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Europe trip

There will be 6 of us planning a trip to Europe for Christmas and new years 2019. Will be doing trains for transportation. Any itinerary help? Want to see Paris, Rome, Prague, Venice. All healthy people. Where to best be during Christmas and New Years? How long in each city? We all love and want to see Vatican, colleseum, catacombs, castles, etc. also, is there a castle you can stay overnight in? Thanks in advance and I look forward to the help!

Posted by
5588 posts

It'll help the advice people give to know how many days you have to spend?

I'd start off by saying remember that 2 nights in one spot = a full day for touring. Your arrival day and your departure day are pretty much toast for sightseeing. You'll lose at least a half a day traveling from 1 city to another including time to check out of your hotel, get to the train station or airport, travel, reverse the process at the end.

Paris - 4 nights at least, 5 if you can do it
Rome - 4 nights
Venice - 3 nights

Posted by
6838 posts

It's best to plan based on how many nights. Do you have 16 nights? More? Less? As Pam said, 2 nights is equal to 1 day, and so on. If you actually have 16 nights that is 15 full days. You can't count your arrival and departure day. You desire to go to places that are quite a distance from each other, with the exception of Rome and Venice. Don't underestimate how long it takes to change locations. Additionally, the daylight hours will be very short.

In my opinion you should go to at most 3 locations. For example, fly into Paris, then fly to Rome, then fly to Prague. Fly home from Prague. Or fly into Venice, train to Rome, fly to Paris, then fly home from Paris. You can choose whatever order works for you. Flights between cities in Europe can be quite inexpensive if purchased far in advance.

Posted by
3683 posts

We will be there for 16 days!

So the travel days ( arrival from and departure to US?) are in addition to the 16?

With Christmas and New Year being Wednesdays, you will have to plan your tourist site visits around the somewhat common practice of places being closed on Mondays, possible early closings on the 'Eves" and closure on the 25th and 1st.

Depending what you want to see in each location and just what the 16 days are, you may want to limit yourself to 3 destinations

Presumably you are planning to fly into one city and depart from another to avoid having to backtrack?

If you do keep Prague in your schedule, you will have 2 of your days devoted mostly to travel to get there and then on to the next destination.

Not saying you cannot do what you plan, but do your research, based on what your desires/interest are so you know just what time you will have in each locale.
Happy Travels!

Posted by
15212 posts

The fastest, easiest train connections from Paris to either Venice or Rome take 10 hours, hence the advice to fly, if that sounds like too much train time for you. Adding Prague in the mix would mean even longer train rides with more connections, or even more reason to fly.

Posted by
333 posts

I second Laura's advice if you really want to cover those 4 cities. You might consider flying into Rome, train to Venice, fly to Prague, fly to Paris and go home from Paris. You will be changing locations only 3 times and minimizing travel time. I'm guessing that it might not be cheap but you save time to do more sightseeing.

Posted by
11107 posts

I agree with the earlier suggestions to embed Prague in the middle of the trip. You will probably have more flight choices if your transatlantic flights are into and out of Paris and Rome (in either order). You may also save some money, but that will depend to a considerable degree on your home airport.

I've never made a Christmas/New Year's trip to Europe (I hate cold weather), but I've read enough threads on that subject to know that figuring out a sightseeing schedule during that period is extra-challenging because so many key attractions are closed more days than usual. The advice to take a look at that is spot on. You need to go to the official website of each top-priority sight on your traget list and see what it says about closures during your anticipated travel period. Just Google something like Vatican official.

Days when all the key sights are closed are not lost days; one of the joys of Europe is simply walking around the gorgeous historic districts. However, if there are a bunch of indoor places that are must-sees for your group, you may find that going to just three cities makes your trip more manageable. If that proves to be the case, I would drop Venice. I love the place, but surrounded by water as it is, I think the weather can be quite raw in the winter. The average low temperatures for December and January hover around freezing, and in conjunction with the dampness...

Posted by
83 posts

There is an overnight train between Paris and Venice, which saves money and is very convenient. That would be my recommendation.

Posted by
10853 posts

Trains sound romantic - but they are not when the trips are more than 4-6 hours - theses aren’t the orient express with lovely dining cars ! It’s often just as cheap to fly , and inthe case of a night train , it is usually cheaper to fly ! ( unless you want to sleep sitting up lol )

Your route deserves a few flights . We have used many of the inter European airlines and they are all fine , do note which airport they use , for instance , Ryanair uses Beauvias for Paris and that is not a convenient airport to commute to and from - look at Vueling or Easyjet , and book tickets WELL in advance for best prices , even adding extras like luggage and seat selection they can be good deals

Posted by
282 posts

I took a night train from Amsterdam to Munich once when I was in my forties - miserable experience. I didn't sleep much and didn't have any energy for sightseeing the day I arrived so the same result would have been achieved by spending a long boring day awake on a train, but at least in daylight you can see the scenery. We were traveling with two boys 8 and 11 and they slept - that was sort of a plus.

Paris and Rome each need about a week, depending on what interests you. What are the ages and interests of the six people? If they are all adults sit down together with some maps, guidebooks and the internet and see what you come up with.