3 week itinerary help

Hello guys,
This is our first Europe trip & we are travelling as a couple. We are usually not a relaxed type of travelers & instead love to travel continuously & throughout the day :) What do you guys think of this 3 week itinerary? Any suggestions or things we should change? We are using Euro rail to travel in between cities, some times in the day & some times overnight. Thank you in advance!! Note: I've edited some days using Strike-through based on the lovely feedbacks Day 1 - Frankfurt Day 2 - Titisee Munich Day 3 - Munich Day 4, 5 & 6 - Paris Day 7 - Inter Laken Day 8 - Lauterbrunne (Jungfraujoch) Day 9 - Mt. Titlis Day 10 - Lucerne Day 11 & 12 - Rome Day 13 - Pisa & Florence Day 14 - Florence Day 15 & 16 - Venice Day 17 - Vienna Day 18 - Budapest Vienna Day 19 - Frankfurt

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
13903 posts

Is there a reason you are going in circles?

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8735 posts

You need to allow a half-day to a full day to get from place to place. If Day 1 is your arrival day, and Day 19 your departure day, you only have seventeen days. Take a half-day for each change in venue, and you are left with eleven days to see 14 widely spread places. You cannot arrive in Vienna and see it in a day, nor can you do that in Budapest. Even if Days 1 and 19 are actual days on the ground, you will be doing not much more than getting from place to place. Really think about how long it takes to get to each place and what part of a usable day you would have left when you get there? Is that enough? Are you going to take away from Venice to get a full day in Vienna (still not enough), or are you going to shortchange Vienna? If you don't want to see anything, why go there?

Posted by Neetu
Bothell, WA, USA
9 posts

I think your question is open jaw journey versus round trip. This is because the airline ticket for round trip was much cheaper. What do you think about the itinerary?

Posted by Neetu
Bothell, WA, USA
9 posts

Thanks Nancy, I appreciate your response! I'll change this to have 2 days in Vienna & skip Budapest. The itinerary doesn't include travel from USA to Europe, which is outside of 19 days. Anything else that I should probably change? May be go to different places in Switzerland & Germany?

Posted by James E.
4485 posts

Every one is different and you may do just fine on a trip like this but it wears me out just to read it. Figure you are going to lose half a day minimum for each move and once you check schedules you may find its more than that. Me, I would pull a minimum of four towns from the trip. Or look at traveling direct to no more than four towns and then running day trips or overnight trips out of those towns. You know, spend 6 nights in Florence but take the train to Venice early one morning and back late that evening, then do the same for a trip to Rome. You get to see a little of everything but you get to concentrate time and learning in Florence. You could do the same from some central location in Germany and Switzerland. I would skip Austria all together.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
5756 posts

Neetu, you say you chose a round trip rather than an open-jaw flight because it was "cheaper." Well, you now are stuck with a version of the old adage, "you get what you pay for." Having saved money, you have less time to see everything on your list. But, that's only part of your problem. Even with your changes, you are still trying to see many, widely spread places in FIVE countries in seventeen days. While this may be physically possible, it's not the way to enjoy your trip. You may think that by seeing more places you're getting more out of the trip, but you're actually getting less. Even if you did purchase open jaw tickets (into Paris and out of Vienna, say), you'd still be very hard pressed to see all these places in so short a time. You have not accounted for any transit time, and between some of your city pairs, it's substantial. You will lose most of a day getting between Venice and Vienna, for example (8 hours of train, plus getting to and from the train stations, checking out of and into hotels, etc). So, start over. Assuming you can't change your air tickets and thus are committed to starting and ending in Frankfurt, cut half of your cities, and focus on the ones close to each other. I agree that Vienna is the first one to cut, but you should also get rid of some others. Not because they're not worthwhile, but because your trip, as outlined above, will be a blur of trains, stations, and taxis, with the occasional sight mixed in. To find train connections, use the Bahn website, following Rick's instructions: http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/db_tips.htm. To find flights, use http://www.skyscanner.com/.

Posted by terry
44 posts

Hello Neetu,
Hope your weekend is going very well. Sadly I am sick with strep throat. Still I am dreaming of my trip in September, and think about your trip. Let me ask this.. I noticed you arrive on day 1 in Frankfurt. Then saw that on day 19 in Frankfurt again. Is that where your flying home from? Cause it may be easier to fly out of Vienna to have more time there. One year I arrived in Paris, but took my return flight from Stockholm, and it did not cost must more. Excited to hear about your trip. Please keep us all posted. Happy Travels.

Posted by Roda
32 posts

There are to many cities in 19 days. We spent a month and a half and visited 9 cities and I felt rushed 2 years ago so I would also recomend to restart your intinerary and find places that you really want to see and take your time to visit them ! :) There are so many beautiful, breathtaking places to see that it would be a shame not to see them or take the time to enjoy them. What do you like to visit ? Are you into museums, cities or more castles,mountains, lakes ??

Posted by Neetu
Bothell, WA, USA
9 posts

Thank you Brandon for your warm reply & hope you feel better soon! Yes, we are not doing an open jaw since it was much cheaper. But we are making slight adjustments based on all the great feedback that people gave us. This really is an amazing forum & an awesome community!

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
6030 posts

I have to agree with the other that you are trying to see too many places in the time you have. Is this your first trip to Europe? Traveling from the West Coast you should not underestimate the amount of jet lag you may have. Or you may not have it at all. You won't know until you arrive. When I plan a trip I get out a paper map and mark the places I am interested in seeing. How far apart they are will dictate how much time it takes to get between them. Minimizing the time on the train means maximizing time you actually have to sightsee. I plan by how many nights I will be in each place. If you spend 2 nights in a place it will actually only be one full day. One night stands should be avoided in most circumstances. I don't quite follow where you plan to spend each night on your trip. When you say day 4,5 & 6 in Paris, does that mean 3 nights? You say you like to travel continuously and throughout the day, but with your blitz schedule you will be seeing more train stations and the world going by through the train window than anything else. I advise you to trim down your destinations further and spend more time in cities like Paris and Rome to actually see things in them. Or maybe save Italy for another trip and focus more on Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Paris. It takes time to figure out the best itinerary, so don't get discouraged.

Posted by Tara
148 posts

This is where I always start in the planning stage...putting everything down and then paring it waaay down. I think you'll want more time in Paris and definitely in Rome.

Posted by Diane
Westford, MA, USA
370 posts

Questions 1 Have you bought your rail pass yet? 2 What month are you traveling? 3 What time is your Frankfurt flight home after your 19 days? 4 Can you fly or are you willing to fly some portions to replace some train travel? My observation is the train travel chews up too much of your time. Most are lengthy and each involve multiple legs which makes for no or little rest as overnight train travel. Paris to Interlaken by TVG is 5 hours Munich to Paris 10:34 hours Lucerne to Rome 17:42 hours Venice to Vienna 19:43 hours Suggestions for your plan 1 Drop Vienna 2 Fly Munich to Paris. Time 1:37 hours, Use Lufthansa or Air France 3 Fly Paris to Rome, Time 2.02 hrs, Use Vueling or Easy Jet 4 Do Italy portions 5 Use ON Train from Venice to Interlaken, time 10:29 hrs 6 Lucerne Train to Frankfurt, Time 4:32 hours Add an extra night to Rome and Florence. You'd have another night if you leave Lucerne and fly home from Frankfurt on the same day. Unless, of course you wanted to stay in Frankfurt another night. Frankfurt 1 Munich 2 Paris 3 Time 10:34 hours Rome 3 Time 15:06, Euro night direct Florence 3 Venice 2 Interlaken 3 Time 10:29 hours Lucerne 1 Frankfurt 1 Another suggestion is to put Munich at the end of the trip. 1. Frankfurt 1 2 Go Frankfurt to Paris 3 3 Paris to interlaken 3, Time TVG 5 hours 4 Interlaken to Lucerne 1 5 Lucerne to Rome, 3, Time average 17:42 6 Rome to Florence, 3 7 Florence to Venice, 2 8 Venice to Munich, 2
9 Munich to Frankfurt, 1 Time average 6:42- 8:45 hours Happy planning!