Europe Solo for 1 Week-- Where to Go?

Dec 29th, 2014, 03:11 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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Europe Solo for 1 Week-- Where to Go?

Hi everyone! I will be going to Europe for 1 week solo in early to mid July 2015. I am looking for advice as to where in Europe to travel. I am 24, and this will be my first trip to Europe, and also my first solo adventure.

Here are some of my qualifications:

It cannot be in England, France, or Italy. As much as I would love to visit these countries, I want to experience them for the first time when everyone in my family is able to go.

I'd like to go to a city that's on the more affordable side (in European terms of course). Since I'll only be in the city for 5 full days, I thought a smaller city might be a good idea. I also want a city that has plenty of sightseeing and history. This was my initial itinerary:

Amsterdam, with day trips to Brussels and Cologne.

My only concern with this is that there might not be enough to do in Amsterdam that doesn't involve nightlife. I'm not a prude, but I don't drink, smoke, party, etc., nor do I plan to visit the Red Light District. Amsterdam appeals to me because of the canals, Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, architecture, etc.

Some other cities I was considering are Berlin, Pargue, or a city or 2 in Scandinavia. Does anyone have any ideas?? Sorry that was so long. I look forward to talking with you all!
JoshSwift90 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 03:20 PM
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Does heat bother you? Because if so, then Amsterdam or Antwerp might work for you. I like the food and drink in Belgium better). I'm not sure about Cologne as a day trip, but there are other easy day trips from Amsterdam to other cities in the Netherlands that would match your interests. Of if more of the Netherlands doesn't appeal, you could switch hotels just once so you can see more of Belgium. I would definitely recommend Antwerp and Ghent, and most people would add Brugge.

If you are not bothered by heat, you might consider Lisbon (which gets plenty of sea breezes to cool down the hot sun) or try for Berlin and just hope the weather stays mild or spring for air con!

I think Berlin has the most to offer.

Can't comment on Prague (never been) but you might also consider Vienna, which has some nice day trips right of town where you can cool off and enjoy some countryside after all that culture (truly great museums). Munich might be pleasant.

But if you hate heat, stick to the usually cooler places. Does Edinburgh count as England? Don't ask that question in Scotland, but if you could bear to go without your family, it might be a lot of fun and you could use the trains to visit other places, historic and scenic. Plus, you could make some friends because everybody speaks English.
sandralist is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 03:21 PM
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I meant to add that the Scandanavian countries are notoriously pricey. Berlin and Lisbon offer you a lot at a low price. So does Greece if you are okay with going without your family, and it is a marvelous destination.
sandralist is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 03:30 PM
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You can get really decent accommodation for cheap in Berlin far easier than in Holland. Have a look at - - but keep checking until two weeks or so out, and many places in Berlin slash their rates closer to time. You can pair it with Dresden, where rates area also really good. For small cities, consider a week in small cities outside of Munich (Bamberg, Regensburg, usw.) where prices are good, food is great, and it's pretty and relaxing.
dfourh is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 03:31 PM
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In my solo travels, I never partook in any nightlife. Mostly, I would just enjoy a leisurely dinner and then walk around. So I wouldn't rule out Amsterdam because it is known for its nightlife. I, personally really enjoyed Belgium (Ghent in particular), but I like the idea of Berlin, too.
indyhiker is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 03:32 PM
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Thank you so much!! I never thought of Lisbon, I'll definitely look into it. I'm not the biggest fan of the heat but I can deal with it. I will also check out Vienna, Edinburgh, and the other Belgian cities you mentioned.

Could you expand a little on what you think Berlin has to offer? Thank you again!
JoshSwift90 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 03:40 PM
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Thanks to everyone else who responded!! So quick and so helpful!

I'm wondering if there are any day trips anyone recommends from Berlin that are outside of Germany? I know that Berlin is fairly centrally located in Germany, so not sure if there are any. Thanks!
JoshSwift90 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 03:40 PM
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Have you taken advantage of the link to "Destinations" at the top of the page. It might be a more efficient way to see what's on offer in the various cities than waiting for answers here. Just a thought.
MmePerdu is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 04:15 PM
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I can't help you day trips out of Berlin because I spent all my time inside the city, but it has tremendous sights of history and art, and an excellent public transportation system. It is also, effectively, the capital city of Europe, so I think it is very meaningful and interesting to go there to begin to understand Europe as a whole.

But in addition to some extremely important museums and historic sights, Berlin is also filled with bookstores, parks, cafes, street performance, shops of all descriptions. It's a very creative city. So it is just generally an interesting place to be. Also fascinating is to see the city unifying after being divided for so long. And its cheap! (Not as cheap as Lisbon and Athens, but cheaper than Amsterdam).

Lisbon is a much much more antique and preserving its past, and just a completely different feel. But it is very friendly and open, with a good number of easy day trips. It is more exotic and European at the same time. The heat issues in Lisbon really are all about the midday sun and keeping out of it -- and there are loads of shady parks and easy beach trips and cafes, and people take it easy and then hang out in the evenings when it is cooler.

If you like light foods like fish and eggs and chicken, plus nice wine and beer, then Lisbon is delicious. If you are a meat and potatoes person, then Berlin has much more of that.
sandralist is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 04:25 PM
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You don't need to partake of the night life to enjoy any of the cities you mention -- I've visited them all solo and without partying.

Amsterdam would be a great choice IMO, and you can probably combine it with Bruges and to the countryside outside of Amsterdam (Edam, traditional villages, windmills, etc.) in the time you've got. Berlin is another great option; consider a day trip to Sans-Souci in Potsdam. (Why would you want to take a day trip from Berlin to somewhere outside of Germany? Berlin is not like anything else IN Germany!) Prague is another good option; day trip to Český Krumlov. Copenhagen with Roskilde and Stockholm with Uppsala and the archipelago are also options, but a bit pricier.

You've got a TON of options. The difficulty will be deciding!
kja is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 05:36 PM
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You are going the perfect time for Scandinavia - Stockholm esp is worth that much time. But the prices there are astronomical so doubt it would work for you.

Berlin and Prague both have very moderate prices, plenty to see and do and also a lot of activities for young people. While I love Amsterdam I would reco one of the others based on cost.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 05:57 AM
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Hi all!

Just wanted to update you-- I believe I've chosen my itinerary!

I will make Amsterdam my home base, and will spend 2.5 days exploring the city. From Amsterdam, I will take day/half-day trips to Bruges, The Hague/Dutch Countryside, and Cologne. I considered doing Berlin and other parts of Germany, but there is so much there I don't think a week would be enough time. When I have more time in the future, I'd love to do a tour of Berlin, Munich, and maybe Austria too. Thanks again, and happy new year!
JoshSwift90 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2014, 07:38 AM
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That's great. Amsterdam has a lot to offer, including the wonderful Tuschinski movie house if you get back early some evenings and would like a special experience.

Also, if you are going to Den Haag, try to include the small but unique Panorama Mesdag, which is right in the heart of town. There are few places in the world like it.

And since it will be summer, you might want a day at the beach.
sandralist is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 04:03 AM
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If you think America and apple pie are linked then you have to try the real thing in the Netherlands, apple pie like god made it
bilboburgler is offline  

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