Family trip to Europe in late December

Oct 14th, 2012, 05:31 AM
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Family trip to Europe in late December

I'm thinking of quickly putting together a family trip to Europe in late December or the first week of January (kids are 14 and 19). Any suggestions of the best places to visit that time of year? Also, any recommendations for nice places to stay would be so appreciated! My husband and I have been to Florence, Venice, and we were in Paris a really long time ago. Thanks for any recommendations!
lacohn is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 05:44 AM
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How long do you plan to stay? Are you looking for one destination or do you want to visit all of the places you have taged?

With the understanding that it will be cold and the days will be short, the further south you go, the better. And in winter, cities are best as they provide lots of indoor activities.
mamcalice is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 05:52 AM
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We are thinking about staying about a week. We could stay one place, or visit a couple of places--open to ideas. I don't really want to spend a lot of time traveling once we get there. Thanks so much!
lacohn is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 06:29 AM
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lacohn - Rome.

a perfect place for a winter trip with kids of that age - we went there with ours when they were about the age your kids are now and they loved it. so much to do, rain, snow or shine, and you could do a day trip to somewhere like Orvieto if you got bored. [you won't, but it does make an interesting change and is worth going to for the duomo alone]

we rented an apartment and DS, then 15, loved going out in the mornings to get our cornetti [how he did it I've no idea as he had no italian at all] we did all the famous sights plus lots of others, we shopped, ate, had our favourite gelateria where we rubbed shoulders with the local police [never saw them pay for their gelati] and generally had a great time.

have a great trip!
annhig is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 11:43 AM
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If you're planning on traveling during the Christmas holiday season, 24 December-6 January, you'll find many restaurants closed in most of France, including Paris, and throughout Spain. You'll need to plan ahead if you want to dine on Christmas Day and New Year's Day (lunch or dinner).

On the good side you'll find that cities and villages in France, Spain and Italy generally go all out to celebrate the holidays, the 12 days of Christmas; city lights, concerts and other musical events, passion plays, live crèches and don't forget Three Kings Day celebration on 6 January, Epiphany.

Also, winter sales begin on 7 January in France and Spain.
Robert2533 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 12:06 PM
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I second Rome. A couple of years ago, my niece went between Christmas and New Years and had lovely weather the entire time. Of course you can't count on the weather year ro year but you have a better chance in Rome than many place. And, if it is not pleasant, there is lots to do inside.
mamcalice is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 01:52 PM
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Why does everyone assume you want somewhere with the warmest weather? Perhaps you do, but there are many wonderful winter resorts in the Alps where it will feel much more like Christmas, with lots to do even if you don't ski.
Heimdall is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 02:45 PM
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With one week, I would definitely stick with just one place and explore that city, with a daytrip our two. I'd have to throw my hat in the ring for Rome as well. Our absolute favorite city and so much to do there. You could do a daytrip to Ostia Antica and Orvieto (as previous poster mentioned). Even possible to do a daytrip to Florence (train is only 1.5 hrs).

My second recommendation would be Barcelona - a lot to do there, with amazing architecture, museums and incredible food! Daytrips to Girona or Montserrat (though not sure what would be like at that time of year).
jgg is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 05:15 PM
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Agree that Rome could be great for a week, Paris would be my second choice especially if it is the week of Christmas. We were there over Christmas two years ago and it was a great way to spend Christmas. We had little trouble with restaurant closures and only Christmas Eve and through the afterrnoon on Christmas Day
denisea is online now  
Oct 14th, 2012, 05:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
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For southern Europe options I vote 1 for Barcelona, but LOVE Rome as well. Barcelona has heaps to offer kids and young people as well as their parents.
London is also a city with many great offerings for all ages.
Having said that, I am planning a Christmas time trip for 2013 or 2014 to Switzerland or Austria to play in the snow etc. But then I live in the north of Australia so I'd rather experience a "real" winter and a Christmas like we see on Christmas cards and in movies.
Judith_Hunter is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 07:36 PM
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Wow, thank you all so much!! Rome would be great, since we have never been there! I would love to visit Barcelona, and Paris is my favorite place on earth. I guess I need to figure it out, but Rome will be definite! Maybe we will just stay there the whole time, and take the day trips you recommend.

You all are so helpful, and I so appreciate your advice!

Now, it's time to search for a place to stay!
lacohn is offline  

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