7 Day European Vacation: London, Munich, Ingolstadt & Regensburg

A travel plan from Jamie. This is the first he’s published on travel-plan-idea.com but hopefully not the last.

Seeing that I haven’t had a proper vacation in quite a while, I decided to take advantage of the low fares to Europe that many airlines are offering ($500 – $700 round trip!) and immerse myself in some culture. The original plan was to pack as light as possible, with one carry on bag. To prepare for the trip, I ordered a new bag, specifically, the Eagle Creek Exploration Systems Tarmac Large Flight Bag. Seeing the words “large flight bag” I thought it would have been larger.

Needless to say, I think traveling for a week with one bag might have been a bit overambitious, but I think I can manage with the duffle and one brief case or messenger bag. Briefcases are perfect for storing those in-flight essentials – books, magazines, snacks, iPod, neck pillow, etc. They also can be easily-stowed under the seat in front of me.

So, back to planning this trip. Since I only have an allotted number of vacation days, I can’t take a leisurely 3-week trip so I have to pack as much in to a week as I can. Going to London was a given, as I have a friend living there. Now, Germany was more of an after-thought. Turns out, I do have a friend living in Ingolstadt, which is about an hour outside of Munich and I got a $75 flight out of London. Here’s my tentative travel itinerary.

Day 1-2 (April 23):

Arrive in London at 6:45 AM. Jump on the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station (£16.50 one way, which is about $25). I’ll probably wander about the city for a while before heading over to my friends flat. I’m bringing a cell phone that I can use internationally. For my carrier, Sprint, it’s going to cost me about $1.29 per minute, so I’ll definitely be using this phone only for emergencies. I did learn that Sprint rents a couple of its international phones for about $40 a week. Not bad!

Once I figure out where to meet my friend, I’ll jump on the tube, picking up a 3-day travel card for about $26. Once I get situated at my friends flat, we’ll probably make it a low key evening with some drinks and dinner at a local pub.

Day 3 (April 24):

Assuming my friend can get off from work, the plan is to do some touristy things. Perhaps we’ll hit up the Tate Modern Museum, do a London sightseeing tour on one of those double decker busses ($30), take in some views of the city in the London Eye Ferris wheel ($23) and maybe check out Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to see what’s playing. The plan is to meet up with some friends that evening for drinks and karaoke.

Day 4 (April 25):

Shopping is a must in London, and while it’s pricey, my trip to London wouldn’t be complete without a Piccadilly Circus excursion. I’m going to stay away from the touristy gift shops and focus my attention on the quaint little boutiques and some of the bigger UK department stores. If the weather is nice, I’d like to spend the afternoon walking around St. James Park, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and the Tower Of London. That evening we might catch a show in the West End or just hit up another local pub.

Day 5 (April 26):

Flying out of London at 9:30 in the morning, arriving in Munich at around noon. My friend will hopefully meet me at the airport, after which we’ll walk around Munich and maybe hit up a beer garden for lunch and refreshments. Maybe we’ll stop by the Hofbräuhaus Brewery, which is always a good time. Later in the afternoon, my friend and I will board a train into Ingolstadt for between $25 – $30 one way.

Day 6 (April 27):

I’ll be spending much of the day walking around Ingolstadt, a smallish city located along the Danube River in the center of Bavaria. About an hour outside of Munich by train, Ingolstadt is the birthplace of the fictional Frankenstein monster, as mentioned in Mary Shelley’s novel. Another bit of history…the secret society known as the Illuminati was founded in Ingolstadt in the late 18th century. The Illuminati play a prominent role in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code prequel, Angels & Demons, which is currently being made into a movie. Car manufacturer, Audi also has its headquarters located in Ingolstadt.

My friend mentioned wanting to visit Regensburg, also in Bavaria at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers. The first settlements in Regensburg date all the way back to the Stone Age and at one point, the city served as the German capital as well as the cultural center of Southern Germany. I’ve only ever been to Munich before, so visiting these two small towns will definitely be interesting and exciting.

Day 7 April 28

Unfortunately, most of my last day will be spent traveling. While I’m flying out of Munich, I have a 7 hour layover in London. Oh well. Another chance for me to get out into the city. This is going to be one fun trip. I can hardly wait!

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