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One month in a European city.

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Oct 13th, 2012, 08:01 AM
  #1
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One month in a European city.

We are planning on spending a month in a European city in an apartment next year. It would be great to have some suggestions of where. Where would you spend a whole month and why there? We would plan on several daytrips out of the city as well. Considering both big and smaller cities.
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Oct 13th, 2012, 08:09 AM
  #2
 
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My choice would be Paris. There is just so much to do in that city and there are also many day trips possible.
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Oct 13th, 2012, 08:10 AM
  #3
 
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Paris. There is plenty to see/do plus there are good side trips available - Chartres, Mt. St. Michel, Versailles, Fontainbleu, plus, plus, plus.
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Oct 13th, 2012, 08:14 AM
  #4
 
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hi auleen - what a great idea and opportunity.

i think that were it me, I'd be thinking about the time of year that i was going to do this, and connections to other places I'd like to see. also costs, though for a month i doubt that these will vary significantly.

Also, do you want to live in the centre of this place or in the suburbs? the efficiency and cost of the city transport will matter if you are planning to live in the 'burbs.

i would also be looking for a place where I was likely to find plenty to do for a month - which limits the no of places to pretty big ones.

in no particular order, i would look at

1. Paris - a terrific local transport system, and very good communications to the rest of france and Europe. no shortage of things to do in the city itself either. could be a bit costly.

2. Rome. Very walkable, and an ok local transport system. good train links to the rest of italy but not so easy to leave Italy.

3. Florence. Again very walkable if you stayed within walking distance of SMN station, you could easily visit many places within Italy by train. again, access to places outside italy not great unless you fly.

4. Venice - see Florence.

5. Berlin - a great city with loads to see and do, and access to many fascinating places in what was East Germany and "Eastern Europe" too.

6. London - loads to see and do but expensive, and access to the rest of europe not great, except via eurostar. good train access to the rest of the UK but that can be expensive unless booked well in advance.

hope this helps - good luck!
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Oct 13th, 2012, 08:21 AM
  #5
 
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Here is a list of day trips from Paris:

Provins (an authentic walled medieval town): http://www.provins.net/

Château of Chantilly (wonderful fairytale château, famous art collection): http://www.chateaudechantilly.com/fr/
http://www.chantilly-tourisme.com/

Senlis (small medieval town can be combined with a visit to Chantilly):
http://www.senlis-tourisme.fr/accueil-senlis.php

Reims (champagne tours, great historic cathedral, museums):
http://www.reims-tourisme.com/

Epernay (champagne tours): http://www.ot-epernay.fr/

Fontainebleau (former royal town with famous château):
http://www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr/
http://www.fontainebleau-tourisme.com/
http://www.uk.fontainebleau-tourisme.com/

Versailles (obvious):
http://www.chateauversailles.fr/homepage
http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/

Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte (the château after which Louis XIV based his garden renovations for Versailles and IMO one of the most elegant château in France):
http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/
http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/vi...aires_plan.php

Rouen (small city, lots to do, wonderful cathedral, medieval old center): http://www.rouentourisme.com/

Giverny (Monet's house and gardens):
http://www.fondation-monet.fr/fr/
http://giverny.org/giverny/giverny.htm
http://www.vernon-visite.org/rgb4/who_we_are.htm

Chartres (the famous cathedral and wonderful old medieval town):
http://www.chartres-tourisme.com/

Compiègne (château with museums, wonderful old town. Can be combined with a visit to the château of Pierrefonds): http://www.compiegne-tourisme.fr/

Château of Pierrefonds (Magnificent fairytale looking château. Reconstructed in the 19th century but magnificent nonetheless. Can be combined with a visit to Compiègne):
http://www.pierrefonds.monuments-nationaux.fr/
http://pierrefonds-tourisme.net/ot/Bienvenue.html
http://www.compiegne-tourisme.fr/Le-...errefonds.html

Troyes (lovely small medieval city):
http://www.tourisme-troyes.com/

Laon (medieval hilltop town with a spectacular cathedral): http://www.tourisme-paysdelaon.com/

Crécy-la-Chapelle (small charming renowned artists village):
http://www.cc-payscrecois.fr/Crecy-la-Chapelle,203.html

Moret-sur-Loing (charming walled medieval village/artists village):
http://www.ville-moret-sur-loing.fr/rubrique.php?id=189
http://www.msl-tourisme.fr/index.php/francais/accueil

Auvers-sur-Oise (Van Gogh and other impressionist art history):
http://www.auvers-sur-oise.com/heading/heading899.html

Malmaison (château of the Empress Josephine and a nice old downtown. On the RER A line and could be combined with a visit to Saint-Germain-en-Laye):
http://www.chateau-malmaison.fr/
http://www.rueil-tourisme.com/

Saint-Germain-en-Laye (former royal town with a wonderful château now home to the national museum of archaeology. On the RER A line and could be combined with a visit to Malmaison):
http://www.ot-saintgermainenlaye.fr/en/
http://www.saintgermainenlaye.fr/en/...ulture/musees/

Barbizon (famous artists village, can be combined with Fontainebleau):
http://www.barbizon-tourisme.fr/
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Oct 13th, 2012, 08:21 AM
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Verona !
Access to so much via rails---Venice, Dolomites, Lake Garda,
Milan etc.
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Oct 13th, 2012, 08:33 AM
  #7
 
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I'd look:

- Rome
- Florence
- Venice
- Paris
- Berlin
- Vienna

Also depends on your interest. If you're not into art, then forget Florence
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Oct 13th, 2012, 09:37 AM
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What about Amsterdam? Easy to survive without a local language, since everyone speaks English. Close to other European countries.
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Oct 13th, 2012, 01:27 PM
  #9
 
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To add to Randy, try to go when the horses are racing at the Chateu de Chantilly.

Once, with a friend, we took a day trip from Paris to Lyon. Had a fabulous lunch, toured to city, and even had a marching band assembled for us (joke on the truth).

It's a simple trip on the TGV.
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Oct 13th, 2012, 03:19 PM
  #10
 
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I'd chose somewhere with a harbour so the evenings are filled with boats and water movement. Based on that I'd look at Venice, Paris, London, Hamburg
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Oct 13th, 2012, 03:35 PM
  #11
 
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I see that you already spent substantial time in Amsterdam. I guess it might be out of the rotation.
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Oct 14th, 2012, 01:39 PM
  #12
 
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Chania or Rethymnon on Crete,Greece because they are very scenic and bus is fine to explore some smaller towns, you may take side trips with a couple of overnights here and there, and you'll be able to explore in depth one part of Crete in a month.
Nafplion on mainland Greece because it is scenic, makes a great base to explore near by ancient sites, to take a boat to Spetses or Hydra or to visit smaller rural towns. Great blen of locals, Greek visitors and foreign visitors.

Cork or Galway in Ireland because their local population features a unique mentality, very comfortable and cheerful, they retain a local feeling and a cosmopolitan aspect in a way (those two cities host many nationalities' students) and make for a great base to explore many spots of interest and other areas of Ireland on train or bus.
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Oct 15th, 2012, 02:28 PM
  #13
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Gosh, thanks to you all! Paris sure is a popular destination! Randy, your links for daytrips are impressive. I would go back to Paris in a minute but my husband would prefer to go someplace we have not been to 3 times. Aw, shucks! However, there were some great ideas offered for other places--we have a lot of research to do! Right now we are considering Prague since we loved it when visiting a few years ago but did not take any daytrips. Anyone have suggestions about Prague and daytrips? Perhaps a good recommendation for an apartment? Thanks all!
auleen is offline  
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Oct 15th, 2012, 02:49 PM
  #14
 
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nah...Paris is overrated.

How about Madrid or Florence. Those cities have abundance of day-trips as well
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Oct 15th, 2012, 04:01 PM
  #15
 
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Lisbon, Dijon, Istanbul or Amsterdam, so many choices!.
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Oct 15th, 2012, 09:58 PM
  #16
 
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DH says London (only because we both love theatre), Istanbul (know it is not European) or Venice.
I would choose Venice followed by Istanbul or Granada, Spain.
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Oct 15th, 2012, 10:23 PM
  #17
 
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We have spent a couple of months in Venice, on two occasions. Click on my name to see what we thought of it - there are a couple of trip reports

We’re going back there next March for another two months – indicating that we rather like it there.
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Oct 18th, 2012, 04:55 AM
  #18
 
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I've spent about 3 months total in Prague, 2 months of that essentially as a tourist and 1 month studying, and I found plenty to amuse me.

I didn't take too many daytrips, just to Kutna Hora to see the bone church (pictures on my blog here http://gwannelsandiego.blogspot.fr/2...utna-hora.html ) and Cesky Krumlov (overnight, but it might be doable in a day I suppose). There's actually a lot within striking distance that I didn't see e.g. spa towns like Karlovy Vary, Konopiste and Karlstein castles, the town of Olomouc, the Terezin concentration camp memorial etc. You could also take short trips to places like Vienna, Bratislava, Dresden, Berlin. I did a weekend trip to Krakow from Prague as well.

Vinohrady is quite a popular area for expats to live - it's close enough to the centre, but you're away from most of the tourists, stag parties, Irish bars etc.
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Oct 18th, 2012, 05:55 AM
  #19
 
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Bookmarking for ideas from Randy's list.
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