Itinerary Questions- timeline. Suggestions welcome

Our first trip to Europe; Here's my timeline... so far. Do I have enough time, here and there??? Suggestions welcome: Day 1 Arrive early morning Edinburgh- Bus tour around the city, possibly check out the castle and take the train to York in the afternoon, stay over in York Day 2 Explore York, York Minster is a truly awe inspiring cathedral, especially wall and Parks Overnight again in York Day 3 Up early and head to London get to our accomadations and explore a bit- ½ a day in London Day 4 London Day 5 London Day 6 London to Stonehedge tour Day 7 London Day 8 up early and head for Paris ½ day in Paris Day 9 Paris Day 10- Day trip Palace of Versilles Day 11 Last day to Explore Paris Day 12- Train to Koblenz route through Saarbruecken Get off to be closer to Burg Eltz- Overnight in Moselkern Day 13 Train from MoselKern Travel on to Koblenz and explore a bit here here take the 2 pm KD on to Braubach, & see the Marksburg Castle, overnight in Braubach Day 14 Rhine River Cruise with KD cruise line and jump off to see Rheinfels Castle and back on to Mainz Overnight in Mainz Day 15 Mainz- Frankfurt- Frankfurt overnight Day 16 Frankfurt- Explore Frankfurt Overnight Day 17 Bus or Car Rental on the Romantic Road to Schwangau Stay the night Day 18 Explore the 2 Castles there: Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau castle overnight again Day 19 Bus or Drive to Munich
Day 20 Fly out of Munich If we do the car rental, we may spend more or less time in these areas from Maniz on...

Posted by Christy
Laguna Beach, CA, USA
263 posts

seems to be a lot crammed in. i can't comment as much on the sites and time in germany. but i think you should drop a day from london and add it to paris.

Posted by Bob
Manchester, CT, USA
86 posts

You might want to spend more time in Paris. We spent 10 days in Paris last spring (with day trips to Versailles and Giverny) and it was not enough.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10840 posts

It is a busy trip with a lots of travel. You can do it but it is not a trip we would do. The first day for us would be unrealistic because of jet lag. If we were on a bus we would be a sleep and would need someone to wake us at York. I am sure you have your reasons for flying into Edinburgh but we would head directly to York. Second, we always plan at least one day of down time every three to five days just to get caught up on loose ends, maybe to sleep in, do laundry, to adjust the travel schedule etc. Gives us space to do something totally unplanned. I would scrap Frankfurt and add that time to Munich. Personally think that Munich is more interesting. I do not think you are taking into account the time lost when you change locations. Our experience is that it will take at least a half day of "lost" time when changing locations. That includes packing, unpacking, checking in and out, finding the train, finding the hotel, etc. and does not include actually travel time. I would knock out about a third of the stops. Save a few sites for your next trip.

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
650 posts

What Frank said. Unless you're very good at sleeping on planes you'll be too tired to enjoy what little you'll see of Edinburgh, or the scenery on the way to York. A full day in York could be enough (I'd prefer two), three full days in London and two in Paris (not counting the side trips) won't let you see very much. I can't help re Germany. I guess an itinerary like this will give you a sense of where you want to return later. Open jaw flights are definitely a good idea.

Posted by Tim
Ojai, CA
591 posts

Way too busy and you're passing up a lot of good places to see. I'd make 2 trips out of this; one for Britain & France, and then in a future year for Germany (& Austria).
Maybe a first trip of 4 days in Scotland, 3 in Northern England, 5 in Southern England and 7 in Northern France.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17712 posts

Shelley, Some parts of your proposed Itinerary are far too busy (IMHO). A few thoughts.... > Are you arriving directly in Edinburgh, or indirectly via Glasgow or London? In any case, it's important not to underestimate the effects of jet lag after a long trans-atlantic flight. While it's possible to take the Bus tour and then head for York, that's not something I'd ever want to do. Are you planning to store your luggage when on the Bus tour? > Have you bought air tickets yet? An allternative would be to fly inbound to Manchester, and start your trip in York. > You might consider one of the Walking tours in York, as they provide a good overview of the history. Enquire at the T.I. for times. If possible try to attend an Evensong service at the Minster, as they're awesome! There's also an excellent Railway Museum there. > I wouldn't bother getting up too early to head to London. It's a fairly short trip (~2H:15M) and if you arrive too early, the room in your Hotel may not be serviced yet. > Were you planning to visit Burg Eltz when in Moselkern? It doesn't look like there's much time allocated for that. > As you're planning to visit Munich anyway, I'd skip Frankfurt and add to Munich, which makes a great "home base" for visiting the Castles. You can visit Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau either with a day tour (check Radius Tours website) or on your own. If you decide to do it without a tour, you'll have to make the time-specific Castle reservations on your own. > I wouldn't bother with "Bus or Car Rental", as the places you'll be visiting are all easily accessed by train. Good luck with your planning!

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

York 2 nights London 5 nights Paris 4 nights MoselKern 1 night Braubach 1 night Mainz 1 night Frankfurt 2 Hohenschwagua 2 nights Munich 1 night
Okay, I get what your saying now about those 1 nighters. Yes We could totally head to a bigger centre called Koblenz and backtrack to MoselKern to see the Burg Eltz castle... but I figured staying one night in a very small town would be relaxing. Instead of backtracking we'll change trains from a TGV to Regional along the way and stop right at the little town of Moselkern. We'll arrive early afternoon. Check into hotel. See the castle. They only let you have about 1 hour tour of these castles. Allows for lots of relaxing time here. I really wouldn't want to stay more than one night here. The next stop is also a Castle town. Same thing...only let you in for 50 min. tour, so lots of time to laundry. I'm not sure who wrote it, in reply but I would totally take one day away from London, if necessary and add it to Germany, since the Castles are high on our list. But I thank you Sincerely for clarifying why you thought we needed more time. Not in some of these one nighters. That's really all we'll need, for sure. In London and Paris, we do not plan on going to all the museums. We love looking at the old buildings, even from the outside of some. So, that does not take long. I am more concerned about travel time in the city of London. not sure how that will all work.

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2012 posts

I think 1 nighters for Moselkern and Braubach are fine, they're both really small places and the travel distance between them isn't too crazy. What I'm curious about is why stay an overnight in Mainz? 3 hotels in 3 days is a little tiring. Unless there are sights you specifically want to see in Mainz, you might be better served by going directly to Frankfurt. Then you could add a day to the Romantic Road or Munich. Or you could add that day to the Mosel area, from MoselKern, you could see Cochem, which is lovely. 3 nights in Munich would not be overkill at all, though, especially at the end of such a big trip. Cities can be relaxing too, if you're not moving at a crazy pace, and Munich has many lovely areas to relax in. I also agree that basing out of Munich to see the last two castles might make more sense.

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

Thanks Sarah for your Reply. As far as Mainz, it's because we will be taking a KD Cruise down the Rhine and will be arriving late on the cruise into Mainz. That's why one night there. It would be just too much to add into Frankfurt. This part of the trip is looking like more and more, we will do a car rental.

Posted by Julie
Frisco, Texas, US
54 posts

I agree with the advice to drop Frankfurt, add time to Munich. And you don't need 5 days in London, but while there you should go to a show. Buy tickets on the day of the show. The double decker bus tour shows you all around the city and you can go back to places you have a particular interest in. I think you need another day in Paris, like another poster said. If you like looking at buildings you will want to have plenty of time to explore. I think any amount of time in Edinburgh is worth the trip, and I would add to the Scotland portion of the trip for the Scottish castles, unless you just prefer German castles. One day for the Romantic Road won't let you see much of it, it takes a while to drive, plus stops along the way. I could spend 2 days in Rothenburg alone. I would adjust Days 14, 15, 16 because it looks like you only see Frankfurt where there isn't that much to see in my opinion, and one castle on the cruise. We found the Rhine to be too industrial. Barges, not pretty boats. I like your aggressive schedule!

Posted by david
837 posts

I would completely junk Germany. Spend a couple of days in Edinburgh, train to York, train to London. I would spend a couple of days in the Cotswolds and Bath/Stonehenge area. Then Paris with side trips and train to Provence for about 4 days. Fly home from Nice or Paris. Next trip, hit the low countries and Germany. I cannot believe anyone would say that 4-5 days is too much for London. More to see there than any other city in the world.