11 Day Backpacking Europe Tour - Need Opinions!

My wife and I are looking to head to Europe for 11 days or so. We hate spending more then 1 or 2 days max in a city and like to see a lot in a little time. We have been to Italy and did Rome, Cinque Terra, Venice, Florence, Sorrento, Capri, and Naples in 11 days, so it's pretty easy for us. We plan to take trains around and really want to go to Amsterdam, Munich, possibly the Swiss Alps, and.... I love scenery (take a ton of pictures). Thoughts? We're also vegan, but I can find food easily based on previous trips, just thought I'd point it out if anyone knew places that might not be very veg. friendly.

I also would like to note that we do not do museums (possibly the Louvre) and really enjoy mountains, ruins, a little history (loved the Colosseum) - want to see a concentration camp for the history for sure.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17789 posts

Lee,

I haven't looked at the details, but it should be possible to do a "blitz" tour of Paris, the Berner Oberland region of Switzerland and Munich in an 11-day period. A few comments on each location.

In addition to the Louvre in Paris, you might consider the Musee d'Orsay. When touring the Louvre, I'd suggest concentrating on just one wing as the entire facility is huge. The two-day Paris Museum Pass would be a good investment, to minimize queue's.

In the Berner Oberland region, you could focus on the Lauterbrunnen Valley as you'll be able to take "a ton of pictures" in the gorgeous mountain scenery. You could stay in Lauterbrunnen, Murren or Gimmelwald. Check the Switzerland Guidebook for suggested places to stay.

There are LOTS of things to see and do in Munich, and Dachau is only a short distance outside town so easy to see in a day trip. I used Radius Tours for my tour of Dachau and would certainly recommend them. Others here prefer to do the tour on their own, so that's your choice. You could also tour the Castles in Fussen, also possible as a day trip (with Radius or on your own).

I don't know what flight options are available from your area, but flyiing open jaw Paris-Munich would be best for such a short trip. I can't offer any suggestions with the "menu choices", but doubt you'll have any problems with that.

Happy travels!

Posted by Lee
Clemson, SC, USA
17 posts

Thanks, I definitely want to go to Dachau. We do plan to go via train everywhere and want to include Amsterdam too. Not sure which is the cheapest city to fly to from Atlanta, possibly Paris, but would rather to Amsterdam or Munich. Will probably fly into one city and out of another. Thanks again...

Posted by Sharon
Atlanta
2664 posts

Hi Lee,
I'm not sure if you mentioned when you are planning to travel but there are some great airfares to Europe from Atlanta right now--I'd use Kayak.com and try various cities--Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, etc. to see where you can fly into to get the best fare. Also look at flying into one city and home from another.

Your trip sounds great and it also sounds like you and your wife are very efficient travelers. One thing to check in advance is the distance and travel time between the cities you're considering. Here's a post from Kent that has great info for your planning:

Kent's Travel Times Between Destinations

Posted by Lee
Clemson, SC, USA
17 posts

how does this sound? fly into paris, take 1 day there, train to amsterdam, 2 days there, train to munich, 2 days there, train to somewhere in switzerland, 2 days there, fly home...

not sure that's all i want to do, is it way to far to head to copenhagen or up to stockholm? i want to see as much as i can while we're there, and many different things...

in 2008 we went to thailand and cambodia for 13 days. we were in bangkok for 2 days, chiang mai for 3 days, koh samui for 2 days, koh tao for 3 days, and siem reap for 3 days. that was because there was so much to do in those cities, even then we were ready to leave at the end of those time periods. we were able to see big city, mountains, beaches, and ancient ruins. a perfect trip...

Posted by Lee
Clemson, SC, USA
17 posts

oh yeah, planning on going in mid to late June if that makes any difference. It looks like waiting on airfare would get us the best deals. Maybe not...

Posted by Sharon
Atlanta
2664 posts

If you find a good deal for June, I'd go for it! You can set fare alerts on Kayak.com

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17789 posts

Lee,

My suggestion would be to drop Amsterdam this time. It's in the opposite direction to your other destinations and it's a long trip from there to Switzerland or Munich via train, which will use up your valuable touring time.

With only a very short 11-days, I'd suggest flying into Paris, using train to Switzerland and then train to Munich. Board your return flight either in Munich or Frankfurt.

Cheers!

Posted by Lee
Clemson, SC, USA
17 posts

Thanks Ken, but Amsterdam and Munich are the main 2 places we want to go, with Amsterdam being #1. Maybe we'll leave Switzerland out and hit Poland or more of Germany??? Is Belgium worth seeing? Is Poland worth it?

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17789 posts

Lee,

Thanks for clarifying the destinations. In that case, try to find open jaw flights into Amsterdam / Schipol and home from (perhaps) Frankfurt or Berlin.

Yes, Belgium is certainly worth seeing, as are Poland and more of Germany (IMHO). However, with only 11-days you'll have to be very selective.

In Belgium you might concentrate on Bruges, rather than Brussels.

In Germany there are lots of choices. Rothenburg is not far from Munich and Berlin is also a great place to visit.

Poland is also good, but it's a bit farther from your other destinations so try to minimize travel times between cities so you don't spend too much of your short time "in transit". I don't know what open jaw flight options are available to you, so it's difficult to make specific suggestions.

Good luck!

Posted by Sharon
Atlanta
2664 posts

You could look at the logistics of flying into Amsterdam then train to Berlin (approx. 6.5 hours) Munich (6 hour trip from Berlin), and Interlaken--fly home from Zurich.