Where to Spend Christmas

Old Apr 12th, 2022, 05:34 AM
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Where to Spend Christmas

Hello All,

I am in the very early stages of planning our second Winter Christmas trip to Europe (Family of 4 with kids aged 14 & 16). Possibly looking to fly into Copenhagen and out of Paris. We will have 3/4 weeks and are hoping to include Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussel's/ Bruges and Paris. For some history on our last trip in 2018 we visited Munich, Nuremberg, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Vienna, Edinburgh & London with Christmas spent in Seefeld at Hotel Haymon which was wonderful.

I am looking for suggestions of where to spend Christmas this time around. We will probably be in Bruges prior to Christmas and heading to Paris for New Years. We will aim to spend 6/7 days over Christmas in the one location. We are looking for a lovely village atmosphere though not adverse to city areas with opportunities for day trips, outdoor activities and relaxing.

I was considering the Schwarzwald region maybe around Baden Baden or Strasbourg. However open to suggestions within 4-5 hours from Brussels and Paris.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Kind Regards
Charnley
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Old Apr 12th, 2022, 10:19 AM
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Strasbourg is never a mistake for Christmas.
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Old Apr 12th, 2022, 11:45 AM
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My husband especially would love another Christmas in Paris. New Year's is plenty nice, too.
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Old Apr 12th, 2022, 12:09 PM
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With 3-4 weeks you probably have enough with the cities you have listed. How are you planning to get from Copenhagen to Amsterdam? It is a long and expensive train journey. Ditto getting to Baden Baden or Strasbourg by train from Brussels, longer than your desired travel time.
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Old Apr 12th, 2022, 03:23 PM
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If you make it Strasbourg for Christmas hypothetically speaking, how do the rest of your destinations pan out? Starting in Copenhagen, will you go by plane to Frankfurt perhaps or take the train into Germany? I would not advise driving at that time of the year due to black ice. Then you could go to Strasbourg by train, and make it a base. You could see Baden-Baden from there. Paris for New Year's Eve? Then Brussels as a base for Bruges, and then onto Amsterdam. Sequentially it makes better sense to leave from Ansterdam, if you can work it that way. Or you could go: Copenhagen, fly into Amsterdam, train to Brussels as a base for Bruges, then you may have to change trains in Paris, so it might make sense to do Paris then; then onto Strasbourg and Baden-Baden. But here I would probably go onto Frankfurt and fly out of there. This is just to avoid backtracking. Out of Paris doesn't work that well.

Also - Strasbourg is not in the middle of your trip - you have a lot of destinations before you get there if you go Copenhagen > Amsterdam. Are you able to time your trip so that you have a decent amount of time in December before you get to your Christmas base?

Lavandula

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Old Apr 13th, 2022, 02:27 AM
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Thanks for all your replies. I thought if we nail down Christmas we can build the rest of the itinerary around that. Its what we did on our last trip and worked really well. We are in very early stages so definitely flexible and itinerary is not set at all.

We are planning to arrive 8th or 9th of December so should have 13 full days before hitting our Christmas Destination. Rough thoughts were Fly into Copenhagen 3-4 days, Fly to Amsterdam 3/4 days, Brussels/Bruges 4 days, then head to Christmas base 6/7 days, then onto Paris for 4/5 days. We cant fly out of Oz any earlier than the 8th of Dec due to school finishing. Trains will be the main way to get from place to place however we may hire a car over the Christmas period if we need to.
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Old Apr 13th, 2022, 07:49 AM
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As much as I adore Strasbourg and have nothing against the concept of Christmas, I can't imagine spending so much time either in Strasbourg or with Christmas in mind. Then again, it is easy to take the local commuter trains from Strasbourg to other nearby places like Obernai, Colmar or Nancy. But how much Christmas can you bear? Generally, each Christmas market looks like every other Christmas market, and the decorations are pretty similar, too.

As for cities that have more to offer than just Christmas, I vote for Copenhagen, Brussels and Paris.
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Old Apr 13th, 2022, 08:06 AM
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I'd go down to the villages west of Colmar
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Old Apr 13th, 2022, 12:45 PM
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Where to Spend Christmas

Seing the Northern Lights in Finland could be amazing! You should definitely do that! You can also stay in an igloo hotel and then meet the real Santa Claus!!!
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Old Apr 13th, 2022, 02:01 PM
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Fly out of Oz 8th Dec
Fly into Copenhagen 3-4 days, arr 9 Dec - jetlag day
Copenhagen 10 Dec
Copenhagen 11 Dec
Copenhagen 12 Dec
Fly to Amsterdam 3/4 days, 13 Dec
Amsterdam 14 Dec
Amsterdam 15 Dec
Amsterdam 16 Dec
train to Brussels/Bruges 4 days, 17 Dec
Brussels 18 Dec
Brussels 19 Dec
Brussels 20 Dec
then head to Christmas base Strasbourg? 6/7 days, 21 Dec
Strasbourg 22 Dec
Strasbourg 23 Dec
Strasbourg 24 Dec
Strasbourg 25 Dec
Strasbourg 26 Dec
Strasbourg 27 Dec
then onto Paris for 4/5 days. 28 Dec
Paris 29 Dec
Paris 30 Dec
Paris 31 Dec
Paris 1 Jan
Travel back to Oz. 2 Jan

Here is what your trip might look like. I have made it clear which of those days are travel days. If you don't like somewhere you can swap out another destination. From Brussels you can easily go by train to just about anywhere in Belgium. Car is a bit of a liability because many cities such as Brussels and Ghent have an LEZ zone and your car must be registered. You can do this in advance, it's not crippling, but it is a nuisance.

Strasbourg can just be a base to see the Alsatian villages and into Baden-Württemberg (Germany). If you had a car it would be easy but you would have to be sure of the weather conditions before you did this. However trains are easy and with a bit of planning this would work as well.

Remember the Christmas markets mostly stop around the 23rd, if that is instrumental in your planning. I would definitely try to get out to Germany before then. Germany is the home of Christmas markets and does them better than neighbouring countries.


OK, now up to you - tweak lengths and destinations until you get the mix right.

Lavandula
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