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Spring Break Ideas for Teen Boys in Europe

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Mar 4th, 2018, 08:17 PM
  #1
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Spring Break Ideas for Teen Boys in Europe

Hi Fodorites,
I'm looking for your best ideas for family spring break trip with two teen boys.
We think we can fly in/out of some combination of these airports: Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich, Milan.
We are already doing a beach/sun/sand trip later this year, so it's ok if this one remains on the cool/chilly temp side. We were thinking of doing Munich/Vienna/Prague loop. We are also open to Munich/Switzerland trip. Or, we could still head somewhere warm like Sicily or Provence. It's hard to tell what would be best with so many options.
I have to book the airline portion of whatever we are going to do by Wednesday.
We have 9 days in between our transit/travel days, and tend to prefer to have one "destination" or "big thing" a day, with plenty of time to just wander around. We also like adventure tours, and are open to hiring local guides for the types of tours that take you into the locals. We are open to renting a car, but really like the convenience of train travel in Europe. We tend to travel light.
We've been to England and Ireland, and prefer to try new locales.
Please let me know your ideas- I appreciate your advice!
Thanks,
Laura
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Mar 4th, 2018, 11:01 PM
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Assuming your spring break falls around Easter, the destinations you have proposed may or may not offer decent weather. We have visited the Easter markets in Vienna wearing everything from parkas to light sweaters; and last year we had snow in the third week of April. Also, for planning keep in mind that Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are holidays, meaning stores and many restaurants will be closed.

That being said, having teenagers and living in Vienna, Munich, Prague (and Vienna) aren't all that interesting, absent a strong interest in history and/or architecture and/or art. Our teenagers appreciated the cities for what they offer, but much preferred Berlin, Amsterdam, and Florence. Those cities had a younger vibe and were overall just "cooler" than the others.

I hope this is helpful. Good Luck!
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Mar 5th, 2018, 01:25 AM
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Where would the teen boys like to go?
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Mar 5th, 2018, 01:48 AM
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My boys also loved Florence, we had an apartment and we'd let them sleep in (they were typical teen boys) while we walked to the local market for coffee and pastries, then we'd head out together.
A small enough city to not feel overwhelming, lots to see in itself plus plenty of daytrip options.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 04:11 AM
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Very helpful!

Originally Posted by fourfortravel View Post
Assuming your spring break falls around Easter, the destinations you have proposed may or may not offer decent weather. We have visited the Easter markets in Vienna wearing everything from parkas to light sweaters; and last year we had snow in the third week of April. Also, for planning keep in mind that Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are holidays, meaning stores and many restaurants will be closed.

That being said, having teenagers and living in Vienna, Munich, Prague (and Vienna) aren't all that interesting, absent a strong interest in history and/or architecture and/or art. Our teenagers appreciated the cities for what they offer, but much preferred Berlin, Amsterdam, and Florence. Those cities had a younger vibe and were overall just "cooler" than the others.

I hope this is helpful. Good Luck!
Thank you, fourfortravel, this is just what I needed. We had thought about Florence and Rome, and the idea of letting them be free range sounds good. Cool is good!
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Mar 5th, 2018, 04:13 AM
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Where did you stay?

Originally Posted by Adelaidean View Post
My boys also loved Florence, we had an apartment and we'd let them sleep in (they were typical teen boys) while we walked to the local market for coffee and pastries, then we'd head out together.
A small enough city to not feel overwhelming, lots to see in itself plus plenty of daytrip options.
That sounds perfect. Thank you for your help! Where was your apartment? If you have suggestions on where to book, Iíd love to hear them. A daytrip to Siena sounds good. Can you get to San Gimignano easily in a day? Thank you again!
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Mar 5th, 2018, 04:15 AM
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Anywhere we will take them, Heimdall

Originally Posted by Heimdall View Post
Where would the teen boys like to go?
They are up for anything. I think the idea of carrying around heavy parkas and snowboots is less attractive, so while they arenít closed to Berlin, I think they prefer more spring clothing.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 05:54 AM
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RaleighLaura, we rented an apartment for our week in Florence but it was outside of the city (our dog was with us); still, an apartment is a great idea. Everyone has personal space; and having a kitchen meant that we didn't have to "dress" for breakfast and could also prepare simple dinners if we desired. In Florence proper we turned our teenagers loose on a couple of days so they could appreciate the city on their terms; we all met up for lunch later. From our apartment we took day trips to Pisa and Lucca (the teens had fun renting bicycles and riding along the wall in the latter), as well as to San Gimignano and Volterra with our personal vehicle. When the children were younger (5 and 10) we took them to Rome over the Easter week and they loved it; we've been trying to return but logistics and schedules keep getting in the way.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by RaleighLaura View Post
They are up for anything. I think the idea of carrying around heavy parkas and snowboots is less attractive, so while they arenít closed to Berlin, I think they prefer more spring clothing.

Snow boots in Berlin? During Easter? Hardly

I do agree that for teenage boys, Amsterdam and/or Berlin seem the better options.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 07:16 AM
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You like train travel and for cities it is the way to go. For resources to plan a European rail trip check BETS-European Rail Experts (nice online European Planning & Rail Guide with suggestedon where to go by rail); www.seat61.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 07:26 AM
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I think Amsterdam is a real winner. It's beautiful, quiet and compact, and I would have no qualms about letting the kids loose. Everybody speaks English, the public transport system is easy to figure out, and if they're bike riders they'll be surrounded by thousands of fellow cyclists. There are easy excursions available - to Delft, Haarlem, Edam, Volendam, up to the beaches on the North Sea.. Cool shops, fab museums, stirring history... it's hard to beat IMO. Maybe even tulips.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 07:37 AM
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I would be careful with cycling in Amsterdam if you're not used to it. Traffic moves fast, and there's no mercy for the slow or hesitant.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 12:22 PM
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Easter can be pretty chilly even in Italy, if it happens to fall in late March. Even so, I wouldn't envision taking snow boots to any European city. Maybe in Norway or Sweden. This year Easter is on April 1st, which is on the early side. I don't know when this spring break is; in the US it rarely coincides with Easter.

It seems a little late to be planning a trip like this for four people, if it's for this spring.

Last edited by bvlenci; Mar 5th, 2018 at 12:27 PM.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 12:26 PM
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This was our apartment in Florence, excellent for a family of 4.

https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/3109752

We had a few nights in Volterra first, then bus and train to Florence. We all loved Volterra, if you want a hill town experience, stayed in a fabulous place (Camere Renzi)
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Mar 5th, 2018, 12:28 PM
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Amsterdam has lots of great day trip possibilities and a top-notch public transportation system.

Florence probably wouldn't be my first choice for teenagers, but it depends on the their interests. You could take a day trip to Rome from Florence, or even to Venice.

No one's mentioned London, which I think is ideal for kids of all ages.
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Mar 5th, 2018, 12:33 PM
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bvlenci, Logistics and schedules are what kept us from booking a trip until this week. My husband’s travel schedule for work is erratic, and now that I see a break in the waves, I’m jumping in! I like the apartment idea and appreciate your help!

Last edited by RaleighLaura; Mar 5th, 2018 at 12:40 PM. Reason: to reply to the right person
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Mar 5th, 2018, 12:34 PM
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Thank you! I had forgotten about seat61. It’s been awhile since we did a trip like this. Thank you!
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Mar 5th, 2018, 12:35 PM
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Great idea! I will add that to the list of places to pitch over dinner tonight. I’ve not been there 30 years. I’m sure the kids would enjoy it!
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Mar 5th, 2018, 12:36 PM
  #19
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Yes, you are absolutely correct, it’s terribly late to be planning this. Still, we can either stay home or go, and we’re going somewhere. Our Sping break does include Easter, on the first weekend. Thank you for your reply and insight!
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Mar 5th, 2018, 12:38 PM
  #20
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We did London for spring break two years ago. We absolutely loved it. We ended up doing a two night “extra” stay in Dublin when our flights home were impacted by a strike in Paris- we just switched directions and went west instead of east. We had a ball, rain and all.
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