The key to visiting Venice is to stay on the main island (near St. Marks Square if possible) and do your sightseeing in the morning before the crowds arrive and/or the evening after the crowds are back on the cruise ships and back on the mainland. Interlaken is pretty car friendly though. Hi Roger. Milan (2 days) That is a lot to see in two weeks, but it could be done if you don’t mind spending almost every other day going between cities. It’s true that many of those train rides are relatively short, though you also have to consider the amount of time from when you check out of one hotel until you check into the next hotel. More European Itineraries. I recommend seeing the Amalfi Coast this way for many people because those main towns along the coast are quite expensive and crowded in season, and if you are staying in Positano or Amalfi you are only seeing that area. Sarajevo is a great stop in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Guatemala 4. Thank you in advance, Are flights a better option (and cheaper) than trains? 4/10. April 28: New York, Your plan looks great. If you only stay 2 nights it means you really only have 1 full sightseeing day and every other day will mostly be dominated by checking in and out of hotels and riding on trains. 3 days in amsterdam, following are major things which i want to cover during this trip :- So I would recommend saving Lisbon for another trip (and you’d have to fly in and out) and maybe saving Barcelona as well. Hi Roger, thanks for the amazing article. Hi Roger – Thanks for all of the great information. Should I change smaller towns or extend dates? Ansar here Again, from Bangladesh. You’ll want to take the Eurostar train from London to Paris. If you stay in 2-star hotels you can get by on a bit less, and if you share a hostel (private or dorm) it would be even a bit less. It will all fit very nicely in 5 weeks. December isn’t a great month for a trip like this because the days are short and it will obviously be quite cold. Can you please suggest what you would do. That’s because the journey from Lucerne to Salzburg is quite long(but not too long also) and we do not want to waste daytime travelling. If you have a Half Fare Card then the train ride from Zurich to Interlaken becomes fairly affordable, but it does take two hours each way and once you reach Interlaken Ost station in Interlaken you are still an hour or so from the places you want to visit in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, so it’s more like 3 hours each way. Perth, My husband keeps wanting to leave London off the list I just saw Mary Poppins and I want to go even more!. 5. Venice (1) – then take train to: Interlaken Switzerland (2-3) Cesky Krumlov, Which airline do you recommend and between which countries for the most economical result? I’m glad I was able to help and this version looks very well organized with nonstop highlights. Based on your responses, I have shortlisted the following cities. We do not want to plan London and anything which will involve too much of walking. Bermuda Train to Paris Hi Roger, my husband and I went to Paris and Rome a couple years ago, and we loved it very much. So in 15 days I’d recommend choosing 5 cities or no more than 6 cities. Czechia. My husband and I and our three girls (19, 17, 12) did our first trip to Europe 1.5 years ago. -Roger. I think your budget should be enough, although I don’t know what a flight to Pakistan costs. The town of Interlaken itself is pretty nice, but Lucerne is quite a bit more interesting and charming. I am so inspired by all your kind advices. From Rome to Florence it might be €50 if you buy on travel day, or only €20 if you buy a couple weeks in advance. Personally, I would not hesitate to visit London and Paris with what is going on in each. first thank you for a very informative and interesting article. Since you’ve done France and Italy I think it might be good to try something different so I think the idea of Spain (Barcelona and Madrid plus whatever else you have time for) could be good, or you could focus on Amsterdam and Berlin and then whatever else you find interesting and have time for. Hi Roger, thank you so much for the article. Grandad would probably have to get a wheelchair or an electric cart shortly after entering the train stations, but that would be true of airports as well and the distances in train stations are usually MUCH shorter. But if it’s a small difference or the same, you can just buy your ticket on departure day. Central Europe- Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Krakow interest me as much as London/Paris, but I would not want to skimp on Italy either. It’s beautiful, unpretentious, and really fun. If you went straight from Milan you could get to Vernazza in a bit over 3 hours, with a change of trains in Monterosso. 4/8. Not really sure what to do here as I want to make it as cheap as possible but also cut out as much back in forth with the travel so I can spend more time enjoying the two cities. This would mean finding lodging and travel and new places to visit in lieu of London and France. I like to visit Greece, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Netherlands. My husband and I want to visit Europe in 28 day. New Orleans, Wow, your site is so informative! 1. Appreciate your advice on the order of this itinerary and how we can travel between cities (train/flight)? further shall i inlude 2 nights Germany , Munich) or Vienna, Austria or Prague Czech and fly out to Pakistan. The cheapest places to stay are hostels with dorm rooms, but if you don’t like sleeping with 3 to 11 other people you can get good deals on hotel rooms. Or the other way around. Bosnia and Herzegovina is another country you might want to explore. Upon some research, I can take either a train (6 hrs) or flight (1-2 hours) for fairly cheap between the two cities. I might skip Bratislava, as to be it’s a bit of a dud compared to the others, especially since it’s basically a suburb of Vienna, which is far more interesting. Let me know if you have any other questions. Looking forward to your kind advise. -Roger. You might have a look at my article on where to go in Switzerland for some ideas. 2) EUROSTAR (LONDON to AMSTERDAM)- arrive 8:31 AM, Sep 14 Or similarly, starting in Amsterdam or Berlin and ending in Rome? Me and my father have visited Paris , Barcelona, London but that was purely for work. As for England, you might have a scan of my article on where to go in England, Scotland, and Wales. Cologne is an interesting city with a famous cathedral and an interesting historic area, and you can see the highlights in about a day. And finally the train ride from Switzerland to Venice is amazing through the Alps, and the trains between Venice and Rome take about 3.5 hours. I think it’s more efficient to go Budapest > Vienna > Salzburg > Prague. The nine itineraries mentioned in the article above are my best advice, pretty much in order from top to bottom in terms of which to consider. All three cities are connected by direct trains so planning your trip and getting around is a breeze. The downside to booking each place yourself is all of the research and uncertainty that goes along with it. That would leave you four days for Germany and then a flight to Rome. And if you add that extra week I think 3 nights in Interlaken and 2 nights in Lucerne is an ideal first trip. Would you have a rough estimate of cost I know this is very dependent on situation to situation however, would love some input on this. We have created a van tour in Europe if you are strapped for time but want to see as much as possible. Buy all of those plane and train tickets as soon as possible for the lowest fares. 1. Personally, I think Amsterdam is more interesting than Bruges or Brussels, so I’d recommend it. I don’t think I got to all of your questions but I hope this helps. I wish to start with Paris, then Netherlands, then Austria and Italy. -Roger. But from Switzerland to Rome it’s that same trip to Milan and then another 4 hours or so to get to Rome. The sooner you buy the cheaper it will be and the more options you’ll have. The mobility issue will obviously slow them down and it might mean that any more than 6 destinations could be a challenge. I think it makes the most sense to fly from England to Fuchal, although you may have to change planes in Lisbon. We are looking for an itinerary and the best places to cover in these 4 countries. The short version is that I highly recommend London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, and Venice as cities to build your first trip around because they are each very different and each amazing. I’m very overwhelmed trying to pick a place for our trip and would love any advice you have for me. Our tours days 18/19 days. But I am having second thoughts as it is winter season in Europe, i don’t want to spend a lot of money (so budget is average) but want it comfortable because my mum is on her early 60’s. It’s like the “Ann Landers of Travel” . (Frustrated traveller). I have a lot of family in Germany and I’ve spent a lot of time there. The cities are both very large and very different from each other. First off, if you have 15 days I’d recommend you plan on visiting 5 total cities or maybe 6 if you really feel like rushing. Sub plan 2 (days count includes travel): No Switzerland -Roger. Granada and Seville are the main attractions in the south of Spain for cultural tourists, and Toledo is a very worthwhile stop that can be done as a day-trip from Madrid. But once you get in Italy the express trains are fast. I think if you cut out Greece and maybe one or two other cities you’d have a much more enjoyable honeymoon. So it’s really down to Barcelona and Madrid vs. Belgium and London. I’m happy to help more if you have any other questions. My guess is it would be cheapest to fly into and out of Paris. Thank you for your feedback, I really appreciate it and it’ll be very helpful regarding trip planning. I actually discuss that in my article a few years ago about what I consider to be Europe’s 5 best destinations for first-time visitors. If you go I would go during the shoulder season: April/May, or September/October. My daughters are aged 19 and 12 and this will be our first family holiday in Europe….the must visits are London and Paris. Spending 4 nights there then 3 nights in Paris. My strong preference is to stay 3 nights in almost any city I visit, except for 1 or 2 nights in a few of the smaller towns. So as long as it’s clear when you want to go, you can decide which you are more in the mood for. Which ones would you recommend, now especially we have a 15-month old baby to bring with? That said, I’m no fan of overnight trains, and Europe has done away with most of them in the last 5 or 10 years. Thanks in Advance. Have a wonderful trip. My husband and I are planning a 25th anniversary trip. Venice – 2N Vienna is a really “grand” city with dramatic architecture and first class culture. Any recommendations? But I wished to include Barcelona or some of Andalusia in the trip as well, so if you’d suggest dropping any of the city I picked and include Any other from Spain, I can totally do that. I am aware I will not be able to go to every single one of them, but if I had to choose among all the countries in Europe, I would choose those ones for a first trip. Paris and London are easily two of the world’s great cities for culture, entertainment, and walking tours, and they are both quite vibrant all year round. Could you please provide your suggestions, so that I can plan trip by my own ? I was hoping for Munich but have reconsidered as it’ll be Oktoberfest. I’ve been debating visiting Interlaken – specifically Gimmelwald – during this trip in place of one of the cities. -Roger. If not, I wouldn’t skip it. We are in the early stages of planning and this will be our first trip. Hi Roger, Appreciate your views on my previous question, Hi Roger, Lisbon, Thank you very much I would love your expert input on this. Amsterdam (2N) (just for new years parties) I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the answers you’ve given people! We want to visit the following cities: Rome, Venice, Prague, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam – We are open to visiting other cities but these are the ones which we must visit. After that you might also go to Amsterdam, which is one of Europe’s best tourist cities. Your itinerary looks like it was put together by a seasoned professional. Those cities are fantastic, but they are also “concrete jungles” and pretty expensive and crowded that time of year. But they say that their sister company goes all winter, and I see that they have 2 buses a day on 22-December. Airbnb? After 3 or 4 days in Barcelona you could take a train to Madrid in 2.5 hours. Hi Roger, Do you have recommendations for cross country car rentals, or good places to stay for trips like this? I like your itinerary a lot. There are endless ways to piece together itineraries for 10 days in Europe, these are just ten of our recommendations. I think your plan is quite good as it is. If you buy the train tickets fairly soon you should be able to get pretty good deals on them, and if there are children you can get cheaper tickets for them. Kindly advise what cities would be best to visit, considering time and cost. Since this is your first trip to Europe you might consider spending 4 days or so in Germany and then the last 3 days in Paris, which really does live up to the hype. Thank you! Even with a 3-hour train ride that is going to be at least 5 hours or possibly more if you aren’t staying near the train station. Oh and we were thinking we would take trains pretty much the whole way to Poland (if it seems realistic). Rome-2N Again, it really depends on exactly where you want to go. We have three weeks (Apil 18-May 9) and would like to begin in London. For 11 people plus a driver you’d have to hire a full-size van and even then it might be tight. Countries which I am interested in are: In other words, even though some of the train rides are a bit long, they will be a highlight by themselves. You should definitely plan this trip on your own and plan on mostly taking trains rather than buses. Our favorite countries to visit are spain, Italy, germany, france and swiss. Italy has what we in the tourism community call the “Big 3”, which are Rome, Florence, and Venice. As for Spain, I’d recommend Madrid and Barcelona for 3 days each as a foundation. I’d say the best and easiest would be to fly from Santorini to Rome and spend 3 days there before going to Florence for 2 days and Venice for 1 day, or skip Florence and go straight to Venice. So really you have time for all of them. But if I had to choose I’d go for Greece. If you could suggest of something which is more of a prettiest town / some offbeat place and not too expensive(compare to Switzerland). I’ll be happy to try to help, though I’m a bit unclear on what. -Roger. It’s best to choose cities that are close enough together to take trains if you can. The downside to consider is that Bruges and Amsterdam look quite a bit alike because they were both rich trading cities in the 1500s and 1600s when most of them were built. Wide and sandy beaches are rare in Europe except for southern Spain and Portugal, and those places don’t have much else to see once you are there. Germany, Ireland, and Italy are an unusual combination for one trip, mainly because they share no borders. Note: This article was most recently updated in January, 2020. > Venice (2 nights- or should I just do 1 night?) As an American, my country hasn’t been a colony for almost 240 years so I can’t really identify with your feelings on that, although I do understand them to some degree. With the remaining 3 or 4 days I would fly into Rome and spend my time there. Wow this is an incredible itinerary for Eastern Europe. Staying 3 nights in Amsterdam. Your suggestion for the remaining days? Slovenia is actually best known for Lake Bled and the karst hills and other scenery, and I don’t think you could cover enough of that in a 2-day visit to Ljubljana, so I’d save that for another trip when you had at least 4 or 5 days there. I was thinking of traveling to Europe for the first time during the summer for a month. Thank you for any help. You have a great itinerary in the works, and with a few changes it will be very easy and efficient as well. In March you’ll also have an easy time finding hotel rooms, even on the same day. Right now it’s still the 2017 edition, but I will update it to the 2018 edition within the next week or so. Especially if you eliminate Prague, a Eurail Pass would not be good value for you. though we believe that we have some stamina to do these train travels, or am I dreaming? EasyJet is one of their main competitors and I like them quite a bit more so I’m willing to pay a bit more to fly them. I would like to seek for your comments. D-4 Daytrip to Rothenburg odt and Nurnberg, sleep in Munich. Would it be terrible if we skip Venice altogether? Barcelona, Adding in scenery between city visits can be really nice because going from one big city to another can get a bit stressful after a while. Free time to wander the streets of Austria’s capital, with its grand buildings, spectacular gardens, museums and palaces. I am planning to do London -> Paris -> Rome -> Venice. In general my recommendation is to spend 3 nights in almost every city or place you visit because shorter stays mean you are spending too much time going between places, and longer stays mean you don’t see as much and you end up doing some second and third tier attractions. One key to saving money is to buy your train tickets 2 to 3 months in advance if you can. I am planning a trip to Dubai to visit my brother and his family this December and I am very tempted to might as well visit some Europe cities for 2 weeks with my mum. 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