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Old 19th July 2017, 13:08   #436
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by freakmuzik View Post

1. Stay in Cologne for a day or two (say 19 & 20)
One day for Cologne is enough. Cathedral and the main street along the river are the main attractions and both are close to the main station (walking is the best mode). You can also explore Cathedral museum if you are interested in such stuff. It is definitely worth it. Just check the operating timings and days.

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Originally Posted by freakmuzik View Post
2. Stay in Berlin for three of days (21, 22, 23)
Good that you planned three days for Berlin as you need that much. Berlin is probably the most beautiful city in Germany with lots of history behind. Metro is the best way to explore it.

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Originally Posted by freakmuzik View Post
3. Visit Salzburg & Munich (24,25)
Skip this as time will not permit you to cover both the places. You can probably explore Munich but both the places will be too tight. I would recommend Hamburg as it is on the way to Brussels from Berlin and will save you some transportation cost.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 19th July 2017, 13:22   #437
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by freakmuzik View Post
Hello guys,

Thanks in advance
Havent been to Germany, so my answers will be more generic.

You could give couchsurfing a shot, if hostelworld isnt giving anything interesting.

For all bus/train/flights, I use goeuro.com as my standard search engine.

If you get to Belgium a day or two earlier, spend a day in Bruges. Its a super nice city to walk around in.
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Old 19th July 2017, 13:51   #438
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by freakmuzik View Post
I will be staying with my friend in Cologne whereas on all the other days I will have to rent rooms. In order to give a background, I’m a musician and also a (student) architect (just waiting for my final certificate) with an extremely tight budget in hand. I do not mind Youth Hostels for accommodation. And I’m fully a vegetarian so I was also a little worried about the food part.
Try airbnb as well.

EDIT: Youth Hostels are a good option; typically most are very close to the railway station.

Food is expensive, especially for vegetarians since the typical cheap food (burgers, pizzas, rolls) have only about one or two options in veg. And that is not wholesome.

Find a typical Indian restaurant that specializes in tiffins; you'll get a good meal for 10-15 euros. Otherwise, Indian restaurants are expensive (40 euros on average)

Quote:
3. I still haven’t found a suitable means to travel from Thallichtenberg or Kusel to Cologne. The trains and buses need multiple changeovers. Any insight on that?
Try blablacar. Now, when you try to book a ride from Germany, it'll take you to the blablacar Germany website, which is in German without any option to change the language. The Chrome translate option can be a hassle at times.

The workaround I used was to log on to blablacar UK website and book a ride. The only difference is, you get charged in GBP. Anyway, you'll pay currency conversion charge.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 19th July 2017 at 13:59.
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Old 19th July 2017, 14:43   #439
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by freakmuzik View Post
1. For the gap of Aug 19 to 27th, are the things I have in mind okay? Any suggestions?
I just have a generic suggestion. For the dates (infact entire August), its best to have transportation and stay booked in advance. Its the peak vacation time, so don't leave these to last minute or on the spot.

If you are interested in Formula 1. You might try seeing one of the practice sessions on the eve of the weekend you are flying out. Belgium GP happens 25-27 August.
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Old 19th July 2017, 15:20   #440
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by freakmuzik View Post
Hello guys,

And Iím fully a vegetarian so I was also a little worried about the food part. So my queries are:

1. For the gap of Aug 19 to 27th, are the things I have in mind okay? Any suggestions?

2. Are there any other places that I should consider other than the ones Iíve listed? I would love to visit cities like Paris, Zurich, Vienna, etc as I would be spending my Camp days in pretty scenic locations.

3. I still havenít found a suitable means to travel from Thallichtenberg or Kusel to Cologne. The trains and buses need multiple changeovers. Any insight on that?
Vegetarian food in Germany is almost the same price like non-vegetarian food, sometimes also a bit on the higher side (if the ingredients are "Bio").

In Germany, whether you see any other city or not, Berlin is a MUST. I was in Berlin for 1 week, still didn't see even 1/2 of it.

Cheap travel options are -

busliniensuche.de
blablacar.de

Cheap stay options are -
Youth hostels (Jugendherberge), A&O Hostels (sometimes common kitchen available)
Couchsurfing (Free)
Airbnb (if you need a kitchen)

The german rail (Deutsche Bahn) has cheap tickets 19Ä e.g. for long distance trains. You will need to do some search on internet, or ask your friend in Germany. Enjoy Deutschland

Spike
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Old 20th July 2017, 01:38   #441
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by prateekm View Post
Berlin is a must-visit and needs at least 3 days to cover the city, especially if you're interested in history and the party scene. 2 days for Salzburg and Munich seems very less and you'll spend a lot of time in travelling. You could rather do something like Cologne -> Berlin -> Hamburg/Amsterdam -> Brussels. Take night buses on the long segments, will help you save hostel costs for that day. Check bus fares on sites like checkmybus, goeuro. Go for walking tours in each city, that's the best way to explore IMHO.
Try blablacar.
Thank you! True, i'm definitely keeping aside some good time for Berlin during this travel. And blablacar doesn't seem to have rides for this segment. Maybe i can ask for a ride sharing from someone in the camp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_skyliner View Post
One day for Cologne is enough. Cathedral and the main street along the river are the main attractions and both are close to the main station (walking is the best mode). You can also explore Cathedral museum if you are interested in such stuff. It is definitely worth it. Just check the operating timings and days.

Good that you planned three days for Berlin as you need that much. Berlin is probably the most beautiful city in Germany with lots of history behind. Metro is the best way to explore it.

Skip this as time will not permit you to cover both the places. You can probably explore Munich but both the places will be too tight. I would recommend Hamburg as it is on the way to Brussels from Berlin and will save you some transportation cost.

Enjoy your trip!
Yes! i'm really keen on Berlin and definitely want to spend quality time there. And the Welcome Card looks pretty interesting too. In Cologne, I have a friend so that is primarily why I kept aside two days there. And also loved the looks of the Cathedral. About Munich, I'm writing below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshaymahajan View Post
Havent been to Germany, so my answers will be more generic.
You could give couchsurfing a shot, if hostelworld isnt giving anything interesting.
For all bus/train/flights, I use goeuro.com as my standard search engine.
If you get to Belgium a day or two earlier, spend a day in Bruges. Its a super nice city to walk around in.
Thank you! Just checked couchsurfing and I think that's a great option! And I'm using goeuro app for all my planning too. Such a helpful app. Though I don't think I can go as far as Bruges, I was thinking of Brussels itself along with maybe Antwerp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Try airbnb as well.

EDIT: Youth Hostels are a good option; typically most are very close to the railway station.

Food is expensive, especially for vegetarians since the typical cheap food (burgers, pizzas, rolls) have only about one or two options in veg. And that is not wholesome.

Find a typical Indian restaurant that specializes in tiffins; you'll get a good meal for 10-15 euros. Otherwise, Indian restaurants are expensive (40 euros on average)

Try blablacar. Now, when you try to book a ride from Germany, it'll take you to the blablacar Germany website, which is in German without any option to change the language. The Chrome translate option can be a hassle at times.

The workaround I used was to log on to blablacar UK website and book a ride. The only difference is, you get charged in GBP. Anyway, you'll pay currency conversion charge.
Woah those are some amazing tips. The UK blablacar thing worked like a charm. Thank you. And regarding food, I was even thinking of sticking to a complete Fruit diet during my days in Germany haha. Food seems to be damn expensive!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
I just have a generic suggestion. For the dates (infact entire August), its best to have transportation and stay booked in advance. Its the peak vacation time, so don't leave these to last minute or on the spot.

If you are interested in Formula 1. You might try seeing one of the practice sessions on the eve of the weekend you are flying out. Belgium GP happens 25-27 August.
Very true. Some tickets for weekends are already so damn expensive. They are almost 10 times of the regular fares. And i don't follow Formula 1 much (now don't kick me out of T-Bhp ). I'l anyways check that out for sure. Thanks a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Vegetarian food in Germany is almost the same price like non-vegetarian food, sometimes also a bit on the higher side (if the ingredients are "Bio").

In Germany, whether you see any other city or not, Berlin is a MUST. I was in Berlin for 1 week, still didn't see even 1/2 of it.

Cheap travel options are -

busliniensuche.de
blablacar.de

Cheap stay options are -
Youth hostels (Jugendherberge), A&O Hostels (sometimes common kitchen available)
Couchsurfing (Free)
Airbnb (if you need a kitchen)

The german rail (Deutsche Bahn) has cheap tickets 19Ä e.g. for long distance trains. You will need to do some search on internet, or ask your friend in Germany. Enjoy Deutschland

Spike
Thank you! Great sites and have gone through only a few of them till now. Regarding the travel, I was contemplating for a Flixbus pass for 99 euros that gives five inter city travel. Or some other flight options too which seem to be reasonable.

Guys, i can't express my gratitude for all your timely replies! I could plan a hell lot of things with your replies here. Thank you so much. After going through all these, I was thinking of the following:

I really don't want to hurry from one city to another. I prefer spending quality time at a place or two. So will the below idea be better?

19th & 20th Aug - Cologne
21st Aug - fly to Berlin and stay till 24th Aug
25th & 26th Aug - roam around Brussels/ Antwerp
27th Aug - fly out from Brussels.

This seems to be relaxed and also, flights on 25th and 26th from Berlin or Munich to Brussles seem to be mighty expensive due to the weekend factor i guess. So flying early to Brussels should make it much more cheaper and I can also check out Brussels pretty decently. What say?
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Old 20th July 2017, 12:27   #442
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

So our final itinerary after multiple iterations is:

3 nights in London (arrival, 2 day city sightseeing)
3 nights in Paris (arrival, museum and Disneyland)
4 nights in Switzerland ( arrival, jungfrau, titlis, buffer)
1 night in Munich (Oktoberfest, city sightseeing)

Travel mode is railway mostly. Eurostar from London to Paris and TGV from Paris to Interlaken. For accommodation, I'm looking at:

London - Premier inn property near SOHO
Paris - Private room @ Generator hostel
Interlaken - AirBnB near Brienz lake
Munich - Private room @ Wombats hostel

I just have few questions regarding intra-city transport:

1. For London, we'll take a 2-day tourist pass that allows us to use the HOHO bus. But for airport and Eurostar transfer, we'll take the tube. Is it better to buy an Oyster card or pay as we go?

2. For Paris, our primary mode of commute will be the metro. Again, any pass that helps here?

3. Suggestions for the buffer day in Switzerland?

4. I understand Oktoberfest draws a large crowd in Germany. Any tips to be safe and enjoy the fest too?
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Old 20th July 2017, 12:33   #443
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Nonstop-driver View Post

4. I understand Oktoberfest draws a large crowd in Germany. Any tips to be safe and enjoy the fest too?
Oktoberfest is usually very well managed and safe for all. Just ensure that you have a transportation arrangement made if staying late as getting a taxi is tricky and even the metro gets too crowded to board on.
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Old 20th July 2017, 12:49   #444
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Nonstop-driver View Post

4. I understand Oktoberfest draws a large crowd in Germany. Any tips to be safe and enjoy the fest too?
I had written a mini-guide on Oktoberfest on a social networking site, reproducing the same here.

Quote:
Oktoberfest was the start of our backpacking trip across Europe last year. Let me try and give an idea of what to expect.

Stay: To give you a perspective of the hotel rates in Munich during the festival, we booked our Airbnb in the end of June and the only reasonable stay we could find was in an attic in a suburb 30 mins from Munich downtown. Average 3* Hotels were around 15k a night around the downtown when we booked.

Oktoberfest: People start queuing up at 6 am on the peak days (weekends, public holidays, etc), so plan well before you go. Don't go after 12 noon, else getting in will be hard. Go to the fest for at least 2 days and keep a day as buffer if you can afford that. Tents are full but no need of reservation which costs a ton, so try and share a seat in the unreserved section. The early ones get a seat, so if you're late, it all depends on your convincing skills. Plan which tent you want to go to, some tents are full of locals, others are where the foreigners hang out, some are difficult to get in to, so you need to research. There are petty fights inside the tents, but there's adequate security guards inside. There are rides outside that people take once they are drunk, so expect a lot of people throwing up. The metro stn is nearby. Carry enough cash, Germany is a anti-cards country. Learn a few songs that are commonly sung at the Oktoberfest, that way you'll enjoy it more. Vegetarians will have a hard time with the food, so if there are any in the group, plan well in advance. No bags are allowed inside because of the current world scenario, so travel light. Avoid weekends, especially the infamous 'Italian Weekend'.

Food: Food inside is average at best, but who goes for that? You'll get pretzels (3 eu), half chicken (10 eu) and people generally stick to these dishes.

Beer: It is expensive, around 11 eu a stein. Each tent has a different beer, so decide the tent in advance. If you do go late, then you don't really have an option. Try the radler after a couple of beers, it's basically beer + lemonade. Tastes wonderful. DO NOT leave your mug on the table, the servers will take it. If you ask it back, they'll ask you to pay another 11 eu

Budget: An average person will spend around 50 euros a day at the Oktoberfest (incl transport). Book stay well in advance to get a good deal.

Scroll through Reddit and other sites for some real good advice.
https://www.reddit.com/r/Munich/comm...t_oktoberfest/
Send me a PM if you need any other info.
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Old 20th July 2017, 12:55   #445
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Nonstop-driver View Post
2. For Paris, our primary mode of commute will be the metro. Again, any pass that helps here?
I remember there were 1, 3 and 7 day metro passes. Among the places we visited, Versailles was the only place that required taking the bus. Most of the other attractions were accessible by train.

Disney alone will take 2 days minimum if you want to do proper justice to it. You wouldn't be able to walk in for some of the attractions. Non resident tickets are very expensive too. I took my daughter for a day and I was not really satisfied. For my daughter it was like a 'been there done that'. Staying at Disney will give a couple of extra hours before the day crowd enters.

Eiffel Tower is atleast a half day exercise.

BTW Titlis is near Lucerne, not Interlaken
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Old 20th July 2017, 14:02   #446
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Having lived in London for circa 4 years, and travelled around Europe, here are my tidbits of wisdom:

a. An Oyster card is needed should you choose to use it on your future trips to London, and keep it as a souvenir (I still keep mine). You can always top-up your Oyster card and use it as you wish. Some shops may charge you 1 or 2 pounds to purchase the Oyster card. Please do check at the TfL (Transport for London) on this.

b. I typically like to stay in a Marriott or Radisson on my travels as the accumulation of my points help me redeem for future trips (redeemed 1 night for an Orlando stay in Marriott in May this year). They also have cheaper options as well.

c. Oktoberfest- I visited this stupendous event and didn't know that one had to book a spot in the tent (the Germans call it Zelt). However, I just strolled through this place and watched in awe the terrific enthusiasm exhibited by the people. I also managed to take a pic with the cops (unsure if it was the GSG9)

d. Since you anyways would visit Munich, do pop in at the BMW Museum/Welt- This also led me later to purchase a Bimmer, albeit it was a pre-worshipped one.

All the best, and pen your travelogue- safe travels, and enjoy !!!
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Old 20th July 2017, 15:25   #447
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by prateekm View Post
I had written a mini-guide on Oktoberfest on a social networking site, reproducing the same here.

Send me a PM if you need any other info.
Thank you this was very helpful. Is the fest as vibrant during the day as it is after sundown, especially on weekends?

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Disney alone will take 2 days minimum if you want to do proper justice to it.

Eiffel Tower is atleast a half day exercise.

BTW Titlis is near Lucerne, not Interlaken
Thank you. Unfortunately we don't have the luxury of spending 2 days at the park but I found a deal for 1 day pass in both parks at 57 EUR so we'll try and make the best of it. Do they have express tickets too like Universal Studios?

Yes, Titlis is closer to Engelberg but we will stick to 1 base town.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobvarughese View Post
Having lived in London for circa 4 years, and travelled around Europe, here are my tidbits of wisdom:

d. Since you anyways would visit Munich, do pop in at the BMW Museum/Welt- This also led me later to purchase a Bimmer, albeit it was a pre-worshipped one.

All the best, and pen your travelogue- safe travels, and enjoy !!!
Thank you for sharing the wisdom. Since I do not forsee another visit to London anytime soon, does it make since to get the Oyster card? Also, does the daily capping apply to pay-as-you-go cards too? This structure of London transport is really confusing.

Yes BMW Museum is on the list but the missus might want to change that
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Old 20th July 2017, 16:00   #448
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

I'm an ex-Londoner, with very little recent experience, but... It looks like it is worth buying an Oyster card. Looks like you have to buy online and get it delivered in advance though.

tfl Visitor Oyster Card. Looks like you have to order in advance and have it posted to you.
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Old 20th July 2017, 16:03   #449
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Nonstop-driver View Post
3. Suggestions for the buffer day in Switzerland?
There are couple of place around Lucerne area. For example Mount Rigi, Swiss Transport Museum.

Thanks,
Jignesh
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Old 20th July 2017, 16:32   #450
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
I'm an ex-Londoner, with very little recent experience, but... It looks like it is worth buying an Oyster card. Looks like you have to buy online and get it delivered in advance though.

tfl Visitor Oyster Card. Looks like you have to order in advance and have it posted to you.
Well, you can buy a visitor Oyster card locally in and around London, but not everywhere. Have a look:

https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payment...on-this-page-5

My wife and me spend about 10 days in London last year house sitting for friends. We came into London via City airport and that's where we got our Oyster cars as well. Just tell them how long you will be staying and roughly which area you will be travelling and they will advise on the most favourable solution.

I seem to recall I ordered it on line in advance and picked them up at the airport

When you use the Oyster card, one thing though; when you leave and you still have credit left on the card, make sure you know where to get a refund. You cant get a refund at all places. I found out when we leaving via City Airport. The place that sold us the card, couldnt refund it.

A few other tips: We tended to travel everywhere by metro in the past. Our friend encouraged us to take the bus. It's usually as quickly or hardly any slower and you get to see London.

Make sure to load some good travel maps onto your phone. There is Tube map for the eh Tube!. I used Citymapp as it will show door to door, it will give you different options, walking, bicycle, bus, tupe and any combination. Very usefull and I found it more accurate then Google.

Lots to see and do in London, try a Westend show for evening entertainement

Enjoy London.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 20th July 2017 at 16:36.
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