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European honeymoon, too much to see in Europe

I'm planning my honeymoon in Europe next summer and there really is too much to see and too much to do. I'm trying to limit the trip to 16 nights. It's a honeymoon so I'm trying to mix in more touring and sightseeing with more relaxing enjoying Europe time. So far my plan consists of 2 nights in Amsterdam, 2-3 in Bruges, then 4 in Paris, since those are all fairly close together. Then it gets tricky, do I fly into Milan, spend a night there and then go spend 3 nights in Cinque and then 3 nights in Venice to end the trip, or do I try and spend 3-4 nights in Switzerland before ending the trip in Venice? Or maybe Athens and Greek island hopping? I've actually been to Paris and Venice, but my fiance has never been to Europe so I wanted to include those in because they are pretty standard honeymoon in Europe type places. As far as the other cities I mentioned I don't know much about them aside from this site. There really is too much to see and do in Europe. Would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks

Posted by
10344 posts

You are exactly right--there is too much to see! It is tempting to try to see too many places. The transportation times in between some of the destinations you mention are significant. It is easy to spend too much time in transit and too little quality time enjoying what you came to see, which is not airports and train stations, right?

Posted by
705 posts

Agree with Kent above. Your fiance may not have been to Europebut she doesn't want the main memory of her trip to be airports and train stations. Personaly I think at least 3 - 4 nights in each spot is best. You won't feel if your rushing around. It will give you time to see places you are in and also just to relax and have a coffee in a sidewalk cafe or of long lunch and enjoy your surroundings and people watch. You obviously want this trip to memorable, so choose 4 or 5 places to visit. Perhaps plan a little more down time on this trip than you would on any other. Congratulations and enjoy.

Posted by
21724 posts

You are spending a lot of time traveling and checking in and out of hotels, You could actually make a nice trip out of Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris, and maybe a country village in between to relax or swing by London or even the south of France, says Nice, Cannes -- some beaches. Save Italy and Switzerland for the next trip. Give you something to look forward to.

Posted by
683 posts

Cut down on number of places you go. Plan another trip soon. We are assuming u begin in Amsterdam. It is nice but 2 nights is fine. Go directly to Paris and enjoy her charms for 5 days or so. Forget Milan entirely, as it is not worth your time. End your trip in Venice area, perhaps staying in Verona or Vicenza and using trains for day trips to Lake Garda, Lake Como (you must go thru Milan, alas!) and other places close by.
The benefit of staying near Venice is that you have ez transport to n fro and this allows you to be there at night when crowds sre few

Posted by
19 posts

Thanks for all the advice. It's overwhelming trying to plan this kind of trip, and trying to not feel the need to fit everything in. I kind of tried to use Rick's best of Europe, I can't believe how many trainstations that trip is filled with. It's like being in a candy store where everything looks so good and you have to tell yourself you will be back.

Bryan

Posted by
4125 posts

Well, maybe you shouldn't try "to limit the trip to 16 days."

That said, I think you can do what you describe, though I'd skip Milan, and Brugges is really not in the same league with Amsterdam, Paris, and Venice. And you could also have a really great honeymoon seeing less and savoring it more.

The Alps are pretty wonderful and I don't know how you will choose.

In the end I think you and your bride need to spend a bit of time deciding what the priorities of the trip will be. That will guide your choices.

Don't rule out adding a day or two if that makes things work!

Posted by
389 posts

Bryan, everyone's tastes are different. If this is the first trip for both of you that is different from trying to fill in places you haven't been. I just got back from 24 days in Europe, 6 countries, 8 planes, 4 trains, 2 cars and too many changes. We plan to cut that down next time as the packing and moving really was the most stressful part of the trip. That said, if you want to see a lot I'd suggest 2-3 centrally located places that allow you day trips. Build in some "down days" as this should be a relaxing time for you. Plan to be back and make that a priority. So many people have told me they can't afford travel but buy new cars and furniture regularly. It is all in your priorities. Good luck to you and your bride.

Posted by
18 posts

Hi Bryan,

My husband and I had a wonderful honeymoon in Europe and my advice based on our experience would be:
1. Don't try to see it all - trust me, you'll be back! :-) Pick 1-3 regions, and that may very well be enough for this one trip.

  1. Don't try to do too much sightseeing in any one place and instead be sure to allow plenty of down time to do relaxing stuff (leisurely meals, go for a wine-tasting, go swimming, rent bikes, etc.)

For what it's worth, we spent 1 week in Germany, in and around Munich and 1 week in France - couple of nights in Strasbourg, 3 nights in Lyon, and ended with 3 nights in Paris. We had a Eurail pass and did a few daytrips (Nurnberg, Salzburg, Dijon, Lac d'Annecy) and it was really perfect. Happy travels!

Posted by
31471 posts

Bryan,

This is not too difficult, however IMO you should plan at least 3 weeks; 16 days is too short! As others have said, try to limit the short stays as they get a bit tiring. Italy was just voted the No. 1 honeymoon destination, so that should definitely be on the list!

Would something like this work:
- Paris, 5 nights (you'll lose 1st day in travel)
- Cinque Terre, 3 nights
- Lake Como (Varenna), 3 nights
- Florence, 3 nights
- Venice, 3 nights
If you extend the trip, it should be possible to fit one stop in Switzerland also (Interlaken and especially Gimmelwald!) The order will change, depending on which places you choose.

Check some of Rick's Guidebooks (or others) to get ideas on which places will most appeal to both of you. Once you've decided on cities, it's easy to determine travel details (train is best in most cases).

Plan on using "open jaw" flights for best efficiency (into Paris, home from ?).

Congratulations and happy travels!

Posted by
19 posts

As I start to hammer out the details, I'm arriving at 2 nights in Amsterdam, 4-5 in Paris, 4 in Switzerland, 3 at cinque, 3 in venice. Now I need to just figure out the travel times between the places and see if that is doable.

Bryan

Posted by
3313 posts

Two ways to estimate the time for thetravel portions of your trip. In his books and on this web site, Rick Steves has a rail system map of Europe with approximate journey times.

To be more precise, and to get a better idea of the frequency of trains, go to www.bahn.de and click on the "international guests" button for English.

Posted by
83 posts

don't forget to figure in the "travel days" - you'll burn a day getting from point A to point B. For my girlfriend and I, that was a stressful part & not very romantic. We didn't start to enjoy ourselves until after we got settled and rested. We could have spent a week or more in Paris.. it's def. for lovers!!

My first reaction is to tell you to pick fewer places and make sure you get out in the country and not do all big cities.. good luck.

Posted by
70 posts

Bryan, i'm doing a European honeymoon in about 2 1/2 months and am feeling overwhelmed as well! We chose 4 major cities and plan to drive ourselves and do smaller villages and places in between. We are doing 16 days and although i feel it isn't enough time, it's all we want to pay for at this time.

Personally, as i've planned our trip, i've come to realize that i really don't want to be frantically rushing from place to place during this trip. we're doing a very relaxed trip with a loose itinerary. If we decide we want to change the plan and spend a day at a spa, we will go for it.

trying to limit ourselves as far as places to visit is the hardest thing ever... but i think that the less countries and cities you try to cram in, the better.

good luck with your planning!!

Posted by
1201 posts

Bryan

While what you are planning may be doable let me a contrarian view. You are going to have way too much traveling no matter want transportation method you use.

Consider a different approach. Limit yourself to maybe two places. Spend at least a week in each place, don't use hotels rent apartments. I'd pick Venice and maybe some place in Tuscany. Fly into Venice stay a while, rent a car drive to Tuscany stay in a smaller village and do day trips. Then fly out of Milan.

If you were honeymooning in the US would you consider this viable? 2 nights in LA, 3 nights in San Francisco, 3 nights in Seattle then fly to DC for 3 nights and finish up with 4 nights in NYC?

There very little romantic about traveling these days no matter how you do it. And I mean the actual getting there, not the fun once you are there. You have 5-6 travel days, don't do it. You'll be back.