10 Day Europe Trip

Mar 30th, 2018, 01:12 AM
  #1  
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10 Day Europe Trip

Hello everyone. This is going to be very general so bare with me. My father and I might visit Europe during the Summer and we are deciding on what countries to go to (I am 17). I currently live in Southern California and want to go to Germany really badly due to the amazing food and overall history. Although I am open to suggestions. Keep in mind that Airplane travel will most likely take off 1-2 days and train travel will also be a factor. What countries/cities should I visit? What should i do there? Best way to save time? Any and all advice you people can give me would be wonderful. Thank you.
butterfingers is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 02:10 AM
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Food and History

I would travel to the area of Luxembourg, Alsace and Moselle. Yes it is not just Germany but it is the centre of the areas that Germans and French have fought over for many generations and gives you a real understanding of the fortresses, castles, people and foods that have been exchanged time after time.

Airports you could fly into include Frankfurt, Basel or Brussels but others do exist.

So, what to see? Well the likes of the remains of the Luxembourg fortress, the Burg Eltz on the Moselle, Trier with its ancient Roman buildings and a whole bunch of castles in https://www.tourisme-alsace.com/en/the-land-of-castles/ plus the only concentration camp on French soil is based in Alsace. Lots of bike paths in these areas with good bike hire, some great hikings in the relatively low hills and while not everyone speaks English, the majority of people you will meet will do so to a certain level. Some hotels will have swimming pools and a fair few towns will have open air pools by the rivers or indoor pools etc.

The local food tends towards the heavy side, with fish, dumplings and pig's trotters all finding their place on the menu plus flammkucken which is like Pizza only nicer https://www.tourisme-alsace.com/en/the-land-of-castles/ and of course the local wines are designed to go with the food.

Advice to save time. Move your sleeping hours to be in tune with Europe while you are in CA. First day in Europe stay up until at least 10am, stay out in the daylight as long as possible do not hide in your hotel room with your phone. Look into the train system try seat61.com and bahn.de for timetables. The Moselle is a river with pleasure boats, they can be useful too. Having a car seems the normal thing to do, well in Europe it can be or it can be a pain in the [email protected]@@.

For this short holiday choose a maximum of two bases, everytime you move you waste at least half a day.

If you are hiring a car use Auto Europe they are a broker and deal with all the different things between USA and Europe to get you a good deal, do not fall into the trap of assuming a famous car company in US is the same in EU.

Enough for now, lets hear some more voices and see where you are going to go to
bilboburgler is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 03:11 AM
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I think bilbo's suggestion is great. You could also include Belgium ( or swap that for Alsace). You get Germany which was your initial though, but also a couple other countries so you can feel like you are getting a 'taste' of Europe.

I wouldn't rent a car though, trains get you everywhere in those areas and a car will be more trouble than it's worth (parking, not driving into city centers, getting lost, etc.). Some places in Europe a car is worthwhile, but for only two weeks and in this area I'd do just trains. Plus, if you are from California you probably spend a lot of time in cars and not in trains so the train experience will be interesting. Most Americans just don't get how great train travel is since in the US it's pretty bad. Totally different in Europe.
isabel is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 03:23 AM
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Thanks Isabel
" 10am, " should have read "10pm" of course.
bilboburgler is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 03:43 AM
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bilbo's suggestions are good, as always. But I really have to wonder where you got the notion that Germany has "amazing food." Of all the countries in Western Europe, to me Germany has the plainest, most un-notable food of all, unless sausages and potatoes are amazing to you. France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and even many eastern European countries have notable dishes, but I've never known anyone who went to Germany for the food. Alsace does its best with German ingredients but it's still not very notable. It will, of course, though,all seem new and exotic to you as a fist-time visitor,so maybe it will live up to the "amazing" rubric.

Your trip is very short.You don't have time for other countries unless you choose to visit a German border town with Alsace or some other country. To save time, don't ramble all over-pick one or two places and get to know them and the surrounds well.

In addition to the advice here, get yourself a couple of guidebooks and maps and read and study them. No point at your age on taking off on an adventure with no or little understanding of what lies ahead of you. There are also countless history and semi-fictional books about the history of Europe that will help you understand what yu're going to see outside of a vacuum, like Barbara Tuchman's "A Distant Mirror," which changed my life at your age.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 04:28 AM
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Lots about trains - www.seat61.com; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com. Just do Germany and maybe say Amsterdam.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 05:03 AM
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St C - you forgot Schnitzel.
annhig is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 05:40 AM
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LOL, annhig (insert banging my head on desk emoticon). Actually, there's a warm spot in my heart for Ochsenschwansuppe, come to think of it.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 09:05 AM
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Germany does have beer!
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 09:15 AM
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But Belgian beer is better ;-)
bilboburgler is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 09:27 AM
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OP has at most 8 days.

If Germany and its food and history are your top priority look nowhere else than Germany- get a copy of Let's Go Germany - Berlin is a fascinating city -maybe fly in there and end up in Frankfurt, etc. Trains are great - www.bahn.de/en book your own long-distance trains at very cheap rates if you book well in advance.

And don't be deterred by food snobs - German food may not be considered gourmet by some but it is downhome tasty - especially for folks who don't want to drop a bundle on fine dining - and there are lots of ethnic restaurants if you want to. Germany has lots of immigrants who have brought their foods with them -plenty of ethnic restaurants if you tire of German food - for a food treat German style visit a beer hall and chow down on typical German foods there.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 12:36 PM
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Nobody here voiced anything about being a food snob or a gourmand, or dropping a bundle on fine dining. It's just a plain fact that normal German food is heavy, boring, and pretty tasteless. You don't always have to be the contrarian, Pal, or make yourself out to be some sort of Dutzendmensch. Some things are simply what they are.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 12:51 PM
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Kind of agree with St Cirq here. We travel for food and having lived in Europe for 11 years we have visited Germany once. To see Berlin. Because of the history...not the food.
jamikins is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 01:03 PM
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I travel for food in part too and rather like German food - more than 'French food' for example - and Germans like it too. Now let's turn thread back to OP's questions.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 01:54 PM
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Since you want to go to Germany, just start planning. Check out which airlines have good flights from your home city into one of the major cities in Germany. Pick a couple cities or towns you want to see. Then make hotel reservations. That's really all you have to do in advance. Buy a good guidebook and read it on the plane ride over.
suze is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 02:36 PM
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You can't get away for more than 10 days - which is really 7-8 and gives you time to only visit a few locations -anyway consider flying open jaw - say into Berlin and out of maybe Munich or Frankfurt - you really must decide what country you want to go to before asking questions here about where to go in Europe- as you'll get a zillion different responses.

But a few days longer would be so much better for such an expensive (air fares) trip.

Like suze says - and also book any long-distance train trips ahead of time to get much lower fares.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 30th, 2018, 03:23 PM
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You should go where you want to go, even if some of us (myself included) don't like German food. You don't have a lot of time for this trip, so I would recommend you choose two cities to stay in, no more, as moving from place to place takes up time (packing, checking in and out of your hotel, transport, etc.) that you'd no doubt rather spend seeing/doing/experiencing.

I do like Bilbo's suggestion.
Kathie is offline  

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