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Whirlwind trip to Europe

Hi, I will be in italy for business for 4 weeks but then would like to take a 15 day tour to take in the best of Europe.. Can anyone help on the must visits etc.. I have never been to Europe before and will be travelling with my husband. We have a rough guide of leaving from Venice or Rome to Vienna,Budapest,Munich,Prague,Berlin,Amsterdam,Brussels,Paris,Madrid,Barcelona then back to Rome to fly home to Australia.. I would really appreciate some advice on the best must sees in my short 15 days.. Thanks in advance

Posted by
10344 posts

Tarn: In your proposed itinerary I count 13 destinations in 9 countries in 15 days. This is not feasible, I don't even know if it's physically doable, given the substantial travel time between many of the destinations you've listed.We understand you're very excited about your first trip to Europe and that you want to see everything, but it's not doable. Assume you'll be back. Prioritize and eliminate some of these 13, painful as it will be. Giving accurate advice to first timers is especially important, even when it's not what you want to hear: And so, to put your proposed itinerary in perspective, I have to say it's probably the most ambitious/aggressive itinerary I've seen here in a few years.Click below to get a start planning a doable, realistic, and wonderful trip that will allow you to see the most you can comfortably see in the time you have, while avoiding unknowingly turning your trip into a death march to exhaustion: Realistic Itinerary Planning Including Travel Time Between DestinationsAnd we'd like to help you plan the wonderful trip that you deserve, so please get back to us with a pared down list. You asked for suggestions of Best of Europe, and Rick Steves has actually written a book with that title. In 15 days, for Best of Europe, some travelers would list:ParisLondonRome (but maybe you will already have spent time in Rome during the 4 preceding 4 weeks?)with realistic travel time that would do it for a lot of folks in 15 days. London isn't far, if you're going to be in Paris it's about 3 hours on the high speed train)If you just gotta see more, add 1 or 2 of these:MunichBerlinAmsterdamMadrid

Posted by
11992 posts

Let's help you put your itinerary in perspective...what would you say if I wanted to visit Australia and in 15 days wanted to go from Canberra-Sydney-Brisbane-Gold Coast-Cairns-Alice Springs-Ayers Rock-Darwin-Perth-Adelaide-Tasmania-Melbourne-and then back to Canberra.

You'd probably be exhausted just thinking about it.

And that's how I felt when I saw your itinerary.

Kent had it right. In 15 days pick 4-5 places maximum. Since you'll be in Italy (you didn't say where) you would probably want to take in Rome, Florence Venice...then the other two majors would be Paris and London.

If you'll have a chance of seeing Italy during the 4 weeks of work, then decide to go either west (Barcelona, Madrin) or east (Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Berlin) or North (Amsterdam, Brrussels, Munich) but include Paris and London in either itinerary.

Posted by
11450 posts

Tarn,, there is no two bits about it,, you must cut , edit and research.. LOL.

This is mostly personal tastes, but you must also plan a sensible route with little or no backtracking as you do not want to waste time , or money I imagine.

My personal must sees would be , Rome, Paris , Munich and Prague. Many people would choose Venice,, fine go for it,, it just has not been my favorite.

Frankly, my personal tastes also would be that if you are have already spent four weeks in Italy I would then leave and spent more time in France, and perhaps Germany and Switzerland,, but that is all subjective .. what sort of activities do you enjoy?

Two weeks is not a lot of time, and I would recommend you try to spend at least 4-5 days in places like Rome and Paris,, they have so much to offer,,

You should decide about going either north( Germany, Prague , France etc) or west( Barcleona and Madrid) ..going both ways is a waste.

Where is your flight home leaving from?

Posted by
11996 posts

In limited time, cut a logical swath through Europe and fly open jaw. Don't zig-zag accross the continent. It uses up too much time and energy.

Start in Rome and end in Paris covering Eastern Italy and Southern France in between. That will be a very packed itinerary but much more doable than your current plan.


Start in Rome and end in Prague. You can include Florence, Venice and Vienna or Munich. Still packed but doable.

Start in Prague and end in Paris.

Spain to Paris/Paris to Spain.

For a packed itinerary I would plan at least (preferably more): 3 nights in Rome, 2 nights in Venice, 1 night in Budapest, 2 nights in Munich, 2 nights in Prague, 3 nights in Berlin, 1 night in Amsterdam, 1 night in Brussels, 3 nights in Paris, and at least 2 nights each in Madrid and Barcelona. That doesn't include any day trips or stops between the cities.

Conceivably you could do your Italy touring on weekends then begin your trip with a flight to Prague and work back to Paris from there. Spain is still too far out of the way to be included in a two-week trip that also includes Prague.

Posted by
2349 posts

I agree that your proposed itinerary is WAY too much. But I wonder about this-you're from Australia, but you have no urge to go to Britain?

Posted by
8293 posts

Karen , not all Australians have a British background. There are huge numbers from Greece and Italy, and I believe Malta.

Posted by
24 posts

Hello everyone, thank you all so much for your posts, i really do appreciate your honesty.. I know that i was being very adventurous.. i think i just needed to hear it? the only reason we haven't included England in this trip is that we have travelled there previously and included wales, ireland & scotland and had an absolute blast..

Posted by
24 posts

oh and thank you Frank for giving me the Australian equivalent.. i guess your comparison really hit home and made sense..

I really just wanted to try and take in as much as we could and get to the must see's.. I am going to have to be tough and try to cut some destinations out.. as hard as that will be..

We will get to see most of Italy as i will be travelling on weekends within the first four weeks so can fly out from Rome to our first destination in Europe.. now comes the hard part.. where to choose east/west/north??