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Old 10-18-2013, 09:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdkeller View Post
Hi,

I am planning a trip for late next year. The places I have in mind are Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece, France, Switzerland, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Spain, Portugal. Those are the ones on my radar. I'd like to know how many I can fit into a 2 week trip, 16 days. That's 16 days including there and back travel time. How many days should I spend at each place? Best way to travel? Hostils good? Places to see? Best month to go later in the year?

I don't mind cramming a lot of travel in so I can see a lot. If anyone has been to some of these I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks.
I've only been to italy (1 day) france (5 days) and switzerland (13 days).
Italy was OK, but i wouldn't go back (we were in northern italy).
France was eh, the people were rude, but the eiffel tower was neat, and we rode the boats on the river the whole time we were there.

We went to switzerland and italy in june, and i can't remember when we went to paris.

We were on a tour bus in switzerland, italy, and france.

Switzerland was neat, the best place we went to was zermatt, we only spent 2 days (1 night) there, but i would've spent 3 or 4 days.
St moritz was neat, but i would've stayed for 1 day instead of the 2 we stayed.
Bern was OK, the bear pits are neat.
And geneva was eh, typical big city in europe, the only neat thing is the big water cannon.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miacevedo View Post
You should go with us to Australia, foo.
When are you going?
Australia is neat, the great barrier reef is awesome.
And new zealand is pretty cool, we went on a jet boat ride in christchurch (i think), and it was pretty cool.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:49 PM   #23
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sub'd for info. My wife and I plan to head to Europe sometime soon

Great info so far, keep it comin!
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:15 AM   #24
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In some cities the exchange rates in the actual city are ridiculous. Also never exchange at a train station or airport they're huge ripoffs. Most ATM's will give you almost exactly what the actual exchange rate is and the only city I saw give even close to the actual exchange rate was Prague. But make sure to keep track of how much you're spending I pulled out $1200 in Berlin in just spending money
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:13 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95 taco View Post
I've only been to italy (1 day) france (5 days) and switzerland (13 days).
Italy was OK, but i wouldn't go back (we were in northern italy).
France was eh, the people were rude, but the eiffel tower was neat, and we rode the boats on the river the whole time we were there.

We went to switzerland and italy in june, and i can't remember when we went to paris.

We were on a tour bus in switzerland, italy, and france.

Switzerland was neat, the best place we went to was zermatt, we only spent 2 days (1 night) there, but i would've spent 3 or 4 days.
St moritz was neat, but i would've stayed for 1 day instead of the 2 we stayed.
Bern was OK, the bear pits are neat.
And geneva was eh, typical big city in europe, the only neat thing is the big water cannon.
That approach will never yield the best experience.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:53 AM   #26
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I moved to London about 6 months ago but have travelled Europe a decent amount over the years. A lot of no brainer advice I'd think, obviously Paris, Italy, etc. Off the beaten path though I'd suggest a night or two in Bratislava, Slovakia. Bratislava is fairly inexpensive and you can do Vienna in an hour by boat or train and Budapest in Hungary in the other direction in about the same time. Two nights staying in Bratislava gives you easy access to two painless day trips to two amazing cities. And Bratislava is a cool little spot on it's own anyway for nightlife.

Also, I haven't been able to go yet but have friends who've gone to Dubrovnik, Croatia and that's pretty high on my list of places to go. I personally think best bet is to just pick a handful of places and try to make the most of it. If you try to cram too much crap in it starts to feel too much like work. No matter what you do you wont be able to see "everything" or probably even all you want to see. There's just too much. Just pick a handful of places that are "must see" by your standards and go without worrying about what you weren't able to do or see.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:35 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95 taco View Post
When are you going?
Australia is neat, the great barrier reef is awesome.
And new zealand is pretty cool, we went on a jet boat ride in christchurch (i think), and it was pretty cool.
Next October. We were looking for a boat ride to New Zealand... do you have a link for that? I read that they didn't have any because of rough waters. Great barrier reef look amazing.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:41 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miacevedo View Post
Next October. We were looking for a boat ride to New Zealand... do you have a link for that? I read that they didn't have any because of rough waters. Great barrier reef look amazing.
Cool, going in their spring.
The jet boat we went on was on a river,I think it was this one http://www.jetthrills.com

We went fishing in one of the bays in NZ to.

The great barrier read is amazing, we went out on the quicksilver boat and did the scuba diving and snorkeling off the platform they have.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:54 PM   #29
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Been to Europe four times .We love it .People are very nice & proud of their countries . Greece & Italy are our favorites . Go with public transportation , its fun to be with real people. Watch out for the pick-pockets in Rome ! Eat in the smaller taverns on the side streets .the food is good & cheaper. Athens ,Santorini are the best in Greece.Go to The Placa section in Athens. Venice & Rome are our fovorites in Italy . Ride on the Vaporettos in Venice. They are like a bus on the water. You are going to love it. Don't try to cram in too many countries. The pace of life is slower in Europe so enjoy it ! Sept & Oct are a great time to go.

All the Best,
greenpants...mike

PS. Istanbul is a very cool place too . Went last year,but the area is a bit sketchy now due to the politics next door in Syria
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:40 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdkeller View Post
Hi,

I am planning a trip for late next year. The places I have in mind are Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece, France, Switzerland, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Spain, Portugal. Those are the ones on my radar. I'd like to know how many I can fit into a 2 week trip, 16 days. That's 16 days including there and back travel time. How many days should I spend at each place? Best way to travel? Hostils good? Places to see? Best month to go later in the year?

I don't mind cramming a lot of travel in so I can see a lot. If anyone has been to some of these I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks.
That's really pretty packed to enjoy all those countries. Add a week if you can or cut it down a few countries.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:45 PM   #31
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Munich in late September is a good time to go to Deutschland. Oktoberfest is awesome, good food and great bier.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:59 AM   #32
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Not sure if original dude is even checking this anymore or whatever but another thing I would recommend is signing up for email newsletters from Ryan Air and Easy Jet. Both are low cost euro carriers kind of like Jet Blue and maybe Southwest in the US.

If you are willing to venture out on your own versus a multi day "tour" or whatever, you can plan ahead and book pretty cheap air travel from place to place depending on timing based on the sales they have. Just as a for instance....if you start in London, you can get to Dublin for an overnighter or even a day trip actually for like 19 pounds each way so say $60 give or take on exchange rate.

Wife and I flew to Bratislava for about 40 pounds each way and were able to do an easy day trip to Vienna which is only about an hour ride by bus and cost like 9 euro or something. You could go the other way to Budapest from Bratislava for the same cost. Sometimes if you catch the right deals its actually cheaper to fly than rent a car or take the train.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:58 AM   #33
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Always a good idea to check in with your Embassy. Should anything happen during your travels.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:06 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by se7enine View Post
Munich in late September is a good time to go to Deutschland. Oktoberfest is awesome, good food and great bier.
I second this, I'm stationed in Germany. Been to Oktoberfest the past 2 years.
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:41 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eaglesfn5402 View Post
I second this, I'm stationed in Germany. Been to Oktoberfest the past 2 years.
Thank you for your service.
That said, my x-frau was from Bayern , not far from Bamberg. Used to go there every 2 years for vacation for a month. Pretty much stayed in Bayern and Austria, near Salzburg. I got used to the people ,language and customs and was pretty content with those regions. Hung out with locals and saw most of the reigon DIY.
Being a history buff and an outdoorsman, I never ran out of things to do.

Munchen is a cool big city, especially around Oktoberfest. X-bro-in-law was a cop in Munchen and I partied with those guys.

Had some friends in Kallmunz, not far from Hoenfels. Considered retiring to that area at one point in my life. Really enjoyed the Regensburg area.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:18 AM   #36
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If you want to do something unique, two lesser known destinations is theisland nation Malta and geek island Santorini.

Malta is kind of a combination of Italian, Greek, and British culture, has agreat night scene if you are into that and Gozo Island (ferry from Malta) isabout 40 year in the past if you are looking for a historic scene and culture. Greatall around culture and nightlife experience as well as amazing food.



I can honestly say Santorini should be on the top 10 vacation destinations.Best vegetables and wine in the world, hands down (due to the unique volcanicsoil). Add Greek style cooking and you get the best dinning in the world handsdown (this is my favorite http://www.mamashouse-santorini.gr/gallery.html.Owner is an elder lady from CA and curses like a sailor). While I wouldprobably avoid Greece, Santorini is generally removed from the political andeconomic turmoil of the mainland.




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Old 01-22-2014, 07:35 AM   #37
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My opinion is to drastically cut down the number of countries you want to see in two weeks, and instead enjoy a handful of countries. If you cram ten countries into your itinerary, you'll spend most of your time traveling and not seeing anything. Do you really want to come back saying, "oh yeh, I went to Italy," when in fact all you did was pass through? You can spend two weeks in one country very, very easily, touring different parts, and not get bored. Pick three countries not too far apart, and really enjoy them.

Edit: Little background on me: Born in Germany, lived there for several years, currently work for a German firm and regularly travel to Germany on business and visit family while I'm there. Been to England and Scotland (10 days), Italy (Venice and Dolomites), Switzerland, Belgium, Greek island of Corfu.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:19 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by on2wheels View Post
My opinion is to drastically cut down the number of countries you want to see in two weeks, and instead enjoy a handful of countries. If you cram ten countries into your itinerary, you'll spend most of your time traveling and not seeing anything. Do you really want to come back saying, "oh yeh, I went to Italy," when in fact all you did was pass through? You can spend two weeks in one country very, very easily, touring different parts, and not get bored. Pick three countries not too far apart, and really enjoy them.
X2

I spent a few weeks traveling to Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, and France. I could have spent the entire time in each place, and I regretted fitting so much into such a short trip. Any of those places on your list would be home runs, but make sure to research each place first.

One piece of advice for wherever you end up - plan to burn the day after you land to adjust to the time. I flew overnight from Philly to Dublin with plans to sleep on the plane. Sleeping on the plane is not real sleep. I landed around 9am local time and I literally slept the entire day.

Paris, France - The majority of people there do NOT speak any English outside or high end hotels. I guess that's to be expected, but I had just spent 4 days in Sweden where everyone spoke clear English, so I was caught off guard. Taxis in Paris are a complete rip off and the majority of the drivers don't even speak French, let alone English, so use the metro whenever possible. The "hop on hop off" city tour busses were nice too. You could get a little tour on the way to your destination. Like someone already said about Italy, the streets of Paris are chalked full of bums, beggars, pick pockets, and gypsies. Do not make eye contact and do not accept ANYTHING that they try to give you (even a piece of string). They will demand money and they are never alone. Do not carry a backpack (on your back) in densely populated areas. If you need a backpack, carry it on your side or carry a messenger bag. Aside from all that crap which you'll probably have to deal with in any other major European city, Paris was amazing and beautiful. I highly recommend it and can't wait to go back.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:54 AM   #39
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I didn't have problems adjusting to the time because I immediately started drinking and partying but I crashed on the layover on the way back home. Not always the case though.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:26 AM   #40
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OP - any update on your travel plans?

I think we're looking at going late-July/early August, but still undecided on where. I know we want to go to Paris (my wife has a quest to visit all of the Disneylands), but I don't know where else is feasible in 2 weeks. We were thinking of doing a mostly Spain/Portugal trip, then going to Paris for a couple of days. Or we might just stay on the France side of the Pyrenees mountains and do a France, Italy, and maybe UK trip. But again, don't know what's really feasible with ~14 day vacay (including traveling days). Any tips would be great
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