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7 Countries in 2 Weeks

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california
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7 Countries in 2 Weeks

So I'm planning on flying to Berlin for a wedding at the end of August and me and a couple people want to travel around Europe for a little bit. About 13 days to be exact... do you guys think this is all possible and what would be the best way to get from one place to the other? Here is our tentative itinerary.

Berlin- 3 nights

Amsterdam- 2 nights

Belgium- stop for the day

Paris- 2 nights

Switzerland- 1 night

Munich- 1 night

prague- 2 nights

then back to berlin to leave to go home

If anyone has any suggestions on a better plan, I'd love to hear the ideas.

Thanks

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: 7 Countries in 2 Weeks

Wow - that seems pretty ambitious to me. If you want to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time, maybe you should try to find a coach tour that starts and finishes in Berlin.

Were you thinking of renting a car and driving to each destination? I just think it would be too harried, with no time to enjoy any of the places on your list. That's my opinion though.

nebraska
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2. Re: 7 Countries in 2 Weeks

You must like train stations, and carrying your bags around.. lol

Seriously, If it was me, I would cut the stops in half. From Berlin do either Amsterdam-Paris-Switzerland: or Munich- Belgium-Prague. Slow down and really see where you are.

california
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3. Re: 7 Countries in 2 Weeks

My plan was to fly from Berlin to Amsterdam and then take trains to the rest of the places. I just don't know if it would be cheaper to fly or take a train everywhere else.. and if we do take a train.. is there some sort of pass we should be getting, or just buy individual tickets for each destination?

San Francisco...
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4. Re: 7 Countries in 2 Weeks

I think you are going to feel like you spent all your time in airports, waiting in line. I would suggest cutting this by about half the number of cities (so you can actually spend a little time in each). Then put them in a sequence where you can go from one to the next without backtracking, and plan to fly into one city and out of a different one (at the opposite ends of your trip - this is simple to arrange with airlines).

Finally, I would suggest that once you know where you want to be, you should take the train from place to place. It's generally faster and easier and cheaper (and goes from city center to city center, so eliminate the very expensive taxis from airports into cities). If you book right at 90 days out, you should be able to get good discounts if you buy your tickets on line, through the official web sites (don't use Eurail or comparable, or you will pay way too much). At least from the train you can see something of the countryside and towns between the major stopping points, which likely will be enjoyable.

I realize you want to get a lot out of your trip, but I really think you will be exhausted if you try to do this much, even with two weeks. I suggest getting some guide books and trying to figure out what places you most would enjoy spending some time, and try to focus on those. Good luck with your planning and your trip.

charlotte
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5. Re: 7 Countries in 2 Weeks

I agree. When our kids were 10 and 12, we did the two-week monster tour, flew into Paris, drove south through the Alps, on to Venice, then back across to Florence, then Rome, dropped off car, flew to London, then home. I would never ever do that again, either with or without kids. Our favorite trips have been those when we spent time in one location.

Having said that, if you haven't traveled to Europe before, I totally understand the desire to see as much as possible while you are there. I haven't been to Berlin, but I love Munich, Prague, all of Switzerland (and Austria), the south of France and Paris. I would pick a few places you are most interested in seeing.

As the above poster mentioned, everything also depends on how you plan to travel -- train, car or plane. I think a good trip would be Berlin, Munich and Prague (we spent one trip with four days in Munich and five days in Prague) OR Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris. Try to get an open-jaw flight to avoid backtracking.

Pam

california
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6. Re: 7 Countries in 2 Weeks

Any suggestions on which websites to go on to purchase train tickets if not Eurail?

Jacksonville, FL
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7. Re: 7 Countries in 2 Weeks

The Rick Steves website has a really good 'tutorial' on Rail Pass travel and has a worksheet sort of format that will allow you to choose the best pass for what you want to do.

Having said that, I have to agree with everyone above. I think you're trying to cram way too much into a short period of time. I know it's tempting; we've all fallen into the "I may not ever get back here again" trap, but you are going to be exhausted packing and unpacking 8 times. Each time you travel, expect it to take the better part of the day, unless you take the night trains and sleep on them (which costs more to get a sleeper).

Let's just say you take 1/2 day to travel to each place you're going. That's 3 and 1/2 days of travel time (conservatively) for a 13 day trip. That's 25% of your trip! No way would I spend 25% of my entire trip traveling around.

Cut your itinerary way down, and really see the places you're going. Unless you just want to go and say you've 'been there', because you definitely won't get a feel for the city (or country) or culture with a hit and run trip like this one.

I hope I don't sound negative...I don't mean to, I just hate to see you have a bad trip because you're too tired from traveling around and packing and unpacking and worrying about trains and luggage and checking in and out of numerous hotels, then taking a lot of time to even get your bearings...then back on a train.

Just say no :)

Vicki

Seattle
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8. Re: 7 Countries in 2 Weeks

To help see how this would work, go to www.googlemaps.com and in the "directions" selection, put in the cities in the order you would want to see them. Get the directions (which are for if you have a car, so not exactly the same as train travel times) and it gives travel times from one spot to another.

As an example, the driving time from Amsterdam to Paris is over 10 hours. If you left Amsterdam at 9 AM, and drove straight through with a couple of small breaks for meals, you would arrive in Paris at 7 PM. So much for "spending the day in Belgium", you would just be driving through it. You'd spend the night in Paris, have the next day to "see" Paris, spend a second night, but leave early in order to get to Switzerland. Even with the flexibility of having a car, and not having to show up at a specific time/place for a train or plane, it would be all travel and no time to enjoy anything.

9. Re: 7 Countries in 2 Weeks

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Victoria, Canada
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10. Re: 7 Countries in 2 Weeks

Read Seattle Sojourners post again. You are not allowing time spent in the actual travel. Two nights in Paris will be only ONE day in the city,, are you kidding!!??

I have been young, I have done the whole budget travel around Europe thing,, but for goodness sake,, your iternerary is just not good.. but , I can sense you are thinking some of us may be too conservative,, fine. Do it the way you have outlined and come back and tell us about train stations, and airport waiting rooms..LOL,, because I know you won't have much to say about each destination.