Family of 3 Winter in Europe


Apr 9th, 2014, 05:51 PM
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Family of 3 Winter in Europe

Hi, this is my first time on a forum. I am after some advise on what to do and see. This is what we have booked so far.We are a family of 3 with our daughter being 9 years old. The main reason for the trip was to show our daughter the Eiffel Tower and Lapland, she has a little obsession with these to things.

Sydney - Sinapore 7th dec 3 nights in Singapore
Singapore - Munich 2 nights
We then have 8 nights until we need to be in Paris. We have got a car for this time, and will drop off in Paris.
Our thoughts have been around staying somewhere in the Garmisch or Tyrol areas and do day trips from there, preferrably in a cabin or apartment.
We would like to go or should I say our daughter would like to go to Eurodisney , but we dont want that to be a focus of the trip.
We have booked 3 nights in Paris- any suggestions on what to do there outside of the normal tourist stuff- We are still up in the air whether to do Moulin Rouge, your adivse appreciated on that.
Depart Paris 23rd December to Lapland
We are booked up in Lapland for a xmas experience and Ice hotel for 5 nights. This bit is sorted out.
Helsinki in on 28th Dec and depart 30dec - not sure about what to do here.
Depart Helsinki - Hong kong 4 nights - NYE cruise booked and not sure what else.

Our flights are booked and so is accom in Singapore, Hong Kong, Munich, Paris and Lapland.

thanks for any help you can give us. Like most people we want to fit is as much as we can. Also what sort of budget should I be setting for us.
dankazi is offline  
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Apr 9th, 2014, 06:29 PM
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I don't know that I would do a car rental unless you are used to driving in ice or snow - which you will likely have to do and is a very different skill. (And we have done a lot of road trips in europe - and are not only train addicts as some here are.)

Also the days will be very short - so to see much you will really have to pack things into 8 am to 3 pm or so.

As for budget - you can travel at many different price points. You need to decide what you are expecting - and assume that traveling at that level will probably cost 1/3 more or so than it would at home. (Germany is fair inexpensive and France not bad. Don;t know abuot Iceland.)

As for the Moulin Rouge I think it's a total tourist trap - and definitely not worth the large expenditure for a 9 year old. (Would you take her to a Las Vegas style show in home - with partial nudity and probably not much to interest her?)
nytraveler is offline  
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Apr 9th, 2014, 06:31 PM
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First off, am I correct in thinking that you are renting a car in Munich and will drop it off in Paris? That means a hefty one-way fee added on to the rental.

Skip the Moulin Rouge; Paris has much better options, and the entertainment would not be suitable for your daughter. Instead, visit the Christmas markets, see the Eiffel Tower (you don't need to go up), check out the outdoor skating rink at the city hall, and look at the amazing holiday displays in the big department stores (especially Galeries Lafayette).
Give your daughter a cultural experience by taking her to the Musée d'Orsay to see the Impressionist paintings.
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Apr 9th, 2014, 08:33 PM
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We have booked the car with a drop off in Paris, but now I am looking at it again i think I might be up for another 100 eruo which I wasnt counting on. Might need to have a good look at that. All little extra changes keep creeping in.

Pretty much decided again moulin Rouge. the Musee Orsay is a great idea thanks
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Apr 9th, 2014, 10:31 PM
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We then have 8 nights until we need to be in Paris. We have got a car for this time, and will drop off in Paris.

I would take a train from Munich to Bad Tölz and pick up a rental car there. Then drive the 45km to Garmisch. Do your Garmisch thing then return the car to Bad Tölz and take a train from there to Paris (probably via Munich-Köln).

There's a Fodorite here that lives in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and she can give you advice on completely ditching the car for trains and buses. Hopefully she will chime in.

I would not drive a car to Paris from Garmisch. It is a 8 hour 20 min drive from Garmisch to Paris, but only 7 hours 23 min by train from Bad Tölz to Paris.
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Apr 9th, 2014, 11:08 PM
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Hi dankazi,

Yes, I live in Garmisch, and I am totally addicted to trains and busses and public transport! They are far more fun imo -- you get closer to the locals, everyone gets to enjoy the scenery instead of watching the road or the map, you get to people-watch and see how locals interact with each other, etc. And of course, using public transport is more green (yaaay!), so you might be happy that you are helping to preserve the beauty that you came all the way here to see.

For taking day-trips from Garmisch, train is really the best way to go. Your whole family can travel on the Bavaria Ticket, which is a day-pass for all the regional trains within Bavaria. It will cost 31 € for all three of you for the day. Do you know which day-trips you'd like to see? From Garmisch, you can easily get to Innsbruck, Seefeld, Mittenwald, Oberammergau, Füssen, Linderhof, Neuschwanstein, and Murnau. Of course, getting to the Eibsee and the Zugspitze or Alpspitze is easy too.

Post again if you'd like more information!

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Apr 10th, 2014, 04:47 AM
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You have one single full day in Munich and that day will be jet lagged. I'd add another day/night to Munich.

The Garmisch area is then an excellent option and can easily keep you busy for a week.

The trip to Paris is then fastest and most comfortably done by train. No need to bother with driving on crowded motorways and in potentially wintery conditions during short days with nightfall around 4:30 p.m.

Strasbourg would make a fine stopover on that route - there are many Christmas markets on your way but Strasbourg's many markets spread all over the old town are probably the most special, and their decorations in the streets are magical.
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Apr 10th, 2014, 06:32 AM
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I would add a day or two to Paris. Three days is bot nearly enought especially since you plan to visit Eurodisney on one of those days.
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Apr 10th, 2014, 09:59 AM
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One of the things our DDs really like in Paris was the Musee Cluny - they loved all of the medieval exhibits as well as the wonderful unicorn tapestry.
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Apr 10th, 2014, 09:59 AM
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I'd be very surprised if the one-way drop-off fee were only 100 euros. Usually it's more like 500 euros, and someone here recently reported getting socked with a $1,400 extra fee on their credit card.

I seriously doubt you want to drive in Germany/Austria in the dead of winter.

The Moulin Rouge is a tacky tourist trap and not particularly appropriate or interesting to a 9-year-old.

Unless you're going to add days to Paris,I'd skip Disneyland, too.

I like the idea of stopping in Strasbourg on the way to Paris. I've been to the Christmas Market there a few times, and it's beautiful and very festive.
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Apr 10th, 2014, 10:49 AM
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You do know it's going to be dark in Lapland, I mean totally dark - no daylight at all - don't you?

I would also recommend to stick to trains in/around Garmisch. The weather might be iffy, road conditions tricky, and you probably don't want to drive then ... As swandav said, train and bus are sufficient to get around in Bavaria.
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Apr 13th, 2014, 10:19 PM
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Thanks for all the great feedback. My husband has his heart set on driving he is very experienced and he finds driving relaxing, I cant say I agree . It is 100 euro one way fee. We are now thinking 4 nights in Garmisch and 2 in Strasborg then 1 disney and 3 in paris. I havent yet booked my accom in Garmisch I am looking for a little apartment close to town if anyone knows of any.
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Apr 14th, 2014, 01:53 AM
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Your husband may be an experienced driver, but coming from Australia I doubt he has had much experience of driving in snow, or on black ice, both of which are a real possibility, even on motorways. Plus driving on the "wrong" side of the road his instincts could lead you into deep do-do if you do get into a problem. Depending on when the first snow falls chains could be needed for parts of the trip if you go off the major roads. Try and get him to reconsider renting a car.

I hope you are packing lots of warm clothing. It will most likely be extremely cold in Finland, as well as dark. It will be cold in the other places you are visiting, but Finland will be colder still.
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