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Meena

Europe, Melbourne

Best itinerary for Melbourne to Europe - 15 to 20 days?

Planning a trip to mesmerising Europe, just have 15 to 20 days. Can somebody please help me to prepare the itinerary?

Thanks
MJ


2 Answers

answered by
Mary from Leicester
You have now given more detail in your comment below. :-)
>I am basically thinking to Visit Italy, France , Switzerland and Vienna(optional). I am more interested in landscape, food, history and am all prepared travel by any mode of transport depends on situation and convenience (thanks heaps for the bus other details ). Well I would need you help in case of budget as I am targeting around 5000 to 7000 AUD but not sure if that is enough<
A. Money
Italy and Austria
use the euro. At the time of writing this, 5000-7000 AUD is roughly 3100 - 4400 euro. Switzerland uses Swiss francs (and is a very expensive country) and the equivalent is roughly 5600 - 7899CHF. If that doesn't include airfare it's a decent amount but if it includes airfare it'll be a lot tighter. To plan, you could use a very rough average of 65 euro per night for 2-3* hotels (more in Switzerland) but I'd recommend you use the reliable and long-established www.booking.com to get a more reliable idea. It lists almost all European hotels, has excellent mapping and..most importantly for me (I've used it several times a year for 10+ years)....reviews can only be posted by those who have booked through the site and completed heir stay.
B. Itinerary
If you can afford an open-jaw trip (i.e. flying into one place and out of another) that makes things much easier. Alternatively, think of flying into and out of London (or maybe Frankfurt or Amsterdam) and then using budget airlines as described above for an open-jaw trip. 
C. Bases
1. Rome. Allow a bare minimum of 3 full days to explore the city. Add an extra day/days if you want to visit Tivoli or Ostia Antica (the ancient port of Rome...a sort of mini-Pompeii). You could even take the high-speed train to Naples and make a daytrip to visit Pompeii and/or Herculaneum. Doing that is perfectly feasible. See below for links to Italian train info.
2. High-speed train to Florence. Again, a minimum of 3 full days. To save time book your Uffizi etc tickets online in advance using the official site: http://www.b-ticket.com/b-ticket/uffizi/default_eng.aspx
Make sure you take the ordinary bus up to Fiesole for Etruscan ruins and fantastic views. Add an extra day or two, using the bus for a daytrip to stunning Siena and the train for a roundtrip daytrip to lovely Lucca and then Pisa.

3. High-speed train to Venice, which is very expensive. Mestre is cheaper option and very easy to get into historical Venice by bus (15 mins) or train (210 mins). Allow two full days to explore Venice, with an extra day or two if you want to visit the lagoon islands (e.g. Burano) or Verona. 
4. High-speed train to Milan. One full day is enough but use it as a base for train to Como. Wander the town and take a ferry trip around some of Lake Como, stopping off at a couple of lakeside settlements. 
Official English site for Italian trains, including high-speed trains:  https://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en 
Another company also runs high-speed train on some routes: https://www.italotreno.it/en
Trains are safe and comfortable. There are very good advance online discount fares for high-speed trains and it's well worth taking advantage of those.
5. From Milan into Switzerland by train. Use the bahn.com site I linked below to find train times and details then use the official Swiss site for trains in and from Switzerland: https://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html
I don't know Switzerland well (too expensive!) but suggest you use Zurich as at least one of your bases for a couple of days, including taking the train up Mount Uetliberg and day spent taking the trip across the lake to Rapperswil, returning by train. Add an extra day for a daytrip by train to lovely Lucerne 
6. Vienna is a long way from Switzerland by train so, if you're keen to visit, it's best to get a budget flight. One full day in Vienna would be enough for me though you might prefer two (especially if you want to see the horses). Add an extra day to make a daytrip by fast boat (or train) to Bratislava
Hope that helps to give you a bit more info for your planning. :-)
Do ask more questions as and when you need to. Best to post brand-new questions rather than add even more to this long thread! 

Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Rome (attraction)
  2. Naples (attraction)
  3. Florence (city)
  4. Venice (city)
  5. Milan (city)
  6. Zurich (city)
  7. Rapperswil (city)
  8. Lucerne (city)
  9. Vienna (city)
  10. Bratislava (city)


answered first by
Mary from Leicester
'Europe' is actually a continent made up of 44 countries......so I'm guessing that by 'Europe' you mean the 28 countries which form the European Union (EU)? Or maybe you mean the 26 countries (some EU, some not) which form the Schengen Zone ?
The reason I make the above point is that it's impossible to suggest any sort of specific itinerary without knowing a) what you mean by 'Europe' b) what you are interested in (history? art? landscape? shopping & nightlife?) c) how you intend to travel (rent a car and/or use train/long-distance bus?) d) whether you have visited anywhere in Europe before and e) a rough idea of your budget (there's no point in e.g. suggesting you fly from A to B if your funds won't run to it).
Having said that..... with the caveat that nowhere in Europe is actually 'mesmerising' and assuming it's your first visit....it does make sense to visit some of the most special (and thus, unfortunately, often the most popular) places. Each and every one of the places I suggest below deserves an absolute minimum of two full days' exploration to even scratch the surface.
Possibilities include using London (or Dublin) as a starting point then either:
a) The under-Channel Eurostar train to Paris followed by either train to BrugesAmsterdam and BerlinPrague and/or Vienna
or b) Budget flight from London (or wherever) to Rome then train to FlorenceVeniceMilan and on to the south of France via Monaco or into Switzerland
or c) Budget flight from London  (or wherever) to Munich then train to PragueViennaBudapest....
.....and that's not even touching SpainPortugalGreeceCroatia or several other EU countries, let alone the non-EU ones....
There are a myriad of feasible options. Without knowing more detail of what you want it's simply impossible to suggest any particular itinerary for you.
Book Eurostar and budget flights well in advance. Use www.skyscanner.net to find flights and airlines but always book on the airline's own website.
Official Eurostar site: https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en
Times & details in English for almost all European trains:
https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml
Some long-distance bus operators:
UK: https://www.nationalexpress.com/en    https://uk.megabus.com/
Mainland Europe: https://www.eurolines.eu/   https://www.flixbus.co.uk/
Busabout offer hop-on, hop-off routes around Europe, often stopping at or near hostels: https://www.busabout.com/hop-on-hop-off-europe
Once you have a better idea of what you want to see and do post another question and I'll be able to give a lot more detail. :-)

Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. London (city)
  2. Dublin (attraction)
  3. Paris (city)
  4. Bruges (city)
  5. Amsterdam (city)
  6. Berlin (city)
  7. Prague (city)
  8. Vienna (city)
  9. Rome (attraction)
  10. Florence (city)
  11. Venice (city)
  12. Milan (city)
  13. Monaco (country)
  14. Switzerland (country)
  15. Munich (city)
  16. Prague (city)
  17. Vienna (city)
  18. Budapest (city)
  19. Spain (country)
  20. Portugal (attraction)
  21. Greece (attraction)
  22. Croatia (country)
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