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Meredith Cadwell

Columbus (Mississippi), Mississippi

12-15 day trip to Europe

We are planning a 12-15 days trip to Europe. We are not too picky about the destinations because neither one of us has been to Europe. Italy is a top choice, but we want to maximize our visit and see different cities, countries, cultures.  Does anyone have any suggested itineraries?

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  • Carter Fly

    top answer by

    Meredith, I'm happy to give you some input on your trip, firstly because you're from Columbus, where my father was born, so you probably know a few of my family members out there, and secondly because I live in Ireland and have been to a good few places around Europe.

    Italy - You cannot go wrong with a stay in Sorrento. You have Herculaneum and Pompeii just a short train ride away. Positanoand the drive around the Amalfi Coast is what you go to Italy for. Rome and the Vatican City worth seeing but you'd want to be careful walking around Rome as the subways and streets are filled with pickpockets.

    Barcelona is a fantastic city with lots to see and great food. I think one of the most underrated cities in Europe is Lisbon. Very old world but really cool. It's like a San Francisco in Europe, complete with cable cars and huge suspension bridge.

    Edinburgh is a great city too. Lots to see and do and you are close enought to Rosslyn Chapel to get a city bus out to it.

    Alternative cities to consider; Prague, Vienna, Stockholm (expensive though).

    Hope that helps to some degree. Tell my family out there I said hello!

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    • Meredith C.

      Meredith C.

      Thank you so much for your advice! I will tell your family hello! ;) · (0 likelikes)

    • Carter F.

      Carter F.

      Well, us Fly's have been there since the 50's so you should be able to find a few of us. If you guys ever end up in Ireland let me know. You have a few pints waiting for you. Carter · (0 likelikes)

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  • Polly Beam

    answered first by

    Hi Meredith! You guys are going to have so much fun, wherever you go - Europe is great. For the amount of time you have, I'd suggest two options.

    The first is stick to Italy for two weeks. While you would only be seeing a single country that way, keep in mind that Italy technically only unified in the late 1800s. Different regions still have their own unique flavor. I'd suggest visiting Venice, Florence, Rome, and the Amalfi Coast.

    The second is to pick three cities, each in a different country, and split your time between them. That gives you about 3.5 to 4.5 days in each location. I might suggest Munich, an Italian city of your choice, and Paris. This trip would require a bit more patience, and would probably be more expensive, but would be a fun introduction to Europe.

    I would stick to only three cities/countries rather than trying to do more, because each place has wonderful day trips that would allow you to see life outside the city as well. You could visit Versailles, Giverny, or Mont Saint-Michel in France and Neuschwanstein Castle or Dachau in Germany. Italy also has a lot of options for day trips, but make sure you spend a little time in the countryside, checking out hill towns in Tuscany or Umbria.

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    • Brenda B.

      Brenda B.

      Agree completely with the Italy itinerary and the other idea of 3 major cities. I would pick Barcelona, Paris, and Florence. · (1 likelikes)

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  • Gery de Pierpont

    answered by

    Hi Meredith,

    I totally agree with Polly and Anna: if you plan to stay two weeks in Europe, just pick up a couple of places and indulge. So many foreigners think they have to go and visit as much "top favorite" sites as they can to get the most out of their trip. I believe they skip the best part... Most of these famous destinations are so crowded you spend hours in lines and see almost nothing else than other tourists. Not to mention the time spent in planes, cars, coaches, trains and taxis to move from the one place to the other...

    Civita di Bagnoregioimage from intohistory.comEurope only reveals its true savor, its fabulous charms to the ones that travel out of the beaten path and remain long enough in the same place to feel its heart beat. Do not follow tourists guided tours and explore instead smaller streets, local museums, authentic restaurants ... You do not have to show your friends a picture of Mona Lisa, Big Ben, Schonbrünn palace, Waterloo battlefield and San Marco piazza to convince them you went to Europe! Hundred of other destinations are fabulous and much more authentic. The city of Amersfoort in the Netherlands (see picture below) is as charming and ten times less crowded than Amsterdam, for instance.

    General Trippy Mediaimage from intohistory.com

    You can spend a whole life in France, Italy, Spain, UK or Germany without being able to see all their inspiring places. There are wonderful discoveries to be made every square kilometer! So, if you are really looking for a true romantic visit, I'd definitely recommend rank 2 or even rank 3 cities (in the US mainstream tourist hit parade). Charming places in Italy as Ravenna, Bologna -see picture below-, Verona or even remote places like Matera or Civita di Bagnoregio.

    Civita di Bagnoregioimage from intohistory.comAnna suggested Greece as a great place to visit. Athens and the surrounding ancient archaeological sites are quite unique. I love Prague, in Czech Republic (although more and more touristic), Krakow in Poland, the seaside resort of Brighton (England), the south of Spain with its gorgeous arabic palaces, as Seville or Cordoba (Spain)... Not to talk about Burgundy (France) and its famous wines (see picture below). The list is endless.

    Cordoba (Spain)image from intohistory.comWhy don't you give us a few keywords about your primary interests (e.g. history, gastronomy, landscapes, art museums, contemporary architecture, beer tasting...)? We could help you more precisely. But you can already start dreaming: that's the most important! Gery

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    • Meredith C.

      Meredith C.

      Thank you for your thorough advice! We love to experience different cultures...history, art, customs. We also love wine, beer and food! I like to see how people live and I try to steer away from really touristy destinations. Although, there are some places that you cannot avoid visiting at least once... i.e. Statue of Liberty (which is not that impressive once you get there haha) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Anna Giannarou

    answered by

    I'll agree with Polly that you better pick 2-3 cities rather than try to visit as many as possible. Now in Italy you could easily spend a week, so it's better to be more precise and decide on which cities you'd like to visit the most. Rome, Florence and Venice are the 3 cities that a typical Italy tour covers. You see on the map though that they are far from each other so you'll have to spend some time on the road. Which brings me to my next question: are you planning on renting a car or use public transportation (train). If you travel by car you can go along the coast and visit the South of France: Monaco, Nice Cannes (and many more).

    You can also take a plane and head to any other country/city you'd like. You can do Paris, London or Berlin.

    You can even visit Greece (Athens and one or more islands with Santorini being the most popular one).

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  • Kemkem Casinelli

    answered by

    I agree with Gery. You could spend a lifetime in any one place, and just scratch the surface. I would suggest Rome and Florence and skip Venice honestly. I would suggest booking the long flight to Rome, and then taking one of the cheap flights to either Istanbul if you feel daring and want a great experience. If you shy away from that, you could do one of the cheap flights to Budapest or Berlin. I am guessing you would totally, absolutely love Berlin at your age. I would suggest changing your browser to a European one when you shop for the tickets for the low cost airlines so they price cheaper. That should fill up your two weeks nicely. I hope you have a wonderful time.

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  • Liane Rose

    answered by

    Another option to consider is to pick up a Mediterranean cruise during the period you are they. We find it a cheap form of transportation with your room and food included. You can cover a lot of territory in little time. Opt out of the cruise lines excursions and find your own or explore on your own. We have done Rome, Tuscany, Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Venice, Croatia, Athens Istanbul and many other cities doing this. We always allow ourselves several days before and after cruise to explore on our own. Have fun!


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  • Sue Madrid

    answered by

    You will probably see a bunch of different answers on here, but frankly, I feel like it has a lot to do with who you are and what your expectations are. I did a lot of research prior to our 16 day trip to Europe and am a planner by nature. There were 3 of us and I was having some degree of difficulty getting the other 2 planning along with me. We did rank the places we wanted to see the most. I only had 1 hotel reserved, which was in Zurich for New Year's Eve. Armed with that list, a rail pass, and plane tickets to Frankfurt and leaving from Madrid , we set out.

    Every day, we decided what we wanted to do the next day(s). We didn't see some of the locations that were really high on our list, since there were some other opportunities that arose as well as recommendations from others. We really couldn't wait to get out of Frankfurt, and headed to Munich for a couple days, then on to Salzburg and my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE place on the whole trip which could have been missed had we done this any other way, Hallstatt, Austria. Hallstatt was the most beautiful place I've ever seen and we hit it on my birthday. It. Was. Perfect. From there we had to go on to Zurich for the most amazing NYE (also the coldest....holy cow!) ever.

    At this point, the tiny bit of scheduling we had done was accomplished. We still had Barcelona and Rome on our lists and we never made either. We chose to strike out a different direction and spent a day in Lyon and had a blast followed by San Sebastian (one of the places I'd like to return to), then Salamanca and finishing up in Madrid .

    Did I mention we did all this by backpack and public transportation? We did! We booked lodging as we went thru Airbnb, booking.com, HostelWorld and good ol' IHG. We stayed in hotels, people's homes, hostels. You name it.

    It's a trip we'll never forget and one that NONE of us would have changed. Do I want to go back? Absolutely! Do I know where I'd like to go now and spend some more in depth time? Absolutely! Will I actually go back? ABSOLUTELY! We all treated this trip like it was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. We were so wrong. We have traveled more in the last year than all of our lives combined. So, you see.......it doesn't really matter how you do it, if how you do it is right for you.

    God speed and safe journeys. <<< Note the plural there.


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  • Ciobanu Laura

    answered by

    Hi Meredith,

    I know a great website where you can find vacations in Romania.

    https://familyvacation.com/vacations/romania/gourmet-vacation-in-transylvania This vacation is great if you want to try the best traditional Romanian food. And of course, if you are a wine lover.

    On the website you will find great other places. Just tell me if you need some more advices!

    I have been to most of those places on the Website, and they are all great, great Hosts too. Some mansions and castles to rent just for you! They are awesome.



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  • Laura Kubler Miller

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    Gery - I loved your response and agree 100%. Limit yourself to a few places and give yourself time to absorb the essence of the surroundings into your pores!

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