My wife (both late 20s and fit) and I are planning a 2 week trip. Leaving on Friday the 8th of July and coming back on Sunday the 24th. The plan is to fly into Barcelona and spend the initial day and the next two there. On the evening of the third day we'd take a night train to Paris and spend the next 3 days and nights there. Then we'd travel down to the Berner Oberland and spend 2 nights and a full day there. After that it's off to Munich for 4 nights and 3 full days. Finally we'd end in Prague for 3 nights and 2 full days. My questions are what are the general thoughts on these plans? What should we do about a railpass? And then any help on places to go for relatively inexpensive but fun meals in these places. We're going to stay at hostels mostly but get a private room on the night train. Thanks in advance!
Munich: relatively inexpensive meals we like the Ratskeller (in most german Cities, but the one in Munich is particularly nice). For a fun meal - go to one of the beer halls at night for a meal and a singalong. Any on the Marienplatz or in that area would work.
Hi John Your trip is going to be great! Just want to make sure I am understanding your itinerary correctly. Arriving in Barcelona on Sat. July 9 early morning. Departing Prague for US Sunday July 24th. Flights already purchased, right? Have either of you traveled to Europe before? Also, please purchase RS Europe through the Back Door and the Europe 2011 Guide. Here's a suggestion to visually plot out your trip: + Download a calendar from WinCalendar for the month of July. Free for basics. + Add your international flights. Not sure how your body reacts to jet lag but I always consider the first day a Recovery Day. Time to get acquainted with your hotel/hostel neighborhood, walk in a park, and find the place for dinner. Also the last day is all given to getting to the airport 2 - 3 hours in advance. +Now put in your itinerary above. Research in RS books the travel time hotel to hotel for each change in destination. At the end of each chapter in his country books, he has a couple of paragraphs on where and how long it takes to get to other destinations. By car, train, and plane. So hotel to train station, time in the train station so you know the right track etc., train ride, station to your hotel. Almost always takes at least half a day. However, your destinations are wayyy far apart.
+The above will show you how much time you have in each destination to see the sights. Continued below
For inexpensive but good dinner in Paris, I recommend Au Petit Suisse, at 16 rue Vaugirard. Sit upstairs if you can. The restaurant has been in operation since the late 18th century. Staff is friendly, food is good, and they generally cater to locals who come in after work. We had a lovely meal and did NOT break the bank. For a pint, I recommend The Highlander, 8 rue de Nevers, near the Pont Neuf. I know, it isn't very Parisian - it's a Scottish pub - but they have a lively downstairs and you will meet lots of friendly expats to hoist a glass with. Party atmosphere picks up the later it gets. We love this place. It's fun!
John Continued from above. Hostels You can make reservations and should for hostels. Hostels.com, hostelworld.com are 2 to check. Since many college students and others are traveling during the summer, it is important to book them soon. Great they have ratings! Compare some flights with railpass For instance, there are cheap discount flights Barcelona to Paris offered through www.skyscanner.com. This may cost less than the cost of your night on the train! Check your other destinations as well. Note: Read the FINE PRINT since many of the discount airlines have strict rules about size and weight of luggage, number of pieces, etc. Don't buy a railpass until you delve into this more deeply. RS sells railpasses and I hear his staff are very knowledgable once you see if any flights are cost effective. Restaurants
What amount do you consider relatively inexpensive? Restaurants are expensive in Europe. You can save by picking up food at the bakery, deli, tiny grocery stores. Bring along a Swiss Army knife in your checked luggage, some paper plates in the bottom of your luggage. Find a park or eat at the hostel . Then you will have $ to spend on a restaurant meal. I am concerned you are going to so many different places and so much of your time will be spent traveling rather than sightseeing! If you haven't already booked your flights, then come back to us and the Helpline will make other suggestions. No matter what you will have a wonderful time.