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1st trip to Europe - need advice

Good morning
The wife & I are possibly going to travel to London in October for the Miami Dolphins game (Oct 4) It will be our first trip to Europe so we are looking to make it a 10 day trip. We would like to visit at least 2 other countries . Since it will be Oktoberfest we definitely would like to add Germany in the mix. any ideas on a simple itinerary plan would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
5295 posts

As Oktoberfest runs Sept. 19 - Oct. 4, you'll want to head to Munich first. I question 3 locations in 10 days, especially taking travel times and jet lag into account. I would fly from US to Munich; fly Munich to London; fly London back to US.

Posted by
795 posts

I would suggest visiting Germany and Austria as your two other countries since they both celebrate Oktoberfest in a big way. Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich are great cities to visit in Germany while Vienna and Salzburg, Austria could be a 10 day trip in themselves!

Posted by
1068 posts

Claudia made some good points on your post in the England forum. Are you actually spending 10 days in Europe or does that including your flying time? If it includes days in the air you will pretty much lose 2 full days and also likely have jet lag etc. If that is the case, 3 countries in 8 days on the ground is a lot, considering you will lose additional time traveling to a different area. One lesson I learned my first trip is that getting from A to B is a lot more time consuming than I originally thought and often leaves you quite tired. Additionally, if you are new to international travel it can be a little confusing the first time. So for my two cents, I would spend some time in London (you could easily spend 10 days in London, then there are all the cool day trips from London) and pick one other country. IMHO, you will probably have a better time if you simplify your schedule. If you go, enjoy the game. I will consider going when my Eagles play over there!!

Posted by
1717 posts

Hello phinz13,
I recommend : travel in England, only, in this trip. In an other trip, in a future year, travel to Germany and Austria. The month May is a good month for traveling in Germany and Austria. I recommend reading parts of the travel guide book on ENGLAND published by Lonely Planet. It is not necessary to read a recent edition of that book. You could get current information about hotels and B & Bs in England from other sources.

Posted by
2224 posts

Fly to Munich and stay 2-3 days, doing Octoberfest. Day trip or spend a couple of days in Salzburg. Fly to London for the remainder. 3 countries.

Posted by
4132 posts

I'll bet you'd have a better trip your first time out if you did not try to cram too much in. You have so little time once you subtract jet leg and travel time!

I'd suggest one other city, either Amsterdam or Paris, which are both (1) close and (2) great. These would also be my suggestions for a trifecta, flying home from Amsterdam. But you'll miss a lot of great things if you go that route.

Posted by
117 posts

Hello Mr Phinz. If you want to see three countries, it's entirely doable. But, it does require some detailed planning. We did four cities in ten days and while it was intense, I wouldn't trade our experience for anything. Full disclosure though, for late Fall 2015, we will drop a city and be content with "just" three. :)

If you time your "travel to" and "departure from" Europe flights properly, and are willing to hit the ground running, and plan a logical sightseeing strategy, you can have a great trip. We were novices and followed what some would consider an intense schedule. But, we still had plenty of time to relax in cafes, pubs, restaurants -- all the while fitting in quality time at all of the must-see's on our list.

I would consider Munich - Paris - London or Munich - Amsterdam - London or Munich - Brussels - London, paying close attention to your flight times and how they will affect your sightseeing strategies for the same day.

There's no reason why you need to lose more than a morning to a flight if you're willing to take earlier flights, can check into your accommodations by early afternoon, and are willing to hit the streets once you drop your bags. There's plenty of time to sleep at night and downtimes are easily scheduled into your daily sightseeing schedules.

Happy travels!

Posted by
7885 posts

Fly into Munich if Oktoberfest is a must see for you. This is a magnificent European city with great palaces, beer halls and museums--even the rest of the year. It's worthy of 4 days at a minimum.

Then fly to London for the balance of your time. Needless to say that it's another great European city.

If you were not so drawn to Munich, I'd suggest you fly into Paris and take the 2 1/2 hour Eurostar up to London for your flight home. Paris is quite a feast to the eyes.

If you could squeeze another few days to your trip, your first trip would be more meaningful to you.

Posted by
2779 posts

As easyjet is probably going to be your cheapest option to travel between London and Munich and given the size of London I recommend you take easy access to and from Gatwick airport into the equasion right away. So your London hotel should either be near Victoria Station or even in the Southern suburbs with access to local trains to Gatwick.

If you want to be in Munich during Octoberfest make your hotel booking NOW! Prices will skyrocket!

Posted by
8 posts

After all the great advice. We've decided to stay in London for 4 nights and then travel to Paris (via) Train for 3 nights. Germany/ Oktoberfest will have to wait for another trip in a few years.
We really enjoy taking in the local culture (restaurants, bars, etc.) and a bit of History as well. We are not really into museums and churches trips but recognize that a lot of Europe is just that and some are really amazing. Definitely want to see the obvious tourist spots. Is Soho a good place to look into hotels?
Not sure what we want to stay in Paris yet.....