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Europe travel ideas?

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Dec 11th, 2014, 10:33 AM
  #1
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Europe travel ideas?

I won a trip from my work Christmas party.

My husband and I have pretty much decided to go to Europe. He was stationed in Hanover, Germany while in the Army, so he wants to show me his old stomping grounds.

It will be about 14 day stay. We have several ideas on where to go, but I need help in narrowing them down. Currently, we want to arrive in Amsterdam, drive to Hanover, Germany then down through Germany to Salzburg, Austria and end in Venice, Italy. Possibly use the trains at night to get to some of the locations.

We have a budget of about 5,000-7,000 Euros.
We love eating local cuisines. Lodgings only requirement is to be comfortable.

The current itinerary will have us travelling quite a bit. While my husband likes having every second of the day filled with something, I am more laid back and enjoy down time.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Dec 11th, 2014, 10:33 AM
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The trip is planned for the middle of July.
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Dec 11th, 2014, 11:21 AM
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What do you like to do Apeldoorn has the Het Loo palace which is worth a drop by.

What do you like to do, give us afew clues...
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Dec 11th, 2014, 11:39 AM
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Are you sure you want to drive? Renting a car in one country, dropping it off in another usually incurs a big extra charge. But driving is the best way to see the countryside. Fodorites recommend autoeurope.com for car rentals; it's a US-based broker, dealing with the major car rental companies.

For train schedules in all Europe, look at the German train site: www.bahn.de. But buy from the local train company. If you purchase your tickets early (usually approximately 3 months ahead of time), you can save a lot -- if you're willing to give up wandering at will. This would probably be a better deal than any train pass. See www.seat61.com for tips on buying train tickets.

I don't know the details of your prize, but it would be best to fly into Amsterdam and home from Venice. That's called an open-jaw or multi-city ticket and should cost about the same as round trip. And, assuming you're arriving after a long overnight flight, allow an extra day or two at your first stop to get over jet lag and sleepiness.

As a way to combine your travel style with your husband's, spend a little longer in cities, where he can go out and see many sights while you sit at a sidewalk cafe or in a park and smell the roses. My husband and I had a big fight about this on our first trip to Europe before we figured out it's OK to split up.

Good luck!
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Dec 11th, 2014, 12:04 PM
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Thanks for all the info so far. I like going to museums, parks and sightseeing. I'm not really a big shopper. I avoid it if at all possible. My husband is a musician, so Salzburg will consist of Mozart's abode. He really likes anything, museums, sightseeing, pubs, nightlife; anything to keep busy.

The prize is about 2000 euros for travel and accommodations and about 800 euro for food and entertainment. The remainder of our budget will come from both of us.

Nothing is set in stone in regards to driving. I don't really want to drive all over Europe, but that is something that was mentioned by my husband.

We are both from the US. He has done extensive traveling due to being in the US Army, but I have not. This is my chance to see a small part of the whole. Europe has so much history that I want to see. I just don't want to cram everything into 14 days.

The trip this summer will be our chance to spend time with each other and explore beautiful places. We will be coming back again with our children in the future.
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Dec 11th, 2014, 12:23 PM
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For train info in general yes www.seat61.com - strenght is on discounted tickets; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (download their free online European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of suggested rail itineraries) and www.ricksteves.com - all with lots of info to get a fix on the fantastic European rail system!
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Dec 11th, 2014, 01:52 PM
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Currently, we want to arrive in Amsterdam, drive to Hanover, Germany then down through Germany to Salzburg, Austria and end in Venice, Italy. Possibly use the trains at night to get to some of the location.>

it would be nice is you could squeeze in a few extra days to cover all of that - why Hannover - family - if not Hannover is not worth it to make such a detour - it's in northern Germany - from Amsterdam a more direct route by train or car would be to go first to Cologne (world-famous cathedral hovers over the Rhine) and down thru the Rhine Gorge and or Mosel Valley - really neat places - then over to Munich and Salzburg and end up in Venice.

fly into Amsterdam and out of Venice - so-called open-jaw ticket to prevent backtracking - now to drop a car off in a country other than you rented it in could incur - will usually incur a steep steep drop-off charge - consider either just driving in Germany and return the car in Germany and do the rest by train.

It's hard to mix in overnight trains with car travel (even though there are quite a few trains that take both you and your car across Europe in several places.
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Dec 11th, 2014, 02:20 PM
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Starting in Amsterdam, 14 days is not much time for getting from there through Germany and Austria down to Venice with time to really see or do much.

Since Venice is my favorite place in the world, I can't believe I am saying this, but I would leave it out for this trip. It is better to spend less time getting from place to place and more time actually seeing things. Your DH is wanting to show you things, but you don't want a drive by.

Look for great things near the major places of interest. For example: you are going to Salzburg. Besides the music, be sure to tour Hellbrunn Palace. Very near is Herrenchemsie, one of King Ludwig's most beautiful chateau. It is on an island. You take a boat out and, if possible, attend one of the evening concerts in the great hall. Drop down to Halstead for a day. Spend a couple of days in Vienna and a day trip to Melk. That would take about one of your weeks.

Exactly what you do depends on your own interests, but IMHO, you will have more memories from time spent seeing and doing more, not from time looking out a car window.

Hannover is in North Central Germany, so a good distance driving from other things of interest to you and from major transportation hubs: 4-5 hours probably from Amsterdam, 3&1/2 to 4 hours from Frankfurt, 3 hours from Berlin, etc. You have to add in time getting to your hotel, checking in, etc.

if you land in Amsterdam, the first day will probably be jet lagged. Stay at least three nts to give you two full days of sightseeing for the wonderful museums in Amsterdam. Allow 3/4 of a day for travel to Hannover. 3 nts, 2 days in Hannover area (which is quite beautiful), 2 days to travel through Germany down to Austria.

See how quickly the time is used up. This is simply to give you an idea of timing. Check times on trains also. It might make sense to use trains until Hannover, rent a car for a week, trains the last couple of days.

Do not book flights until your itinerary is set. You do not want to be stuck having to arrive or depart someplace that is not actually part of your sight seeing itinerary, and you must allow time to be at your departure city the night before.

You might decide to arrive in Munich, tour Austria, fly to Amsterdam, train to Hannover, train to Berlin and depart from Berlin. You might decide to land in Frankfurt (or Berlin) train to Hannover, train to Amsterdam, fly to Vienna, depart from Salzburg or Munich. Since you will see countryside around Hannover, you could add another day there, train to Berlin and fly to Salzburg. Lots of transportation options.

Pin down your three or four must see places, no more than that is possible when they are so far apart!
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Dec 11th, 2014, 03:26 PM
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we did a bit of a trip round Hannover earlier this year and we liked the area a lot. There is a lovely garden - the Herrenhausen - in the city itself and a load of nice buildings and museums - definitely worth a day of your time. Then we went south-east to the Harz mountains, which may well be an area that your DH would like to revisit.

From there I would head south to Salzburg via Nuremberg - you could easily spend a week en route and probably wouldn't need to book in advance [apart from in Salzburg] unless you wanted to. After that Vienna and then the train to Venice. you could just about squeeze that into 2 weeks, but it'll be tight.

one problem you may not have considered is the cost of a one-way car hire. i don't think you've got time to do Amsterdam AND Venice - if you decide to fly into A'dam, i would get the train to Hannover, and pick up a car there when you leave. you may get away with keeping a german car as far as Austria, and not have to pay too much of a penalty but if you try to return it in Italy, that will probably cost a fortune.
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Dec 12th, 2014, 02:05 AM
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I like Annhig's idea of using the car only within Germany and Austria, or even only within Germany if the dropoff charges for returning the car in Austria are prohibitive. There is excellent public transportation in Salzburg and vicinity. You could easily return the car in Munich and take the train to Salzburg, which is about an hour and a half from Salzburg by direct train.

The train ride through the Alps from Austria to Italy is spectacular. There is a direct train from Innsbruck to Verona. Innsbruck is near Salzburg and Verona is near Venice. The entire trip, with two changes of train, can be done in less than six hours.
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Dec 12th, 2014, 09:40 AM
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Or skip Amsterdam and keep supremely romantic Venice on your itinerary.

Yet another thought: fly into Venice and head north. Venice is perfect for getting over jet lag/sleepiness. Dazed wandering, getting lost, is appropriate sightseeing in Venice.
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Dec 12th, 2014, 10:54 AM
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lacey harris,

You wrote

>> Europe has so much history that I want to see.<<

Is there any era of history that interests you much more than another? Are you interested in World War 2 or eras much older than that?

And what kind of music most interests your husband?

Might help you organize the trip to know the answers to those questions.
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