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Old 20th February 2017, 17:43   #361
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

I don't see Romania mentioned anywhere. It's a fantastic place to enjoy the snow and has lot of sightseeing options. Most of the people speak English (like India, they learn more than one language as part of academics) and is cheap compared to other European countries. I am not aware of any direct flights, but you can fly through the Middle East.
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Old 20th February 2017, 22:55   #362
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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I don't see Romania mentioned anywhere.
I see the primary reason being lack of awareness about the country. Other reasons like requirement of additional visa (not part of Schengen), higher airfares (compared to Western European destinations) are addon reasons.

If you stick to cities and tourist circuit, English is spoken widely. Its when you go off the beaten track, the trouble starts. It's not like they don't know the language, but due to lack of confidence and/or practical usage they simply don't speak.

My neighbour is a Romanian born married to an Italian for 11 years. She studied English and French as part of her schooling, but can't speak a word of both . Same story with Italians, they learn English from grade 1 and one among French/Spanish/German (I guess in secondary school). Outside my office, some restaurants and hotels its rare to find someone to speak in English
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Old 21st February 2017, 16:57   #363
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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I see the primary reason being lack of awareness about the country. Other reasons like requirement of additional visa (not part of Schengen)
You are right, many people are not aware of it. Below is what I could gather on Romanian visa.

http://romaniatourism.com/entry-requirements.html

The Schengen Visa:

Romania is not yet part of the Schengen visa agreement but Schengen Visa holders do not need to get a (special) Romanian visa to visit Romania as long as their visa allows at least two entries in Schengen space and the number of entries and/ or length of stay has not been not exhausted
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Old 3rd March 2017, 21:30   #364
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

After lots of confusion and going back and forth, finally concluded that I will be going to Switzerland this summer. I have 10 days in hand. So, trying to figure out the best way of utilizing that time. I do not want to rush though.

In Switzerland, I am planning to go to the mountains, not the big cities. Is 5 days a decent time to explore the mountains? Where should I stay? I am hearing about Interlaken, Lucerne, Zematt. Also, what is a good time to visit these places? I guess July-Sep is the peak time. Is it fine to go in June?

What should I do with the additional 5 days? A great city filled with history, culture, food, fashion and character will be a nice contrast I believe. Paris is an obvious choice. What else? Please suggest some options.

Last edited by adimicra : 3rd March 2017 at 21:32.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 22:20   #365
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by adimicra View Post
After lots of confusion and going back and forth, finally concluded that I will be going to Switzerland this summer. I have 10 days in hand. So, trying to figure out the best way of utilizing that time. I do not want to rush though.

In Switzerland, I am planning to go to the mountains, not the big cities. Is 5 days a decent time to explore the mountains? Where should I stay? I am hearing about Interlaken, Lucerne, Zematt. Also, what is a good time to visit these places? I guess July-Sep is the peak time. Is it fine to go in June?

What should I do with the additional 5 days? A great city filled with history, culture, food, fashion and character will be a nice contrast I believe. Paris is an obvious choice. What else? Please suggest some options.
If I may suggest, Engelberg is a great place to stay in Switzerland. It is bang in the middle of the country and right under the shadow of Mt. Titlis, which is a must-see in Swiss any day. If you are comfortable hiring a car, then nothing like it. Interlaken is a little more than an hours drive, and famous cities like Zurich and Lucerne are quite easy to reach. You can also plan to visit Rhine falls though I must warn you, it is easy to get disappointed especially if you've seen the likes of Niagara etc. 5 days may be more or less depending on your choice. If you want to explore every nook and crevice in the Swiss alps, then even a month is not sufficient.

Additionally, Venice is a very good place to visit if you have time. You can fly from Zurich to Venice and spend a couple of days there. If you prefer a more down to earth experience, then the trains in Europe are amongst the best and most scenic. Do check out loco2 and raileurope (in that order) for ticket reservations.

June-Aug is the peak times in Europe. Weather depends largely on the altitude of the place you are visiting. Lowlands would mean moderate climates (in the range of 15-25 degrees; Italy can be quite warn sometimes). On the mountain-tops especially in Swiss, there is a fair chance of seeing snow.

Another place I think is a must visit is Amsterdam. Its extremely well-planned and has got a very good network of Trams and Buses. Its also child-friendly. Do go in for a tour to the traditional windmill villages and I tell you, they are really worth your time and money. Please do read about the places mentioned to ensure they are to your liking (as your taste and mine will differ considerably).
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Old 3rd March 2017, 23:24   #366
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by adimicra View Post
After lots of confusion and going back and forth, finally concluded that I will be going to Switzerland this summer. I have 10 days in hand. So, trying to figure out the best way of utilizing that time. I do not want to rush though.

In Switzerland, I am planning to go to the mountains, not the big cities. Is 5 days a decent time to explore the mountains? Where should I stay? I am hearing about Interlaken, Lucerne, Zematt. Also, what is a good time to visit these places? I guess July-Sep is the peak time. Is it fine to go in June?
Of the five days for Switzerland, you can keep three days for the mountains and two days for the cities.

Something like this:

Day 1: Zurich, roam around the city
Day 2: Zurich - Jungfrau - Grindelwald (stay)
This will be a day long trip as Zurich to Interlaken is two hours, and Interlaken to Jungfrau is almost three hours. You change three trains between Interlaken and Jungfrauhoch; Grindelwald is the first stop.
* Grindelwald is a beautiful town right in the middle of mountains; terrific topography and views
Day 3: Grindelwad - Interlaken - Lucerne
Day 4: Lucerne - Mt Titlis - Zurich
Day 5: Zurich/quick trip nearby: Basel, St Gallen

Zermatt is way off these places, far down south; you'll spend too much time traveling.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 3rd March 2017 at 23:26.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 23:27   #367
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

^^

Thanks a lot for your response.
Europe has so many wonderful places that it's difficult to decide. The more you read, the more confused you get.
I was planning to see the Matterhorn - one of the most iconic peaks in Switzerland and hence thinking of Zematt. Planning to skip Rhine falls. Some lovely lakes and green meadows will be good along with mountains.

Amsterdam is in my to-do list and one of my close friends stays there. But I want to go before April end as the tulip blossom will end after that.

Rome and Venice are great options and so is Paris. I am checking the train connectivity between various places.
Another option is Austria which I hear is also a great place.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 23:31   #368
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by adimicra View Post
Rome and Venice are great options and so is Paris. I am checking the train connectivity between various places.
Another option is Austria which I hear is also a great place.
sbb.ch is your best friend while planning any travel within Europe. They have an exceptional app as well.

Also, for flights to Amsterdam, check skyscanner and especially easyjet; they have rock bottom fares if you plan well.
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Old 5th March 2017, 09:19   #369
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Team -

I have made my bookings and this is how it looks :

20 May - Depart from Chennai for London
21 May - London Sightseeing + ManU match
22 May - London Sightseeing + flight to Edinburgh late evening
23 May - Sightseeing in Edinburgh
24 - 25 May - Hire a car and go to Glasgow(day 1 ) and the highlands(day 2) - any suggestions for these?
26 May - Early morning flight to Paris + Paris sightseeing + boat ride
27 May - Sightseeing in Paris
28 May - Early morning train to Lucerne + local sightseeing + boat riding
29 May - Based in Lucerne - Mt Titlis + Mt Pilatus
30 May - Based in Lucerne - Train to Interlaken + Jungfrau + Trummelbach falls + Grindelwald
31 May - Based in Lucerne - One more place TBD + evening Flight to London
01 June - London sightseeing
02 June - Shopping
03 June - rest and afternoon flight to Chennai
04 June - Arrive in Chennai

I have gone for comfort and quality in my bookings - Emirates/BA/Air France + Novotel/Radisson Blu/Holiday Inn Express.

Please let me have any suggestions and comments.

What type rail passes do you suggest for me? Any other places I should go to in Switzerland? what are the good shopping places in Paris/Edinburgh/Switzerland and London(other than OxS)?

Thanks
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Old 5th March 2017, 09:36   #370
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by HighwayBuddha View Post
What type rail passes do you suggest for me? Any other places I should go to in Switzerland?
Make sure you have the sbb.ch app installed on your phone; it has the Swiss rail network at your fingertips.

Since you are in Switzerland for 3/4 days, I'd recommend that you get the Swiss travel pass.

It is about 210 CHF for one person; and every mode of transport is included. Except that mountain trains are at a 50% discount. So, you'll have to pay for 50% of the cost for Lucerne - Mt Titlis, and Interlaken - Jungfrauhoch.

The pass otherwise covers everything: museums, trains, boats and buses.

Rather than taking a boat ride in Lucerne, I'd recommend a ride over Thun/Brienz at Interlaken.

Quote:
what are the good shopping places in Paris/Edinburgh/Switzerland and London(other than OxS)?
There's the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich; top notch shopping experience right in front of Zurich Hauptbahnhof (Zurich HB). You'll find every possible shop, right from Manor (the Shoppers Stop of Switzerland) to Omega.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 5th March 2017 at 09:38.
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Old 6th March 2017, 00:34   #371
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

My tentative plan as of now -

Land in Zurich. move to Lucerne.
2 nights in Lucerne.
2-3 nights near Interlaken, most probably Wengen
Train to Milan, 1 night in Milan or go directly to venice
2 nights in Venice
3 nights in Rome
Fly back

Overall 10 nights/11 days.
Does this sound like a good plan?

Another option is go to Austria instead of Italy and visti Vienna/Salzburg/Insbruk etc and leave Italy for another trip which will mean a good 9-10 days in Italy covering Rome/Venice/Florence/Amalfi coast/Capri island/Pompei etc.
Any suggestions?
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Old 6th March 2017, 03:15   #372
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Any suggestions?
I'll try to address the Italian part. If your aim was to visit Venice, makes no sense have a stay in Milan. Also if this (Interlaken-Milan-Venice) via train, expect a 7-8 hr travel day with multiple transfer points. Venice-Rome is a single train, is a 4-5 hr journey.

What time of the year are you planning?
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Old 6th March 2017, 03:31   #373
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by HighwayBuddha View Post
Team -

I have made my bookings and this is how it looks :

22 May - London Sightseeing + flight to Edinburgh late evening
23 May - Sightseeing in Edinburgh
24 - 25 May - Hire a car and go to Glasgow(day 1 ) and the highlands(day 2) - any suggestions for these?
I would have recommended a late evening train journey from London Euston or Kings Cross to Edinburgh and it takes around 4 1/2 hours. I personally quite like gazing through the Train window to the countryside passing by. Anyway Edinburgh is a great place for a visit, I would definitely recommend going to one of the underground tours, the castle and if you have time visit Rossyln Chapel(http://www.rosslynchapel.com); bus 37 will take you there in an hour.

Glasgow is only 1 1/2 - 2 Hrs drive so you may not need the whole day to do that trip. If you are staying in Glasgow and going to look around you can use the second day to drive from Glasgow to Ediburgh via Inverness. If its highlands and road trip you are after, then you are going to love this, the route is quite scenic.
If there are no plans made to stay in Glasgow and if its more about driving around then the best option would be to find a stay in Fort William and then drive back to Edinburgh via Inverness next day. As its not very far you will get some time to look around in Fort William.
If you want to take it as an endurance challenge you could set on a drive all the way to Portree in Isle of Skye and drive back the next day. But its going to be really tough and not sure if the time pressure would eat into the enjoyment.

Travelling to Europe. Need advice-edinburgh-portree-edinburgh.png
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Old 6th March 2017, 10:38   #374
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21 May - London Sightseeing + ManU match

Not to rain on your parade, but as per the EPL schedule, ManU match on 21 May is scheduled to take place in Manchester, not in London. Maybe you could make the trip like so many others from London and add Manchester to the list of cities "ticked off". Alternatively, Chelsea are playing in London that day, and ManCity are in nearby Watford. One of those two are bound to be celebrating on that day.
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Old 6th March 2017, 15:57   #375
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Team -

I have made my bookings and this is how it looks :

what are the good shopping places in Paris/Edinburgh/Switzerland and London(other than OxS)?

Thanks
Any specific reason why you are going back to London from Lucerne. If you ask me, you could shift Paris to the end of the trip and fly out from there. Use the extra two days to add another place like Vienna to your itinerary.

Bond street is another good place to shop for in London. But I must tell you, almost all high street shopping centres in the UK have the same bunch of retail outlets. So, it would not add much value in adding shopping in Edinburgh (unless of course it is the wife's wish). St.Enochs and the nearby streets in Glasgow are good places for Boutique shops.
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