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#1 Armada

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:22 PM

Anyone ever done this before?

My friends and I are going to Europe in Early July to mid August for 5 weeks. Planning on going through Germany > Austria > Italy > France > England > Ireland > Belgium (For Tomorrowland) > Holland > back To Germany. I've been to Europe 15 times with my parents to see family but this is a completely new thing to me.

How are the trains, lodging (Hostels or cheap hotels), things to see and do and budget we should bring.

Most excited for this. Tomorrowland in Belgium on July 27th, 28th and 29th.


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#2 Wetcoaster

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:42 PM

Did it decades back.

Here is a recent article:
http://www.themuse.ca/articles/52617

Also consider rail passes which can be purchased at a discount before leaving:
http://www.raileurop...CFeGDQgod8S0A6w
http://www.britrail....-your-discounts

Check out the Travel CUTS website:
http://www.travelcut...e/#.UI2Ko2_A_jI
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#3 GLASSJAW

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:43 PM

I suggest going to a travel related forum. Go to BootsNAll board, maybe. Could find a lot of valuable information there.
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#4 uber_pwnzor

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 01:30 PM

Man, liquor is so cheap in Germany! I live in Sweden and it's almost cheaper to pay for a trip to Germany and get lots of booze there, than it is to buy here in Sweden.
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#5 Jägermeister

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 02:33 PM

I'm doing the same thing!
What a coincidence!
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#6 Charlie.the.Unicorn

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 02:50 PM

Trains and hostels are very good. What you see and what you spend is pretty relative to what you want to do and how hard you want to go. For 5 weeks, you are looking at around 5k at minimum not including your flight over. You will probably spend somewhere between 7-10k.
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#7 Jägermeister

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:07 PM

Trains and hostels are very good. What you see and what you spend is pretty relative to what you want to do and how hard you want to go. For 5 weeks, you are looking at around 5k at minimum not including your flight over. You will probably spend somewhere between 7-10k.


Can't imagine it costing much more than 7k.
Its approx. $1500 for flights round trip.
Approx. $50 a night for 5 weeks is like $1750, and thats on the high end of hostel costs.
Food is approx. $40 a day, $1400.
Entertainment could run around $100-200 a week, so say $1000.
Throw in Tomorrowland tickets, and other necessities needed (backpack, train pass, etc.) would probably run around another $1000.

Edited by Jagermeister, 28 October 2012 - 03:07 PM.

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#8 TheAce

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:25 PM

I did a Europe trip 2 summers ago with my wife and while we had planned on taking the euro rail around or renting a car, we found it much cheaper to fly to the different countries. With airlines line Ryan-Air, Air Berlin, Easy-Jet, the most we paid for a flight was $100 and that was from Romania - Germany. We found flights as low as $9.... Same with hotels, whenever we were waiting for our next flight, we would go online to a 'last minute' hotel site and book a room. Most rooms were $40-60 a night instead of the usual $100-120.

While taking the train may be scenic in some areas ( we did take it a few times) spending 8 hours in a train or 1 hour on a plane and getting to the city faster was a better option for us.

http://www.ryanair.com/en
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#9 Armada

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:45 PM

I did a Europe trip 2 summers ago with my wife and while we had planned on taking the euro rail around or renting a car, we found it much cheaper to fly to the different countries. With airlines line Ryan-Air, Air Berlin, Easy-Jet, the most we paid for a flight was $100 and that was from Romania - Germany. We found flights as low as $9.... Same with hotels, whenever we were waiting for our next flight, we would go online to a 'last minute' hotel site and book a room. Most rooms were $40-60 a night instead of the usual $100-120.

While taking the train may be scenic in some areas ( we did take it a few times) spending 8 hours in a train or 1 hour on a plane and getting to the city faster was a better option for us.

http://www.ryanair.com/en


Wow Ryanair flights are so cheap. 15.99 euros... :shock:

Almost makes more sense to fly from Dublin to Brussels instead of training back through the tunnel into France.
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#10 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:50 PM

Can't imagine it costing much more than 7k.
Its approx. $1500 for flights round trip.
Approx. $50 a night for 5 weeks is like $1750, and thats on the high end of hostel costs.
Food is approx. $40 a day, $1400.
Entertainment could run around $100-200 a week, so say $1000.
Throw in Tomorrowland tickets, and other necessities needed (backpack, train pass, etc.) would probably run around another $1000.


And if you find the right bacpackers , you might get it as low as $25 dollars a night .
You also get to met other travellers in a communal atmosphere , and they can inform you of many other places and things to see that you might not think about .
Travelling , to me , is as much about the people you meet and interact with , as it is the places you are going to see .
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#11 TheAce

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:53 PM

Wow Ryanair flights are so cheap. 15.99 euros... :shock:

Almost makes more sense to fly from Dublin to Brussels instead of training back through the tunnel into France.


Yes, they are cheap but there are a few catches to beware of...... you need to check in online ( even if you do it at the airport internet pay sites) otherwise they have a service charge and they will also charge you for extra bags. It can be really cheap and easy to get around using flights but just check every small print because the airlines are all different.

We also went off our original path because we found the flights to be so cheap to different countries. Our final trip was England - Scotland- Ireland- Austria- Romania-Germany...... was an amazing trip :)
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#12 Armada

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:57 PM

Yes, they are cheap but there are a few catches to beware of...... you need to check in online ( even if you do it at the airport internet pay sites) otherwise they have a service charge and they will also charge you for extra bags. It can be really cheap and easy to get around using flights but just check every small print because the airlines are all different.

We also went off our original path because we found the flights to be so cheap to different countries. Our final trip was England - Scotland- Ireland- Austria- Romania-Germany...... was an amazing trip :)


I know they have plenty of small fees they like to hide, including now you have to pay to use the washrooms on the planes.
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#13 Scottish⑦Canuck

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:01 PM

Munich is amazing. But expensive. Definitely worth a visit and cheap visit is still possible if you budget right. Salzburg is beautiful. If you can check out Rome, and while you're there head down to the Amalfi Coast. It's one of my favourite places in the world (avoid Napoli though - crime ridden and pretty dirty).

I'm not a huge fan of England, but London is pretty fun and there are a few cool places up North. Edinburgh is fantastic (and I'm not just saying that as a Scot) so if you can make it up here try to.

In terms of travel, Ryanair flights are really cheap between different places in Europe, although the airports are always slightly out of the way and remote. But it's worth it for the savings.

If you need any more advice just PM me. Or ask and I'll reply in here.
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#14 Scottish⑦Canuck

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:02 PM

Yes, they are cheap but there are a few catches to beware of...... you need to check in online ( even if you do it at the airport internet pay sites) otherwise they have a service charge and they will also charge you for extra bags. It can be really cheap and easy to get around using flights but just check every small print because the airlines are all different.

We also went off our original path because we found the flights to be so cheap to different countries. Our final trip was England - Scotland- Ireland- Austria- Romania-Germany...... was an amazing trip :)


Yeah, but even with the charges for bags it's still much cheaper than any other alternative.
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#15 Charlie.the.Unicorn

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:05 PM

Can't imagine it costing much more than 7k.
Its approx. $1500 for flights round trip.
Approx. $50 a night for 5 weeks is like $1750, and thats on the high end of hostel costs.
Food is approx. $40 a day, $1400.
Entertainment could run around $100-200 a week, so say $1000.
Throw in Tomorrowland tickets, and other necessities needed (backpack, train pass, etc.) would probably run around another $1000.


Entertainment is 100-200 a week? lol. Do you plan on drinking or visiting any museums etc?
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#16 Jägermeister

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:07 PM

Munich is amazing. But expensive. Definitely worth a visit and cheap visit is still possible if you budget right. Salzburg is beautiful. If you can check out Rome, and while you're there head down to the Amalfi Coast. It's one of my favourite places in the world (avoid Napoli though - crime ridden and pretty dirty).

I'm not a huge fan of England, but London is pretty fun and there are a few cool places up North. Edinburgh is fantastic (and I'm not just saying that as a Scot) so if you can make it up here try to.

In terms of travel, Ryanair flights are really cheap between different places in Europe, although the airports are always slightly out of the way and remote. But it's worth it for the savings.

If you need any more advice just PM me. Or ask and I'll reply in here.


Have heard the same thing about Napoli, but it may have to be done to go visit Pompeii.
Rome is definitely going to happen, can't go to Italy and not stay in Rome.
Only London and possibly Birmingham look like places we may stop by in England (likely just London), then just over to Dublin.
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#17 Armada

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:10 PM

Have heard the same thing about Napoli, but it may have to be done to go visit Pompeii.
Rome is definitely going to happen, can't go to Italy and not stay in Rome.
Only London and possibly Birmingham look like places we may stop by in England (likely just London), then just over to Dublin.


Crossing Naples off the list now :lol:
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#18 Jägermeister

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:10 PM

Entertainment is 100-200 a week? lol. Do you plan on drinking or visiting any museums etc?


Of course.
Done properly a night out of drinking can cost like $20 here, and I've only heard that it is much cheaper over in Europe.
But TBH I have no idea how much a large portion of other activities cost over there. So I may be wrong, but I cant really see entertainment costs being much more than $30 a day.
I looked into it, and I found a large portion of things are only about 10-15Euro per person, such as the Eiffel Tower and Pompeii. A lot of the more expensive things may have to be done the cheap way, just looking around the outside and not going in.

Edited by Jagermeister, 28 October 2012 - 04:21 PM.

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#19 Scottish⑦Canuck

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:13 PM

Have heard the same thing about Napoli, but it may have to be done to go visit Pompeii.
Rome is definitely going to happen, can't go to Italy and not stay in Rome.
Only London and possibly Birmingham look like places we may stop by in England (likely just London), then just over to Dublin.


Yeah, I've been to Pompeii. It's pretty much in Napoli itself, but you don't have to stay there. I'd recommend basing yourself in Sorrento for a couple of days. It's pretty central and there are plenty of hostels/hotels etc.

I'd do Vesuvius too. It's pretty cool up at the summit.

I guess the sort of trip you take depends on whether the group are more nightlife people, or culture/sightseeing people. Or a bit of both?
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#20 Jägermeister

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:18 PM

Yeah, I've been to Pompeii. It's pretty much in Napoli itself, but you don't have to stay there. I'd recommend basing yourself in Sorrento for a couple of days. It's pretty central and there are plenty of hostels/hotels etc.

I'd do Vesuvius too. It's pretty cool up at the summit.

I guess the sort of trip you take depends on whether the group are more nightlife people, or culture/sightseeing people. Or a bit of both?


Thanks for the info, will definitely look into Sorrento.
I imagine it will be a little bit of both. The nightlife is definitely going to be a large portion, but at the same time if you're going to go to Europe you have to take some time to go and check out the sights and indulge in the culture.
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#21 Dittohead

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 06:06 PM

I did this in 1990 for 3 months. bought a eurorail pass trains are everywhere and go everywhere and walking is free. Probably a lot more expensive now I paid anywhere from a few dollars a night to about $10 in hostels. I tried to do it on $20 a day. did`nt quite work out but close. cheap way to save money on hostels is to travel " night sleep on train and live on crackers and eggs and bread. I had a one burner coleman and boiled up eggs and had egg sandwiches.. cheap cheap. still had money for beer. thats where most of it went...

Edited by Dittohead, 28 October 2012 - 06:10 PM.

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#22 moz

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 06:46 PM

Manchester is the best place in England, and I am just saying it because I'm from there. Honestly, people forget this place exists. There's tonnes of history, loads of things to do for free and a night out is cheap. The music scene is awesome too. So I would recommend it.

Also sites like hostelworld and hostelbookers are good for hostels. When I went to Sweden I stayed in a hostel that was better than some hotels that I've stayed in.

I also back up the ryanair / easyjet thing. Also look at the bigger airlines if you book in advance. A train ticket to London to other places in the UK can be pricey, I paid £39 when I flew from Manchester to London to catch my flight to Vancouver. Cheap. Cheap.

If you're a student look into a worldwide discount card, that can save you money. And if you're 25 and under you can get youth deals in some countries too.

I know loads of people who have done the train backpacking thing around Europe, I hope to do it someday.

If you want any specifics on England then let me know, I'd be happy to help. Great country, didn't realise how much I'd miss it until I moved to the other side of the world.
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#23 Gabes24

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:38 AM

might be going to tomorrow land next year too, saw alot of canada flags in the aftermovie, gotta represent!

on topic of backpacking europe, i personally think generally flying easyjet/ryanair and all those budget lines are the best but also sometimes it might be worth it to consider training from one city to another.

The only times I took the train was because it was either fitting better transit times fitting your travel schedule (such as leaving late at night rather than a 5 am flight) or b/c of cost, which occured several times in my trip. I actually trained from prague to budapest, saved alot of money.

So pretty much just weigh in your options, do a couple nights of heavy researching, and make sure to book flights/hostels early especially for any big holidays, most towns have students from all over europe flooding in to tourist, eg first night of amsterdam i went during spring break and had no reservation, ended up paying 25 euro to sleep on a pool table in a hostel, true story

All in all best of luck with your trip, seems like we have alot of knowledgable europeans/travellers that can definitely guide you all throughout europe!.
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#24 Mainly Mattias

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:06 AM

Buy your HI (Hostelling International) membership at MEC before you head out. It'll be cheaper and save on the surprise hostelling membership fee they tack on on a nightly basis. Reservations will be a good idea because the good hostels will get booked especially since summer's high demand season. Expect to stay at some crapty places otherwise. Quality of housing sure ain't what it is over here. Might want to consider renting an apartment as a home base and just drive around if there's many of you.

Pack light!!! Buy a microfiber towel and bring a padlock for the locker (make sure you stay at a place that does have lockers because your stuff will get swiped otherwise, especially if you're passed out, drunk). These are extra charges at hostels if you're not prepared. Never needed a sleepsheet but it depends on the places you stay at, I guess.

As for budget.. $6-7k to cover entertainment, lodging, intra-Europe transportation and food?
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#25 Offensive Threat

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:23 AM

I did this in 1990 for 3 months. bought a eurorail pass trains are everywhere and go everywhere and walking is free. Probably a lot more expensive now I paid anywhere from a few dollars a night to about $10 in hostels. I tried to do it on $20 a day. did`nt quite work out but close. cheap way to save money on hostels is to travel " night sleep on train and live on crackers and eggs and bread. I had a one burner coleman and boiled up eggs and had egg sandwiches.. cheap cheap. still had money for beer. thats where most of it went...


Damn, you could have been sleeping on the train seat next to us. Did all of Europe in 1990 in 3 months. 104 days including 2 weeks in Bremen with relatives at the start. August to Mid Nov. We had the 3 month Eurail pass. We slept on trains all the time. We would take a train to somewhere just to have a place to sleep for free, get up in the middle of the night to switch trains and continue sleeping all the way back to our actual next stop. Hostels every few nights just to have a place to shower more than anything. Since we would be traveling into November we did A north to South approach that worked well so we were in Italy, Greece and along the Med in Spain and Portugal into November. We were on budget at about $25-30 a day.

In the Greek islands forget Santorini and its picture perfect towns. Go to IOS to party. Holy mother of god that was crazy. At least it was 22 years ago...it was packed with German and English girls on vacation.

If there in Mid July get to Pamplona Spain for the running of the bulls every morning from the 7th to 14th.(we missed it)
If your there In late September be in Munich for at least one night of Oktoberfest.( we slept on top of the lockers in the train station as every Hostel was packed for 100 miles in every direction).
proudly display the Canadian Flag on your pack and clothing. People everywhere love Canadians and for good reason, we are awesome.

Did England, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, Denmark, Belgium,France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, The Netherlands, Monaco, and a very ill advised side trip over to Morocco.

We never stayed anywhere more than 1 night unless it was a big deal like Paris or Rome which got 2 nights. Berlin got 3 because we didnt realize what a big deal Reunification day was going to be.

Looking back I wish we had done another month at least. We could have swung it. We missed Ireland and Scotland entirely and more days in some places would have been nice. This was in 1990. There was no internet. You should be able to do much better than we did with planning.
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#26 CanuckinEdm

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:47 AM

You know you are going to some of the most expensive countries to stay in in Europe, they all use the Euro or pound(England and part of Ireland). I went to Europe this summer with my wife for 3 weeks. France(Pari, Nice) and Italy(Cinque Terre,Rome) it is super expensive a beer at a restaurant is anywhere from 5-8euro and a meal is 12-15 euro(The same price as Canada). a friend of mine went to England and a magazine and a pop cost him 16 pounds. our Hotels were 120-180 euro a night and that was for BB's. the step above hostels ive heard they range from (60 to 80 Euro) a bottle of water was 4 euro. I would budget at the bare minimum $7000.00(200.00/day) spending money especially if you want to see some of the tourist places. for 3 weeks not including our flights it cost us $5000.00
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#27 Scottish⑦Canuck

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:53 AM

You know you are going to some of the most expensive countries to stay in in Europe, they all use the Euro or pound(England and part of Ireland). I went to Europe this summer with my wife for 3 weeks. France(Pari, Nice) and Italy(Cinque Terre,Rome) it is super expensive a beer at a restaurant is anywhere from 5-8euro and a meal is 12-15 euro(The same price as Canada). a friend of mine went to England and a magazine and a pop cost him 16 pounds. our Hotels were 120-180 euro a night and that was for BB's. the step above hostels ive heard they range from (60 to 80 Euro) a bottle of water was 4 euro. I would budget at the bare minimum $7000.00(200.00/day) spending money especially if you want to see some of the tourist places. for 3 weeks not including our flights it cost us $5000.00


I doubt that. It's closer to £3...

You are right about Europe being expensive though, although it's very much dependent on the country. A lot of Eastern European countries are really cheap. The Scandinavian countries like Norway are the most expensive. Coincidentally it has high wages. I think it's something like £8 a pint over there while here you can get one for 3.

Edited by Scottish⑦Canuck, 29 October 2012 - 11:57 AM.

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#28 Langdon Algur

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:55 AM

Have heard the same thing about Napoli, but it may have to be done to go visit Pompeii.
Rome is definitely going to happen, can't go to Italy and not stay in Rome.
Only London and possibly Birmingham look like places we may stop by in England (likely just London), then just over to Dublin.


The Island of Capri just off the coast of Naples is definitly worth a visit! Bringa swim suit and go for a swim in the Blue Grotto sea cave, don't pay for the boat tours it's cheaper and more fun to swim it if your a strong swimmer.
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#29 CanuckinEdm

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:56 AM

I doubt that. It's closer to £3...

You are right about Europe being expensive though, although it's very much dependent on the country. A lot of Eastern European countries are really cheap. The Scandinavian countries are the most expensive. Coincidentally they have high wages. I think it's something like £8 a pint over there while here you can get one for 3.


it was at the airport so that may sway it quite a bit.
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#30 Scottish⑦Canuck

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:57 AM

The Island of Capri just off the coast of Naples is definitly worth a visit! Bringa swim suit and go for a swim in the Blue Grotto sea cave, don't pay for the boat tours it's cheaper and more fun to swim it if your a strong swimmer.


I second this.
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