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Old 06-07-2012, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
114 posts, read 193,090 times
Reputation: 60

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I'm in the every early stages of trying to plan a European vacation with my 2 young adult sons (they are 20 and 21). The 20 year old is interested in experiencing more of the culture while the 21 year old is interested in history. I visited France, Belgium and Great Britain as a teenager but the boys have never been to Europe. We are looking at going mid-May next year. We have come up with 3 possible very rough itineraries for a trip of between 17-21 days:
  1. Great Britain / Ireland / Possibly Scotland- London and Dublin definitely; not sure about which areas of the countryside to see. also interested in genealogy aspect - my great-grandfather and great-grandmother were from County Monaghan and the boys also have English ancestry on their father's side. Not sure if Scotland is doable.
  2. Italy - Rome / Florence and Tuscany / Assisi / Pompeii / Naples / possibly Venice. The 21 yr old really wants to see Pompeii. I really want to visit Assisi.
  3. Germany - Berlin, Munich, more genealogy near the Baltic and in Bavaria / Prague / Budapest / Possibly Krakow.
I'm having a hard time deciding. I don't want to feel like it's a trip of just rushing from one "must-see" site to another. GB & Ireland seems like the easiest trip without the language barrier, Italy seems like a lot of things to do but I'm not sure how relaxing it would be, Germany and Central Europe interest me a lot but I'm not sure if that might be a more difficult trip to plan.

I would try to learn a bit of each language before either Italy or Germany / Prague / Budapest. Italian might be easier as I speak some Spanish as does the 20 year old.

Any help narrowing down the choices would be appreciated.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Whittier, CA
494 posts, read 1,603,713 times
Reputation: 452
Although London does have the amazing British Museum and other historical sites close by I think #2 or #3 will be more impressive. #2 is great for WW2 history and Berlin has some amazing museums (Pergamon and Altes on museum island are some of the world's top).

Personally I would do #3 since it's a mix of West and East europe so would be a great experience to see the differences. Prague is very rich in history and so is Budapest so you can't go wrong there. #2 although fabulous would be a bit more of a homogenous experience while #3 would be more varied.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:48 PM
 
Location: El Dorado Hills, CA
3,693 posts, read 8,335,101 times
Reputation: 3812
Just be sure not to try to go to too many places and not have time to enjoy where you are. Give at least 3 days or more in each place or you will feel like you are rushing through everything and enjoying nothing.

All sound like good options, it gets back to what you prefer to see. You can easily get around Germany with English. If you know a little German, it can help in Budapest.

Have fun with your trip!
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,537 posts, read 9,935,931 times
Reputation: 9051
I'd go with Italy, but scale back the number of stops on the itinerary. There's plenty of history, especially ancient history, and the food and culture are great. Skipping Venice (this time around) would cut down on the travel time.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:27 AM
 
634 posts, read 1,498,096 times
Reputation: 1269
As a german i would like to recommend to visit: Schloss Neuschwanstein ( Bavaria, southern Part of Germany) Heidelberg ( on the way from south to the middle of germany), the rhinegau ( Rheingau) area ( close to Frankfurt, which is one of the best wine areas in germany, with the world famous "Drosselgass" in Ruedesheim ( Rüdesheim), Berlin ( do a hop on hop off tour by bus AND a sightseeing boat tour, maybe a "Bunker" tour). The dome of cologne is very interessting and pretty too.

If you are very interessted in history, i would not leave Europe without:

Firenze! ( Florence in english?)
Rome!
Tuscany is a nice stop for a bathing break, but it is VERY expensive. I love the tuscany and the great fresh food, fresh branzino and more. ( Viareggio, Forte dei Marmi, Massa)

Germany and Italy have a lot of history and interessting places and i think that 2 countries are enough for 2 or 3 weeks.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,220,997 times
Reputation: 16496
My vote goes for Rome and Italy. If you get the chance, don't forget Pompeii. Although it might be a bit.. strange looking at dead people , the fact that it is just so old is amazing.
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