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Trip plans

We are going to arrive in Paris on May 19 and leaving Paris on June 3. During that stay we have plans to stay 2 night in Paris > 2 nights London> 3 nights Rome> 3 Venice> 2 Switzerland> 2 Germany and then leaving from Paris. Our concern is that we are trying to cover 2 many places in this time span. If so, which countries should not visit...debbie

Posted by
17 posts

I have been to all the places you have mentioned and I absolutely adore Italy. If I had to eliminate anything it would be Switzerland and Germany, not that there is anything wrong with them, it is just that Italy is so fantastic. I have been many times, (husband was in Navy and I spent three months following ship around Europe). But for the last 15 years, if I get to go I always go to Italy and sometimes France for a few days. Crete and Greece are my next favorite but I am betting you will love Italy!! Kay

Posted by
1890 posts

I'd skip London. Too expensive. and why backtrack if you are landing in Pais? You might also consider not doing Germany this trip.

Switzerland is beautiful and worth a few days. Italy is also worth the time.

Instead of trying to do Rome and Venice, why don't you decide to keep the trip to either the northern, or southern ends...not both. Decide to do Rome and the Amalfi coast, or decide to do Florence and Venice.

You will save time traveling and see more of the region.

Also, skipping Germany and London will give you more days in 3 countries, instead of fewer days in 5 countries.

Do 3-4 days in Paris, 4 days in Switzerland and the rest in Italy, then head back for one night in Paris before leaving for home.

This will allow you a more relaxed vacation. If you are constantly on the move from city to city, you will not get enough of any one place to say you were really there!

Posted by
408 posts

I love Germany and Switzerland. I would forget London, and spend more time in Switzerland (Berner overland area)and Germany (Bavaria area). Italy is nice, but not my favorite. It depends on what you like. I like castles, beautiful countryside, history and hiking. Italy has a lot to offer, but to me that is a trip in itself. You really can't go wrong with any of the countries in Europe.

Posted by
23471 posts

There is another way to look at your schedule. You are planning about 14 days of travel with 6 location changes. Even if I use night trains or airlines I plan to lose at least a half day or more of wasted time for each location change --- packing/unpacking, checking in/out hotels, finding/waiting for trains, finding the next hotel, getting oriented in the new location, buying tickets, etc. Even if you are very efficient, you will lose three to four days of good sightseeing -- or about 25% of your travel dates.

Second, it is a long ways from Paris to Rome and back to Switzerland and then back to Paris. One basic recommendation is an open jaw ticket -- into Paris/London and home from Rome/Switzerland. This summer we are headed to Rome and it was about $200 cheaper to fly into Rome and home from Zurich than a round trip to Rome.

I assume that this is your first trip. I would focus on Paris and London and maybe Germany and forget the rest. Just plan on returning later.

Posted by
421 posts

I would say choose your top three locations and go from there.
I would lean to London, Paris and venice.
Paris is an amazing city with so much to see and do. We spent 8 nights there the first time and still did not see half of what I wanted.

you could arrive in paris then take the Eurostar to London, then fly to Venice from London on one of the low cost airlines and then fly from Venice to paris and finish you trip in paris.
What about open jaws so you are not doubling back?

Posted by
26 posts

I definatly agree with Mark about an open-jaw for this trip. When you consider that you must buy train tickets to get back to Paris, and then you probably need to sleep a night in a hotel, then the amount of money more that the open-jaw costs, will probably be a wash. I also would agree with some of the others about skipping London, unless you considered flying into it. Why not start there and then work south to Paris-switz-Venice-Rome. My ideal trip with what you want to see: London- 3 nights, Paris- 3 nights, Switz- 2 nights, Venice- 2 nights, Sienna/Florence- 3 nights, Rome- 3 nights. This is 16 nights so maybe cut London and add a night to maybe Switz or Venice.

Posted by
187 posts

Well, I love all the places you want to go so I hate advising which to leave off but I would say drop London. I'm no expert but in my travels I have found you need no less than 3 days in the larger cities. Sometimes traveling between places takes much longer than you realize & then you find yourself not having enough time in each place. I would also recommend as some of the others to fly open jaw.
By the way I'm traveling to London in 6 weeks with 5 other friends & we are staying for 7 nights. There is just so much to see & do in all these places & I have learned the long & hard way not to stretch myself too thin.
Have a wonderful trip no matter what you decide.

Posted by
473 posts

That itinerary is covering too much territory in too little time. Just switching cities chews up valuable sightseeing time, what with packing, unpacking, finding your hotel, getting lost finding your hotel, checking in and out, etc. I'm counting 14 nights. The most cities that we've covered in 14 nights was 4, and all of that was in Italy. As previously mentioned, if possible, fly open jaws into London and out of Paris, or vice-versa. If you already have airline tickets that commit you to Paris only, then I would suggest visiting the Rhine and Mosel areas of Germany, which aren't too far from Paris, maybe stopping in Alsace along the way. Far better to bring home photographs of quaint villages and castles than the inside of train stations.

Posted by
23471 posts

Jarad, open jaws are NOT always more expensive. I generally find the opposite to be true. We are headed to Rome on May 27 and home from Zurich on June 20. That ticket was $100 less than a RT in and out of Rome. Last year I looked at a London/Paris ticket and it was $10 cheaper than RT to London and $50 cheaper than a RT to Paris. Open Jaw tickets are vastly under utilized because the perception is that it is two one way tickets and therefore more expensive. Checking the possibility of open jaw tickets should always be a part of the planning process.

Posted by
769 posts

Id agree with many posts here - a bit much spread thin. As Rick says - assume you will be back - but also pick a few "hub" locations. Figure out your priorites and make it into 2 trips if possible. London & Paris and maybe Rhine (stay a couple extra days in each or leave it open for surprises. Germany Switzerland alone is great for a week! I was a week in the Mosel/Rhine and wanted some more time there! Venice needs a few days - as does rome - so thats a great trip on its own for a week! (with a stop in a hill town along the way). Depending on when you travel (shoulder season) you might get tickets for 1/2 or 2/3 the main season price which could afford you TWO trips!

Posted by
705 posts

Have to agree with pretty much all that has been said (except what countries to leave out). I personally would drop London and Germany. You are trying to do too much in the time you have and you may well feel not only exhausted but as though you have missed out on really experiencing the wonderful places you are visiting. I have just come back from Venice and Rome and love them but the are quite a way apart. I agree with a previous post to do either north or sounth Italy. Must say that Venice was divine and so unique I'd go there again in a minute. London I found drab - weather didn't help, and really expensive. Switzerland is just beautiful too as is Paris. Good luck.