Europe in March?

Aug 14th, 2011, 10:10 PM
  #1  
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Europe in March?

Been a long absence from this forum for me! I'm getting the travel bug and thinking of March 2012 Spring Break trip, possibly to get a good deal on using miles. I have a few Europe places on the list, but I'm wondering if people have thoughts about whether the following (a) can be sufficiently "done" in a week and (b) are okay to visit in the Winter (both in terms of weather and being able to see important stuff .... i.e. important sites are not closed or not as fun (outdoor gardens, for example)).

Here are some thoughts:

1) Just Prague
2) Prague/Dresden
3) Just Munich and nearby castles
4) Munich and Salzburg
5) Copenhagen and Stockholm
6) Milan and the Lakes
7) Istanbul? And somewhere else?

Thanks!

Joe
JoeTro is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 12:26 AM
  #2  
 
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You should assume that the weather will be typical continental late winter/early spring weather in all of those locations. Chilly to cold.

Of those options, I would say that a week in Prague is a long time, IMO. And, personally, I think visiting the lakes in March is pretty pointless. Copenhagen and Stockholm will be the worst bet, weather-wise, and will be expensive.

If I had to choose from among those options, Munich and environs would be a good choice. Istanbul would be a good option too, but a week might be a bit long. If you could see about doing an open-jaw and combine Istanbul and Athens, I think that would be a pretty cool trip.

You might also consider Egypt. A lot cheaper, and not much harder to reach than somewhere like Istanbul. Good weather and lots to see.
travelgourmet is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 01:17 AM
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How about Sicily. Not so cold down there.
manlygirl is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 02:52 AM
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Do not like the cold rain in the north in March

weather2travel.com climate guides

greecetravel.com Istanbul Italy for

ikies.com snatorini.com ferries.gr Cesme goturkey.com

My favs then Amalfiweb.com www.hoteldelfino.com area

in Italy very nice was there last April had an awesome

stay $60/nt www.otel.com Happy Planning!
qwovadis is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 03:04 AM
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Joe, of your choices I would go with MUNICH and nearby castles. If the weather were favorable, you might take a day trip to Salzburg. Manlygirl’s suggestion of SICILY is something to consider – so much to see. I went there once in late February and the weather was delightful. Good luck….
latedaytraveler is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 03:17 AM
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Just to be clear, the average high temps for Sicily, during March, is in the low 60s. That is about as warm as European destinations get during March. Certainly, March is not beach weather. I would avoid a lot of summer sun destinations (Greek Islands, Italian Lakes, etc) that are without significant sightseeing opportunities. Too much will be closed and going when it is cold pretty much defeats the purpose of visiting those destinations.
travelgourmet is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 07:35 AM
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Apart from the Italian Lakes (where the weather in March is usually perfect for low-level hill walking, but not reliably enough to risk a flight from the US), none of the locations you're suggesting are remotely weather-dependent.

You're planning to travel in spring to cities people visit for architecture, city life, museums and art galleries. Perfect time to visit any on your list,unless you've got some wimpish neurosis about the odd spot of frost.

Personally I'd always choose Istanbul ("a week may be too long in Istanbul" !!!!!!! Words almost fail me. A lifetime's only barely sufficient for Istanbul).

Personally, I've yet to discover what can keep anyone entertained for more than a day in each of Copenhagen or Stockholm - but I've not been to CPH since the last 15 years' extensions to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Of the places you suggest, those extensions are probably the most interesting new - and unfairly ignored outside Scandinavia - cultural introductions. However, it is a bit early to cruise the Stockholm archipelago or travel round the countryside, so you're still going to struggle to fill up a week.

All of which said, though, paradoxically the gem of the STO/CPH trip is primarily about classical art from the Mediterranean - and that's pretty much the case for Istanbul (which I'd combine with Bursa, BTW, for a good slug of Islamic art, architecture and ceramics. That really would cram a week up)

My recollection from your earlier life on this forum is that your tastes are more to the Baroque, so you'd be better doing a spot of research on what takes your fancy in the Prague/Dresden/Vienna triangle. As always: it's what suits you, not what others like, that matters. And the possibility of the odd flutter of snow in a Mitteleuropa March merely adds to the experience.
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 09:02 AM
  #8  
yk
 
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Hi JoeTro,

Good to see you here! I vote for Munich/Salzburg.
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Aug 15th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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Hi Joe -long time no see

I'd personally be happy w/any of the options except for #1, and #6. 6 because the weather would just be too iffy for outdoorsy things IMO, and 1 because a week might be a bit too long in the one city.

But really - any of them could be a great week -- that helped a lot, huh?
janisj is online now  
Aug 15th, 2011, 09:15 AM
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Just to throw in another destination:

Andalucia / Sevilla/ Granada etc
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 09:16 AM
  #11  
yk
 
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P.S. Not on your lists... but what about Spain? Weather should be better than Northern Europe.
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Aug 15th, 2011, 10:25 AM
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For the time of year you're going all of the places you've picked are likely to have cold and wet weather. If it were me wold head for southern SPain or Italy. Or else plan on doing things primarily indoors.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 11:18 AM
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All your pairs IMO are easily done in March or any time - but I agree with flanneruk about the Italian lakes being a wash out in March perhaps

and you could combine 3 and 4 - castles, Salzburg (could be an easy day trip from Munich too) and Munich.

Are you going by train or car?
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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March is the biggest factor. To me that suggests these venues:
Andalusia
Portugal
Sicily
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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Anyone mentioned Greece yet? If not, let me be the first. Beautiful wildflowers everywhere, not much crowds, mild-ish temperatures, great food, warm people, dramatic scenery... you could do a lot worse.

I also love the Istanbul suggestion.
mr_go is offline  
Aug 15th, 2011, 02:19 PM
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Thanks, everyone. Sadly I got my Spring Break week wrong and it looks like flights may be more miles than I'll have, at least on Delta. Boo. Interestingly, though, Istanbul tickets are less than $900 from LAX.

I've seen most of the parts of Spain and Italy that are high on my list, except for Milan. I've also been to and loved Vienna, so all of these places were some other "must see" combos for me. I was thinking a bit about Lisbon, but that might be nice as well. I am very much a museum person, so it is the case that I'll be indoors most of the time. I just recalled that in some cites, important outdoor or even indoor castle sites may not be open much if at all in the Winter.

I'd be traveling by train. I've been to Athens, but just for a day, so it's worth a longer visit!
JoeTro is offline  
Aug 16th, 2011, 07:56 AM
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I just recalled that in some cites, important outdoor or even indoor castle sites may not be open much if at all in the Winter.>

not true IME - most significant ones open every day except a few major holidays or perhaps one day a week.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 27th, 2011, 11:34 PM
  #18  
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Just an update ... it seems that, at least on Delta, it would require more miles than I have to go to Europe. However, on American, flights are pretty cheap using miles to Japan or China, so I might consider there. Nonetheless it seems kind of scary for a Westerner alone ...

I'll keep you posted if I decide again on Europe!

Joe
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Aug 28th, 2011, 01:01 AM
  #19  
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Good news, I could get:

Istanbul
Prague
Munich
Copenhagen/Stockholm

for 40K miles. I guess then it would be up to me to decide what might be best from a weather and/or an interest perspective. Istanbul would be the warmest I suppose but somehow I'm drawn to some of the other more "western" options given my western art and museum interests ...

Joe
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Aug 28th, 2011, 01:24 AM
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Istanbul would be the warmest I suppose

Not by that much. The average high for March in Istanbul is 52. The average high for March in Munich is 47.
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