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Itinerary help

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Hi guys!

So two of my friends and I are planning a trip to Europe in December not longer than 7-12 days.

Basically this is the first time I'm travelling to Europe and planning a trip on my own so I have no idea how to go about it.
We do have a little bit of a criteria but like I mentioned we dont know where to go where to see so based on the following criteria I need help narrowing it down.
Our budget is around $1500 preferably including airfare- We do not care about high end hotel however cleanliness is important
-We dont have any fixed dates yet but tentative dates -17th to 24th Dec
- I understand that most of the places in Europe will be really cold at that time but since Europe is my dream im ready to brave the cold for that however any suggestions of places that are milder comparatively to others will be appreciated.
-What were mostly interested in is scenic fairy tale like towns, christmas attractions(i love the holiday season and christmas decorations) a little bit of architecture and some game of thrones type places(sorry dont know how else to explain)

Now the complicated bit
-Ill be travelling from Pakistan, one of my friends from India and another from US ---so need a place where airfare should be reasonable for all three of us.
-Since I have a Pakistani passport, visas are a little bit of an issue however I've heard getting a visa through German or Italian embassy is relatively easier

So based on those two important points I've narrowed down two options
1- Germany+Austria( Prague too if possible)
2-Italy+ Croatia

I now need someone to help me plan out an itinerary(picking out what places to visit) also some guidance about getting around the cities and getting from one country to another(would love to go by train)

Thanks a bunch in advance and sorry if this post is a headache!

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