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Choosing between trips

Hi,

I am taking a trip in Mid-November. We are going for 16-days flying from JFK(NY) and have to stop in Paris and Prague.
Which trip would you choose?
Trip 1: Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague
Trip 2: Paris, Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Venice, Florence, Rome (both fly out of Rome)

Posted by
6507 posts

Definitely trip 1 and fly out of Prague. Trip 2 is too much for 16 days, with too much travel time. Even trip 1 is cutting it thin; I might skip Berlin and just do Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and then fly to Prague before flying home from there. Paris deserves 4-5 days, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Prague 3 days each and with travel time that's your total trip.

Posted by
2142 posts

I would do Paris, Berlin and Prague. I have been to all 3 cities and love them for different reasons. It depends on what you are interested in doing and seeing. You could fly easily from Paris to Berlin (I have done this) and then travel to Prague.

I think Brussels and Amsterdam could be a separate trip as they are nearer to each other.

Both of your trips have too much travel time. My advice is the lite version of Trip 1: Paris, Berlin and Prague.

Posted by
3334 posts

Neither. Both have too much packed into the available time. The difference is only in the degree of over packing. At the very least subtract one city from #1.

Posted by
3239 posts

Trip 2 minus Vienna, Salzburg , Venice because you said you are definitely flying out of Rome on either trip?

Posted by
16883 posts

Brussels is easy to skip with a direct, 3.25-hour train ride between Paris and Amsterdam. There are also cheap flights from Paris to either Berlin or Prague (www.skyscanner.com). If you wanted another stop along the way, I'd choose Dresden, between Berlin and Prague.

Posted by
12964 posts

Hi,

I choose Trip 1. I agree with Judy B in seeing only Berlin, Paris and Prague, dropping the other two. You have to decide between the two trips which is more important,.... interest or logistics. I choose interest, am desperate to see Berlin and Paris, not at all with Amsterdam and Brussels.

Posted by
15035 posts

You say your parameters are that you must arrive in Paris, be in Prague and depart from Rome. It would help to know:

  1. How much time you want/must spend in Paris and Prague?
  2. Do you want to spend time in Rome? If so, how much?
  3. Have you been to Europe before? If so, where and what do you like, what didn't you like?
  4. What are your interests - food, drink, history, art, architecture . . . ?
  5. Christmas markets start up around the last week in November in some cities. Are you interesting in that?

As a general "rule", take into account that you lose about 1/2 day every time you change locations (packing/unpacking, checking in/out, getting to/from train stations or airports, lead time at airports for check-in, security, luggage, boarding). So 3 nights in a place really means only 2 days there. Are you counting 16 days from JFK to JFK or 16 days on the ground? Most of the time, flights to Europe are overnights. A direct flight to Paris is a 7 hour flight. You'll be lucky to get 3 hours sleep, so your first day in Paris, you'll be sleep-deprived and dealing with a 6 hour time difference (i.e. jetlag). Most flights from Europe leave in the morning, so you can't count your last day as "a day on the ground."

Posted by
2142 posts

In looking over the OP again, is this a business trip? What does "have to stop in Paris and Prague" mean? It would be helpful for us to have more information.

Posted by
12964 posts

Hi,

You do have ample time covering three cities well in 16 days plus a day trip or two, which I would assign to Berlin and Paris. Keep in mind that unless you know for sure about yourself not everyone gets jet lag. Weather-wise you can reasonably expect Berlin to colder than Paris or, less likely, at least the same.

Posted by
2142 posts

Has the OP made a decision? It would be nice to hear from him/her.

Posted by
2 posts

Hi all,

Thanks for the responses. Currently, still up in the air for which trip to take but making our decision this weekend.

To answer some questions:

  • I am flying to meet my girlfriend in Paris and she lives in Prague (So I really want to see her new apartment).
  • Where I leave from does not matter.
  • We plan on 3 or 4-days for Paris and Prague each
  • I have been to Europe before (Ireland, England, Southern France, Monaco, Germany, Spain, Portugal)
  • I am pretty good at traveling and sleep easy on planes. I am use to the change of time zones so usually not Jet lagged
  • I am into history, where she is more into modern art. We both are big fans of getting immersed in local culture/food/tradition and finding local gems (no tourist traps)
  • I will have 15.5 days boots on the ground in Europe
  • I have lived in Ireland and the UK
  • Next spring we have a Nordic trip plan -Next august we will have another Europe trip (We are thinking Southern Italy and Spain- we wanted to do that this time but we don't think it will be the best time for those locations)

My focus is to try to find what countries (cities) are the best to see in November. Example: I went to Munich a few Novembers ago and it was amazing with the Christmas Markets etc. but when I went to Nice you could really tell it was WAYY off season, so I feel like I truly didn't get to experience it.

Thanks again!!

Posted by
2142 posts

Since you mentioned Christmas markets, I'm now thinking your Trip 2 could be adapted like this: Paris, Prague, Salzburg and Vienna for the markets, plenty of history and modern art especially in Vienna- the Belvedere Palace with the Klimt paintings and other modern artists.

I just noticed in your reply that you have a Nordic trip planned for the spring and Southern Italy or Spain trip for August. I think I would reverse them. Southern Italy or Spain in March and Nordic in August. I was in Italy this spring, late March, and the weather was perfect and the crowds were lighter than they usually are in the summer.

Posted by
12964 posts

Hi,

As I say, not every one gets jet lag. You're into history, what about taking a trip to Moravia, ie to Brno and Slavkov (Austerliz), see the Napoleon exhibit and the former Schloss Austerliz. You'll see that both Brno and Slavkov are history oriented in showing the town and the Napoleonic connection.

Posted by
15035 posts

If I wanted to see Spain and/or Italy, I would NOT go in August if I had any choice in the matter - maybe not even if someone else paid for the whole trip - except for the mountains - Pyrenees and Dolomites. Those are countries with many many tourists and extreme heat in August.

On the other hand, Spain and Italy would be at the top of my list for November. Barcelona's climate is mild, Andalucia is the warmest, driest part of Europe. Much of Italy has year-round tourism as does much of Spain.

My choice would be a Nordic trip in August and just about anywhere in Europe in spring.