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Help with things to do and places to stay

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Mar 5th, 2016, 08:39 PM
  #1
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Help with things to do and places to stay

Wife & I will be visiting Europe for a set number of days for work and we are looking for things to do and areas to stay in. These days are almost completly set in stone, though it may be slightly adjustable by a day here or there.

London for 2 days
Paris for 2 days
Germany for 5 days
Italy for 7 days
Greece for 6 days

We are photographers so we would love to go to beautiful places, however we live in Florida and spend tons of time at the beach to thats not on the top list of my priorities (though i would not mind 1 or 2 amazing beaches in Europe)

We are good either in city or out of city, would love to see major signs and attractions but really do love off the beaten bath hidden gems. We are very active, love to explore and hike, but number 1 on the list is cultural experiences (especially in Italy)

Any suggestions on areas to visit, things to do etc. would be greatly appreciated. We prefer a vrbo/airbnb bed and breakfast vibe to mega hotels so small towns are a great option for us as well. We are okay traveling throughout country either by rail or car.

Thanks in advance for your help!
wesbob is offline  
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Mar 5th, 2016, 08:40 PM
  #2
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Also, I might be able to swing a day or 2 in Amsterdam
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Mar 6th, 2016, 06:13 AM
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To have 2 days somewhere requires you have 3 hotel nights in that location. How much time do you actually have for this trip? You need to take into account how much time it takes to travel between locations - flying, getting to and from airports, etc.
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Mar 6th, 2016, 06:16 AM
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Well London for 2 days is going to be a mix of jet lag, work and city scapes. You will not have a lot of time or energy.

Paris for 2 days is also a silly rush, you might like the restaurant up on the Islamic centre as an odd sort of place to go for supper, fine view of the Seine, the amazing Islamic wall etc etc.

Germany for 5 days offers more scope for visits, certainly look out for the old painted town halls, the older sections of towns etc to get an oldie worldie feel for some interesting places.
(Google is your friend here, use the google map feature and "Alte Rathaus") I like Lubeck's the best but there are many wonderful buildings that have survived from the 1300 (if fully restored in a german way)

Italy (too much to advise) but go on a day's cooking course, get to meet a bunch of italian cooks in their favorite environment, it is Italian Culture
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Mar 6th, 2016, 07:27 AM
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Your question is difficult to answer since it's so open ended - but due to the number of destinations you have listed you may want to pick a single base city in Germany and Italy and explore the area with day trips. Another thing to consider - you may want to have some balance of cities and countryside. So if you choose Berlin as your German destination you might want to do the Tuscan or Umbrian countryside in Italy.
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Mar 6th, 2016, 08:11 AM
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You do not make it easy for us to give you advice because your list of preferences is so diffuse and the countries where you will be going to are so large.

You want to see major attractions AND hidden gems, you want to have cultural experiences AND hiking. These are tough combinations. And your time is so limited.

You can't help, you must focus.

London and Paris: Within two days for each city, you won't be able to see more than 10 per cent of the major attractions, not to speak of hidden gems and hiking.

Germany: You have 5 days for a country with a population of 82 million and an extension of almost 1000km!

You have to focus on one area. Since you are photographers, you also have to focus on a few topics. Historical towns? Castles? Landscape?

Let's start with landscape. Germany has many landscapes, from the tidelands around the North Sea islands to Alps. What appeals most to you?

- You find quintessential German landscape in the High Black Forest: Mild mountains, picturesque valleys with meadows, streams and forests, 500-year-old wooden farmhouses with half-hipped roofs, lakes, waterfalls, historic chapels and a dense network of excellent hiking trails. You could combine 2 or 3 days in the Black Forest with visiting several picturesque historic towns in the foothills (Freiburg, Staufen, Gengenbach).

- Another option for scenery is the Middle Rhine Valley - a river gorge with dozens of medieval castles, some still standing, some ruined. Also many picturesque historic towns there and several cities with outstanding monuments, like the mighty gothic cathedral of Cologne or the 1,200-year-old Romanesque cathedral of Aachen (where Charlemagne was crowned) or the ancient monastery Eberbach (where "The Name of the Rose" was filmed).

- A third option for scenery would be the Alps, snow-covered peaks with fjord-like glacier lakes and castles in the foothills. You can easily combine the Bavarian Alps with München for a city experience. And maybe a day trip along the Romantic Road with three or four picturesque historic towns (Rothenburg, Dinkelsbühl, Nördlingen..).

These three options are alternatives. For each one, you need your 5 days, but each one offers a combination of cities, cultures, historic towns and landscape.
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Mar 6th, 2016, 08:19 AM
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I forgot: For the three German options with lots of landscape, I would recommend renting a car, although it can technically be done by train. But a photographer loves to stop whereever he finds a sight.

Italy: Here you have 7 days, so you would be able to cover two or even three regions. A classic itinerary would include Rome (3 days), Tuscany (2 days) and Venice (2 days). Doable by train.

Greece: In Greece, it is easy to combine culture and landscape. Here is what I would suggest: 2 days in Athens, then renting a car and driving to Meteora monasteries, then Delphi - the most spectacular and mythical archeological site in Greece in a scenic mountain setting -, then driving across the Peloponnese to the historic town Nafplio and back to Athens. On the way, stops in acient Mycenae and the medieval castle Acrocorinth.
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Mar 6th, 2016, 09:31 AM
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Do you have cities/towns in mind for Germany, Italy, Greece? It's kind of impossible to give advice for entire countries.

2 days in London and Paris is so very short. I would not do vrbo or airbnb in either situation. Read a guidebook and pick 2-3 things that are most important for you to see or do. Find a hotel that is central to these activities/sites/sights.
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Mar 6th, 2016, 09:57 AM
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There are nice sights in Belgium, on the way from Paris to Amsterdam and you could stop in Austria or Switzerland to have some beautiful sights of the Alps while 'en route' to Italy.

enjoy !
Whathello is offline  
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Mar 6th, 2016, 12:07 PM
  #10
 
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The OP is already trying to stuff 20 pounds of stuff in a 5 pound sack. Mentioning more places to add is really just a waste of time.

As for the OP you really need to tell us where in Italy and Germany you will be. A assume you have fixed responsibilities there - otherwise why MUST you do those countries for those days?

If you don;t know you really need to read some guidebooks and make some decisions. We can help with a lot of info but cannot develop a detailed itinerary including transit and lodging - since we are not travel agents. (You would have to pay one to do all of that for you.)

Agree that in London and Paris you will have time for perhaps 3 or 4 major sights in each. (And where is your travel time? Do we assume that the trip from London to Paris comes out of day 2 in London or Day 1 in Paris? And what about the other places?)

Can't tell from the above how many days you really have on the ground. But, the best thing is to lay the trip out day by day, showing where you will wake up, what you will see that day, any travel on that day and where you will sleep.

For info on train travel look at bahn.de - it has schedules for all of europe.

As for lodgings you will not be in many places long enough to do VRBO. And for recos on lodgings you really need to give us a specific nightly budget.
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Mar 6th, 2016, 12:24 PM
  #11
 
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London for 2 days
Paris for 2 days
Germany for 5 days
Italy for 7 days
Greece for 6 days

I think it's easier to plan a trip, if you count the nights and where you're staying each night. You will be spending a fair amount of time in transit, per the schedule above. So remember, that moving around eats up time, and costs more money.

If you have 22 days total, I would spread out the stays, to stay a minimum of 3 nights in any one place, especially in London and Paris.

And, as others have said, you need to identify the cities you want to visit, not the entire country.
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Mar 6th, 2016, 02:06 PM
  #12
 
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Click on the "Things to Do" tab in the green strip at the top of the pages in the question forum sections of www.tripadvisor.com that relate to your itinerary.

The filter system on booking.com will show you what's available on your travel dates in the places you want to visit at the price you want to pay.
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