My husband and I have about 8,000USD and two months to travel around Europe. Any adivce on the best cities, or attractions, or cheap accommodation would be greatly appreciated. We're looking to stay mostly in Western Europe, with a trip up to England also.
Could you give us something to start with other than your budget? Have you been to Europe before? Have you traveled outside the US at all? What are your interests? Ages? Something?
Yes, a little more information would be helpful! But even without knowing much about you, I have a few suggestions. You say "cities," but if you have two months it would be a shame to miss seeing some of the countryside. I hope you will include some more rural destinations and a few small towns. Over two months, pick two or three destinations where you will rent a cottage or apartment and maybe a car and stay for at least a week. This is a good budget strategy too. Take breather and get to know someplace a little; buy your food at the markets as well as the restaurants. It will recharge your travel batteries and enrich your trip.
Sorry for not including the information. We are in our mid/late 20s, and want to go out and visit Europe before we settle down and start a family. We have both travelled to Asia and Australia before. We're both more interested in going and experiencing the life rather than spending tons of time in museums and tourist places. We would of course still like to the the musts like the Eiffel Tower, and the Vatican, things like that. I'm just looking to hear what are some favorite places out there, both in the city and more in the country. We're down to do pretty much anything that includes having fun!
I would suggest you two get and read two Rick Steves books: "Europe thru the Back Door" and "The Best of Europe" to give you some oversight of what to expect in traveling in Europe.
After that you may be better informed to ask more specific questions on this web site that would generate better answers. Good luck.
We have found wandering to be so much fun. With the dollar falling like a tossed stone you might want to consider where you plan on sleeping. One of the least expensive hotel chains is called ETAP, they are in France and Italy for sure and are usually located on the outskirts of towns. Also buying food at the delicatessen will save you plenty over eating in a restaurant. England will probably be your most expensive stop-as in "sound as the pound." Check exchange rates before you leave so you aren't totally shocked at prices. Having said all that GO FOR IT-you will love the experience.
Before we all get too excited and carry away lets look at the budget. It probably isn't adequate for a month, let alone two months. Does the $8,000 include transportation to and from? I hope not. $8,000 for 60 days is only $133 dollars or 90 Euro a day FOR TWO PEOPLE. You cannot cover your lodging, eating, and transportation even in the best of the R Steves tradition. If 8,000 includes the airfare, then two months is impossible. Need to be realist.
I suggest staying in apartments. They do not all require a full week rental, but it's not a bad idea to give each destination enough time to really enjoy it. An apartment will save you a lot of money on food, as you won't have to eat all your meals out. It usually is less expensive per night than a hotel too. Not to mention that it will give you a bit more room to move around. European hotel rooms are not known for being very big. Especially budget hotels! B&B's are also a good option. Two months seems like a long time, but you might be surprised at how fast the time will go. The more you move around, and the further you go, the more it will cost you. What do you like to do? You want suggestions for best cities, but that is very subjective. Do some reading and see what appeals to you. Be sure to fly into one airport and home from another. Doing that is called open jaw, multi-city or multi-destination. That way you won't have to backtrack to your original airport. Once you decide on where you want to go, get out a map and locate those places to see the most logical order. I also use a blank calendar for the days I'm going. I write my desired destinations on little stickies and then start filling in the dates. I end up moving everything around quite a bit before settling on the final itinerary. That way you can see if you have enough time, or too much time in each place. Try to stay in each destination at least 2 nights. Remember, a 2 night stay equals only full day in that place. Do daytrips from a place rather move your lodging frequently. Have fun planning your trip!
Assume you currently have $8,000USD banked right now for this trip and you are either A) planning ahead & will have stashed at least several thousand more before you leave, or B) you're going to put some of the trip expenses on a credit card and pay it off whenever, or C) you already know some people who live in Europe who are going to put you up for free for part of the time. If none of those things apply, then I have to agree with Frank that your budget is really way too low to keep 2 adults moving about Western Europe for 60 days and have decent lodging, pay for public transportation within the cities, trains/buses or airplanes to get from country to country, eat 3x per day, beverages for 2 (whether it's a coffee or a glass of wine), sightsee, etc. England will ruin you financially with their exchange rate. With that budget, I'd look into joining a site like Couchsurfing.org and try to score some free nights at other members homes across Europe. A home exchange might be a possibility if you live someplace that is near a U.S. vacation draw for traveling Europeans. Hostels for a couple aren't always the least expensive option for lodging. Apartment rentals always want a security deposit and often a non-refundable cleaning fee paid up front. If your budget is that tight, these additional fees can put apartments out of your reach. Some universities and colleges offer dorm rooms or studio units to tourists during the summer and give you many of the bells and whistles you'd get if you rented an apartment (laundry, kitchen access, etc). If you are willing to work during your vacation, organizations like WWOOF can match you up with home or farm owners who will provide free lodging (and sometimes free meals) in exchange for working a set number of hours each day. Shorten the trip or save more $$.
Besides checking into couchsurfing and student dorms (only available during summer vacations) you should probably take a look at the Lets Go and Lonely Planet guides. LP has gone a bit upmarket, but still has budget listings. Your budget will go further if you spend time in places like Portugal and Greece rather than London and Paris. Eastern Europe can be cheap for food and transport, but not so much for accommodation.