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Old 08-06-2012, 02:45 PM   #1
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Backpacking Europe

I'm thinking of backpacking Europe for 10 days at the end of this month with a friend. What are some of the cities you recommend? We may rent a motorcycle as well if the weather holds up. If not, most of the traveling will be done on the train.

I need to get a backpack as well. For 10 days, is a 60L bag a good size? I will have my laptop with me as well.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:59 PM   #2
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If you are only going for 10 days....stick to only a few countries (ex: Portugal, Spain, and France or Italy, Greece, and Switzerland, etc)

Try and travel at night by train, bus, or cheap flights...sleep when you are on the move to get the most out of your days.

Don't pack too much...its only 10 days....you are looking at 2 pants, 2 shorts, jacket, hoodie or 2, 4-5 shirts, 1 pair of shoe, one pair of sandals, one nicer outfit for a nice dinner or going out to a club, bathing suit, towel, underwear, and sock. Small bag of toiletries, camera, phone, book, passport, etc.

Do NOT bring your laptop. You are only going for 10 days and will be far too busy meeting people, seeing things, and sleeping to use it. Plus...hauling that around with the cords and plug converter is no fun. Take a break from it. You can't throw a rock without hitting an internet cafe....all hostels have computers with internet. It can be stolen, damaged, lost, and broken....that would ruin your trip.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:07 PM   #3
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if you are going that far make sure you go for longer then 10 days. That's nothing in Europe and you will regret it if you don't take a longer trip.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #4
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End of month, you say?

Spend your 10 days in Ibiza.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:37 PM   #5
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Round trip plane ticket to the big cities like Italy, Paris, Berlin, etc are around $1700. If I fly to Frankfurt in Germany, it is $1000. Is it worth it to fly to Frankfurt and then take the train or is it a waste of time?
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:51 PM   #6
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Frankfurt is a major hub city for air and train travel. Go for it. But if you want to maximize your time in Europe, you may be spending more time travelling on the train than enjoying each destination. Weigh your options between air and train because sometimes flights can be cheaper than taking the train.

Case in point - When I was in Frankfurt, it was going to cost me 90 Euros to take the train to Dresden. $55 on Lufthansa. So yeah.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:53 PM   #7
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Round trip plane ticket to the big cities like Italy, Paris, Berlin, etc are around $1700. If I fly to Frankfurt in Germany, it is $1000. Is it worth it to fly to Frankfurt and then take the train or is it a waste of time?
Taking the train down to Italy and saving yourself some money is an awesome idea. EURAIL has an unlimited pass which i highly recommend if you want see most of europe, but since you are only going for 10 days they have a week pass as well i think. Seriously though if you are going for that short amount of time, i'd suggest not back packing but just staying in one city for your trip and visiting/doing things the locals do and get yourself immersed in the culture. I spent 14 days in Europe, went from Prague, and road tripped the major cities down to Rome. By the end, it didn't feel like a trip. Cause if you jump around from city to city every 2 days you're gonna most likely be communting most of the time and not actually using time to enjoy your trip and appreciate the fact you are in Europe.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:57 PM   #8
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Agreed with the comment above about taking night trains. It's a great way to save on hotel costs and save time traveling. You wake up in a brand new place... feels awesome =) Also check out discount carriers like RyanAir, but beware of surcharges on baggage, paper tickets, etc.

I went to Frankfurt, Munich, Bonn, Cologne, Paris, Lourdes, Cannes, Copenhagen, and Geneva all by train. Granted I had much more time than you did.

I'd pick a region and do quality over quantity. 10 days is not enough at all.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:04 PM   #9
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10 days I would only focus on one region/country....I would do Germany (Frankfurt/Munich/Berlin) or Amsterdam/Brussels or Italy (Rome/Florence/Pisa)

but 10 days is way to short....you will regret not going longer
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:21 PM   #10
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10 days? I went for 6 weeks and thought it was too short.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:22 PM   #11
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:16 PM   #12
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There are so many variables? Are you still a student? Have you got your ticket yet? 60L is probably enough but if you pack it full, you will be over the weight limit on some airlines.

If you have never been to Europe.. and only have 10 days.. I suggest you join one of those tours like Contiki etc. Much more fun with people of your age group (I would only recommend it if English is not your second language, + you are liberal minded and sociable). It will give you a good overview and help you narrow down the areas you want to visit in the future.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:18 PM   #13
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Would definitely recommend Contiki! Ages 18-35 and they have great tours!

If you could add a few days, these look awesome:

European Horizon Tour &mdash; Europe &mdash; Contiki Tours

European Discovery Tour &mdash; Europe &mdash; Contiki Tours

European Magic Tour &mdash; Europe &mdash; Contiki Tours

London & Paris plus Amsterdam Tour &mdash; Europe &mdash; Contiki Tours

Mediterranean Highlights (Start Madrid) Tour &mdash; Europe &mdash; Contiki Tours

If you are only going for 10-ish day...let someone else do the planning, hostelling, and transporting..."backpack" when you have a longer period of time to explore and stay in one place. This will also take the stress out of find your way to places, finding hotels/hostels, and carrying your shit around all the time.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:13 AM   #14
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I went for 2 weeks in June, France and Spain. I went to Paris, then Hellfest outdoor music festival (insaaannneee, check out the lineup here: HELLFEST Open Air 2012 - France), sailing/snorkeling in Nice, then to Barcelona for a few days.

With only 2 weeks, we opted to fly for most of the travelling. With just 10 days, I'd pick only a couple cities and fly between them to maximize your time. Flights within Europe are pretty cheap.

Barcelona was by far the most fun place (other than the festival), and it's cheap there. To be honest, coming from where we live even Paris doesn't seem expensive.

I have a netbook that I brought with me. It's older and it wouldn't matter if I lost it, it did come in handy sometimes and I could use it at airports and such when waiting for flights. Mostly adding people on Facebook that I met. I brought my phone but removed the sim card and just used it to save contacts and sometimes with wifi.

A good tip is to start your trip in the most expensive place you're going and end it in the cheapest.

Don't listen to anyone that tells you that 10 days is too short and you'll regret it. You WON'T regret it, because you're still going to Europe and having a blast for those 10 days. I can't think of ANY situation with my current job where I could go on a trip longer than 2-3 weeks tops. When you're at hostels, you'll meet lots of people doing 4-6 months of travelling though. Bastards
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:20 AM   #15
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Round trip plane ticket to the big cities like Italy, Paris, Berlin, etc are around $1700. If I fly to Frankfurt in Germany, it is $1000. Is it worth it to fly to Frankfurt and then take the train or is it a waste of time?
I flew roundtrip to Paris for $981.06 (plus taxes/etc). Best prices I found were here:
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:30 AM   #16
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:58 AM   #17
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Don't want to hijack this thread, but a related question.

I too want to head to Europe for a vacation. Thinking of seeing Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Ibiza). Perhaps it's personal preference, but would it be worth my while to go outside of Spain? Thinking of doing 14 days in Europe.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:01 AM   #18
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Depends on how you plan your trip.. I would do Portugal, Morocco and Gibraltar while you are doing Spain and skip the rest of Europe.

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Don't want to hijack this thread, but a related question.

I too want to head to Europe for a vacation. Thinking of seeing Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Ibiza). Perhaps it's personal preference, but would it be worth my while to go outside of Spain? Thinking of doing 14 days in Europe.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:36 PM   #19
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Jealous, probably won't be able to see Europe until I'm to old to enjoy it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:18 PM   #20
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I did a 2 month trip back in '05. It was a great trip, but by the last week It felt like I was just killing time waiting to come home.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:30 PM   #21
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I'm actually backpacking through Europe right now. It's been a little over a month now and I got about another 2 weeks to go. 60L bag is way more than enough for a 10 day trip. I'm only using a 40L one and I didn't even fill it up when I left. Now that I'm more than half way through I feel that I slightly overpacked and could have left a couple of tshirts at home. If you're planning on going on pub crawls they'll usually give free tshirts so you really don't need to start with that many. Depending on where you want to go in Europe took at airtransat for cheap flights. I got a flight to amsterdam for $350 and I'll probably fly home from there as well as I saw a few flights home for around that price. As some people have mentioned, for a 10 day trip just pick 3 or 4 cities that you really want to see as anything more than that and you won't be able to really enjoy the cities cause it will feel rushed. That's one of the downsides of contiki, you only spend one night in each city and a lot of the people I've met that are doing it aren't enjoying it as much.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:42 PM   #22
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i went for a few days recently, 10 days is definitely not enough imo you should really stick to a couple, or even just 1 country, honestly and really explore the shit out of it; with a schedule like that you'll be wanting to stay in whichever country you're in but it will be time to move on
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:45 PM   #23
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10 days isn't long. It's all personal preference, but I would split it between two countries and see multiple cities. You don't want to spend half the time traveling. I just got back from 3 weeks in europe, Spain (Barcelona), Italy (Florence, Pisa, Parma, Bologna, Chianti area/Siena), and France (Paris).

For 10 days, I would do a split between Barcelona and 2-3 cities in Italy.

Then again, there is so much to see and do in europe, no one here will be able to plan a better trip than you since we don't know how much you love art, food, history, partying, meeting people, etc
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:28 PM   #24
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10 days is just going to make you want to go back ASAP

im looking at going back next June, most likely alone but at least 4-6 weeks
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:38 PM   #25
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10 days is just going to make you want to go back ASAP

im looking at going back next June, most likely alone but at least 4-6 weeks

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