U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Europe
 [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 10-23-2013, 10:21 AM
 
3 posts, read 5,328 times
Reputation: 13

Advertisements

Im mid-30s, male, and I've never been to Europe. I'm from the States, was raised in Texas and have lived in Los Angeles and New York City, and have traveled through most of the U.S.
For some reason, even though the economy is bad and I just quit my job, I've decided I'm going to take a little out of the savings and go to Europe. I want to see "what it's like"...I have my passport and am probably flying out a week from today. I've decided to pose this here on this great forum because this has just become so overwhelming it's ridiculous and strange. I know I want to go to Paris and Berlin but I can't for the life of me plan this out. It's just so difficult for some reason. Maybe because I'm not going for one specific thing, I just want to get away and experience something.
I think my journey will begin in either London or Paris because the tickets will be about a hundred bucks cheaper. I will stay in hostels and/or rooms from airbnb. My plan is to book that flight (one-way) and a few nights and just see where my journey takes me with a sort of outline of possible things to do and go about it once I get there. I'm very fearful of booking a weeks stay in Paris for example, realizing that I only needed a couple days and want to continue on my journey earlier than planned. I am not getting a Eurorail pass because I'm going to take cheap planes instead as I won't be seeing all of Europe. I can see myself being over there for 2 weeks to a month.
My question is - has anyone had this overwhelming feeling?!?!? I am so worried about language and this and that, I know the weather won't be great but i have to go now.
I'm an artist (if you want to say that, to give you an idea of why i'm going), I'll be checking out museums and just culture you know. I have so many questions going through my head as far as planning and if I'm making a mistake by not really planning. Besides Berlin and Paris, is London a must-see? I am also thinking Barcelona...maybe Vienna, Budapest, Amsterdam - there is a part of me that thinks it is more ideal to spend a longer time in more central europe and hope that one day i can see the rest later - or will i regret not just spending a few days in each city and seeing as much as i can.
i know there's a lot in this post and all over the place but any advice would be appreciated.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-23-2013, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,399 posts, read 5,158,372 times
Reputation: 4425
Language and stuff like that doesn't matter. You can get by with english easily. People in Berlin will get stoked to show off their english, too.

Just buy a one way ticket and take it as you go. Too many people pick a day to come back and then it screws up your freedom and spontaneity. Maybe you'll meet someone cool going to Milan or something, the week you bought a return ticket out of Brussels, for example. I know its cheaper to buy return but you have no schedule and can easily find one-ways for cheap without a job to come back to on X day. This is compounded by the fact that it's euro shoulder season. Where are you from in the USA?

Also, don't underestimate the east. Often cheaper with thrills, too. Not as many tourists, and you get a more unique experience. Locals will be more interested in you in general. Like Poland, Ukraine, Balkans, etc.

You'll find cool art everywhere.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2013, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,399 posts, read 5,158,372 times
Reputation: 4425
And its great that you're open to things like Airbnb which will save you a lot of money if you shop around. Seriously, don't worry about plans. Europe is super navigable. Just don't flip flop locations, move in a way that makes sense geographically. I usually find 3-4 days per city pretty good, if they're not enormous.

Flying is often cheaper than trains in Europe through things like Easyjet, but probably just in the western parts.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2013, 11:19 AM
 
3 posts, read 5,328 times
Reputation: 13
thanks for the advice and i'll look more into buses and trains. i was raised in texas but went to school in los angeles and new york. the new york crime and poverty (for someone like me who isn't pulling in six figures) sent me back to texas where now i'm trying to figure out where to lay my roots. before i settle down i feel like i need to see what some of these cities in europe, uk are like.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2013, 11:30 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
22 posts, read 33,740 times
Reputation: 33
Amsterdam? It is a nice stop between London and Berlin. In a couple of weeks the dutch holiday season kicks off with the arrival of Sinterklaas. The Rijksmuseum is just being reopend. At the end of November you can see the Christmismarkets in Berlin, Brussels or Vienna. Prague is very nice but you will experience more trouble with the language. Paris in spring is famous, that could be the end of the journey if you can stay until march or so...
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2013, 12:19 PM
 
124 posts, read 115,430 times
Reputation: 68
Rome too for sure...
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2013, 02:10 PM
 
7 posts, read 9,910 times
Reputation: 11
Ok, this is a bit of an essay but here me out

To be honest, you could quite easily spend a month in just one country; there's a great deal to see in Europe. Paris and London are no-brainers for their cultural and historical offering; for all their congestion and high cost, they're truly world-class cities. If you do things properly, you'll be blown away by them. As said above, Paris is best is spring.

In the UK, there's an endless of supply of attractions for you. Bath, Oxford, York, Chester, Edinburgh and Cambridge are a few cities known for their architecture and history. Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Glasgow amongst others are good for culture and vibrancy.

France is much the same; you could spend months exploring the country and everything it has to offer. Nancy, Rouen, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Amiens, Nimes and Carcassonne (and others) are full to the brim with History. Larger cities like Bordeaux, Toulouse, Lyon and Strasbourg are well worth a visit too. Marseille is quite unique in its melting pot of cultures, and it's people look out towards the rest of the world rather than its own country.

Germany would be good for November/December. Amazing Christmas markets & events, great architecture, food and people. Netherlands has some great cities to visit, notably Amsterdam and Utrecht. Brussels and Antwerp in Belgium, and Budapest in Hungary are also good places to visit at this time of year. Although always a great place to visit, Scandinavia will be very cold! Finland and Estonia are quite similar in culture, and are very interesting places to visit. Spain has some incredible history; make sure you incorporate it into your trip. Cities like Sevilla, Cordoba, Toledo, Granada, Valencia and Zaragoza are worth your time. Poland has some fantastic historic cities too, like Krakow and Gdansk. Poland is so easy to visit with low-cost flights that it would be a shame to pass.

Czech Republic, Austria, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Italy and Ukraine all have a great wealth of attractions and cities to see.

I'm not sure, but I would say Croatia, Slovenia, Albania and Greece are better destinations in Summer.

Try the other Balkan countries if you're feeling adventurous, but by no means would they be at the top of my list. These include Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Moldova. Moldova is by far the least-developed country in Europe, and might be a bit of a culture shock for you.

Further east, you have Belarus and Russia. As an American, you'll have hassle trying to enter Russia, and I wouldn't even bother with Belarus, so maybe pass these unless you really want to see them. Russia is an intriguing place to see though.

As for Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia, I really don't know much about them so there's not much I can say.

If you're worried about the language barrier, maybe stick to Western or Northern Europe. Scandinavia, Netherlands and Germany have a high proportion of people who speak English; you'd have no trouble there. France and Spain are a different story, outside of the tourist spots.

I'd say to at least stick to just one section of Europe, you'll get much more out of each country than if you just visited every single one for just a few days. Maybe Central Europe, or Scandinavia, or Eastern Europe. The latter is often overlooked, but really has a huge amount going on at a much more affordable price compared to Western Europe. I eel like I haven't talked about the Eat enough; I can't stress enough how good a place it can be to travel around, at a very small cost. Of course, the most recognisable places are, and as someone from Western Europe, I'm a bit biased in saying to go there!

Last edited by Avispa; 10-23-2013 at 02:21 PM.. Reason: Spelling
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2013, 02:16 PM
 
7 posts, read 9,910 times
Reputation: 11
Oh, I forgot, almost every country has a cheap airline, but the best airline to look at if you want ridiculously cheap fares is Ryanair. They fly EVERYWHERE, I mean, places in Europe I've never even heard of before. Wizz Air are good for Eastern Europe, and Norwegian for Scandinavia (not just Norway). These low-cost airlines want nothing more than to take your money from you, so watch out for all their possible hidden charges, and expect nothing more than a seat that takes you from A to B. But they are still very cheap!

Trains are cheaper than flights in Eastern Europe on the day and some of Western Europe if you book in advance, and are much more entertaining than flights, so use these as much as you can!

Look at bahn.de for schedules, they have times for all of Europe, not just Germany.

Last edited by Avispa; 10-23-2013 at 02:24 PM.. Reason: Info
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2013, 02:27 PM
 
3 posts, read 5,328 times
Reputation: 13
im surprised no mention of italy! being from spain, if i had to do one - would you say barcelon or madrid?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-23-2013, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Barcelona, Spain
281 posts, read 735,514 times
Reputation: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelorbust View Post
im surprised no mention of italy! being from spain, if i had to do one - would you say barcelon or madrid?
No brainer dude, Barcelona.

Well, seriously, it depends. Barcelona is cooler, in my opinion, more international vibe, beach, wonderful weather. Madrid is more classical, monumental and much more so the idea of traditional Spain if you will.
Rate this post positively 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 > World Forums > Europe
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - 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, 36, 37 - Top