Help with a 2 month European travel plan

One lucky reader is planning a 2 month trip to Europe and needs some advice.

So this is in the very early stages, but me and a few buddies are planning a trip to Europe for next summer. We’re obviously going to do the main cities (Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, etc.) but we want to make this trip as unique (and affordable) as possible. Really just some general stuff here… was wondering if you guys had any spots someone who hasn’t been to Europe wouldn’t know to check out. What are some hidden gems across the continent that a travel agent might not come up with? Any and every suggestion is welcomed. Additionally, any ideas for saving money and traveling efficiently would be much appreciated as well. Really, any advice for someone looking to do this would be great.

My own thoughts: I’ve never been to Europe in August but I hear it’s a popular vacation month in western Europe so I’m told some restaurants in France close for example. This might affect your plans.

I’ve also never really been anywhere that’s not famous in Europe. Well maybe a few in Italy since I was there for over two months – Perugia comes to mind but I wouldn’t call it a must-see. I happened to be there for the chocolate festival which worked out well for my wife but I don’t really like chocolate. Plus I think it was Novemeber and you won’t be there then anyway.

One city that’s very high on my list is Prague. I’ve never been there but it’s supposed to be great and affordable. Krakow in Poland is another one. I’m sure these names are nothing new, however. This is just a thought…

London -> Paris -> Bordeaux -> Barcelona -> Valencia -> Granada -> Ibiza -> Marseilles -> Monaco -> Lake Como -> Florence -> Sienna -> Rome -> Positano -> Athens -> Islands -> Prague -> Moscow-> Krakow-> Munich -> Vienna -> Luxembourg -> Amsterdam -> London

You still miss a lot of great stuff, but you see a lot of great stuff too and you don’t spend too much time getting places as opposed to being somewhere. Of course you could just accept that you’re going to miss way more than you’re going to see and do some slow travel. Like maybe spend a month in Prague and then spend 4 weeks traveling around.

Hostels might work for saving money but I hear you’re much better off getting reviews from various websites as opposed to travel guides. Their listings can be incomplete and they might not mention which ones are more sociable – meeting cool people is what makes a vacation unique and certain hostels are better for that then others.

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Comments (6)

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  1. MT says:

    Prague is great, affordable fun. The beer is almost cheaper than water and the city is amazing. I expect there could be some heavy crowds there over the summer. I’m also a big fan of Poland, but I’m biased since I’m a citizen there (thanks for being born there, mom!).

    I’ve been up and down the country and I’m absolutely in love with some of the parks and the northern Gdansk area on the Baltic Sea. On the way to Gdansk there’s a badass castle called Malbork worth visiting.

    Some excellent other sites in Poland (if you dig historical castles and whatnot) include Torun and Krakow. With the way the Polish zloty is going, it is now 30 percent more affordable since I was there 3 years ago.

  2. Gregs says:

    I’d definitely recommend Krakow. It’s a really fun, lively, gorgeous city that’s incredibly affordable (currently anyway) and has amazing sights nearby. I went on excursions to Auschwitz and a nearby salt mine, which was far more awe-inspiring than you’d think a salt mine could be.

    I was in Tallinn, Estonia for just a few hours last week and had what might have been the best meal of my life in a medieval building, served by a waitress who was easily one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever seen so… there’s that too.

    Was in Copenhagen for a few days and really loved that city. It’s accessible in that everyone speaks English, but compensates for that by being ridiculously expensive.

    Krakow’s my favorite so far.

  3. Sharon says:

    Others that I’ve visited – Add Lisbon to your list, a beautiful city! Also, Salzburg, Venice, Granada or Cordoba. Of the islands in the Mediterranean, I would recommend Mallorca (of Spain),Corfu, Santorini or any other Greek islands.

  4. Celeste says:

    If you get down to Nice, take the work train up into the pre-Alps to Entreveaux, than further on to Digne to the end of the line if you’d like to explore further. It’s a long ride so plan on staying over a couple nights somewhere en-route. Entreveaux is VERY special.

  5. AL says:

    You don’t say how you are planning on getting around. Are you driving, doing a motorcycle tour, or just taking the train and local public transportation? It appears that you are going to be in France and if you are a history buff as we are, the Normandy coast and D-day beaches is a must. There are still some of the German pill boxes up on the cliffs and remnants of the Mulberry bridge on the beach. We drove down to Paris from Antwerp on a 3 day weekend instead of taking the train so that we could stop and see the WWII memorials. We were only able to spend a day there, but it was amazing and moving. We stayed in a relatively inexpensive little hotel in Deauville. I think we paid around 50 euro. That was downright cheap compared to the nearly 200 euro we pain in Paris, but that was several years ago.

  6. Just remember one thing don’t take the last bus back and the nuebmr one comment about visiting get the self-guided tour and don’t bother with the guided tour. The bus is not always there which will result in a costly cab ride. If you want to take some time to absorb your surroundings you’ll find the tour to be problematic. Shuttles run on the hour.I would love to see it in the winter. I lived there from April August so that wasn’t an option. Seems a bit more appropriate than sunshine and green grass in the summer.

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