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Honeymoon in Northern Europe and Scandinavia- Itinerary Help

Honeymoon in Northern Europe and Scandinavia- Itinerary Help

Old Jan 26th, 2024, 07:31 PM
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Honeymoon in Northern Europe and Scandinavia- Itinerary Help

Hi everyone,

My husband and I are planning a 3-week honeymoon in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. I realize that our itinerary is a bit ambitious, so I am wondering if anyone has any advice or alternative suggestions. We are open to travel by plane or train. We are 28 and 30, Canadian, and are interested in wine, good food, fine dining, coffee, scenic landscapes, medieval and WWII history, short hikes and small fairy-tale-esque towns and villages. We like our travel to be a mix of leisurely days where we spend the day walking around and finding cool places to grab a glass of wine, and fast-paced days where we are doing touristy things. We are open to doing a couple of day trips if they make sense. I have already been to Paris, Amsterdam and Munich, but my husband has never been to any of these cities.

Here is our current itinerary:

August 7th: Arrive in Paris
3 nights in Paris
Travel to Munich
4 nights in Munich (including possible day trips around Black Forest region)
Travel to Amsterdam
2 nights in Amsterdam
Travel to Hamburg
1 night in Hamburg
Travel to Copenhagen
3 nights in Copehhagen
Travel to Stockholm
4 nights in Stockholm
Travel to Bergen
1 night in Bergen
Travel to Oslo
2 nights in Oslo
Fly home from Oslo on August 27th.

I would appreciate any advice or criticism you are willing to give us! Thx.
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 10:00 PM
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You mention you like a mix of leisurely days and fast-paced days. This entire itinerary feels fast-paced to me with too many short stays, lots of time lost in transit. Only two days in Paris? Have you investigated all of the travel times? Paris to Munich? Stockholm to Bergen... for just one night in Bergen?
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 11:04 PM
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You can go at a faster pace on a short trip than on a longer one. If you were going for only a week with a very linear itinerary where things were closer together, then a one night stay here or there can work. On your longer, three week trip, you actually need a slower pace. Your trip is not a “bit” ambitious. By any standards, it is extremely rushed, like a big bus tour or the great race. You are spending soooo much time traveling! Do you realize you are spending about nine (9) days traveling and only nine (9) plus two (2) part days actually in places? That is not a very good trade off of time and money. I would eliminate all one night stays, especially any that require a lot of travel time to get there. Consider starting in Munich, then Paris, then Amsterdam.

You mentioned wanting smaller, beautiful villages, but I don’t see where you are putting any. There are so many in France, a ton in the Netherlands and, of course, in Germany. In three weeks, why not slow down and take time to see some of the small towns in those three countries. Add the Alsace area (or Provence) to France for all the wines, food, small towns and history you are interested in. Add Bavaria, the Romantic Road, etc. to Munich for castles and history and romantic Medieval towns, villages, scenic beauty.
You husband has not been to Paris or Amsterdam and you are giving him only two days in Paris (3 nights gives only 2 days), and only one day in Amsterdam! What about the rest of the glorious Netherlands? No time there at all! Haarlem, Delft, etc. etc.?
If you are going North for cooler weather, great. Just choose those countries and explore more there.
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 11:52 PM
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Your plan does seem too rushed. You could spend half your time in France, Netherlands etc but cut out a couple of your cities. Spend the other half of your 3 weeks in Scandinavia but, again, reduce the number of stops.

Alternatively, just stick to France, Netherlands and see more in a smaller area, visit some smaller towns, relax a little more. Or stick just to Scandinavia. Packing up and moving on all the time is tiring and adds to the cost as well.
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 11:53 PM
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Hi taylormartin3353,

Unfortunately, the Black Forest is not remotely a day-trip outing from Munich. It will take roughly 4h or 4h30 each way for transport, whether by car or by rail.

There are tons & tons of lovely villages in Bavaria, and you wouldn't need to travel that far -- Mittenwald, Oberammergau, Füssen, Garmisch-Partenkirchen (though that's not a village), and many more.

Of you want to spend time in the Black Forest, best to make a base nearby, like in Strasbourg or Freiburg. Otherwise, spend your time in Bavarian towns.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 12:14 AM
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I do not understand anything about this itinerary. I see very little in the way of leisurely days except perhaps Munich and Stockholm, and no villages, little in the way of WW2 history, or short hikes. Two full days is not enough for someone who has never been to Paris and one day is not enough time for Amsterdam, or Oslo and even less time for Bergen and Hamburg. You are spending a lot of time and money just to move from place to place as your destinations are fairly far apart. This is will be a stressful trip as you have outlined. You need to do more research as to what you want to see and do as your itinerary does not fit your stated intentions. I would consider spending more time in Paris, take a few days to visit Normandy and maybe Brittany, train to Amsterdam where you can spend more time with some day trips, skip Germany and head to Scandinavia. You can do Copenhagen, Stockholm and head to Bergen where you can rent a car to explore the fjords of Norway and get in some hiking. End in Oslo. There of course lots of other options. Also understand you cannot keep up a fast pace for three weeks, you will need a break around two weeks. I suspect that your original itinerary may have your husband never wanting to go to Europe again.
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 12:25 AM
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mjs+1
"wine, good food, fine dining, coffee, scenic landscapes, medieval and WWII history, short hikes and small fairy-tale-esque towns and villages"

Which brought a whole bunch of nice easy places to visit, none of which are anywhere along your route.

I propose a completely different tour which you might actually enjoy

Fly to Paris or Frankfurt
Train to the Mosel
Train or bicycle along the Mosel
Train or bicycle down the Rhine until you hit the Pfalz
Train or bicycle across the Pfalz
Train or bicycle down through Alsace until you see the Alps

wine, tick
good food, tick
fine dining, tick
coffee, tick
scenic landscapes, tick
medieval and WWII history, tick
short hikes tick
small fairy-tale-esque towns and villages tick

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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 07:00 AM
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The usual hotel check-in time is 15:00hrs and check-out is 11:00hrs.
What will one night in Hamburg or Bergen give you?
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 07:25 AM
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Wine?
Red or white?
If you like red, the Mosel valley is not for you.

WW2?

In my opinion (after numerous trips to Germany AND France), Germany offers almost nothing about WW2 history. Figures. they lost. Very few Germans that I met would even acknowledge it took place. France, of course, offers Normandy beaches etc. Plus innumerable memorials to WW1.

Your itinerary?
I hope the interiors of your railroad cars are well decorated; you'll be seeing more of them than of Europe.

My suggestion? Spend a full day watching Google videos of places you mentioned above; is village X interesting enough to warrant 3 hours of travel to it, and 3 hours back, versus village Y?
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 07:30 AM
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The Mosel makes some interesting reds, Climate Change.

Even Scandinavia struggles with wine
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 08:13 AM
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At the very least drop Munich and add those days to Paris and Amsterdam, but honestly slow down, this is your honeymoon for heavens sake not some death race through Europe looking at trains and planes and airports.
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 08:36 AM
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Congratulations! You will have a wonderful time.

You have started the right way, listing your options, now it is time to edit.
What are your dream locations? Each of you should name 2 "must dos"
It seems like you need to make a commitment to Scandinavia or southern Germany.
I would still include Paris and Amsterdam in either scenario.
And you need to get rid of the one night stays.

Is this for August 2024? If, so, I would not start in Paris. The Olympics are there until August 11 and accommodations will be triple the normal price, if even still available. There will also be those who stay on after, who will competing for rooms. Restoring Paris back to normal will take awhile. I would visit Paris last, and that should be an easy nonstop back home.

One of your "tells" is fairy-tale-like. It seems like Bavaria and Neuschwanstein castle are what you are envisioning. A first stop might be Munich, and then get a car and drive through southern Germany, then working your way up by train through France. There is a lot of great advice here from others. And it is easy to look at trip reports, to see what captures your heart. But more research into the villages is needed.

You need to start pricing airfare and figuring what are the easiest routes to get there and back, where are you coming from in Canada?

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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 09:03 AM
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A suggestion, ignore the car icon, it is easier to enter multiple destinations in Maps.


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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 01:04 PM
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I missed the August 7 start date. If this is in 2024 you should consider deferring until early September which has the benefits of missing the school summer holidays, the Olympic crowds and possible heat waves that have hit Europe recently in the summer. You could also reverse your itinerary, or substitute someplace like London for Paris.
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by tomboy
Wine?
Red or white?
If you like red, the Mosel valley is not for you.

WW2?

In my opinion (after numerous trips to Germany AND France), Germany offers almost nothing about WW2 history. Figures. they lost. Very few Germans that I met would even acknowledge it took place. France, of course, offers Normandy beaches etc. Plus innumerable memorials to WW1.

Your itinerary?
I hope the interiors of your railroad cars are well decorated; you'll be seeing more of them than of Europe.

My suggestion? Spend a full day watching Google videos of places you mentioned above; is village X interesting enough to warrant 3 hours of travel to it, and 3 hours back, versus village Y?
I respectfully disagree about WWII history in Germany. Every small town has a concentration camp story of some kind. Every city has Stolpersteine (stumble stones, look them up), they are now even in other countries, but they are German. Every kid is taught about it at school - and yes, you have to have sort of a warmer relationship with Germans to talk about WWII, because they think you're going to view them a certain way - in Nuremberg the place where Hitler used to give his speeches; the Sebalduskirche, which was completely rebuilt. In Berlin, the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche. Every building is pockmarked. The rebuilt Berliner Stadtschloss. The Frauenkirche in Dresden. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe. Similar memorials to the Sinti and Roma.I could keep going and never end. So don't think WWII history is not there, it's absolutely everywhere!!!!

Lavandula

Last edited by lavandula; Jan 27th, 2024 at 01:15 PM.
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 01:24 PM
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Welcome to Fodors and congratulations. You have received a TON of helpful feedback. I'll just add a few random comments:

• Somehow this doesn't feel at all 'honeymoon-ish'. Very fast paced and no down time at all. If the trip is immediately after the wedding you will likely be a bit frazzled and will need some decompression time.

• For a lots of WWII sites I'd be looking at France and Belgium/Netherlands (also England for amazing military museums but you don't seem interested in the UK). Normandy, the Ardennes, etc,

• IMO you need quite a bit more time in Paris, and some more time in Amsterdam and nearby towns.

• If you do mean THIS August/Sept -- then definitely move Paris to the very end of the trip to miss the Olympics craziness.

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Old Jan 28th, 2024, 08:17 AM
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Thanks very much, we totally forgot the Olympics were there at that time. We will consider moving Paris to the end of our trip. Unfortunately, we have to do the trip in August because I am a teacher.
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Old Jan 28th, 2024, 08:56 AM
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The Olympics in Paris end on the 11th. August is typically the month in which the city empties out as many people take vacation but that might be different this year. Personally I would save Paris for another trip entirely as so much of your trip is Northern Europe focused. You could postpone Paris for another time and do a trip that would include Normandy which offers WWII beaches and destinations as well as charming villages.

I would fly instead to Amsterdam and you would need more time in Amsterdam that could also include day trips out of Amsterdam to visit Haarlem, the Hague or other destinations.
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Old Jan 28th, 2024, 09:01 AM
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"In my opinion (after numerous trips to Germany AND France), Germany offers almost nothing about WW2 history. Figures. they lost. Very few Germans that I met would even acknowledge it took place."

Given how traumatic the event was there may be some truth in this. I have Germans in my close family and friend circle and there are certainly no denials. I don't think Germans raise it but certainly acknowledge it and having seen groups of German kids crying in the only concentration camp in France, they certainly know it.

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Old Jan 28th, 2024, 09:25 AM
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We visited Penemunde, home of the V2, and they have a fabulous museum, which explains it all and the fact that the space race would have been much slower without it. Accepted their guilt, but pointed out others took advantage of it.
Germans know all about WW2 and live with that collective guilt.
One reason there are not many sites in Germany is because they were the aggressor, and the loser.

Stolpersteine were started by a German artist, Gunter Damnig. We have 45 stoffelstienen, as they are called in Fries, in my town., freshly polished for Holocaust memorial day. They'll get another polish on May 4th.
Some Jews are not happy with them because people walk over them. They are moving to find but most people never even notice them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolperstein

Anyway all this is by the by for this honeymoon.
I still suggest you slow down and concentrate on less places and allow for fun and relaxation, bike rides, walks, people watching, whatever.
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