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7 week EU Trip Advice


I was just living in the south of france, aix en provence, for the last 2 years. I was able to visit Barcelona, Amsterdam, almalfi, Rome and 3 days in Switzerland (grenoble and geneva). I saw tons more than this, traveling on day trips at least once a month. I am a photographer and engineer.

My contract ended and I moved out 1 week ago today. My original plan was to go to Belgium, Copenhagen, Stockholm, 3 cities in Poland, prague, Vienna, budapest and then TBD... I need to be in the UK for glastonburry music fest in 6 weeks now.

My plan changed a little because I wanted to get out of the city after living in aix Centerville for 2 years, so i took a train to Brussels, ghent, bruge and then rented a car in brussels for 7 days to drive to Bavarian alps seeing all the castles and sausages I can along the way, lol. I'm in Ulm tonight, off to see Hohenschwangau Castle tomorrow and will likely stay in Munich a day or two. I might extend the car rental to go to somewhere else. Eventually I need to return it to brussels... where I had planned to continue my original journey, next to Copenhagen. However, I just realized I was fooled by the train maps on, there is no easy train from brussels to Copenhagen, and much of the rest of the original plan is similarly a difficult journey... I was trying to route this trip as far and wide as possible via easy fast trains, but that may be tough.

So here I am in bavaria with another 3 days scheduled and planned, and then another 6 weeks to kill and no plan.

I'm going hard day and night... a little burnt out already, lol, considering planting myself "somewhere" after returning the car to brussels and doing more relaxing day trips.

I need some advice and input. Any and all comments appreciated... even, "your insaine, especially doing this trip with 20k in camera gear", lol.

I just want to see as much as the world as possible, the most beautiful things of man and the most beautiful things of nature, I travel hard... if I could explore the universe I would... same with all of time... but earth is big enough to keep me busy for one life time. But I want to make this trip efficient... so far so good... but the fast direct trains aren't as plentiful as I thought.

All input appreciated. I dont necessarily expect someone to plan out the details... perhaps I just need a little emotional support, lol.

Posted by
4306 posts

Not sure what kind of emotional support you need, but it appears some practical advice might help. Don't use some third party ticket seller site to plan your rail trips. Use the websites of the actual train companies. But as a starter, try using the Deutch Bahn website ( ) to get an idea of trains and connection points, then go to the train company website to book.

If you haven't done so already, have a close look at the man in seat 61 website to get a good understanding of the European rail systems.

Posted by
1972 posts

It sounds like what you need is a vacation. And maybe constantly “going going going” isn’t truly appealing to you at this moment. How about slowing down and just “being” for a few days? I would head for the Mittenwald area and just be for a few days, especially since you have a car.

After a little recharging of your batteries, I would return the car. Maybe you can drop it off closer to where you are (Munich?) without paying huge fees? It’s worth checking.

Then head to the farthest destination (probably by plane) and make your way back to the UK. Or make your way by train wherever the mood takes you, and plan on flying back to the UK. Use the website Rome2rio to see your transportation options. Remember that sometime a flight is cheaper than a train ticket.

Posted by
468 posts

OK I don't do emotional support - heres the practical stuff.

Brussels-Copenhagen is completely straight forward - from rome2rio - I would double check actual times on train sites but:
Brussels Nord- Koeln (cologne ) every 2 hours 1h40min
Koeln-Hambrug hourly 4h
Hamburg - Copenhagen 3x day 4h40min

If you want direct fly - but I can't imagine why.

So for someone who things he's gonna explore the universe what's wrong with that - I see something done easily with a day on trains. Or I see a couple of nice stops along the way . I think you are travelling too fast - this is a 6 week trip you can't run around day/night seeing every castle. Does that create good pictures - of course not - you know that I assume - so why is travel any different.

I never plan a 6 week trip in detail. I have one coming up in September in Europe - the start and the end are planned even with hotels booked. Lots of research have gone into the bit in between and nothing is booked until suddenl a coastal cruise came up so we popped that in the middle. But in principal I don't plan day by day for anything longer than a couple of weeks.

What I do expect is days where I'll do nothing but the laundry and eat and drink too much.

My original plan was to go to Belgium, Copenhagen, Stockholm, 3 cities in Poland, prague, Vienna, budapest and then TBD... I need to be in the UK for glastonburry music fest in 6 weeks now.

So basically you planned 9 stops in 6 weeks. and well spread out stops at that. I have no idea how to connect Scandanvia to central Europe and Poland

Personally I'd drop Scandanvia - catch a train to Berlin (fascinating city) - and then head to Poland etc - it will still be rushed but at least its not so scattered. You can always get a cheap flight back to the UK ex places like Budapest, Zagreb, Venice etc

Posted by
7786 posts

I assume your camera equipment is handicapping your travel by air. I'm a fan of the European budget airlines, but some of them are having difficulties finding personnel to run scheduled flights.

Drop the car in Brussels and head to Amsterdam on a train. Spend a few days in that very popular and lively city..

Vacations to Go shows a bunch of cruises going out of Amsterdam--and many are incredible values. Some ships go up into the Baltic Sea. Some go around the U.K. and hit Ireland. The itineraries vary. Just don't go on Holland America--as the rumors about the average age of 85 are right.

Posted by
14022 posts

If you are getting that burned out feeling already (I see that as impossible), then how about going somewhere you hadn't planned on at all...go to Berlin and North Germany. Visit these interesting places without swarms of tourists negatively impacting your trip.

Fantastic that another six weeks are left on this trip and with "no plan."....even better. You're not tied down to a fixed time schedule.

What I've done in these circumstances is to stay in a quiet, peaceful, tranquil smaller town, (in the past usually Lüneburg) to relax and explore.

I suggest seeing Berlin and Potsdam, Hamburg, Leipzig, Weimar, Kiel, Dresden, Stade, Lübeck, , ie numerous places are well worth your time and energy.