Five days free but where to go? HELP!

Old Jun 16th, 2022, 10:57 PM
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Five days free but where to go? HELP!

Due to a change in the plans of friend we pet sitting for, they are insisting on paying for a five day break for us anywhere in Europe. Despite being well travelled and having visited in excess of 70 countries, very few have been in Europe and I really donít have a clue where to choose. The five days will be in early July so I need to decide very quickly.

For five days I am mostly thinking about a city break. Have done Bruge, Paris, Bologna, Prague, Barcelona and Malaga relatively recently.

My travel planning mojo has deserted me and I am bereft of inspiration. Where would YOU go?

Any thoughts, opinions, suggestions would be most gratefully received. Thank you in advance for what I know will be some brilliant suggestions - no pressure 😎
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Old Jun 16th, 2022, 11:28 PM
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It will be getting warm in July so I wouldn't choose Southern Europe. If you're interested in a city break, how about London, Berlin or Amsterdam? Why did I pick those?

London has so much to see and do that I feel I've barely scratched the surface and I've been there already several times. The museums are great and there is so much of historical significance to see. The theatre is wonderful, as well.

We were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed Amsterdam. It is very walkable, has beautiful scenery as well as many great museums and a fascinating history.

We are heading to Berlin for the next time in two weeks so I don't have first hand experience there yet, but it sounds like a fascinating city that has been highly recommended to us.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 12:26 AM
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Copenhagen, Oslo/Bergen, Riga, Hamburg, Strasbourg, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Lille, Reims, north French coast (underrated inho - from Calais west is lovely), Cologne/Rhine, Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Somewhere in Sweden?

Not very helpful am I .
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 01:00 AM
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Riga would be too small for 5 days but the area around Hamburg would consume your days easily

If I had 5 days that had to be spent I'd go to

Alsace (Strasbourg down to Basil)
Bordeaux and north up to Isle de Re
Tuscany (maybe too hot)
Po valley, ditto
Loire (Chinon, to Angers)
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 02:34 AM
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Gdańsk, and the rest of the TriCity; Sopot, Oliwa, Gdynia.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 03:02 AM
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That's a good idea cdnyul! My DH loved staying in Gdynia for work. Never got to go with him though.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 03:49 AM
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I recommend Rotterdam, a beautiful and vibrant city. It's an often overlooked gem, which means it's not overrun in the summer by tourists, as some other cities in the Netherlands. You can easily access many other beautiful towns and cities from Rotterdam, such as Delft, the Hague, and Dordrecht.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 04:33 AM
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I have not been but want to go to San SebastiŠn, Spain and weather looks good in July. Warm, not too hot. Or Lyon, France. Hopefully, the heat wave has broken by then.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 04:45 AM
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At that time of year I would go north, or up. Even going north you might want AC, I certainly did in north Europe in July, but then I live with it, you may be OK. (Several people on Fodors argued that you never needed AC in Berlin. I did.)

I would suggest Stockholm, which was my favorite of the Scandinavian capitals, and has plenty to do. Definitely a day trip to one of the islands.

I am another vote for Strasbourg, ideally combined with Nancy (but I am an Art Nouveau fan).

I loved Riga (more Art Nouveau) but you would probably want to combine it with Tallinn or Vilnius.

The consider the Alps (Murren? Innsbruck?), or the Dolomites. Or possibly the Italian lakes, although I would expect them to be crowded.

Right now transport could be an issue.... You can check my blog for most of those places - https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com

Adding: Now could also be a good time to go to Normandy or Brittany, but I have limited knowledge of that area.

Last edited by thursdaysd; Jun 17th, 2022 at 04:51 AM.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 07:17 AM
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Sorry crellston I know you are a frequent poster but not sure where you are taking this trip from. Your departure city may make a difference based on ease of travel or other factors. Are you limited to where you can get a nonstop flight? With only 5 days I think that could matter.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 07:32 AM
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You're in London, right? Thus I'm going to speculate that anywhere in the UK is off the table (otherwise I'd choose Edinburgh, but I'm biased.)

Early July... getting hot (already is) around the Mediterranean, big crowds in popular cities, but long daylight hours...

How about Iceland? Granted Reykjavik is no Amsterdam or Paris, but with five days you might be able to hire a car and travel around that amazing island and see quite a lot. Not midnight sun per se, but 24 hours of daylight. Volcanoes, hot springs...



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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 07:36 AM
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Thank you everyone some great ideas there. You are right LaurieAnn , I should have mentioned my home town is London and will be flying from either Heathrow , Gatwick or London City airports. Normally that give us a world of choice but this year we have airport chaos and train strikes to contend with and flights being cancelled every day. Still all I can do is hope for the best.

For whatever reason I have never been able to work up any enthusiasm for Scandinavia or `Germany Austria etc though my wife is keen on those place!. The heat doesn't bother us 34C in London at the moment! Only been once to Italy so BBs suggestion of Tuscany may be an option. Had to look up where some of the places suggested are as I had never heard of them. I think I am going to check out flights to see where I can get to relatively easily. I will be back..
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 07:37 AM
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Second Rotterdam. Rotterdam is a very underrated city and there is lots to do there and in the area. Also consider Antwerp.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 07:45 AM
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You could likely get to Normandy or Brittany or the Netherlands by ferry if you want to skip flights. The Channel Islands, too.

See: https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/ and https://www.directferries.co.uk/

Could probably take your car, if you don't mind driving on the other side of the road.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 09:31 AM
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Lake Como in Italy?
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 11:05 AM
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How about Portugal? Some nice trip reports in the Forums for ideas.

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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 12:05 PM
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If you decide on Tuscany and find the Florence, Pisa or Lucca accom is too expensive. There are train lines between these tourist cities along which are other nice cities. So stay in cheaper cities and commute.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 01:04 PM
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Direct flights from London City to Rotterdam.

If you want to go by ferry then as I said the coast west from Calais is lovely, far nicer than the English south coast. Maybe as far as the Somme Estuary which is wonderful, for a relaxed few days if you decide against another city.
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 01:15 PM
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How about the Orkney or Shetland islands?
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Old Jun 17th, 2022, 01:41 PM
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Orkney for 5 days works out well. Great art, silver smithing, weaving etc. Then some of the oldest sites on the planet ( pre pyramids) and highest density of archeologists in Europe. Tidal energy European centre, then the wildlife and the air/water is so clean.
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