You can effectively extend a touring holiday of Europe by several days and perhaps save money. To do it you need a Eurail pass and a little forward planning.
This is how it works. With a Eurail Pass you can go from city center to city center in Europe in great comfort at a reasonable price.
The key to this is the phrase ‘city center to city center’. Consider Paris. The airport, Charles de Gaulle, is 23 km north-east of Paris. If you go by taxi in either direction it costs the national debt and takes 45 minutes. There are regular buses and trains but your journey is never going to be less than 45 minutes. Leaving, you have security to go through and the airlines would like you there well before take-off. At least an hour, sometimes two hours.
Thus on any flight you find that as much as six hours, never less than four, are spent getting to the airport, checking in, flying, getting there and collecting your luggage. Then getting to the center of your destination.
By train, in every capital in Europe (I have searched and found no exception) you arrive in the center of the city.
Yes, you need to be at the train station ten minutes before the train leaves — make it fifteen minutes to be on the safe side — and when you get to your destination it is instant arrival. Your baggage is with you and you are there, bang in the center of the city. To test this stay with Paris for the moment.
At Easter — one of the busiest times of the year for Paris — I arrived at Gare de L’Est, one of the main stations of Paris. In the station was the tourist help desk — every station in Europe has a help desk.
Almost everyone has heard travel horror stories. From robberies to scams, it is important to be informed about what to possibly expect on your luxury vacations. The most common stories of being ripped off abroad involve currency, purchasing “priceless artifacts” and being trapped by taxis. Take a look at these common ways people are either overcharged or ripped off, and use these strategies to stay in control of your money!
One of the most difficult parts about traveling to other countries is using foreign currency. There are several ways to handle this issue; the most important one is to be somewhat familiar with the exchange rate. For example, one Euro is the equivalent of $1.50 USD. Also, be familiar with what the local currency looks like. A common tourist scam is being approached in the airport or in front of a hotel by what appears to be a fellow tourist. They may wish to exchange some of their “left over” currency for dollars. They may attempt to sell you counterfeit currency, or offer a high rate of exchange. Do not be taken in by such people. The only safe way to exchange currency is through a bank, your local American Express Office, or the purser aboard any luxury world cruise.
When traveling to countries with rich ancient histories on a luxury travel vacation, you may be tempted to take a piece of it home with you. In countries such as China, Egypt and Britain, there are a number of licensed and unlicensed antiquities dealers that will offer to sell you some of the greatest finds of the century. But buyer beware, even experts can be fooled by fakes. Not to mention that most countries do not allow exports of most pieces of their country’s history. So, if you did purchase the find of the century, you will probably not be able to take it home. If you are dedicated to taking something home with you, go to a well-known and licensed antiquities dealer. Your tour guide or cruise purser should have the best recommendations. Be sure to ask the right questions, such as delivery options, legality issues and get a receipt of sale.
A Madrid tour is one that travelers won’t forget. The city boasts a number of fun and exciting activities in Madrid, from visiting the famous Prado museum to the many plazas that dot the city. If you’re interested in taking a historical tour that highlights that city’s rich past, consider a Madrid sightseeing trip that highlights the history of the Habsburgs and a visit to their past official residence.
History Of The Habsburgs
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Habsburgs ruled Spain. Under their control, the country was influential in the region and the world, controlling land that included the Americas, what is now France, Germany, Italy and Portugal and the East Indies. The period under the Habsburg rule is known as the Spanish Age of Expansion and this lasted until the middle of the 17th century when its reign started to decline.
All About The Palace
The palace was the official residence of the Spanish Monarchy until 1931. The palace is still in use, but visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the royal family will most likely be disappointed though. The palace is only used by the monarchy to royal receptions, formal ceremonies and more. It is extremely lavish and is one of the largest palaces in all of Europe, with 28 rooms and almost 1.5 million square feet of space. Guests can choose to explore the palace at their own pace or choose to take a tour by a professional guide. No matter which way you want to visit the palace, make sure to leave plenty of time to explore the building before it closes (6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday). Admission is around 10 Euros, but is less for a self-guided tour. The palace offers tours in a number of languages, if you aren’t completely fluent in Spanish, make sure to say ‘ingles,’ when purchasing your entry ticket or choose to take a tour with a reputable company with English speaking guides.
For the ones interested in taking some northern Europe holidays, here in this article you will find the proposal of 4 routes depending on the time you are going to spend there and a way to get 80-90% discounted deluxe accommodation. Let’s take a look at which possibilities we’ve got to travel across the UK, Ireland and even Iceland.
1 Week Northern Europe Holidays:
Let’s admit that you have very few time to make your holidays or you have decided that you don’t want to spend more time in this region. My recommendation in this case would be to start at London in the UK, visit Edinburgh at the northern part of it, Scotland, and finally take a look at the Irish capital, Dublin. For a trip like this one, I highly encourage you to take the plane, as no train passes will be saving any money and they will be more time consuming. Probably spending 3 days in London, 2 in Dublin and 1 in Edinburgh will be the most adequate time schedule.
2 Weeks Northern Europe Holidays:
For the ones that have an extra week, the trip can be taken from the one mentioned above but adding Glasgow and Manchester in the UK and also Cork in Ireland. My recommendation is to start at London, get a plane up to Edinburgh, train to Glasgow to see the Scottish landscape, fly to Ireland’s capital Dublin, take a flight or a train to Cork and finally by air you can reach Manchester before moving to your final destination London.
Even if you are going to take the train in this one, I don’t really recommend to get any train special country passes as they would not be of any value and you will spend too many time on the railway.
The fun starts upon your arrival to the city. Guided walking and open top bus tours are quite enjoyable for the visitors. A cruise around the Castle field is a recommended activity for visitors. There are some activities which are associated with that particular area and Cruising around the Castle field is one of them. It is a scenic way to travel around this part of the city. Concorde, one of the greatest planes of aviation history is at display in Aviation Viewing Park in the Manchester Airport. This aviation park can be visited as well as other places in Manchester. When you are in Manchester, make sure to visit Bridgewater Hall if there are concerts. Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Printworks Leisure Complex, Fairfield Moravian Settlement and Barton Swing Aqueduct, are among the places which need to be visited during your visit to Manchester.
During your stay in Manchester, you will definitely need a car and what is more suitable than renting a car in Manchester on a cheap rate. Hiring a car will bring convenience to your trip. It is a general perception that renting a car will be more costly but in fact it saves your transportation cost. There are many places worth seeing in and around Manchester which should be visited. Your rented car will be the most suitable option to cover all the places around Manchester. Bugsworth Basin, Imperial War Museum North, Old Trafford, Salford Quays and Brownhill Countryside Centre are the other famous tourist spots. It is never a good idea to miss any of the tourist resorts once you are on a recreational trip. Before leaving Manchester, do spend an evening on Canal Street. It will make your trip memorable. If you have started your trip from Manchester, you have the rest of Europe to discover. Your rented car will save you money and bring some luxury to your trip.