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Winter trip to Europe with my mother

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May 7th, 2016, 03:54 AM
  #1
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Winter trip to Europe with my mother

Hello! I'm going to be in Europe staring December 23 for 1.5-2 weeks with my mom. She's never been outside of the United States and thinks this is the only chance she will get to go to Europe. I get the feeling this isn't the most ideal time to be in Europe, but it's the only one that works. We want to be somewhere festive and beautiful for the holidays. She really wants to go somewhere that is ridiculously beautiful (no matter the season. Rain or shine!). Basically, if you could only go to one, two (maybe three) places in Europe ever again (and in winter!) where would they be! Side note, my mother is 50 years old (in other words, she is able to get around fine anywhere). Thank you! I know this might be a little too general.
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May 7th, 2016, 04:28 AM
  #2
 
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Paris
London
St Petersburg but Christmas does not start until mid Jan & this might be too complicated for a first time visit, but you asked for somewhere ridiculously beautiful.
Any number of places in Austria or Germany
Krakow
Riga
Tallin
Stockholm, esp with snow
Copenhagen, they know how to do Christmas in the Nordics but from 23 Dec onwards alot of things are closed and reopen 26/27 December. Christmas is a time for family get togethers so you might struggle to find things open during this time.
Odin is online now  
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May 7th, 2016, 05:13 AM
  #3
 
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Germany or Alsace for the Christmas markets (Google to find out when they end)

Pics of our trip to Strasbourg https://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

We spent a week in Rome and loved it over New Years

Pics https://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

We have spent two weeks over New Years in Tuscany in Montepulciano and loved it so much we are going again next year

Pics from both trips https://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

Paris is a lovely place over Christmas and New Years

Pics https://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

Hope this helps!
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May 7th, 2016, 05:15 AM
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Good list above. I would add Rome. Slightly warmer than those northern European destinations, and a bit longer daylight hours.

Definitely stick to cities since everywhere (including southern Europe) it will get dark very early (you get an hour or two more daylight than in Northern Europe, but still it will be dark by 5 or so) and it can rain anywhere. Being in cities you can enjoy them after dark as they are all beautifully lit at night - plus there are lots of things to do inside evenings and in bad weather.

With almost two weeks you can pick two or three cities and plan some day trips to smaller towns, etc. which you can do if you find you've had enough of the city and you get a nice day. But you don't have to take day trips, just have them planned.

While I think that places like Krakow, Riga, Tallinn, and Stockholm (been to two of them, going to the other two this summer so have researched them) are gorgeous and would be wonderful at Christmas, you need to fly to get to most other places and in winter flights can be seriously delayed/cancelled due to bad weather. So maybe think about places which you can combine with trains to minimize that risk.

"Everyone" goes to London and Paris, right. But there's a reason for that - they ARE beautiful, easy to do for first timers, easily connected by train, lots of flight options in and out, multiple great day trip possibilities.
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May 7th, 2016, 05:24 AM
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I travel frequently during winter to Sweden (I have a house in the countryside and an apartment couple hours from Stockholm) and the last time I was seriously delayed in winter was 3 years ago. Past couple of Christmases there wasn't even any snow, sadly. We were in Copenhagen between Christmas and NY past two years, again no snow but quite cold, dry & sunny. The winters are not like the North American ones. A lovely thing to do would be to take a ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki - that would also be a very beautiful excursion esp if there is snow.
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May 7th, 2016, 05:42 AM
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You don't say where you ad mom live and if you are both used to real winter weather. If you are - then you can go really anywhere.

And if she considers cities beautiful in winter/Christams - I do - I would do London and Paris and if you hae 2 full weeks add a few day in a German city with a great Christmas market - or possibly Strasvourg.

If you and she are not used to real winter and think that cold weather and possible snow I would probably head for Italy - but do remember snow is even possible there - although not nearly as likely - esp if you stick to Rome and area.

If she want outdoor beauty - then you are quite limited to areas with mountains/snow - since there are really very few laces that are green and pretty in europe in Dec. Southern Spain can be less cold - but is much more a rugged landscape than a pretty one like you find in tuscany, etc.

So - if you can clarify what she/you want people can make better recos.
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