Help with European Itinerary

Old Feb 12th, 2024, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2
If you want things to visit over the Christmas period, all the museums in Amsterdam are open as normal, even on Christmas Day. Transport also runs fairly normally over that period, Unlike say in the UK where things grind to a halt for days.
Bear in mind in your planning perhaps.
Good to know. I didnít even consider holiday closures. Does other places in Europe have public transport holiday closure?
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Old Feb 12th, 2024, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler
winter in Europe is dark, wet and unpleasant a lot of the time. The continent drives on the RHS (I know crazy) and in the UK/Ireland on the LHS. Days are short and in a lot of places you need to have a plan B if you expected to go say walking and it is chucking it down.

I think you are just throwing darts blind at a dart board. I really don't think we can help you unless you give us a clue what you like to do. For instance do you like to stay in Spas, then focusing on Hungary would make a lot of sense. Skiing then regions around the Alps makes more sense. Obviously Climate Change means you want to be as high as possible as lower slopes will, as usual, suffer.
We are not really into spas. We are more on sightseeing, appreciate architecture, soaking the beauty of nature and visiting famous places - free and with fee. Yes, if weather wonít permit outdoor sightseeing then will do the indoor ones like the museums. We wonít be doing classes as well. I might consider going to a musical but not a priority. Apart from skiing in Zermatt, my kids want to watch a soccer game as well if there is any. I just donít know where. Probably just 1 game.

Is there an app where it can forecast an almost accurate weather?

Last edited by wiegord; Feb 12th, 2024 at 05:16 AM.
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Old Feb 12th, 2024, 05:30 AM
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I recommend getting some guide books (Rick Steves's books are good to start with) to help figure out your priority locations. Besides being in a place that you've heard of, what do you actually want to do and see there? What are your family's interests? For example, does your family enjoy learning about history and visiting museums or do you prefer outdoor activities? Fortunately, you have lots of time to plan. Your son and daughter are old enough to assist with the planning. You might consider assigning everyone in the family a country or region to study to figure out your top visiting priorities.

The Riviera is more of a summer destination and is an unusual choice during the time you will be there. If you have no specific sights you wish to visit there, I would focus on other destinations.

Transportation can be a big expense, particularly for 4 people. Also, every time you move from place to place you also lose a fair amount of time. Winter weather can also delay train and bus travel, not just airlines: https://scrippsnews.com/stories/snow...central-europe.

Another thing to consider is lodging. Do you plan to stay in hotels or prefer apartment stays?


Last edited by KTtravel; Feb 12th, 2024 at 05:39 AM.
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Old Feb 12th, 2024, 05:54 AM
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app weather accuracy. Most regions have good local weathers, even the UK has the BBC app which covers it well, similar exist across the continent. But obviously anywhere near the Atlantic will have more variability than those closer to the centre. So Portugal, Ireland and the UK just have poorer accuracy.

Of course this occurs also over time. So the UK weather really only works for the next 24 hours. (amazingly the BBC buys its weather reports from an Australian company)

Football; this is the season for football. Youll find it everywhere. But getting access to top level games is a bit harder as tickets are not just expensive but hard to obtain, with a lot of tickets sold to cover the whole season. Probably best to choose a target and then go on their website to see what is obtainable.

If I was doing this sort of holiday I would focus on southern countries. Even Italy now has Christmas markets in the north and near the German speaking parts of the country. So a focus on Sicily, southern Spain and then capitals such as Paris, Rome, London (not Madrid or most Swiss cities as they are high and so more likely to be cold), and Amsterdam (most of these you can use the train to get between them) (Rome requires a cheap airline. If skiing you will need insurance in case they have to helicopter you off the mountain side. You can buy this in daily chunks and realtively cheap.

So I might do, London, Paris, Amsterdam, fly to Rome, fly to Sicily
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Old Feb 12th, 2024, 07:12 AM
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Do you have a priority for this trip? If so, figure out what is a priority and do that sooner in the trip rather than later.
How are you getting from place to place?
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Old Feb 12th, 2024, 07:37 AM
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One thing certainly worth getting fixed early on is your Christmas and New Year plans. Price will be high, a lot of people go on holiday etc etc so firm that early in the planning. For instance you could leave Paris for Strasbourg for the holiday season. Medievel city centre, easy train access and getting closer to the Alps.
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Old Feb 12th, 2024, 08:47 AM
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It is too far ahead to accurately predict the weather for next November through January but you can take a look at average temperatures, snowfall, etc. for the areas you are interested in visiting.

You could start in Paris. I would give yourselves 5 days at a minimum as you likely will need a few days to feel fully recovered from your long flight. You could then take the Eurostar to London. From London, a possibility is the Eurostar to Amsterdam, which is a charming city. That should get you started...
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Old Feb 12th, 2024, 10:21 AM
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You can find out what the weather has been in the past at your selected destination during the time you plan to visit. Weather Underground is easy to use and has thorough data for most places in Europe I've searched including min/max temperatures and precipitation by the day, week or month.
https://www.wunderground.com/history

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Old Feb 12th, 2024, 12:24 PM
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trouble is, epecially near the Atlantic and the Gulf Stream and under Climate Change history is no longer relevant

2 weeks ago it was 28C in the Western Alps when historically it should have been -5C

Portugal and Southern Spain had major forest fires last summer, which were not there historically
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Old Feb 12th, 2024, 04:53 PM
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Benelux is the (official) shorthand for BElgium - NEtherlands - LUXembourg. These three little countries are squished together in the same corner of Europe and have a lot in common. They also share some resources (for instance there is a single Australian embassy for both Belgium and Luxembourg; NL and BE share a single online electronic personal identity verifying system, "itsme", lots of the shops cross the borders, so the Dutch Albert Heijn supermarket can also be found in parts of Belgium, likewise with the department store HEMA, and so on). None of these things affect you particularly as a tourist, but all this just speaks to how close relations the three countries keep.

Lavandula
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Old Feb 12th, 2024, 05:04 PM
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I have taken 6 solo trips to Europe in my adult life. Each trip was taking 8 to 10 days off of work (work is closed weekends and 6 US holidays). I only went to one country per trip except for when I went to parts of the Netherlands and Belgium in the same trip. What are the 3 or 4 countries you want to go to? Would you like to start with a big city, make a list of what you want to do there, then see how many days nights in that city you will need. Then see which other towns in that country you want to go to, make a list of what you want to see in those towns, look at google maps, see how you could travel efficiently between towns without backtracking. Then is there another town in that country you want to see of do you want to move on to planning the next country, and so on. if you are flying to and from Paris, you will want to immediately travel to your farthest city first, then work your way back to Paris ; maybe from Paris go right to Rome, then after Italy, Germany, Switzerland or Netherlands or Belgium, then towns in France, then Paris would be your last city.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 02:52 AM
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You can check historical weather for cities on TimeandDate website. For fantastic info on trains see the Seat61 website. Rome2rio will give you an idea of options to get from A to B but make sure you check on local train or bus websites to make sure it's accurate.

As mentioned, no public transport on Christmas Day in London, almost nothing Boxing Day. Also accommodation in London is very expensive - particularly against our Aussie $$ - donít leave booking too late. The big museums in London are free and good if there's bad weather. You'll have short daylight hours, it was dark by 4pm when we worked over there. It felt quite strange.

We had a week over Christmas in Nice one year, another year a week in Strasbourg. Nice was sunny and cool, Strasbourg was horribly cold. Obviously each year will be different.

Your question about how long in Italy, you could spend days there or the entire trip. If you just want to see a few main cities, 4 nights would give you 3 days. it will give you a taste of each place.

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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by KayF
You can check historical weather for cities on TimeandDate website. For fantastic info on trains see the Seat61 website. Rome2rio will give you an idea of options to get from A to B but make sure you check on local train or bus websites to make sure it's accurate.

As mentioned, no public transport on Christmas Day in London, almost nothing Boxing Day. Also accommodation in London is very expensive - particularly against our Aussie $$ - donít leave booking too late. The big museums in London are free and good if there's bad weather. You'll have short daylight hours, it was dark by 4pm when we worked over there. It felt quite strange.

We had a week over Christmas in Nice one year, another year a week in Strasbourg. Nice was sunny and cool, Strasbourg was horribly cold. Obviously each year will be different.

Your question about how long in Italy, you could spend days there or the entire trip. If you just want to see a few main cities, 4 nights would give you 3 days. it will give you a taste of each place.
ok, got it. No public transport in London over Christmas and boxing day ( Dec 25 and 26) and I assume on New Yearís day ( Jan 1) as well, right? Is it the same in Italy?
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by michaelpianko
I have taken 6 solo trips to Europe in my adult life. Each trip was taking 8 to 10 days off of work (work is closed weekends and 6 US holidays). I only went to one country per trip except for when I went to parts of the Netherlands and Belgium in the same trip. What are the 3 or 4 countries you want to go to? Would you like to start with a big city, make a list of what you want to do there, then see how many days nights in that city you will need. Then see which other towns in that country you want to go to, make a list of what you want to see in those towns, look at google maps, see how you could travel efficiently between towns without backtracking. Then is there another town in that country you want to see of do you want to move on to planning the next country, and so on. if you are flying to and from Paris, you will want to immediately travel to your farthest city first, then work your way back to Paris ; maybe from Paris go right to Rome, then after Italy, Germany, Switzerland or Netherlands or Belgium, then towns in France, then Paris would be your last city.
I will keep these suggestions in mind. Thank you.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by lavandula
Benelux is the (official) shorthand for BElgium - NEtherlands - LUXembourg. These three little countries are squished together in the same corner of Europe and have a lot in common. They also share some resources (for instance there is a single Australian embassy for both Belgium and Luxembourg; NL and BE share a single online electronic personal identity verifying system, "itsme", lots of the shops cross the borders, so the Dutch Albert Heijn supermarket can also be found in parts of Belgium, likewise with the department store HEMA, and so on). None of these things affect you particularly as a tourist, but all this just speaks to how close relations the three countries keep.

Lavandula
Iíve learned something new without googling it. Thank you.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by KTtravel
It is too far ahead to accurately predict the weather for next November through January but you can take a look at average temperatures, snowfall, etc. for the areas you are interested in visiting.

You could start in Paris. I would give yourselves 5 days at a minimum as you likely will need a few days to feel fully recovered from your long flight. You could then take the Eurostar to London. From London, a possibility is the Eurostar to Amsterdam, which is a charming city. That should get you started...
Thank you for your insights.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler
trouble is, epecially near the Atlantic and the Gulf Stream and under Climate Change history is no longer relevant

2 weeks ago it was 28C in the Western Alps when historically it should have been -5C

Portugal and Southern Spain had major forest fires last summer, which were not there historically
Climate change is affecting our weather significantly.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by wiegord
ok, got it. No public transport in London over Christmas and boxing day ( Dec 25 and 26) and I assume on New Yearís day ( Jan 1) as well, right? Is it the same in Italy?
No it'll be a holiday schedule. Basically like most other Sundays.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by wiegord
ok, got it. No public transport in London over Christmas and boxing day ( Dec 25 and 26) and I assume on New Yearís day ( Jan 1) as well, right? Is it the same in Italy?
No - New Years is fine. The transport in London basically shuts down late Christmas Eve and resumes partially on Boxing Day. Also museums and such will be closed on Christmas Day and fewer will be closed Jan 1st. You will definitely want to pre-book Christmas lunch/dinner - and far ahead for some venues.

The problem with NY Eve/Day: there is a big NY Eve fireworks show along the river near Westminster and a large section of central London is fenced off for ticket holders, then NY Day there is a parade which does cause crowded public transport/congestion.
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Old Feb 13th, 2024, 06:51 AM
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was posting the same time as Traveler_Nick
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