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Old 02-01-2018, 12:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Okay, what about London-Paris-Barcelona-Rome?

Would skip Amsterdam, Brussels and Venice. Could probably hit Amsterdam on a future trip to Germany.

I'm more interested in the bigger cities because one of the main reasons for this trip will be for photography and I shoot urban photography. Venice looks amazing, but I just don't know that it's worth it on this trip. I hear it's super crowded, expensive to stay in and you can pretty much see it in a day. I could skip Barcelona and do Venice, but I would really like to keep Barcelona in the trip.

It seems like flights within Europe are quick and cheap and we actually look forward to a couple of half days on the high speed trains.

FYI, I travel America/Canada extensively and typically see 3-4 cities per week when I travel. Portland, Seattle, Vancouver. One week. LA, San Fran, San Diego one week etc.



London is a must. It's the primary reason for the trip. It does look like you can fly to a few other cities for a little cheaper, but if you fly into London, there is less backtracking. As mentioned above, I will probably skip Amsterdam all together (which also means skipping Brussels), and possibly skipping Venice. Would you skip Venice even if you had more time or did you just think it was not worth it even with more time?

I would also like to fly into London and back straight from Rome but one way international flights are just insanely expensive.
I'm a big fan of open jaw itineraries, meaning in this case I would fly into London and fly out of Rome. You're killing a ton of time if you have go all the way back to London.

Venice is crowded and expensive and yes you can see it in a day. It's really not worth all this effort to go there, at least on this trip.

I think the 4 cities you mentioned are fine, but it will still be a little rushed. Out of those 4 cities, I'd probably spend the least amount of time in London. It's too expensive.
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Old 02-01-2018, 02:02 PM
 
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Just checking flights in July with Google flights. I saw $900 plus virgin Atlantic flight to London and coming back from Rome ( need to transit in London overnight on the way back).

I would not skip Venice. It is very unique and worth at least 1 day. Especially if you are in to architecture and photography.

I would do Barcelona in another trip and combine that trip with the South of France and may be Andalusia.
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Old 02-01-2018, 03:05 PM
 
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If urban photography is your goal and London is a non-negotiable yes, I’d opt for London/Paris/Brussels/Amsterdam and do side trips into places like Oxford, Cambridge, Chartres, Ghent, and Bruges. There are tons of great photo ops in the first three side trips (the cathedral at Chartres is the best I’ve seen, and I’ve seen several), plus the two Brussels side trip towns are reportedly nice. And London, Paris, and Amsterdam are all visually distinctive with lots of potentially good photo potential.

You can also easily travel between these via train, too. Adding in options that require a flight between just increase the chance of a cancelled flight, which would screw up your itinerary royally given how little time you’re budgeting for places like Barcelona and Venice. Besides, I’d leave more time to explore these cities for photos than the day or so you’re leaving now. Venice would be well worth several days if you really want to seek out good shots, and Barcelona (haven’t been here) has plenty of interesting Gaudi style architecture. I say plan to come back another time to experience these.

Look, it’s your choice. But stretching your itinerary too thin often comes back to bite you in the butt.
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Old 02-01-2018, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nn2036 View Post
Just checking flights in July with Google flights. I saw $900 plus virgin Atlantic flight to London and coming back from Rome ( need to transit in London overnight on the way back).

I would not skip Venice. It is very unique and worth at least 1 day. Especially if you are in to architecture and photography.

I would do Barcelona in another trip and combine that trip with the South of France and may be Andalusia.
For mid July? For one way, I don't see anything under $1700 for a non stop. And unless you go through one of the super low cost airlines via Iceland, there is not much with one stop. I'm not sure I want to add another chance for a logistical problem going through Iceland, especially through Wow or somebody like that. The cheapest seems to be a Turkish flight, but it has a duration of 17 hours which is way too long.

I'm actually looking at driving up to to Newark now and catching a nonstop flight via Norwegian. They seem to have better reviews than the Iceland airlines, and they are nonstop to europe. Plus I could get a non stop back from Rome via Norwegian as well for about 1/5 the cost of a nonstop on another airline.

It's only a 7 hour flight from Newark. I just need to figure out if it's worth an extra 3 hour drive or I could take the train from BWI to Newark for about $50 each way. So it's either add extra time to get to NYC for a non stop or fly back to London for the return trip home. One way non stops are stupid expensive otherwise and even a 16 hour flight with a connection is about twice as much as a round trip from the same city.
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Old 02-01-2018, 04:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
For mid July? For one way, I don't see anything under $1700 for a non stop. And unless you go through one of the super low cost airlines via Iceland, there is not much with one stop. I'm not sure I want to add another chance for a logistical problem going through Iceland, especially through Wow or somebody like that. The cheapest seems to be a Turkish flight, but it has a duration of 17 hours which is way too long.

I'm actually looking at driving up to to Newark now and catching a nonstop flight via Norwegian. They seem to have better reviews than the Iceland airlines, and they are nonstop to europe. Plus I could get a non stop back from Rome via Norwegian as well for about 1/5 the cost of a nonstop on another airline.

It's only a 7 hour flight from Newark. I just need to figure out if it's worth an extra 3 hour drive or I could take the train from BWI to Newark for about $50 each way. So it's either add extra time to get to NYC for a non stop or fly back to London for the return trip home. One way non stops are stupid expensive otherwise and even a 16 hour flight with a connection is about twice as much as a round trip from the same city.
Just saw it on Google flight now.

Just check with Orbitz: $894

Trip 1:
Wed, Jul 4

Virgin Atlantic
IAD - LHR
Nonstop

Result FCO - IAD

Thu, Jul 19
8:00am - 2:50pm
FCO - IAD
1 stop
1h 40m in LHR
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
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I've been to all these destinations. I would recommend London, Paris, Rome. These are the top 3 Europe destinations. Unless you just want to spend most of your type just travelling from one destination to the other.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:57 PM
 
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OK based upon your pace in USA Canada travels you will be used to it.
I have done four trips to Europe and they were 18, 21, 21, 21 days respectively.
To maximize this type of travel I bunch the cities and mostly use train unless it is too time consuming.


From my experience at least 2-4 days - depending on what is of interest in each. If the goal is to meander and find photographic gems the multiple days will help you space / time heavier tourist areas. I like your revised itinerary.

AMS, London, Paris, and one other city with side trips as Bachslunch suggested seems an ideal type of trip for your interests.

Another option would be London, Paris, Amsterdam and Cologne all quick high speed rail trips. From my experience the flights to connect are biggest time killers due to customs and only make sense when rail is not a good option (as in eastern Europe where the bus can often be better).

Good luck in your planning and travel. I often find the planning to be just as much fun - like figuring out a good logistical puzzle.


One of my trips was:
fly into Amsterdam and used train to
Paris (4 nights)
Cologne (2 nts)
Berlin (2 nts)
Prague (4 nts)
Heidelberg (2 nts)
Amsterdam (4 nts)
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Old 02-02-2018, 07:45 AM
 
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This is like the plot to that movie "If It's Tuesday it Must Be Belgium". This itinerary almost sounds like work!
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Old 02-02-2018, 09:58 AM
 
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I am glad you are considering paring down your first projected itinerary. It would have been like passing around a box of chocolates and only getting a tiny taste of the most delicious ones, leaving you frustrated and hungry for more.

You have enough here for at least two and more likely three trips. So, pick out your favorites (brush up in advance if you've never been there previously) and focus on three or four cities. And don't forget the countryside - well worth exploring.

For me, the choices would be London, with an additional day or two allowing day trips to Windsor, Oxford, Stratford, Bath, etc., Paris, with time to explore nearby attractions, and perhaps Amsterdam for a couple of days, since it's reasonably close to both London and Paris.

Also, you can reach Edinburgh easily via train from London, and although the scenery whizzes by at an extremely rapid pace en route, you can still catch glimpses of the English and Scottish countryside, along with Newcastle and York and the North Sea coast. Edinburgh is a stunning city and ideal for architectural photography.

I'd save Italy and Spain for a later trip, or else skip the above cities and focus on them, again at a more leisurely pace.
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
1,300 posts, read 1,099,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
For mid July? For one way, I don't see anything under $1700 for a non stop. And unless you go through one of the super low cost airlines via Iceland, there is not much with one stop. I'm not sure I want to add another chance for a logistical problem going through Iceland, especially through Wow or somebody like that. The cheapest seems to be a Turkish flight, but it has a duration of 17 hours which is way too long.

I'm actually looking at driving up to to Newark now and catching a nonstop flight via Norwegian. They seem to have better reviews than the Iceland airlines, and they are nonstop to europe. Plus I could get a non stop back from Rome via Norwegian as well for about 1/5 the cost of a nonstop on another airline.

It's only a 7 hour flight from Newark. I just need to figure out if it's worth an extra 3 hour drive or I could take the train from BWI to Newark for about $50 each way. So it's either add extra time to get to NYC for a non stop or fly back to London for the return trip home. One way non stops are stupid expensive otherwise and even a 16 hour flight with a connection is about twice as much as a round trip from the same city.
I am from the DC area and I would recommend looking into flying from JFK on Emirates to Milan. Emirates often has deals for less than $400 a person, they just had a sale and will probably come out with another one in a few weeks. Another option is to fly another city like Brussels or Amsterdam as they can be some of the cheaper entry points into Europe from the US. You can then hop on another flight to London. Internal flights in Europe are much cheaper than we are used to in the US and it doesn't have to be on low cost carrier.

Newark is also another option and it has the advantage of it being easier to get to because it is an Amtrak stop whereas I rather drive to JFK with a one way rental.

My recommendation if you want to hit multiple cities is use trains when possible and this includes London to Paris. There are some destinations that can even be done as day trips because of high speed train. For example, we did a day trip from Rome to Florence and on another trip we did a day trip to Pisa from Florence.

Even if some of you destinations require a flight, just try to take the first flight of the day.

Since your goal doesn't seem to be to fully explore a city then your plans are doable. I have done trips to Europe that have involved 5 or more cities in less time than you are planning. The key is just looking at what your travel options are and making sure that they are feasible, I like using sites like Rome 2 Rio to find out how easy it is to travel between the cities I'm interested in and the costs.
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