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Europe travel ideas

I was looking for suggestions I am flying to Amsterdam with my family five of us and we are looking to rent a car and travel through Germany to Prague to Austria to Switzerland to Paris maybe Omaha beach, Belgium and back to Amsterdam from July 17 to August 1 we have rented two rooms in Paris on 26 July to watch the final of the Tour de France. Other than that our trip is open. We are considering places like Hallstatt, Zurich, etc. I'm interested in exciting things to see and do. I'm seeing a little bit of a red flag on a rental car into the Czech Republic. Suggestions please

Posted by
918 posts

With only two weeks, I don't think you have enough time to do everything on your list. In my opinion, you need to prioritize your list of locations. One way to do this is to write down each location and how many nights you think you should spend in each one. You could then pare down your list to a more manageable list. What are the ages of the family members? What does everyone like to do? I am assuming that you have already purchased plane tickets? Unless you want to fly from Amsterdam to Prague, I would skip Prague, Austria and Switzerland unless you really want to spend most of your time in the Alps. I think the distances would be to far to cover efficiently in a car. Try to narrow down your destinations and maybe we can provide some better suggestions.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you for your thoughts. My kids ages are as follows. Son 22, two daughters one 20 and the other 18.
I know my family is big on seeing Switzerland and the alps. Anymore suggestions would be great. Thanks much.

Posted by
451 posts

An insane amount of driving that will allow little time to savor things other than through a car window or from your hotel at night. Sit down and use the Michelin mileage calculator, delete a drive through Czech Republic and include everything else and you are facing a drive of over 3000KM (1800 miles), nearly 500 Euro in tolls, gasoline costs and somewhere near 40 hours on the road alone. It seems to be an American trait to figure that everything in Europe is smaller, closer and faster to get to.
You have way too ambitious expectations for a trip of that duration.

Posted by
918 posts

Knowing that the Alps are a priority helps. I would start off with 3 days in Amsterdam and then either take an overnight train or fly to Munich. See http://www.seat61.com/international-trains/trains-from-Amsterdam.htm#Amsterdam-Munich for train info. In Munich, spend 2 nights and tour the city and surrounding area and then head to Switzerland either by car or train. Here is a sample itinerary. this assumes that you already have plane tickets purchased into and out of Amsterdam:

July 17 - Arrive Amsterdam
July 18 - Amsterdam
July 19 - Amsterdam (overnight train to Munich)
July 20 - Munich
July 21 - Munich
July 22 - Zurich
July 23 - Zurich
July 24 - Geneva/Chamonix
July 25 - Geneva/Chamonix
July 26 - Paris
July 27 - Paris
July 28 - Bayeux (Normandy beaches)
July 29 - Bayeux
July 30 - Brussels/Bruges
July 31 - Brussels/Bruges
August 1 - Amsterdam / return home

This is still a pretty ambitious itinerary and you will spend a lot of time in transit but it does hit the highlights. If you don't want to move around as much, choose between Zurich and Geneva and just stay in one place. You can also spend more time in Paris and skip Bayeux. Good luck!

Posted by
16 posts

Several years ago my daughter and I spent 2 weeks throughout Europe. We had to pick and choose what to see. We ended up doing 3 days in Rome, taking an overnight train to Munich, 3 days in Munich with a day trip to Rothenburg (worth the trip), 3 days on the Rhine river and ending up 3 days in Amsterdam. We did not get a car we used the train. We had a very detailed itinerary the whole time so we could see as much as we could in the limited time we had. You need to take a better look at what you want to see. You need to factor in the travel time it will take you to get from place to place. Choose a couple of places and see everything instead of seeing just glimpses of a lot. Three days is more than enough to see the highlights of each city. If we could do Rome in 3 days you can do Paris in 3 as well. In the cities take advantage of the Hop-on-Hop off busses. I have used them in Paris and Greece. They allow you to see most of the highlights of the city in the shortest amount of time. My husband and I are heading to Austria next spring and look forward to covering that country alone in 2 weeks. Have a great trip!
Donna