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Old 01-31-2018, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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So we are planning a trip to Europe in July and will be there for about 2 and half weeks.

Is this too crazy? From my research, it seems like plenty of people are successful at seeing so much at such an aggressive pace, but I would like some more feedback hopefully from people that have done it. I really want to see as much as possible on this trip but I think 2-3 days per city would be fine. Our next trip to Europe will include Berlin, Istanbul etc so I think we are sticking to this area for this trip. We also want to see Australia, Dubai and do an Asian trip over the next ten years, so we got to see what we can on this trip because we probably wont make it back to many of these places.

Here is what I'm thinking:

We live in the DC area with nonstops from both BWI and Dulles to London, but they are evening flights arriving in London in the morning. It seems like London is the cheapest place to fly into.

So: Day 0, leave DC area on overnight 7 hour flight to London.

Day 1 Arrive London early. Tour London some, get to hotel early and get some sleep.

Day 2 London

Day 3 London

Day 4 Early flight to Amsterdam 1.5 hour flight, be in Amsterdam by lunch.

Day 5 Amsterdam

Day 6 Early morning Train to Paris 3 hours (possibly stop in Brussels for a few hours)

Day 7 Paris

Day 8 Paris

Day 9 Train from Paris to Barcelona

Day 10 Barcelona

Day 11 Evening flight to Venice

Day 12 Spend morning in Venice, then train to Rome that evening.

Day 13 Rome

Day 14 Rome

Day 15 Rome - Fly back to London Should have some additional time in London

Day 17 Travel day from London to DC

Thoughts?
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Old 02-01-2018, 04:30 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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If it's what you want, why not? It would just be too much travel for me, and on several destinations you'll either have to schlep your luggage around or make arrangements to stash it. Overnight in Venice and essentially a day and a half in Amsterdam don't allow enough time to do much in either place - cutting them out would extend time elsewhere. I'd also see if it was worth it to fly home from Rome.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:35 AM
 
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I'm as big a fan of intensive itineraries as anyone, but this strikes me as far too much crammed into the allotted time.

First, I'd do an open jaw flight out of your last destination (whatever that may be) to Washington rather than going all the way back to London. I doubt the price will be that different. Plus it should give you a little more time for sightseeing. In addition, your schedule could easily get screwed up if there's a flight delay, and the more flights you add in, the more likely that can be an issue.

I'd definitely cut Barcelona as it doesn't really fit in easily with anything else; I'd save this for a separate trip to pair with Madrid at the very least (which also has great side trips like Toledo/Segovia/El Escorial), perhaps adding in possibilities like Lisbon, Seville, Cordoba, and Grenada along the way.

I'm not sure Italy is the best coupling here either. Myself, I'd recommend devoting a couple weeks just to this country between Rome, Venice, and Florence alone (including side trips like Siena/Pisa and Tivoli/Ostia Antica), not to mention Naples/Amalfi Coast and Milan. Re Venice, I think two full days is a good amount of time; an overnight there strikes me as hardly worth it.

I also wouldn't stop in Brussels for just a few hours with this little time; haven't been there, but it doesn't seem to be a favorite of many travelers anyway. Unless you stay your whole time with London, Amsterdam, and Paris, it doesn't make a lot of sense to include it -- which is in fact what I would recommend you do. London and Paris alone could easily take up your whole time, especially if you consider day trips like Cambridge/Oxford/Bath near London and Versailles/Chartres near Paris, plus you can take the Chunnel train between the two main cities. Amsterdam is also worth several days, and Brussels (if you include it) has at least a few days worth of things to see; these also hook up easily via train. If you're really hankering to add in a few more destinations, I'd keep things close in, perhaps taking a look at Edinburgh as well as Brussels day trips like Ghent or Bruges.

Have you set up an itinerary yet? If you like museums, you can easily spend several days in each of the cities. I think doing so will give you a better sense of how long to spend.

Good luck, regardless of what you decide.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:38 AM
 
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For that amount of time I would focus on three cities to get a good feel for each. Maybe 4 tops. Two days in Amsterdam isn’t enough in my opinion, same with Barcelona. You’ll spend more time on trains than anything and that isn’t appealing to me. However if you like it then do it!
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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Thanks. Maybe it is a bit too much. I will have to see what I can do to scale it back a little.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:22 AM
 
Location: NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post

Day 8 Paris

Day 9 Train from Paris to Barcelona

Day 10 Barcelona

Day 11 Evening flight to Venice

Day 12 Spend morning in Venice, then train to Rome that evening.

...

Thoughts?
Lol!
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:23 AM
 
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I would have done this once. Did something similar although with train travel but not air. I regretted it and won't do it again. The idea that I have to see everything because I will never see it again is wrong. Better to enjoy at a reasonable pace than come back with selfies at all the famous spots.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:26 AM
 
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You would skip Barcelona.

May be high speed train to Paris from London instead of Amsterdam.

Skip Belgium

You should fly between Venice and Rome to cut down the transit time. You also have too little time in Venice.

Go to Amsterdam last and fly from AMS to DC (can you even do it as a stopover/day trip without overnight).


I did London, Paris, Cote D'Azure, Milan/Lake Como, Venice and Amsterdam in 14 days a long time ago. No overnight in London or Amsterdam.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:57 AM
 
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OP - I live in the DC area, you'll probably find cheaper routes to Paris than London, especially on the way back. I understand cramming as much in as you can, my wife and I did this once and never again. It's too rushed.

I would skip Venice entirely, it's not worth to go there a day. We did it and it was a waste of money.
I would skip Brussels.

If you're trying to do London-Paris-Amsterdam, you should go into London first, then take the train to Paris, then take the train to Amsterdam. It will probably be cheaper. You are doing yourself a disservice by just going to Barcelona for a day, so either skip it entirely or re-arrange your trip somehow.

You have 17 days, let's say 15 when not including getting there and leaving. I'd probably spend 3-4 days in Paris and Barcelona. Truthfully, I would cut London out and go to Rome and see if you can sneak in another city, like Florence.
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Old 02-01-2018, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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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, Montreal, Toronto, Detroit One week etc. We day drop to NYC from DC several times a year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DomRep View Post
OP - I live in the DC area, you'll probably find cheaper routes to Paris than London, especially on the way back. I understand cramming as much in as you can, my wife and I did this once and never again. It's too rushed.

I would skip Venice entirely, it's not worth to go there a day. We did it and it was a waste of money.
I would skip Brussels.

If you're trying to do London-Paris-Amsterdam, you should go into London first, then take the train to Paris, then take the train to Amsterdam. It will probably be cheaper. You are doing yourself a disservice by just going to Barcelona for a day, so either skip it entirely or re-arrange your trip somehow.

You have 17 days, let's say 15 when not including getting there and leaving. I'd probably spend 3-4 days in Paris and Barcelona. Truthfully, I would cut London out and go to Rome and see if you can sneak in another city, like Florence.
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. Also, I would prefer to fly out of BWI as Dulles would add several hours (due to drive time, larger airport and having to get there earlier etc). BWI only has a few international flights. 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.

Last edited by kcmo; 02-01-2018 at 12:50 PM..
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