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Ideas -- London, Barcelona and ?? 16 day trip

Ideas -- London, Barcelona and ?? 16 day trip

Old Jan 13th, 2023, 07:12 PM
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Ideas -- London, Barcelona and ?? 16 day trip

My husband and I will be taking our 2 boys (14 & 16) to Europe for the 1st time on June 1, 2023. We live in California. We are planning a 16 day trip.

We would like to visit London -- thinking either 6 or 7 nights depending if that is where we fly in.
We would also like to visit Barcelona -- thinking 4 nights.

We are trying to think of where else to go in terms of what would be interesting (especially for teens!), and also logistically feasible. Since we are visiting big cities, I don't know if we want to visit another large city. Would love to hear ideas/suggestions.

Last edited by laurarick; Jan 13th, 2023 at 07:15 PM.
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Old Jan 13th, 2023, 07:42 PM
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Is the entire trip 16 days home to home? Or do you really mean 18 days including travel days? Also -- have you already booked the flights in to London and home from Barcelona? If it is 16 days total, that will net 13.5 days free on the ground in Europe. Then most of another day traveling from London to Barcelona. If you plan on a week in London (great idea) just London and Barcelona would be a good division.

You can always do a day trip or 2 out of either city.

On the other hand, if the trip is actually 18 days/16 days on the ground -- then you could fit in a couple of days someplace else.
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Old Jan 13th, 2023, 11:53 PM
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A week is a decent amount of time for a first or even second or third, time visit to London. More than enough to do to keep you all busy. There are also many options for day trips out of the city. Barcelona is a great city too, though very different from London. Again IMO , 4 days there is about right. That takes care of 10/11 days , leaving 5/6 for another location. Another city, say Paris , Rome, Venice, would be an easy option but given that your other two locations are cities, I would consider staying in Spain. When we lived in Spain for a while, we took a few mini road trips using the state run Paradores. Usually in historic buildings, city or countryside they provide a unique insight into Spain, its history and food. There are many options for pre packaged deals/routes which include accommodation, usually with half board some of which will , I am sure , start from Barcelona - see https://paradores.es/en for details. Any way just a thought!
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Old Jan 14th, 2023, 12:26 AM
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Are you by any chance flying out of SFO or LAX? If so you might consider Paris as your third destination since you can fly direct to both LHR and CDG. Simplifies your flights as you can fly SFO/LAX to LHR, LON to BCN, BCN to PAR, CDG to SFO/LAX. Fly open jaw and use more local airlines or discount airlines to fly between Barcelona and Paris and London. Also probably the cheapest for airfares. You can probably do this with Rome as your third destination if flying to/from LAX. You can do day trips out of either London or Barcelona if you only have time for two destinations. If you are willing to drive and rent a car you could spend 5-6 days exploring the countryside somewhere although this requires much more planning.
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Old Jan 14th, 2023, 12:35 AM
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If you do end up in Paris consider the train from Barcelona to Paris please. Europe is trying to cut down on flying and it is of importance to your children's future that you do the same.
London and Barcelona is plenty though. You can take the train from either for days out.
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Old Jan 14th, 2023, 12:39 AM
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it really depends on what you and the kids like to do when not visiting big cities, just up the coast, by rail from Barcelona is Girona https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girona which as well as having a beautiful old centre is a cycling mecca built not just into the town but into the countryside around
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Old Jan 14th, 2023, 04:54 AM
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Another vote for Girona, especially if you and your kids are Game of Thrones fans or keen to cycle. The Dali sites in the area, including Figueres theatre-museum, might also pique your interest.
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Old Jan 14th, 2023, 06:58 AM
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Let me make a recommendation, obviously subject to whatever plans you've already made.

First, London is very intense and can require a steep learning curve. Arriving jetlagged and with an 8-hour time change to overcome, the first few days in London can pass in a haze, complicated by the fact that if your kids are like mine at that age, their body clocks and sleep cycles are quite different from their parents'. So what if you started with someplace a little lower-key and ended in London, after body clocks have been adjusted and coping mechanisms honed - just a little?

Imagine this: Start in Barcelona, or someplace close to it. You might even think about staying in some coastal suburb, like Sitges (known for its popularity with gay couples but still mainly a family destination) where you have many of the best things about Barcelona - art nouveau architecture, Catalan culture, but also a lovely beach, lots of mom-and-pop small hotels, beachfront cafes, fun shopping streets, etc. - it's a very "European" place, but also easily commutable into central Barcelona by train - 40 minutes or so to Sants station. Plus, the cars and buses will be on the same side of the road as home, and it won't be anywhere near as hectic as London.

Anyway regardless of town v. beach, stay a few days in Catalonia, then head to the airport (very close to Sitges) and fly (nonstop) to... Scotland. You're looking for a third destination, and I nominate Edinburgh. British Airways fly a couple of nonstops daily from Barcelona to Edinburgh, for as little as £72 ($88) one way. Why Edinburgh? Because it's a fabulous city for the whole family, including the teens. Castles and palaces, amazing history, terrific in-town and out-of-town hikes... it's got it all, and in the early summer (before the huge festival crowds arrive in August) it's generally affordable and presents a relatively soft landing in Britain.

Spend maybe three days in Scotland's beautiful capital, then board a train and four hours later you're in central London, where you can spend the balance of your vacation. Jetlag won't be an issue, you'll know to look right before crossing a road so you don't get massacred by a big red bus, things like that.

Anyway, just a thought.
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Old Jan 14th, 2023, 07:11 AM
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https://trip101.com/article/airbnb-houseboat-london


Consider this for your stay in London. The location of Regentís canal is good. The boats are interesting. Your boys might enjoy it.
Go to Oxford or Cambridge for a day trip and go punting.
https://www.visitcambridge.org/place...ories/punting/
https://insidersoxford.com/punting-in-oxford/
Sometimes the rivers are filled with kids and families laughing and enjoying the water. You get to see the backs of great buildings, gardens and estates.
What are some interests of your family, in particular, your boys?
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Old Jan 18th, 2023, 08:47 AM
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I would do Paris! You can take the Eurostar train over from London, which could be a fun/different experience for your boys (you get to go under the ocean!) and then Paris has SO many things for families. I bet they'd love the Catacombs, taking a boat tour of the Canal Saint-Martin, seeing the Eiffel Tower. And if you really want to get out into the country, you could do a day trip to the Loire Valley to see some beautiful vineyards or chateaux.
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Old Jan 18th, 2023, 11:33 AM
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under the Channel, ain't no Ocean here
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Old Jan 18th, 2023, 11:58 AM
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Barcelona - Your kids are going to love exploring El Born.

As far as restaurants, get a reservation at Tlaxcal. I understand you are from CA, but Tlaxcal has the best Mexican food I've ever tasted. For context, my daughter is studying abroad in Italy right now and took a weekend jaunt to Barcelona just to get a meal at Tlaxcal.
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Old Feb 1st, 2023, 08:40 AM
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Isn't the channel....still part of the ocean?? @bilboburgler
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Old Feb 2nd, 2023, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2 View Post
If you do end up in Paris consider the train from Barcelona to Paris please. Europe is trying to cut down on flying and it is of importance to your children's future that you do the same..
No it isn't. It will make no difference. What might make a difference is what France did just now: ban all domestic flights within France that trains can accomplish in two hours. That is sensible change. Harassing posters to Fodors is not sensible - - it is nonsense. With billions of passenger boardings each year worldwide, one Fodors poster will NOT make ANY difference - - let's stop this guilt-shaming other people. I'd recommend Nice. It's great and easy for teens, and a completely different flavor for them to enjoy, and an enjoyable train ride (or short flight) from Barcelona.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2023, 01:47 AM
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I am not harassing posters, I am merely offering an alternative to flying. Part of the experience of visiting Europe if nothing else, see something more than just airports and cities.
Every person needs to take less flights, everyone. We have to start somewhere.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2023, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Fleur_de_Lis View Post
Isn't the channel....still part of the ocean?? @bilboburgler
no, but I guess, at the end of the day does it matter, just a bit confusing, when you use the wrong term. I guess we all use the wrong term many times and it just slows down communication, and as we get older some words drop out of the memory, so chill
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Old Feb 2nd, 2023, 03:22 AM
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"harassing".... interesting,,,, heti is just offering another idea that might offer better holiday conditions and allow adults to face up to Climate Change. Just turning your back on basic science and refusing to think of alternatives is not really acceptable and for us as sensible commentators it is right to offer different thinking

"guilt shaming" please offer your alternatives but telling other people how to offer advice is not moving us forward

"With billions of passenger boardings each year worldwide, one Fodors poster will NOT make ANY difference", I think many of us would like to move the number of flights down, that starts by reducing one flight from a multiple flight holiay, then another, then people start to think about it more. So I disagree, one Fodor poster making an effort is the first step in improving things
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Old Feb 2nd, 2023, 03:53 AM
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I think starting in London first makes good sense for a first trip as there is enough to adjust to without also dealing with a new language. I love Paris and it is easy to get to from London but, if you want a place that is not a city, you could consider Switzerland. One of my favorite places is the Lauterbrunnen Valley. You can go on hikes, take funiculars and trains up to the tops of the Alps, enjoy beautiful scenery and visit the Trummelbach Falls. The only negative about the valley is it would take some time to get to from London.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2023, 05:22 AM
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With teenagers I would do two locations and day trips.

Settle into an apartment rental to allow space to relax.

There are great day trips of all sorts from London and Barcelona

https://fullsuitcase.com/day-trips-a...s-from-london/

https://www.lelongweekend.com/16-bes...rcelona-spain/
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Old Feb 3rd, 2023, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
"harassing".... interesting,,,, heti is just offering another idea that might offer better holiday conditions and allow adults to face up to Climate Change.
Imploring and casting fear and guilt is different than the "offering another idea", made worse by how senseless the effort is.


<<<<<<< Just turning your back on basic science and refusing to think of alternatives is not really acceptable and for us as sensible commentators it is right to offer different thinking

I have a Masters of Science degree, which included years of study in advanced statistics. The idea that one person might not take a flight, then maybe another would not take a flight, would at the very least take hundreds of centuries to have any effect, except that even that won't happen - - it's not "science" it's sentimental folly. And it just makes life miserable for posters on the forum who would like to enjoy their vacation.
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