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Europe Trip April/May 2014

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Nov 12th, 2013, 05:54 PM
  #1
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Europe Trip April/May 2014

I stumbled upon this site while researching a trip to Europe that my wife and I are taking in Spring 2014.

We fly into Amsterdam and out of Copenhagen 17 days later. We plan to loop our way south, east, and north as we work our way around central Europe from Amsterdam to Copenhagen.

Along the way we have so many ideas it's hard to decide. From Brussels, Bruge, Normandy, Paris, Zurich, Munich, Nuremburg, Prague, Berlin, etc its hard to narrow down where we want to go and how many days we spend there. 3-4 days in and around Munich is a must but that's about it. We basically want to see the sites (we like the big name tourist stuff and out of the way local stuff both), eat good food, drink good beer/wine, and meet some interesting people along the way.

Any advice or tips would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
igotbeats is offline  
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Nov 12th, 2013, 06:18 PM
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You did not say whether this is your first trip to Europe or your 10th trip to Europe. You also did not say whether you plan to take public transportation or rent a car or a combination of both.

I have not been to some of the places that you listed but I will offer my opinion on the two most beautiful cities in Europe to visit-Paris and Prague. Each is stunning in its own way and not to be missed. I would skip Zurich and Brussels if
I were you (and I am not). Also, if you have an interest in
Normandy, I would suggest taking an overnight trip there from
Paris. You should book an organized trip to the D-day
sites well in advance (We used Overlord Tours).Others will
give advice on many of your listed areas. Have fun!
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Nov 12th, 2013, 06:28 PM
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Well, only you guys can decide but rather than try to see all of Europe , I would advise picking one or maybe two more sites. For example, 4 days in Amsterdam. Then travel into Germany along the Rhine for three or four nights (maybe Trier and along the Mosel, or Heidelberg and Cologne, etc.). Then 4 days in Munich, a stop of one or two nights in transit to Copenhagen for 4 days...and then your out of time.

I would limit myself to no more than 3 countries in 17 days and I really believe less is more. Indeed, I would spend all my time in Amsterdam, Munich and Copenhagen. That way you can find the good food, visit plenty of tourist sites and have a good impression of those 3 cities versus train stations, highway rest stops or packing and unpacking every day.

Whatever, it is worth it. Have a great trip!
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Nov 13th, 2013, 05:30 AM
  #4
 
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I agree with the above that 17 days, while a nice vacation time, is really not enough time to do justice to a full loop through the cities you list. And I presume that the 17 days is really 15 or 16 good touring days after you subtract your last departure day and the jetlagged arrival day? If so, split the time between Amsterdam, Munich, and Copenhagen.
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Nov 13th, 2013, 05:51 AM
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The munich stop; for why?
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Nov 13th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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Drop France and Switzerland. Presumably this is a driving vacation. Be aware that there will be a hefty cross border drop-off fee on your car rental. I would even forget about Munich and stick to central and northern Germany. Read some guidebooks.
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Nov 13th, 2013, 05:55 PM
  #7
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Thanks for all the tips! A few more details - my first time to Europe, but my wife spent time abroad in Scotland/England but not mainland Europe. We are not planning on driving a car, but using trains and other public transportation.

From the above posts and other posts I've read it really sounds like a longer stay in a few cities is ideal. This is different than what we were thinking but I like the idea of soaking it up a bit more.

We both are really interested in south Germany because of the unique culture, day trips available, and of course the beer. But we are even open to reconsider that given feedback.

Thanks again for the input!
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Nov 13th, 2013, 09:18 PM
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As concerns beer, it flows in abundance everywhere in Germany. most of it local.
Michael is online now  
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Nov 14th, 2013, 05:14 AM
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>>>>>>>it really sounds like a longer stay in a few cities is ideal.

My experience over the last couple decades is that many large cities are becoming more and more 'well trodden', while small cities now tend to have the kinds of charms and delights that the big cities used to have, but have them in a nicer package. Staying in big cities is stimulating, but you might want to get a couple guidebooks and consider plotting some daytrips out (the regional tickets that allow unlimited travel for up to 5 people at a low price are great). The Michelin Green Guide maps rate every little burgh with a star system that is really useful; and I love the Rough Guide to Germany (though mine is real old) - - it was exceptionally well written.
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Nov 14th, 2013, 07:29 AM
  #10
 
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We are not planning on driving a car, but using trains and other public transportation.>

Amsterdam for starts then go to the Rhine/Mosel area for a few days - say 3 full days
then Munich 3 days
the Nuremburg (could be a day trip from Munich)
then Prague - 3 days
then Berlin - 3 days
then Copenhagen - 3 days

eliminating Prague, kind of an outlier here would give you more time in other places.

all can easily be done by train. If doing that much by train investigate a Eurail Select Saverpass valid in Benelux - Germany - Czech Republic and Denmark - a first class pass if you are over 25 and IME of decades of European rail travel first class has lots of benefits over 2nd class - especially in all those countries where you can just hop on any train anytime - full flexibility - vs regular fully flexible first class fares a bargain - if you do that much of course.

For lots of great info on European trains check out these IMO superb sites - www.budgeteuropetravel.com (be sure to download their free and superb online IMO European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of rail itinerary suggestions in those countries http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id2.html) and www.seat61.com - Man in Seat 61 who posts above his fine commercial site) and www.ricksteves.com.
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Nov 14th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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>We both are really interested in south Germany because of the unique culture, day trips
>available, and of course the beer. But we are even open to reconsider that given feedback.

Well, Bavaria does have a great beer hall/garden culture, terrific scenery, and most corresponds to what foreigners often think of (sometimes stereotypically) as "traditional German culture." But you might find NW Germany worth exploring for this trip. It would certainly mean less train travel. Cologne has terrific beer, kölsch, and there are other regional beers to try: http://www.europeanbeerguide.net/#germany. The NW has Hanseatic towns worth seeing, some famous, some not.
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Nov 14th, 2013, 11:48 AM
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I like JoeCal's advice except don't spend all your time in the cities. Bruges is certainly worth a full day (with overnite to get a flavor of it without the crowds) and Ghent is quite interesting. Trier is a very interesting city, and you could see Aachen from there. Lots of interesting places around Munich too.
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Nov 14th, 2013, 02:01 PM
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And Belgium makes very good beer too. Some think better.
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Nov 15th, 2013, 09:37 AM
  #14
 
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Belgium is especially known for its Trappist beers - brewed by monks and packing a whallop - tour some of the beer-making monasteries and they tell you how much ale monks drank in the middle ages - unfathomable amounts - mugs and mugs and mugs - of course unsafe water played a part but these monks must have been very contemplative all day long! Ah to the glory of God!

"There is no beer in heaven; that's why we are all here" as the famous German beer hall drinking song goes!"
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