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First trip to Europe

My husband and I are trying to plan a trip to Europe for summer 2008. We will have 13-4 days and definitely want to see Rome and Venice (studied it a lot in college). We are considering one more city or the Swiss Alps. Any recommendations as to where we should go? We don't want to cram too much in a short time. What's another "must see" destination in Europe?

Posted by
6 posts

My husband and I just did our first trip to Europe and got back less than 2 weeks ago. We had 15 days. We flew in to Rome (3 nights), then went to Siena (2 nights), Monterosso in the Cinque Terre (2 nights), Florence (2 nights), Venice (2 nights), Milan (just a day in Milan), then took the overnight train from Milan to Paris (3 nights). It was an amazing first trip. Though I loooove Siena, you could probably skip Siena for your first trip to get it down to 13-14 days. And if you're more interested in the Swiss Alps than Paris, then swap out my Paris nights for one-two destinations in Switzerland.


Posted by
10 posts

Prague! I've been to many European destinations back in my youth. But my husband I just returned from a two week trip where we spent several days in Prague and i think it's the most beautiul city I've seen. The architecture is just incredible. Unfortunately, the whole world has discovered it, too so you need to be prepared for hoardes of tourists.

Posted by
8959 posts

Be advised that Switzerland and Austria will be co-hosting the European Soccer championships during June of 2008. It's the third biggest sporting event in the world behind the World Cup and the Olympics. Therefore hotel prices in Switzerland prices during the tournament will be sky high!

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for the replies (esp. the warning about the soccer championship - oy!) Am leaning a bit toward Paris now.

Posted by
83 posts

Well, if practicality has anything to do with it then I suppose Florence would be a logical choice. Since you'll be visiting both Rome and Venice, Florence is quite convenient in that it's only a few hours drive from either of those cities. Of course Florence is wonderful to visit not only for practical reasons (it's prxoimity to Rome and Venice) but because of it all it has to offer, wonderful museums, great food, people we're friendly etc etc. I visited Venice, Florence and Rome in 2005 and spent about 3 days in each city and found that to a decent amount of time for a first visit. Also, with 3 (or perhaps 4) days in each city, you may still be able to "squeeze" in one more city or the Alps.

Posted by
28 posts

If you don't want to go too far, I would say Florence or the Cinque Terre. Or both! Take a day trip to Florence or spend one night there on your way to the Cinque Terre.

Posted by
160 posts

I've done two 16-day trips to Europe. The first time I did 4 countries (Holland, France, England, Spain)\five cities (Amsterdam, Paris, London, Madrid, and Leon). That was a bit much, but still fun (England was a last-minute add-on due to a French rail strike - those happen often, so keep that in mind when planning).

On my 2nd trip I did three countries (Norway, Denmark, Sweden)\three cities (Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm). That itinerary was more relaxing, and I felt less rushed.

In your case, perhaps Rome/Venice, the Swiss city, and Paris would be doable. Maybe you can fly an "open-jaw" flight, where you arrive in Rome and leave from Paris? I flew into A'dam and out from Madrid, which saved me the hassle of having to return from Spain to Holland to get home.