Europe Tour in 1 Lakh – 5 countries in 10 days

My long absence to the blog was primarily attributed to a big Europe tour I went in the 1st week of April. It was something that was never planned well in advance and things materialised barely 2 months before the trip. I managed to visit 5 countries in 10 days, namely Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland in a space of 10 days.I covered Paris and Amsterdam on my own first two days, while I opted for a group tour from a travel company for the remaining 8 days (covering Paris/Belgium/Germany and Swiss). So finally here I am, trying to share my europe tour itinerary and some key things to keep in mind while planning a vacation to Europe.

 

My tour itinerary included (In that order)

Europe tour itinerary 5 countries in 10 Days

 

Cost of Tour (All incl flights/meals/sightseeing/transport/shopping) : 1,34,000 INR

  • Flights (Chennai to Paris, Return ticket via Etihad Airlines ): 33,000 INR
  • Schengen Visa ( directly through VFS for France) : 5500 INR
  • 8 day Group Tour (Paris/Belgium/Germany/Switzerland) incl Accommodation/Breakfast/Dinner/Sightseeing: 56000 INR
  • Extra 1 day in Amsterdam&Paris(Sightseeing/Travel/Accommodation/Dinner): 20,000 INR
  • Lunch/Shopping/Local Transport/Other Miscellaneous Expenses: 20000 INR

Pricing Information

  • Euro Exchange Rate  : 70INR / 1 Eur   and 65INR/1 CHF(Swiss Franc)
  • Average price for a Cup of Capuccino ( across Europe) : 3.5 Eur
  • Cost of meal/thali in Indian Restaurant(across Europe) : 15 Eur
  • 1 way train/metro/bus ticket inside Paris(except to Airport) and Amsterdam : 2 Eur
  • Average price for Entrance tickets to Museums : 10-20 Eur
  • Average room night for 2 ppl in Paris/Amsterdam/Other cities in Europe for a Budget Hotel/ 3 Star Hotel with breakfast : 100 Eur/night

Things to Keep in Mind While in Europe

  1. The first thing you realize is , there’s no concept of MRP in any product. Be it a chips or a chocolate or even a water bottle, anyone is free to charge whatever they’d like. So always advisable to buy from large supermarkets, to get the lowest price possible.
  2. Water is safe to drink from taps ( in your hotel room or even outside). Just get an empty bottle and fill it up from tap. A litre of Water can cost anywhere between 1Euro(70Rs) – 3 Euros(210Rs).
  3. Coffees can become an expensive affair. A simple small cup of cappuccino costs as much as 3.5 Euros(250RS). So a good idea to just carry coffee sachets and creamers and make yourself a good coffee on the move. This could easily save 6K INR on your trip !
  4. Its advisable to buy 1 day (Bus/metro/tram) pass for as low as 7-10 Euros that gives you unlimited rides in any of the above transport options. You can save valuable time standing in every counter buying a ticket to every place.
  5. Advisable to download/screenshot the transport option from one place to another. Suppose you want to go from louvre to Eiffer, check google maps for the right metro station/bus no to take and the stop you should get down at. ( I didnt buy a sim connection, so this came in handy)
  6. Let’s face it. France, Belgium, Italy and most parts of Europe are not safe, even by any means. There’s a 50% chance you will be pickpocketed or someone in your group relieved of their bag/purse/cell or even presented with a knife to give your cell and purse. So be extremely careful.
  7. Travelling between Europe countries? Check for trains through Thalys (https://www.thalys.com/) or www.raileurope.co.in or  Loco2 (https://loco2.com), specially for Swiss/Italy etc. If you are ok with a comfortable BUS (way cheaper than train), try OuiBus (http://www.ouibus.com).
  8. Book all tickets to famous museums like Louvre, Versailles, Eiffel online to save a lot of time. Plus they run discount sales if you buy in a group, online.

Stay tuned for individual city itinerary posts, tips while applying for Schengen Visa and ideas to plan the perfect Euro Tour.

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