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Advice for which European Cities to Visit

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Aug 15th, 2015, 01:56 PM
  #1
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Advice for which European Cities to Visit

Hi All,

I visited Europe for the first time in May 2015. I got to see 9 cities (London, Paris, Berlin, Prague, Rome, Florence, Geneva, Barcelona, and Lisbon) in 20 days. My favorite things were the museums and tourist destinations like the Eiffel tower, Sistene Chapel, Stonehenge, Leaning Tower of Pisa, St. Vitus Cathedral, Ponte Vecchio, etc.). I'm not one for nightlife or relaxation on these trips. Essentially, I want to go to cities that have a lot of things to do: history, arts, culture, museums, tourist destinations, etc.

I'd really appreciate your help in deciding on what cities to visit next. There are so many and I'm having trouble in deciding which ones to visit and in figuring out how to split the cities up so that the trips are most cost effective (can take the train if the cities are close together geographically).

Here is a list of cities that have caught my interest. With your help and experiences, I hope to narrow it down and also organize the cities into coherent trip plans. In a perfect world, each trip would last around 14 days and include 6 cities at most.

Here are the cities. The ones with asterisks next to them are one I definitely want to visit. Also, if there are any cities that you really loved that you think I'd like, I would be more than happy to add them to the list.

More Western:
*Dublin
*Edinburgh
*Amsterdam
*Venice
*Milan
*Madrid

More Eastern: (This is where I need the most help narrowing down)
Warsaw
*Krakow
*Vienna
Bratislava
*Budapest
Ljubljana
*Dubrovnik (Other people say to visit Split, Hvar, Zadar as well. Help!)
Mostar
Sarajevo
*Belgrade
*Bucharest
Sofia
Skopje
*Athens
*Istanbul

More Northern Europe:
*Oslo
*Stockholm
*Helsinki
Tallinn
*Saint Petersburg
*Riga
Vilnius
Minsk
Kiev
*Copenhagen

As you can see, there are way too many cities on the list. I would like to narrow it down so I can go on 4 trips at most - so around 24 cities (at the max). I know every one of these is worth visiting in it's own right but I hope to go to ones that suit my interests.

This is my first time posting on here so I apologize in advance for any mistakes I may have made.

Thanks for all your help!
rahmana92 is offline  
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Aug 15th, 2015, 02:08 PM
  #2
 
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Northern Europe is already pretty well set up though I would drop Oslo if you have to drop something for time reasons. You might be able to add in Tallinn (working only with your asterisked cities.

I am in agreement with your asterisks for Eastern Europe except for dropping Athens and adding in Ljublijana. You might try to get to a Greek Island instead of Athens. More later
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Aug 15th, 2015, 02:18 PM
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I've not been to all these destinations, but for me ckearky Bucharest doesn't deserve a visit, lest a star.
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Aug 15th, 2015, 03:06 PM
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Thank you two so much for your replies! A few questions.

Julie - may I ask why Oslo and Athens should be dropped. As well, why should Tallinn and Ljublijana be added? I don't know much about any of these cities so I would love to hear your thoughts. And what Greek island would you recommend as a replacement?

Paris - Why the hard feelings on Bucharest? I have heard some good thing about it but I would very much like to hear your view as well.
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Aug 15th, 2015, 03:50 PM
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I started booking my flights to Europe by breaking the trip in Dublin, to save a bunch on airfare. It does not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as half the cities in England or Scotland, or anything else on your lists. It's for Americans who want to experience something foreign, but not really, and for them it is perfect. They can imagine they are somewhere exotic or interesting, without actually being somewhere that is exotic or interesting.
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Aug 15th, 2015, 05:28 PM
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Well I agree that Dublin isn;t particularly exotic but not that it isn;t interesting. I've been 3 times (one vacation and twice business) and loved all three. There is definitely a number of fascinating sights - esp a trip to Newgrange if one is interested in prehistory - as well as a great theater scene.

As for the lists above - have not been to all of them - but I would not head for the northern trip unless you have a very large budget since most of these places are very expensive.

It's hard to be specific since we are much more slow travelers - spending much longer in large cities and leaving time to explore a number of smaller towns and villages.
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Aug 15th, 2015, 10:42 PM
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Don't miss Amsterdam and don't miss Istanbul, no matter what you do Amsterdam will take much less time, but Istanbul....one could be hypnotized for centuries.
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Aug 16th, 2015, 02:29 AM
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Bucharest is well... a bit odd, lets try, imagine a series of boulevards radiating out from the massive parliament building, imagine visiting one of the buildings that line the boulevards and discovering that is a false building with rubble behind, well not quite but it is a city of fakery, poverty and yet it has a certain proudness in its development. There are some interesting areas (like the collection of old village houses to the north) but..

Compared to most of the others in your list, it's 2nd rate.
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Aug 16th, 2015, 04:31 AM
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Skip Athens, for Ljublijana? This is some really bad advice, with all respect. Athens is one of the most visited cities in Europe, and with a reason. It has some of the best museums in the world, great monuments and attractions, many and diverse neighborhoods to discover, and a foodie paradise. Did I mention the Acropolis? Athens is a symbol city, you can't say you have seen Europe if you have not been to Athens.
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Aug 16th, 2015, 08:41 AM
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Dfourh - Thank you for your advice on Dublin, but I'll have to agree with NY in that even though it may not be the most exotic place, it's definitely still somewhere I'd like to see!

NY - I'll have to keep in mind the costs associated with the Northern trip for sure. That's part of the reason why I'd like to make that trip shorter with fewer cities. From what I've heard, I can make the more Eastern trip longer because the cities I'd like to visit in that area are generally cheaper.

That being said, I'm pretty good with a budget! I'm proud to say that my previous 9 city trip cost under $4,500 including everything (even airfare!).

TravelJunkie - Those are two of the cities I'm looking forward to most. Istanbul in particular sounds amazing! I hope to spend the longest amount of time there.

Bilbo - I'm definitely going to do some more research into Bucharest now with your input. It no longer has an asterisk next to it's name, that's for sure!

Petros - I don't think I'll take Athens out. I very much agree with you that Athens is a city not meant to be skipped! If anything, I would try to Ljublijana through some other alternative.

Again, thanks for all your help so far everyone! I really appreciate all the advice I've gotten so far.
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Aug 16th, 2015, 09:18 AM
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Hello Rhamana

Bilbo gave my thoughts actually.

I found one part of Bucharest that I liked, (small place)but for the rest, I never found it attractive. Massive buildings, big avenues, no charm. But it is my view.
I went there several times like 5 years ago, now I only go through it when arriving or leaving to/from my destination, I don't bother staying in the town anymore.

I guess we all must have a city we don't like - for me it is Bucharest.
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Aug 16th, 2015, 02:12 PM
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I suggest you consider a cruise or two given how may cities you wish to cover in presumably a limited amount of time. For example, we did an itinerary last year in 12 days that included:

*Amsterdam
*Stockholm
*Helsinki
Tallinn
*Saint Petersburg
*Copenhagen
and more
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Aug 16th, 2015, 03:34 PM
  #13
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Paris - Bucharest is out of the list it seems! Thanks for your input y'all, I did more research and all of what you said seems right on the mark.

Ginny - Please tell me more about this cruise! Where did you book from? And from where did the cruise depart? Did you have enough time in each of the cities? It definitely feels perfect for the Northern Europe trip!
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Aug 16th, 2015, 03:58 PM
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We went on Celebrity, which I recommend, but there are other cruise lines as well. Look for "Baltic" Cruises. You could also visit other European cities via cruising.

Cruise Critic is a great resource:

http://www.cruisecritic.com/celebrit...cs-cruises/cr/
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