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Europe Trip

Hello,

I would like your support in the question i am about to ask below:

I would be coming to Dusseldorf in November for work and on 18th Nov i will be free, and i have taken leave from office to see Europe from 18th Nov to 29th Nov. My flight back is also from Dusseldorf. So my questions are in point forum below:

  1. I will have 12 days.

  2. I want to see 2-3 places in 12 days.? Will it be Ok? Can i comfortable see 3 places in 12 days?

  3. I want to see (Paris-Switzerland-Amsterdam) or (Paris-Switzerland-Venice) or Paris-Austria-Prague).. What do you guys suggest. I am open to suggestions and can change the places accordingly. Any other place that you can think of. Paris is 100% confirmed.

  4. Should i take flight or train? As the prices are almost same for both? Which one would be better in terms of connectivity and luggage friendly.?

  5. Should $2000 would be enough? Staying and flight or train not included?

  6. In Paris what are the top attractions i can see. What i know is (Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, The Louvre Museum and Old Palace, Boat Tour of the Seine River), I can skip and add if there is any suggestion?

  7. In Switzerland i was thinking of going to Interlaken. Is it ok to go in November?

  8. I was thinking of booking Airbnb? Is it recommended or should i book hotel?

  9. Can i take a Phone sim in Dusseldorf and the same can work all over Europe or do i need to change the sim for every country?

I am so sorry to ask so many things in 1 go but the answers would be much appreciated.

Waiting to hear from you.

Posted by
16941 posts

I'd stick with Amsterdam, Paris, Switzerland, in that order. Amsterdam is just 2 1/3 hours away by ICE train every 2 hours at 9 past the odd hours. Cost for an advance purchase nonrefundable ticket is just 35 EUR. Amsterdam to Paris is just 3 1/3 hours on the Thalys train That one is also 35 EUR bought now. Paris to Basel is just 3 hours on the TGV-Lyria train and prices as low as 36 EUR bought now. From there get a train to Interlaken. Late November might be iffy in Switzerland for viewing the Alps, but it can be that way anytime. Touch of winter will be in the mountains, just a bit to early for skiing. Return to Cologne along the middle Rhine valley to see the gorge and the castles. Specify via Mainz to insure the train goes along the Rhine. Basel to Cologne looks to be about 60 EUR. Spend a night in Cologne (if you did not get a chance while in Duesseldorf). You can get a train direct to Duesseldorf airport from Cologne in about 30 minutes.

Buy train tickets advance, nonrefundable to get the best prices.

Posted by
1002 posts

You've asked a lot of questions in one post, but I'll start. You said you have 12 days but really you only have 10 because your first and last are travel days to get to and from Dusselforf, right? Yes, you can do 3 cities in 10 days but you need to take into account the time to get from one to the other. Staying in an area that is geographically closer makes this a lot more reasonable. Think about the time it takes to get from one place to the next, and don't forget to include repacking your luggage, transport to the airport or train station, waiting, embarking, actual time flying or on train, disembarking, transport on the arrival side, checking into hotel, getting acclimated to new city. This can easily take up the better part of a day, leaving you with two less days to actually see the sites. Think about whether your travel style is up to this pace. Some love it, some would rather stay in one place longer and really get a feel for it.
Use the Search field at the top of the page to search for and review other travelers' itineraries and trip reviews for the places you're thinking of visiting. You can sort for only Forum postings (as opposed to articles or blogs) and newness of posting, too, so you can get fresh information. Do your research then come back and post again, asking more specific questions.
$200 per day should be plenty if you aren't including transportation and lodging. Unless you're planning on going to really expensive restaurants or buying a lot of souvenirs.
There are others here who are more expert at some of your specific questions so I'll leave the rest to them.

Posted by
7146 posts

Nov 18. Fly to Venice or Prague or Vienna (4nts)
Nov 22. Fly to Paris (4nts)
Nov 26. Train to Amsterdam (3nts)
Nov 29. Train to Düsseldorf

I wouldn't suggest Switzerland in November.
$2000 amounts to $167 per day, which would amply cover meals and sightseeing (hotels, trains, planes not included).

My Paris Top Ten sights ...
Eiffel Tower
Arc de Triomphe
Sacre Coeur
Notre Dame
Saint Chapelle
Place des Vosges
Pompidou
Louvre
Musee d'Orsay
Versailles

Posted by
646 posts

Yes you can see three places in twelve nights. Just remember that twelve nights is really ten sight seeing days and if you visit a second place it's just nine sight seeing days and if you visit three places it's eight sight seeing days.

As to where to go, it depends on what you like. Your possibilities are quite different. Eyewitness guides have beautiful pictures. Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, and Rough Guides have much more practical information. Head to the library and check some out. Decide what it is you want to see. Given the choices, I'd see Paris and Amsterdam. But if it were me, I'd add London rather than Switzerland. Or I'd do Prague and Budapest instead. Paris and Venice is another good alternative.

To determine travel cost and practicality use themaninseat61 and rometorio.com on line. Happy reading.

Posted by
533 posts

At the risk of stating the obvious: Some of the "places" you've listed are cities and some are countries. Three days (which is about what you'll have for each "place," once you subtract out travel time) is a good amount of time to see a city. (It's not enough time to see everything in the city, but there's never really enough time to see everything in a city.) But three days is nowhere near enough time to see all of Austria or all of Switzerland. If you decide to include either of those destinations, you'll need to choose one city or small area of the country and focus on that.

Posted by
12 posts

Dear All,

Thank yoi so much for the reply, you guys have really helped. I can understand and make some trip decisions more cleary based on your feedback. I will incorporate those points in the trip.

Just 2 more thing, should i take Airbnb or hotel stay. That is really important.
Second if i take a train is the luggage not an issue, we do have ample space to keep our luggage.?

Posted by
21331 posts

How much luggage will you have? You have to be able to get it to the train (sometimes there are stairs, though larger stations are likely to have escalators or elevators), to your assigned car if you have seat reservations, up a couple of steps onto the train, and down the corridor to your seats. There's usually a multi-level rack not too far from the door that you can use if it's not full when you board, plus overhead shelves suitable for small suitcases. Some train cars have back-to-back seats (facing in opposite directions), and there may be space for a fair-sized suitcase in the inverted-V-shaped area between those seats.

The bottom line is that traveling through Europe by train with a lot of luggage is a pain.

The Seat 61 website has photos that may give you an idea of what the rail carriages look like on the inside, though there are different styles in use in each country.

Posted by
12 posts

Dear acraven,

Thank you for the reply, i will have a big suitcase as i would be coming form KL to Dusseldorf for a business trip and will have my winter clothes. So i should stick with flights or how? If i a book a flight is the luggage included in the flight or i need to pay extra for the luggage? I will have 30kgs of luggage atleast?

Waiting to hear from you

Posted by
21331 posts

I am not an expert on airline luggage restrictions, but I think a 30-kg bag will exceed the limit for the free bag allowed on the most generous international airlines and possibly cost you a lot of money. Paying for that bag will also sharply increase your cost on many, if not all, intra-European budget flights. I'd want to travel by bus or train to avoid those costs. They won't weigh your bag when you take it on a train; it will just be difficult for you to manage. I can't be sure about buses; some bus lines might have a weight limit, though I've never seen one being enforced, and nearly always the passenger can put his own bag in the luggage compartment, so the driver won't know how heavy it is.

You should start by checking the luggage allowance for the international airline you're flying between Kuala Lumpur and Dusseldorf. Will your employer pick up the excess baggage fees since this is a business trip?

It's generally much easier to manage a big/heavy suitcase when traveling by bus than when traveling by train. Sometimes buses are the best way to travel, but other times trains are quite a bit faster. It just depends on the particular trips you plan to take.

It would be best if you could find a place to store the excess luggage in Dusseldorf while you're traveling around Europe. Perhaps at the place you'll be working at the beginning of the trip? That would make your trip much more pleasant.

If much of the expected weight is in clothes, you should plan to take much less clothing and do laundry as necessary. That's what most of us do.

Posted by
16941 posts

I would recommend you separate out business attire that you will not need while touring and store it in Duesseldorf since you will be returning there for your flight home. 15 kg should be manageable on trains. I've done it. As for as storage location, you might try the hotel you are staying at in Duesseldorf. Book it also for your last night before returning home. Ask them if they will hold one bag for you while you are gone, perhaps for a nominal fee. I see there is luggage storage at Dusseldorf Airport at Carpark No 3 for 4 EUR per day, but i don't know if they have a time limit.
https://www.dus.com/en/services/gepaeck/left-luggage

Posted by
12 posts

Hi Sam,

That is great idea, i loved it . There is actually 20 days limit and before expiry they will call and inform you, if you would like to extend there is some fees. I just called and asked them. I can do that and put my luggage there and carry just the casual clothes and winter wear for the trip and i can take trains also

Posted by
12 posts

HI All

Just 1 thing that i really need to settle is that should i stay in AIRBNB or should i stay in a hotel. That is really important as i want to book everything this week.

Waiting to hear from you.

Posted by
2466 posts

Hotels would be an easier choice for you, since it's your first visit and you would benefit from having a front desk staff to help you with whatever you need. Hotels will hold your luggage if your room is not ready, and apartments will not, so you'll have to haul your belongings around with you.

Technically, apartments are illegal in Paris, and the rules are changing to reflect this.
It takes time to verify whether the apartment is legal, and if the owner doesn't tell you the truth, you risk a last-minute cancellation. It would be difficult to scramble to find another place at the last minute, especially if you're only staying 2 or 3 days.

First-time visitors generally like the ambiance in the Latin Quarter and Marais, and there are lots of inexpensive and moderately-priced hotels in these Postal Codes: 75005, 75004, 75003. These areas are very convenient for transportation and it's easy to walk to most of the things tourists want to see and do.

Posted by
12 posts

Dear All,

Thank you all so much for the replies. Means a lot to me.. This will be my last question (Sorry for the trouble)

I have made the decision and i am going to 3 locations as per below: (Travel In November) (Hope it is OK) , I will skip Switzerland.

  1. On 18th from Dusseldorf to Amsterdam (Stay- 18th- 20th)
  2. On 21st from Amsterdam to Paris (21st-23rd)
  3. On 24th from Paris to Milan, Rome (24th-28th)
  4. On 28th from Rome to Dusseldorf
  5. Fly to my hometown on 29th November.

I have checked the website bahn.de. I can use this website to book from Dusseldorf to Amsterdam, but how to book the train from Amsterdam to Paris and Paris to Rome?. Can you please advice.

For the luggage i will drop the excess luggage at Dusseldorf Airport car park 3 and carry only necessary luggage. I will also book the hotels and no Airbnb.

Just need your help in the website so i can book the trains and how should i travel in cities, ( should i walk, train, taxi, uber) what will you suggest.

Waiting to hear from you.

Posted by
21331 posts

I would at least consider flying the Paris-Rome leg because that's a very long train ride even on fast trains. Check Skyscanner for flight possibilities, but be careful about the airports used. Some budget carriers fly out of very odd airports that are costly to reach. I'm seeing some great bargains still available for November on non-stop flights between Paris and Rome.

Amsterdam is very walkable, as I recall. For traveling around Paris and Rome you'll likely need a combination of walking and public transportation. Buses have the advantage of allowing you to see the city in transit, but I use subways more often because they're easier: The stations will be marked on all the tourist maps, and a schematic drawing of the entire system will be available. It's a bit trickier to figure out exactly where the bus stops are, and the buses may not be quite as frequent.

The more central your hotel, the more walking you'll be able to do, which will save you money. Arrive in town knowing where you can find a tourist office (there may be one at the train station/airport). Pick up a city map, a map of the subway (if any), and any other public transportation information they have--plus other brochures that interest you. Some people prefer electronic maps on their cell phones; I happen to like paper, but use whatever works for you. You can use Google to find a lot of information about moving around a city before you even get there. Often the website for a museum will tell you the name of the nearest subway station.

It's helpful to know whether there's a local transportation pass or multi-pack of tickets that will save you money. You'll need to have a fair idea of what sights you want to visit to make that determination, but a guide book will help. Any all-Europe guidebook will cover Amsterdam, Paris and Rome. You may be better off just buying individual tickets if you're a good walker and can schedule your sightseeing in a logical manner.

Posted by
11450 posts

I too would fly from Paris to Rome( and have).. look at Vueling.. and Easyjet.. do not look at Ryanair for a Paris flight as it uses a very inconvenient airport.

You will pay for a checked bag.
Costs vary but expect 15-25 euros.. and that's if you purchase a checked bag ticket before flight online.. if you wait till you arrive at airport the fee for checked bag will be much higher. Weight limits are usually very strict.. depends on airline.. but yes.. 30kg will be far too much weight. With all your train travel its best to keep weight under 15 kgs or about that.. there is always more walking and stairs then you can imagine.

If you give us your budget we can suggest hotels for you to look at.. and yes.. for such short stays I believe hotel room will be much more convenient .

Posted by
12 posts

Hello,

I have started the booking process. I have booked the train from Dusseldorf to Amsterdam Centraal and after staying for some time i have booked the train from Amsterdam Centraal to Paris Nord. I just have 2 things that i need your support on:

  1. My train will arrive at 11:37 at night to Amsterdam Centraal. Is it safe to walk at night. I am trying to book the hotel in Jordaan Area. (Is the Area OK or is there any other recommendation for the area). I have heard Centraal is very crowded and no fun.

  2. For Paris i will be staying in Saint-Germain. I hope it is a good area. From Paris Nord to Saint-Germain, I can take a subway? Will it be ok?

  3. For Rome and Milan, which area's should i stay in? Any recommendation.

I AM A SOLO TRAVELER and i dont want very expensive bookings.

Can you advice

Posted by
12 posts

Hello,

I have started the booking process. I have booked the train from Dusseldorf to Amsterdam Centraal and after staying for some time i have booked the train from Amsterdam Centraal to Paris Nord. I just have 2 things that i need your support on:

  1. My train will arrive at 11:37 at night to Amsterdam Centraal. Is it safe to walk at night. I am trying to book the hotel in Jordaan Area. (Is the Area OK or is there any other recommendation for the area). I have heard Centraal is very crowded and no fun.

  2. For Paris i will be staying in Saint-Germain. I hope it is a good area. From Paris Nord to Saint-Germain, I can take a subway? Will it be ok?

  3. For Rome and Milan, which area's should i stay in? Any recommendation.

I AM A SOLO TRAVELER and i dont want very expensive bookings.

Can you advice

Posted by
11450 posts

St Germain is a very central and safe area in Paris.. which hotel did you book.. its not easy to find cheap places in that area.. but I have a few reasonable priced ones I like in St Germain.

Its easy to get from Gare du Nord to St Germain.. again.. if you tell us where you are staying we can explain best way.

Posted by
12 posts

Hello Pat,

I have booked hotel Mayet In Saint-Germain Des Pres. The reviews in Agoda were good, so i booked that. Is it OK?

What about hotels in Rome and Milan. Any suggestions. Should i go for Milan or Venice.

Posted by
16941 posts

Hotel Mayet should be fine although I have not staid there. It is a short distance from the Duroc Metro station. From Gare du Nord, take the RER B to St Michel-Notre Dame and transfer to the No 10 Metro line (direction Boulogne-Pont de St Cloud). An alternate would be to take the RER B to Denfert Rochereau and transfer to the No 13 Metro line (direction Les Courtilles-St Denis). The transfer might be a bit easier at Denfert Rochereau.

I would take Venice over Milan any day. It might be a bit more expensive, but worth it IMHO.

You can get an inexpensive flight to Venice on Easyjet from Paris Orly airport. Get the bus to there from the Denfert Rochereau station. Returning to Duesseldorf you can fly Air Berlin or Eurowings. Don't take an early morning flight as the Venice airport is difficult to get to very early.

And where in the Jordaan (Amsterdam) are you staying?

Posted by
12 posts

Hi Sam...

Thanks Mate.. It helps a lot. In Jordaan i was thinking airbnb but opted out and oi booked a very nice place (as far as the reviews are concerned). It is far from Jordaan but i am staying in clinknoord amsterdam. (http://www.booking.com/hotel/nl/clinknoord.en-gb.html). The reviews of this place is so good and the price was ok for a single room with pvt bathroom .SO i booked it..... Is It OK place...What does your research shows.

Posted by
16941 posts

Interesting. Not your standard Amsterdam. It is an old industrial building repurposed into a hostel. Since you are arriving about 11:30 pm, don't dawdle because the last ferry from the back of Centraal station is at 24 past midnight (Thur-Sun, 18 past Mon-Wed). Ferry is free though.

Posted by
13026 posts

Where are you staying in Düsseldorf? How many nights total?

Posted by
12 posts

Hi Fred:

Yeah i will straight be going to the hostel.

Hi Sam: In Dusseldorf i am staying in Sheraton at airport hotel as my place of work is just 10 mins by tram from there

Posted by
963 posts

in Milan I recommend Hotel Berna- it is a couple of blocks thru the tunnel from Milan's central Station and so very easy to get to the Duomo and La Scala and the central area by subway. Their prices vary with the season and the room type- I keep returning to it.
In Venice I just tried a 2 star which was walkable from the train station with only 2 bridges- Locanda Helios was about $150 per night including breakfast with nice hot rolls, good coffee, fruit. I would stay there again. It is away from the noise of San Marco. Be sure to communicate with them about when you expect to arrive as the front door is always locked but there is a bell to ring.
Also using your mobile phone maps is VERY helpful for catching the bus esp. in Rome, where the subways are not everywhere unlike Paris or London. Buy multiple tickets in case the kiosk or cigarette stand sells out.
Locanda Herion Cannaregio 1697/A 30121 Venezia (VE)
Tel: +390412759422 Fax: +390412756647 Email: info@locandaherion.com
Website: http://www.locandaherion.com/it/

https://hotelberna.com/en/ Via Napo Torriani 18, 20124 Milan, Italy +390294755356
info@hotelberna.com

Posted by
963 posts

In Amsterdam, I like other areas since you are there a short time. I like being near Vondel Park, Museumplein and Leidseplein, or Rembrandtplein. Walking around the canals, enjoying the nine streets area, walking from Central station out to Leidesplein is a pleasure and more authentic. it may depend on your age as to what you want. The loveliness of the trees and the canals and the architecture especially on a first trip is important. Jordaan is where my husband and son usually stay. Just my opinion, i would rather be next to a canal. Centraal is not bad, the area around it is for tourists in transit; just look all ways for bicycles, cars, pedestrians and motorcycles before attempting to cross a street!

Posted by
12 posts

Dear melissa,

Thank you so much, Actually i already booked Hotel 22 Marzo. I have heard really good reviews everywhere and close to Central so i booked that.

Posted by
8515 posts

If flying on EasyJet, you must have your boarding pass printed out before arriving at the airport. They have rules you have to follow closely to avoid fines, so read there printed information carefully.