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2 weeks in europe, day trips

Hi! I am planning a trip with a friend (both Female, 19) for Late Spring 2019.
3 days in London
5 days in Paris
5 days in Rome
I am planning on a day trip or two in Paris and Rome as I have already been to Paris twice before (friend has not, but she hopes to study abroad there eventually so I think 3 days should be plenty to hit the highlights and some of my other favorite parts)
For Paris, I am thinking about Strasbourg and possibly Geneva? I'm open to ideas in substitution for Geneva as the train ride is very long, but I definitely want to go to Strasbourg/Colmar
For Rome , I am thinking of Florence and Naples, each for a day?

Also, for our flight back home, (round trip from London as open jaw was more expensive) there is a possibility of a 9hr layover in Brussels. I would love to show my friend my favorite chocolate shops/the best fries/delicious waffles. I don't think it would take long, but I thought I'd ask if it was feasible. I checked about luggage storage in BRU and as we would only have two carry ons, it would be 10 euros so I believe its worth it.
Taking a direct flight from Rome to London is more expensive than this Brussels idea, but not by too much so if it is too big of a risk we will definitely not do it!

Hotels are booked, so day trips are our only concern right now. Thank you for all the help.
*I say I a lot, but I really mean me and my friend for the majority of it.

Posted by
4132 posts

There are a number of 2-hour trains to Strasbourg, so if you don't mind spending 4 hours on the train, that is feasible. Colmar adds some more train time if you want a quick visit there.

Geneva is 3 hours each way. I think that's nuts, but if it calls to you, it calls to you.

I am going to assume that you do not seriously intend to take day tripos fro Paris to Florence and Naples, rather that you meant to propose trips from Rome.

Both are feasible if the trains cooperate.

Posted by
6516 posts

I agree that Geneva is too far away as a day trip from Paris, but both Geneva and Florence can easily be done as stops along the way between Paris and Rome if you are willing to spend a night in each town.

If you want to stop in Brussels, you could also fly to Brussels, spend some time there before you take the Eurostar to London.

Posted by
1229 posts

This all sounds very harried, and I am someone who travels like a backpacker with high tolerance for/a lot of experience with 1-2 night stays, and with carry-on luggage. Just taking the train to and from the BRU airport, and arriving with enough time to get to your flight (we got stuck in a line that made many people miss flights, and we almost did. Despite arriving with enough time for normal 'security, check-in, etc'.) I would not want to see Florence for a few hours, not Strasbourg. You will be spending so.much.time. on transportation (4 hour RT to Strasbourg, 3 hour Rome-Florence). Nevermind the time it takes to get from your rental to the train stations and then back to the train stations. If you just want to wander a city or town for a few hours and gawp, I get it. That can be fun. But a whole trip of that? And with 13 days on the ground (or is it 12? Do you arrive day 1 and leave day 13?). Why not move to a new place when you go. Spend 3 nights in Paris and 2 in Strasbourg (or Geneva). 3 in Rome and 2 in Florence 9or Naples). Or even Rome (2 ... although oh my, thats short shrift), Naples (2), and Florence (1). <-- I actually cringe inside at that schedule but at least you eliminate a lot of time on RT trains! In short, Id consider more 1-2 night stays. I did a trip to northern spain last summer and my itinerary during part (14 days) was 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-etc night stays, and this was great. In your case, the places you are going are so much bigger with so much more to see that I think you are skimming them, while making it stressful by having to get to and fro so much, but hey, your 19 and dont have 3 kids ;p

Posted by
4 posts

Jessica, sounds like the Brussels idea would be a mistake, so I will definitely not be doing that anymore. We have 14 full days on the ground. Our parents didn't want us switching hotels very often, so we settled for doing day trips. Our hotels are close to Rome Termini and Gare du Nord, (max, 8 minute walk) if that perhaps changes anything? I also found fairly early trains so we would be leaving around 7 in the morning and getting to our day trip places around 9:30ish and we leave at around 7:00/7:30 pm. I completely agree that we won't be able to see everything, but I was hoping for an enjoyable day in a new area.

Also, we are definitely not going to Geneva any more, so do you have any suggestions of a second day trip as can only do day trips?

Posted by
27328 posts

It might be worthwhile to post the daytrip-from-Paris question in the France forum, include your sightseeing preferences, and mention that you will probably be making a trip to Strasbourg. I know the subject comes up often, and the options are many.

Posted by
2335 posts

hey hey tay_lor
where are you flying from as in your home airport, USA? what's the total cost to get back to london from rome with a stop in brussels? just curious how much more expensive open-jaw/multi-city was, we do this all the time. add up the cost of transportation, hotel last night before flight home, my stress and time in train station/airport to backtrack. i'm just surprised it's that much of a difference. are you riding eurostar to paris and got your calendar marked when to buy the cheap ticket?
rome: google a day in calcata: picturesque bohemian town and beautiful countryside day trip: castelli romani to see places oustide of rome. the best must see markets in rome.
look at your arrival and departure times to the cities, do you have early checkin to hotels or do they have luggage hold until check in time.
hopefully janettravels44, a poster here on the forum, lists some day trips from paris will come and comment about them.
lots of places to see and do, you'll have a fun and busy adventure. enjoy

Posted by
4 posts

i found cheap round trip tickets from london for 450 from IAD and a one way from rome was 400, and the flight to london was $100 so it was cheaper for us. We found a hotel for $35/ so it made sense for us!

Yes, we are taking the eurostar to Paris and they've been purchased already! I've emailed the hotels already and they will hold our luggage for free, thankfully.

Calcata looks gorgeous, thank you for the tip!