First time in Europe: best cities in 30 days?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 13, 2014 1:56 PM GMT
    Hi everyone, I am planning to spend a month traveling Europe in September, and I need a list of about 8 or 9 must-see cities/countries. It's my first European trip, and I'm attempting to travel frugally. I am leaning toward staying in the larger cities and capitals...My interests are more food/culture/history rather than clubbing/nightlife.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 13, 2014 2:17 PM GMT
    London, Paris, Dijon France area (I like pinot noir), on the way to Italy take the little train up the Eiger in Switzerland, Lugano, Florence, Venice, Salzburg, Munich
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    Mar 13, 2014 2:20 PM GMT
    Sankt Moritz, but if you need to watch your checkbook stay in Maloya Pass, it's right next door and has buses that go into northern Italy and the mile or two over to S.M.
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    Mar 13, 2014 2:21 PM GMT
    London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Sienna, Venice, Vienna, Berlin, Milan, Amsterdam
  • hdurdinr

    Posts: 699

    Mar 13, 2014 2:23 PM GMT
    Well, September is a great month to travel icon_smile.gif
    I'm biased to southern Europe, but I would suggest less is more. Don't try and cram in as much as you can because you'll just be exhausted. I suggest, Florence, Rome, Madrid, Seville, Barcelona, Paris (if you really want to - it's more boring than you might imagine) Cologne in Germany is nice and friendly by German standards and pretty gay. Never been to Amsterdam but I would think it's a good place to visit. Maybe fly out of Dublin?
  • hdurdinr

    Posts: 699

    Mar 13, 2014 2:26 PM GMT
    London is great of course but you will literally haemorrhage cash whilst you're there - so be careful!
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    Mar 13, 2014 2:29 PM GMT
    Less is definitely more. If you're going alone, try a social dining app to find locals to eat with and get a more authentic experience.
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    Mar 13, 2014 2:31 PM GMT
    Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki.

    Scandinavia as a whole is clean, green, friendly, and open.
  • hdurdinr

    Posts: 699

    Mar 13, 2014 2:48 PM GMT
    OtterBox saidCopenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki.

    Scandinavia as a whole is clean, green, friendly, and open.

    Scandinavia is great but very expensive!
  • WhoDey

    Posts: 561

    Mar 13, 2014 2:55 PM GMT
    If you are looking to travel frugally, stay away from London, Paris, Switzerland, Copenhagen. Less expensive places are Madrid, Dublin, Athens, and they are all full of history.

    But wherever you go, try staying at hostels instead of hotels. You will save a lot of money, and meet a lot of interesting people.
  • str8hardbody9

    Posts: 1519

    Mar 13, 2014 3:06 PM GMT
    I travel to Europe every summer for the last 12 years. I love Europe during September which is the cheapest month to travel coz the kids are back to school. If you want to travel FRUGALLY:

    Accommodation: Stay in the hostel or (room for rent). It's better coz the host will tell you where to go

    Dining: Just go to the supermarket and buy the sandwich, drinks and stuff. You can eat outside to taste the local food

    Money: Make sure you don't exchange too much money coz some countries in Europe don't use Euro like Croatia, Hungary etc. I used my CITI bank atm card to withdraw money coz I don't get charge for any fee. For purchased, I also used my CHASE credit card coz there is no foreign transaction fee.

    Countries for a month: My passion is world travel. I like the majestic castles, Most cities in Europe are rich in cultural history. Most cities promenade are surrounded by myriad of churches, palaces, museums, cultural landmarks & galleries. The castles from Medieval, Baroque to Mediterranean. It's truly breathtaking. Google the city of your destination.

    These are my favorite cities: Dubrovnik, Croatia (My favorite).
    Vienna, Austria. Prague, Czech Republic. Paris, France. Budapest, Hungry. Mykonos, Greece, Ibiza, Spain & London, England. Florence, Italy.

    There are so many cities you can travel. Get a Euro train pass for a month. It's the best way to travel.

    Let me know if you have any questions. You can email me and I will be very happy to help you. I traveled 3x a year. I just came back from Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paulo, Brazil for Carnival. Traveling is the best education you can give to yourself. You will meet people from all walks of life.

    Enjoy & be safe,
  • CyclingRi

    Posts: 271

    Mar 13, 2014 3:13 PM GMT

    If you are going to Milan, you can go to Lecco. It is a half hour drive with train and it is a great place to visit. I'm going there next month.
    If you are going to Croatia, my advice is to go in Split or Dubrovnik. Those places are great, they are full of great and interesting history, great food, friendly people and it is not expensive there. You will love those city's.
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    Mar 13, 2014 3:21 PM GMT
    This is some very helpful info, thanks for all of the suggestions everyone! icon_smile.gif
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4913

    Mar 13, 2014 3:22 PM GMT
    London is the best city in the world. Stay somewhere near Leicester Square. History everywhere and you can train out for day trips to Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and be back in London by dinner. Eat at pubs, go to theatre.
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    Mar 13, 2014 3:27 PM GMT
    My favorite small cities:

    1. Prague, Czech Republic
    2. Siena, Italy
    3. Dubrovnik, Croatia
    4. Toledo, Spain
    5. Copenhagen, Denmark

    Venice is magical off peak, but during the high season it's more crowded than Disneyland.

  • Mar 13, 2014 3:35 PM GMT
    Search for the Interrail Global Pass. You can travel one month by train for less than 400€ Airlines such as Ryanair or Easyjet offer cheap flights if you book way in advance. If you like camping bring a tent, there are campgrounds everywhere and especially in the Mediterranean the climate in September is perfect for camping. Many hostels meet good standards as well.

    In addition to what people have recommended I´d also go to the Costiera Amalfitana in Italy. It´s a one hour train ride from Roma to Napoli and from there you have easy access to the beautiful island of Capri, Pompeji, Vesuvius and the Amalficoast. It´s Italy at its best (except for Napoli).
    From Barcelona, in case you go there take a ferry to the beautiful island of Mallorca. There will be many tourists though. Culturewise visit the Louvre in Paris and the Musei Vaticani (not on a weekend though, too many people). If you are into subculture of any kind go to Berlin. It´s not a pretty city but (still) very authentic, full of recent history, sometimes sort of rude and cheap.

  • builtnycguy

    Posts: 256

    Mar 13, 2014 4:06 PM GMT
    Some thoughts:
    Your goal of seeing the big cities/capitals isn't really commensurate with being frugal. Europe has many midsize cities with awesome attractions (Granada in Spain, Krakow in Poland) that won't cost as much as the capitals.

    It's easy to get caught up in the palace-museum-cathedral-palace-museum-cathedral cycle. So break it up with a day in the park or at the beach or in the countryside or at a market.

    Don't try to do too much. You don't want to spend a lot of your time traveling between cities. (Although you may see some pretty countryside along the way.) You're young. You'll be back to see the rest.

    For me:
    -- London is my favorite for history and maybe my favorite overall, but it can be frightfully expensive and you can't understand whatever language they speak there.

    -- Paris is prettiest, although Barcelona has the prettiest setting.

    -- The Louvre in Paris and the Prado in Madrid are the two best art museums.

    -- Spain has the best wine (and cheap); England the best beer. France for food. Spanish food is great too -- don't miss the Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona.

    -- Amsterdam is the friendliest/most fun. Madrid is fun too.

    -- Berlin is fascinating.

    All that said, for a first timer, split a week between London and Paris and another week between Madrid and Barcelona. Let your interests dictate the rest. Check to see whatever big events are going on in September -- I've never been, but I hear the Munich Oktoberfest (which takes place late Sept.) is a lot of fun.

    In the end, it doesn't matter so much where you go because there really aren't any bad choices. (Except maybe Ukraine right now.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 13, 2014 4:21 PM GMT
    Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris then London would be a good trip - they are relatively near each other but a good level of variety.
  • Danskerb

    Posts: 286

    Mar 13, 2014 4:25 PM GMT
    Copenhagen. I'm a tour guide. I'll take ya around!
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    Mar 13, 2014 5:19 PM GMT
    I interrailed Europe in the summer of 2010.

    Unfortunately I believe you cannot interrail through Greece at the moment because of their economic crisis, if you want cheap fun travelling with little crowds I would suggest Poland, Budapest, Prague etc.

    If you want sin and sinful acts with men I would suggest Amsterdam, Berlin, anywhere in Germany frankly.

    If you want a warm trip with lots of roman and other classical architecture I would suggest Nice, Milan, and the Almafi Coast.
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    Mar 13, 2014 6:46 PM GMT
    London "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life"
  • Crooked_Izan

    Posts: 31

    Mar 13, 2014 7:16 PM GMT

    I have been to Dusseldorf, Koln, Wuppertal, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Lille, Paris, Madrid, Malaga, Costa del sol, Burgos, Pamplona San Sebastian, Luxembourg,... many more :-)

    I loved Paris and Bruges
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    Mar 13, 2014 8:30 PM GMT
    London > Paris > Rome > Vatican City > Spain, Barcelona icon_smile.gif
  • JamesItaly

    Posts: 26

    Mar 13, 2014 8:31 PM GMT
    Agree with lots of people above....don't try and see all of Europe,, enjoy it instead of travelling all around.

    I'd recommend Italy if it is food and culture you are into: from Pisa/Florence go north to Venice then travel West to Verona, have a quick stop in my current city Brescia, then onto Turin.
    By Turin you are near the french border, cross to Nice then Marseilles.

    Otherwise spend the 30 days in Belfast,, Europe's best city icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 13, 2014 8:45 PM GMT
    Go for the capitals: Rome, Paris, London, Berlin, Prague.
    If you want to get a better view about a particular country rather than a quick superficial visit then choose no more than 2-3 countries. You'll see that every single country in Europe is very different from each other and every region within each country can be extremely different too.
    I'm biased but I would suggest Italy and France as main destinations.
    As far as Italy is concerned, visit(in order of importance) Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Naples, Bologna, Verona(and lake Garda), Cinque Terre.
    I'm happy to show you around or give some directions at least if you pass by Milan.
    And get the interrail too.
    You're in for an amazing holiday.