I’m a three-day kind of girl. I land in a city, I explore it for three days, I board a plane and head to the next place. When I travel, I can’t handle the idea of not seeing everything I can, especially when travel throughout Europe is so accessible and affordable. This can make fitting in all the sights so stressful though!
So how do I fit everything that I need to see into my three-day sojourn?
I literally schedule everything! If it’s something I’m interested in, it goes straight into my Google calendar. I also factor in travel time, time differences, prices, and special openings. Through the year and especially during the winter, you can often find places with free days. I prefer the free days during the winter as crowds are typically much smaller.
However, during the winter you may also encounter shortened open hours and seasonal closures. I highly recommend a quick search on the interwebs to check the hours your top attractions will be available.
As I fill my calendar, I debate which places will be best to visit early versus later in the day. I also consider their proximity to the next spot I would like to visit, how many tube or train stops are between each stop, glance at what times the spots are busy, etc. I plan out my best days when everything is within a short radius, and I can easily navigate the area.
While my schedule may seem rigid to an outsider, by being sure to visit my most important or time specific stops first, I am able to be flexible and change my schedule around as needed. In the event that I miss seeing sights during the day due to weather, over scheduling or general issues, it does not matter because I can simply bump things to the next day. I like to have simple items I can schedule and maneuver about as needed. Things I would qualify as simple items include landmarks, parks, places which don’t close, etc.
Should you find yourself with more than three days to explore a city, I still recommend writing out your plan in an attempt to not miss any important stops. The only place I don’t do this is in London, simply because I’ve visited all the touristy things before, and now on my visits, my goal is to blindly explore and find new special places for myself.
My last recommendation for scheduling would be to schedule in advance! Schedule your days before you even buy your tickets (if you have flexible travel time). This will help you make sure you book enough days for the cities you wish to visit and will help prevent you from feeling rushed.