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Old Feb 26, 12, 4:43 pm   #1
 
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Any comments on my European itinerary?

I know I can't see everything so I'm planning to get a bit of experience in each of these countries over a period of about a month.

I'll be flying first to Amsterdam. From there it'll be Rotterdam, Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Cologne, Bonn, Zurich, Vaduz, Venice, Florence, and Rome.

This is just a rough draft right now and I'm open to suggestions to best optimize this itinerary.

Here are a few questions to ask. Are there trains going from Bonn to Zurich or I'll have to go back to Cologne? Is it cheaper to fly or take the train for that route?

Is it cheaper to take the train from Zurich to Venice or should I fly? If I do take the train, where can I book for the lowest price? Will I need to change the train in Venice?

I'm thinking of potentially taking a detour to go to San Marino. Should I go to San Marino from Venice or Florence? Which city have the best connections with San Marino?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 26, 12, 4:57 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
Here are a few questions to ask. Are there trains going from Bonn to Zurich or I'll have to go back to Cologne? Is it cheaper to fly or take the train for that route?
This information is readily available online at www.bahn.de.

I recall sending you there before... ;-)

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Is it cheaper to take the train from Zurich to Venice or should I fly? If I do take the train, where can I book for the lowest price? Will I need to change the train in Venice?
Train fares can be found online at www.sbb.ch (where you can also book).

For flights you'll have to do a bit of research using sites such as amadeus.net and skyscanner.net (Skyscanner is probably your better bet as have everything including Ryanair - Amadeus lists mostly legacy carriers, with some LCCs included such as Easyjet)
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Old Feb 27, 12, 1:21 am   #3
 
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This information is readily available online at www.bahn.de.

I recall sending you there before... ;-)



Train fares can be found online at www.sbb.ch (where you can also book).

For flights you'll have to do a bit of research using sites such as amadeus.net and skyscanner.net (Skyscanner is probably your better bet as have everything including Ryanair - Amadeus lists mostly legacy carriers, with some LCCs included such as Easyjet)
Thanks for the information.

Do you have any comments about the itinerary itself? Any other cities that I should be considering?
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Old Feb 27, 12, 8:25 am   #4
 
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Do you have any comments about the itinerary itself? Any other cities that I should be considering?
I'd probably cut out Rotterdam - unless there is something specific you want to see. Much of it was destroyed during WWII, so there isn't a lot of old architecture to look at - it's just a modern town.

Bonn and Zurich aren't bad places, but if I only had limited time they wouldn't be top of my list. If I had limited time in Switzerland I'd go to Lucerne, or maybe take a trip into the mountains. With Germany I wouldn't really know where to start as there are so many places worth seeing!
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Old Feb 27, 12, 12:53 pm   #5
 
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This is just a rough draft right now and I'm open to suggestions to best optimize this itinerary.
I second the suggestion of leaving out Rotterdam unless you have a good reason to go there. And the same goes for Bonn.

And unless you have added Vaduz to your list because you wanted an extra country on your list, I would just continue the trip from Zurich down to Italy. But by all means, do spend time in Switzerland somewhere between Zurich and Italy. Luzern is a good suggestion.
And I'm a big fan of taking the train through Switzerland towards Italy. But please don't take a night train! Travel during the day and enjoy the views.

Also, at the beginning, instead of going directly from Amsterdam/Rotterdam to Brussels, you could stop in Antwerp(en). You can then spend a few hours there before taking a train directly towards Gent and/or Brugge (and go to Brussels after that).
(Disclaimer: I say "could", because I used to live in Antwerpen and am therefore not 100% neutral. But I do think that if you are in the area it would be a shame not to spend at least a few hours there and visit the main square and the cathedral.)
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Old Feb 27, 12, 11:01 pm   #6
 
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I second the suggestion of leaving out Rotterdam unless you have a good reason to go there. And the same goes for Bonn.

And unless you have added Vaduz to your list because you wanted an extra country on your list, I would just continue the trip from Zurich down to Italy. But by all means, do spend time in Switzerland somewhere between Zurich and Italy. Luzern is a good suggestion.
And I'm a big fan of taking the train through Switzerland towards Italy. But please don't take a night train! Travel during the day and enjoy the views.

Also, at the beginning, instead of going directly from Amsterdam/Rotterdam to Brussels, you could stop in Antwerp(en). You can then spend a few hours there before taking a train directly towards Gent and/or Brugge (and go to Brussels after that).
(Disclaimer: I say "could", because I used to live in Antwerpen and am therefore not 100% neutral. But I do think that if you are in the area it would be a shame not to spend at least a few hours there and visit the main square and the cathedral.)
That's actually one of the reasons. It's so close to Zurich. If I don't go now, when will I ever go?

Good point. I wouldn't mind swapping Rotterdam with Antwerp. In which direction should I go to do this as efficiency as possible? I'm referring to Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, and Brussels. Remember, I will be flying to Amsterdam first.
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Old Feb 28, 12, 4:06 am   #7
 
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In which direction should I go to do this as efficiency as possible? I'm referring to Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, and Brussels. Remember, I will be flying to Amsterdam first.
Amsterdam - Antwerpen - Gent - (Brugge) - Brussel - Köln (using the local names so you get used to them ).

Personally I would do Brugge as a day trip from Gent (if you decide to spend some nights in Gent). Brugge is nice during the day, but can be boring in the evening.
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Old Feb 28, 12, 3:45 pm   #8
 
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i think you will spend more time from hotel to hotel and ride the train than you will at sites. you sure you want to pretty much do a city a day? by the way, i did not find san marino a thrill. nice restaurant just outside, but long trip for nothing.
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Old Feb 28, 12, 4:02 pm   #9
 
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i think you will spend more time from hotel to hotel and ride the train than you will at sites. you sure you want to pretty much do a city a day? by the way, i did not find san marino a thrill. nice restaurant just outside, but long trip for nothing.
Not really. I plan on taking the late evening trains if possible and only a couple of train rides will be more than 4 hours long.

How did you go to San Marino? Are there customs check at the San Marino-Italy border?
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Old Feb 28, 12, 4:02 pm   #10
 
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i think you will spend more time from hotel to hotel and ride the train than you will at sites. you sure you want to pretty much do a city a day? by the way, i did not find san marino a thrill. nice restaurant just outside, but long trip for nothing.
Hang on... he's travelling for a month, and there is a list of ten places. That's one every three days, or two-and-a-half days per city if you deduct travelling time.
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Old Feb 28, 12, 4:03 pm   #11
 
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Amsterdam - Antwerpen - Gent - (Brugge) - Brussel - Köln (using the local names so you get used to them ).

Personally I would do Brugge as a day trip from Gent (if you decide to spend some nights in Gent). Brugge is nice during the day, but can be boring in the evening.
That sounds great!
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Old Feb 29, 12, 3:58 pm   #12
 
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Not really. I plan on taking the late evening trains if possible and only a couple of train rides will be more than 4 hours long.

How did you go to San Marino? Are there customs check at the San Marino-Italy border?
we drove from bologna. up hill once we started inland. nothing there. no customs. waste of a day.
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Old Mar 1, 12, 4:18 am   #13
 
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we drove from bologna. up hill once we started inland. nothing there. no customs. waste of a day.
Yep, don't say this to San Marinans, but is not a seperate country in reality. You could buy a postage stamp there, that is the only 'proof of nationlity' they have.....
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Old Mar 1, 12, 7:36 am   #14
 
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I'll be flying first to Amsterdam. From there it'll be Rotterdam, Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Cologne, Bonn, Zurich, Vaduz, Venice, Florence, and Rome.
I would omit some of those, including Bonn (why is that one you list - family for instance?), and possibly Rotterdam, and replace them with alternatives. Vaduz is an interesting one as it isn't commonly on the list of 'must sees'.

I agree with Aviatrix that a month is doable because you don't seem to be running around checking countries off a list (although if you have Vaduz and San Marino on the list, perhaps that is the intent). I am actually not that big a fan of Zürich and would perhaps add some other sites in Switzerland (or even Strasbourg) to your list, if you are omitting some of the locations.
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Old Mar 3, 12, 1:58 am   #15
 
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I would omit some of those, including Bonn (why is that one you list - family for instance?), and possibly Rotterdam, and replace them with alternatives. Vaduz is an interesting one as it isn't commonly on the list of 'must sees'.
I'm going to be in Cologne and Bonn use to be the former capital of West Germany. Would seem like a waste not to go to Bonn right? It's not even worth 1 day?

Quote:
I agree with Aviatrix that a month is doable because you don't seem to be running around checking countries off a list (although if you have Vaduz and San Marino on the list, perhaps that is the intent). I am actually not that big a fan of Zürich and would perhaps add some other sites in Switzerland (or even Strasbourg) to your list, if you are omitting some of the locations.
It's a yes and no. If I'm going to be in Zurich, it would be kind of dumb not to go to Vaduz and yes I will be checking off a list, but is it really that big of a deal? It would be dumb for me to go to Vaduz just for the sake of it.

San Marino actually have a UNESCO designated area so that's another reason why I wanted to check it out. Is it really that bad of a place to go to?

I'm interested in hearing your opinion. I haven't really been around Continental Europe before so I would glad to hear your suggestions. Nothing on my itinerary is set in stone. If you have 3.5 weeks to a month, where would you go? Looking forward to hearing from you and anyone who can give me their insights.
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