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7 Things to Know When Planning Your First Trip to Europe

7 Things to Know When Planning Your First Trip to Europe

In case you are planning your first journey to Europe, it may be an awesome expertise. The place do you have to go? How a lot will it value? How a lot locations are you able to go to?

Does this sound acquainted?

We get emails day by day from individuals who need recommendation planning their first journey to Europe. And we see the identical questions time and again. So we wrote this publish to reply your questions and offer you some issues to take into consideration as you propose your Europe itinerary.

How to Plan Your First Trip to Europe

Don’t Attempt to See The whole lot on Your First Go to

I can’t inform you what number of occasions we get emails that go one thing like this: “I have 10 days in Europe and I am planning to visit Rome, Venice, Paris, London and Croatia. Do you think that’s too rushed?”

I’m not joking. We get this all the time.

It’s identical to saying “I have 10 days in the United States. I would like to visit Boston, New York City, Washington DC, Miami, and Los Angeles. Do you think that’s too rushed?”

We get it. Europe is large and it’s loaded with “must-see” spots. Sure, we all know you need to see Paris, Rome, Barcelona, London, Amsterdam, and Venice in your first journey to Europe. They’re all superb locations to go to. And with so many incredible websites to see, it may be very troublesome to slender your listing down to just some locations.

You’ll have a a lot better time for those who don’t attempt to get to a brand new metropolis each single day. The longer you spend in every place, the extra you get to comprehend it. There are some cities, like London, Paris, and Rome, which accurately might hold you very busy and really entertained for an excellent 5 or extra days.

Listed here are some primary tips for what number of locations you’ll be able to go to relying on how a lot time you have got:

  • With 7 days: 2 cities OR one metropolis with day journeys
  • With 10 days: three cities OR 2 cities with day journeys
  • With 14 days: four cities OR a street/practice journey by means of one or two nations

Barcelona, Spain

In the event you take a look at your itinerary and also you marvel in case you are shifting too quick or you are attempting to squeeze an excessive amount of in, odds are, you in all probability are.

In case you have 10 days and you propose to go to four main cities, it may be accomplished, however it is going to be a rushed, exhausting expertise. And you’ll be spending most of that point on trains and planes. Don’t overlook that you’ll have to spend time touring between locations in addition to packing, unpacking, and checking into inns.

Here’s a pattern itinerary by means of London, Amsterdam, and Paris:
  • Day 1: Arrive in London
  • Day 2: London
  • Day three: London
  • Day four: London
  • Day 5: Morning practice to Amsterdam, sightseeing within the afternoon
  • Day 6: Amsterdam
  • Day 7: Morning practice to Paris, sightseeing within the afternoon
  • Day eight: Paris
  • Day 9: Paris
  • Day 10: Fly house

On this itinerary you get to three main cities. And even this itinerary is a bit rushed. You possibly can actually use an additional day in every metropolis just because there’s a lot to see and do in every of them.

For some extra examples on how to plan 10 days in Europe, take a look at these itineraries:

Examples of visiting three cities:

Examples of exploring one area:

Amsterdam at Twilight

Amsterdam

Don’t Overlook to Think about Journey Time

So let’s say that you’ve 10 days in Europe and also you’ve narrowed down your itinerary to three cities. How do you get round?

That depends upon the place you’re going.

For cities which are shut to each other, say Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville, the practice can be the best choice. In case you are visiting Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam, then you’ll use a mixture of planes and trains to get round.

Getting from metropolis to metropolis takes time, in fact. And also you want to issue this in, not solely when planning your itinerary but in addition selecting the place to go.

Simply as a tough estimate, it should take about four hours, or half of a day, to get between two cities. This time can go up if the cities are far aside. So, in case you are visiting three cities, you’ll lose about someday in complete simply touring from place to place.

We often plan to switch between cities very first thing within the morning. By taking an early practice, we will often verify into our lodge by midday and have your complete afternoon for sightseeing. Sometimes, we’ll take a night practice if we would like to have somewhat additional time in our departure metropolis.

Professional Journey Tip: What about baggage? Let’s say you arrive by practice to Florence at 11 am. It’s too early to verify into your lodge, so what do you have to do together with your baggage? You’ve two choices. You possibly can both retailer you baggage on the baggage storage space within the practice station (and retrieve it on the finish of the day) or have your lodge maintain your baggage for you. We e-mail our lodge forward of time simply to make certain they will maintain our baggage for us (however thus far nobody has informed us no).

Dubrovnik Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Utilizing Trains versus Planes

In some situations, you may need the choice to fly or to take a practice to get from one metropolis to one other. When taking a look at journey occasions, a one hour flight might look much more time environment friendly than a three hour excessive velocity practice, however that isn’t all the time the case.

There’s for much longer check-in course of for flights (we often examine in two hours earlier than our flight). For practice journey, usually you possibly can arrive simply earlier than your departure time, though some high-speed trains request that you simply arrive 30 minutes earlier than departure time.

Practice stations are situated in metropolis facilities. From the station, it could be only a brief stroll or metro journey to get you to your lodge. Airports are situated outdoors of the cities and it may take 15 to 30 minutes (and even longer in some cities) to get into the town middle. You’ll have to do that twice and this might tack on one other hour to your journey time when you plan to fly.

We have a tendency to lean in the direction of practice journey each time potential. It’s quick, it’s low cost, and it’s far more eco-friendly than aircraft journey.

Professional Journey Tip: It can save you time (and cash on a lodge room) by reserving an in a single day practice. It may additionally be value getting a rail move should you plan to hop from metropolis to metropolis.

Use Open Jaw Flights to Maximize Your Time

Open jaw flights arrive in a single metropolis and depart from a special metropolis (for instance, you arrive in London and depart from Paris).

It can save you a variety of time by reserving totally different arrival and departure cities.

Let’s say you need to go to Rome, Florence and Venice (who wouldn’t?!). When you fly to Rome after which fly residence from Venice, you save about half of a day, the time it might take to backtrack to Rome.

In lots of instances, it isn’t costlier to do that. We have now flown open jaw many occasions for a similar worth as a spherical journey flight.

In some instances, it might be costlier to fly open jaw. Whether it is, then you’ve to determine whether it is value spending a bit of additional to save a while. Perhaps it’s value spending a bit of extra money for additional time in Venice than to take the practice again to Rome (and don’t overlook to determine that practice value into the choice to take an open jaw flight).

Hallstatt Austria

Hallstatt, Austria

What about Jet Lag?

Jet lag is the sensation of fatigue you get from crossing a number of time zones. Some fortunate individuals have minimal signs whereas others can really feel exhausted for a number of days.

In case you are flying to Europe from the USA, probably you may be on an in a single day flight, arriving within the morning or noon. There’s a excellent probability that you’ll really feel drained in your first day however for those who had hassle sleeping on the airplane, you might really feel extra like a zombie.

To recover from jet lag shortly, it’s often greatest to keep awake that first day and go to mattress early. I’ll admit that there have been a number of occasions the place we took a noon nap as a result of we desperately wanted it.

With this being stated, it’s often greatest not to schedule a busy listing of issues to do on the primary day of your itinerary. Positive, you’ll be excited to be in a brand new place and that may be energizing, however it is going to nonetheless be troublesome for most individuals to perform at 100% on that first day.

Ought to You Lease a Automotive?

There are some spots in Europe which might be merely good for a street journey. Norway, Eire, Slovenia and the Balkan Peninsula are all a few of our favourite spots to discover with the liberty that a rental automotive supplies. However earlier than you lease a automotive there are some issues you must know earlier than you go.

In case you are contemplating renting a automotive in your European journey, we now have an article all about thrilling issues like Worldwide Drivers Licenses, how to select a rental automotive firm, vignettes and extra. Learn it right here:

10 Things to Know Earlier than Renting a Automotive in Europe

Colmar France

Colmar, France

How Do We Plan Our Itineraries?

Earlier than you propose out your itinerary you want to perform some research first. Flight prices, time of yr, lodge availability, and tour availability all want to be factored into your decision-making.

Let’s say you determine to spend 10 days in Eire. What do you want to know earlier than you begin making reservations?

We begin off by researching flight prices. When you may be versatile together with your dates you may have the ability to get monetary savings be flying mid-week versus the weekend.

As soon as we have now our flight dates, we plan out our itinerary inside these particular dates.

In case you are planning a tour or a go to to a serious attraction, make certain these dates align and work together with your itinerary.

You can too do a fast lodge search to be sure that there are not any surprises with lodge prices or availability. In case you are reserving your journey nicely prematurely (four months or earlier) this will probably be much less of a problem. However at locations just like the Isle of Skye, the Lofoten Islands, the Cinque Terre, and islands in Croatia, lodges can promote out many months prematurely, leaving both no availability or dreadful locations that you simply usually wouldn’t think about.

As soon as every little thing appears like it really works out, we guide our flights after which guide the lodges, the rental automotive (if essential) and actions.

These days, with the rise in tourism, it additionally helps to analysis the primary sights you’re visiting after which e-book your tickets prematurely. We just lately went to San Francisco and missed out on touring Alcatraz as a result of tickets have been bought out for 3 months!!

In our articles, we let you understand what you want to reserve forward of time to keep away from disappointment (like our Alcatraz expertise). It might be additional work to ebook your tickets forward of time, however in as we speak’s world it has develop into a necessity so as to see a few of the world’s hottest websites.


Have enjoyable planning your journey to Europe! And should you nonetheless have questions on your itinerary, be happy to remark under.

For extra journey concepts and inspiration, check out our Itineraries web page. We’ve a lot of pattern itineraries for Europe in addition to Asia, Africa, South America, and the USA.

Extra Info to Assist You Plan your Trip to Europe:

First Trip to Europe Itinerary