Does anyone have a recommendation for trying to see the above cities in two weeks? I have friends in each city. I have to be in Salon de Provence on 7/30 for a friend's birthday so trying to set up itinerary based on that. Thanks y'all!
You can do this! However, the issue that faces you it how spread out the various cities are. To that end, you may need to make a few compromises elsewhere.
First, you should consider flying an "open Jaws" route. That is; flying into one city, but flying home from a different one. This will eliminate the need to "get back" a certain place, just to leave it. I do this all the time. It's not only time effective, but it's cost effective too.
Secondly, consider flying within Europe. There are a whole slew of discount airlines in Europe linking destinations that are impractical by train. Many time the flights are more economical than the train. For instance, taking a quick look, I found that the quickest train from Budapest to Dusseldorf was about twelve hours long, with multiple train changes, and cost about $200. On the other hand, you can fly Germanwings between these two cities in under two hours for about $120. It's a no-brainer!
It is a similar situation between Budapest and Paris. Trains between the two cities are at least twenty hours long. There are up to five train changes, and they cost about $295. However, you can fly between the two cities on Ryanair in about two hour for about $130.
A great site for flights within Europe is,
It has plenty of info, and links to the individual airlines. Since you've got time, you can consider all sorts of options.
Finally, you made be somewhat firm with your friends. Namely, when it's time to go, it's time to go. If you're flying about, you can't postpone things the way you could if traveling by train. Let's hope they understand.
Your itinerary should be doable in 2 weeks. Of the three cities I would spend at least 3-4 days in both Paris and Budapest There are cheap flights connecting all of your destinations: Take a look at Air Berlin or Eurowings for flights from Paris to Dusseldorf / Cologne and from there to Budapest It is also easy to take a fast train from Paris to Dusseldorf. Checkout: https://www.b-europe.com/Travel/Trains/Thalys or www.seat61.com . From Salon-de-Provence it takes about 4 hours 30 mins to get to Paris by train, or, you could fly from Marseille. I love taking the train through Europe as, in general the rail systems are really good and you can get to see a lot of the countryside but, with a limitation of 2 weeks it might be better to fly so that you can spend more time in each place. Have a great time.
We spent 10 days in Paris and it was wonderful. We were able to go out to Versailles and spend a full day there. There is so much to see and do in Paris. We spent 3 days in Budapest this past summer and that gave us time to see most of the sights. Of course anytime you go on vacation there is never enough time to see everything. Enjoy your trip!
I agree that it will feel a little bit rushed, but definitely doable. Sometimes is will make more sense to fly, but don't completely discount train travel. When you include the time it takes to get to the airport, check-in, and go through security, sometimes the train is actually faster, or at least comparable. The price of the train is often higher than flying though with the growth of budget airlines. if you fly in between each city. It's awesome that you have friends in each place because you will get such a unique view of the city!
An itinerary would be flexible as to the order, but it could look something like this:
7/25-7/29: Paris, If you take the train it will take around 5+ hours and you will have to transfer in Cologne. Flying would be faster, but you could probably find some comparable prices for either method.
7/29-7/31: Salon-de-Provence, You could take the TGV train from Paris to Avignon. The TGV is super fast and you should get to Avignon in less than 3 hours. From there it is a local slower train to Salon de Provence which takes about an hour. If you fly, fly in and out of Marseille.
7/31-8/4: Budapest, The most time efficient way to do get here is definitely flying from Marseille.
Obviously you can fudge the dates a little bit if you would prefer a different method.
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You can see them if you don't mind not seeing much and not getting the full experience of each city. Paris alone is about a week and a half's worth of stuff. Same with Budapest. Dusseldorf is about 4 days.
hello Pam, you really have to decide what is the main goal in travelling to those place, as there is so much to do/see. Our "trippy friends" gave you good informations about ways of travelling. So, you have to consider the price and time to get to the aiport, mainly in Paris, as there are 2 airports. You should stick to the downtown activities in Paris and try to get tickets in advance if you plan on visiting an exhibition (escape Versailles...). See Beaubourg (exhibition and roof view), boat on the Seine at night (or from La Bastille - revolution Place- to La Vilette/canal St Martin, Le Marais (try jewish food there), Tour Eiffel and Trocadéro (opposite bank) with Palais de Tokyo exhibition, Opéra Garnier,... and food, of course! In Salon, you should go to a local market and visit a Batside (and see your friends). Budapest is also rich; you can't escape baths there. Have a nice trip!