Just booked a flight with my fiance for a 2 week trip to Europe. First time for the both of us and we are super excited! We are landing in London and planning to go to Paris, Barcelona, Rome and back to London.
Need help in all areas here. We are going to stick with Airbnb for accommodation but don't know which areas we should stay in for all the places we plan on going. Our budget is around $100/night.
Did some research on the transportation around Europe and it's super expensive! If we stuck with our plan of London to Paris to Barcelona to Rome and back to London what are some of the cheapest options? Is the Oyster card used everywhere for public transit?
Flights already booked but is February a good time to be in Europe in terms of the weather/activities?
First biggest travel outside of Canada so we appreciate any help/suggestions we can get!
Thank you everyone for reading!
Hi Nancy, I made a similar trip last year using airbnb, here are the links of the places I stayed which I highly recomend!
Although Rome is a city you should know just by walking around (its a living museum!). This apartment is close to a subway station and its around 10min walking distance from Colosseum
Located in La Rambla which is a pedestrian street with a lot of restaurants. It's also 200mts away from a subway station!
Hope this info works for you!
Sounds like a fabulous trip and congratulations. I am not a huge european traveler however I know it will be cool inEurope in February. Take great walking shows and wear layers. I would google paris hotels and focus on 2 stars. They ratings are different there in my opinion than in the States but I would think 2 stars would get to you your budget. I would also see if you can get breakfast included in your stay because it's a tad expensive a la carte. If you don't eat a lot of breakfast, than you can go sit in a cafe with a coffee and croissant. You can also eat baguette sandwiches while on the go so you can definitely find some savings when eating in Paris. I think the Quartier Du Marais district may be relatively reasonable and is accessible by all subways. The "Paris Pass" is something you can buy to access museums etc over a 2-day period where you skip the lines but you may not have too many lines in February so maybe don't waste your money. London is expensive so potentially you can find a relatively inexpensive apt. I wish you best travel. I am sorry i don't know more and have not been to Rome or Barcelona yet.
ALSO- go to peek.com. You can find out about all sorts of destinations, excursions in Paris and London. There is one section that is things to do under $50.
Mentioned in this answer:
I'll try to help you a bit, I have only been to Barcelona once.
I don't have specific answers to your questions. I do know that travel in Spain is very cheap! London and Paris are very expensive (in all ways!).
Ok, I did some research.
Maybe you know Thalys? www.Thalys.com It is the fastest train we have. It's not so cheap, but for long distances it's okay!
PARIS: In Paris you can do everything by Subway. There are tickets for 1, 3 of 5 days unlimited subway travel for 1 person. I think the costs are between 8 and 20 euro's but I am not sure.
Paris costs a lot of money for hotel stays. We stayed in a hostel outside the city center. It was the chinese neighbourhood. Subway brings you to the city in 15 minutes. The public traffic there is always on time, very fast and the metro's come there every 3 / 5 minutes. Watch for the pickpockets!
Then from Paris to Barcelona, I actually have no idea!
In Barcelona itself, I paid 8 euro's for going to Figueres (2 hours). I think it's cheap but, the people on the train sent me from one place to another. And if you don't speak spanish then it will also be a bit harder to communicate.
Then back to London, I'm not so sure.
We have a lot of (last minute) budget things. People who travel outside of the regular holidays can get a flight for 30/40 euro's from Amsterdam to Spain or so. Maybe it's she same for Paris -> Barcelona and Barcelona -> London.
Right now on Skyscanner.com I see the cheapest one way ticket for Barcelona to London is 96 euros..
The weather in february is not very nice, I advise you to take your umbrella, haha!
I hope I answered a bit of your questions, you can always ask for more :)
Have fun in Europe!
Mentioned in this answer:
Hi Nancy, I booked my own travel around Europe. I used Airbnb for accommodation in Rome & Paris. In Paris we stayed in a one bedroom studio (€180 for 3 nights ) in Levallois-Perret. Although it wasn't central Paris there were regular trains & the neighbourhood was quite nice and clean and we felt safe. There was no trouble catching the train late at night as there were always lots of people around. In Rome we stayed in a self contained unit (€89 for 2 nights) which was attached to the owner's apartment. Again this was not central Rome but was in a nice neighbourhood Viale dei Colli Portuensi. However the only transport to our accommodation was by bus & it was a bit harder knowing which bus to catch & knowing where to get off.
Seeing as you only have 2 weeks I recommend the Hop On Hop Off bus in each of these cities, get the two day pass, as it is a great way to see all the sites & attractions in one go & then the next day you can hop off at the places you really wanna see.
In regard to transportation around Europe I booked trains through www.raileurope.com. You can get some good specials but where the prices were too expensive I was able to find cheap airfares & flew instead. However wherever possible I would choose the train to travel through Europe as it is more comfortable, you don't have the hassle of customs & you only need to be at the train station 15 minutes beforehand & no size/weight limit on your luggage.
Mentioned in this answer:
Wow! What a great first trip. Great cities. First off, if you can do it, try and only pack a carry on bag. If you choose to stay at Airbnb places along the way, you won't lose a half a day waiting for your luggage if it gets lost during the plane trip. Unfortunately no concierge or front desk clerk when you go Airbnb and you will be stuck at the apartment waiting for luggage. In Paris, do not get a Paris Pass. Buy tickets for whatever museum you want to see at the Tabac shop underneath the Louvre. You will avoid the dreaded lines and save a lot of money. The Paris Pass is only good if you are going to be there for a length of time and visit several museums. In Barcelona, you must do Sagrada Familia. I would book ahead online for an early morning or late afternoon time slot as these are the least crowded. I would get the audio tour. ... it makes a difference. Wak La Rambla to the sea and make a left and continue walking down to Barceloneta. Have a drink at one of the bars on the beachif they are open. Or find a bar nearby. Do a meal at El Quim when you are walking around the market of La Boqueria. My advice on Rome is simple. Don't pack in a different attraction or museum every day or you will be miserable. Go see the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. you could visit the Pantheon, Rome, Italy in the forum. I loved the Borghese gallery and surrounding gardens. The Vatican? Well, there is a lot to see there but it wasn't worth it for me even in the off season as we were packed like sardines or salmon trying to swim upstream and it was very unpleasant. I think it would be much better to walk over to Trastevere and spend an afternoon or evening wandering around.
In each of these wonderful cities, you are better off walking the city or doing a hop on hop off and then going back and deciding some of the things you want to see. Sit outside at cafes and bars have a coffee or drink and people watch. It's the most fun and you'll learn the most and get some wonderful tips from locals. As far as the weather, dress in layers and make sure you have a warm jacket and a comfortable pair of closed toed shoes or boots for walking. For the length of time that you will be gone, it is worth it to under pack and have everything in a small carry on suitcase so that you can just get off the plane and wheel on out to the next adventure.
Mentioned in this answer:
I live in London and have been to Rome so I should be able to help you a little bit. Firstly, London:
Oyster cards can be used on all public transport in London. The deposit for one is £5 and can be picked up from any underground station. One place which might be good for you to stay is Vauxhall (try to stay within Zone 1 if you possibly can - http://www.tfl.gov.uk/) Whilst it's not a tourist attraction in itself, it will be cheaper than many places to stay, and is situated less than 10mins from Oxford St on the tube and around 25 minutes walk along the Thames to Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Parliament, which in turn is only 10 minutes walk in each direction from Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Horse Guard's Parade and the London Eye. It's also a good location for transport as you can get to Victoria in 5 minutes which has connections to each of the major airports. February is a fine time to see all that England has to offer; it won't be warm, but otherwise perfectly fine.
I think you are probably going to Rome at the perfect time. Summer trips can be blighted with pushy street sellers and mosquitos! I personally stayed near to Rome Termini station via AirBnB and the experience was fine. However, we were repeatedly advised to be careful near to the train station as there is apparently a lot of street crime in the area. You should be able to see all of the major sites in 2-3 days in Rome.
Hope that helps.
I'm Francesco from Rome, I can suggest you to rent an apartment in the center of Rome. February is low season, so you can find a good price. I suggest you to contact this two owners:
I suggest you to tell to them that you received the contact from Francesco of bike rental.
I suggest to you to give a look to my website also, in wich you can find a lot of activity in Rome: http://www.romarentbike.com
February is a very good time to travel to Europe with respect to cost, but the weather isn't the best. However, if you are coming from Vancouver, there shouldn't be much difference in London and Paris, and it should be a little warmer and drier in Barcelona and Rome. And there are good places to stay within that budget in all cities during February, which would be a real challenge in warmer weather.
One way to get a rough idea of the cost of various modes of travel between cities is to go to http://www.rome2rio.com . Make sure you check the fine print, especially on low-cost airlines and also figure the cost of travel from airports to and from the center of the cities. You may want to think about eliminating one of the cities after London to save on cost of travel and allow you to see more of each city and some things between cities.
I would suggest you research travel options first. Next decide if you want to make any stops between cities. Then research places to stay on airbnb in each place you will be staying. If you have any questions, throw them out and you will get a lot of help with locations of places to stay, where to eat, and what to do. You have to move pretty quickly, but things will fall into place with a little research. Make sure your passports are up to date. It sounds like a great trip.