Europe for Beginners

Jul 24th, 2017, 10:01 AM
  #1  
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Europe for Beginners

Hello! My name is Kacey and I'm from Boston, MA. My fiancé and I are in the beginning stages of planning our honeymoon. We both decided 2 weeks in Europe would be ideal. With the time we have , we are assuming we can have about 3 stops so we are not rushing around the entire trip. We are completely open to any suggestions, but with never traveling to Europe before we are not sure of the best places to see/order to see them in. All we do know is we want to stay away from the very touristy "package" spots/trips and get a real feel for the cities and landscapes. Can anyone make any suggestions of places to stay /see for natural beauty off the beaten path. Also any suggestions for countries /order to stay in.
kaceyog is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 10:09 AM
  #2  
 
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Need lot more guidance as to interest-time of trip - budget- mode of transit, etc.

Anyway I would suggest trains and for that some great sites to help plan a rail trip: www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (online European Planning & Rail Guide has lots of rail itineraries; www.seat61.com - guru on rail ticketing you can do yourself online -saving money with discounted tickets over just showing up and buying.

Venice to me begs a honeymoon trip but again time of year is important - not very nice in mid-summer when it swarms with tourists.

One possible trip- land in Paris
take overnight train to Venice
train to Florence
train to Rome

do day trips from those cities to get into less touristed regional towns perhaps.
PalenQ is online now  
Jul 24th, 2017, 10:36 AM
  #3  
 
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When are you going? What is your budget? (Actual numbers.)

You are not going to get a "real feel" for anywhere with just two weeks, but you can see some beautiful sights. Do you want to skip the big cities - London, Paris, Rome - altogether? Do you want to hike? Are you up for driving and if so does that include the UK?

Suggest reading "Europe Through the Back Door" and "The Rough Guide to First Time Europe", plus browsing the glossy guidebooks like Eyewitness and Insight.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 11:06 AM
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>>> With the time we have , we are assuming we can have about 3 stops.

I would recommend dropping superficial constraints, but rather actually compute the logistics. For example:

London-Madrid-Santorini would fit your 3 stops, but it would be a very hectic trip.

Venice-Florence-Sorrento-Rome would exceed your 3 stop limit, but would be a simpler trip.

>>> we are not rushing around the entire trip.

This has to do with how things are connected and not necessarily the number of things you want to do. For example, four
destinations realistically connected would be less hectic than an ill conceived two or even one destination.
greg is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 11:43 AM
  #5  
 
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kaceyog,

Complete this sentence: "On my first trip to Europe, I always dreamed of seing/doing _________."

Is there anything on YOUR list of things your must see? Give us an idea and we can begin helping you make a plan.
ellenem is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 12:40 PM
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Switzerland? The awesome high Alps say around Grindelwald/Interlaken?

Or ancient cities like Rome

Venice -the most sublimely beautiful city on Earth IMO but very jammed in summer.

Maybe Paris
Switzerland-Grindelwald - you can hike and get away from other tourists.
Venice
Florence
Rome
PalenQ is online now  
Jul 24th, 2017, 12:59 PM
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Congratulations !

Now for the tough love . . . Every single person on Fodors has their own unique favorite places -- for as many different reasons. No one here can suggest where you should go. Get to the nearest library or books shop and pick up sone guide books and decide on your own which few cities (or country) really REALLY 'speaks' to you.

THEN we can help you work out a reasonable itinerary.

>>All we do know is we want to stay away from the very touristy "package" spots/trips and get a real feel for the cities and landscapes. <<

No one would recommend a 'package tour' -- but most 'touristy' places are popular for a reason. Venice -- VERY touristy and has been for centuries. For good reason. Paris - one of the most popular cities on Earth -- and yes, touristy. London gets millions of visitors every year. Switzerland -- you'll trip over tourists everywhere. The 'we don't want to do touristy things' just doesn't make sense to me. Maybe you need to tell us what you want to avoid.
janisj is online now  
Jul 24th, 2017, 01:15 PM
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Assuming you are not a creature that sits under a bridge and torments goats (first time post, exceedingly broad questions), the fact is that if you're REALLY looking for natural beauty in Spring or Summer that is off the beaten path (whatever level of "beaten" that entails), you're better off staying in the US for the national parks or going to South America. If you have the time, go to Australia (the money isn't necessarily that big of a problem - transpacific flights can be financially akin to transatlantic flights). There's probably as much natural beauty within 3 hours of Anchorage as there is in all of Europe.

Fact is, not much of Europe is off the beaten path - those paths have been beaten pretty dang well (and often by the Red Army or by goosestepping boots). There tend to be da-n good reasons that certain places are "touristy" - you know good and well that more people visit your own little corner of the People's Republic of Massachusetts than visit Houston, even though Houston is more than 3x more populated and about 9x the size.

You're thinking of going to Europe for some reason(s) - what? If it's just because you've never been, figure out why you want to go and then come back for help. No one here is getting paid to put together a package for you but we're all obviously willing to help you after you help us do so.
BigRuss is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 01:18 PM
  #9  
 
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What ellenem said...ditto

"Complete this sentence: "On my first trip to Europe, I always dreamed of seeing/doing _________."

My first trip it was Paris, Florence and Lichtenstein. But that was just me...
eastenderusvi is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 01:23 PM
  #10  
 
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If by chance your honeymoon starts hours after your wedding you might want to start somewhere relatively simple to get to and relaxing. We've spoken to a lot of exhausted, frustrated honeymooners through the years (including the crying couple outside Notre Dame in Paris).
xcountry is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 01:28 PM
  #11  
 
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Agreed with those who are asking for a little more information...I could suggest several quaint, off the beaten path places if I knew more about your interests and comfort level and when you are traveling.
mainetrvlgrl is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 01:32 PM
  #12  
 
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Lots of first-time posters expect to be notified when there is a response- OP are you listening?
PalenQ is online now  
Jul 25th, 2017, 02:07 AM
  #13  
 
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If you're new to Europe, why not see the actual attractions that most people come to Europe to see? There is nothing special about getting off the beaten path. You could come to where I live, for example, in a remote commune of 110 people spread over 150 hectares, where no one speaks a word of English and we shoot ducks and wild boar and deer to sustain ourselves, grow our own crops, have frequent electricity outages, and have to drive 7 kms to reach civilization - is that what you want? If so, such places exist all over Europe, but why would you be seeking that if not working as a journalist for Al Jazeera?

I would go to a bookstore or the library and pore over guidebooks until you have narrowed down your travel interests. Europe is huge, with many diverse countries. I would forget "off the beaten path" and focus on the beaten one if this is your first foray on the Continent. There's nothing wrong with visiting the major European capitals on a first trip. There's plenty of countryside to see as well. Do some homework and get back to us with a rough plan, a budget, and a realistic idea of what you hope to achieve.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 25th, 2017, 03:33 AM
  #14  
 
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When?

Get a library book and chat with the SO to discover what really excites you about Europe.

I'd suggest starting with Europe lite which is basically London, they speak English, the signs are in English etc just they drive on the wrong side of the road. That gets through any significant issues.

Then go to a place where they don't speak English but they still think a bit like a North American. So France or Germany. Then top it off with a place where they don't speak English and they don't think like you so Italy jumps up.
bilboburgler is online now  

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