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Please Help- Last minute change Need a place to add to our trip for 3 days in Europe

Please Help- Last minute change Need a place to add to our trip for 3 days in Europe

Old May 23rd, 2022, 03:17 PM
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Please Help- Last minute change Need a place to add to our trip for 3 days in Europe

Hello everyone,

I need your help asap pleaseee
Due to certain circumstances our original itinerary has changed last minute.
I need to book something for our last 3 days TONIGHT.

In July we will be visiting in Germany for 4 days and Geneva, Switzerland for 5 days and we have 3 days on our return home.

I should mention:

1. We have only been to Europe once and will probably not have the opportunity to go for many years if that.

2. We would like to see an iconic city with history culture and very good food.

3. My son 15 yo, he is a soccer fan and will be studying European history next year.

4. We are looking for something that is either less than a 5 hour train ride or a less than a 2 hour flight from Switzerland.

5. We were excited about Florence or Rome for 3 days but my family just told us that is excessively hot right now and they think it will be really hot in July.

6. We live in a Cold Climate and arent’ that heat tolerant, but at the same time, we can only travel in the summer anyways.

7. My family says we should consider Austria but we thought it’s probably similar to Germany and Switzerland and were hoping for something iconic that is a little different than Switzerland, and Germany.

8. I have been to Rome for 1 day and saw the Vatican and Colosseum, and want to show them to my son but I’m not sure he will be able to handle the crowd and heat of the Vatican. Also I loved Tuscany and wanted to explore it more, but I feel like I should show my son Rome, especially because he just read Julius Ceasar.
Austria ? Amsterdam ? Belgium, Rome, Florence, France ?

Please Please Help, as I do not have any time to research right now with overwhelming obligations, and the prices are sooo expensive now. I would like to at least book the fligths tonight. Thanks so much in Advance. Any information would be helpful. Thank you.
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 03:32 PM
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You fly into what city & home from what city? Also, time is more accurately counted by nights, so how many nights will you sleep in Germany & where? And how many nights will you sleep in Switzerland & where? Where you'll be on your last night in Switzerland will also effect any suggestions, for ease of travel to the 3rd location.
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 06:01 PM
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No real practical advice. I wish, but there is no clear cut answer.
I have been following your other thread and was going to respond, but this seems to indicate that it is decided that time will be at the end of the trip and for only three days. This is important! Exactly how do those three days play out? Three full days, excluding travel to another city from Geneva and excluding day of departure for home, or including travel days? Do you have to return to Geneva or Frankfurt or doing multi-city tickets?
I was hoping my DD, who goes to Vienna every year, was recently in Amsterdam and lived in Switzerland, would get back to me with current advice, but I did not get through to her.
There are so many posters here with experience, but also all with differing opinions. There are practical considerations and personal, gut feelings. You have indicated the possibility of never getting to Europe again.
1. Is there one place you would regret never seeing?
2. Your son is young and will have years to travel on his own. What would you most like to share with him?
3. Florence is not only hot, but geographically in kind of a bowl, so even if the temperature is the same as Rome, it can seem worse, so between those two, Rome easily wins.

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Old May 23rd, 2022, 06:13 PM
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Yes, do tell whether it's 3 days (4 nights) or 3 days including travel (which would mean, in reality, less than 3 days). If you must return to Geneva for the flight home, I wouldn't be taking 5-hour train rides. If you can fly home from another city, your list of options is long and varied. If high temps are a deal-breaker, the list gets much shorter.

Keep in mind that any big city you can easily and quickly fly to from Geneva is going to be crowded.

Keep in mind that although this may be your last trip to Europe for many years, it is likely not your son's one and only chance.

My suggestions would include Prague, Paris, Amsterdam, London... Three days won't go far in any of these cities, but perhaps goes the farthest in Prague. In Amsterdam, tickets for the Anne Frank House in July won't be available for purchase until June 7th.
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 06:51 PM
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No real practical advice. I wish, but there is no clear cut best answer.
I have been following your other thread and was going to respond, but this seems to indicate that it is decided that time will be at the end of the trip and for only three days. This is important! Exactly how do those three days play out? Three full days, excluding travel to another city from Geneva and excluding day of departure for home, or including travel days? Do you have to return to Geneva or Frankfurt or are you doing multi-city tickets?

There are so many posters here with experience, but also all with differing opinions. There are practical considerations and personal, gut feelings. You have indicated the possibility of never getting to Europe again. That kind of pressure makes it harder because I loved Amsterdam and Vienna when we used to go there, and chose to visit both before ever going to Rome. We have family connections with Vienna and went to Amsterdam for the Anne Frank House, The Van Gogh Museum, and connections with all the artists from The Netherlands, as well as gardens, but Rome is Rome.

1. Is there one place you would regret never seeing?
2. Your son is young and will have years to travel on his own. What would you most like to share with him?
3. Florence is not only hot, but geographically in kind of a bowl, so even if the temperature is the same as Rome, it can seem worse, so between those two, Rome easily wins.

My DD, who goes to Vienna every year, was recently in Amsterdam and lived for years in Switzerland, Germany and Ireland, got back to me with her observations.
Vienna is beautiful and elegant, cooler, and also quieter than other options, more like Germany and Switzerland, a good thing, in her opinion, and she goes every chance she gets. (Unlike me, she is not a big fan of Spain or Italy.)
For closer options, she suggested Salzburg or Strasbourg.
However, she thought it would be great for you to choose a place with a more different culture and language like Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is super busy and crowded in Summer, but absolutely amazing museums, interesting architecture, good food, nice walking places, lovely small towns nearby, much cooler.
Rome is busy, crowded and hot, but in the end, the ultimate city for history, art, food and great beauty.

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Old May 23rd, 2022, 06:53 PM
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I think you have been to London and Paris? If not, either would be as good a choice as Rome for a few days, though London would win for trip with a teen.
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 07:15 PM
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My money would be on Paris. If you get the right train, you can be in Paris in less than 3.5 hours - for example on July 15th, there is 10:29 departure that arrives in Paris at 13:47. There are other options that are similar, and a couple more around 4 hours. Even in the most pessimistic situation (you have back in Geneva by the end of your third day), That still gives you 1 whole day plus a few hours out of two more. And as far as iconic cities go...

Glen

While there are no guarantees, Paris is on average about 5 degree cooler than Rome in July.
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 07:32 PM
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Thank youuuuuuu soooo much for this advice. I will answer the questions to clarify..

We have 3 full days not including travel from Geneva, Switzerland.

So One day is for travel from Geneva, 3 full days at the location and then traveling home on day 5.
We live in upstate New York, in a town that has no hub airport. Yes I would be doing a Multi City so we would be returning from Rome or Florence or the selected destination. Do not have to backtrack.

Yes, we have spent 3 days in Paris and 3 days in London before, so I wanted to show my son something we haven't seen.
Honestly I had made a travel bucket list when I was 14 years old and have always dreamed of traveling, but family circumstances and other circumstances didn't allow it. Knowing that I may not return makes it harder. Please let me know if you have suggestions based on the info above. Thanks sooo much. Really appreciate it.
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 07:46 PM
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Sassafrass Thank you sooo much. I felt like it needed a new thread now that we know we have 3 days at the end of the trip , funny your daughter said this, my cousin said the same exact thing. The only thing is that Austria is lower on our bucket list, and I don't know much about Amsterdam, but if it's going to be as busy and hot as Italy or Spain. We might as well go there? What your daughter said is exactly what I was thinking. We wanted something different compared to Germany and Switzerland.
I am usually not a fan of hot crowded places, we all get claustrophobic as we live in the country pretty much. But, we have to suck it up I think to see these iconic cities. I can suck it up but my son and husband have a lot of trouble. Also I forgot to say I have some mobility issues due to injuries.

Sassafrass - Do you mean Florence is lower ? Florence is not only hot, but geographically in kind of a bowl, so even if the temperature is the same as Rome, it can seem worse, so between those two, Rome easily wins.

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Old May 23rd, 2022, 07:49 PM
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glenmd We have been to Paris for 3 days, and I wanted to show him something different. What other options do you suggest? (I clarified the details of our itinerary above) please let me know.. thanks so much
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 07:54 PM
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Thank you Jean, I clarified below just now.. We weren't concerned about high temps, but my family there is saying that they had temps in the 90's today and it will only get worse in July. you're right - it will not be my son's last trip.. Hopefully he has my travel bug. I just have trouble thinking of myself in general. I saw Rome and Florence for a few hours when we were on a cruise (with my mom). As the bus was driving throughout tuscany, I loved the landscape so much. We were taken to a medieval village and given lunch at a farm. That was my favorite part of the trip, but it was in January and very pleasant weather for us. I am not sure if it would be as enjoyable in hot humid weather... because I don't have the experience with it. But I know my son and husband pant when it's in the 80's .. lol However, I had a talk with them and they think they maybe able to do it. .so I wouldn't say it's a deal breaker yet.. but do you have suggestions for either way? ex. if it was a deal breaker? We have 1 day to travel from Geneva, 3 full days there and 1 day coming back and we would do Multi city, so fly back from that particular city. That is why I'm in such a rush.. prices go up every day. please let me know thanks so much
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 08:17 PM
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Amsterdam would work well, but honestly London would be my number one recommendation. You've spent 3 days there . . . but three days is absolutely nothing for London. Plus there is the advantage that you have had a teensy taste of the city so you wouldn't have a major learning curve re neighborhoods, sites, transport/tube/general logistics, etc. which would make your short 3 days easier/'stretch farther'.
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 08:24 PM
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Amsterdam itself will be busy and streets, where many people bike rather than drive, will be crowded. It will certainly be much cooler than Rome in July. Rome is usually around a high or 89, Amsterdam is usually a high of 71, so huge difference.
Florence is low land, along the Arno River (huge floods in the past), surrounded by Hills, so when humidity comes in Summer, it settles down with no breezes to stir it out. I call it soupy. Rome is set on hills, so you do get breezes.

DH and I are talking about your dilemma and your options. We have been to both Florence and Rome in July, and both of us would go to Rome again then, if that was the only time to go. DH keeps saying to tell you Rome. So, I posed this question. With heat, crowds, noise, etc., etc. and if your spouse does not deal well with heat and crowds, would you still choose say Rome. He emphatically and unequivocally said, “Yes, Yes, Yes.” He then continued to give all his reasons. He added that he would not have regretted missing most places, but not seeing Rome and Paris would have been his biggest regret. Personal feeling though.
* * * * * *
Well, just went back and noticed your enjoyment of the medieval village and farm lunch. Sorry to say, Rome is completely opposite of that! Worried now that you will all absolutely hate it. I have been no help. Hope someone else is.

Last edited by Sassafrass; May 23rd, 2022 at 08:40 PM. Reason: More ideas.
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 08:28 PM
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Well, Copenhagen is another option, about exactly a two hour flight from Geneva.

It does sound like you want to get to Rome though. I can't stop it from being hot there, but I can make a couple of points:

1. Virtually every hotel in Rome will have A/C (by all means confirm before you book though!) Also, all the museums and galleries are also going to be climate controlled, just to protect the art, The big issue is if you want to see the Coliseum, the Roman Forum and other outdoor sites.
2. There are 2 hour tours, run by the Vatican Museum, that offer early access to the museum. They are not cheap (about 63 Euro each), but being in the Sistine Chapel with only a 20 people or so in the room (not entirely sure how it works, so my estimate of how may be off.) If I ever get back to Rome, this is how I am visiting the Vatican Museum.

MuseiVA (museivaticani.va)

Edited to add: One of the early access tours is called Prime Experience, the other is called Prime Experience - VIP. I have no idea what the VIP tour guide that the regular guide doesn't, but it 320 Euros for his/her services. My guess is skip it and save a pile of money.

Glen

Last edited by glenmd; May 23rd, 2022 at 08:33 PM.
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Old May 24th, 2022, 04:39 AM
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I live in North Carolina, which is extremely hot and humid in the summer. It is bearable because everywhere has AC, including my car, but sightseeing can be miserable. I visited Rome in late June and it wasn't too bad, but it was nearly twenty years ago and the climate has changed. I would not consider visiting in July, and certainly not with people who want to avoid heat. In July I would go up or north. I agree that London should work, but it, too, can be really hot these days. July is a great time to go to Scotland or the Nordic countries. I would suggest Edinburgh, with a day trip with Rabbies, or Stockholm, with a day trip to one of the islands. It was my favorite of the Nordic capitals and there is plenty to do.
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Old May 24th, 2022, 04:55 AM
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Another vote for Rome. Yes, itíll be hot, but find a hotel with aircon, and after all, itís only three days. Leave as early as you can in the mornings to visit sites, come back to the hotel for the hottest part of the day, then step out again late afternoon when it starts to cool down. Gelato stops with help your son deal with the heat!
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Old May 24th, 2022, 07:40 AM
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Prague... if you can find a reasonable way home from there.
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Old May 24th, 2022, 07:44 AM
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I personally wouldn't take the "Not to worry, things are air conditioned." A/C in most of Europe is typically not the icy forced air that most Americans are used to. Now, some museums/galleries can be quite chilly but public transport will be dreadfully hot/stuffy. And many hotels have really weak cooling systems. A/C in name only . . .

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Old May 24th, 2022, 07:58 AM
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There was one hotel I was looking at in Berlin that didn't run their AC at night.... Ceiling fans don't seem to have made over there yet, either.
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Old May 24th, 2022, 08:17 AM
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We loved Amsterdam.
Or what about Ireland, Vienna, Budapest, Dubrovnik, Nice?

Last edited by MoBro; May 24th, 2022 at 08:25 AM.
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