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Travel Itinerary

Hello, all

I'm a 26 year old Canadian travelling to Central and Eastern Europe between May 1 and July 8, and am looking for some general suggestions regarding timeline situations for my travels. I'm booking a 10 day - 2 month global train pass through EU Rail, and have the following destinations laid out:

May 1 - 12: Ireland (Dublin 2 nights, Galway, Shannon, Cork, Dublin the rest of the way)

May 12 - 15: Amsterdam

May 15 - 18: Brussels

May 18 - May 21: Berlin

May 21 - May 28: Prague

May 28 - June 3: Budapest

June 3 - June 16: Croatian Dalmatian Coast (Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik

June 16 - June 20: Slovenia (Zagreb along the way)

June 20 - July 8 (?)

My budget is roughly $12 - 13K Canadian. I'm definitely going to need some downtime in between a few places, and i'm concerned
that I may run out of travel days on my train pass. Any suggestions for this itinerary?

I'm not sure if I want to tackle Italy as it may just deserve a single trip on its own. The concern is getting back to southern and central Europe from Croatia (perhaps the south of France to Paris would be a good ending option?)

Thank you for your help! I love Rick Steves

Posted by
16743 posts

If you end up having more than 10 days of rail travel, then plan to use the Global pass for the longest, most expensive days. (For some people, spending another $300 for 5 more rail travel days could be worthwhile, but not likely in this case.) Tickets within Croatia, for example, are relatively cheap to buy there. Some of your travel in Ireland and Croatia will be served by bus instead of train. If you add Italy, you'll probably want to take a ferry across from Dubrovnik to Bari, then train through Italy, instead of back-tracking through Croatia. The largest Croatian ferry operator is http://www.jadrolinija.hr/en/home or there are a few other companies that cross the Adriatic, listed at www.aferry.com. Otherwise, look at flight options from Dubrovnik to France at www.skyscanner.com.

Posted by
1420 posts

Laura's given you very good advice. Keep your pass days for the long journeys. Pay for small rail journeys and buses as you go, they're generally inexpensive. Also check the pass' rules regarding the hours of use that constitute "one day" - that day actually starts the night before, if I remember correctly.

Where are you flying into and out of? Where are you supposed to be on July 8th - back in Dublin?

If you don't already have your plane ticket, it would be easy to head back north towards towards Austria (Graz, Vienna, Salzburg, etc.) and Germany from Slovenia. There are some great hostels in Vienna (Wombat's) and in Munich - great beer halls in Salzburg and Munich too! It's also very easy to fly from Munich for your return to Canada.

You may also find that you'd want to spend more time bumming along Croatia's islands ;-)

Depending on where you finish, you may want to switch the order in which you schedule Croatia and Slovenia, especially if you opt for a ferry out of the region from Croatia. Rome is also an easy flight home from. You can just end up in Rome and keep the rest of Italy for another trip anyways... just throwing out some ideas your way!

Have fun!

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for the comments, Laura and Diane!

Actually, I just realized I made a big mistake with my itinerary (read through your message at least twice). My flight home is July 18 from Frankfurt to Calgary. However, I'm in the process of rescheduling to July 7-8 (out of concerns of financial concerns). I'm a bit concerned about money by mid June, and I don't want to have to miss out on fun activities based on staying a bit longer in Europe.

Dubrovnik is a nice location to end the Croatian tour, and flights to Lyon and Paris are reasonable (150-180 Canadian).

However, Rome is only an hour flight from Split (which is great!). Rome seems like it'll be chaos all on to its own (especially in high season), but i'm nearby so it's definitely worth considering.

Vienna and Salzburg would be cool destinations (make my way back from Slovenia through the southern Alps into Bavaria), and then on to France perhaps before ending in Frankfurt.

A few options out there, that is for sure.

Posted by
10681 posts

You are 26, G-d bless you. After a trip like that I would have to spend some serious time in a recovery center. Have a blast.

Posted by
12084 posts

Hi,

With nine weeks plus at your disposal, (great!) you must come up with more of an itinerary than this. It reminds me of my 67 day trip in 2009 extending from London to Vienna, all by train and using rail passes, since I skipped the intra-Europe flying option. Your main focus is on Central Europe from what the list shows so far. . My suggestions are you add a couple of more days to Berlin, use that place as a down time place, add a week to Poland, choosing two out of the three, Warsaw, Krakow, and Gdansk. (Krakow is also a good place for down time), and include 3-4 full days for Vienna.

The Global Pass is valid in France, you'll save time on the way back, say after June 20 if you're not adverse to taking night trains. All very doable by train with careful planning on the routes. tailoring your own routes since you're using the Pass. Plot out which routes using the Pass, buy point to point tickets when you're over there,

Are you set on going to Brussels? If not, take the CNL night train Amsterdam to Berlin using a Pass day. To avoid paying twice, basically, for the same route, take the regional train from Brussels to Liege to Aachen, once there use the Pass from Aachen to Berlin transfering in Cologne to the ICE. Good places for down time, ease up on the pace are Vienna, Munich, Strasbourg.

Posted by
6536 posts

You're young, skip Brussels. You might do best in cities like Budapest, Berlin, Munich, Prague and Budapest. Try staying in hostels to see if they're to your liking.

You never know what or who you're going to run into in any of these cities. If you have a notebook with you, you can easily make room reservations as you go from city to city. Just don't plan very far ahead of time--roll with the flow.

I agree that Italy is a trip to its own and best saved for later.

You can get over to Rome FCO from Zagreb, Croatia on Vueling or Gatwick on EasyJet--both airlines are budget carriers. You can also get to just about all the major air hubs on other air carriers out of Zagreb.

Posted by
22 posts

You'll have plenty of down time resting on the train from place to place. Go big or go home :) I would at least get in a few things of Italy. You're never going to see all of it at one time, but check a few things off that bucket list. I only had 7 vacation days for my trip to Italy last year, and believe me, for as much as I wanted to do, I covered a TON of territory. I was dragging by the last day, but well worth it. You can always look back and go, wow I liked this place or that place, and decide to go to that destination, exclusively and visit more.

Good luck!!