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Where to go in February / March ? Paris or Florence/Milan

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Jul 17th, 2014, 02:24 AM
  #1
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Where to go in February / March ? Paris or Florence/Milan

I am planning vacation for February2015 first week for 8 days or March first week for 8 days. Cannot decide should I go to Paris or Italy (Florence + Milan) or will you recommend June end / July ? We are a Budget traveller (Couple) as long as we get to explore the city and see as much we can it doesnt matter, but we prefer less crowd for sure.
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Jul 17th, 2014, 02:43 AM
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Milan never feels crowded, but because it is a business city, it is actually busier in February and March than it is in June and July, when the weather turns hot and the city can be unpleasant. However, the tourist attractions of Milan are never mobbed. You just need to be sure to book hotels in advance during fashion week and other trade fairs, and the costs of Milan hotels can be higher in winter than in summer, so you need to look for a bargain.

For both Florence and Paris, going in winter will definitely mean fewer crowds in the museums and at other attractions. Paris can get true winter snow and ice for many days in February (and I would think some risk in early March as well). Florence can get snow, more likely in February than March, but in doesn't hang around as long. Florence overall is probably cheaper than Paris, but if you pay attention to your spending, you can be a budget traveler anywhere and stick within whatever budget you set and not miss the sights or even good food and wine.
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Jul 17th, 2014, 03:27 AM
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1. Check historic weather data for those periods at all your alternatives (easily available on the web) I would prefer colder to wetter.

2. Weather being almost equal, i would prefer Paris as the better walking alternative and with the best public transport.

3. You will have more interesting free sites in Paris than Florence in Winter.

4. You can find reasonably priced hotels (possibly tiny rooms) in very central locations in Paris and can eat cheaply as well.

5. If very interested in Florence, combine it with Rome rather than Milan and you can visit Sienna and other medieval Tuscany towns in between as well.

Since you tagged this post Turkey, I would rate istanbul as interesting and good a location as Paris and quite a bit cheaper to visit.
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Jul 17th, 2014, 03:50 AM
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Globetrotter, we have spent a week each in Florence and Paris in February months. There will be less crowds in Florence and Paris in the winter than in the summer months; as we discovered, though, in both cities there are school groups (European schools take a "ski break" week in February, but not every family heads to the slopes (ourselves included)). We also found that accommodations in Paris around Valentine's Day are fewer, and more expensive, especially if the holiday falls near a weekend. In Florence we were outside of the holiday and staying in an apartment, so lodging was plentiful and relatively inexpensive.

That said, I would choose Paris over Florence because I unabashedly love Paris. Renting an apartment and picking up groceries and wine from the markets or even Monoprix/Carrefour cuts down tremendously on costs. Bistros and brasseries are not as crowded, either, especially those tucked down small lanes and off the tourist routes. Paris in the winter lends itself well to pure black and white photography, too. Finally, I think Paris offers more to do overall without having to travel outside the city.
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Jul 17th, 2014, 03:57 AM
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>>2. Weather being almost equal, i would prefer Paris as the better walking alternative and with the best public transport.>>

There is nothing objectively true about that assessment when it comes to walking. Florence is an exceptionally compact city when it comes to sightseeing, and beautiful to walk around. In bad weather, the density of sights in Florence is such you are never more than a few steps away from a fascinating place to go indoors.

Florence is so small there is no need for buses or metros to get you anywhere. I find the metro system in Milan to be fantastically quick and convenient. You only need 20 minutes at most to go anywhere.

It is possible one prefer to be walking around Paris than Florence, or vice versa, but that is just a personal preference.

>>3. You will have more interesting free sites in Paris than Florence in Winter.<<

Depends on what your interests are.

>>4. You can find reasonably priced hotels (possibly tiny rooms) in very central locations in Paris and can eat cheaply as well.>>

The same is true in Florence, although the rooms aren't tiny.

>>5. If very interested in Florence, combine it with Rome rather than Milan and you can visit Sienna and other medieval Tuscany towns in between as well.<<

It is a good idea to combine Florence with Rome or another city other than Milan for reasons of expense or personal interest, but it is not a good idea to attempt to visit Siena en route to Rome because of the difficulties of the public transportation logistics. There are other interesting towns along the train line between Florence and Rome that are much easier to include.
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Jul 17th, 2014, 04:01 AM
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Wow ! Thanks for the responses. This was so quick and really helpful.
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Jul 17th, 2014, 04:06 AM
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otherchelebi - if Feb/March is Paris I would go to Istanbul in Second half of 2015
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