(Closed) European Anniversary Trip

posted 6 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
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5547 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

I’ve been to Venice Rome and Florance. Venice is worth a day at most. It’s expensive crowded ( and we were there in the off season) and and minus going on a gondola ride and seeing the doges palace and St. Marks, there isn’t much to do. And did I say expensive? Like $5 for a water bottle expensive. Rome and Florance are amazing. In Rome you need at least a half a day for the Vatacin, and get a reserved tour before hand or you will wait several hours to get in. All the ancient Rome stuff is on the other side of the river which is where I would suggest staying. Again on those things, book ahead because getting in on your own means lines that stretch forever. The colusium, pantheon, Treyve and the fourm are within walking distance, there are lots of guidebooks with suggestions on self guided walking through Rome. Also, if you have the chance, get out at night. Every major site is spot lightened and pretty spectacular at night. If you go to the capital hill, down an ally to the right of the main building you see walking straight up the giant staircase is an amazing vista of the fourm at night. If you get the chance from Rome, they do trips down to Pompii which is totally worth it. It really is an incredible place. Florance was my favorite because it is such a rich history town. Again though for any of the museums, book ahead. It is also just great to walk around. It felt less tourist-y to me. As rotten of people as the Medicis were, they did some great stuff for the arts. Also, its a ways out of the main town but the Plaza de Michaelangelo is awesome. There are some reproductions and some original of his statues and the best view of the whole town as it is up on a hill side. Also, Florance snd Tuscany in generally are super scenic. Get out into the country side and you see what everyone thinks of as “Italy” with the olive groves and vineyards and stucco houses with red tile roofs and cypress trees. Amazing!! If you can get up in the done of the basillica in Florance, I’ve heard the view is great. It was Sunday when we were there and it was closed for mass. Specificlly in Tuscany the Eco-tourism is big and there are pots of farms and b&bs that are supposed to be great, you stay in this gorgeous villa with the olive trees and Tuscan hills all around. We really did love Italy.

Post # 4
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5993 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

my advise for paris is avoid friday and weekends – the crowds dropped dramatically during the week. invest in the hop on/hop off bus ticket, easy to get around and see in a short amount of time.  

Post # 7
Member
5547 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

@creolebride:  We were just there in January for our Honeymoon so it was all fresh in my mind.

Post # 8
Member
5993 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

as you are going to be there for the weekend, my advise is to get out early and enjoy before the crowds…. my best breakfast was wandering the small alleys and along the river and stopping at a bakery for crossiants and hot chocolate for breakfast. get the hop on/hop off bus ticket, there are 2 companies – we did the green one as by memory it had 5 different routes and did everything from notre dame/eiffel tower to moulin rouge.  oh and macaroons – hubby is addicted to them now

oh and dont carry $50euro notes – everyone hated then where we went, the lourve even refused to accept them so get smaller notes

Post # 9
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6350 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’ve been to Paris; the other are on my ‘to do list’.

IMPO you should be aiming for a bare minimum of 3 nights in each place; and I personally would be looking at 4-5 nights as a) you need to factor in travel between destinations, which will cut down your time in the actual place and b) these are all cities with A LOT to see; I’ve been to Paris twice, and still not seen loads of things.

Re hotels: be super-careful, and check the location very carefully before you book. Some hotels billed as being ‘in’ Rome/Paris etc can actually be on the outskirts of the city, and a 30-60 minute commute from the main tourist attractions. If the price seems cheap, this is probably why.

Re budget: I can’t help with flights and so on as I’m from the UK; but in terms of spending money, these are all very expensive cities. I was last in Paris in 2008, and boy is it expensive! There is just nowhere cheap there, and I would be budgeting a minimum of $100 per person per day for food, drinks, entry to attractions etc; as a guide, cocktails start at around $12, beer at around $10, and wine at around $8 (for a large glass). A simple baguette will cost around $9 to take-away; if you eat in, expect to pay more. Dinners start at around $30 for a very basic meal excluding drinks, with the sky the limit. So yeah, not cheap. Venice, Rome and Florence are also expensive, and again, I would be looking to budget a similar amount if you really want to enjoy yourselves and not be constantly worrying about running out of money.

Hotels in any of these destinations start at around $100 per room per night room only for a 3* hotel, if you get a good deal; but you can easily pay 3 or 4 times that amount; it really depends on what you want.

For flights from Italy to Paris, Ryan Air and Easy Jet are the cheapest airlines to fly with, but the baggage allowance is not massive (British Airways is more generous, and about twice the price). A flight from Paris to Italy (or vice versa) starts from around $45 pp one way with Easy Jet or Ryan Air.

Re tour vs site seeing on your own: I personally would never bother with a guided tour in any of these destinations. Going on your own gives you flexibility, so you can see what you want, at your leisure. I like being able to stop at a pretty cafe if I want, without being bundled onto the next attraction. All four cities are easy to navigate; Paris has an excellent tube system which is reasonably priced and easy to nagivate. I would suggest investing in some guide books, and planning your itinerary in advance; sites can be spread out, so it’s worth focusing on one area each day. I’d be happy to make recommendations and suggestions for Paris if you like; I also have a great 1 night 2 day itinerary which takes in several of the main attractions (Notre Dame; Saint Chapelle; Berthillons ice-cream parlour on the Ile Saint Louis (a MUST); the Sacre Coeur; a food market; the Eiffel Tower; a cruise on the River Seine; the Champs Elysses; the Arc du Triomphe)

 

Hope that helps!

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