Please sign in to post.

30-Day Europe Trip for May or June Itinerary Help

Hello all!

I am planning a 30-day trip to Europe in either May or June and am looking for a few pointers and tips.
The current plan is to fly to London. I've been to London several times, so do not plan on staying any longer than it takes to grab a big breakfast and take a train to Bruges for my first two nights, followed by Amsterdam for two nights. I have visited and am familiar with both cities and have chosen them for my first two stops for that reason.

Beyond that, I plan on visiting Germany, Czech Republic (Prague), Austria, Switzerland and Italy but want to make sure I am giving each destination the proper time for enjoyment and experience, as well as figuring out the best route/path from one place to the next. I do have some wiggle room for my schedule of about ten days, so I am certainly not planning on rushing through anything and would even like to include Croatia if scheduling allows. Most of my travel will be by rail, but I am open to any other form of transportation. I would like to spend about 5-8 days in Germany overall, 3-4 in Prague, 2-3 in Vienna, 4-5 in Switzerland and the remainder in Italy.

While I am in Germany, I would like to visit Berlin, Bavaria/Munich/Salzburg and Rothenburg. My first question is if a flight from Amsterdam to Berlin would be a good first choice before Prague and Vienna, and then stopping in Bavaria/Munich on the way to Switzerland? Or, would I be better off touring through Germany and then taking a flight from Prague to Switzerland? (unsure on airports at this time, but my primary interest in Switzerland is Berner Oberland/Alps. I am guessing either Bern or Luzern would be the best bet.)

Thanks for any help! I'm sure I will have more questions as I get further into my planning.

Posted by
7175 posts

Arrive London, direct to Bruges (2)
Amsterdam (2)
Berlin (3)
Prague (3
Vienna (3)
Salzburg (1)
Munich (3)
Rothenburg (1)
Berner Oberland (3)
Luzern (1)
fly from Zurich to Venice (2)
Florence (3)
Rome (3)

Posted by
4066 posts

It would take a mighty big saving on the trans-Atlantic airfare to tempt me to sort out the tangle at Heathrow, get downtown to St. Pancras for the tunnel train (not cheap) and make the rail connections on the continent to Bruges. Why not simply fly to Brussels? Probably cheaper when the commuting costs are added up and you would save most of a day.

Posted by
7906 posts

That is a well thought out itinerary. Still, that is a lot of cities to see with 2-3 days in a city. Consider skipping cities that you have already visited and spending more time in others that you have not visited.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks for the input so far!

And yes, Southam, LHR can be a bit of a monster, and I may still fly to Brussels after all. I am booking my flights with flyer miles this time around, so it's just taking me a while to sort through all the various blackout dates and find the flights with the fewest stops and/or shortest layovers... not to mention overall travel time. Last time I looked at what was available, a flight to Brussels might involve about 20 hours total whereas the flights available to London have me spending significantly less time sitting at a terminal or an airport bar.

Posted by
4132 posts

If you are willing to travel by ground from Heathrow to Brugges to save money or time waiting in an airport, you should in principle we willing to consider flying into Schipol for the same purpose. So what if you will be doubling back?

Posted by
4 posts

Also another option I am considering, Adam. In fact, my initial plan was to fly into Amsterdam and spent the first two days or nights there before going to Bruges. I'm certainly not married to the idea of flying into London, especially if I will not be staying there. I have mainly been considering flying into London because it is a direct, non-stop flight from DFW, it arrives around 6:30am and that would give me plenty of time to visit my favorite greasy spoon breakfast spot in London (Regency Cafe in Pimlico) before heading to St. Pancras and taking the Eurostar to Belgium around 10 or 11 am as I have done in the past. However, being that I have experienced all of that numerous times, it can be easily skipped. Doubling back doesn't present that much of an issue, either, as long as it would not cut into my schedule too much. If I were to fly into Schipol and then travel from Amsterdam to Bruges, my only concern is getting from Bruges to Berlin within a reasonable time frame. I may just go with a flight to Brussels and then rail to Bruges before Amsterdam in that case, as Amsterdam has more options available for travel methods.

The first few days of my trip, at any rate, will mostly be spent relaxing and getting around to the few points of interest I may have missed in Bruges and Amsterdam previously. What I am really in need of here is how much time to dedicate to each destination and/or country and the best path from one place to the next. I have only visited the UK, France (Paris/Nice/Normandy), Belgium and the Netherlands before so I just want to make sure I am as well-prepared as possible going further east into unfamiliar territory.

Posted by
4132 posts

Actually I meant take the train directly from Schipol to Brugges, given that it's your considered preference to start there, then take the train back to A'dam. But it sounds as though you understand pretty well what your options are! I'm not going to presume what is best for you.

However, I would like to suggest that a fast-paced 30 days would really benefit from a nice long (ish) stop someplace towards the middle--like, 4 whole days (5 nights) or more, in for instance the Oberland. In my experience a nice break like that makes everything more vivid and saves the marathon from becoming a death march.

I don't know how to make this work for you (it need not the the Oberland), but a long trip offers an opportunity to slow down and smell the cappuccino that should not be foregone lightly.

Posted by
7175 posts

This would kinda work from AMS ...
Amsterdam (2)
Bruges (2)
Rothenburg (1)
Berner Oberland (3)
Luzern (1)
Munich (3)
Salzburg (1)
Vienna (3)
Prague (3)
Berlin (3)
fly from Berlin to Venice (2)
Florence (3)
Rome (3)

Posted by
8239 posts

I would suggest you fly from Schiphol to Berlin on EasyJet--inexpensively.
Then take the train over to Prague--stopping along the way at Dresden--Europe's most beautiful city until the end of WWII. Much of the city center has been restored and the museums are now incredible.
From Prague, a popular trip is down to Cesky Krumlov--a very well preserved old Czech town. They also have well priced shuttles that can take you from there down to Salzburg. You can take a train into Munich from there.

I'd skip Rothenburg due to it being off the beaten path--north of Munich.
When we're in the region, we use our time to travel throughout Tirol and the Austrian Alps as it's easier to travel through and much cheaper than Switzerland. The Alps are basically the same mountain range. And it's so easy to take the train through the Brenner Pass south of Innsbruck into Italy.

Posted by
451 posts

Given your travel experience you are well equipped for new cities! You have figured out trains and planes.

Paris may have direct flights from dfw, it is only 2.5 hours from Brugge. About 3 from Amsterdam, the last time I checked.

To get to your itinerary, David is second to none. Berner Oberland, Wengen or Murren are well deserved stops and a great place to take a break and relax! Great hiking as well, North Face Trail and Mannlich to Kleinne Scheidegg are tops.

Posted by
15678 posts

You could fly to A'dam from London City Airport. I must suggest adding Budapest to your already full itinerary. It seems a shame to visit Prague and Vienna and not got that extra bit. It's a lot easier to see more of Italy on a return visit than to get to Budapest. Lots of folks recommend stopping at Cesky Krumlov for a night between Prague and Vienna.

To find flights, go to the wiki page for each city's airport/s - toward the bottom there's a table with all the airlines and destinations serving it.