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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2012, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

So I'm going to be renting out an apartment in Prague for the month of October and taking weekend trips to Budapest and Vienna (as well as an overnight to Cesky Krumlov). However, I've got a three week window (September 11-30) before arriving in Prague and want to visit a few other places as well.

Right now Lisbon, Barcelona and Amsterdam (with an overnight visit to Bruges) are on that list. How much time is worth spending in each city? Part of me is just thinking of spending a week in each city, but is there one place worth spending more time in than the other? Also, is it worth visiting Porto for a couple of days or should that just be skipped over?

It should also be noted that I will be working this entire trip and will only have time to sightsee/unwind in the mornings and on the weekend. Any advice would be wonderful. Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2012, 06:36 PM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

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Originally Posted by CoryAnnAvants#1 View Post
So I'm going to be renting out an apartment in Prague for the month of October and taking weekend trips to Budapest and Vienna (as well as an overnight to Cesky Krumlov). However, I've got a three week window (September 11-30) before arriving in Prague and want to visit a few other places as well.

Right now Lisbon, Barcelona and Amsterdam (with an overnight visit to Bruges) are on that list. How much time is worth spending in each city? Part of me is just thinking of spending a week in each city, but is there one place worth spending more time in than the other? Also, is it worth visiting Porto for a couple of days or should that just be skipped over?

It should also be noted that I will be working this entire trip and will only have time to sightsee/unwind in the mornings and on the weekend. Any advice would be wonderful. Thanks!
I'm very jealous, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Budapest, and Vienna are all amazing. I think Prague might be the most beautiful city in the world.

Anyway, I've only been to Amsterdam out of the three and I loved it but I think a week there is fine. Personally, I would try to get to as many cities as I could within the three week period.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2012, 06:50 PM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

i haven't been to amsterdam yet but otherwise i'd say that unless you plan to do some activities, spend some time on a beach, visit many museums or do a day trip or 2 to attractions nearby you won't need more than 5 days for any of the cities you mention. you can easily put in some smaller cities in between since it won't take too much time to see them.

porto is definitely worth a visit. in your place i'd split the time in portugal between lisbon and porto and the time in spain between barcelona and some other place, like valencia (madrid and barcelona might be too much since there are plenty of places around madrid i think are worth visiting if you are there). my opinion about barcelona is that it is very overrated as a tourist destination knowing some other places spain has to offer but that's just my opinion.

also, you will really have to run a lot if you want to make the best of your weekend visits to vienna and budapest.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2012, 06:54 PM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

I'm actually the opposite of ptkten, I always opt for slower travel. I enjoy doing nothing in a city sometimes except sit at one of its park with some wine and a book, and just spending the afternoon there.

I've been to Amsterdam, Lisbon and Barcelona at least twice. (And in the last year and a half, I've been to all three, too.)

Amsterdam is great, but because the Netherlands is so small, you can easily visit other cities if that's what you'd like to do. My favorite Dutch city is actually Maastricht. I'd recommended a couple of days there. It really is special, and it really fits my style of traveling of discovering little things here and there at a very languorous pace.

Lisbon is absolutely sensational. It is one of my favorite cities in the world. It's ridiculously cheap (the whole country is). I can spend hours just talking about it, but what would be the point. I spent 10 days there last summer, and I could have stayed another week. I also did a short two-night joint to the seaside town of Cascais, which I would encourage you to do as well. I've never been to Porto, but I've only heard the most amazing things about it so I recommend it highly!

Barcelona is also fantastic. Great food, great party scene, there's the beach, you can easily knock out a week there.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2012, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

Thanks for the advice everyone! Shap_half, I'm with you on traveling at a slower pace. This trip is less about running around to see this museum and this tourist attraction, more about lots of aimless walks, hanging out at cafes and taking in the scenery.

Looking at adding two days in Porto and cutting out two in Amsterdam now. Maybe cutting out 1 day of Barcelona as well since I went there once before (albeit in early 2010).

Azdaja, how much time would you recommend for Vienna and Budapest? The plan was to take a plane into these cities on early Friday morning and leave early Monday morning. Is 3 days not enough for them?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2012, 07:59 PM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

And I agree with Azdaja: I would probably do like 5 days (or maybe even 4) in Barcelona and see another smaller city. Spain is full of those places. Find something that can be compared to a Verona or Lucca (both in Italy) in size. Portugal is also a great country for stuff like this. I could easily recommend you spend all three weeks in Portugal, but I won't.

VIenna is fab. I really love it, and I considered moving there. But I know some people who were bored by it so if you just want to get in at Friday go to the palace, go to a museum, check out the weekend flea market, maybe squeeze in a hike right outside town (or a winery visit), you can easily do that in 3 days without breaking much of a sweat.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2012, 08:12 PM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

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Originally Posted by CoryAnnAvants#1 View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone! Shap_half, I'm with you on traveling at a slower pace. This trip is less about running around to see this museum and this tourist attraction, more about lots of aimless walks, hanging out at cafes and taking in the scenery.

Looking at adding two days in Porto and cutting out two in Amsterdam now. Maybe cutting out 1 day of Barcelona as well since I went there once before (albeit in early 2010).

Azdaja, how much time would you recommend for Vienna and Budapest? The plan was to take a plane into these cities on early Friday morning and leave early Monday morning. Is 3 days not enough for them?
well, if you are a slow traveller as you say it probably isn't. if you are more like me and can soak in the atmosphere of a place both by constantly moving and just taking your time then 3 days might be enough. i think it would be a pity not to visit esztergom, visegrad and szentendre when visiting budapest, though. they are just outside the city, you can reach them by local buses/trains and they are popular weekend destinations of the people who live in budapest. you can visit them all in a day (they are all in the same direction from the city), but it will probably be just a bit too quick. it should be noted that i'm viennese myself, so i am not too curious about my own city but i think 3 days is just your basic visit. if you plan it well it should be enough, though.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 27th, 2012, 08:39 PM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

In my opinion, Amsterdam is terribly overrated: the weather is awful, there aren't that much attractions unless you're a teenager keen on buying overpriced weed or fake mushrooms or gaze at the Red Light district windows. It's a cute town when the sun is shining, but I think it happened once during my stays and lasted about 15 minutes... Worth seeing but I wouldn't stay there more than a couple of days.
OTOH, Vienna is wonderful and there are so many things to see and do: opera shows (even in August), the zoo, beautiful streets, buildings, cafes and great food, especially sweets.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2012, 03:09 AM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2012, 04:22 PM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

I would spend most of the time Vienna definitely
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2012, 04:33 PM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

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Originally Posted by angus podgorny View Post
In my opinion, Amsterdam is terribly overrated: the weather is awful, there aren't that much attractions unless you're a teenager keen on buying overpriced weed or fake mushrooms or gaze at the Red Light district windows.
you must have been to a different city, because the one you're describing is certainly not amsterdam.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2012, 08:52 PM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

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Originally Posted by angus podgorny View Post
In my opinion, Amsterdam is terribly overrated: the weather is awful, there aren't that much attractions unless you're a teenager keen on buying overpriced weed or fake mushrooms or gaze at the Red Light district windows. It's a cute town when the sun is shining, but I think it happened once during my stays and lasted about 15 minutes... Worth seeing but I wouldn't stay there more than a couple of days.
OTOH, Vienna is wonderful and there are so many things to see and do: opera shows (even in August), the zoo, beautiful streets, buildings, cafes and great food, especially sweets.
Agreed about Amsterdam, but I think there are many interesting museums there. On the other hand, I didn't think much of Vienna either It's pretty and absolutely worth a few days, but it left me cold. Same with Salzburg and Innsbruck.

Are you going to work before arriving to Prague? Anyway, it's hard to give you more advices since we don't know your interests...

From my perspective: Amsterdam and Vienna 3 days, Barcelona and Lisbon 4 (with obligatory day trip to Sintra). Porto, just like everything is Portugal, is also worth a visit.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2012, 06:30 AM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

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you must have been to a different city, because the one you're describing is certainly not amsterdam.
Maybe they changed it during my visit just to upset me.

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Agreed about Amsterdam, but I think there are many interesting museums there. On the other hand, I didn't think much of Vienna either It's pretty and absolutely worth a few days, but it left me cold. Same with Salzburg and Innsbruck.

Are you going to work before arriving to Prague? Anyway, it's hard to give you more advices since we don't know your interests...

From my perspective: Amsterdam and Vienna 3 days, Barcelona and Lisbon 4 (with obligatory day trip to Sintra). Porto, just like everything is Portugal, is also worth a visit.
You're right about the museums, I did see a few good ones, although now I can't remember which ones were in Amsterdam and which ones were in the Hague and elsewhere in Holland since my base was Delft and I was making rounds to whichever place seemed interesting. I was there 3 times, once in August, and twice in autumn, and the weather was always the same. The atmosphere is very depressing - after 8 p.m. the streets are empty. I went back only because I have friends who live there (and who are desperately trying to escape it and move to Germany). I saw a good opera production in Amsterdam, though, and people are very nice and pleasant.

As for Vienna, I never expected to like it but when I finally went there, I did. It's not exciting by any means, but it's very pleasant and pretty. The cultural life is extremely rich, there's always something to see - an opera, a theatre show (if you know German), exhibitions, museums, I even went to a circus show. It's such a mix of cultures, it's interesting just to sit somewhere and watch and listen to people passing by. I don't know, I might be a bit old on the inside, but I really enjoyed it.

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Last edited by Brena; Jul 31st, 2012 at 06:50 AM.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2012, 07:46 AM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

I am totally with Angus on this one, Vienna wins over Amsterdam hands down. Amsterdam is the only one, of all the European capital cities I've been to, where, come the third day of my stay, I began to wish I had not booked another night and that I could rebook on an earlier flight, because I really wanted to leave. And it was for no emotional/sentimental reason, I was in good company, but the city got me in an awful mood.

Apart from a couple of museums, which are indeed worth visiting, and a very nice pair of parks, the place put me in a depressed state. There was nowhere I felt any special vibe I could connect to, or that made me want to come back. I strolled around looking for things I could like, and I kept finding none. Even the food was very disappointing.

On the other hand, Vienna - though very relaxed and lacking the thrill of Paris, London, Madrid - captured me with its inherent artistic vibe, with the elegance of its architecture, the politeness of its inhabitants, the charm of its cafés, the lusciousness of the cakes and sweets you find there, the impromptu string quartet in the streets...

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2012, 08:25 AM
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Re: Help me plan my Euro Trip! How much time to spend in these three cities?

vienna is definitely relaxed when compared to places like london, berlin etc. that has its advantages and disadvantages. there is enough going on if you know where but people are not qucik to jump on new trends and new trends won't be set in a place like that. i can see how some people can get bored by it if they live here but it's still a great city to live in and to visit.
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