Please sign in to post.

Plese pick apart my itinerary!

This is the itinerary for our first trip to Europe with what we would like to see below. We are budgeting for $200 a day (staying in hostels, picnicking, etc). For those of you who have traveled through Europe before, how does this itinerary look? Anything you would recommend or change? Thank you for your help!! Sept 7- Travel Day Sept 8- London- Sept 9- London- Sept 10- London- Sept 11- London- Sept 12- Bath- Sept 13- Bath- Sept 14- Bath- Sept 15- Bath- Sept 16- Travel Day (Bath to Bayeux)- Sept 17- Bayeux- Sept18- Bayeux- Sept 19- Paris- Sept 20- Paris- Sept 21-Paris- Sept 22- Paris- Sept 23- Paris- Sept 23- Cochem- Sept 24- Cochem- Sept 25- Amsterdam- Sept 26- Amsterdam- Sept 27- Travel day (Amsterdam-Istanbul) Sept 28- Istanbul- Sept 29- Istanbul-
Sept 30-Travel Day Home London: British Museum, National Gallery (Portrait Gallery), City of London Museum, Imperial War Museum, Wallace Collection, London Eye, parks, neighborhoods, etc Bath: Fashion Museum, Royal Crescent/No 1. Royal Crescent, Assembly Rooms, Roman Baths, Mad Max Tour (Stonehenge, Cotswolds) Bayeux: DDay Beaches, Mont St. Michel Paris: Versailles, Musee Carnavalet, St. Chapelle, Pere LaChaise, Malmaison, Eiffel Tower, arrondisments, Canal St. Martin, food! Cochem: Burg Eltz, Moselle Wine Amsterdam: parks & canals Istanbul: Aya Sofia, Topkapi Palace, Bazaars, Blue Mosque

Posted by
1986 posts

In my opinion much too much time in Bath. It really only needs one day, half a day to see the Baths and Cathedral and the rest to see whatever else interests you. (Unfortunately RS finds it conveneient to start his tours there, so oversells it). Many people on this site recommend the Mad max tours. however you will get more out of it if you take three days and nights away from Bath and tour the Cotswolds and Avebury/Stonehenge by car on your own. You can find many nice places to stay in the Cotswolds 5 days in paris and only 3 in London. I would switch that, or at least do 4 days in each- there is so much to see in and around London (those are my biases i am afraid). I do endorse the Moselle, Bayeax (tapestry) St Chapelle and also Amsterdam.

Posted by
9110 posts

If I were to rate the places for what is apparently a first trip, they would group like this: 1. Paris, London, Istanbul (no particualar order, all equal) 2. Amsterdam 27. Bayeux 86. Bath 312. Cochem I wouldn't quibble too much about Bayeux since it's along the way. Bath is a half-day project, over-rated, and way down the list of what England has to offer. The Cotswolds fall into the same category - - the area is championed by one travel writer. Stonehenge (if it included Avebury, Silbury Hill, and the West Kennet Long Barrow) is worth it. Give some of the Bath time to London and some to Istanbul. Istanbul is the kicker. I'd either give it all of the Cochem time or skip it. It's a long ways from the rest of Europe - - if you're going to go to the trouble and expense of getting there, you might as well do it right. It needs at least as much time as Paris and London. Study up like the dickens on both Paris and London; your list hasn't even begun to scratch the surface of these two cities but includes places that would be way down most people's listof what's important. Versailles and Malmaison are day-robbers - - I wouldn't take anybody out to either one or even to LaChaise until well into the second week in Paris. Also, it seems that you've only been reading one series of guide books. Look at a couple of others to gain perspective. Or read some history. Or study an atlas.

Posted by
591 posts

With your limited budget the first thing I'd do is Not go to Istanbul.... too far and costly. You can do that on another trip, maybe with Greece & Italy. True, one day in Bath is enough for most visitors. The Cotswolds are really best visited with a car. Amsterdam deserves another day.
Overall, you might enjoy the trip more if you cut down the total number of days so you could treat yourselves to some hotel lodging and restaurant food once in awhile.

Posted by
403 posts

Mary: I agree with Brian that there is way too much Bath. Bath makes a wonderful day, maybe 1.5 days given travel to/from London, but that's it. While the Cotswolds are wonderful to drive through, as is Normandy, you appear to be on a tight budget, and renting cars is quite expensive. The Mad Max tour, like all escorted tours, is not cheap either. I would suggest that you plan around cities, with daytrips into ed countryside/small towns, done by rail and/or bus. You don't mention how you are getting from Amsterdam to Istanbul..I assume it is by a cheap flight, as doing it by train would be torture. I further assume that you are flying "open jaw", that is, into London and directly home out of Istanbul. You don't want to backtrack across Europe to get back to London just to take a flight home.
In London, you may want to see Covent Garden & the Transport Museum, the Tate Britain, and the Tate Modern, the Cabinet War Rooms, Westminster Abbey & Houses of Parliament. Hampton Court, Windsor, and Greenwich are all easy daytrips near London. In Paris, what about the Champs Elysee, Tuleries, Luxembourg Gardens, Montmartre, Louvre, and Pompidou Ctr/Marais/Place des Vosges? In Amsterdam, surely you want to see the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museums? While I disagree with Ed about Versaillesin my view it is certainly something one should see even on a first trip to ParisI agree with his general point that you have come up with a somewhat eccentric list of things to see and do.

Posted by
8291 posts

You really have 3 full days for London, and 4 full days for Paris (if you're traveling there on 9/19). I would not take time away from Paris. And I agree that Versailles is very worthwhile. I agree with the others about Bath, I was underwhelmed. I think Bayeux is very worthwhile and I would keep that in.

Posted by
9110 posts

I missed the money angle the first time around. You're probably way short on funding. Without pricing it out, and with only a gut-shot, it could well be a hundred bucks a day (average) for entrance fees, local transportation, and transportation between spots - - any guided tour would but it way, way over the top. That leaves the other hundred dollars for food and lodging for two people each day. It probably can't be done, especially in those cities.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you all for your help! I have a better idea of how much time it will take to visit all these wonderful cities and museums! I'm very interested in women's history of the 18th century...which is why I'm giving 4 days to Bath as it was a very popular resort town in the 18th century and has great Georgian history . They also have a Fashion Museum with 18th century gowns. From what you've all said, 2 or 3 days would be better. The 18th century is also why I am very interested in seeing Versailles (Marie-Antoinette) and Malmaison (Josephine Bonaparte) in Paris. Cochem is in there because I wanted to get in some of Germany. Thanks!

Posted by
1878 posts

First of all it looks as if you have a whole month great! I agree with others, too much time in Bath. I would say three nights and two full days is plenty. We had half a day there in 2000 nice town, but four nights is a lot. Renting cars for short periods in various countries will cost you a fortune. Worse still if you pick up and drop in different countries. You are covering areas at the far corners of Europe when there is so much that is closer that is very much worth seeing. As much as I would like to go to Istanbul, I would not combine it with Paris much less London on the same trip. (Context: my wife and I have done ten Europe trips in twelve years of marriage. Never yet been to Istanbul. Working up to it next trip perhaps, after Eastern Europe.) Before I would tack on Istanbul to a trip tat started in London, I would spend a few days in Edinburgh. (BTW I love that you included he Carnavalet museum, we were there in May 2010 and enjoyed it.) And I wonder, why no Italy? With a whole month and as far-flung as your itinerary is, Italy offers tons of tourist thrills. Despite the tourist crowds, it's the #1 destination that I ( and I think RS) would recommend. I would stick to the London-Paris-Rome corridor where the transportation connections are great and there is so much to see. Sorry if any of this seems harsh, please know that I struggle with the itinerary every trip myself.

Posted by
34 posts

I assume that you have picked these specific cities to meet your personal interests. I would join with others and say that if you are going to Istanbul, which is an incredible city, I would find a way to put Italy in. I have been to Rome countless times and it never fails to inspire me. Suffice it to say that I am in love with the city. For me personally, I simply to not enjoy London or Bath. Those would be places I would pass quickly through to make room for Italy. Being a francophone I cannot get enough of France and you are doing well there. I would caution you to be in excellent physcial shape prior to departure. You have a lot of traveling ahead of you and you will get the most out of it if you are in excellent shape. Feel good about walking 10K per day and still ready to enjoy a good evening out. In this way you will get the most out of your day and still feel good at night as you people watch while drinking a wonderful glass of wine. We dream of wanting to see everything our first trip, but you will find that it is better to see fewer places and really focus on them. Give time to wander or take a bus ride. Mary, I wish you the best on your trip. Be daring; be open; and fall in love with the people of each country you visit.

Posted by
8291 posts

Michael, did you mean francophile rather than francophone?

Posted by
1958 posts

I too think too many days in Bath. While there though be sure to take the free walking tour which leaves by the cathedral and I think takes about 2 hours, very good. You might also see if there is a bus from Bath to the very ;lovely cathedral town of Wells, we loved it. In Paris be sure to see Sarce Couer (spelling?) as it has wonderful views of Paris. Many of department stores have lunch counters or food courts with good and inexpensive food. Amsterdam has great little "deli's with also good and very reasonable food. Boom Chicago has canal tours that are cheaper and more intimate than the regular boats, you can also take along your own food, cheese, wine to enjoy on the tour. Worth a day trip is town of Haarlem, half hour by train from central station. Be sure to see the Ten Boom museum while there, look it up on the net, we thought it was great. In London we enjoyed St. Pauls cathedral but I think it charges a hefty admission and I think Westminster is free. There are also great free walking tours of London and you can get info on them from most trains stations I think. Enjoy.

Posted by
17 posts

Hi again...
Alrighty... so we will shorten our stay in Bath and save Istanbul for another time. If we were to take a trip through Italy (maybe Florence or Venice), what would be the best way to still see Amsterdam? Go south from Paris and then north through Germany? We are planning on flying in to London and out of Amsterdam...but as we haven't bought tickets yet that can still be changed. Thanks!

Posted by
79 posts

Fly into London or Paris - Fly home from Rome?

Posted by
571 posts

Bravo to Brian for saying what I've thought but never said and few here have written: Bath (while nice) is "oversold" by RS because it is convenient to start his tours there. Exactly right. I enjoyed a day there for the Roman Baths and the Museum of Bath at Work, but that is all. Be forewarned that the Fashion Museum is extremely blah, especially if 18th century gowns are your interest. (You may think I'm not the target audience for this site, but I am trained as a social historian and was looking forward to the progression of clothing over time.) As I recall, we were in and out in 30 minutes. Two or three Georgian gowns, a few Victorian era pieces, a short display of WWII era and then a bunch of 60s era go-go boots and such. Not without interest I suppose, but a disappointment overall. That and staring briefly past the no-entry rope at the empty assembly rooms made me wish we had skipped it entirely and visited No. 1 Royal Crescent instead (which we missed due to time.) Glad I didn't pay for it (covered by British Heritage Pass)!

Posted by
27733 posts

Want genuine Georgian clothing and gowns? Victorian and Albert Museum (the V&A) in the Kensington area of London. V and A fashion Fiddlesticks - I see that room 40 is closed this year.... maybe some of the dresses are elsewhere...

Posted by
403 posts

Mary: OK, now that you have made some wise revisions, I'll give you a possible itinerary (one of many, I hasten to add). Sept 7 arrive in London. London Sept 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 overnight trip trip to Bath, return to London Sept 12. Sept 13 Easyjet or other discount airline to Amsterdam. Sept 14, 15 Amsterdam. Sept 16 Train from Amsterdam to Paris with a brief stopover in Brussels. (check bags at Central Station, take a couple of hours to eat lunch in/near the Grand Place) Paris Sept 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 with a daytrip to Versailles. Sept 21 Paris to Rome via discount airline. Rome Sept 21,22,23,24,25. Train from Rome to Venice Sept 26. Venice Sept 26, 27. Train from Venice to Munich via Verona Sept 28. Munich Sept 28, 29. Fly home from Munich Sept 30. This avoids night trains, and the one flight should be fairly cheap--Easyjet is cheaper the farther you buy tickets in advance. But pack light!

Posted by
8291 posts

Roe's itinerary is good, except that I would fly to Amsterdam on the 12th after leaving Bath rather than returning to London for one night. You could add that extra day somewhere else.

Posted by
37 posts

I agree with others about Bath. I am wondering why you are trying to cover so many countries. Is this the only time you plan on being in Europe? Have you been to any of these locales before? I personally would not go to London first. Fly into London and go to the areas outside of London first so you can acclimate yourself. London Eye is a tourist trap. Go see a play. Visit Harrods, Westminster Abby. How about fewer countries with more time spent in the "country"? Cotswalds, Wales, Lake District. Your list of places to visit tired me out just reading it.

Posted by
27733 posts

London Eye is a tourist trap. Go see a play. Visit Harrods, Westminster Abby. So the London Eye is a tourist trap? Maybe so. Harrods isn't?