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      11-05-2013, 09:47 PM   #23
adriang
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I took a eurotrip with 3 other buddies from may 4th to june 8th.

We rented an opel astra which was great on mileage.
places we've visited
1. Berlin Germany -
2. Prague Czezh Republic - cheap everything, nice city, very rude people, asked for directions and a taxi man sent us in the wrong direction, also paid full amount for 24 hour parking and got kicked out after 10 or so hours
3. Vienna Austria - Very nice at night
4. Hallstatt Austria - amazing little place, rented an electric boat and motored around the alps while having a nice beer then went for a dip in the water, it was really cold but so refreshing
5. Salzburg - Mozarts town, highly recommend you visit! In fact this is where we stole a street sign and one of my buddies lost his wallet 5 days into our trip... you can guess why lol The mozart museum is really really boring.... unless you are extremely interested in Mozart
6. Wustenaumuhle Germany - small town we visited to go to a kierwa (oktoberfest type of thing). We were treated with the upmost empathy. The Biermeister (mayor) introduced us to 1000's of villagers durign the event and they loved us there! (ended up sleeping in a barn but thats another story lol)
7. Munich Germany - Visit the Deutsches Museum. It is a technology museum about nearly everything! You need like a whole day for this. Eat at the Augustinas House delicious food. Just dont drink too much of their beer it sucked. Obligatory visit to the BMW museum
8. Feltre Italy - Went to visit some family there, the village is filled with history about gangs and war. The city hall had nazi engravings in it which detailed how peasants were killed. Eventually villagers hammered the writings out because of how awful they were. If you have time you should have some fun driving around the mountains here as there are many winding roads
9. Venice Italy - Not my cup of tea, needed to take a quick train from Mestre. We were around here when that huge storm happened... the place was flooded, there was a lack of greenery, the water was florescent, went to eat a sandwich and ended up paying double the price tag on it..
10. Murano Italy - dont go unless you love glasswork. Its a working place and every shop makes or sells glass.
11. Firenze Italy (Florence) - Go here its very nice. You need to see the the piazza del duomo, michelangelo museum or the piazza michelango that overlooks the entire city
12. Rome Italy - Colliseum and ruins are neat. Don't bother buying the Rome pass its expensive and not worth it.. go to the Vatican, and go see Fontana Di trevi
13. Pisa Italy - Quick drive by city to take some obligatory tourist pics with the leaning tower not much else to do there
14. Monaco Italy - This place is beautful. Worth visiting (fuel is pretty fair price here)
15. Nice France - The name of the city is deceiving.. its not that nice... beach sucked
16. Antibes France - The best beach area ever. This place was amazing
17. St-Tropez France - Expensive everything. but well worth the visit. We stayed at Hotel Soleil which was a new hotel. There is the most expensive nightclub named Bybyos attached to its hotel. The cheapest drink was a shot of something for 30 euros. Bottles were going for thousands of euros. The girls there are being pimped out by filthy rich bastards. It was funny because we came late and they had a reserved section where there were only exotic cars and we parked our opel astra there in between all these cars.
18. Paris France - Visit this to see the eiffel tower and Louvre museum. The Louvre was my favorite out of the two and there is so much to learn here.
19. If you're interested in war history you can visit Vimy Ridge, Caen and normandy..

I've let out spain, england, belgium, netherlands, since you said germany, italy, france but they were awesome too. maybe another trip for you after this one!
We stayed in hostels for the most part as they were cheap and easy to book online a couple days before arriving into the city. As for food, you're better off buying from grocery stores and making your own.

Be prepared for toll roads outside of germany and always have cash change to pay for them. Many times our visas didnt work and it was just a hassle when we didnt have cash..
If you travel within the colder months make sure your car has snow tires on as it is required by many countries.
Use common sense and dont follow the GPS in Prague. It put us through a pedestrian zone and we could only reverse out. The people love to watch you struggle in prague

Also go visit a bookstore they have an amazing travelling book named eyewitness travel Europe http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/...FYOF5godtFgAAA

Lastly driving through these countries is not all that bad. Even in populated cities you can get by with just a little more attention. We were 4 guys in a MT rented wagon and 3 were new to driving stick but learned in Berlin in a few days and after that we blended in with everyone else... (athough we may have stalled on the highway in traffic on train tracks in prague and had the locomotive conducter nearly tear us a new one... hahahah)
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      11-05-2013, 10:26 PM   #24
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Wow great tips guys!! Would it be better to drive from Munich to France and then Italy or to Italy first and then France?
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      11-06-2013, 12:07 AM   #25
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Love Italy!

My first time, I took train and went from Venice to Florence to Rome.

2nd time, I landed in Venice, took train to Florence, rented car to Siena, Chianti, and Montalcino (Tuscany is so beautiful). Then I drove along the western coast up to Pisa and flew to Spain.

I didn't think Pisa was worth it but Montalcino is probably one of the most beautiful places on earth...and if you like wine, great Brunellos!

Driving in the city of Florence or Rome might be challenging but driving to the small towns of Tuscany was very easy!

Next trip, I plan on doing cinque terre and piedmont area.
Enjoy Europe!
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      11-06-2013, 12:37 PM   #26
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either way is fine to go BMW E90, just plan something out and use google map to save some type of route so you can track yourself.

I would go Germany Italy France and would include some stops in Austria and Switzerland
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      11-06-2013, 02:36 PM   #27
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either way is fine to go BMW E90, just plan something out and use google map to save some type of route so you can track yourself.

I would go Germany Italy France and would include some stops in Austria and Switzerland
Yeah we're thinking Germany, France and Italy. If we have time we might do a pass through countries like Austria and Switzerland. I am trying to minimize as much driving as possible because that's time wasted in the car.
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      11-06-2013, 02:44 PM   #28
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Are you looking to fly or train between a few cities? The entire loop through Italy, France, and Switzerland was 24 total hours of driving. I think it might be helpful to let us know how you intend to travel between locales if it's not entirely by car.
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      11-06-2013, 02:56 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by KingOfJericho View Post
Are you looking to fly or train between a few cities? The entire loop through Italy, France, and Switzerland was 24 total hours of driving. I think it might be helpful to let us know how you intend to travel between locales if it's not entirely by car.
We're thinking of driving in Germany and France. We'll drop the car off in France and take the train to Italy. Either that or drive to Italy and then France and drop the car off there. I'm hoping you guys could help plan a route that makes sense logistically since you guys have more experience with Europe.
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      11-10-2013, 02:20 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by adriang View Post
I took a eurotrip with 3 other buddies from may 4th to june 8th.

We rented an opel astra which was great on mileage.
places we've visited
1. Berlin Germany -
2. Prague Czezh Republic - cheap everything, nice city, very rude people, asked for directions and a taxi man sent us in the wrong direction, also paid full amount for 24 hour parking and got kicked out after 10 or so hours
3. Vienna Austria - Very nice at night
4. Hallstatt Austria - amazing little place, rented an electric boat and motored around the alps while having a nice beer then went for a dip in the water, it was really cold but so refreshing
5. Salzburg - Mozarts town, highly recommend you visit! In fact this is where we stole a street sign and one of my buddies lost his wallet 5 days into our trip... you can guess why lol The mozart museum is really really boring.... unless you are extremely interested in Mozart
6. Wustenaumuhle Germany - small town we visited to go to a kierwa (oktoberfest type of thing). We were treated with the upmost empathy. The Biermeister (mayor) introduced us to 1000's of villagers durign the event and they loved us there! (ended up sleeping in a barn but thats another story lol)
7. Munich Germany - Visit the Deutsches Museum. It is a technology museum about nearly everything! You need like a whole day for this. Eat at the Augustinas House delicious food. Just dont drink too much of their beer it sucked. Obligatory visit to the BMW museum
8. Feltre Italy - Went to visit some family there, the village is filled with history about gangs and war. The city hall had nazi engravings in it which detailed how peasants were killed. Eventually villagers hammered the writings out because of how awful they were. If you have time you should have some fun driving around the mountains here as there are many winding roads
9. Venice Italy - Not my cup of tea, needed to take a quick train from Mestre. We were around here when that huge storm happened... the place was flooded, there was a lack of greenery, the water was florescent, went to eat a sandwich and ended up paying double the price tag on it..
10. Murano Italy - dont go unless you love glasswork. Its a working place and every shop makes or sells glass.
11. Firenze Italy (Florence) - Go here its very nice. You need to see the the piazza del duomo, michelangelo museum or the piazza michelango that overlooks the entire city
12. Rome Italy - Colliseum and ruins are neat. Don't bother buying the Rome pass its expensive and not worth it.. go to the Vatican, and go see Fontana Di trevi
13. Pisa Italy - Quick drive by city to take some obligatory tourist pics with the leaning tower not much else to do there
14. Monaco Italy - This place is beautful. Worth visiting (fuel is pretty fair price here)
15. Nice France - The name of the city is deceiving.. its not that nice... beach sucked
16. Antibes France - The best beach area ever. This place was amazing
17. St-Tropez France - Expensive everything. but well worth the visit. We stayed at Hotel Soleil which was a new hotel. There is the most expensive nightclub named Bybyos attached to its hotel. The cheapest drink was a shot of something for 30 euros. Bottles were going for thousands of euros. The girls there are being pimped out by filthy rich bastards. It was funny because we came late and they had a reserved section where there were only exotic cars and we parked our opel astra there in between all these cars.
18. Paris France - Visit this to see the eiffel tower and Louvre museum. The Louvre was my favorite out of the two and there is so much to learn here.
19. If you're interested in war history you can visit Vimy Ridge, Caen and normandy..

I've let out spain, england, belgium, netherlands, since you said germany, italy, france but they were awesome too. maybe another trip for you after this one!
We stayed in hostels for the most part as they were cheap and easy to book online a couple days before arriving into the city. As for food, you're better off buying from grocery stores and making your own.

Be prepared for toll roads outside of germany and always have cash change to pay for them. Many times our visas didnt work and it was just a hassle when we didnt have cash..
If you travel within the colder months make sure your car has snow tires on as it is required by many countries.
Use common sense and dont follow the GPS in Prague. It put us through a pedestrian zone and we could only reverse out. The people love to watch you struggle in prague

Also go visit a bookstore they have an amazing travelling book named eyewitness travel Europe http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/...FYOF5godtFgAAA

Lastly driving through these countries is not all that bad. Even in populated cities you can get by with just a little more attention. We were 4 guys in a MT rented wagon and 3 were new to driving stick but learned in Berlin in a few days and after that we blended in with everyone else... (athough we may have stalled on the highway in traffic on train tracks in prague and had the locomotive conducter nearly tear us a new one... hahahah)
Great tips! Thank you! This gave me a little more info on what we can do as well as what to skip. How many days would you guys recommend spending in each country? For example, should we spend more time in Italy as opposed to France?

I've been to Germany once before so I kind have an idea what to expect. Rothenburg, English Garden, and Neuschwanstein were a few places I've been to. I drove to Italy once before as well. We were trying to go to Venice and but ended in the Lake Como area.
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      11-10-2013, 06:44 PM   #31
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If you want to hit main tourist attractions 2-3 days in each place should be enough. Although you could easily spend more time in a place you enjoy more than other places.

Do some research into the cities you want to travel to and see what you could do in each city. again i would suggest looking in a travel book, they're great

Tip: Make a list of items you would want to pack
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      11-10-2013, 08:04 PM   #32
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If you want to hit main tourist attractions 2-3 days in each place should be enough. Although you could easily spend more time in a place you enjoy more than other places.

Do some research into the cities you want to travel to and see what you could do in each city. again i would suggest looking in a travel book, they're great

Tip: Make a list of items you would want to pack
I'm planning on getting the Rick Steves europe thru the back door guide book. Can you guys recommend any other books? Rick Steves also has separate books for Germany, Italy and France. Not sure if I should buy the separate ones or not?
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      11-10-2013, 08:06 PM   #33
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I'm planning on getting the Rick Steves europe thru the back door guide book. Can you guys recommend any other books? Rick Steves also has separate books for Germany, Italy and France. Not sure if I should buy the separate ones or not?
i did everything searching google. free wifi is pretty common. used kayak to book rooms a few days at a time (you may want to stay at some places longer than others, that's difficult to forecast).

not sure if you're staying at hotels or hostels, the hostels rarely sell out you can book same day.

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      11-10-2013, 08:32 PM   #34
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i did everything searching google. free wifi is pretty common. used kayak to book rooms a few days at a time (you may want to stay at some places longer than others, that's difficult to forecast).

not sure if you're staying at hotels or hostels, the hostels rarely sell out you can book same day.
I think we'll have a mix of hotels and hostels. Hostels would save a lot of money that could be spent elsewhere. However, I'm not sure if we want to do all hostels while on vacation.
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      11-10-2013, 10:13 PM   #35
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I think we'll have a mix of hotels and hostels. Hostels would save a lot of money that could be spent elsewhere. However, I'm not sure if we want to do all hostels while on vacation.
i stayed at low budget hotels and hostels, and there really isn't much difference. in the cheap hotels, the toilets/showers are shared anyway. a quad-share hostel may be optimal for your travel group (and get a bathroom to the room).

now larger hostels, it's an animal house. half the room turns over every day and you literally don't know who you're sleeping with! i did not have a problem with theft, but it's an obvious risk.
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      11-10-2013, 10:39 PM   #36
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i stayed at low budget hotels and hostels, and there really isn't much difference. in the cheap hotels, the toilets/showers are shared anyway. a quad-share hostel may be optimal for your travel group (and get a bathroom to the room).

now larger hostels, it's an animal house. half the room turns over every day and you literally don't know who you're sleeping with! i did not have a problem with theft, but it's an obvious risk.
That's something i am concerned with: sharing a room with complete strangers. If any of them turns out to be a nutcase it'd be troublesome.
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      11-10-2013, 10:51 PM   #37
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That's something i am concerned with: sharing a room with complete strangers. If any of them turns out to be a nutcase it'd be troublesome.
i've been through some pretty bad neighborhoods, and compared to america, i'd say violence isn't really a problem. just take precautions so that you don't get jacked.
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      11-11-2013, 11:07 AM   #38
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So I think we should fly into Italy first and then go to Munich to pick up the car and then France. Flights into italy cost more than France or Germany though. Any thoughts on this?

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i've been through some pretty bad neighborhoods, and compared to america, i'd say violence isn't really a problem. just take precautions so that you don't get jacked.
Maybe i'll look up the hostels that rick steves recommends.
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      11-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #39
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Took the old X5 on a trip to Italy. Being European, I'd been a lot but not my wife (she's American). Gorgeous country. Just avoid Firenze. Hate that place. My wife and I were almost robbed and it can really put a damper on your holiday. Just avoid small side streets in large cities. As a matter of fact, the best of Italy is really in the smaller villages and cities.

Some pics here: http://www.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=737872
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      11-11-2013, 02:40 PM   #40
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Took the old X5 on a trip to Italy. Being European, I'd been a lot but not my wife (she's American). Gorgeous country. Just avoid Firenze. Hate that place. My wife and I were almost robbed and it can really put a damper on your holiday. Just avoid small side streets in large cities. As a matter of fact, the best of Italy is really in the smaller villages and cities.

Some pics here: http://www.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=737872
Yeah I heard Italy and France can be troublesome. My uncle in law got pick pocketed when he went (in France i think). Definitely something i am wary about. Great pix btw! Looked fun!!
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      11-11-2013, 03:32 PM   #41
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You can get into trouble anywhere. You just have to have your head on a swivel and be aware of your surroundings. I never carry a wallet when I travel in Europe, although I don't carry one in midtown Manhattan either. The more touristy the locale, the more aware you should be, however as others have said, the small towns are fine.
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      11-11-2013, 03:57 PM   #42
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Yeah I heard Italy and France can be troublesome. My uncle in law got pick pocketed when he went (in France i think). Definitely something i am wary about. Great pix btw! Looked fun!!
It was a blast mate, definitely a good time.

My Firenze story: we parked by the train station, which in itself is not the greatest place to hang out. The graffiti usually gives that away, but in large European cities, graffiti is abundant.

During our walk through the city, we crossed Ponte Vecchio. I had my wallet in my front pocket, naturally. We decided to keep walking into that side of the city. I thought we'd troll around a bit and explore, and make a loop and cross the river again by Ponte Vespucci. On the halfway point, these two shady men cross the street and look me straight in the eyes. I was wearing flip flops, a big Canon DSRL and my wife had her big boy Louis Vuitton bag. We screamed tourist, but so does everyone else in Firenze. After all, I am on holiday! One of the guys keeps walking, but the other turns around and I feel him following us. I don't look around, but see him eyeing us through the reflection of the shop windows. It was a quiet street, no one else to be seen and he's walking brisker, heading for us. I told him wife that something as definitely wrong and told her to keep walking towards the river as fast as possible. I had a bad feeling at this point, and was looking for a shop to pop into. Luckily a policeman came around the corner at the right time, and when I looked back, the shady fella make a quick 180 and headed back into the quiet street. Had it not been for that, I think he would have robbed us. Fact.

Lesson: don't wear flip flops, don't tote around a huge camera, tell your wife to leave her Louis bag at home. And don't wonder around quiet streets, even during the day.
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      11-11-2013, 06:30 PM   #43
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You can get into trouble anywhere. You just have to have your head on a swivel and be aware of your surroundings. I never carry a wallet when I travel in Europe, although I don't carry one in midtown Manhattan either. The more touristy the locale, the more aware you should be, however as others have said, the small towns are fine.
So how do you guys carry your licenses, credit cards and/or cash? I forgot whether they check passports or not when going from one country to another.
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      11-11-2013, 06:32 PM   #44
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It was a blast mate, definitely a good time.

My Firenze story: we parked by the train station, which in itself is not the greatest place to hang out. The graffiti usually gives that away, but in large European cities, graffiti is abundant.

During our walk through the city, we crossed Ponte Vecchio. I had my wallet in my front pocket, naturally. We decided to keep walking into that side of the city. I thought we'd troll around a bit and explore, and make a loop and cross the river again by Ponte Vespucci. On the halfway point, these two shady men cross the street and look me straight in the eyes. I was wearing flip flops, a big Canon DSRL and my wife had her big boy Louis Vuitton bag. We screamed tourist, but so does everyone else in Firenze. After all, I am on holiday! One of the guys keeps walking, but the other turns around and I feel him following us. I don't look around, but see him eyeing us through the reflection of the shop windows. It was a quiet street, no one else to be seen and he's walking brisker, heading for us. I told him wife that something as definitely wrong and told her to keep walking towards the river as fast as possible. I had a bad feeling at this point, and was looking for a shop to pop into. Luckily a policeman came around the corner at the right time, and when I looked back, the shady fella make a quick 180 and headed back into the quiet street. Had it not been for that, I think he would have robbed us. Fact.

Lesson: don't wear flip flops, don't tote around a huge camera, tell your wife to leave her Louis bag at home. And don't wonder around quiet streets, even during the day.
I was going to bring a dslr...perhaps i should bring a point and shoot instead?
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