I am planning to visit Europe during May for 10 days (20-30th May). I have booked my return tickets to Frankfurt, due to some reasons I could only book a return flight which eliminates open jaw travel plan. I have just started planning the itinerary for this trip and I am here for some suggestions from experienced travelers. This will be our (mine and my girlfriend’s) first Europe trip. She wants to visit Paris, Venice and I am interested in Austria’s mountains and places like Neuschwanstein Castle.
It will be very helpful if you guys can suggest some routes and also as I am very keen in making this a driving holiday, what should be the best route plan and is it a more cost effective to travel by euro-rail network with railpasses instead of renting a car.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
For starters, you didn't mention your entry airport; if it's Frankfurt, and you need to take the car back, it's about an okay eight hour drive from Venice. If it's Paris and the car goes back there, it's a hard ten hour drive from Venice. Both would rob too much time off of a ten-day trip.
Picking up the car in one country and dropping it off in another would involve a very hefty fee -- wild guess is that this fee alone would approach the cost of train tickets.
For your first trip, I'd concentrate your trip to Germany and maybe Austria. With 10 days and flying into/out of Frankfurt, your plan will keep you in the car (or train) most of your trip. Great if you want to see the highway system. You need to assume you'll be back.
My suggestions would be to narrow your focus a bit. Maybe look at areas like the Mosel, Rhine, Rothenberg ob der Tauber, Fuessen (Neuschwanstein) Innsbruck area (incl. Mittenwald and Garmisch), Munich and maybe Salzburg.
Frankfurt, Paris, Venice, Austria and back to Franfurt... I don't see it. Unfortunately, you won't see much either.
Just some opinions.
Thanks Ed for your reply. Sorry if I was not very clear that the entry point will be Frankfurt and I will be taking flight back to my place from Frankfurt itself. What I was thinking is the feasibility of traversing a circular path covering Frankfurt – Paris – Geneva – Rome – Venice – Florence – Munich – Frankfurt. I think it is kind of crazy travel plan and hence looking for ideas to cut it down or the options of taking railpass. The google map says it will be around 3000 Kms which is kind of manageable if the car is decently powered and comfortable.
My suggestions: 1) train Frankfurt to Paris
2) fly Paris to Venice
3) train Venice to somewhere in Austria
4) rent car to drive in Austria
5) return rental car in Austria and take train to Frankfurt.
If you decide to visit all these places in 10 days, it will be rushed. This visit to Europe would be more relaxed if you saved Paris for another trip.
I think I need to reprioritize the destinations. Lets see who gives up first between us. ?
I'd try to find a compromise so that each of you get to visit things that you want to see on your first trip to Europe. For 10 days Austria and Venice seem out of the way--I consider going to Neuschwanstein Castle and other places in Germany that interest you. Then train or find a discount flight to Paris to spend time there. Check www.whichbudget.com to find airlines that fly between Frankfurt and Paris.
Divide your time between Paris (4-5 nights) and Germany. Plan to return to spend time in Austria and Italy!
Best and happy planning!
Don't give up yet.
What's your arrival time in Frankfurt?
Hi again DJ,
Just a comment:
If you do wind up by Neuschwanstein, the Austrian border is just a few minutes away.
I will reach Frankfurt @ 2.30PM on 20th May and will leave @ 4.30 PM.
Okay, here's how you do it. (Driving was your idea.)
Pick up car in Frankfurt on arrival. Drive to Trier (romand stuff, nice town) and spend the night. That's only a couple of hours, so you should be okay with fatigue.
Next day, spend a while in Trier if you want, and then drive to Paris (three hours). Park car on arrival and don't touch it. Probably cost about 25 euros/day. Spend three nights.
Leave and drive to Innsbruck (best part of Austrian mountains (Tyrol). this is a nine hour drive. Spend two nights.
Leave and drive to Fussen for castle, see it, then continue to Munich. Spend night.
Drop car at Munich airport, fly to Venice. Spend two nights.
Fly to Frankfurt and go home. This might involve an airport change from Hahn to International.
That's a lot of traveling, but it can be done.
Now we are leaving Paris for our next trip alongwith spain.
I will workout a new plan and come back here for advice.