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First time Euro trip. 4 weeks

7 posts
First time Euro trip. 4 weeks

Hey everyone,

Planning my first time trip to Europe (and 1st time out of USA) and putting together a rough itinerary. I will be going for 4 weeks in September and October. Here is my itinerary so far:

1. London (3 nights)

2. Bruges (1 night)

3. Brussels (1 night)

4. Amsterdam (2 nights)

5. Cologne (2 nights)

6. Luxembourg City (2 nights)

7. Strasbourg (1 night)

8. Lucerne (1 night)

9. Venice (1 night)

10. Rome (2 nights)

11. Florence (2 nights)

12. Nice (2 nights)

13. Lyon (1 night)

14. Paris (3 nights)

That's 24 of 28 days covered so I am assuming that is too many places to go? I fly into London and flying out of London too. London, Amsterdam, Rome and Paris are he main places I want to go but not locked into anything. I'll mostly be using bus and trains but if time is of issue in some places I would fly.

Thanks for any help

Edited: 11 June 2018, 23:19
20 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
8,929 posts
1. Re: First time Euro trip. 4 weeks

Unless they are next door literally to the previous stop ditch the one night stops. If you're lucky those one night stops will give you a half day of site seeing.

Two nights for Rome after you've stated it's one of your main destinations?

Step back and start making itineraries for the various cities. Then decide how long it will take.

If those are in order you've made some weird choices. Venice Florence Rome Nice would be easier and more sensible than what you listed.

Think about flying open jaw to avoid back tracking to London

7 posts
2. Re: First time Euro trip. 4 weeks

Most the one nights were me just trying to break up train/bust travel but that makes sense that it would probably be more disappointing barely being able to see them. As far as Rome i read on a few of the other posts that it is a pretty stressful place? And for the order I just used routeperfect and that is how they planned it.

r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
9,334 posts
1 review
3. Re: First time Euro trip. 4 weeks


what you will find is that many on here are not fast paced travelers.

so, if this is your first trip, you will find out if you iike fast paced travel or not. Something to consider, is will you come back. Do you plan on coming back. If you plan to come back, why travel like you are not?

also, you have nights listed. most things are day oriented so, you may want to consider that. Sleep is important, but i would look at the day aspect since its when you will probably be up and doing things.

you have several PART OF 1 DAY places listed.

some comments....

- you list your main places you wish to see which is good.

- i think you are in the mind set that this is all or nothing and after this, you wont have a life anymore.

- what you really need to look at is the logistics of traveling from A to B to C...ect. I think you will find that you have alot more research to do.

some hints....

- you may want to buy, print, or use google maps (create you own) and plot those places. If you are lucky you can find some bases and do day trips for some of those less than day trip places.

- look for a path to take so you wont have to backtrack.

- look at how to get from A to B to C...not just drawing a line on a map, but check if a bus or train actually goes there without much or many interruptions, transfers or time. Remember any mode of transport will take time.

- when you use trains to cross boarders its best to buy them sooner than later.

- the Eurostar from London <> Paris is one of those trains that you will need to book sooner than later or pay a hefty price.

- Some INTRAcountry trains or (regional) may or may not be expensive for long(?) trips. So its something you may want to research.

- if you can find a path to take, consider a OPEN JAW ticket. That is to fly into one city and out of another.

- You appear to be going to many places and then returning back to fly home. This appears to me you are thinking "round trip" ticket. Consider the cost of back tracking. Time & money.

- Since you are moving alot, you will pay more for this trip due to the transportation cost. You will also loose time.

- Everytiime you move your base you will loose at the MINIMUM 1/2 day doing so.

- consider breaking this trip up into trips. You can do UK/FR/NL in one trip and come back and doing GER, LUX, BRU in another and then the rest in another trip.

- there are so many ways to travel, its just that you appear to have on your "i want to do it all blinders" on and you need to step back and look outside of the box for a better solution. However, again, if you really want to do a fast paced trip, this will be one and you may find out you like it or wont.

personal comment....

- for what its wroth, i travel fast. But i give 2,3 or 4 days per place and move on. Those days i give are not just something i pull out of air, but i do my research up front at home where it only cost me time and then i base the days on whats there. Many times its too short, but i try to see what i can given the time i have.

- overnight stays are not common. i use those for days to catch a plane or train. But thats about it. If i have a extra day i will attach that to someplace that has alot to see.

- my first trip i tried to do what you want to do and settled for less - alot less, but when you get to the reality of moving from A to B to C and the cost and time, you will find out.

good luck,

Level Contributor
8,929 posts
4. Re: First time Euro trip. 4 weeks

" routeperfect"

No idea who this is but Venice to Florence is a two hour easy train ride. Florence to Rome ninety minutes. You can catch a flight to Nice.

If OTOH Venice to Rome. Almost a four hour ride. Back up to Florence niney minutes. Likely need to come back down to Rome to fly to Nice. Unless the idea is to take the train but that will take longer and cost more.

I find Rome relaxing. It really depends on what you are used to.

7 posts
5. Re: First time Euro trip. 4 weeks

This is definitely what I was looking for thanks. I was trying to cram everything into one trip because I'm not sure if I can come back again. From the times I have traveled in the states I know I am more of a slow traveler and enjoy spending more days in one place or near places and also days where I just feel like doing nothing. So I am rethinking my approach and might just do France and Italy trip at the main places and stay at each place longer and hope I can come back again to do a Germany/Belgium trip.

r c
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
9,334 posts
1 review
6. Re: First time Euro trip. 4 weeks

welcome back,

if you think you wont come back, chances are you wont. Its really up to you to make it happen.

I never thought i would be able to travel but this Sept will be my 5th? trip.

it all depends on what you want and are willing to do without. You say you never thought you could, but look at what you are planning now.

theres nothing wrong with travel fast as long as you understand what it involves and the +/- of anything you do.

Also, when it comes to planning, its not like you MUST do everything you have planned at that moment in time. Its your money, your trip and your time. you can do what you want, when you want and for as long as you want.

I plan my days down to the things to do and see. Sometimes i will just stop somewhere and not do anything for the rest of the day. It will depend on my mood and whats going on. If i want to chill, i do. If i want to stay and have (more) dessert, i will. If it want to walk my way down a street and try all of the various Gelato shops, i can and i have and not do or see what i had planned that day.

Dont forget you can also be spontaneous too on your trip. you may not "plan" for it, but just keep an open mind about things.

good luck.

Wales, United...
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for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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7. Re: First time Euro trip. 4 weeks

Some people do like to trael around at a faster pace than others. I tried going fast when I was young, but I didn't like it then, and I certainl;y don't like it now!

It sounds like you know what you like, too. So my advice is to take it easy and enjoy the trip. If you don't get Europe, at least you'll have more memories to look back on than just trains and buses. You can make it happen, though, if you put your mind to it!

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10,099 posts
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8. Re: First time Euro trip. 4 weeks

You do not seem to have factored in travel time. Some of your spots require 1/2 day (at least) to go from one place to the next or are you planning to sleep on the bus/train. Stop and smell the roses.

Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
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9. Re: First time Euro trip. 4 weeks

With your current schedule you will spend more time actually travelling and less time actually being on holiday.

I'm sorry if that sounds brutal, but with only 4 weeks, you can't realistically cover every destination. It will end up in a blur of railway stations & airports.

I'd suggest you break your trip up into navigable zones.

London to Paris, by Eurostar ( less than 3 hours and directly from one city centre to another.

From Paris, either north to Amsterdam ( an ideal base for Holland & Belgium), or

Paris to Germany. I know this is your trip, but why Cologne? Berlin has much more to offer & is a major transport hub.

Or a flight from Paris to Venice (which merits at least 3 days) & then travel down to Florence again for a minimum of 3 days, but from which you can a local train to Pisa for a day trip, and then down to Rome, which merits 4 days or more.

From Rome, you may (I'm not sure) be able to get a flight to NIce, & from there then travel back up to Paris. Lyon can be done as a long day trip from Paris by train. Journey is about 2 hours.

I do appreciate you want to see & do as much as possible, but Europe isn't going to grow legs and move, so you can always come back. You may fall in love with Italy and make this your focus for future trips, or plan new destination like Spain & Portugal, Greece or Poland. With 49 countries to pick from, you have endless possibilities. But if you do a whistle stop tour there is a danger that travel fatigue will put you off long haul travel altogether. Sometimes less is more.

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8,929 posts
10. Re: First time Euro trip. 4 weeks

Cologne would be an easy train ride but I agree with you on picking Berlin or Hamburg over it. OTOH I think the OP has decided to consolidate things a bit. See post 5

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