Please sign in to post.

Itinerary ideas - Europe

4 people going for 19 days:
Arriving in Krakow at noon for 3 nights.... departs 6AM from Florence.
Current plan -
2 nights/Munich & Salzburg
Fly Munich - San Sebastian, drive or bus or train? San Sebastian - Lourdes
3 nights/Lourdes, drive Lourdes - San Sebastian
2 nights / San Sebastian-Bilbao- what else?
Fly San Sebastian - Venice
2 nights / Venice, train to Cinque Terre
2 nights / Cinque Terre, train to Florence
5 nights / Florence

Since we have purchased our flights, Krakow & Florence are it. These are our ideas which are a bit widespread, we are open to suggestions. Greece is also an option, planning is a bit complicated esp going between islands (is there an existing plan we can use?).

Posted by Lane
Seattle, WA, USA
908 posts

I don't really understand much of how this will work.

How will you go from Krakow to Munich/Salzburg, and how will you see both Munich and Salzburg if you are spending only two nights (the two cities are at least 2 hours apart)?

Why then would you go to Spain? And then Italy? You are covering so much far-flung territory!

Simplify! Narrow it down! Skip San Sebastian, Lourdes, and Bilbao. Spend more time in Munich and Salzburg, then take the train from there to Venice. Add a night to Venice. So something like this

3 nights Krakow
3 nights Munich
3 nights Salzburg
3 nights Venice
2 nights Cinque Terre
5 nights Florence

Posted by stan
Midwest USA
2728 posts

Badgers, with all due respect, this looks like you cobbled together 4 wishlists, without considering how much of your time will be eaten up in going to and fro across the continent. It looks like about 5-6 days worth of time riding in planes and trains, waiting for transport, and getting to and from hotels. These places are not as close to each other as they look on the map. Consider two nights as being one actual day of time "being there".

Posted by Sally
Spain
160 posts

I agree, this itinerary doesn't make any sense! I have spent a lot of time in Spain, so I know Spain pretty well. San Sebastian is really far from Lourdes. I think you are shortchanging Germany, Hungary, Austria, etc. The last part of your itinerary makes sense. Skip San Sebastian and Lourdes, and go somplace closer to Munich or Salzburg. What about Vienna? Liechtenstein? Zagreb Croatia?

Take a look at some of the trips that are Germany and Austria. or spend more time in Italy. You could easily spend 3 weeks just in Italy alone!

Posted by Ilja
Seattle
4163 posts

You are spread all over Europe. Poland, Germany, Spain, Italy. You will spend a lot of your vacation at the airports and stations. It is always better to concentrate on one region like south Germany and Switzerland, north Germany and Denmark etc. Those who have been to Europe more often already know. Everything is far more apart than as it looks on the map in your living room (if you looked at the map).

Posted by joe
Edmonds, WA
2153 posts

Would you fly from from Rome to Dallas and then start a trip that goes to New York and ends in Denver, in the amount of time and with number of stops you are contemplating?

Recommend narrowing the geographic spread of your trip. Make it something to enjoy, not just survive.
With Krakow and Florence your fixed points, I would not go west of Italy.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
8810 posts

Since you still have to tweak your itinerary, you do have the night train options based on the above plan, Krakow to Vienna is a night route, and Vienna to Munich is a night route. I would suggest dropping Spain; if you had another 7 days, go to Spain but not with only 19

Posted by David
Seattle, WA, USA
2140 posts

Badgers, I suggest you start with a clean sheet of paper - your itinerary as listed above is unrealistic and will lead to misery.

Before getting into details, it would be helpful to provide some basic info...

When exactly are you going? (hope it's not real soon...you have lots of work to do)

Have you ever been to Europe before? (I'm guessing no, based on your first stab at an itinerary)

Next - be honest: how many FULL days do you have in Europe, not counting the day you arrive nor the day you depart (which you should not count as usable days, no mater what time the flights are)?

That number of full, non-travel days is how long your trip really is - and then you need to figure out how long to linger in each place. Remember, every time you move form one place to another, you lose from 1/2 a day to a full day. Be sure you allocate some time to each place - you're not going to "see" (or experience) anyplace unless you spend at least one full day there, and that's a bare minimum. Minimize "one night stands" - remember, you'll get a lot more out of any place that you spend 2 or more nights.

You're flying in to Krakow and out of Florence...OK. So those are your end points. Get out a map - one you can draw/write on. Draw a line from Krakow to Florence - your actual route may twist and diverge from that somewhat, but probably not wildly so.

Next, I suggest you make a list of places you want to see on this trip. Locate those places on the map. Draw a dot on the map for each place you want to visit, but only make a dot for those places that are more-or-less along that line between Krakow and Florence...you can add some dots that are a bit off the line, but not any that are far from the line.

Then, look at how you might logically "connect the dots" - by train, bus, rental car*, flights. With no doubling back, no wild loops waaaay off the route. Yes, you can include flights to jump from one city to another (so your actual route doesn't have to be contiguous), but anytime you do a flight, subtract a day from your available time (getting to the airport, flying, getting settled) will consume pretty much a full day. Moving by train will consume half a day, if you're efficient and on your A game.

You will need to make trade-offs and painful choices - that's what everyone has to do. The faster you move, the less you see and experience...it may seem paradoxical at first, but it's true. Slow down and you see/experience more.

The above should get you started on the process towards a more reasonable plan. Then you can tweak and refine it. Hope that helps - and good luck!

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
11615 posts

Are you planning on taking the night train from Krakow to Vienna, then connecting to Salzburg?

What airline will you be using to go from Munich to San Sebastian? I don't know of any. If you want to go to Lourdes, Lufthansa flies to Toulouse, which is closer than San Sebastian and has direct train service. Connection to Venice on Air France through Lyon.

Yes, this is beginning like a trip where each of the 4 participants has a bucket list place to go. Poland, Basque country, Italy, and Bavaria.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
10706 posts

I'm going to repeat what David said because it is so important for your planning and for an enjoyable trip:

Next - be honest: how many FULL days do you have in Europe, not counting the day you arrive nor the day you depart (which you should not count as usable days, no mater what time the flights are)?
That number of full, non-travel days is how long your trip really is - and then you need to figure out how long to linger in each place. Remember, every time you move form one place to another, you lose from 1/2 a day to a full day.

Looking at your Italian itinerary: 2N in Venice gives you only one day to see the city, flying to Venice and then getting from the airport to the island will use most of a day. Taking the train to the Cinque Terre will also use most of a day. So you'll only have one day full day in the CT, maybe another 1/2 day if you go to Florence in the afternoon.