help me plan my first trip to europe!

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  1. OK, i'm wanting to go to europe this summer. i know the exchange is awful, but from the looks of things it's just going to get worse. i've talked it over with my parents and their mentality is, "we wish we would have done it when we were young!" so i'm going full speed ahead, leaving a small cushion of savings, obviously.

    i am looking to fly into frankfurt and taking the train places. i'm wanting to hit stockholm/amsterdam/croatia/prague and anywhere else that isn't terribly far by train. i am comfortable staying wherever, and want to take about $3000 for about two-three weeks.

    is this doable? am i nuts?

    any help is appreciated.

    THANKS, GIRLS! :heart:
  2. You should look into buying a EuroRail/InterRail pass. It will make things much cheaper. Using the places that you want to go I would say a natural progression is either start at stockholm then take a ferry to copenhagen train to amsterdam then take the train to prague and then south to croatia. That or the other way around. Since your cities are quite far away starting somewhere in the middle in Frankfurt makes things a bit more difficult.

    Of course another option if flying into Frankfurt is cheapest... is flying into Frankfurt and then taking a cheap flight (for example RyanAir) to Stockholm.

    Also another consideration is you don't want to spend all the time in the train and in transit. Two or three weeks is not enough time to fully enjoy these cities and then travel between them by train IMHO...

    You should look into hostels...they vary quite a bit in price and tend to fill up in the summer...

    Hope this helps a bit!:cutesy: Enjoy Europe!!
  3. that does help! thanks!

    the frankfurt thing isn't set in stone. i have heard from friends that this is a place that is easy to fly into with access to many cities. i honestly do not know anything about traveling through europe, so i'm pretty much playing it by ear the entire way.

    are the swedish cities/prague/croatia doable in one trip or are they terribly far from each other?

    thanks again!

    starting in stockholm is an option, as frankfurt isn't tons cheaper. if it makes it easier for the rest of the trip, it will easily be worth the extra $200 or so.
  4. do you actually want to see frankfurt (personally i'd much rather go to berlin instead, berlin is fantastic) or do you just want to fly there? if you don't want to do anything there i'd fly into amsterdam instead, or stockholm. from amsterdam i'd do amsterdam-berlin-prague-zagreb-vienna and fly to stockholm, take the train back down and go copenhagen-hamburg-amsterdam and then fly home.

    flying to stockholm would make more sense with your itinerary if you can get a flight there as easily as to amsterdam, there would be slightly less time spent on the train/plane. then you could do stockholm-copenhagen-amsterdam-berlin-prague-zagreb, take the train back to vienna and probably fly home from there.

    the budget really depends on what you want to do, but i imagine you'll be fine if you don't plan to do any shopping and don't mind staying in hostels. get an isic card if you're a student, a lot of places give discounts if you show it.

    it is a short time to see all that, but you can always go back for more :graucho:
  5. no, i have no interest in frankfurt. i have talked about the trip with a few friends, and this seemed to be the general consensus of being a great place to fly into/visit a few cities.

    i'm done being a student, but hopefully won't spend too much. and no, i don't plan on doing any major shopping/hostels are just fine. i'm more concerned with the experience and seeing some of europe for the first time.

    thanks a TON for the suggestion! this sounds i would look into flying into amsterdam and back home from vienna?
  6. i'd try to fly either in or out of stockholm personally, otherwise you'll have to go up to sweden and then back down again, i'd try to avoid that because it would probably take about day or so out of your time. or if you were interested, you could probably take the train to stockholm, then on the way back go to gothenburg and take a boat to rotterdam or somewhere and then the train to amsterdam from there (it's only an hour or two).
  7. What you need to do is get an atlas and map out your route. You should make your city/country hopping logical...don't zigzag across countries because that is wasting money and time. Look into booking a round trip that flies to one city and leaves from another: like you fly from Canada to Frankfurt and 3 week later you fly from Prague back to Canada.

    If you are not interested in Frankfurt, then don't fly there. Lufthansa does have great rates from North America to Europe, but with a layover in Frankfurt. Perhaps this is why people suggested Frankfurt?

    Look into taking advantage of student discounts (called concessions) at museums and other sightseeing spots. Alot of them are available to people under 25, even if you are not a student. Check out STA website it's an American website, but it has great tips.

    For the best exchange rate, do not take cash. Go with your ATM card and a credit card. Use the ATM card to get euros out the bank machine and the credit card for purchases. Make sure your money is in your checking account...I don't think you can access your savings account from international bank machines.

    Enjoy your trip! :wlae:
  8. Don't stay in Frankfurt longer than 1 day. Definitely see Munich, Vienna, Prague, Budapest since that entire area is very easy to get around on. Salzburg if you have some time, one day is enough.

    I'd suggest making a list of where you want to go and then plan it according to the direction.

    I haven't been to AMS so I can't remember how long the train ride is. You could easily do an overnight train to Italy for about 40euros.

    When in Vienna: go upstairs to the 6th floor of the Do&Co to the Onyx bar and order a melange. Best melange in Vienna with a beautiful view of the graben.

    This is a good little review about some cafes in Vienna:

    Your 3000 budget, does that include your flight or just expenses once you're there? Trains are easy to get around on, but occasionally you can find really cheap flights for like 40euros between cities. This site gives you an idea of what airlines fly wear and you can see more:

    Seriously Europe is great! When will you be over there? I'll be in Vienna in May and then probably back in July for a few days (but most my time will be in the alps for a wedding)

    Depending on what you want to see I'd fly into someplace and then fly out as far east of west. For example maybe you fly into AMS or Muc/Fra and then out of someplace in Czech. Vienna to FRA is only a few hours by train (I believe 6 hours on a speed train). MUC to the alps of Austria is 2 hours, etc.
  9. My friends and I did this about 9 years ago. We flew into Munich, stayed a few days there, then took the train to Salzburg (stayed a few days), then took the train to Venice (stayed a few days) and then back up to Zurich where we stayed for the remainder of our trip.
    If I remember correctly we got a round trip flight out of JFK to Munich on Swiss Air (or maybe it was Delta and we flew back on Swiss Air) for about $450, which is probably unheard of now. I think you could probably stretch $3000 for 3 weeks depending on where you stay (are you staying in hostiles?) and where you eat. If you can make it to Venice, I highly recommend it. It was an overnight train trip from Salzburg, but you should definately visit if you possibly can.
  10. If $3000 is after your airfare, it is probably doable, but it may be tight in some locations. It is just going to involve really watching your money. If your plans are for hostels, you should really start nailing down your itinerary as soon as possible and making reservations. The good hostels book up very quickly. Also, look at small hotels too, you may get a simlar rate and have a private room.
  11. :yes: Yes, definately check out small hotels. We only stayed in a hostel once in Austria, and the rest of the time we stayed in small hotels, the rooms weren't bad, the rate wasn't much more than a hostel and we had a private room along with bath. There was only 1 hotel in Munich that we stayed in that didn't have a private bath.