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Europe Vacation in August - Bad time?


Aug 11th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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Europe Vacation in August - Bad time?

I have heard that August is the month that Europeans traditionally vacation. Are sites extra busy, and places closed during this time?
We are considering a Med. Cruise NEXT August.
Thank you!
jeepsterchick is offline  
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Aug 11th, 2004, 11:26 AM
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Yes, sites are extra busy. And it depends on where you are going and what kinds of things you are talking about regarding closures. Family-owned restaurants and things might be closed, versus, say, the Sistine Chapel or something.

kaudrey is offline  
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Aug 11th, 2004, 12:03 PM
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If there's any way to avoid August, I would. Costs are higher and everyone is traveling.

But if that's your only choice, it's a no-brainer. Go!!
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Aug 11th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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sept and oct are my favourite months to travel around europe. it's cooler (still warm) and travel is just easier and less expensive. out of all months, i avoid both july and aug (except business travel when i have no choice).
walkinaround is offline  
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Aug 11th, 2004, 12:34 PM
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Last August I traveled to England and Ireland and did not find it especially crowded. Ireland especially was not at all crowded (Dublin and over to the west coast). I haven't been to France or Italy in August and wonder how much worse they are than in July. I just came back from Italy on July 31st, I had been there since the 13th and I didn't find it especially crowded. Certainly compared to March or something there were more tourists, but really not unpleasant. In fact the hotels were all much LESS expensive than they are in what they told me was their high season. In Venice I paid 60€ for a room that gets 200-300€ in May-June and Sept-Oct. The desk clerk said Venice is much less crowded in July and August. Same thing in Florence. Most of the trains and buses I took were half empty (and the times they were crowded it was with locals, not tourists). This is not to say there weren't plenty of tourists around, just that things were not what I would call unpleasantly crowded. I was also in Italy and France in July 2002 and felt it was about the same.

But I would love to hear a first hand experience of someone who has been to Italy and/or France in BOTH July and August and hear how they compare.
isabel is offline  
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Aug 12th, 2004, 03:28 AM
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The CITIES in Europe are generally quieter in July and esp August. Europeans tend to holiday at the beach or in the mountains, and it is these areas which are more crowded. Paris is not as crowded in August as other months, and while musuems and tourist sites are open, you will find that many of the better restaurants are closed for 2 weeks or the entire month.

I would not travel to a place like the Amalfi coast in August, too many people.

I have to say that taking a cruise to see Europe is not the best way to actually see the continent. You will have 12 hours or so in major ports like Rome and Florence (you will in fact dock at least an hour away by car or train from the cities), and really won't get a good opportunity, IMO, to enjoy what European cities have to offer. You won't see the Trevi fountain or the Eiffel Tower lit up at night, and won't get to take leisurly lunches at outdoor cafes in Rome, as you will be stuggling to see the Vatican.. . .

The one exception would be Greece, for which a cruise makes perfect sense.

Cicerone is offline  
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Aug 12th, 2004, 08:54 AM
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We have done both, cruising and land/train in Europe. There are drawbacks to both - however, seeing Europe can be exhausting - there is nothing like getting back to the ship and relaxing, eating and waking up refreshed to take on more sites verses hoofing to your next destination with baggage. Cruises are a nice sampler plate for future land trip.
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Aug 12th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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I'm already booked on a Med Cruise for August 2005 out of Barcelona to Athens and will spend a week in Spain prior...Spain is the number ONE detination for tourists from the UK in August so I expect to see lots of folks in the cities (as I have in the past). I agree with the above that the cities will be quieter in some countries as folks head for the beaches, etc., but I would NOT be deterred from taking a cruise during that time..all depends on where you are going.
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