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13 Days in Europe

I am traveling to London and Paris in mid June with 3 friends. We are all mid 50's but very active & healthy. We are flying into London and hope to spend time there, travel to Belgium, possibly make a stop in Western Germany, then end the trip with a few days in Paris. Is this too ambitious for 13 days? Two have traveled in England, France, one in Germany, and I've never been at all. We need advice to make the most of our trip. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
6272 posts

Yes, tooambitious. When is this trip? Soon? Summer? Fall?

So much to see and do in Paris.

Forget Germany this trip.

If you know your travel dates Book your Eurostar Tickets at least 90 days out. MUCH CHEAPER!

13 days will go by very quickly and you need to take arrival jet lag into account especially if you are traveling from North America.

I’ve been traveling to Europe since the 70’s. Mostly to the UK. Love London. Always something new to explore there.

Happy Travels!

Posted by
696 posts

You'll have to give us a bit more information for us to help. Where in Belgium and Germany? What are your interests? All I can offer at this point is that each change will take 1/2 a day. 4 places equals 4 half days traveling and only 2 1/2 days in each place. You could spend 13 days in any two of these places and not feel you have made a dent in what is available to enjoy.

Posted by
5221 posts

It would be too ambitious for me, but maybe not for you. Four destinations in 13 days means you'll be traveling about a third of your days there -- assuming that you're not counting your arrival and departure days in the 13. (If you are, then almost half your days will involve moving around.) Of course these places are close together, especially by North American standards, but don't underestimate how long it takes to pack, check out, get to the station or airport, ride or fly, get to the next hotel, check in, and unpack. Half a day or more.

London and Paris are very big cities with a great deal to see and do. What do you want to see and do in Belgium and Germany that's worth devoting so much of your trip time to getting there and back? How about sticking to London and Paris, with about half a day between them for the Eurostar?

Posted by
2 posts

Traveling in mid June. We do not have definitive plans for Belgium or Germany. Possibly the Bruge and extreme W Germany-one friend mentioned a concentration camp.

Posted by
6855 posts

Belgium is a little quiet, and Germany is a very large place.
Have you thought of going to London, then Amsterdam and then Paris--all by the train? Connections between those cities are very efficient. And they're all important travel cities.

Posted by
7512 posts

Yes, it is too ambitious, at least for me.
So you would travel to Western Germany just to see a concentration camp? There are many camps. Auschwitz is outside of Krakow, Poland and Dachau is near Munich. Do you have a WWII interest as you could add Normandy after Paris if so.
And you want to visit Brugges in Belgium? It is charming but so are many other towns. I 100% agree with the suggestion of London, Amsterdam and Paris.

Posted by
5487 posts

London and Paris is a 13 day trip if that includes your arrival and departure days. Fly open jaw.

Posted by
511 posts

Some airlines refer to "open jaw" as "multi-city". It means flying into one city and home from another, as opposed to a round trip to and from the same city. When you fly directly home from your last stop you do not waste valuable vacation hours backtracking.

Gather everyone together and have them bring their lists of "Must Sees" (which vary by individual). You may find you arrive Day 1 you will be too jet-lagged to enjoy much sightseeing. I usually wander around like a zombie waiting until sunset so I can crash.

Then look at the Must-Sees for London and Paris. You might find you have about 6 days-worth in each city. And you're probably flying home on your 13th day.

So the plan might be Days 1-6 in London. Travel day 7, Days 8-12 in Paris, travel home Day 13. Some people find it easier to think in terms of nights so six nights in London, six nights in Paris. Look at the Trip Reports section of this website to get a feel for what can be accomplished in one day. I find that more helpful than Rick's sample itineraries, which don't allow for rest breaks and ice cream stops.

Hope this helps,