensive.
I agree. We found reasonable fares on Trenitalia. It gives you more flexibility and if you are traveling with someone they have 2 for 1 specials on tickets on the weekends which can help to save even more.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:23 AM
 
12,302 posts, read 18,421,290 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ms12345 View Post
When I think about areas I would most like to see in Europe I think about the scenic areas of Austria and the historical areas of Italy - Rome / Florence. Does anyone have tips for planning such a trip? I've never planned a multi destination trip to different countries.
Planning is part of the fun. People responding however are moving way ahead with info on Eurail passes, etc.. Come back to that later. You need to back up before you determine if you even need these services...
My tips:

-Determine what are of Europe you want to see - what are your interests? You already indicated that so you are set there. This is constrained by your next step:

-Determine how much time you have. American's love the "one city, one day" approach but I don't recommend that at all unless you never expect to go to Europe again in your life. Otherwise, spend at least 3 days in each city...chose a trip with town at least relatively close to each other. Italy and Austria would be too much in a week or I would discourage it in even a 2 week trip. On the other hand Rome/Florence in a week or 10 days would be a perfect trip.

-Once you decide on a region - determine then what exactly you want to see in each town or location. The "must sees" sights and then you can further refine how much time in each town.

-Determine a budget. In turn sometimes you might need to circle around for the reality on how much time you have and what you want to see.

-Then and only then you can start planning the logistics. - transportation:flight to and from the US, transportation while in Europe (hint here: you usually DO NOT want a rental car, cars are a hindrance in towns and most of Europe has excellent public transportation), lodging - where to stay.

-For all these steps the internet provides many tools, not this forum in particular, but other sights and forum dedicated to travel information. You can google "Rome travel" or Italy for instance and find dedicated travel forum just for that (after sifting through the obvious travel agency sights - you don't need a travel agent for Europe). You can book anything and everything via the internet. I also get at least one travel book like Lonely Planet or Frommers, those are almost obsolete at this point but I still find them useful.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:20 PM
 
Location: NW Indiana
1,320 posts, read 1,184,309 times
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I have done a number of multi city trips.

I would suggest a simple trip would be to fly into Vienna, spend a number of days there then travel to Rome. Both cities have enough local attractions to occupy you for several days, plus are close to other destinations that can easily be reached by day trips. I might also suggest a visit to Salzburg (maybe even more that Vienna).

I can recommend a web site called "Tripmasters", Customized Vacation Packages, Multi Destination Vacation - Tripmasters, that used to be called European Destinations. It is nicely organized and I can highly recommend their customer service. I have used the site a couple of times and friends have used it as well.

Using this sight, you can enter your travel dates and cities you wish to visit. The site will search for flights and hotels and give you a cost. You can then book directly on the site.

I just ran a search on the website for a April trip, flying out of Chicago, into Vienna for 3 nights, with a flight to Rome, then 3 nights in Rome and a return flight to Chicago. The price per person was $1,306.98.

You then can make different choices in flights from a large number of options, balancing added cost versus convenience. You can also change hotel, as the site lists 188 hotel choices in Vienna and 288 hotel choices in Rome.

I have visited both cities and can recommend the Hotel Grand Palatino in Rome as a very nice hotel, well located near the Colosseum.

If you have more time, adding days in Rome would be well worth the extra expense.

You can do a number of day trips out of Rome, returning to your hotel in Rome each evening. I did a day trip to Naples and Pompey when I was in Rome. I can not recommend the travel company we used for that, but Pompey is really, really cool.

In Vienna there are also a number of interesting day trips, including short river cruises on the Danube. We did that plus a day trip on a bus down through the woods to the south, to a Cistercian Abbey and to one of the largest cave systems in Europe.

Good luck.
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