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2 week European vacation in July

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Dec 16th, 2014, 09:53 AM
  #1
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2 week European vacation in July

Hi there, I'm looking for some advice about where to go in Europe in July of 2015. We are hoping to have a full 2 weeks in Europe, not including travel to and from Canada.

A little bit about us: We are a married couple in our mid 20's who reside in Canada and this will be our first European trip together. He has been to Portugal and I have been to Paris, Bordeaux, and London. We also have been to Haiti, Mexico and Cuba together. We are looking to go somewhere that neither of us have been before.

What we interested in:
- good, yet affordable, food and alcohol
- a city that permits bike + canal transportation
- cafes, bistros, markets
- fairly friendly locals
- historic architecture, winding roads, canals, etc.
- music (jazz, opera, indie, dubstep, electronic)
- warm weather, but not too uncomfortable for being outside all day
- vineyards, beer factories, culinary classes
- beautiful outdoor scenery
- maybe a historical museum or two
- some beach days if we are in a hotter destination
- opportunity for excursions to natural attractions (caves, waterfalls, beaches, etc)
- adventure (hikes, river rafting, paragliding, kayaking)
- we are NOT interested in huge crowds/line ups ... but could tolerate if necessary

Although we are enticed by all European countries, we realize that we need to pick only 1 or 2 destinations to really get a chance to enjoy our experience.

All feedback would be very much appreciated!!! Thanks in advance
meeshandhearts is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2014, 10:23 AM
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I'd choose Belgium. It meets many of your criteria: beer, bikes, canals, friendly people, beautiful scenery, good food. Choose one of the smaller cities such as Ghent and visit other locations from there either by bike or train.
adrienne is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2014, 10:48 AM
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While most posters don't say enough about their interests when asking for sugggestions, you've gone to the opposite extreme of mentioning so many that no one place is going to cover them all.

I suggest you prioritize them and come up with a shorter list that all go together. Choosing one of city, country or beach would be a good start. You may well be able to get some of your other interests included but you need to set a starting point of some kind.
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Dec 16th, 2014, 10:49 AM
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Thanks adrienne! I have been interested in Belgium, maybe also involving the Netherlands. Would you recommend Ghent over Brussels??
meeshandhearts is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2014, 10:52 AM
  #5
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Yes, Sojourntraveller, I realize it's a tall order and that no one place will accommodate all my requests. Just looking for some recommendations that will accommodate at least some of these things. I am not ready to write any destinations off yet, would love to hear opinions from other travellers first
meeshandhearts is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2014, 10:54 AM
  #6
 
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Belgium good. Netherlands also, though the beer is less interesting

FYI Beer Factories are called Breweries

You could even look at Denmark or Finland in high summer, Germany on the Baltic coast might satisfy.
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Dec 16th, 2014, 10:58 AM
  #7
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Haha, I knew there was a better term for "beer factories"! Thanks for the advice bilboburgler. The Baltic Coast looks lovely!
meeshandhearts is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2014, 11:02 AM
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Amsterdam fits your wish list to a T and enough to fill several days without being bored.
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Dec 16th, 2014, 11:36 AM
  #9
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Thanks PalenQ! I'm wondering if 2 weeks is enough time to see Amsterdam, as well as Belgium (either Bruges or Ghent). It would also be lovely to visit Germany ... but I know that is probably too busy for only 2 weeks!
meeshandhearts is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2014, 01:54 PM
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With 2 weeks you could spend time in Amsterdam and environs and then visit Belgium. Adding Germany would complicate your itinerary and be a bit too much in 2 weeks.

Stay in smaller cities rather than Brussels. I suggested Ghent as you can easily visit Bruges, Brussels, and Antwerp from there, within an hour by train. Ghent is about in the middle of the other cities.
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Dec 16th, 2014, 02:40 PM
  #11
 
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Netherlands and Belgium are good choices. I took a two week trip to those countries in Sep 2013, flying in/ out of Amsterdam. It was easy to travel between the two countries and various cities using the train. After Amsterdam we went to Delft, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Brussels. I preferred Ghent and Antwerp over Brussels and Bruges. Bruges seemed very touristy to me, In hindsight I should have chosen Leuven instead.
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Dec 16th, 2014, 02:59 PM
  #12
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Thanks adrienne and Gamewood. I agree, it will get to be too much movement if we were to add in Germany. Netherlands and Belgium have a lot to offer!
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