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Old 11-11-2016, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Lake Oswego, Manhattan, Aspen
3,234 posts, read 4,205,374 times
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If you're made of money, that's when Switzerland is most magical (Maybe split the time between Zurich - the biggest city - and Gstaad?) So's Luxembourg. Copenhagen, in winter, is milder than Minneapolis, but still snowy and wonderful.

My husband tells people that London "...doesn't get cold in winter, anymore". So, most likely, you'll find the weather convenient (coming from Minneapolis, I know you'll appreciate a break from complicated winter logistics...).

But truly, if it were ME, I'd spend the week in Lisbon. The weather can be really sparkly, and, to me, the temperature is like San Francisco's, that time of year (but with far more stability than San Francisco's notoriously capricious breezes). I (and my big, hairy, heat-sensitive Loup-garou of a husband), find it easy to dress, there: no huge difference between night and day temperatures. Lots of palm trees, lots of beautiful buildings, great seafood, and good prices...

The entire French Riviera, of course, is wonderful in winter. Weekends get lots of people flying in, but weekdays are uncrowded. Summers, I find impossible, there. No real travel bargains to be had, IMHO, but, in winter, you can relax and not have to fight your way through throngs of tourists (weekdays, at least...).

I'd love to be able to tell you that Dubrovnik, Istanbul, and Yalta, are wonderful in winter. My HUSBAND thinks they are. Then again, he loves Montreal in March: "It's PERFECT!". But truly, the 'balmy' winters in those places are so, only relative to places farther from the water. You're best-off, sticking with cities at the western edge of the Eurasian Landmass - particularly those kissed by the Gulf Stream.
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,660 posts, read 6,482,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandviewGloria View Post
If you're made of money, that's when Switzerland is most magical (Maybe split the time between Zurich - the biggest city - and Gstaad?) So's Luxembourg. Copenhagen, in winter, is milder than Minneapolis, but still snowy and wonderful.

My husband tells people that London "...doesn't get cold in winter, anymore". So, most likely, you'll find the weather convenient (coming from Minneapolis, I know you'll appreciate a break from complicated winter logistics...).

But truly, if it were ME, I'd spend the week in Lisbon. The weather can be really sparkly, and, to me, the temperature is like San Francisco's, that time of year (but with far more stability than San Francisco's notoriously capricious breezes). I (and my big, hairy, heat-sensitive Loup-garou of a husband), find it easy to dress, there: no huge difference between night and day temperatures. Lots of palm trees, lots of beautiful buildings, great seafood, and good prices...

The entire French Riviera, of course, is wonderful in winter. Weekends get lots of people flying in, but weekdays are uncrowded. Summers, I find impossible, there. No real travel bargains to be had, IMHO, but, in winter, you can relax and not have to fight your way through throngs of tourists (weekdays, at least...).

I'd love to be able to tell you that Dubrovnik, Istanbul, and Yalta, are wonderful in winter. My HUSBAND thinks they are. Then again, he loves Montreal in March: "It's PERFECT!". But truly, the 'balmy' winters in those places are so, only relative to places farther from the water. You're best-off, sticking with cities at the western edge of the Eurasian Landmass - particularly those kissed by the Gulf Stream.
I was going to suggest Lisbon as well.. Possibly my favorite place I've visited.. We visited last year in beginning of January and while rainy, the weather was wonderful otherwise.
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Old 11-11-2016, 08:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Douglas Dakota View Post
In the deep winter, I would either chose somewhere for Christmas Markets and cozy cities (maybe Vienna, Salzburg) or somewhere not so cold further in the South (Barcelona, Lisbon, Porto).
My first instincts would be to head for Lisbon or Barcelona too.
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Old 11-11-2016, 08:24 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Originally Posted by Liberty2011 View Post
I'm terribly biased because I love Italy. Just returned from there last week, and would want to encourage your friend to go to Venice, Florence, Rome, Pompeii, over a different country just for the sake of saying you went to more than one.
I agree. Southern Italy, or even Sicily, would be more temperate climate and is a world apart from Milan, which is the least Italian place in the country. Find a place and melt into the local culture... a coastal town or a hill town for a few days.
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Me...I'd do some combination of Barcelona, Lisbon and southern Spain.


I'll be there the end of the year also but a little earlier...mid-December through last day in December. I chose these areas because I like the food in Barcelona and enjoy Spanish culture, I decided to hold the "Christmas market" experience until another time, I figured it would be a little warmer than many other parts of Europe (I live in Chicago so it'll likely feel 'mild' to me), I wanted to revisit Barcelona as my last trip there was very short, and I've never even been to southern Spain or Lisbon.


Oh...and because with the amount of time I have the transportation between these areas isn't too complicated/time-consuming.
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Old 11-12-2016, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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I have been to maybe about half of the major cities in Western and Central Europe, so I've seen some but far from all.

I definitely second the idea of asking your partner for his thoughts, but if it's totally up to me I'd go to Greece. Never been and always wanted to, and you're pretty close coming from Italy. Stick to Athens for 5 or make a side trip to some nice beach. Would also consider Spain or Portugal since I've never been there either and I prefer warmer weather.

Have fun!!
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Old 11-12-2016, 08:43 PM
 
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It could rain the whole time you're in London or Paris. I would go to Sicily - really beautiful - or somewhere else in southern Europe.
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Old 11-12-2016, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
1,601 posts, read 2,469,153 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IonRedline08 View Post
I'm not sure how long it would take, but, a train to Germany, perhaps Berlin to see the Christmas markets? I did check, and flights from Milan to Berlin are super cheap and they have nonstops that are about an hour and a half.

I have actually never been to Germany, but, I was in Europe last year between Christmas and the first week of January, and we really enjoyed the festive atmosphere of the Christmas Markets (and I am not a huge Christmas person).. went to one in Brussels and one in Bruges, both were great! It was actually a bit warmer than usual there, the weather was nice, actually.

If you will be there for New Years Eve, I have heard that Berlin is awesome at New Years.. I would also throw a vote to Amsterdam as well if you are there for New Years, we were there last year for New Years and had one of the best nights of our lives.

Berlin is an amazing city!!!
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Old 11-13-2016, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
8,239 posts, read 11,104,689 times
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Munich.
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Saint Paul, MN
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Thanks for all the input! It's very interesting to see what places you all are drawn to!

To answer some of the questions:
-Yes, our return flight is from Milan as well.
-Dates for this second portion will most likely be January 2-7. NYE will be spent with our friend. Probably too late to hit Christmas markets.
-He is involved in the planning, but since I have traveled a lot more and also worked in the travel industry I am going to be the one making the arrangements.

One more thing: This will be our first time in Europe together, but it won't be our last. We don't have to worry about permanently missing out on whatever we don't get a chance to experience this time around.
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