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 PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:54 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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 PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:50 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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I might end up making a thread for this question, but for now here goes.

I'll be taking a two week trip to Europe in October, and I'm wondering if anyone has any tips or advice. I should be visiting a total of four countries: Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. I've looked into whether a rental car would be better, individual train tickets, or purchasing a Eurail pass for travel. I am also undecided on lodging. I know a trip like this takes a lot of planning, but before I begin making final decisions, I wanted to ask for any advice. Whether our European based friends here have any suggestions, or whether any others may have visited in the past. All suggestions are welcome!

Thanks in advance! Smile
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 PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:07 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Mara Jade Skywalker wrote:
I might end up making a thread for this question, but for now here goes.

I'll be taking a two week trip to Europe in October, and I'm wondering if anyone has any tips or advice. I should be visiting a total of four countries: Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. I've looked into whether a rental car would be better, individual train tickets, or purchasing a Eurail pass for travel. I am also undecided on lodging. I know a trip like this takes a lot of planning, but before I begin making final decisions, I wanted to ask for any advice. Whether our European based friends here have any suggestions, or whether any others may have visited in the past. All suggestions are welcome!

Thanks in advance! Smile


Driving and parking in Europe are different in subtle and difficult ways than in North America. In ways that you may find frustrating or freaky, if you're planning on sticking with cities on the train lines, I'd stick with that. You'll find smaller cities are great to walk, and larger ones will have good mass transit.

Some places are obviously not on the Train lines, but I'm not sure if you plan to visit those. Two weeks isn't a lot of time for 4 countries so I presume not.

I'm of course generalizing but I've traveled to Paris and Geneva a bunch of times for work and am very glad I've never needed to drive. But I've had colleagues rent cars for day trips and had fun. Just not for me.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:40 pm Reply with quote  
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  Hogy
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I've never been in Switzerland, but I've been in Italy and Avstria dozens of times. I've been in Germany a few times as well.
If you have any Q's that I can anwser; Mara I'm here to help (if the cantina mailing thingy works that is).

As for transportation goes Taral is right in this:
Taral-DLOS wrote:
If you're planning on sticking with cities on the train lines, I'd stick with that. You'll find smaller cities are great to walk, and larger ones will have good mass transit.


Trains in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are mostly on time. Italy...hm not necessary.

But bare in mind that a lot of sites aren't near the train lines. Especially medieval castles and forts and such.
Im not sure what interests you the most (history, art, siteseeing, nature, museums, ....).

I don't know if you're traveling alone or not, but if you're alone or in a pair, rental cars will deffinetly be more expensive than a train.

If you should choose a car rent, you should know this:
Gas isn't cheap like it is in the USA.
Don't fill your car on a highway because gas costs more there.
4 different countries means 4 different highway systems.
Italy has pay tolls- expensive IMO.
Avstria has Vignette (sticker that you put on your utmost left uper side of the front window) which cost 8,7 EUR for 10 days but you can use all of the Austrias highways from there on for free.
I don't remember paying anything for the highway in Germany. Ever. But don't take my word on this. I have no clue what Switzerland has.
You have to pay toll for the long tunels in all of this countries. Same goes for natural parks and such.

As for spending the night:
Germans and Austirans (probably Switzerland likewise) have (mostly) good accommodation. In Austria privat rent-a-room people are the best. Hostels are ok but their pricecess differ too much to anwser. Hotels with 2 stars are usually nice too. Anything above 2 stars hotels you are just paying for the pool and stuff you don't actually need.
Italy is not the same. It's a hit/miss scenario there. You may be lucky and get a nice room, or you can get a shitty inffested room for the same price.
A lot of those places have this toilette/shower hybrids that I absolutely loathe.

For accommodations I would look from the site booking.com. It's more accurate and usually offers better prices than similar sites.


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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:32 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Thanks for the input! I will be traveling with someone else, so it's not a solo trip. We realize four countries is a lot to see in two weeks, but unfortunately it's the most time I'll be able to finagle out of work. We may cut Italy from the trip, but we also know we may never get to go back. So we're trying to make the most of it.

Have either of you ever purchased a Eurail pass? At first glance they seem to be great options. But once you start reading the finer details, it seems like you can do just fine purchasing tickets as you need them, rather than relying on the pass.

My only concern with taking the trains is that, as Hogy pointed out, the castles and forts and such can't be reached via that method of travel. But we've discussed possibly traveling by train between the major cities, and maybe taking a jaunt or two in a rental car in between. We shall see. We have a lot of planning to do yet.

Again, thank you for the input! I will have more questions as it goes. Smile
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