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first time, maybe last!

going in may for first time, and as much as i want to be smart and not cram so much in, i am not sure i will be able to come back again. we are attending a wedding in Belgium, so i decided on Paris, Belgium, Amsterdam. i like the train between cities. however the thought of not seeing Italy, even if i only went to one city i would be happy! i noticed a flight from California to Amsterdam has a layover in Rome, could i do a stopover there for 2-3 days? or is that crazy. i realize that 3 days is never enough, but my husband and i like to see the sights by a hop on off bus, not necessarily having to go into each one, but then the next day pick a area we liked and eat all day, stroll around easy peasy. i guess my question do you have any advice or a better itenary, beligum is the only place we Have to go , we could do London, Paris Belgium.....or is there a itenary that i can add any city in Italy. we have 12-14 days to work with, and brussles is the wedding one day and like to go to bruges. so not sure how long to stay, or anthing you think i should add or delete all together. any help would be appreciated.

thank you,

Posted by
6135 posts

If Italy is a must do here is a thought ( rough outline)

Fly into Rome -4 nights
Fly to Paris- 4 nights
Train to Amsterdam- 3 night
Train to Brussels/Bruges to accommodate the wedding

Or you can start with the wedding and go the reverse and fly home from Rome

Doing HOHO in Rome may be less than ideal or not meet you expectations of your other experiences. Check out the routes.

My $0.02

Posted by
6543 posts

The advent of the budget European airlines certainly allows travelers to take on other cities very economically.
Most great European cities are worthy of a 4 day/night visit, however if you study the city well and take a tour or hop on hop off bus, you can hit the highlights in 3 days.
Go for it.

Posted by
7 posts

thanks Joe and David for your thoughts! i needed to get some feedback before i proceeded any further!

Posted by
5288 posts

Are Paris and Amsterdam also "must-do" destinations ? As noted above, there are low-cost-carriers offering intra-Europe flights that could get you to Italy -- but you need to prioritize your destinations to fit in your time budget. Make sure you consider flying into one city and out from another (multi-city ticket) rather than having to return to your first city to fly home.
Is this replacing your June anniversary trip ?

Posted by
30932 posts


Is 14 days the maximum you have for this trip? If you could share which airport you'll be flying out of, one of the other forum members may have some good tips on the best flight options.

As this is your first time, I'd suggest reading Europe Through The Back Door prior to your trip. That has a lot of good information on how to travel well in Europe. Once you've decided on which places you'll be visiting, use country or city specific guidebooks to play sightseeing, transportation, hotels, etc.

Posted by
583 posts

Hi Janette -

If you can get a flight that goes to Rome, it’s definitely worth 2-3 days exploration. Sure, you won’t see it all but you can get a feel of the place and see plenty.

Connect to Paris and Amsterdam by cheap flights from Rome - should be relatively straightforward to get cheap flights. Personally I’d start by searching the EasyJet site and see if that helps.

Have a great trip!


Posted by
1402 posts

Lots of Rome is off limits to buses, but is very walkable. If you want a tour, there are plenty available if you want to get information from a guide. Some things you might just want to see, such as the outside of the colosseum. If you want to see the Sistine Chapel, consider taking a tour that gets you in first thing when it is only moderately mobbed (!)

3 days is plenty to see the highlights of Rome.

If you fly first to London, then I would spend 4 days there ( probably won’t do as much on the first day if jet lagged ), train to Paris for 3, train to Brussels for wedding & Brugge, train to Amsterdam for 2-3 nights, then fly to Rome. If I had to cut out a day, it would be from Amsterdam, then London, then Paris

Posted by
7 posts

Ashley, Stephen, Ian ,Ken and Laura,

thank you for taking the time! all this is so helpful to me, you have no idea.

thanks again