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london, belgium, amsterdam august or december - help?

london, belgium, amsterdam august or december - help?

Jul 12th, 2004, 09:32 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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london, belgium, amsterdam august or december - help?

Tickets cost about the same ($100 difference). have to book today though for the august trip. I know the winter will be cold, rainy and very few daylight hours. However there will be less tourists, cheaper prices for hotels etc.

So, August or December?
lexluther is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 09:35 AM
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Hotels in December aren't cheaper if they coincide with Christmas or new year!

You say there will be less tourists, so what - it's cold, wet windy and unless you have a bad weather fetish then stick with the summer.

August is a great time to see these places, I'd always always always choose the summer!
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 10:54 AM
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mkingdom, good point we actually would be going over christmas new years so I guess price would be the same.

1 vote for august anyone else?
lexluther is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 11:05 AM
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I haven't found that European hotels vary their prices based on season as much as we do in the U.S.

However, we found London and Amsterdam to be charming in late Nov a few years back. Cold, but charming. Ducking into a pub or brown cafe is all the more pleasurable when it's 0 degrees C outside.
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 11:08 AM
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Another vote for August. Belgium & the Netherlands can be very sad in december due to the (usually) bad weather.
MyriamC is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 11:37 AM
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Why does the weather matter?

If you're planning on going horseracing, I could understand. But there's no other activity available in these cities in both August and December whose enjoyment depends on the weather. Or the hours of daylight.

Real cities are different (and IMHO infinitely better) when the tourists have gone home and the inhabitants have come back from their holidays.

While there's a great deal of debate about whether the adjective "real" can be attached to Brussels, there's absolutely no question that London and Amsterdam exist for the convenience of their residents. In December, the plays opera and concerts are better, there are more public lectures, and the whole northern European pre-Christmas thing has started.

But, of course, both cities are a great deal more crowded in Decembder

Mosd importantly, London and Amsterdam were built to cope with northern European winters. They aren't built to cope with the summers of the global warming era. Right now, we're having a proper old-fashioned summer, so it doesn't matter. But weather in both cities is always unpredictable. And if, in August, we get one of these horrible new-fangled hot summers again, practically anywhere in the world is less unpleasant than London.
flanneruk is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 11:43 AM
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Sunshine enlivens the mood of one's holiday. I live in London, and there is nothing nicer than sitting on the terrace of some bar or restaurant. Harry's bar has my favourite terrace - wonderful to enjoy it with the sun setting around 10PM. Winter in London is just depressingly short with hours of sunshine, cold and wet. It's much more fun in the summer when the days are long and the weather isn't usually so bad.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 01:30 PM
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While it's true the days are short, the weather cold and damp and there are few opportunities to sit in cafes and people watch, the absence of large crowds coupled with no hassle restaurant reservations make December the choice for me.
usbeauty is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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I fully agree with m_kingdom2. I live in Belgium and I really hate the cold, humid and grey winter months ... which, by the way, we're having right now in the middle of July!
MyriamC is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 06:12 PM
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Hi Myriam,
Interesting point. But if you don't live in Belgium, or the UK - if one lives in California for example - maybe it's not so bad?
usbeauty is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 01:10 AM
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MyriamC, since last summer was too hot and this summer is too cold, maybe NEXT summer will be just right!

Lexluther, what's your preference? Does traveling in hot weather relax you or do you find it exhausting? (Admittedly, it hasn't been what you would call hot this summer). Does cold weather invigorate you or make you miserable? Do you mind piling on the layers? Can you thumb through a guidebook with gloves on?
We like traveling in cold weather...and sometimes places in winter can have a special beauty they don't have in summer. I remember walking through Brugge one December evening, admiring the stores decorated for Christmas, watching the snow come down, listening to the music from performers at the Christmas market. Magical. And I had a great time in Vienna in March even though it snowed almost every day (actually, that was one of the things I liked most).
When in December? If you're traveling over the holidays, you have to accept that many places will be closed, at least for Christmas and NYD. If you plan to travel in early to mid-December, everything should be open and buzzing with a holiday vibe.
In general, we've found Brugge to be more crowded in August than in December.
FWIW, in my experience, November is the worst month to travel in Belgium. Sleet, wind, wet chilly days. By December, things settle down a bit.
BTilke is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 03:58 AM
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I just came back from Amsterdam yesterday and the weather was considered "cool" for summer, probably between 50s and 60s. It rained almost every day last week.

I'm also considering to return to Amsterdam for a week between Christmas and New Year's but now not sure if it would be too cold.

h2babe is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 04:12 AM
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I have been to Europe the past 2 years in November. It was a little cold but nothing that was not manageable. And yes, there is a certain "ambience" to having a warm cup of coffee when it is drizzling outside.

I am used to heat, we live in Florida. But the weather in December in Belgium is even colder than my 2 previous trips. 7 degrees high and 0 degrees low. That seems pretty cold!
lexluther is offline  

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