Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: travelling europe advice needed

  1. #1

    Default travelling europe advice needed

    hello,

    a friend and i are thinking of travelling europe. we have worked out a rough itinerary accommodating both our areas of interest. which turned out to be a long list.

    UK (london, oxford) - 3 days
    France (paris) - 3 days
    Netherlands (amsterdam) - 2 days
    Spain (barcelona - 2 days, madrid - 2 days, ibiza - 1 day)
    Italy (milan - 2 days, rome - 2 days, venice - 1 day)
    Austria (vienna) - 2 days
    Hungary (budapest) - 1 day
    Czech Republic - 2 days
    Poland (warsaw, krakow, auschwitz) - 3 days
    Russia (moscow - 2 days, st. petersburg - 3 days)
    Estonia (tallinn) - 2 days

    total no. of days - 33
    travel route will roughly be in the above order.

    are we trying to cover too many areas within too short a time frame/at one go?
    is salzburg a must go and ljubljana, slovenia worth a stop over?
    does anyone know of any small towns, countryside in Russia and Poland worth a visit/overnight stay?
    any suggestions on a better way to cover the above areas? western europe to eastern europe or east to west? if indeed overtly amibtious, which areas should we skip or how long do you recommend spending in these places.
    comments and feedback will be much appreciated

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Astin Studio
    Posts
    4,736

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    Any reason u skip Germany? On the other hand, I think your itenary is too tight and packed, are u travelling by rail or by air or by land?

  3. #3

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    Haven't travelled Europe, but have talked to many people who have

    But I do think you are going to rush it a whee bit too much. For example, London has many nooks and crevices that you might tend to miss out if you rush it too fast.

    Of course, it depends on what you want out of the trip
    You want to SEE EVERYTHING, then go for it
    If you want to truly experience each individual place, do not be so ambitious, it is not worth it

  4. #4

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    It's gonna be really tiring. I'd advise spending more time in Czech republic, UK. IMHO I found madrid a little boring, try san sebastian or zaragoza it's beautiful there. With Italy I wouldn't miss florence if I were you. Vienna's sights can be covered in one day if you're not attending any performances as most of the buildings are around the city center and walkable by foot.

    Overall your schedule looks really packed and unless you're really motivated it's hard to cover all the cities. In the end it'll just be touch and go and you won't even get a feel of local culture. Is that what you want?

    Also, try to plan in wildcard days, meaning days that you haven't planned in the schedule in between cities in case you decide you like some place more and you'd like to stay on.

    Eastern europe travel sometimes requires a visa and can be a pain to get. I assume you did your homework on getting into Russia already? I'd suggest splitting up the trip into just exploring western europe and eastern europe. Also, the scandinavian countries are beautiful and worth visiting as well, especially norway with its fjords and waterfalls.

    I spent half a year travelling in the area and would be more than happy to share with you what I know feel free to PM me if you need any info

  5. #5

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Astin View Post
    Any reason u skip Germany? On the other hand, I think your itenary is too tight and packed, are u travelling by rail or by air or by land?
    Germany skipped due to time constrains. would like to concentrate on eastern europe and go to more places in the east but friend wants to go to west. alas.

    travelling mostly by rail. are other modes of transport much faster?

  6. #6

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    your itinerary is really hectic ! you'll be worn out by the traveling from 1 location to another, and will not enjoy the delights of which europe has to offer.

    i first did western europe with a tour group many years ago & backpacked eastern europe on my own 2 years ago. your itinerary looks very much like what a tour group would do, rushing from place to place, visiting only the "necessary" sights. it was not so enjoyable. with backpacking, i manage my own time & spend about 5-6 days in each country, taking in 2-3 towns/cities. i would suggest you do eastern europe, as it is still not so as expensive as western europe. in another couple of years, expect prices there to rise.

    i took in sounthern austria (graz), slovenia (ljubjana & bled), croatia (zagreb, spit, korcula island & dubrovnik), hungary (budapest), slovakia (bratislava, stary smokovec & levoca), romania (bucharest, sinaia, brasov, bran & sighisoara), southern poland (krakow, oswiecim & wroclaw) & the czech republic (prague, kutna hora, cesky krumlov & brno). i had 5 weeks for the whole trip.

    if you have any questions, feel free to pm me.

    enjoy your trip !

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Toa Payoh
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by anon View Post
    hello,

    UK (london, oxford) - 3 days
    France (paris) - 3 days
    Netherlands (amsterdam) - 2 days
    Spain (barcelona - 2 days, madrid - 2 days, ibiza - 1 day)
    Italy (milan - 2 days, rome - 2 days, venice - 1 day)
    Austria (vienna) - 2 days
    Hungary (budapest) - 1 day
    Czech Republic - 2 days
    Poland (warsaw, krakow, auschwitz) - 3 days
    Russia (moscow - 2 days, st. petersburg - 3 days)
    Estonia (tallinn) - 2 days

    total no. of days - 33
    travel route will roughly be in the above order.

    If you stick to this schedule, I predict by the tenth day, you will be so exhausted you won't be enjoying yourself anymore. You will be spending most of your time traveling and worrying about your next accommodation, and how to make your way to your next destination.

    I've been to all those places in your itinerary, and I truly believe you will get much more out of it by splitting it into at least two different trips (east and west europe as suggested by some of the earlier posts). Your current plan is way too ambitious (you don't seem to have factored in travelling time? How are you going to get from Spain to Italy?). And you will hardly remember anything of what you've seen, as it will all be a blur. It's like flying into Singapore, taking a walk around Changi Airport, and then declaring that you've seen Singapore. I understand how tempting it must seem to be able to cover as much of Europe as you can within the timeframe you have (it's like a buffet of travel delights!). But there will be future opportunities to return.

    A significant consideration should be to look out for local festivals and planning part of your itinerary around some of these festivals. Some unmissable ones are the Edinburgh Art Festival, Nottinghill Carnival in London (both are about end Aug-early Sept, so great time to be in UK), Semana Santa in Seville (easter time), etc.

    I am SO tempted to re-plan your itinerary for you...hahaha, but I won't. (Unless you want me to! I love planning travel itineraries. Keeps me happy, ever since I got bitten by the travel bug.)

    But I will give a few suggestions:

    1. Experience the UK. UK is not just London/Oxford. Go to Lake District/Peak District. Go and see the white cliffs of dover. Trek along coastal cliffs and be awed by the beauty. Visit a smaller English city (York is lovely) just to get an authentic feel of England. London is way too cosmopolitan. London is good for the musicals, theatre, and museums. Queue up for cheap returns, visit the free or dirt cheap musuems (but absolutely world class). GO TO SCOTLAND. At least Edinburgh, if nothing else. It's one of my fav cities of the world. Go spend a day exploring a loch (Loch Ness holds a certain monstrous fascination for many people) and its environs. Enjoy the Scottish sing-song accent when they speak. Sneak into an old scottish castle at night!

    2. Experience France! France is not Paris. Explore Normandy. Visit Mont St Michel. Trek the rugged coast of Brittany. Eat fresh seafood caught from the Atlantic ocean. Look for delicious crepe restaurants. Stay in a small french town/city, and wake up to the smells of the local bakery. Eat a freshly baked croissant (i miss pain au chocolat in the mornings). Speak (or try to) speak french! If you are into wines and alcoholic beverages, visit the vineyards and chateaus. Take the TGV train from Paris to southern france (cote d'azur). Watch the changing landscape go pass on the train. Enjoy the high life. Stay in Nice and take day trips to Monaco, Cannes, etc. Gamble in Monte Carlo. See the snow-covered Alps. Ski there if you can. If not, learn to.


    I think I've gone on enough...but you get my point. Each country has so much to offer and to be experienced. You can save $$ on all the needless rush from one country to another. And by exploring places outside of the capital cities, you can save on accommodation and food costs too. Stay in hostels, have fun exploring the supermarkets (they tell you a lot about local tastes) and cook in the hostel kitchens. I assume you are backpacking.

  8. #8

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    Your schedule is certainly too hectic, i have been to all the places that u want to visit when i was backpacking there for a year... if u need any tips just pm me you email.

  9. #9

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by anon View Post
    hello,

    a friend and i are thinking of travelling europe. we have worked out a rough itinerary accommodating both our areas of interest. which turned out to be a long list.

    UK (london, oxford) - 3 days
    France (paris) - 3 days
    Netherlands (amsterdam) - 2 days
    Spain (barcelona - 2 days, madrid - 2 days, ibiza - 1 day)
    Italy (milan - 2 days, rome - 2 days, venice - 1 day)
    Austria (vienna) - 2 days
    Hungary (budapest) - 1 day
    Czech Republic - 2 days
    Poland (warsaw, krakow, auschwitz) - 3 days
    Russia (moscow - 2 days, st. petersburg - 3 days)
    Estonia (tallinn) - 2 days

    total no. of days - 33
    travel route will roughly be in the above order.

    are we trying to cover too many areas within too short a time frame/at one go?
    is salzburg a must go and ljubljana, slovenia worth a stop over?
    does anyone know of any small towns, countryside in Russia and Poland worth a visit/overnight stay?
    any suggestions on a better way to cover the above areas? western europe to eastern europe or east to west? if indeed overtly amibtious, which areas should we skip or how long do you recommend spending in these places.
    comments and feedback will be much appreciated
    Sorry to comment that you are very ambitious on your itinerary. You will not enjoy your trip with this kind of planning. Careful that it might tired you out.

    for 33 days, I suggest you try 4 - 5 countries or less. I have been to France and for Paris, you need at about 4-5 to fully enjoy the city. 3 days is very rush, remember Lorve will takes up 1 full day.

    Going to Paris does not mean anything, France is a very beautiful country, it is blessed with Alps, Mediterranean sea, beautiful winery and vineyard, lavender farm. Aix-en Provence is even best!

    For Rome, 2 days is not enough, try to plan for 3-4 days.

    I have the impression that you are spending your time traveling with no time to enjoy.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by jimtong; 31st January 2007 at 09:25 AM.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    Agree with the above posts.

    The time-table presented is just too hectic.

    I like the suggestion of breaking this trip into 2 seperate vacations. You need to have time to take in the sights and appreciate the local culture.


    Bernard

    P.S. : Don't forget to be wary of petty thieves, both on the trains and in the cities.
    Last edited by bernardy4416; 31st January 2007 at 08:01 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    Hi all,

    thanks for the feedback

    anyone has info/experiences on eastern europe to share? which places to visit in various countries? any small towns, countryside in Russia and Poland worth a visit?

  12. #12

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by anon View Post
    Hi all,

    thanks for the feedback

    anyone has info/experiences on eastern europe to share? which places to visit in various countries? any small towns, countryside in Russia and Poland worth a visit?
    This site is better then lonely planet IMHO.

    Virtual Tourist

  13. #13

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    I agree with the above comments... your schedule is rather ambitious. Why not cut down the number of countries and explore them more closely?

    Do give yourself some days in between to just 'rest' and not sightsee. To be constantly on the move, getting from point A to B is very exhausting. If your friend and you have never travelled together before, having some 'alone time' apart to do your own things can be good too. One of the things I learned from my own trip was not to underestimate distances. I needed one day every week to recharge.

    Also, what do you and your travel partner like to do? Shopping? Museums? Take photos? learn about the history and culture? That would help you factor in the places you'd want to see.

    Not all museums are great, but some, like the Uffizi in Florence and Louvre in Paris are filled with so much good stuff it'll take you a day to walk through the whole thing. Barcelona and Vienna have lots of nice architecture to look at. Venice is a very beautiful city to photograph, and I don't mean just the gondolas. Bruges (in Belgium) is a beautiful place that's usually overlooked - great food, beautiful walks, and no tourists. If you want to get out of Rome, Tuscany is very beautiful and accessible by train. The Greek islands are also very breathtaking.

    If you do get a chance to visit any of the notable Holocaust museums, like Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, or concentration camp sites, like Auschwitz in Poland, do consider it. Not exactly holiday 'fun', but you get a better sense of the country's social history by seeing these places. I spent the day at one in Dachau, Germany, and found it very moving and enlightening.

    Like the other posters, I'm available by PM if you need more info.
    Last edited by wrkshy; 13th February 2007 at 11:23 AM. Reason: typos

  14. #14

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    I suggest spend more time in one country better than sardine packing. Switzerland is a good choice. They speak English (besides many other European languages), the place is clean & safe. The trains run on time (right on the dot!) You can fly from Singapore direct to Zurich, buy a rail travel pass, use the train to travel across the country for one/two weeks, then back to Zurich airport for your flight home or Geneva airport to another Europe city. There are many tourist info centres near railway stations, where you can look for accommodation at your budget, hence reducing the need to preplan or prebook everything.

    In Europe, beware of the usual pickpockets especially gypsies, in crowded places, trains & buses. They always work in a group, one might distract you while the other takes your stuff & pass to the other team members. Sometimes they work together to separate you & your travel buddies when you step on the trains/buses, they surround you & pinch your valuables & you wouldnt even know where the hands come from. Always stay away from dark/back alleys.

  15. #15

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    one word - fatigue.


    seriously, too much squeezed in. you will experience travel fatigue at its best.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    East Coast Sinjaipur
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    Wow!!! I've travelled a fair bit around the world but never like that. The closest I think I ever came to a trip like that was when I spent 5 days in New Zealand's south island. We spent every night in a different city and I didn't really count that as seeing the place (much less, experiencing it) - just travelling though. On a trip to France, I spent two weeks in Paris, Reims, travelling south then Nice & Monte Carlo. I wish I could have spent more time to see other parts of the country or to really enjoy more of the places I did actually go to.

    My advice is to slow down. Enjoy the places you go to. Don't just tick them off the "been there, done that" list.

  17. #17

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    I concur with what most pple say...

    I have been there for 3 months... it's going to stretch you a little with that schedule...

    I think Rome deserves more than 2 days. Vienna is really cool too, and maybe a day more just to soak in the atmosphere.

    But if your objective is just to achieve "been there, done that" thing, then it should be fine.... Travelling to Russia will take a bit of your time too... bear that in mind.

    Overall, just have fun and take more pictures...

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    3,717

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    way too many places.. for 30 days, covering 3-4 countries is prob just nice. max u can stretch is prob 6 countries. That said, European countries are relatively near but it's the hassle of moving in/out of hotels, rushing to train stations etc that will take up like 20% of your time.. which imho is not worth it.

    if i do it, i'll prob spend 1/2 mth on each country at leisurely pace.

  19. #19

    Default Re: travelling europe advice needed

    Hi all,

    we are choosing between italy, france and spain. we can pick a max of two out of the three. what say you?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •