30 days in Europe, need some help

I'm 27 years old and will be making my first trip to Europe, end of May to end of June

I will have 29 full days.

I start in Rome and end in London.

I have a couple questions and I will post my itierary as well.

I want to get a phone so I can call hostels in Europe to book rooms. I will not call home. What is the best phone to get? I will be in 8 different countries.

How many shirts, pants, shorts do I need for 30 days?

Here is my loose routes so far.

Day 1 Rome
Day 2 Rome
Day 3 Rome
Day 4 Florence
Day 5 Pisa, Cinque Terre
Day 6 Lake Commo
Day 7 Interlaken
Day 8 Interlaken
Day 9 Munich
Day 10 Munich
Day 11 Munich
Day 12 Salzberg
Day 13 Prague
Day 14 Prague
Day 15 Prague
Day 16 Berlin
Day 17 Berlin
Day 18 Amsterdam
Day 18 Amsterdam
Day 19 Bruges
Day 20 Paris
Day 21 Paris
Day 22 Paris
Day 23 paris
Day 24 Paris
Day 25 London
Day 26 London
Day 27 London
Day 28 London
Day 29 London

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11267 posts

Jason, first thing, that "loose routes" that you posted is almost impossible for anyone to read, and I suspect you didn't post it that way. What you post in the box is an html source file. Html does not recognize carriage returns, "Enter", as an end of line. Terminate each line with <br>. That will make your itinerary much easier to read.

Go back to your post, click on Edit, and add the <br> after each line.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11267 posts

And, just looking at your "loose routes".

Day 4: Florence
Day 5: Pisa, Cinque Terre
Day 6: Como

Are you crazy? Sometimes it takes longer to go between places than it takes to write the names on an itinerary.

Posted by Brad
Charlotte, NC, USA
214 posts

I use Mobal because it works in all countries, but there are cheaper services available.

I'm sure someone will tell you that 14 destinations in 29 days is too much. You will spend a lot of time on trains. Take a look at the D-bahn website to get an idea of how long it takes to get from place to place. Some of these are 6 hour train trips. Doing that every other day will wear you out.

I know what it's like to be young and energetic. It is possible to do some of this itinerary in 29 days. But you should assume you will be back. And once you go to Europe, you'll probably catch the fever and be back much sooner than you think. So consider skipping a few of these stops.

Posted by Angela
Bloomington, IL, USA
64 posts

29 days? WOW. Good for you!

Take a look at Rick Steves packing list on this site for the clothes questions. Really, don't take more than you can comfortable carry! Remember, you can always stop and do laundry and with 30 days you will have plenty of time.

Posted by Adam
Boston
2630 posts

For 30 days you need about the same amount of clothing as for 4 days.

Posted by Dennis
Redmond, WA
284 posts

Salzburg to Prague? I did that last year. It's an all day trip. Leave Salzburg about 9, two connections (one is 2 minutes but they hold the train for you) and you arrive after 5. So much for one Prague day. I suspect you need to get on the DeutscheBahn site, or RailEurope, and check some schedules and times for travel. If you do take the S-P train, take water and food because there isn't any available the whole way. You may want to reconsider Prague and try some more western areas of Germany, or more of France, so you have more sightseeing and less travel. We're spending 34 days in just northern Italy this summer with a week in each of 6 cities so we don't have so much travel time. Example: how will you do Pisa to CT then on in such a short time? Plan to arrive in the morning and run the trail? Whatever you do have fun and enjoy yourself! You'll go back again and again!

Posted by jason
charlotte, nc, US F'n A
51 posts

Well Florence to Pisa and Pisa to Cinque Terre is actually very easy.

florence to pisa is a direct train that takes 80 minutes.

Pisa to Cinque Terra has a direct train from Pisa to La Spiezia which is under an hour. You can get from La Spieza to the Western most town in under 40 minutes.

That is very easy and can easily be done in one day. I only plan on being in Pisa for 2 hours (20 minute bus there, an hour at the Leaning Tower, then 20 minutes back)

To the person who ask going between Salzberg and Prague I was hoping to take the night train, but I just checked and there isn't one. I will have to come up with an alternative. I'm definetly going to Prague so I will have to come up with a better plan there.

Posted by Dennis
Redmond, WA
284 posts

There is an express train from Nurnburg to Prague that takes two hours. It goes each way once a day, as I remember. The sights along the way are the central German plain, not too exciting for vistas. Salzburg to Nurnburg takes a long time, so no time saved there. If you dumped Salzburg and went to (perhaps) Nurnberg and Rothenburg, you could easily pull off Prague. Especially since you only plan to spend a day in Salzburg. You're going to have a blast.

Posted by Dean
York, Pa, USA
45 posts

I can understand your excitment to see as much as you can for the days you are there, when I was single I did see 13 cities in 18 days, twice rencently we have done 8 cities in 21 days. Your itinery is managable however: Piza can be done in route and do not have to stay over. Florance should be more than 1 day if you plan to visit the musuems vs just the outside markets. Berlin to Amsterday might be a hike, but doable. We normally have clothes for 6 days and do wash every five days. Self serve are reasonable while hotels are expensive for doing clothes, plan on a wasted 1/2 doing wash. Check Rick's book for packing. One pair of pants and two shorts should do along with what you need to match up.
Dean

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11267 posts

"There is an express train from Nurnburg to Prague that takes two hours."

That's news to me. News to German Rail, too, as they don't show it on the schedule. Might have been one, once, but the main connection now is the 3h45m non-stop express bus. You can go from Salzburg-Munich-Nürnberg via ICEs, then by bus to Prague in about 7½ hrs.

You can also take a regional train from Salzburg and meet the Munich-Prague ALX train that goes via Furth im Wald and Pilsen at Landshut. That connection takes just under 8 hours and would allow you to use a €33 (for up to 5 P) Bayern-Böhmen-Ticket to Pilsen and €5-€6 per person local tickets from Pilsen to Prague.

Posted by Estella
Canada
11 posts

Hey Jason,

Congrates on coming to Europe. My advice is that you prepack your stuff and head out for a walk. Think of traveling as sophisticated camping...you really don't need much.

Also, I've been living in Europe for the past few months as a student and I've found Ryanair flights to be WAY cheaper than train tickets. Check out their website...this will help you plan your itinerary and schedule. (Read their conditions CAREFULLY, they really get you on fees if you make a booking mistake)

When I'm on a trip I book the hostels and the train/flight tickets. Then I take Ricks guide book and leave the rest up to chance. I've been to Paris, Barcelona and Rome over the easter week and this worked great!

Type out your itinerary by day. Look at travel times, and arrival times...sometimes what looks like a whole day in Rome is really jut half when you factor in Travel, and finding your hostel. And you have to sleep sometime!

Posted by Dennis
Redmond, WA
284 posts

Thanks for the rail update from Lee! I took the express Prague-Nurnberg train last summer in July, and my daughter did the reverse. They must have dropped it. I suspect my memory on time is off, as everything seems faster as my age advances.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2685 posts

Jason,

Good that you have got 29 full days to cover those places listed. Take the night train from Berlin to Amsterdam...it'll give some extra time to tack on to Amsterdam or Paris. At 27 I made a trip over too but had a bit more time, 37 full days to cover France, Austria, and, back then, West Germany, stayed in hostels, university dorms, a Pension, and small hotels. Happy Travels.

Posted by Andrea
Winnipeg, Canada
9 posts

Hi Jason, maybe leave out Salzburg and take the train from Munich to Prague? Or drop Bruges and add a day to Salzburg?

Another possibility is to go from Munich to Prague, drop Bruges, and add another day to Berlin or Amsterdam.

Posted by Thomas
Snyder, Texas
503 posts

Hi Jason,
I went to Europe for the first time when I was 23, so I understand the excitement.
Plan to wash out your clothes in the sink. Go to a travel store and look for soap sheets. They are little packets of soap in booklet form -- one or two sheets per sink of water. Work great and take up no space. Look for travel underwear that will dry overnight. Test it out before you go. I just take 2 pair of ExOfficio brand. Two or three knit shirts is enough. Don't take cotton -- takes too long to dry. 1 pair of shorts and one pair of long pants. I like jeans, so I take a pair, and I wear them a disgustingly long time. One comfortable pair of shoes and three pair of your favorite sort of socks. (Three because socks take longer to dry, and wet socks can cause blisters.) Take something for rain. Your're going to some rainy parts, and it may be cool too. You can buy shampoo, etc. once you get there if you don't want to haul it over there. You don't see many caps in Europe, but wear one if you want. My son wore his everywhere last summer. No one gave him a second glance.
Could I suggest something to you? I know you want to see everything, but I'm afraid you are trying to see so much that you are going to end up really seeing nothing well. I think you need to narrow your range of travel. You're going to be spending a very large amount of time just traveling. You're going to have a great time. Also, you might think about allowing a recuperation day in the middle somewhere. Even at 27, you're going to get really tired. Have fun!

Posted by Corinna
Krems, Wachau, Austria
386 posts

Hi Jason,

I am European, I grew up traveling in Europe, and I still travel extensively now.

Take it from a Native: even being young and full of dynamic energy, your itinerary is WAY too ambitious!

Unless you are coming over as a 'bagger', trying to conquer as many destinations in the shortest possible amount of time, you will seriously short-change yourself of what Europe and the European way of life is all about.
I cringe every time I see an itinerary like yours. It makes me so terribly sad.

My suggestion: go back to the drawing board, and make sure to leave some room for ENJOYING!

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
2858 posts

Pisa doesn't require an entire day. Go to Lake Como or CT, not both, and stay at least 2-3 days. You may not need that many days in Paris and London.

Posted by MARY JOE
COCONUT CREEK, CARENCRO, FL., LA., USA
152 posts

I have not been to Rome or Prague. Someday! I would stay at least 3 days in the Interlaken area, but not in Interlaken. There is a neat hostel in Lauterbrunnen which is a good anchor for the beautiful area. Lots of young hikers in the area. Cinque Terre is a long area and we spent lots of time waiting for trains between the towns. One day near Munich. The mountains are better than the city. Bruges is a neat little city, but better left when you return. Paris: We were there for 3 days last year in May. Very cold, rained the whole time, miserable. So.....Take more than one pair of jeans. I can wear them along time, but when they are soaked they are horrible. I went through 3 pairs in one day while in Germany.