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Old 11-10-2016, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Saint Paul, MN
1,365 posts, read 1,448,924 times
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First of all, I want to say that my purpose in making this thread is to have a fun discussion topic, not to have someone else make my decision for me. I want to know "what would you do?" not "what should I do?"

So my partner and I are going to visit a friend in Milan at the end of December into the first week of January. I've been to Europe a few times, but this will be his first visit there and only his second time out of the US. We are spending the first 5 days with our friend in northern Italy and then my partner would very much like to take advantage of the geographic proximity of everything in Europe to check out another country.

Wherever we choose we will spend 5 days primarily (or perhaps exclusively) in one city, hoping for a slightly more immersive experience. There have to be direct flights from Milan, which really shouldn't rule out much of anywhere.

Where would you go if you were in my shoes?

Oh, and for the record, I am well aware that December/January are the dead of winter and it will be cold. This is when we could get time off of work. Plus we are coming from Minnesota, so it will still almost certainly be warmer in our destination?
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Old 11-10-2016, 02:57 PM
 
2,143 posts, read 3,565,918 times
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If I understand correctly, you've got 5 days to spend in another city? I'd pick either London or Paris. You could do Rome and maybe a day trip to Naples or Pompei.
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Old 11-10-2016, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Saint Paul, MN
1,365 posts, read 1,448,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DomRep View Post
If I understand correctly, you've got 5 days to spend in another city? I'd pick either London or Paris. You could do Rome and maybe a day trip to Naples or Pompei.
Yep, you've got it! 5 days in any city in Europe, as long as that city is (A) relatively accessible from Milan by air and (B) not located in Italy, per my partner's wish to visit another country.

If it was entirely up to me, I would probably spend the entire time in Italy to see two or three different regions. But that violates criterion B. And I have done the whirlwind tour of Italy in the past; I would happily visit those cities again, but I am also happy to honor the request to collect another metaphorical passport stamp.
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Old 11-10-2016, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,689 posts, read 16,136,434 times
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Non- air option- train from Milan to Zurich, Switzerland is apparently about five hours, and train travel can be a nice part of the European experience. Would also see what train options get you into SE France other parts of Switzerland or even Bavarian Germany. Also, you do not have to ski to enjoy a lot of the Alps resort areas.

Disclaimer- I live at the beach, so I try to make it to mountains on every vacation because it's so different than home.

Last edited by beachmouse; 11-10-2016 at 04:31 PM..
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Old 11-10-2016, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,665 posts, read 6,497,814 times
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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.
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Old 11-10-2016, 05:29 PM
 
2,291 posts, read 3,941,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StPaulGal View Post
Where would you go if you were in my shoes?
I'll answer the question later but let me first say what I would do -- I'd make a list of places in Europe I have not been yet, then give him the list and ask him where he'd like to go. I wouldn't plan the whole thing just because I've been to Europe before. He needs to be involved in the process too.

I would probably try to convince him to drop criterion (B) so we could go to Florence or Rome or Sardinia or Sicily, and plan another Europe trip next year. Otherwise, I'd probably pick Vienna or Paris -- gotta hit the can't miss places before second tier cities. Is your flight back to the US from Milan as well?
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Old 11-10-2016, 05:34 PM
 
12,351 posts, read 18,454,883 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StPaulGal View Post
First of all, I want to say that my purpose in making this thread is to have a fun discussion topic, not to have someone else make my decision for me. I want to know "what would you do?" not "what should I do?"

So my partner and I are going to visit a friend in Milan at the end of December into the first week of January. I've been to Europe a few times, but this will be his first visit there and only his second time out of the US. We are spending the first 5 days with our friend in northern Italy and then my partner would very much like to take advantage of the geographic proximity of everything in Europe to check out another country.

Wherever we choose we will spend 5 days primarily (or perhaps exclusively) in one city, hoping for a slightly more immersive experience. There have to be direct flights from Milan, which really shouldn't rule out much of anywhere.

Where would you go if you were in my shoes?

Oh, and for the record, I am well aware that December/January are the dead of winter and it will be cold. This is when we could get time off of work. Plus we are coming from Minnesota, so it will still almost certainly be warmer in our destination?
Cold is only part of it, many sites will be closed and the days are extremely short (sunlight) that time of year. I mean, it's just no fun for a tourist doing half of what you want to do in the dark.
What would I do? Take a sking vacation in the alps. Better yet head south, but not Spain or Portugal because that becomes a Brit tourist slum in winter time. Maybe Sicily or Greece. Rome and the area might be manageable and I always recommend that to a first time European visitor because it is so iconic and representative of a Europe vacation.
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
1,300 posts, read 1,099,686 times
Reputation: 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by StPaulGal View Post
First of all, I want to say that my purpose in making this thread is to have a fun discussion topic, not to have someone else make my decision for me. I want to know "what would you do?" not "what should I do?"

So my partner and I are going to visit a friend in Milan at the end of December into the first week of January. I've been to Europe a few times, but this will be his first visit there and only his second time out of the US. We are spending the first 5 days with our friend in northern Italy and then my partner would very much like to take advantage of the geographic proximity of everything in Europe to check out another country.

Wherever we choose we will spend 5 days primarily (or perhaps exclusively) in one city, hoping for a slightly more immersive experience. There have to be direct flights from Milan, which really shouldn't rule out much of anywhere.

Where would you go if you were in my shoes?

Oh, and for the record, I am well aware that December/January are the dead of winter and it will be cold. This is when we could get time off of work. Plus we are coming from Minnesota, so it will still almost certainly be warmer in our destination?
Milan is a good jumping off point since carriers like Easy Jet have a hub there so you have many options. I have flown from Milan to Ibiza and Paris. Another option I would do is fly to Brussels or Amsterdam and then split my time between the two countries since the train ride between the cities is only a couple of hours.
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Canada
9,081 posts, read 8,368,579 times
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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.
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Old 11-11-2016, 12:48 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
2,214 posts, read 2,637,891 times
Reputation: 2090
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).
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