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Old 03-16-2010, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Brisbane
3,511 posts, read 5,456,816 times
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If going during the summer, book your accomidation in amsterdam before you get their. I ended up camping for a night in the central train station, all the accomidation i was could afford (backapckers) was full.
Of course spending a night in the main train station in Amsterdam is an experience in itself!
8 days is way to much time their as well in my opinon, (unless your plan is for 8 days of getting high and checking out the redlight district!) Amsterdam is a pretty small city, a good place to spend a few days between paris and Amsterdam is Brugge (Belgium).
One great way to see Amsterdam and paris is on a Bike Tour, I went with Mikes Bike Tours and had a ball meeting some fellow young travellers, and seeing the cities. Or in the case of amsterdam some country side as well.

Last edited by danielsa1775; 03-16-2010 at 11:14 PM..
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Australia
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I think the OP said the trip would be in October, so accommodation in Europe shouldn't be a problem ... it shouldn't be necessary to book ahead. My experience has been that booking ahead is really only necessary in July/August, and even then - if you're not too fussy - you can usually find some place to lay your head!

I agree that 8 days in Amsterdam is probably too long. 3-4 should be plenty. That's another reason I suggested the train - if you've seen enough of one city after a few days you can easily jump on a train and go somewhere else. Much harder and more expensive to change air tickets.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:55 AM
 
Location: In the moment.
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Thank you all for the suggestions. Upon continuous beratting by friends I have given up on the idea of a few cities in favor of an all-inclusive.trip. So my question now is, what's a good number of cities to visit within 40 days?
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:36 AM
 
Location: Australia
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What were the arguments put up by your friends in favour of an all-inclusive trip? Do your friends have experience with both European tour groups and independent travel?

You really should do what YOU want to do rather than what your friends think you should do!

As to the number of cities you can visit in 40 days, it depends on your interests. If you're really interested in history, architecture, cathedrals and monuments etc., you'll need longer in each city (eg 4-5 days for a capital city) than if you just want to get a feel for a place and enjoy its main sights, when 2 to 3 days may be plenty of time.
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:22 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobber View Post
What were the arguments put up by your friends in favour of an all-inclusive trip? Do your friends have experience with both European tour groups and independent travel?

You really should do what YOU want to do rather than what your friends think you should do!

As to the number of cities you can visit in 40 days, it depends on your interests. If you're really interested in history, architecture, cathedrals and monuments etc., you'll need longer in each city (eg 4-5 days for a capital city) than if you just want to get a feel for a place and enjoy its main sights, when 2 to 3 days may be plenty of time.
I heartily agree with everything Kobber says.

What kind of all-inclusive? Do you mean a tour company?

This is *your* trip. Your funds should go to a journey that you design--not what some company decides. Doing a package is not, IMHO, spending wisely. It is spending passively.

For choosing which cities: Ask yourself why you are going on this trip; understand what motivates you.
You will get so much more out of doing this on your own, and you will probably make new friends at hostels anyway. I did, back when I was just a year younger than you are now. My older son turned 18 in Paris on his first solo Eurotrip, my younger kid was 18 for his.

Go to a library or bookstore and look at a "Let's Go Europe" or a Rick Steves guidebook. Look at a map. Get a feel for the geography. Steves is not my favorite, but his writing style is very engaging and he understands a first-time traveler. He usually has some sample itineraries in his books.

Eurotrip can help you figure out an itinerary and find a place to stay, but if you do the initial soul-searching, you will know the right questions to ask.
IMHO it's nice (and relaxing) to sprinkle some smaller cities and towns in with the big ones.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:54 PM
 
Location: In the moment.
206 posts, read 513,477 times
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No, no, no.... I'm planning this myself. Though I am quite surprised at how much planning goes into this! I've decided on a 10 day flexi-rail pass. My finalized intenerary(so far); London 4 days, Paris 5 days, Lausanne 2 days, Nice 1 day, Florence 3 days, Rome 4 days, Venice 1 day, Munich 3 days, Vienna 2 days, Prague 2 days, Berlin 3 days, and Amsterdam 5 days. This still leaves me 5 unscheduled days to do whatever with. Well, whatcha think? I just got to decide What to do in each city now.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Australia
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I'm pleased you're going it alone Btrja! There are three distinct facets to a great overseas vacation... 1. Thinking about it, researching it and making plans. 2. Actually taking the vacation. 3. Talking about it afterwards. Enjoy all of them!

The Flexipass sounds like it will do the trick - it allows ten days of train travel within a 2-month period, right?

It's good to keep your options open about the length of time you'll stay in each city - in some places you might want to stay longer, and in others you might decide to move on earlier.

I haven't been to Prague or Berlin (but my daughter has... she loved them both). I'd allow 2 days for Venice. Hotel accommodation is expensive in Venice itself, but there's a town called Mestre which is just an 8-minute train ride from Venice, where you can find much cheaper hotels.

One day in Nice is probably okay (make sure you visit the old part of town). If you're overnighting here, the train station has one of those hotel booking facilities I mentioned in an earlier post - they'll be able to help you find somewhere to stay.

I think you could probably save a day re Amsterdam - 4 days should be plenty, though you could spread your wings and take a day trip to Delft (world famous for blue & white pottery).

London: Lots of do - either take one of those open-decked tour buses (fairly pricey but they do show you all the main sights, and give you an idea of places you want to go back to later) or get a public transport day pass, and just take a couple of normal bus rides. As I recall (from when I lived there), the No.12 bus passes by quite a lot of famous landmarks. Don't take my word for it though - they may have changed the bus route # since I was last there.

I could probably add to this, if you'd like me to, but have to go out for a bit. Oh, one last thought - keep a travel journal while you're away! It can be a bit of a pain writing in it when you don't really feel like it, but I promise you, once you get home you'll be SO pleased you did!
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:09 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobber View Post
It's good to keep your options open about the length of time you'll stay in each city - in some places you might want to stay longer, and in others you might decide to move on earlier.
Yes.

One day in Nice is probably okay (make sure you visit the old part of town). If you're overnighting here, the train station has one of those hotel booking facilities I mentioned in an earlier post - they'll be able to help you find somewhere to stay.

[/quote]

If you like the beach, and prefer a sandy one, stay in Antibes instead.
Nice is a stone beach. All of those Riviera towns are close together and easy to get to by train. Nice has the Promenade des Anglais, a Matisse museum, a wonderful Chagall museum. Antibes has Picasso and is just (IMHO) a bit of a more relaxing stay.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:35 AM
 
Location: IL
2,992 posts, read 4,417,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Btrja View Post
No, no, no.... I'm planning this myself. Though I am quite surprised at how much planning goes into this! I've decided on a 10 day flexi-rail pass. My finalized intenerary(so far); London 4 days, Paris 5 days, Lausanne 2 days, Nice 1 day, Florence 3 days, Rome 4 days, Venice 1 day, Munich 3 days, Vienna 2 days, Prague 2 days, Berlin 3 days, and Amsterdam 5 days. This still leaves me 5 unscheduled days to do whatever with. Well, whatcha think? I just got to decide What to do in each city now.
That is a pretty good amount of days in each city, and good to have extra days. I remember one trip, on a whim, we decided to train over to Budapest for a day just to see what it was and we ended up staying for 3 days, since we were having so much fun. Then, later in that trip we were in Ljubjana and decided we were sick of cities, so we bused over to lake Bohinj and hiked the Alps for 4 days. It is very cool having no concrete plan!

In Amsterdam, we were there in late May and arrived at about 7PM in the train station, I think on a Friday. We went to 4 hostels and they were all booked, so we were wandering down a street and saw a sign about beds in a hash bar...we got so lucky because, for some reason I didn't understand, 2 beds just opened up and we shared a room with 2 other guys. The shower area was co-ed though, so that was a little odd, especially as we walked by a chick showering, and my bro was freaking out about how gritty the place was, but at least we slept. First thing the next morning we found a room at a cheap hotel and that was our base for the next 2 days.
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