Traveling to Europe for the first time

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by YS2003, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    Finally I have arrived.....
    #1
    I've been thinking about taking a week long vacation in Europe from May 3. This would be the first trip to Europe. I want to field good pieces of advise from the seasoned Euro travelers on making the best of that limited amount of time, such as recommended cities, arrival/departure airport, and logistics in general. I want to go to Paris/FR, London/UK, Rome-venice/IT, Prague/CZ, & Barcelona/ES for starters. I know it is not practical to visit them all in one week and I need to narrow down the list to about 2 or 3.
     
  2. thechidz macrumors 68000

    thechidz

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    #2
    I would say since its your first time pick 2 cities like london and paris. you cant go wrong. I could spend a week in the louvre alone
     
  3. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    #3
    Avoid Heathrow at all costs. It's a fricking nightmare - possibly the worst airport I've used. And after experiencing over 150, that's saying something. Gatwick is much easier to deal with, while Luton is just crap.

    Barcelona is a must IMHO. Prague seems to have lost a bit of it's je ne sais qua, but will always be worth a snoop around.

    I'm not much of a fan of London or Paris really, and can't really remember Rome (student, drinking, you know the story).

    I'd really ask what kind of thing are you interested in seeing. Europe pretty much has it all, so tell us if you're more in to seeing hills and crinkly bits, quaint tea rooms, sheep, vine yards, etc etc.

    On a week long whirlwind tour, I'd limit myself to two. These are big places you're talking about, with long travel times between most (e.g. Barcelona is a good 4hrs from London, and that's without all the check in and waiting). If you must fit in three, look around for the quickest ways between A and B - The Chunnel is a great way to get from London to Paris without much hassle, and you get to see some countryside instead of just sky. It usually works out faster than flying, too. Plus it's fun to ride a train that does close on 200mph. :)

    Taking in the 'other' sights has always been a priority for me when travelling, so get some books, get online, and read up on the less well known, or well travelled bits. Barcelona is fantastic, but there are even better bits hidden away in the countryside round about.

    In the end, only you can really decide where to go and what to see, so how about just asking if people can post links to information about their favourite European destinations, and pick the ones that look most exciting?

    :)
     
  4. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #4
    One week isn't enough time for Europe, my friend. You can do it, but it'll be a real rush. Europe is the kind of place to take your time in and enjoy. If you're flying from North America, that eats up 2 full days already. That means you only have 5 days for touring.

    I spent almost 2 weeks in Italy alone, and we could have used more time.
     
  5. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    #5
    Exactly.

    Point in case: I spent four months in Canada, and only saw four ski resorts, five towns, and Clagary. :p :D

    If you're going for a week, take 10 days at least, so you've got the travelling discounted from your week stay.
     
  6. Hello.there macrumors 6502a

    Hello.there

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    #6
    I definitely think you'd need more than a week if you wanted to visit more than two cities - in fact, travel-wise the only two-city combination I can really see working comfortably in one week is London and Paris (ie you could get the Eurostar train from one to another).

    Just a personal opinion, if it was me I'd choose to spend the whole week in Paris, Barcelona or London - in that order.

    I was only in Rome briefly so don't know enough about it, but I'm sure it would be a great place to spend some time in too.

    Parts of Prague are absolutely beautiful but I was disappointed last time I was there, it's changed a lot, I won't be rushing back.

    Best of luck.
     
  7. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #7
    Even 1 week between London and Paris is not enough.

    Maybe a week in Scotland, or Ireland, might be a better choice for your first trip??
     
  8. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #8
    Good advice. One of those cities would be the best advice.

    We spent 3 days in Rome, and we could have spent another couple of days there for sure. There is so much to see there. Luckily, we are very efficient at touring, and were able to see all of the major stuff as well as a bunch of the off-the-beaten-path sites. :D

    One week is like a taste- it's gone before you realize where you are.
     
  9. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    #9
    Hope you have a good time there. I did back in the summer of 76. I got to spend a month there. London, Paris, Salzburg, Rome and Madrid Got 2 years worth of humanities credit for it, and had a great time.
     
  10. dunstablian macrumors newbie

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    #10
    There is a great website called virtualtourist.com and on there are people whom travel around the world to various cities, towns etc and they leave a travel log/blog of where they have been and what it is like, also you can look up the cheapest places to stay as well as the most expensive, places to eat, where to visit etc etc. A really good website for people whom want to travel to certain places but are unsure of what awaits them,and waht it si like, it even has a section on dos and donts also safety of the cities and crime. I used it to visit Ljubljana, fanstatic city to visit as is Prague, Budapast, good luck on ya travels.
     
  11. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #11
    If money is a concern then I'd put Prague at the top of your list. It's a pretty cool place and if you avoid shopping in tourist-y places it's very inexpensive.
     
  12. McGiord, Apr 25, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

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    #12
    Paris is very nice, unless there is a strike, and they play hardball on that, so be well informed about the situation there before going.

    Amsterdam is also very nice and interesting to visit.

    If you plan to move around by train also check the trains routes so you can maximize your days.

    But for only one week unless you are on a tour with guides you will regret the few hours you spent in every city.
    Also double check if the Sundays are dead in the place you are going to, in some cities many restaurants are also closed on Sunday.

    I personally prefer to spend a good amount of time in the same place and limit it to 1 or 2 cities in a week, and I always try to include the weekend in the non travel days.
    ________
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  13. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #13
    I regret not visiting Prague ... yet. ;)

    Any city in Eastern Europe, not bombed by the allies, would be of interest to me.
     
  14. Berlepsch macrumors 6502

    Berlepsch

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    #14
    You should visit Warsaw - nearly no allied bombing...
    :D
     
  15. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #15
    Oh and a side note to the OP, I'm going to Paris in the middle of next month, but I'm having trouble finding a hotel that isn't booked up. If you're going at the start of May I hope you have your reservation already!
     
  16. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #16
    Go for London and Rome. Paris isn't worth it really if you ask me. Or maybe Athens, that has some great sites to visit as well.
     
  17. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #17
    A week in Holland would be nice, or a week touring the UK (Ireland, Scotland, England).

    I did 10 countries in a little over four weeks last summer and it was tight.

    France is nice, but I found a large majority of the French to be unpleasant. Same with Italy. It's a place you have to visit for the sights, but for the most part it's a hole, and the people are nasty/ unhelpful.

    Oh, and be prepared to spend $4 for a bottle of water or pop.
     
  18. McGiord, Apr 26, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

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    #18
    they are also hot and the ice is extra....
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  19. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    #19
    You mean you can get ice? They tend yo look at you strangely if you request ice. ;)

    Had ice cream from a street vender, and it wasn't cold.
     
  20. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #20
    Just to echo everyone else, a week isn't enough at all. I'd probably just manage London and Paris.
     
  21. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #21
    True, how many full days are you getting on the ground in Europe? (days with a flight in them, unless it lands at 6am or something) don't count.

    You must be going to the wrong places, I've never been charged extra for ice, but you have to ask. In Vietnam they occasionally charged less for ice (as then you get less product, and the ice can be unsafe).
     
  22. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    Dec 24, 2004
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    #22
    Thank you for good pieces of advise, everyone.
    As I realized I did not start preparing for the trip a little earlier, I will vacation in Oahu & Maui, Hawaii instead. It is much closer to where I am and I was able to get the plane reservation. I am going to post a new thread on the Hawaiian vacationing tips shortly.
     

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