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Aug 9th, 2016, 05:12 AM
  #1
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Filling in the blanks

Hi all,

Husband and I have a 6 week trip planned, with the first portion (3 weeks) dedicated to business aka working from a laptop in an airbnb/ hotel with half the day exploring (in larger cities). The second portion is open season on travel, so 24/7 exploring with less limitations. Travel is Dec/Nov. Train between all destinations.

I've posted another thread similar, but the conflicting responses we're a little hard to make a definitive plan. We still have a few holes in the plan to fill and hoping to get some suggestions. We'd like the later portion of the trip to have more scenic locations (think mountains, small villages and postcard scenery etc) as the first portion will be city based.

5 nights - Paris (Work)

7 nights - Brussels (Work)

10 nights - Amsterdam (Work for 7 nights, 4 days exploring)

4 nights - Berlin (Exploring - number of nights is flexible, is this too many?)

11 nights........? (Exploring - Any suggestions? Munich, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Wuerzburg, Swizz Alps?) We figured we'd make our way from Germany to Austria and then through Switzerland before we fly out of Paris.

2 nights - Paris (Exploring - Before departing)


My key questions are -

1. Is Brussels worth it even for they stay while we work part day?
2. Suggestions to fill the 11 days of more scenic options?
3. Is 4 days in Berlin too much?

Thanks as always!
gretchin is offline  
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Aug 9th, 2016, 06:36 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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I'm sorry but I've been to all of them and unless you are willing to give some sort of clue as to what sorts of things besides scenery etc. you are interested in then every one of these cities might be "too long" and "too much."
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Aug 9th, 2016, 05:36 PM
  #3
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Hi Dukey1,

Other than snow activities (snowboarding), we're just keen to see old villages and amazing scenery. We're not big museum people, so we just want to experience the culture of places we go too. Very generic I know.

I guess the biggest questions we have is Brussels worth the visit? Would Bruges or Antwerp be better?

Any what scenic options would you choose if you had 11 nights between Germany, Austria and Switzerland?
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Aug 10th, 2016, 04:02 AM
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'Is Brussels worth it even for they stay while we work part day?'

No. Trump said it is a hellhole. Try to avoid it. Foxnews must have said it is a rear base for terrorists.

Ps : I wonder why all these guys find it ok to denigrate Bruxelles ?
Ps2/ I wonder why I bother - it just take one word and I get upset.
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Aug 10th, 2016, 04:36 AM
  #5
 
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I still find it a bit confusing.

If I had to make a choice (well, according only to my personal preferences, of course).

The more days I spend in one "work city", the more sights and stuff there needs to be for those half days of exploring.
Any city which is good as a base to explore other parts of the country or region but has only a limited number of things that interest me within its proper city limits will not be a good work city.
The "half days" I have will probably not be enough to accomodate the travel to/from any other destinations in the region plus enough time to explore those.

Since you seem to be very flexible re. your itinerary and have a good number of days to play with, is there any reason you spend all your time in Central Europe but none in the South (where the climate will be at least milder and more hopefully more pleasant)?
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Aug 10th, 2016, 10:41 PM
  #6
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Hi Cowboy1968,

Would suggest Barcelona or maybe Rome instead?

We have the option to be flexible, but we only chosen Belgium as it was between Paris and Amsterdam (stops 1 and 3) so made sense to stay close I guess? Our itinerary ends up being a circle shape if one would draw it on a map.
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Aug 11th, 2016, 10:17 AM
  #7
 
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Well, yes.. at least I'd find it more pleasant in a milder climate.
But if you already booked your flights into and out of Paris and when Amsterdam is another fixed spot to stay, your initial itinerary via Brussels is probably more suitable than hopping back and forth across Europe.

To have snow in December for sure, you want to stay at the highest resorts in both Austria or Switzerland. Or in resort towns which have ski lifts reaching those higher elevations (2000meters or 6000ft and above).
As I am not really into winter sports, I cannot give any examples, unfortunately.
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Aug 11th, 2016, 02:34 PM
  #8
 
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Any what scenic options would you choose if you had 11 nights between Germany, Austria and Switzerland?>

for winter sports head to the Jungfrau Region - not just for snowboarding but it is the most awesome of Swiss Alps IMO and there are a variety of things non-winter sports to do - toylike trains going off in all directions - thrilling aerial gondolas and a joie-de-vivre in winter atmosphere and sure to have snow - like cowboy says at that time of year - Austrian Alps have been plagued at times with no or little snow that early in the winter.

Anyway for train info and lots of suggestions on where to go by rail check www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com - their online European Planning & Rail Guide has lots of suggestions- and www.seat61.com - great advice on discounted train tickets.

Into night trains?

Can take to Berlin and from Berlin.
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Aug 11th, 2016, 03:54 PM
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Would suggest Barcelona or maybe Rome instead?>

Yes in winter - Italy could be a nice option.

From Belgium take a train to Paris and either fly to Italy or take an overnight train (Paris to Milan or Venice)

If you have not seen Venice it is always magical and Rome during Christmas season magical too.

But I would suggest just flying to Rome and spending the 11 days in nice weather probably - Nov-Dec in Lowlands can be very grim - grey dank and dark - won't be really cold but never above 40s or maybe low 50s- Rome will be much more tolerable.
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Aug 12th, 2016, 03:23 PM
  #10
 
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@Whathello: Brussels is great, but they'll never know...
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Aug 13th, 2016, 08:39 AM
  #11
 
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Of course Brussels is a great city as are all major capital cities in Europe- too bad it does not appeal much to what many Americans are looking for and more likely to find in Bruges or Gent or even Antwerp.

I've spent many days in Brussels and loved it -it has some neat areas many tourists never get to.
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Aug 13th, 2016, 10:24 AM
  #12
 
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But in winter I find the northern European cities rather grim and gray and dark - would base in nicer areas weather wise.
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Aug 13th, 2016, 11:52 AM
  #13
 
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For a few years I used to attend the SIME conferences in Stockholm. Those are usually in November. When I first went, I thought it would be miserable but I was mistaken. There is a northern European tradition of "cozy", you find it in the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden... Lots of candle light inside, throw rugs, conviviality. But it's all indoors! That's where the action is, not on the street. Something to understand. The winter season comes with loads of stuff to do, but you have to look for it or ask someone local to take you.
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