Big trip around Europe – accommodation & transport?
So, I have this crazy idea of taking a few months and go travel Europe- the idea is to start in the end of January 2014 and finish end of July. I was wondering about cheap accommodation, maybe rooms that I can rent for a week or two at a time- any ideas? The countries I want to visit are Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Germany, Austria and Switzerland- any ideas what time (of these months I mentioned earlier) is the best in each country? Bus or train, which is better?
Thanks in advance
Firstly, welcome to our forum! I’m the community moderator in these parts and have just changed your question title so people will know more about your query – hopefully we’ll attract some Europe-know-it-alls that way.
Secondly, your plan to travel Europe is not at all a crazy idea – I think it’s great. I’ll pass this question on to our editors to see if they can help
Good luck with your trip and safe travelling!
The best site to look on to rent rooms is Airbnb! They have apartments to rent cheaply in every city for how ever long you want.
I lived in Berlin for two years and everything is pretty cheap there, (i used to live close to www.st-christophers.co.uk/berlin-hostels which was always quite lively) so that is definitely a place to visit when you go to Germany! All central Europe countries are amazing in summer, so I’d definitely spend some time there around May-July time.
I would say going round Europe by train is more exciting and you get to see lots of beautiful scenery, but then it is a bit slow and can be more expensive than taking the bus.
Have a great time!
I can speak a bit for Switzerland. I can also suggest that January (even though I’ll be there then) is not the best time – if you don’t care for the cold, 2 years ago it was -16C in Bern where I stay.
As for transportation there, check the www.sbb.ch site and see if any of their confusing and myriad deals on passes will be economical for you. Your train pass will work for most things, like buses and trams and possibly some admissions. I use a Halb-tax (half fare, annual card), but you need to spend a couple of weeks to see a benefit of that. There are also deals at the SBB stores inside the train stations. Sometimes they may not be on the website.
AirBnb could work, but in my views of it, the houses weren’t “in” the cities they say (much farther out in the suburbs, if there is such a thing in Switzerland) and the prices were very much on the high side.
There are several hostels everywhere you’ll go, I’m sure.
I think best would be to start in the South and stay there as much as possible for the months of January, February and March, then head to Germany etc. to avoid the really cold weather.
I agree with train travel, I think it’s the best way to see Europe. Comfortable and safe, not very cheap, however you can find good deals. Have a look at interrail it might work for you at least for some part of your trip. Also a very good website is www.seat61.com.
Sounds like a great trip.
When to go where is up to your personal preferences: if you start in Portugal or Spain you’ll miss the worst of the cold weather, but travelling the other way would potentially give you the chance for some time on the coast in high summer. I’ve been on a couple of great January trips to Germany (and Scandinavia), but that time of year definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea!
I definitely agree with all the posts above about AirBnB. You could always add in a few hostel nights, too, if you want to meet people more easily. Check out HostelBookers.com (or use the built in feature on this site) to get an idea of prices.
Trains will be the easiest way to travel, and there are a variety of passes available to make it cheaper: see www.interrail.eu (if you’re EU-based) or www.eurail.com. As @bamboo says, Seat61 is a brilliant resource, too. You can also get a Eurolines bus pass, but the journeys will be longer and they have less routes available.
Hope that helps,
Hey there, I think you had very useful advices. I just found a website which says they provide same day flight deals in Europe only on mobile called flytoday. It should be a new app, but they are not live right now. I read they will launch soon a private version so you should apply asap! I did it