France, Belgium, or Germany

Old Mar 1st, 2024, 02:32 PM
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France, Belgium, or Germany

Hello,

I will be traveling to London for 9 days in August. I was thinking of spending 4 days in London and 5 days in either France, Belgium, or Germany. What do you guys suggest? Pros and cons of each place? It's difficult to choose one and would like some input! Thank you.

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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by momokobi24
Hello,

I will be traveling to London for 9 days in August. I was thinking of spending 4 days in London and 5 days in either France, Belgium, or Germany. What do you guys suggest? Pros and cons of each place? It's difficult to choose one and would like some input! Thank you.
It would be helpful to know:
  • why are you traveling
  • where are you from
  • where have you been
  • what are your likes/dislikes
  • what are your interests, and what doesn't interest you
  • age: makes a difference in what to see
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 04:37 PM
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In addition to tomboy's list, it would be helpful to know how you are flying. Are you flying round-trip to/from London or are able to fly home from the second location? If you are flying out of London for home, you likely need to be back in London the night before your final flight, reducing your time (unless you can make London the second part of your trip instead).

With a fairly short stint in your second location, it would make greater sense to go to an area connected by London. Which could be Paris, Brussels, or Amsterdam (not listed, but is an option), whichever might suit you best. Germany might be too far for this trip. You listed entire countries as your second option, it would need to be limited to one city in the respective country, depending on your interests.
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 04:55 PM
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We began to travel to Europe almost every year starting in 1977. We began in Denmark to visit cousins, aunts, and uncles that first year. Then we went to Germany and the Mosel, Rhine, Cologne, and many other "famous" places. Two years later, we re-visited the same places because we went through them too fast the first time.

A couple of years later we focused on the UK & visited London, Cotswolds, Lake District, Wales, and Scotland (where the other side of my family is from). In about 1981, we did the Germany thing again, then Salzburg, Vienna, train to Venice, train to Genoa, rented a car & drove to Nice. Loved Nice. Then to Burgundy, Loire, Normandy, and Paris.

A couple of years later we returned to Nice & spent more time there. Then other spots on the Cote d'Azur. And the Dordogne.

Then trips to Italy one year, next year back to Scotland & UK

Some Switzerland.

In 1999 we retired when we were both in our early 50s and spent 1 month in 2 regions in Provence in June, and another month in 2 other regions in Provence in September, Then 3 weeks in our friends home in Tuscany.

Since that time, we have traveled to various regions in France and spent 1 month in June & 1 in Sept almost every year there. With several Christmases in Paris also.

We have found more diversity in geography, history, the people, the customs, the things to see & do in France than we found in the other countries that we have visited (including Belgium).

I read an article in National Geographic many years ago that said France is the "most visited" country in the world. I have read this same thing in several travel articles since then. Like tomboy stated - we have no knowledge of your interests. But if they are close to mine - go to France.

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Travel_Nerd
In addition to tomboy's list, it would be helpful to know how you are flying. Are you flying round-trip to/from London or are able to fly home from the second location? If you are flying out of London for home, you likely need to be back in London the night before your final flight, reducing your time (unless you can make London the second part of your trip instead).

With a fairly short stint in your second location, it would make greater sense to go to an area connected by London. Which could be Paris, Brussels, or Amsterdam (not listed, but is an option), whichever might suit you best. Germany might be too far for this trip. You listed entire countries as your second option, it would need to be limited to one city in the respective country, depending on your interests.
If you are taking the Eurostar, Aachen and Cologne (Germany) also come into play as possibilities. You could do much worse than a weekend on the Rhine, staying in Cologne. It is not really a lot further, although obviously the three cities that Travel Nerd mentions are also connected to London by Eurostar and are a bit closer.

Lavandula
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 06:45 PM
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Oops sorry! I am traveling for fun with my girlfriend. We have a roundtrip to London so yes we will need to come back to London to fly home. We are in our mid 20's and we're from USA. We are mostly into adventurous/outdoor activities and love to sight see. However, we are open to anything. We love to be somewhere with some night life as well. Hope this helps.
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by lavandula
If you are taking the Eurostar, Aachen and Cologne (Germany) also come into play as possibilities. You could do much worse than a weekend on the Rhine, staying in Cologne. It is not really a lot further, although obviously the three cities that Travel Nerd mentions are also connected to London by Eurostar and are a bit closer.

Lavandula
Thanks for your insight, Lav. I admit those areas of Germany had not occurred to me in my haste to write out my reply before an appointment.

OP, it really depends on what your priotities are overall. Any of the bigger cities will have good nightlife, I am far removed from some of that but I doubt you could go wrong in any of them, I'd imagine. Outdoors, you may have to go into the countryside more. I know there are a lot of fodorites familiar with things like cycling and such if that is an interest. I see Netherlands and Belgium mentioned a lot for cycling. If you'd rather do beaches, there are options in some of these areas as well. I'm sure someone will come along with a viable option for hiking in any of these nearby areas, too.

You mentioned you will be traveling in August
IF Paris (or even France) is your interest, the Olympics will be from July 26th through August 11th. Events will be going on around the country (and even to Tahiti!), so if your travel dates hit the Games, France may be best avoided (costs will likely be higher, much more crowded, may even affect public transport). Just to keep in mind.
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 08:01 PM
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That's not a lot of time, especially if it includes your travel days. You could stay in England, split time between London and maybe Oxford. Brussels is easy to reach from London - book Eurostar as far ahead as possible for cheaper fares - then a short extra train ride to Brugge, Ghent, Antwerp etc. Good food, beautiful old architecture, beer and chocolates!
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 09:33 PM
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I strongly recommend avoiding Aachen in the summer, much as we liked that city. The heat and humidity did not make for a pleasant visit.
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Old Mar 1st, 2024, 10:56 PM
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I think you could say that about many European cities which do not have A/C much. I have experienced great oppressive heat in Brussels which by all accounts is a northern European city with a soft and rainy climate. Sadly we are going to have more of this now with climate change.

Lavandula
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Old Mar 2nd, 2024, 04:30 AM
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Look into Scotland. Edinburgh still retains the authentic European charm that many cities like London have lost. The architecture is gorgeous and itís full of historical sights and museums. The small bus tours to the highlands, northern England etc are affordable and are outstanding. The scenery and history is so amazing. The weather should be pleasant and the crowds will be tolerable for August when all of Europe is on vacation. You can easily travel home by air and catch your connecting flight in London, just prepare for the time it takes to change terminals.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2024, 04:55 AM
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If you love adventurous outdoor activities then consider somewhere else in the UK, Lake Distract, Yorkshire moors/Dales, Peak District, parts of Wales, parts of Scotland.
Or think about a few days bike riding in Belgium or the Netherlands.
Everywhere will be busy because it is August but the great outdoors may be more fun than a heat trap city.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 09:44 PM
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What a wonderful trip you are planning! I also recommend Edinburgh! Itís gorgeous, young, has some amazing hikes, the North Sea, art, and pubs and pubs and pubs!

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