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1st time in Europe where to go?

Old Sep 29th, 2004, 12:41 PM
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1st time in Europe where to go?

My Husband has agreed to go to Europe for the 1st time for 2 weeks next May. I know I will get a lot of responses, but where should I take him. Remember this is his first so we have to make sure he likes it! I'd prefer a non english speaking place as I think that adds to the atmosphere, but maybe for his first time? Also is it a good idea to go to a new place together or take him to some places I've loved!

I've been to:
Austria (Vienna, Salzburg)
Switzerland (Interlacken area, Zurich)
Germany (Koln, Munich, Berlin, Rothenberg, Dresden, Ulm)
UK (London, Bath, Inverness, Edinburgh, York, Oxford and small town in Wales)
Paris, Prague, Budapest, Amsterdam, Bratislava

I'm going to Italy for the first time in Nov. to Florence & Rome.

We're more into history, scenery, beauty, people (less about spending hours in museams). I've loved all German speaking coutries I've been too (probably helps that I speak some German)

Let's have your ideas? Thanks!
smiley525 is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 12:57 PM
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Smiley: I would go to a new place together so you both experience for the first time.

How about Scandanavia?
gualalalisa is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 01:09 PM
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I disagree. I would take him somewhere you have been because then you can show him what you love about the place. For example, my dh had never been to Europe before I met him; but I had been all over b/c I was a french major who lived in southern france for 6 months. I was so excited to bring him to Paris and Rome, two romantic places I had been solo who now I could share with the love of my life. It was as wonderful as I thought it would be. So I would recommend Paris and Rome!
radiofanatic is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 01:13 PM
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What are his interests? Where does he feel drawn to? Does he have any ancestry that he'd like to explore?
WillTravel is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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For her first trip, I took Mrs. Robespierre to several countries I had been to before (UK, F, CH, D, B), then some that were new to us both (DK, RO).

It was fun sharing my favorite places and finding new ones to share.
Robespierre is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 02:30 PM
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Hi smiley,

I find that taking Significant others to places that I have been before makes it easier on both of us.

I suggest for a first timer a week in London followed by a week in Paris.
ira is online now  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 03:44 PM
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Spain and portugual, a good sense of europe and i think you could cover them both fairly well in two weeks
brando is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 03:48 PM
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If I were in your shoes, I'd pick a couple of the non-English speaking places that you've gone before. Maybe adding a single city that is new to both of you.

Paris, Venice, Switzerland makes a fabulous but not too difficult trip that would fit in 2 weeks time. Fly into Geneva or Zurich, train to Venice, overnight train to Paris, fly out of Paris. Voila!
suze is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 04:05 PM
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I did exactly what Radiofanatic did: started him with Paris, then just sort of branched out over the years. We'd spend time revisiting places I've been to before, and he hadn't, and visiting places new to both of us. He finally caught up with me in 2002 after the Scandinavia trip. I would suggest three places, two great ones that you've been to, and one place you haven't been to. For May, perhaps Paris, Vienna and Budapest.
Surfergirl is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2004, 04:24 PM
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Don't drag him all over everywhere. Forget the checkmark tourism. Light one or two places and enjoy the people.
weber6560 is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2004, 08:14 AM
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For Shonda-some replies I got...
smiley525 is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2004, 09:11 AM
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Venice and Tuscany.
mr_go is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2004, 03:35 PM
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Hello smiley525,

My choice would be the BeNeLux region. Schiphol airport is a breeze to get through, the rail system is great, most people speak english, and the region has some great cities and sights (not to mention wine and beer!).

artstuff is offline  
Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 09:58 AM
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I'm going to agree with a couple of the comments here - I think you should take him somewhere you have been before, AND somewhere new. A couple of years ago I did just what you are doing - took my husband to Europe for his first trip ever. I started with a few days in England, for several reasons: 1. I had been there before, so was comfortable showing him around, 2. They speak English, so it was a chance for him to transition into the culture shock of being in Europe and supremely jetlagged, and 3. It was cheap to get there, and easy to hop from there to our next destination. After our few days in London (with a day trip to Bath/Stonehenge), we moved on to Italy (first trip there for us both), which was a dream of mine for many years, and a wonderful experience to share with him.

I do think that going to a non-English speaking place adds a lot to a Europe trip. I think it helped my husband feel comfortable going to Italy because I was able to communicate with the people when he couldn't. Since you are comfortable speaking German, I think going to a German-speaking country might be best, although if you want to go somewhere you have never been, that might be tough - looks like you have seen much of German-speaking Europe! Belgium may be a great option for you. Some of the most popular destinations are French-speaking, but German is one of the national languages. Recommended: Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp.
Amelie1 is offline  
Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 01:12 PM
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I vote for Venice and Tuscany. In Venice stay at the Pensione Accademia and ask for a room overlooking the garden. It's in the quieter dorsoduro area of Venice, a nice walk from the busier San Marco area or a short vaporetto ride. Get a vaporetto pass for 3 days (22 euros) and you get unlimited on and off privileges. If you stay for 5 days in Venice that's enough time to see the little islands, which are free with your vaporetto pass. Your first visit to Venice is's so unique.

Tuscany is wonderful...beautiful, serene, well cared for, picturesque, and Tuscany has interesting medieval hill-top towns like Siena, which I loved. We stayed at the beautiful Palazzo Ravizza in Siena with a room overlooking the garden...we could see out over the garden, over the wall of Siena, out into the lovely green Tuscany hills...Wow!

If you want to arrange a guided tour of Tuscany I recommend Roberto Bechi, who lives in Siena and is very knowledgeable about history and architecture and has a great sense of humor.

Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 01:16 PM
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One more suggestion...although you have been to Rome, your husband has not...Think about seeing Rome and Tuscany. Or Rome and Venice.

Rome was our #1 vote for the whole family as the most fun and exciting...even my teens loved Rome. We stayed at the very central Hotel Nazionale a Montecitorio on Piazza Montecitorio. From there you can walk to the pantheon, trevi fountain, spanish steps, even to the colosseum and the roman forum. We took the bus to the vatican and st. peter's.

St. Peter's was so awesome it received the family vote as the #1 best sight.

We went to Rome, amalfi coast, Venice, florence, and Siena.

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