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A 21 Days European family holiday. What not to miss & How to travel ?

A 21 Days European family holiday. What not to miss & How to travel ?

Oct 20th, 2013, 05:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 5
OMG, I feel that I am such a greenies for this Euro trip !
Thank's a zillion to all of you, caring travelers !
I am now listening to all your advices, and will absolutely change the itinerary to 6 cities the most.

If you were me, what are the 6 great cities that worth to visit as first timers?
Bear in mind, that...

1. We already bought the airline ticket from Singapore and will arrive Barcelona on 7th as our first city destination

2. Big metropolitan city is always good to visit, but we also hope to experience a traditional any European village and any Christmas market while we're there

3. At first we're thinking to spend X'mas eve and X'mas day in London, but since I learned from you that there will be many shops n restaurants close during these 2 days, then which city that recommended for us to stay on those days? (A friend of mine back from UK last year, and he was in a small city somewhere in UK on 26th December, and telling us that 26th Dec is a great day to shop in UK as many stores are on climax sale !)

4. Our last stop will be Paris on 29 Dec

I am very grateful for all your care and valuable advices this far...
andresusilo is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,943
andresusilo: It is so nice to have a member who is so ready/willing to listen to advice (some get really upset or angry when advised their plans are too ambitious)

Which cities you pick are really up to you. It seems your 'Musts' are Barcelona, London, some Christmas markets, Paris and maybe a small town somewhere .

That alone is pretty good for 21 days. You could add a stop in Germany to accomplish both the smaller town and a Christmas Market, and perhaps a couple of days in Amsterdam.
janisj is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 47,612
There are Christmas markets in Paris, and lovely Strasbourg is only a couple of hour away by train and has a great Christmas market.
StCirq is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,943
Oh -- yes, Strasbourg would be great.

So Barcelona, London and Paris w/ a side trip of a couple of days to Strasbourg. That would be a really lovely 21 day trip.

You could also do side trips out of Barcelona and London to see some different parts of Spain and England.
janisj is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 07:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,567
Wow! You are a fast learner and it is much to your credit that you are taking advice from so many who know Europe well. Some live in Europe or spend months at s time, so can give more specific ideas than me, but you can start with this - minimum of four nights, three days in major cities.

Dec. 7, arrive Barcelona, what time?
8, Barcelona
9, Barcelona
10, Barcelona
11, fly from Barcelona to?

(Open: consider possibly

Adding 3-4 days to Spain and flying to Seville or taking fast train to Madrid, then flying to Rome or London, or

11, flying to Venice,
12, Venice
13, train to Rome
14, Rome
15, Rome
16, Rome (day trip to Florence)
17, Rome (day trip to Ostia Antica or Orvieto- depending on weather, plenty still to see in Rome)
17 or 18, fly (or train) from Rome to?

Just possibilities. Others may have better suggestions.
1. Take a day from Rome and train or fly to someplace in Switzerland or Southern Germany to tour villages and snowy areas for two or three days, will leave it to more experienced for advice on that.
2. Fly to Brussels, train to Bruges. While Bruges is not my absolute first choice of sights in Europe, it is quaint and charming and meets your desire for a quintessential European village. If there is snow, it will be beautiful.

21, fly to London
22, London
23, London
24, London
25 train to Paris
26, Paris
27, Paris (versailles)
28, Paris
29, fly out of Paris, what time?

You have to fly out of Paris on the 29th. I don't see how you can spend any time in Paris and hit the after Christmas sales in London.
Sassafrass is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 47,612
I thought most things were closed on Boxing Day in London. Am I wrong?
StCirq is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 08:12 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 63
Hi there, we have just returned from 16days in Europe with our adult daughter and 12yr old granddaughter, (their 1st trip o'seas). We had 4days paris, 4 days Lisbon, 4 days Madrid (day trip Segovia and Toledo) and 4 days Barcelona.
Booked flights Paris/Lisbon, Lisbon/Madrid,Barcelona/Paris on easyjet, efficient and just fine. Booked late flights to maximise our days and got taxi to accomodation. Things I'd recommend you check: late check in- we stayed in a great apartment in Lisbon, owner lived upstairs and 10.30pm check in was not a problem. Look at museum passes, they can save you money and also children under 12 are often free to sites like this. book your tickets to Effiel tower as soon as you can, possible sunset time is magical.We did an evening tour of Casa Mila which our girls loved. Book your tickets to sagrada Familia online before you go.Have a great time and make great memories with your family.
misskdonkey is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 11:35 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5,640
December 26 is a major shopping day in London - very busy with long queues for some stores.
On Christmas day there is no public transport - but if you are staying central, and have a place sorted out for dinner, it is actually a nice day. Very quiet. Great day to rent a Boris Bike and cycle, since there is little traffic.

Or - if you are staying a few nights, rent a flat and order food beforehand from one of the local shops. I know that Onefinestay will do your shopping for you, and fill your fridge before you arrive.
Tulips is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 12:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,306
Most things are closed on Xmas day in London but Boxing Day is a major shopping day here.

Glad you are making adjustments, happy planning!
jamikins is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Even some pubs in Britain are open on Christmas Day I believe - at least on Coronation Street they are and I assume that means many are as bored locals need to get out as everything else is shuttered save the churches I guess.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 07:13 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 9,472
Around Christmas, many hotels are full so you need to start making final itineraries soon and book.

Barcelona: allow 4 days
Rome: allow 5 days with a trip to Pompeii
Venice: allow 3 days with travel
Lucerne: allow 4 days
Paris: allow 4 days

That's 20 days right there and all by train. Anything else is too much.
kleeblatt is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 07:16 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 9,472
By the way, I'd fly to Rome from Barcelona and do the rest by train.
kleeblatt is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Paris is a good place to be on Christmas Day - to my shock a few years back when I landed there on Christmas Day I found Paris full of strollers and many places open - not just small stores but cafes - just another Sunday - even some museums were open - the French celebrate Christmas on Dec 24 at midnight and relax and recover the next day - many go out for a walk, etc.

Paris hops on Christmas Day!
PalenQ is offline  
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