Trip to Europe - Help Required

#1 Feb 20th, 2018, 15:23
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#1
Hi All
i am planning a trip to Italy-Switzerland-France(Paris only) in November this year. i should be able to take time off for 15 or 16 days. i am in the preliminary stages of planning and would appreciate any inputs from the fellow IMers from that neck of the wood or who have already travelled these path.

A skeletal of trip will be-
Day 0 - BLR to Rome
Day 1 - Rome
Day 2 - Rome
Day 3 - Rome - Pisa - Rome
Day 4 - Rome - Florence
Day 5 - Florance
Day 6 - Florance - Venice
Day 7 - Venice
Day 8 - Venice - Lucerne
Day 9 - Day trip to Mt. Titlis
Day 10 - Lucerne - Interlaken
Day 11 - Day trip to jungfraujoch
Day 12 - Interlaken - Geneva
Day 13 - Geneva
Day 14 - Geneva - Paris
Day 15 - Paris
Day 16 - Paris - Blr

would appriciate your inputs on the above itinerary:
1. is this circuit doable
2. Should i buy a EU rail pass for the entire circuit or point to point tickets
3. Any places that i can squeeze in the given time frame
4. Hotels or AirBnB
5. Any of the above place that can be avoided to be replaced by a better location

i am not sure if i am allowed to post in this forum. please let me know if otherwise. I shall refrain
#2 Feb 20th, 2018, 15:40
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#2
A discussion on a similar topic earlier http://www.indiamike.com/india/cross...urope-t244507/
#3 Feb 20th, 2018, 23:38
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#3
aarosh - i did go through the mentioned link. An interesting read only to realise that it was abandoned by the OP.
#4 Feb 20th, 2018, 23:40
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#4
i did get a lot of information from the above thread but a few question still lingers. Firstly Is the Itinerary above doable or am i punching above my weight?
#5 Feb 21st, 2018, 16:01
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#5
Is November the only time window you can travel in? It is not such a great month to travel through your destination countries. September would be okay for second half of the year.

As far as the itinerary is concerned and what it is worth to buy in terms of train card etc, you best look at a Google map first and punch in the locations you want to visit, then check the train timings and the fare costs and make a list.

For Italy: https://www.italiarail.com/
For Switzerland: https://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html

Just checking the map lets you realize that it does not make sense to return to Rome from Pisa, then again travel to Florence. In fact Pisa can be a side trip from Florence.

Train cards are generally only worth it if you travel daily. You, however, plan to spend some days at each location in Italy. Maybe a card could be an option for Switzerland, since there you change places daily. Maybe a half price card... see here https://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holida...fare-card.html and also look at other cards on that site, for instance the Swiss Pass.

You have to do the calculation yourself to see if it is worth it. I know that the trip from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch alone is 100 CHF one way (last time I checked), so to pay half price for that might be a good option. (The Half Fare card would also cut your Venice to Luzern price tag from the Swiss border onward; the reduction would be roughly one fourth to one third of the full price. My quick estimate though. I looked at the price Venice to Lugano, a Swiss city near the border to Italy...)

You should also think about if twice a similar experience is worth it for you: Titlis and Jungfraujoch. I know that Indians like to go to Titlis; I am not 100% sure why. Could be the ropeway experience over a glacier maybe other attractions there too. Titlis seems to be marketed in India rather well. Beware: Half Fare card is not valid for the ropeway up to the mountain.).

An alternative to either of them could be a trip to Mt. Rigi.

Rigi (close to Luzern; you get to the foot of Mt Rigi on steamer boat from Luzern) is a lower altitude mountain, but quite removed from the chain of the Alps, so you have nice views to most of them.

Independent when you are actually going, also do some bad-weather alternative plan.

I don't know enough about other locations on your tour, to give pertinent advice about days spent there. But the general outline of it looks doable. ( I would say you need at least one full day for Luzern, that is maybe missing in your plan. I cannot really judge if it is a good idea to spend as many days as you plan in for Italian destinations.)
#6 Feb 21st, 2018, 20:42
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by atala View Post
I know that Indians like to go to Titlis; I am not 100% sure why. Could be the ropeway experience over a glacier maybe other attractions there too. Titlis seems to be marketed in India rather well.
http://www.thehindu.com/features/mag...cle4146877.ece
#7 Feb 21st, 2018, 21:06
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#7
Thanks atala.. that was useful indeed.

I will wait for some inputs on Italy and once its ironed out, will come back to you for more. Infact i like the idea of Mr. Rigi.
#8 Feb 21st, 2018, 21:13
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#8
Also, while i would love to visit during summer mainly because of more daylight hour; my work allows me the luxury of longer leaves only in Nov and dec. What short of weather can we encounter? will it be too cold? will the mountain service trains be open?
#9 Feb 21st, 2018, 22:28
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#9
The daylight hours are shorter, limiting your chances of seeing sights.
In Switzerland I'd recommend Bern, Zurich, luzern and Stein am Rhein if you can make it there. All these towns have well preserved medieval centers and feel very different from anything you'll see elsewhere. From Stein am Rhein you may visit Rhinefalls.
#10 Feb 21st, 2018, 23:20
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#10
Your time in Paris seems - what can I say - very limited indeed. It hardly seems worthwhile going all that way for one day.
#11 Feb 22nd, 2018, 15:36
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#11

Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottler View Post Thanks atala.. that was useful indeed.

I will wait for some inputs on Italy and once its ironed out, will come back to you for more. Infact i like the idea of Mr. Rigi.
i think you should get your Italy information from Tripadvisor or general online research. We don't have many Italians active here, and probably no expat who lived there recently. I have studied in Rome a long time ago so perhaps could say just some general things (Rome is ancient, and that stuff does not change much).

Also better do the same homework re Switzerland so you can ask questions to fill in stuff you'd like to know before this thread falls into oblivion.
#12 Feb 22nd, 2018, 15:50
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottler View Post Also, while i would love to visit during summer mainly because of more daylight hour; my work allows me the luxury of longer leaves only in Nov and dec. What short of weather can we encounter? will it be too cold? will the mountain service trains be open?
From the two months Nov and Dec. I would choose December. Both months are cold for sure ( but normally not too cold i.e. not much below freezing point if at all, as is sometimes in February). But of course impossible to predict. The likelihood of snow in lower altitude i.e. in cities is higher in December. A main advantage of December is that then you have Christmas markets in cities and towns get "ornamented" with special lights at night so that some sight- seeing at night might be inviting.
#13 Feb 22nd, 2018, 17:58
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#13
November seems to be a very damp month and i would certainly like to keep away from too many cities.
i am looking at exploring the option of travelling during last week of august or first week of september.
#14 Feb 22nd, 2018, 18:16
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#14
15-16 days and two countries + paris. Seems a very whirlwind tour. Would recommend visiting fewer places and spending some time there. Decide whether you prefer countryside or big towns. Both Titlis and Jungfrauzoch seems waste of money, I would choose 1.

i spent 8 days in swiss and possibly would have loved to add another 2 days there. took 8 day swiss pass and loved the flexibility, whenever we wanted to move just took a boat / train and off we go..

Switzerland, luzern, interlaken, geneva are three places we visited and loved each of them. personally liked oberland the most, stayed in a village called Lauterbrunnen, below Murren, lovely place. Anyday better than interlaken, which is more populous, but equally lovely. Grindlewald was the most picturesque village as per me. Geneva again was amazing. We loved countryside and hence more days in Swiss. Paris was a 4 day stay, good but nothing extra ordinary
#15 Feb 22nd, 2018, 20:38
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottler View Post i would certainly like to keep away from too many cities.
Just to give you the proper perspective about Swiss cities. Luzern used to have a little more than 30.000 population, now has officially 80.000 because of the incorporation of some surrounding countryside communities.

Zürich has around 350.000 (it looks bigger since density of construction is more around the city). Geneva has 190.000. In other words: Luzern does not really count as a city (culturally-historically it is certainly a city, but not what you would expect in terms of population, traffic, shopping malls and so on).

Your main concern about cities must be directed towards Italy, where the old parts are often quaint - but Italian places are crowded, Swiss cities are not, everyone is working, therefore off the streets, while Italians are enjoying dolce vita (they often have to work 2 or 3 jobs to make enough money though).

Last week of August is still quite hot in Italy. The hottest time is Ferragosto, August 15. Just to keep that in mind. As someone from India you must be used to it, although Bangalore is not as hot as other parts. But in Rome and other places you may need AC rooms at that time, if it turns out to be another scorching hot summer this year. Very old buildings were built to be cooling even before the advent of air-conditioning, but they can still be very hot in a hot summer.
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