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What would be a great 2 day layover in Europe with grandparents?

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May 6th, 2013, 08:00 PM
  #1
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What would be a great 2 day layover in Europe with grandparents?

I've been trying to find a place to spend 2 days, or more like 1.5, for a layover on my way to Africa. I need a lot of bang for my time. I've been looking at Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Edinburgh, and most recently Prague.

I'm traveling end October.
I am traveling with my grandparents, so it's not like I can grab my bags and run/bike around a city. So, I guess a need somewhere that a tour bus could really show us some nice things without looking like just another big city.

So perhaps fly in somewhere, take a nice ride/train/tour-bus to country-side (castles)? Then the next day a tourbus the whole day ...then fly out that night, or first thing in the morning.

Any ideas would be appreciated. Even if it is "do not try Prague if you can't hike."

Thanks
Zachary
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May 6th, 2013, 08:19 PM
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Do you have unlimited budget? If not, I recommend you look at the accommodation situation first. If there is a major event happening in the city, the prices can skyrocket and the availability plummets.
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May 6th, 2013, 08:35 PM
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I can't imagine too many flights to Africa laying over in Edinburgh, Berlin, or Prague.

Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, London, Zurich, and Rome would be more common European connectors. Do all of your listed cities have the connections that you want to Africa? There is no sense considering one of them if they don't make logistical sense.

Amsterdam is flat as a pancake, obviously, and there are many day trip options to equally flat places, like Delft, Leiden, Utrecht etc..
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May 6th, 2013, 09:15 PM
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Paris of course, there are so many iconic sites, just taking a HOHO ( hop on an off bus) tour is going to show you the highlights of places you already likely seen in a hundred photos or movies, etc.. the food it good, the airport is 35 mintues away from the city and you can take either the direct RER( train) for about 10 euros each right into city center, or since there is three of you , splurge for a taxi, its only about 15 euros more ( so instead of 3x10=30 RER , taxi 45-50 euros) and its door step to door step.
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May 6th, 2013, 09:43 PM
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How old are your grandparents? How active are they? If your grandparents are 70 yo and fit, then your choices are much wider than if they are in their late 80s and frail.

Paris is, IMO, always worth visiting but be careful with the metro if they have limited mobility -- some of the stations have long walks between lines and/or stairs.

It's not on your list, but Vienna is also a great choice. The historic center is flat, the Ubahn has escalators, and there are plenty of older people around. Plus, I like the Vienna airport.
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May 6th, 2013, 09:50 PM
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there are so many possibilities. in Belgium, take them to Brugge or Antwerp. Brussels is jut a landing place and wouldn't spend a minute longer than you have there. Both places are easily accessible by train and they are lovely. people rave about the canals of Venice...Brugge is way better, the Belgian people a delight, and between chocolate and lace---your grandparents would have a blast.
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May 6th, 2013, 10:02 PM
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"Brussels is jut a landing place and wouldn't spend a minute longer than you have there."

Hmmm...we lived in Brussels for almost five years and found lots for our visiting guests to do and see. Nothing against Bruges or Antwerp, but you don't seem to know Brussels as well as you think you do.
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May 6th, 2013, 11:50 PM
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WeisserTee.. please give us your hidden secrets of Brussels since I think a lot of people are under the same impression . I'd love to have some more great places to go in Brussels next time.
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May 7th, 2013, 12:49 AM
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If your grandparents haven't been to any of the cities you mentioned, I would vote for Paris as there is so much to see and do there. On our recent trip to Africa, we stopped over in Amsterdam for a few nights and really enjoyed it.
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May 7th, 2013, 01:15 AM
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Where in Africa are you going? It would make sense for your two day stop over to be in a city with a flight to the part of Africa you are intending to visit.
Amsterdam makes a logical stop over for East African flights for instance, and you could cover a lot in just two days. Not everything, but a lot. There are organised tours, canal boats, good public transport and so on.
Just make sure the place you stay has a lift. Dutch stairs are very steep!
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May 7th, 2013, 01:39 AM
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If your GPs have not been to Venice, and you could get a lay-over there, it would be perfect. It is small enough for a good feel of the city and absolutely magical. That would be my first choice because if you haven't seen it, you just can't imagine the supreme beauty of it.

OTOH, with only a day and a half, Amsterdam makes sense. It is interesting with plenty to do, yet you would feel you had a good taste of the city.
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May 7th, 2013, 04:01 AM
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Paris will hardly look "just like any other big city". More to the point of how old the grandparents are, how old is the OP. The post in the thread about "a city on the way to Africa" is of course, right on point. It's not gonna be just anywhere.
Make it Paris.
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May 7th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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WeisserTee--look at the post---".I am traveling with my grandparents, so it's not like I can grab my bags and run/bike around a city." 2 Days with Grandparents. You lived in Brussels for 5 years. So if you have 1 day, would you spend it with your Grandparents in Brussels or Bruges or Antwerp? I answered the question directly since it was time sensitive. Now if you have 3 days or more, sure you can cover a lot of Belgium. It wasn't a knock on Brussels as much as a suggestion what would be best for 24 hours.
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May 7th, 2013, 10:52 AM
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I love Brussels - best food in all of Europe. And there's plenty to see and do in 1.5 days, with or without grandparents. Bruges was lovely 30 years ago; these days it's rather Disneyesque.

But Paris, to me, is the obvious choice, IMO, though it seems more reasonable for the OP to get the flight sorted out first, then deal with whatever city she/he ends up with as the layover
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May 7th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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Agree that the first thing to do is look at flight options. Perhaps you have done so - but some of the cities named don;t seem to be obvious choices for getting to Africa (Berlin? Prague?)

I love both of these cities - and think your grandparents could enjoy them tremendously as long as they aren't frail,

But I would ask them where they want to go/what they want to see (presumably they have some really want to sees) and then figure if that airport works.
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May 7th, 2013, 11:21 PM
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"So if you have 1 day, would you spend it with your Grandparents in Brussels or Bruges or Antwerp?"

We had a fair few number of visitors who only had a day or two as a stopover on their way to somewhere else. And yes, we spent it in Brussels, not Bruges. And they enjoyed it very much. So take that for a direct "time sensitive" answer.
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May 8th, 2013, 04:09 AM
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"So take that.."

I haven't "LOL'd" in a while but that did it.
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May 8th, 2013, 05:43 AM
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Hi Zachary

With the grandparents in tow I'd be inclined to suggest a smaller, more manageable city so that the experience is less tiring and stressful for everyone.

The big question though is where you are travelling from and to - the places I would suggest include Dubrovnik, Lisbon, Barcelona, Salzburg, Venice... but doubt those will have connections to your next destination, unless it happens to be in Northern africa, morocco / tunisia/ egypt where there would be reasonably regular charter flights. There may be good connections from southern spain to northern africa which would open up places like Seville or Granada.

From the list you provided, Amsterdam would probably be the most appealing for me as a navigable, picturesque city.
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