Hello all...this is my 3rd time asking a question similar to the same topic. Three of us girls would like to celebrate our grad school graduation in Europe. We can only spare 2 weeks, which is understandably tight. We would like to travel the last 2 weeks of September. The current itinerary is weak with unrealistic ideas. Flying into Amsterdam or Hamburg (whichever is cheapest, I have a friend in Bremerhaven area) spend a day or 2, leave for Paris, France 2-3 days spent and then onwards to Italy for the rest of the trip. We haven't decided on which cities in Italy. We sort of need guidance as to which cities would be ideal for such a short time. We understand that travel will limit our days. We plan on traveling open jaw, overnight trains (need a little more info. on personal experiences with overnight trains), and hostels. Eurail travel...we were thinking a 10 day global pass? Is that realistic? Please, please help...we are flexible and ultimately just want to enjoy ourselves. Cheers!!
I'm thinking a 10-day Global Pass will be overkill, moneywise. With an advance-purchase ticket, you can travel from Amsterdam>Paris for €35,00. Most, if not all, of your travel in Italy will probably require passholder fares/reservations of a few-to-several Euro in addition to a Eurail pass...Germany train travel can be embarrassingly cheap... IF you come up with an itinerary and stick to it, you can save LOTS of money; if you want to just get 'over there' and go where the wind blows, you might want the convenience of a pass, but from what I've read certainly NOT a Global pass. It looks like you'll have about 7-8 days in Italy; where you spend those days depends on your interests...Do all of you watch Rick Steves' TV travel programs? You can watch all of them, plus several specials, on his YouTube channel.
hi, fly open jaw so you won't have to travel bact to place you started from
I recommend simply flying from Paris to Italy on one of the cheap European airlines ( Ryanair, Easyjet, etc. ). Then once in Italy, you can travel by rail to other cities relatively cheaply. As far as Italian cities to see, I highly recommend Venice ( touristy, yes - but fantastic ) and Florence ( much better than Rome, in my opinion ). With Florence as a base, you can travel to other towns in Tuscany by bus or train ( if you don't want to rent a car ). Also, if you can go, I highly recommend the Cinque Terre. Yes, there's a lot of tourists there, but at that time there won't be too many, and it's a great time weather-wise to go ( I've been there at that time ). It's truly amazing. the entire five towns are simply incredible. It's well worth several days. And if you've never been to Paris, then three days is not enough. I'd give it five. It's the greatest city in the world... Hope this all helps.
Venice to Florence to Rome is pretty easy via the trains. One nice thing about Venice and Florence is they are relatively small and there are quite a few things in easy walking distance. I think it took me about 90 minutes to get to Florence from Rome on the Eurostar. Slightly longer from Venice to Florence I think- maybe 2 hours. Venice- St. Marks, wonder the streets, Accademia, St. Marks Square at night Florence- Uffizi, Accademia to see the David- amazing...for me, the single most amazing thing I saw in Italy. Piazza Michelangelo for great views. Grom gelato! yummy. if you love chocolate, there is some made in Tuscany called Amedei that is wonderful. I found some right across from the Grom gelateria in a candy shop. Rome- maybe do the Vatican stuff 1 day, Coliseum and nearby sites another...nice wine bar at the top of the Spanish Steps. September- I would think the weather should be great for eating outside at all 3 places...I wouldn't worry so much about finding great eats in Venice. Flirt with the gondolier and maybe he gives you a nice discount on a gondola ride (still would be like 70 or 80 euros)...making sure to go in the back canals if you do...but it is not always for everyone. drink some champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris too...all the lights start flashing around 8 or 9pm have fun!
A 10 day pass means 10 days of train tickets. Very expensive. You only want to buy a pass for the days you will be spending all day traveling by train. That might be just 3 days of pass usage over 2 weeks. (a 3 day pass) On shorter legs, buy individual tickets.
If your train departure is after 10:00 pm, your pass will still be good the entire following day using only 1 day of the pass. Are you flying back out of Amsterdam? If so, you can stay in Rotterdam the night before you depart, Its just as close to the Amsterdam airport as Amsterdam, and an opportunity to see another city. I enjoyed it.
Bisi, I'm 28 and went to Europe for the first time (Italy) two years ago, so being in the same age range and general situation (it sounds like this is your first trip over there?) I think i can make some suggestions. For 7-8 days in Italy, FLY from Paris to Venice and then go on to Florence and Rome and fly home from Rome. i'd suggest 3 nights in Rome and split the other 5 2-3 between Venice and Florence based on what you want to see. get a guidebook and read through the highlights, make a list of what you're interested in, and focus there. Venice is beautiful that time of year, so if it were me i'd do the 3 nights there. Florence has some great shopping (as a 20-something female, i figure that might interest you, as it interested me) and art, and Rome just has too many inportant sites to miss. the cinque terre is georgous, but unless you are planning to go hiking, it's probably not what you're looking for...if you want relaxation it's a great place, but if you want action stick to the cities. If you'd like to see the countryside, do a day trip from Florence to Siena...it is beautiful and an easy train ride over.
above all, go into this with the attitude that you'll be back again some day, so you don't need to cram everything into this one trip. also, PACK LIGHT. if you can get everything in a carry-on sized bag it will be WELL worth it. i had to buy a second bag to get all of my newly acquired items home again (it was only 20 euro), which fortunately happened at the end of my trip, otherwise it would have been furiously annoying to drag two suitcases (or one very large suitcase) on trains, subways, etc. have fun!