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Need ideas for cities in which to "live like a local" for 2-4 weeks

Need ideas for cities in which to "live like a local" for 2-4 weeks

Old May 23rd, 2023, 09:30 PM
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I think the OP may have cast too big a net by tagging 9 countries. Suggetions will continue to be all over the place with no real comparisons possible.
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Old May 24th, 2023, 06:05 AM
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Don't worry about me, Kerouac. I am learning about so many places to visit that I've never considered before. We are relatively well traveled as far as western Europe is concerned, so I love learning cities that I have never really considered.
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Old May 24th, 2023, 06:52 AM
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For the last 20 years (well until covid) my husband and I have left Toronto for the winter and rented apartments in (mostly) small/medium size towns for periods ranging from two weeks to two months (depending upon other travel)

In Europe, we stayed for extended periods in

- Paris, Barcelona, Rome (I include these because off season rates made them possible)
- Lucca, Italy - spent a wonderful month there. Lots of opportunities for day trips with or without a car; great walking on the walls
- Dubrovnik - off season it's fantastic
- Venice - same!
- Sardinia - Cagliari is a gem - history and great food
- Altea, Valencia, Malaga (3 times), Sevilla (twice) -- Spain has been our default and there are many great small/medium cities perfect for extended stays

On our list for future longer stays are cities we've enjoyed for 5 nights or so

- Ljubljana
- Krakow
- Istanbul
- Nice (and area - love Biot)




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Old May 24th, 2023, 06:56 AM
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My interest in Spain is pretty high. I've only been to Barcelona - never to the south. What would be a good base both for day to day living and convenient to rail (for day trips without a car)?
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Old May 24th, 2023, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by realgirl58
My interest in Spain is pretty high. I've only been to Barcelona - never to the south. What would be a good base both for day to day living and convenient to rail (for day trips without a car)?
We love Malaga (staying in the historic centre) - it has excellent train and bus connections. Valencia as well although the winter weather is a bit worse. We were in Malaga this year mid January for 4 weeks - sat outside for most lunches. Very sunny too.
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Old May 24th, 2023, 07:22 AM
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Woah... you need to take a step back and ask yourself which languages you'd like to learn because you'll be needing a few words of the local language if you plan on staying four weeks. If you don't want to learn a language, you might consider an English-speaking country. You'll find your way quicker around.

Just a thought.
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Old May 24th, 2023, 07:30 AM
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We've been fine in the past as long as the alphabet is the same.

I am terrible at languages...I know that about myself, but that doesn't mean I am going to limit my travel. There are great translation tools out there. I used to be fluent in ASL, so I can do a pretty decent job with gestures. I am also super polite and nice to others (seriously), so folks tend to be patient with my attempts at communication. Yes, we have ended up with some surprises as far as food we've ordered, but not a big deal.
And if someone is rude or not tolerant with my very broken (fill in the language), that's their right also...I am visiting their country.
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Old May 24th, 2023, 07:45 AM
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Ok. Happy location hunting!
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Old May 25th, 2023, 04:12 AM
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Even with different alphabets, Pimsleur discs from the library and duolingo made me more comfortable with both Greek and Hebrew.
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Old May 25th, 2023, 05:39 AM
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Stokebailey, I admire your brain. I am definitely a visual learner. I can listen to language CDs for months and my retention rate is almost zero. I need to visualize the words.
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Old May 25th, 2023, 10:15 AM
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First thing that came to mind was Berne, Switzerland. We spent a day passing through and said, "THIS is a place to kickaround in for a few weeks." Great views, great transportation, beautiful river, art.

As to learning languages--my girls and I did really well using Pimsleur. Every time we stepped into a car we fired up a disc.
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Old May 25th, 2023, 12:03 PM
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I was going to respond with "But Switzerland is so expensive..." but when I looked at airbnb, the price were about the same as for other locations I have considered.
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Old May 25th, 2023, 01:09 PM
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My wife and I are thinking of spending a month or so in or around Naples. There are so many ancient sites in the area beyond Pompeii and Herculaneum. You're close to the Amalfi Coast, Capri and Ischia for getaways and hiking. Naples has art and archaeology museums and great food, including of course its famous pizza. We know only a few words and phrases in Italian but have gotten by in the past.
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Old May 25th, 2023, 01:13 PM
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We were just in Sorrento for a few days. Very relaxing atmosphere. One day in Naples was enough for me (although the food was terrific.)
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Old May 25th, 2023, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by realgirl58
I posted a very similar question with respect to Italy, but please indulge me.

When we retire, my husband and I would like to visit a few western European cities and "live like a local" for 2-4 weeks at a time. We love museums, old churches, shopping, good food and wine, and hiking. We are in good shape. Our foreign language skills are not great. H can get by in German and I can get by (badly) in Spanish.

We would love a location where there is plenty to do and see, in the town and/or via convenient rail service. Huge crowds are a negative but we don't need to be in a tranquil space. It would be great if the city was not insanely expensive.

Your ideas would be most welcome.
I'll second the Goettingen recommendation. I loved the feel of that city and the farmers markets are exceptional! I particularly loved the Wokhenmarkt (https://wochenmarkt-goettingen.de/). You'll get to meet some amazing locals there. I also had a lovely time in Bruchsal as it was easy to get around by foot/bike. Both Goettingen and Bruchsal are very handy to the rail service. I didn't find either of these places too expensive as they're not too touristy.
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Old May 25th, 2023, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by realgirl58
We've been fine in the past as long as the alphabet is the same.

I am terrible at languages...I know that about myself, but that doesn't mean I am going to limit my travel. There are great translation tools out there. I used to be fluent in ASL, so I can do a pretty decent job with gestures. I am also super polite and nice to others (seriously), so folks tend to be patient with my attempts at communication. Yes, we have ended up with some surprises as far as food we've ordered, but not a big deal.
And if someone is rude or not tolerant with my very broken (fill in the language), that's their right also...I am visiting their country.
You might want to look into an Ambassador, from Waverly Labs https://www.waverlylabs.com/ambassador
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Old May 26th, 2023, 01:08 PM
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We're in France now. Here's how we lived somewhat like locals recently.

went to a PYO strawberry place
joined the hordes shopping at the Leclerc, the biggest one we’ve ever been in
checked out the women’s clothing at a friperie
ate lunch at a restaurant where lots of customers were regulars. The hostess was the sole server and handled 40 customers speedily
walked along the river with dozens of bikers, joggers, walkers, and a few dogs
shopped at the boulangerie
got money from the ATM
took a nap

yesterday we got in a traffic jam caused by a bike race and a driver coming the other way berated us (among others)
joined the after work crowd for a drink along the river. For some of us, “after work” is measured in years, not hours
went to the Thursday market and bought strawberries from our local favorite vendor
considered (okay, dreamed of) applying for a job at the local chocolate company, which is recruiting
we recycled
encountered a protest and talked to one of the organizers to learn if they were picketing the site itself (they weren’t so we went in)
bought perennials

Sadly, I realize that if we lived here we wouldn’t be going to a restaurant every other day. But on the upside, we'd be buying perennials for our own garden.
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Old May 26th, 2023, 02:59 PM
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'For some of us, “after work” is measured in years, not hours.'
Coq--outstanding!
You are required to post a TR at some point that continues this interesting way of presenting les words.

I am done. the strawbs
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Old May 28th, 2023, 08:23 AM
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Someone looking for a possible retirement location with good train service would be better off searching the more central European locations rather than places like Croatia or Portugal. They are lovely but only if you want to spend almost all of your time in that area. Europe is not as tiny as a lot of people seem to think it is.
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Old May 30th, 2023, 09:41 AM
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I offer the region around Berlin for consideration, e.g. a Berlin village like Zehlendorf, a well-heeled "kiez" with its own main street and market place,lively, good restaurants, yet on the U3 or U1 you can be in the centre of Berlin within 40 minutes. As a village, Zehlendorf is near the beautiful nature area along the Havel with its lakes and walking and biking trails.
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