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Help on choosing our final stop in Europe

Help on choosing our final stop in Europe

Old Sep 19th, 2015, 04:37 PM
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Help on choosing our final stop in Europe

My husband and I will be in Europe for 3 weeks next September (2016) We plan to travel to Paris (flying to Rome), Rome, Florence & Amalfi (traveling by train through Italy). We like the idea of not staying too long in one place so we're going to spread it out a bit. We'd love some suggestions for one more stop before we return to the U.S. we have a few ideas but I'd like to find out what you fine people think. I'd love it if when you share your suggestion to add why you chose that destination. We have a few ideas but are not 100%, Prague is a front runner but we're not willing to commit just yet. Here's the short list. Barcelona, Prague, Lisbon, Munich, Copenhagen. Please feel free to add any place that I've not listed and whatever your suggestion please explain why as well. I'm excited to hear your suggestions.
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Old Sep 19th, 2015, 04:52 PM
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Lisbon, Barcelona and Copenhagen are outliers - requiring flights and wasting a full day that way. Of the ones you have listed I would do Munich.

But if given any choice I would add Venice to extend your time in Italy. You could fly from Paris to Venice and then train south from there, flying home from Naples.
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Old Sep 19th, 2015, 05:34 PM
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Our main desire is to travel to a 3rd country on the last part of our trip. We don't want to stay in Italy.
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Old Sep 19th, 2015, 05:56 PM
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Barcelona, Prague, Lisbon, Munich, Copenhagen.

Ah
Love All 4 I've been to, but not been to Lisbon.

Prague : superb, very toursity now (saw it just before the wall fell down, when nobody spoke english and only a few spoke some german... very lively, clubs etc

Barcelona : fantastic, better weather, very lively, along the seaside...

Munich : fantastic, with an extraordinary ambiance.
fun, and even correct beer...

Copenhagen : saw it too fast, the city is beautiful.

I'd go to Barcelona. Why ? Don't really know. Tapas ? Sagrada Familia ? city ? food ?
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Old Sep 19th, 2015, 06:16 PM
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Unless you are willing to give up days of your trip to air travel logistics, your choices are going to be limited by (a) what Italian airport you are near when you finish your stay in Italy and (b) what actual options you have for getting back to where you live without a lot of plane switches or long layovers, and how much money you want to spend unless your budget is unlimited.

I can understand your soliciting five or six opinions about who likes what city and why (although they are all popular travel destinations, so without knowing the personalities of the people picking Munich over Barcelona or vice versa, I don't know how happy you'll be following stranger's advice).

But even if everybody yelled back "Lisbon!" you'd still be faced with figuring out how much money and hassle it is to get there from your last stop in Italy, and your return-home routing when it comes to airlines, airports and layovers.
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Old Sep 19th, 2015, 09:55 PM
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How about London?
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Old Sep 20th, 2015, 02:36 AM
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If your last stop in Italy is the Amalfi Coast, you're around 90 minutes from Naples airport and Barcelona is less than a couple of hours away from there. It's the one city that I'd select from the list you gave as standing head and shoulders above the others.
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Old Sep 20th, 2015, 04:26 AM
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While I agree with Barcelona as the best choice among to ones you have listed, I would consider Seville as a possibility. You will hear from others who will have different suggestions. It is hard to choose for someone else.
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Old Sep 20th, 2015, 04:53 AM
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Well if you just want a very different city and time/money/returning home from there is not an object then I would go with either Copenhagen, which is very different bringing in a Scandinavian note, or Prague, which has a unique architectural past and is the only major city in central europe not substantially destroyed in WWII.

This is from someone who has been to all of the cities you list several times. But it does reflect my specific likes/dislikes (visiting every possible church, castle, museum and historic sight, no interest in beaches and preference for cooler weather whenever possible.) I don't care for Lisbon - IMHO too third world, and am neutral on Barcelona - some great architecture but too much street crime.
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Old Sep 20th, 2015, 09:28 AM
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Thanks so much for the responses.
Here's the back story. We've visited Europe back in 2012 we stayed in London and travel throughout England and took the Eurostar to Paris for a day. We were only in Europe for 11 days and we had the best visit and I loved every minute of it. I however would love to see Paris by night which I was not able to do in 2012.
We are fortunate in that we have airfare and hotel stay pretty much taken care of b/c of travel points. So the only travel we'd be spending out of pocket will be the train which isn't too bad and if we do fly (and we've researched) from Naples to Prague or Naples to Barcelona we could fly direct for less than $60 pp.
As it is (on paper) we still have a few weeks before our travel timeline is an option on the airline website.
Fly direct from U.S. to Paris
Fly from Paris to Rome
Train from Rome to Florence
Train from Florence to Naples
Bus or private car to Amalfi
Fly from Naples to ???
Spend 1 day in that destination and fly home the next day.
I've watched Rick Steves 1 day in Prague video which covers so much and I'm certain I can enjoy a day drip in any of these places....that's just how I'm made. I don't need several days in one place, to take in everything there is to offer in the area, while that's ideal it's just not possible. I'm starting to lean toward Spain seeing how it is closer than the others but I really was hoping for something a bit different which is why the other places on my list are exciting to me.
My husband I both do love history and historic buildings and do love beautiful scenery but we also are very good at and very much enjoy checking in to a hotel stepping out onto the streets of a city taking a sightseeing tour if one is offered and then hopping off and spend the rest of the day walking/driving around checking out what we can and stopping to get something to eat at a local restaurant. Then heading on to the next destination with our hearts and minds filled with everything we've taken in which will give us a lifetime of memories. I hope this gives you a better idea of what i'm looking for.
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Old Sep 20th, 2015, 09:53 AM
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Do you mean:

Day 1 fly from Rome to ?
Day 2 stay in and see?
Day 3 Fly home from ?

This gives you a very tiny glimpse of a city. But if you mean this is only two days - as on you fly to and visit? on the same day - then there is no way I would do all that for possibly only 5 or 6 hours in a city. (These super budget flights are usually only once per day - often not first thing in the am and often to/from airports not really near the city).
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Old Sep 20th, 2015, 10:55 AM
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We will be staying at least 2 night in each place possibly 3 in Rome.
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Old Sep 20th, 2015, 11:18 AM
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Also...I miss-spoke we're going to Florence first then on to Rome etc whilst in Italy
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Old Sep 20th, 2015, 11:36 AM
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here's a different idea - fly from Paris to Naples and see the Amalfi, [nicer in early September rather than late] then Rome, Florence, Venice, Vienna, and Prague.
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Old Sep 20th, 2015, 04:30 PM
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That sounds like a good idea...I'm strongly considering this. That or what about making Rome my home base and taking a day trip to Amalfi or is that just too far?
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Old Sep 20th, 2015, 04:51 PM
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Amalfi is really too far for a day trip. The train to Naples isn't bad but then you have to take a local commuter train (about 1.25 hours) to Sorrento and from there you have to take either a SITA bus along the coast road (can be mobbed as in SRO) or a ferry (which doesn;t run very often).
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Old Sep 21st, 2015, 10:19 AM
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If you are going to Paris, I absolutely would not plan to go to Prague on the same trip although my reason for this might surprise you. Prague is used as the cheap stand-in for Paris in countless period movies, including French movies, because it has quite similar architecture -- hulking Haussmannian style buildings and lots of paving stones. But note that I wrote "period" movies rather than modern movies. That's because Prague looks old fashioned and rather shabby and grimy in many areas, like Paris 70 years ago.

This of course has its own special charm, but frankly, after having been in Paris, you might very much regret the atmosphere of Prague and just wish that you had spend more time in Paris.
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Old Sep 21st, 2015, 10:26 AM
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That's sort of interesting, but I have been to both cities numerous times and that has never occurred to me (that Prague is a shabbier version of Paris so I'm disappointed). And many cities in Europe have paving stones, so that thought also have not occurred to me.

From that list, I'd choose Prague myself, I think it is a real contrast to France, being in Central Europe. The cuisine is very different in all these places (Italy, France, Prague). Sure, it has a lot of tourists, but so do many major cities of interest, just like Paris does, and Barcelona. It's no more touristy than many others, and you can't avoid that by choosing these cities. I was just there a couple months ago and had read some of these remarks on here so wondered how bad it could have gotten since my last visit of maybe five years ago, and it wasn't any different than many places. It was certainly not wall to wall tourists everywhere any more than Paris is, and there were just as many in popular sightseeing spots in both cities. Not to mention Barcelona, plenty of tourists there.

I love Barcelona, it would be good, also IMO. There really is no logical way to choose other than what you want to do and see.
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Old Sep 21st, 2015, 11:16 AM
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You may be right, Christina. Having lived in Paris for the last 42 years, I get very irritated by these "stand in" cities (sometimes they use Budapest or Bucharest, too) which I can see are not Paris in a fraction of a second, sometimes just from a window frame or drain in the gutter. I kind of find it insulting to these cities to imply that they are a copy of Paris.

Sometimes people just assume that a commercial was filmed in Paris because they are selling a French brand, such as in this abominable Contrex commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktXr02qqfss

I second your nomination of Barcelona.
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Old Sep 21st, 2015, 04:15 PM
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The Prague/Paris comparison is interesting because I didn't think Prague looked at all like Paris. Perhaps I didn't walk down the right streets.
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