Europe Christmas

Feb 24th, 2015, 04:47 PM
  #1  
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Europe Christmas

Hi there i am planning a trip to Europe at Christmas time for 3 weeks.

We will be going to Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Rome, and Switzerland (not in that order)

We are trying to decide on a place to spend Christmas eve, Christmas day and day after give or take.

This place does not need to be a place listed above.

We are after a white Christmas with snow, Christmas markets. just a real "christmassy" feel as we are from Australia and always have such a hot Christmas.

Also we are not too keen on staying at a ski resort but if it ticks all the boxes we may consider it.

Any suggestions will be great as i am quite stuck and just want a perfect christmas

thanks
grace_bish is offline  
Feb 24th, 2015, 05:53 PM
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It is a little early for making reservations, but your itinerary is a little hectic for winter travel. 3 weeks isn't very long if you are planning on changing locations every few day. Pick one or two places and enjoy.

Paris would be my first choice for spending Christmas/New Years, but you have to understand that many places will be closed during the Christmas holidays, especially restaurants, as people like to spend time with their families. You might also want to consider Garmisch, in the Bavarian Alps, as a place to be during the Christmas season.

Note that the days will be short and it will be cold. If you where into skiing, and there is snow, then the Swiss/French/Italian alps would be fine.
Robert2533 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2015, 08:41 PM
  #3  
 
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Paris, Paris, Paris

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-was-paris.cfm

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Feb 24th, 2015, 09:26 PM
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Hi grace_bish,

Normally the Swiss don't do Christmas markets outside of the towns and cities -- Montreux, Bern, Luzern, Zurich are all the spots for the markets, but they won't give you that Alpine Christmas feel. Generally the folks in the mountain towns and villages celebrate the season with family rather than with displays -- I didn't even see many Christmas lights or decorations when I was there for the holidays.

Garmisch is a good idea for a nice and robust Christmas-y feeling -- we have a small market, lots of lights, and lots of good cheer. However, whether we have snow or not is anybody's guess; we went for 3 or 4 Christmases without snow, and Christmas 2014 we got a big dump on 26 Dec.

If you want a snow-sure resort, then you need to get to a high altitude, and if you want a Christmas-y feel, then you should consider Austria.

Have fun as you plan!

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2015, 09:28 PM
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Oh, forgot to add about closures in Germany/Garmisch:

All the shops and most of the restaurants and cafes will close around noon on 24 December and remain closed through 25 and 26 December. You'll be able to go shopping again on 27 Dec.

Hotels and hotel restaurants will be open, and a few other cafes may open in the afternoon.

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2015, 09:55 PM
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Sorry for so many posts, but must add another ps --

I just saw on another thread that 27 December 2015 is a Sunday, so, no you won't be able to go shopping then. You'll be able to shop again on Monday 28 Dec.

Apologies again --

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2015, 09:58 PM
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Only the mountains areas have a possibility of guaranteeing snow and not every year. I think most places went without snow last Christmas -- perhaps this improves the chance of having snow next Christmas. I have been living in Paris for more than 40 years and have seen snow at Christmas perhaps twice.
kerouac is offline  
Feb 24th, 2015, 10:16 PM
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thank you for everyone's suggestions and help
grace_bish is offline  
Feb 25th, 2015, 02:51 AM
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We spent two Christmases in Salzburg, Austria... a great place to be during this season. You can combine a stay in Salzburg with time in Munich and the Bavarian Alps, as suggested above.

We've also spent several Christmases in Provence, where there are very strong Christmas traditions... but haven't ever seen snow at that time of year.

Kathy
KathyWood is offline  
Feb 25th, 2015, 03:45 AM
  #10  
 
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No guarantee of a white Christmas, in fact highly unlikely to be one, but the Museums in Amsterdam are open on Christmas day and Boxing day. Shops are open Boxing day too.
hetismij2 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2015, 05:40 AM
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> I have been living in Paris for more than 40 years and have seen snow at Christmas perhaps twice.< And we where there for both of them!

Another place to consider would be up in the Aragonese Pyrenees, where you will find snow at Christmas time.

Or head over to Vielha in the Val d'Aran. The Baqueira ski resort is open and the valley is quite beautiful in the winter (www.visitvaldaran.com).

You can also find snow in the Sierra Nevada, outside Granada, the southern most ski area (en.sierranevada.es).
Robert2533 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2015, 07:23 AM
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>>> I have been living in Paris for more than 40 years and have seen snow at Christmas perhaps twice.<<<

>>And we where there for both of them!<<

And we must have been there also - Christmas '09 & I think '95.

Stu Dudley
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Feb 25th, 2015, 10:37 AM
  #13  
 
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We spent the holidays in Rome last year. There were many restaurants open on Christmas Eve (but make a reservation), shops were open for last minute gift shopping on both the 24th and 25th.

We went over to St Peter's for midnight mass which is actually at 9pm and had no trouble just standing in the courtyard. To go inside or have a seat in the courtyard, you will need tickets which are 'free' but take a process of application to get. Per the locals, most go to clergy, visiting clergy,nuns, students, etc. We went back on Christmas morning for the Pope's traditional blessing as well. I considered booking a tour to go inside the cathedral but decided against it; there were also some ticket brokers who promised tickets for inside but demanded a lot of euros and were a bit vague on where to pick the tickets up so I passed on that option as well.

Again, no trouble finding open restaurants - we just walked through Trastevere and found a little family place. There won't be snow, but the lights are quite lovely and the prescipi are awesome to view. Temps were in the 40's-50's. We stayed a full two weeks as well.
Iahawk is offline  
Feb 25th, 2015, 10:59 AM
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Stu, are you talking about 24-25 December specifically with snow on the ground?
kerouac is offline  
Feb 25th, 2015, 12:24 PM
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Nope - about Dec 17 for the '09 trip, when it snowed in the early morning but was gone by the evening (in the photos above). In '95 we arrived a few days after Christmas and there was snow already on the ground. Gone by Jan 1 when we departed. No snow when we were there in Dec '11.

Stu Dudley
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