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Questions about our trip..Paris, Switzerland, Venice, Florence, Rome

My husband and I will be spending December 23-January 6th in Europe. We are flying into Paris and out of Zurich. I would love your advice on lodging, trains, and the amount of time to spend each place. We are looking for nice, but inexpensive lodging. Here is the plan:
2 nights in Paris
train to Interlaken Switzerland
2-3 nights in Murren, or Lauterbrunen Valley area
train to Venice
3 nights in Venice
train to Rome
2 nights in Rome (should we stay in Rome or Orvieto)
train to Florence
3 nights in Florence (day trip to Sienna)
Last night in Zurich by airport

What do you think? Any advice is welcomed!

Posted by
2030 posts

Sounds like a fun trip, but with a lot of traveling in between cities. I personally would rather go to fewer cities and spend more time in each. Two or three days in Rome and Paris particularly, is not nearly enough in my opinion. But you will see a lot and can then decide what places you would like to return to for a longer stay. I love Orvieto and personally think it is more beautiful than Rome, but would stay in Rome if you want to see most of the sights there.

Posted by
591 posts

If you're only interested in staying in Paris 2 nights it isn't worth the time and cost. I'd suggest flying into Zurich and returning from Rome. Your route would then start in the Interlaken area, then to Venice, Florence and Rome. If you already have your plane tickets, you'd still save money by paying a fee to change the destinations. It may also save you some money by starting the trip in Rome because skiers will be hitting the Swiss slopes in mass around Christmas & hotels will quite expensive at that time.

Posted by
691 posts

hi kari, we stayed in lauterbrunnen for 2 nights at the valley hostel,, i had never stayed in hostel before and i was not sure i would enjoy it. well we loved the valley hostel, we had a double room, bathroom down the hall, kitchen facilities, wi-fi, laudry($). the place was so clean and confortable that we will go back one day, and it was 70 chf per night for 2. lauterbrunnen also as a grocery store, a few restaurants and for us was a good base to go to the mountains.

Posted by
19146 posts

Looks to me like you are more interested in collecting name of famous places to which you have "been", so you can impress you friends, than you are in actually seeing anything in these places.

Think quality, not quantity.

One day (between two nights) is not enough time for either Paris or Rome.

Start by doing some research about places to see, and how long it takes. Then start at the beginning of you trip and plan adequate time in each place and figure the travel time in between. You will probably find you can only see half the places now on you itinerary.

Posted by
225 posts

I guess I would just remind you that if you stay somewhere for two nights, that equals about 1 1/2 days of sight seeing, not much. We just got back from our trip and spent 4 nights in Rome, not nearly enough just to see the "must sees". We enjoyed Siena much more than Florence, but that is just a personal choice. You may want to cut down the amount of places you stay and stay longer, minimum of three nights. Just a thought!

Posted by
1717 posts

Hello Kari. My humble opinion is : I agree with the other repliers : delete Paris from this itinerary, add one night at Lauterbrunnen, add one night at Rome. Why do you want to fly from Zurich to the U.S.A. ? If you do that, you will use an entire day for travelling from Florence to Zurich.

Posted by
41 posts

Oh dear, looks like most of your time will be spent on a train looking out of the window, or buying train tickets, or getting re-oriented in a new city and you will miss soooo much.
For such a short trip, choose only two cities and realx and enjoy! Paris, Venice and 1 night in zurich....that is what I would do. Paris and Venice, Oh La La! Two top places to visit before one dies.

Posted by
4 posts

Just a suggestion...if you want to visit Paris, check out one of the discount airlines to see if you could fly from there to Rome first and then head north.. go to Florence first for 2 nights, stop 1 night in Sienna, head up to Venice for 2 nights and spend an extra night in is quite charming.

Posted by
12040 posts

Just so you're aware, the Interlaken area is primarily devoted to winter sports at this time of year. This is the middle of the holiday season, when rates in already expensive area are at their highest. If you do not ski, you may find yourself in a tremendously expensive hotel room with little otherwise to do (no hiking at this time of year).

Posted by
121 posts

Kari - What a great holiday! In Rome, we loved the Casa il Rosario which I believe was mentioned in RS book (CASA IL ROSARIO Via S. Agata dei Goti,10 00184 Rome). It is within walking distance to the Colosseum, Trajan Market,Forum, etc. It does have an 11pm curfew but after walking all day and night 11pm sounded pretty good to us. In Venice we stayed in the Dorsodoro neighborhood (Hotel Messner) which was lovely and quiet and only one (or two) vaporetto stop from San Marco. The restaurant at the hotel had a great breakfast and one night we ate dinner there - best gnocci and sage butter I have ever had! Please let me know if you have any questions. A word of caution - 2 nights is tough to do as you will not get a full appreciation of your location. We spent 3.5 weeks in 5 countries but tried to stay at least 3-5 days everywhere we went. Rome and Venice got short changed with only two nights each but that was the best we could do and don't regret seeing them - we some great memories from both. Only you can decide if you would rather stay and relax or rush and fit in more sites/locations. It's a tough decision, especially with time/money constraints. Whatever you choose- have a fabulous time!

Posted by
3 posts

Hi Kari - from your itinerary the part that I don't get is why would you want to travel back from Florence to Zurich just to fly back from there. Why not fly out from Rome?

I kinda understand why you want to visit so many places in that trip. It's going to be whirlwind, but if you want to keep the above itinerary as much as possible, then my route advise would be:
US - Paris - Interlaken (including Murren, Lauterbrunnen) - Venice - Rome - US.

Forget Orvieto or Sienna if you have such limited time. I personally would cut Florence as well.

I agree with other posters that you need to consider the blackout times due to christmas & new year.