U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-03-2016, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Seattle
1,534 posts, read 1,323,455 times
Reputation: 3600

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown00 View Post
I've never been to any parts of Europe before. I need lots of suggestions/advice! It will be with wife & extended family, everyone is an adult, money is not really an issue

First of all - where do you recommend? Europe is big. I am planning for a 7-10 day trip. I don't want to visit just 1 city/country (unless it's a must), and don't want to spend like an entire day traveling to another place. Preferably places are close to each other so I can limit travel and spend more time enjoying the cities

I know the answer to above question may be "it depends on what you like". Well I like all of the above! I'm not looking for anything specific. Since it's my first time in Europe, I wouldn't mind going to all the stereotypical touristy places

Next - I hate to admit it, but I do like travel tours. I don't want my trip to 100% be on a tour focused, but I wouldn't mind spending like 1 entire day on a guided tour for a specific city. Any recommendations would be great. This is not a requirement

Lastly, any advice from experience would be appreciated too!
How many in your party, and what ages? Have any of them been to Europe before, and if so, what did they like or dislike?

This might be off the wall, but with your time constraints, flexible budget, your desire not to move around too much but still get a feel for more than one place, and (don't be shy, it's okay) the appeal of guided tours, the thought that popped into my head was a river cruise.

There are many cruises on major river systems in Europe, or in some cases small canals, that offer very comfortable accommodations, excellent food, but which combine some features that might appeal:

  • You unpack once and don't have to sweat logistics.
  • You see several cities, also beautiful countryside and small villages.
  • Language isn't a barrier.
  • You can go on ship's tours, or wing it when you stop.
  • They're very small scale and fairly deluxe, quite different from the mass market cruises on the big ships.
You can cruise from Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Budapest, and several other cities, taking in the Rhine, Danube, Seine or other rivers.

Pick a cruise that departs from a city you'd like to visit (I'd pick Amsterdam myself - it's the ideal "soft landing" in Europe for beginners) and maybe go a couple of days before your boat departs to get your body clock reset and hit some museums or just walk around.

Go to a major cruise booking site like Cruise.com - Find the best Cruise Deals and Discount Cruises and look around, or dive into the big leagues on Cruise Reviews, Cruise Deals and Cruises - Cruise Critic , a mega-site for cruisers.

Like I said, maybe OTW, but possibly worth investigating.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-03-2016, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,665 posts, read 6,501,956 times
Reputation: 4176
I love Amsterdam, and I agree that, for everywhere I've been in Europe, it is definitely the easiest for a 1st timer to fly into and get acclimated quickly.

At the end of the day, you have to decide on the #1 thing you are interested in and go from there... I certainly agree that instead of rushing from city to city to pick maybe two places with a possible day side trip and go from there.

As an example.. We went around Christmas this year...

Days 1-3 Brussels
Day 4- Train to Bruges
Days 5-7 Train to Amsterdam for New Years
Days 8-13- Flew to Lisbon, side trip to Ericerra.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2016, 12:15 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,459,857 times
Reputation: 19655
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I recommend London and Paris. These are the first 2 cities that you should visit in Europe, as they are the heavy hitters.

However, it can easily take you 5-7 days to see either city properly. Paris especially takes a many days to see well. So, stick with London for maybe 5 days and take a trip to some other popular attractions like Stonehenge or Windsor Castle for the remaining.

You can try to do London 5 days, Paris 5 days. But I guarantee you that it will be overwhelming.
I second this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2016, 12:29 PM
 
2,143 posts, read 3,568,134 times
Reputation: 1320
Why doesn't OP just do a group tour?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2016, 12:40 PM
 
3,645 posts, read 1,574,862 times
Reputation: 2536
Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown00 View Post
I've never been to any parts of Europe before. I need lots of suggestions/advice! It will be with wife & extended family, everyone is an adult, money is not really an issue

First of all - where do you recommend? Europe is big. I am planning for a 7-10 day trip. I don't want to visit just 1 city/country (unless it's a must), and don't want to spend like an entire day traveling to another place. Preferably places are close to each other so I can limit travel and spend more time enjoying the cities

I know the answer to above question may be "it depends on what you like". Well I like all of the above! I'm not looking for anything specific. Since it's my first time in Europe, I wouldn't mind going to all the stereotypical touristy places

Next - I hate to admit it, but I do like travel tours. I don't want my trip to 100% be on a tour focused, but I wouldn't mind spending like 1 entire day on a guided tour for a specific city. Any recommendations would be great. This is not a requirement

Lastly, any advice from experience would be appreciated too!
If you have 10 days, you could do Amsterdam-Paris easily . Good rail connectivity between them and you could travel in the high speed TGF. Amsterdam has guided tours, some of them by boat also.

Also I would recommend Den Haag(Hague) and nearby Delft. Amsterdam would be crowded with tourists but Hague is underrated. You could simply sit there on the restaurants along the canal and enjoy a beer or on the boat-restaurants itself and go around the street trams around the city. It even has 2 beaches for a sunny day. Delft is a small town and beautiful to walk around for a day.

Book service apartments than hotels, they are a lot cheaper.

And Brussels is overhyped. Also let us know if Paris has been completely destoyed by refugees( as claimed by some posters here).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2016, 12:40 PM
 
13,711 posts, read 13,660,744 times
Reputation: 39965
I just took a whirlwind tour of Ireland with my two best friends. In retrospect, my advice is to pick maybe two or 3 locations tops for a 10-day trip and make little day trips out from the area you are staying in to different sites. We spent 3 nights in Galway and got to enjoy a lot in the area, but then it was just 2 nights in Killarney and we had less time to explore, which was frustrating. We then moved on to Cork, which honestly I don't remember because we spent one night there. Dublin was 2 nights, and it was quite nice, but again, I would have liked more time. I spent one night in Wales and that was NOWHERE near enough time to even explore the little town I was staying in. At the end of the trip, I was clinically exhausted.

We are currently making plans to go back and spend about a week in Killarney so we can soak up the experience a bit more.

Honestly, I have a close friend who has a degree in museum display. She always admonished me "Never go to more than 2 museums in a single day. Just don't do it." We piled too much on. Relax, take your time and don't try to stuff everything in.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2016, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Southern Nevada
2,899 posts, read 1,226,193 times
Reputation: 3204
One thing I would suggest is to fly in and out of Dublin or at least try and connect through there. Getting through Customs is easy and coming home you can clear U.S. Customs right at the Dublin airport. Saves a lot of time when you finally get home. From Dublin you can easily get just about anywhere.

If you are travelling through Scotland or England, look for Premier Inns. They are all over the UK and are decent places to stay that won't break the bank. Most of them have bars and restaurants. We stayed in several and every one was nice. The one next to the London Eye is an a nice location to explore the city. In London, there are tons of tours. The one on the Thames River is good. We also did one that went out to Bath, Laycock (14th century Medieval village) and Stonehenge. If you get to England, Stonehenge should be on your list. Very interesting.

We spent 10 days and went from Ireland to Scotland and then took the train down to London. On the way home we connected through Dublin before flying back to the U.S. It was a great trip. Next one is Paris and Rome.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2016, 03:48 PM
 
10,604 posts, read 14,248,610 times
Reputation: 17208
So you like to see stuff versus do stuff?

That's perfect then.

For example take Greece. You can see cosmopolitan Athens, make a quick trip to a close island, then down to the ICONIC peloponnese and still have time to go to other countries. If you're just LOOKING mostly.

Being Greek, I caution you, once you hit the peloponnese, you may not ever want to leave. It could really be a trip itself. STUPENDOUS.

Ancient historic ruins, mountains, pristine sea....grab your meal out of the water. Byzantine era churches. Oldest theater at Epidavros. Ancient Olympia. Sparta 900s BC. (!)The wine route for the wines of Dionysus. Olives and more olives and more olives LOL. Barren soil. NOT green. NORTHERN Greece has some green. VERY different. Like here.

Google Vathia Tower Houses, The Mani (iconic ancient region). My ancestor's house (fortified tower) we still have and it looks like that. Never had windows LOL. We Maniatis are the toughest people in the EU region LOL. The last stronghold during WWII invasions.

It's also fun and can be scary driving on the mountain roads.

NOW if you want to DO stuff: like go through all the museums in Athens, stroll around every street and restaurant on the island (Hydra near Athens in Saronic Islands for example - 1 hr high speed ferry) shop, and see ALL the historic ruins AND new trendy way the peloponnese has become "modern" in some parts you could spend your entire time on just those three places in Greece and see not really much at all compared what it has to offer.

This Greece thing I described gives you three distinct experiences: the metropolitan Athens, the tourist island (close by) and the Home of the Gods and Goddesses in a short amount of time.

I could go ON forever.

If it were ME, first timing it....I'd be wanting to see the historic cities I'm interested in. Paris, Rome, Berlin....but everyone has different things they like.

So figure out WHAT you like to do and the weather (!) and go from there.

AND there's the food thing to consider, too. (not in Greek Taverna you can NEVER go wrong eating there! When I spent 10 days in England, the only place we ate was Greek taverna ha ha)

Also factor in your personalities. South W. EU tends to be a little chaotic and operate on their own time. IMO.

You SHOULD see the "typical touristy places". You see one castle you see them all, for heavens' sakes.

Last edited by runswithscissors; 11-03-2016 at 04:31 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2016, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Saint Paul, MN
1,365 posts, read 1,450,554 times
Reputation: 2962
I think the idea of a river cruise is a great one! It's not my personal style, but it could be the ideal solution for the OP:
-Ability to see multiple cities
-Low "intimidation factor" because logistics are handled by the cruise company
-Focus is on the touristy sites
-Guided tours available
-Moving from city to city is part of the experience, so there is no "wasted" transit time
-Money is not an issue, and those things are expensive!

If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, then my vote would be for the London and Paris idea. Fly into London, spend half your time there, zip over to Paris via the chunnel, and then fly home from there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2016, 05:07 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
4,776 posts, read 2,574,119 times
Reputation: 9310
I guess I'm in the minority here. I might be able to do a 7-10 day trip to New England, but would never consider a trip to Europe that was only 7-10 days long. Jet lag is a bummer, and it's a real thing.

My very first trip to Europe I spent the first three weeks just in Paris, with a day side trip to Versailles before branching out to other countries. And that was in the days when there were very few places that were inundated with tourists, when I had to change currency at each border and learn to speak other languages, because even most small hotel/pension owners could not speak English.

Is there any chance at all that you can stretch the trip out to at least 2-3 weeks?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top