What are your favourite places in Europe? What travel tips would you give. I'm especially interested in Southern Germany, France, Austria, Northern Italy and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. (04-05-2005) You may be interested to view some of the photos we took during our three weeks in Germany, Salzburg, Venice, Florence, Switzerland Paris and Amsterdam.
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Anonymous (10-01-2005 09:05)
Going to Europe and I need some direction. Any advice or recommendations would be much appreciated. Im focusing on Netherlands, Germany, italy, Portugal, and Spain, but all sugesstions are welcome. if you have the time, I would appreciate an email. Thanks a ton.
allrite (17-01-2005 04:46)
I haven't been to Spain or Portugal, the former is my list for the next trip.
Germany: we did the tourist thing and I think it was worth it. The small town along the Rhine look fascinating from the train - from Frankfurt you can go up the Rhine and Moselle to Trier and back in a day if you are in a hurry. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is on everyone's tourist map, but we thought it was really worth it, especially during the Imperial Festival. Neuschwanstein Castle was very impressive, but Hohenschwangau itself is very commercially touristy. Munich's Residenz was impressive and should be on your list if you visit the city.
Italy - Venice is also a tourist haven, but again it is worth it. Just wander around the island - lose yourself away from the other tourists and soak up the place. I have wonderful memories. Florence was okay, as was Pisa - the buildings are beautiful, not just the leaning tower. Our day trip to Tuscany was okay. If you visit San Gimignano, climb up the tower. Most of our fellow travellers didn't and they missed out on the magnificent views.
Our visit to the Netherlands was brief. Go see Amsterdam at night, but beware the scented smoke (I had a dreadful headache from secondhand fumes). Van Gogh museum was also interesting.
France: all I know is Paris and Mont St Michel. I wholly recommend both of them. We are already planning our 3rd trip back to Paris. If you are there, visit the Musee de Orsay.
Eventually I'll write all the above up properly with photos.
Hope that helps. If you want an email, you have to supply the address! I can be reached at mail@the_same_domainname_as_the_website
Alicia (25-01-2005 01:24)
If you are planning a trip to Paris, I would agree that the Musee D'Orsay is great. Versaille was the best place I went though. You can take the RER (train- you can get on at many metro stops) and its not very expensive. Other places that were cool in Paris were the Musee du Louvre (largest museum in the world) and Notre Dame de Paris.
Rome is the best place I've been to in Europe. I really enjoyed the culture but I loved almost everything about the city. The metro system isn't nearly as good as in Paris but fortunately almost everything is within walking distance. The highlights if my trip were the Musei Vaticani (Vatican Museums- including the Sistine Chapel), Saint Peter's Basilica, the colosseum, piazza Navona (beutiful fountains), the Trevi Fountain and Villa Borghese. If you like Italian Renaissance art and cool buildings, villa Borghese is great and you can easily spend an afternoon just wandering around the park. If you are planning to go there though, try to reserve your tickets because I was there at 11:00a.m. and couldn't get in before 3:00p.m. There are also long line ups for the vatican museums that are probably best avoided by going early. Although you will have to see the Spanish Steps, in my opinion they are over rated. Unless apparently you go when they are covered in flowers. I was there in the winter. The trendy and expensive place to shop in Rome is along via del Corso but as I said, it is expensive. You'll find all sorts of big Italian names like Prada and Gucci.
If you want to hop from one city to another because you want to go to go to a lot of countries in a short period of time, you may want to check out easyjet.com. Flights are really cheap if you book in advance and and cheaper still if you don't travel on weekends. Hope this is sort of helpfull.
Anonymous (28-02-2005 11:58)
This summer 2 ppl as well as myself are planning on visting Europe. I wanted to know what places are recommended to see. I personally want to vist London, Rome, Greece, Scotland, Germany and Spain but if there are any other place I should see please comment back. We will be backpacking through most of Europe when we go so if you also have any places to stay that were good please let me know.
allrite (02-03-2005 08:59)
Firstly, I don't know much about backpacking accommodation in Europe - try getting some hints from the Lonely Planet books. We stayed in hotel accommodation, ranging from 2 star to 4 star. You can get quite good deals online. Have a look at here for some links. I especially liked Venere.com as they include recommendations from visitors. Both hotels we booked through them worked out perfectly.
Of your list, I have only visited Germany. The Romantic Road, especially Rothenburg ob der Tauber, is well worth a visit. Paris seems to have an infinite number of interesting places to see (we are planning a third trip back), so I would recommend fitting it in if you can. In Italy, Venice is another must see, though expensive. Spain and London are on our list for next time.
We used a Eurail pass to get around. The convenience was fantastic and the trains excellent.
One area you can keep costs down is in food. There are many tourist rip-off restaurants, especially in areas where tourists congregate. Look for places where locals eat and keep an eye out for service charges.
Hope this is of some help, and have fun!
Isa (15-03-2005 09:18)
I have only been to France and Italy and its hard to pick a favorite, but I fell in love with France. I went to Paris, Normandy (mont st. michele), and Nice. It was amazing. The people were great and very helpful despite what many have said about the French. They were nothing but nice. France is a must go place. Italy was beautiful. I liked more the nothern part of Italy. Florence was my favorite city. It was just amazinly beautiful. The food in Florence was just great I had a hard time picking a place to eat. Pisa was a nice little quiet town. Venice was nothing i've ever seen. Rome is nice because of all the histroy is possesses, but its not a place that I would stay for more than 3 days. Italy has more beautiful places to see. The food in Rome wasn't that great either. My next trip hopefully will be Greece. Its been my dream place to go.
Anonymous (20-03-2005 02:14)
am in france and there's this 3 day vacation coming ahead and so me and my friends are planning for a hiking trip. can you please suggest me a scenic tourist place with mountains, lush, lakes etc in europe.....we are looking for a place for hiking/ trekking + camping (if possibel).......i dont know much abt such places in france as well as its only my first year in france.....i'd be grateful for any kind help
David (21-03-2005 07:41)
I am currently on study abroad in Spain, and I can help with some questions on Spain. I am in Valencia, which I hear is particularly nice in summer time because of the beaches and the historical aspects of the city. The best places of the south would have to include Sevilla, very historical and beautiful, Malaga, Cordoba and Granada. You could take a train from renfe.com and sweep through the south coast. Another short trip possibility is to go into Madrid, maybe stay there for a day or less, and make a point to go to Segovia for a half day and then to Toledo, which has been the best place I have been to. I especially recommend Hostal Santa Isabel in Toledo, 44 euros or so gets you very top notch rooms, a great location, a bed and breakfast atmosphere and the friendliest service anywhere. It is a very relaxing town and very very old, being the original "madrid". I do not know much about Barcelona except that obviously it has great architecture and atmosphere, and is obviously the more modern of cities because of the olympics. Hope this helps somewhat in your trip. One quick comment on Madrid though, if you are a girl, and you love to pack a year's worth of clothing, keep in mind the metros for the most part do not have escolators at all, so it can be a real pain.
allrite (21-03-2005 10:28)
Thanks David for your suggestions. We were just starting to plan our trip to Spain and there seems to be a wealth of sights. We might only have a week in Spain, so it looks like Madrid is a useful location as a base, with day train trips to Seville, Toledo (will look up the accommodation because it's often worthwhile spending a night outside the city ), Avila and Segovia.
Also thinking about Barcelona (and then to Avignon/Provence in France) - the Gaudi architecture looks fascinating.
Pity that some of the railway trips in Spain are so slow in comparison with France and Germany.
allrite (21-03-2005 10:49)
Hopefully somebody else can offer some advice, as I have no personal experience of your activities in Europe. One book that I recently borrowed from my local library that you might find useful is Lonely Planet's Walking in France. A brief perusal indicates that your activities are popular in that country! Perhaps the French Alps fits your bill.
Anonymous (24-03-2005 11:48)
My name is Declan and am going travelling in Europe. I am from Ireland and would be delighted to aid if possible. PLease reply if interested.
allrite (27-03-2005 06:56)
I was just looking to travel between London and Madrid with EasyJet. However, the comments at Skytrax are not the best and note the lack of allocated seating. Pity the train between Paris and Madrid takes so long...
allrite (27-03-2005 12:51)
Thanks for the offer Declan!
Kelly (31-03-2005 04:47)
just came across this site and seems really helpfil. i'm getting married in october and we would love to go to Europe. i have already been all over Germany, I LOVED it! but want to go somewere new. We would like to go to one country and vist a couple cities around it. We don't want to spend alot of time travling around. Were would the best place be to go for this in october? is it usally really cold in october?
allrite (01-04-2005 12:47)
Congratulations on the upcoming wedding!
I find it difficult to go past the old favourites.
My wife and I spent our week long honeymoon in Paris (with a one day trip to Mont St Michel - worth it!) during early November. Yes it was cool, but not freezing and not too wet. I believe that October should be even better and the crowds are smaller and the queues shorter than in the summer months. Plus the insides of buildings (other than our hotel room) were heated so well that you would think that it was summer anyway.
Another aspect of Paris is that it is linked to other French cities by a fast rail service, so a day's outing to Avignon, for instance, is possible. One of my friends spent his honeymoon in that town and we intend to visit it this October.
The only downside to the honeymoon in Paris was that there was so much to see. Every night we collapsed into bed with sore legs from a full day and night's walking around!
We visited Venice last year (September) and thought that it would also have been a fantastic place for a honeymoon. Yes it's full of tourists and other honeymooners, there are overpriced and tastless restaurants if you stick to the tourist squares. However, it's a great place to get lost in and wander aimlessly. I've seen many photos of Venice since and can tell you that they ain't faking them!
I'm certain that there are probably many pretty little places in the French or Spanish countryside that would be wonderful locations for a honeymoon. Unfortunately, I'm not so familiar with that aspect, which is why we intend to explore them in October of this year. Who know, maybe we'll bump into you!
su (03-04-2005 10:49)
please suggest a good place to visit this august. I am getting married this July and we'll then go to US on a study plan . So, since there is not much time, we are planning for a short honeymoon in august in europe(may be 5 days). Does anyone have any suggestion? Paris does seem like a good option. Well we are travelling to europe for the first time, so do suggest some nice romantic spots.
allrite (04-04-2005 10:26)
Hi Su and congratulations,
As I wrote above, Paris and Venice are lovely honeymoon spots. I believe that much of France, Spain and Italy shuts down in August as it is holiday season for them. That said, I'm certain that most of the popular attractions will be open (please consult a guidebook first, though). They may also be very crowded.
According to Lonely Planet Venice (condensed) Venice is "oppressively hot and humid" and "many places close" during August, while their comment for Paris is "Just go!", so maybe the latter is a better choice. Don't worry about the language barrier - so long as you can say some basic greetings, "excuse me", "thank you" and "how much?" you should fare okay in those cities(please learn to say a little of the local language out of respect).
Both Venice and Paris are full of romantic spots. For example:
Venice: take an evening stroll along the southern strip of Dorsoduro, eating gelato or spend a quiet afternoon wandering around the glass shops and laneways of Murano island (basically just wander around Venice, get lost, enjoy it!).
Paris: all around the Seine river is beautiful. Sit down of one of the traffic free bridges and rest your weary legs. Marvel at the art in the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay or walk from the Cimetierie (Cemetary) de Montmartre and up to the Sacre Coeur early in the morning before the tourist crowds arrive.
Those are just some ideas!
Anonymous (08-04-2005 11:14)
I am thinking of visiting Ireland this summer and I´m wondering if you could possibly recomend places to see.
I am interested in everything mysterious, unusual and "off the beaten path", and also in places of natural beauty.
Thanks a lot.
Terry (17-04-2005 03:01)
We are going to South of France on the 28th. We were wondering if anyone could advise us as to whether the following itinerary is possible or too much.
April 28 - May 1 - in Nice then overnight train to Venice
May 2 - 4th Venice and early train to Rome
May 4 - 6th Rome and early train to Florence for a day then to Cinque Terre till the 9th.
From there we were thinking of going back to Nice and visit surrounding areas in the South of France.
Any feedback or comments ( expertise that is ) would be much appreciated.
allrite (19-04-2005 10:38)
Can't comment about Nice and the South of France - that's under consideration for October for us. We spent two nights in Venice and managed to get a lot out of it, although it would certainly have been possible to enjoy a longer stay!
Rome - haven't visited, same with Cinque Terre. The latter sounds very pretty, but depending on your tastes probably doesn't require too much time for a cursory exploration.
A day in Florence may not be enough. We found it to be a useful base for exploration of Pisa (one afternoon) and Tuscany and Siena (1 day tour). If all you want to do is walk around and see the Duomo, some of the central museums and get a nice meal to eat, it should be okay. Just don't count on seeing the Uffizi and Michelangelo too quickly as the queues are enormous. Prebought tickets for the Uffizi are the way to go and try for an early timeslot.
You may find the Venere.com useful for locating accommodation in Italy. We stayed in the Locanda Herion in Venice and the Hotel Caravaggio in Florence and enjoyed both of them.
Hope that's of some help.
Anuj (04-05-2005 06:48)
Hi guys !!!
I came across this website while searching for some nice places to visit on my honeymoon. I am getting married on June 18th and planning for a 15 days trip to Europe. I will really appreciate if anyone can give me a little piece of advice on what places will be a good choice for June end and July beginning.
Thanks a ton !!
allrite (06-05-2005 01:23)
I've not research Europe in the period you are planning to go, but I'll do my best to provide some thoughts.
Being summer, you may find that holiday areas, especially around the coast, are very busy, booked out, high prices, etc. Other areas may be somewhat deserted with shops and accommodation closed and services reduced. You may just be on the shoulder of this, though. According to the Lonely Planet website the holidays start mid-July in France. I'm not certain about other places. It also recommends June as a good month to visit Spain.
Another area you might like to consider is Scandanavia. I've never been there myself, but it should be nice at the time of year that you are planning to go.
You might want to take a look at the Lonely Planet European Destinations Guide and check their "When to go" sections.
Of course, crowds and happening places might be your thing, so feel free to disagree with the above suggestions. As I say, I'm no expert.
Robert Grieve (24-05-2005 08:29)
hi, im wondering if you can help, me and my best mate are thinking of visiting places in europe next year i think we would like to travel across a few places but where do you think the most beautiful views are and the most viberant cities are? i have been to barcolona and tommorow am off to egypt. im form england and holiday would porb be 2-3 weeks!
allrite (25-05-2005 02:18)
I'm certain that others will know more than I. Based on the places that I have visited in Europe, the most photogenic areas I saw were:
Austria (Salzburg - Italian border (and a bit beyond!)
Switzerland (Golden Pass between Lucerne and Montreaux)
I'm certain that there are plenty of other scenic places that I haven't visited (suggestions please?) and, apart from Venice, I haven't included photogenic cities and towns.
I'm not certain how to define a vibrant city. If you mean one with a very active nightlife and party scene, then I'm the wrong person to ask. Most places we visited seemed to be more active at night than Australian cities, but less than Asian cities. Paris is full of life and character, Amsterdam was a great place to walk around (although I can't say I enjoyed the scents). Florence had more energy than Venice, although the decay of the latter gave it a special feel.
Anybody else have suggestions?
Robert Grieve (04-06-2005 08:18)
thanks for that sorry for slow reply just got back from Egypt, no i didnt mean nightlife i supose i just ment active like Barcolona, if you havnt been there its fantastic, but yeah im just looking for views and lots of history would like to see collossesum i think.
luvdodo (22-06-2005 03:52)
I really need some help out here. And I really appreciate you all taking time to read through my message -
I, my wife and 2 year old are planning to visit Europe from the US.
Depart - 08/26 evening
Back on - 09/03 anytime
My wife has Paris on her hit list. What I'd like to know is of the 7 days that I have , what are the places I need to visit in/around PAris and how much of time would this take. I would really want to visit other places like Brussels, Amsterdam or London during this period (other suggestions welcome!!)
So if you can let me know where else could I go, what to see and for how long it would be awesome! Also I would like ot know how to travel from Paris to the other places you suggest like Brusells, Amsterdam or London - flights/train/bus ? Prefer a good greenback saving plan.
Thanks so much in advance,
allrite (22-06-2005 10:55)
You can see a lot of Paris in 7 days, but there will still me more leftover! Don't worry about getting bored. Don't know if my advice will be appropriate for a 2 year old, haven't experienced one of them yet overseas. :)
Some of my highlights in Paris include: the Louvre (so big!), Musee d'Orsay (really excellent) and the Pompidou. I reckon going up the Eiffel Tower and Arc d'Triomphe is worth it, but you can get good views for free from the top of the Samaritaine department store and up near the Sacre Couer. It's a steep climb, but your kid might enjoy the gargoyles of the Notre Dame - the adults will!
Paris is beautiful and just walking around is a free way to really enjoy the city. Along the Seine, the Montmartre, even through a cemetery.
Purchase a museum pass if you are going to see a number of the museums and sights, it's cheaper. Your travel agent should be able to help you. The metro (underground) is really useful. Buying a Paris Visite card (1 to 5 days) is handy if you are going to use the metro a fair bit. That way you don't need to keep purchasing tickets.
Paris has enough to keep you occupied for 7 days, but you can easily get to other places. We caught a tour bus to Mont St Michel. Full day, moderately expensive, but worth it. You can also catch trains out to the sumptuous palace and gardens at Versaille, the cathedral at Chartres (haven't been there) and other places.
You could probably spend a day or two looking around London or Amsterdam (can't comment on Brussels) and feel like you've seen something. London is 2.5 hours away by train, Amsterdam 4 hours. A discount flight might be cheaper, though less convenient (don't forget you have to travel between the airport and the city). You could also have one of those cities as a stopover as part of your airfare.
We spent the equivalent of a day and night in Amsterdam. Found it interesting to walk through the unsavoury looking red light district, though the weed smell made me sick. Walking by the canals was nice and I'm sure a cruise would be enjoyable.
I recommend the Lonely Planet Paris Condensed for a 7 day trip. We found it very useful.
Hope that helps!
Kyles (08-07-2005 08:25)
A few years ago we spent 65 days in Europe which was absolutely fantastic and we visited many countries. We leased a little Peugeot and drove 12,000 kilometres around the place. I would really recommend hiring a car rather than taking the Eurail or bus. We found it great that we could stop at all of the little villages en route and this also enabled us to get to some really far away places that would be difficult to get to (or time consuming) using public transport. We are going to Europe again this December and have already paid for the lease for another Peugeot. It is very economical indeed (even though petrol there is relatively expensive).
With regards to accommodation we have rented an apartment in Paris for 4 nights which is far more economical than staying in a hotel. In addition all of the apartments have cooking facilities so if you are like me and can't afford to eat out every night while travelling then this is definitely a plus. This site may interest you: www.vrbo.com (vacation rentals by owner). If you are staying in Paris for a week I think this would definitely be the way to go!
Highlights of Europe so far for us have been Germany (The Romantic Road, Rothenburg Wurzburg, Dresden, Berlin), Brugge in Belgium, San Sebastian in Spain (the entire top coastal stretch of Spain has some really lovely old towns), San Gimignano in Italy, Antibes (Italian/French riviera) and St Emilion (France - where you can stay in some lovely old chateaus).
The Christmas markets in Germany really are fantastic and not to be missed if you are there in December.
Cheers all and happy, safe travels.
Dessi (10-07-2005 09:28)
Hi,My name is Dessi
I am planning to go on vacation for about 10 days and visit Italy ,France and Spain...
I intened to start from Northern Italy stay about 3 days continue to the French Riviera and then Spain.
I need an advise from somebody who has done that to reccomend me some nice beaches and interesting places worth to visit ...
I would be very thankfull if i receive from you som suggestions
Thanks in advance
allrite (10-07-2005 09:49)
Sounds like fun! Unfortunately, I don't know much about nice European beaches as Australia has plenty enough of that kind of thing. The stretch of Europe that you are travelling through seems to have plenty of interesting places to visit - we are going to be in that general area later this year and I would also be interested in hearing what others have to say.
Shama (18-08-2005 12:50)
My friends and i are planning a 14 day holiday and we'd like to go somewhere in Europe, havn't a clue where and wandered if someone can help? We're looking at last week of november and first week of december, nothing too costly, the girls ahve just graduated and were having a holiday after years being in different parts of england!
Ideally sceninc places - lakes, mountains going rambling etc would be nice, or somewhere where we can have action packed time with time to relax as well- wierd combination i know, but because a 14 day trip, i'm hopful!! We are interested in 'pamper' breaks, something similar to turkish baths?!
Yes seems like im asking for alot, i just want a destination where we wont get bored in14 days, i personally am not a city girl and would love to wake up to a sea view, something scenic?
Aside from this, to make things even more complicated, we are muslim girls therfore eat Halah food, so a destination which is hot on currys (get it?!!) would be the icing on our cake, ao any suggestions please come forward!!
My personal email is ; email@example.com
please dont hesitate to mail me there, we were looking at turkey or egypt bt this works out too much, france isn't option, have been before, would rather not go spain either?
does anyone know what best to suggest?we are looking at building our break by booking from ryan air/easy jey and booking seperate hotel? Venice? Belgium?
Hope someone out there can help,
allrite (25-08-2005 05:20)
I was under the impression that Turkey and Egypt are relatively cheap destinations, at least so far as land content is concerned. Not certain about airfares.
If you were in the Southern Hemisphere I would suggest New Zealand (although halal food might be a problem - no experience there) as it is beautiful, relatively cheap and full of action sports, yet very relaxing.
Perhaps the former Yugoslavian states or North Africa might be of interest. I saw an interesting program on Tunisia the other day, combining desert exploration with baths in hot springs.
Benjamin (06-09-2005 11:58)
My wife and I are heading to Switzerland in October and we were wondering if anyone could give us advice on anything to do there. We were looking at 3-4 days spending it around interlaken, bern, and Geneva. We also saw on the news that there was really bad flooding recently there. Can anyone tell us if it's a good or bad idea to go there now? I've been trying to search online for information on how it is there now but I haven't found anything yet.
allrite (07-09-2005 09:57)
My guess is that, despite the flooding, most of Switzerland is still fine. The mountainous nature of the country probably means that most of the water ran off fairly quickly. However, I have not seen any concrete evidence to back up this supposition.
I only have limited experience of Switzerland with two overnight stops in Lucerne (very pretty) and Geneva, along with a couple of hours in Interlaken (quite touristy with the casino seemingly the big attraction). One thing we did enjoy was catching the Golden Pass train between Lucerne to Montreux (and then the regular train to Geneva). Very scenic! There are many other routes which are also supposed to be quite pretty.
Golden Pass Route
A couple of downsides: Switzerland is VERY expensive in comparison to many other places in Western Europe. The area around Geneva's railway station is also a place to avoid with lots of drug users.
Ben (07-09-2005 02:48)
Thanks for all the info. I'll make sure to watch out for the drugees. We were considering another country if Switzerland wasn't in good shape. My wife and I are really interested in Prague. Prague is really interesting to us because everything we heard about it was great. Especially the prices! =)
Alejandro (07-09-2005 06:31)
My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe this coming February but we dont really know to much about the cities or places to visit. We are planning on going for 3 months but we would not know where to begin. We are planning on backpacking so our budget is not to extensive. Anyway, I would like if possible an advice on how to go about this trip and what places are recommended to visit. We are thinking about Spain, france, Amsterdam, and Germany but not to sure about the places or cities due to our traveling conditions ( backpacking )
Any advices and suggestions are welcome...
Any body with this kind of experince I would really appreciated if you could give us some advices.
allrite (08-09-2005 05:44)
The countries that you list seem to be fairly reasonable in price (unless you compare them with Australia or SE Asia). You may also want to consider Italy.
Hope that's of some help. Maybe you can tell us how it all went!
Sherene (19-11-2005 03:48)
I am planning a July 06 trip to Europe for myself and three other friends. We will be there for two weeks. I believe we are looking at France, Italy, Spain and maybe Ireland, if that is at all possible. I was hoping that some of you would have suggestions on wine tasting in these countries (or any others you might think of). I'm the only one of the group that's really "into wine" (although none would refuse a glass:),so it doesn't have to been anything too technical, just some fun towns with great wine (think Loire Valley).
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
T (10-12-2005 08:58)
hi! who is interested about Transylvania/Romania please ask, I live there :)
allrite (12-12-2005 10:03)
Thanks for the offer, though I'm not planning on going anytime soon (no money!). What would your highlights be?
G (14-12-2005 04:03)
Hello, my friends and I are taking a 3 week class in Barcelona, Spain. After that we were wanting to travel Europe for at least 10 days. I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas of places to visit and how I would go about finding transportation between these places. Thanks a lot for your help.
allrite (15-12-2005 09:57)
One of the best ways to get around Europe is by train. If you are from outside of the EU you can purchase Eurail passes. From Barcelona you can easily catch a train up to the Languedoc, Provence and Cote d'Azur regions of France (Avignon, Aigues-Mortes and Nimes are some of my recommendations there) - and thence on to any other part of France by TGV (Paris is about 4 hours from Avignon). Or you could go along the coast into Italy, or up into Switzerland.
You can also catch a train into Madrid and other areas of Spain. From Madrid, locations such as Toledo, Segovia, Avila and Seville are just daytrips away. Or stay for longer!
Hope that is of some help.
Brad (15-12-2005 07:35)
I lived in Swansea, Wales for a year in 2003/2004 with my girlfriend, and had copious opportunities to travel for extended periods of time (I know, rough life). Out of our trips to every Western EU country except Spoain/Portugal, here are the most amazing places we went in each country (unless the country didn't have any cool places):
France: Most French hate Americans, so we had a hard time liking the place. People who go to Paris won't experience this as much, but those who take the road less traveled will. It kind of sucked. Put a real downer on the whole experience. Paris was pretty nice though- hit up the Louvre and the usual places. Also get out of tourist-town and see some neighborhoods and the like. Also go to Strasbourg. A very nice town with a lot of mean French people. We did meet one nice guy there, but he was from Turkey. Hell, you can't blame the French, look at our president...
Italy: Go there. Enough said. Tuscany is very nice, but very touristy. Milan is also very nice. Busy, but nice. Though not as much to do there. The Italian Alps are beautiful, so try to get up there. Rome was absolutely mind-blowing. I don't care for big cities much, but Rome was the exception. Well, I have to go back a second. It was dreamy when I went in March, but I went back in May and had to wait in line to see things, as if in Disneyland. I was there for all of 2 hours, then took a train South because I was so disgusted. So don't go in the Summer unless you absolutely have to. Pompeii was well worth it, be sure to go there. Get a guided tour if possible, you'll get more out of it (same with the Vatican in Roma). The best place we went in Italy though, out of 3 long trips to explore Italy, was La Costiera Amalfitana (The Amalfi Coast). It's just South of Napoli, and will blow your mind. We stayed in a great hostel in Agerola San Lazzaro on the top of a cliff over Amalfi overlooking the Med Sea. There were trails to waterfalls, trails to Positano, Ravello, on and on and on. Great food, even nicer people. You can go to Capri by boat, but it's very touristy. We kept our distance.
Switzerland: We went to Luzerne, Geneve, and a few little places along the road from France to Germany. Luzerne was great, I highly recommend it. Geneve was cool, but we felt out of place because it was so rich. A very odd feeling if you've ever lived in Europe. Most places don't exactly give off the "rich" feeling.
Germany: Holy crap, go there! We spent time in Koln, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, and a couple of other places (my mind is failing me). Heidelberg was our favorite. I don't know why; could have been the great people, Schloss, the outdoor beauty, the river - who knows. We just felt an overwhelming sense of being welcome while there. We even thought of moving there recently.
England: Hmmm...London is a total hole. It was cool the first time we went, because we were in tourist mode. But subsequent trips made us want to come back less and less. Everything is 3x more expensive there than anywhere else in the UK (which is already 2x more expensive that the USA b/c the exchange rate). You need a permit to drive there ($80 traffic ticket because we had no way of knowing). I don't know, maybe it's my country-loving inner child talking. I would recommend Wales over England any day. The English call the Welsh "Sheep-Shaggers", but I think it's their jealousy about Wales having all the mountains. England is flat and everything looks remarkably the same, whereas Wales is just astoundingly beautiful from every angle. I miss Wales immensely, and can't wait to go back in May.
I have lots more to tell, but I have things to do. If you want to talk before you go, my email is "bwv2 at yahoo dot com". Please mark your subject with some kind of notable feature so I don't delete it as spam. It's my junk mailbox, so I usually assume stuff is spam. I look forward to anyone with questions.
T (02-01-2006 07:21)
my husband and I are planning a 3 1/2 week trip to Europe from Canada. We are concentrating on France, Italy, Switzerland and Greece, but we would also like to visit either Prague or Berlin. Which city do you recommend we visit? Also, do you recommend Salzburg over Vienna?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
allrite (05-01-2006 09:41)
I haven't been to either, so I can't make any solid recommendations. I would guess that Prague has more "history" while Berlin has a reputation for activity.
I also haven't been to Vienna (although I was just watching Inspector Rex, which is shot there). Salzburg was quite interesting to visit with narrow old streets and an imposing fortress, although very expensive and full of tourists when we were there. Very pretty. If you do go to Salzburg, take an evening walk through the flower gardens (Schloss - castle - something or other I think) near the river. Beautiful scene of the fortress atop the hill.
Sorry I can't be of more help.
Amy (10-01-2006 08:05)
If you could only go to one city in Europe, where would you go? Besides London, Paris and Rome.
allrite (11-01-2006 10:08)
If you had not already excluded it, I would have said Paris. I've visited it three times and still feel I have much to see. The other European city that I would like to especially return to is Venice. I would love to escape from the tourists and lose myself in the backstreets again.
Out of all the towns that I have visited in Europe, my favourite was Aigues-Mortes, followed by Rothenburg ob der Tauber during its Imperial City Festival.
I wonder what others would suggest...
TRLman99 (12-01-2006 11:32)
I'd probably go to Prague. From everything I've heard its a really great place that wasn't bombed out in the war.
jimmy (16-01-2006 06:12)
does anybody know much about this place the pictures of it look really good. Where exactly is it and what is the best method of getting to it plus can you reccomend any accomodation in the area. thanks.
Anonymous (20-01-2006 05:11)
Go to Prague - You're already visting 4 western European cities do something different. It's amazing how people never think about the countries east of Germany and Austria.
Was in Prague in the Spring of 2001 - It's called "City of a thousand Spires". The architecture alone is worth the trip - it's like a fairy tale city, though by Mid May it's swarming with tourists.
I've taken a train through Vienna, but stayed a vew days in Salzburg. If you need a city that's slower paced where you can relax, go to Salzburg. The little hotel we stayed at offered their guest free bicycles. We spent 4 days riding around Salzburg. The whole city and surrounding countryside are FILLED with bike trails - ride through the city, along the river, through the countryside - it's the best way to see everything and EASY to get around. And everywhere you look up, you see the Alps. It's perhaps the most pastoral city I've ever been to - no industry to speak of, except tourism - but it wasn't overly crowded - even in Spring. The people were friendly and the food was pretty good.
allrite (26-01-2006 12:36)
Lonely Planet's Provence and the Cote d'Azur guidebook has some brief information on the Gorges du Verdon. They are inland from the Cote d'Azur (that famous stretch of the French coast between St Tropez and Monaco) and seemingly accessible only by car and once daily bus. See the guide for accommodation.
It is Europe's largest canyon, 700m deep, and popular for whitewater activities and paragliding.
I have not been there myself.
Anonymous (03-02-2006 07:43)
I will turning 40 this year and would like some recommendations on where to go in Europe. Maybe due a 2-3 city tour??, I don't really know.
The month will be at the end of May
Puneeth (05-02-2006 06:16)
Please advice on the possible list of places to visit in europe during the month of march 2006.
I have already visited France, UK, Germany and Italy.
Thanks in advance
Anonymous (08-02-2006 05:33)
We are thinking about going to Ireland in November for our honeymoon. We have been getting conflicting information about Ireland that time of year, drive time around the country, weather, and even if we would have any fun at all then. If you have any information that would help us decide that would be wonderful. Thanks.
allrite (09-02-2006 01:11)
All depends what you are interested in and how long you want to go for. The weather should be getting warmer by the end of May, so you probably have quite a few options open.
You could spend a week in one of the great cities (Paris, London, Venice, Prague, etc) or travel through the countryside stopping off in little towns.
Try obtaining some books and brochures on Europe and looking at the pictures. See what piques your fancy most and try to decide from there. Then read through some guidebooks for practical details. Once you are clearer about some options, ask online for opinions.
allrite (09-02-2006 01:14)
I guess March is still pretty cool and it's been a cold Northern winter this year. Why not try Spain (lots to see), Portugal or Greece (never been). Croatia is supposed to be a hot tip this year and, if you don't mind cooler weather, maybe Eastern Europe (eg Czech Republic, Poland) could offer something of interest.
JBennett (21-08-2006 06:53)
My girlfriend and I are in the process of planning a three week trip to Europe. We aren't very far along and I was looking for some feedback. We are planning on visiting France, Germany, and Italy. Anyone with suggestions on anything: How to pack? Where to travel? Must sees? How to travel? Places to stay? Or any suggestions period, please e-mail me @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for the feedback.
driftwood (15-09-2006 10:24)
I was looking at places to visit in Dec while planning an almost 4 month due honeymoon! My husband and I are planning a 1-2 week holiday(mid Dec-early Jan). We want to visit Europe and are especially dying to see Italy and France. We've read that Florence and Rome have mild winters so would those places be good options ?..Also we were thinking about Salzburg and Prague..
Any other ideas?..
allrite (17-09-2006 12:14)
I don't know much about Europe in the middle of winter. Many towns in Germany hold Christmas markets which sound like a lot of fun and something special. Spain might be another option. My Lonely Planet guide says that average temperatures in the south of France are around 13 degrees Celcius.
Also according to LP Venice, a city I regard as ideal for honeymoons, can be booked out over Xmas and New Year and flooded in December. Also cold.
Salzburg might be interesting in Winter with snow along the mountains. Bet it's freezing cold though! It's also an expensive city.
Be prepared for short, cool and wet days over winter in much of Europe. I'm sure it can still be fun as there are so many museums and gallerys (indoors!) to explore and it may well be a quieter time with fewer crowds. Perhaps, seeing as it is a honeymoon, look for some accommodation with decent heating. It was lacking in our little Paris honeymoon hotel!
saei (23-09-2006 06:15)
Hi, I am planning to travel to Norway next month. Any suggestion where to visit?
allrite (23-09-2006 07:23)
I've never given any thought to visiting Norway, but you may like to try the following resources:
Marcy (18-06-2007 07:49)
A friend and I are planning a trip next July. I absolutely love Italy but have never been to northenr Italy. Any recommendations and itineraries to suggest (start and finish). Also, I love cute charming cobblestone towns...any suggestions other than Italy. We are opne to suggestions since there is a whole world to see.
allrite (19-06-2007 12:24)
Tuscany has some interesting small towns, such as San Gimignano. I'm not an expert on Italy though. Elsewhere there is the classic old German town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which, despite being heavily touristed, really is a lovely place. Other towns along the Romantic Road, such as Dinkelsbuhl are also pretty.
Our itinerary was from Frankfurt to Tuscany via Rothenburg, the Romantic Road, Munich, Salzburg, Venice, Florence and that was beautiful.
pranali (22-08-2007 08:08)
palnnign to go to europe for our 1st honeymoon but pl recommend which places we shd go to in 10 days and its gonna be in decemer/
allrite (23-08-2007 12:33)
How about Croatia or somewhere else in that area? Supposed to be very scenic and surely must have facilities for the local muslim population. I have never been there myself.
Venice isn't too far away either.
allrite (24-08-2007 08:19)
So many choices! Depends if you want warm weather or a winter feel. The south of Europe will be warmer in December, but Germany and Austria have Christmas markets that are probably pretty to visit.
Venice or Paris are my honeymoon favourites.
heaf11 (23-09-2007 06:16)
Hey I'm planning a trip to Europe next summer (mid july- august) and I was wanting advice of things to see.. places with history, places of mystery and stories, and amazing scenic views are mainly what Im looking for..But most importantly I have a seriously low budget and only about two weeks... any advice will be greatly appreciated!!
allrite (23-09-2007 08:02)
Sounds like most of Europe really... I can't advise about budget as seriously low generally means backpacker and I have no experience there, nor during July-August. The two places where I felt mystery and history oozing out of the walls were Venice and Aigues-Mortes, but both probably aren't that inexpensive - though all you really need to do is just walk around and soak up the atmosphere.
What about Eastern Europe?
G (12-11-2007 11:49)
Hi, the places like Paris, Gemany are all lovely, but what about the places like Bratislava?? Has anyone got any comments or recommendations for them because i would love to travel to those places. Thanks
allrite (15-11-2007 04:53)
I have a colleague who is about to go off to Moldova as part of his first overseas trip. Slovakia still has quite a few tourist. You might like to try further into the ex-Soviet states or perhaps Albania if you really want something different. There are still guidebooks, such as Lonely Planet, on these regions.
Hillary (26-11-2007 01:50)
My boyfriend and I are taking our first trip to Europe in April/May. We plan on spending three weeks and we are looking for all of the help/suggestions that we can get. We were thinking perhaps Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain....at this point we are just throwing ideas around. We would really appreciate any advice on where to go during that time of the year, ways to get from point A to point B, any great hostels, hotels, apartments, etc. We are looking at getting the most for our money! Thanks in advance for your help and we look forward to reading all the feedback!
allrite (28-11-2007 11:40)
Hi Hillary, April/May is apparently a nice time to visit much of Europe, though you may need to book early for some areas as it may be popular with other tourists. If you want value for money, steer clear of Switzerland and Austria as they are EXPENSIVE! You may like to try Slovenia instead, or other parts of Central and Eastern Europe (though I have not been there myself). Germany is reasonable in price, France always beautiful, etc. I would try not to pack too many different places into you three weeks. Try to base yourself at a location for at least two or three nights and explore around that place. For instance, in France Avignon, Paris and Rennes are examples of good bases with interesting surrounding areas. Think about a railpass if you aren't comfortable with local languages and queuing for tickets, though English will get you by in most larger towns. You can check out my blog entries for a three week trip around Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands, though I think we rushed it too much. Regards, allrite
Anonymous (01-12-2007 03:20)
My name is Nathan, I am 13 years old and I live in Alberta, Canada. My family and I have decided to take a "Vacation of a lifetime" to Europe. I have been put in charge of finding several spots that are "must sees." I was wondering if you could send me a list of a few places that are really interesting and family friendly. If you have any suggestions on what and what not to do that would be much appreciated.
allrite (01-12-2007 10:57)
There are so many "must sees" in Europe! The usual ones include places like Paris, Venice, Rome, Florence, Neuschwanstein Castle and Rothenburg (my highlights) - I think that there is something in each place for the whole family to enjoy. Not having travelled with a family before in Europe it's difficult for me to provide too much advice, however.
One way to start is to ask a travel agent for some tour brochures. These usually have lists of destinations which can give you some ideas. Look in your library, bookshop and the web for photos and descriptions of attractions in each area and see if they interest different members of the family. Half the fun of travel can be researching and reading about the destinations before you go.
Pranali (28-12-2007 06:33)
i need to plan for my honeymoon in the 3rd week of december..
pl suggest me some places...in europe...where the weather is ideal...romantic destinations n scenic beauty 2...
Kendall (08-01-2008 10:28)
My friend and i took a year off from school to save up to travel to Europe for three months. I was looking for some advice from other travellers. We havent yet made our itenirary, but we know what country's we are going to. France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Belgum, and then to the UK. We have a few cities in mind, but I want to get some other advice before we make a set decision, any advice is great. Also we are torn between buying a Eurail pass which for 3 months is around two thousand dollars canadian or flying, which I hear is pretty inexpensive. I am just not sure if flying would add up to more becasue we are going there for a while. Plus we both like the idea of having some flexibility in our schedules. Any advice for us newbie travellers!?
allrite (15-01-2008 01:20)
I'm not certain anymore which is better value: flying or rail. You can get some really cheap fares on discount airlines now, booking through their websites rather than a travel agent.
However, often these cheap flights will be out of inconvenient airports and will have severe luggage restrictions. Rail travel is environmentally friendlier, usually takes you straight into the city centre and allows you to see the countryside along the way, so you see the bits in-between the cities! A railpass also allows you often to travel on a whim, even though it's better value to use it over long distances (if you are on a pass that allows, say 10 days of travel out of a month). You can also buy tickets as you go along, a railpass is just more convenient for those times of language difficulty.
I personally prefer rail, especially as you can usually jump on the train at the last moment rather than have to check in 30 minutes or more before (and that's after getting to the airport in the first place!).
You might find it convenient to utilise both rail and air travel depending on the destination, especially if you need to jump long distances.
Jasmine (16-01-2008 05:19)
I was just wondering if anyone could tell me if it would be a good idea to study abroad in Chichester England for a year. Or if living in London for a year would be a good idea. I have never been to Europe so I don't know if I would like living in England for a year. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
allrite (17-01-2008 10:43)
Firstly, where do you come from? If you don't like wet, miserable countries where everything is expensive then maybe England isn't for you (or so some of my friends who have lived there say). Then again, it's full of culture and history and close to Europe, so there are lots of places to explore. I think studying abroad is a fantastic idea and regret not doing it myself.
Sandy (31-01-2008 02:53)
Hey Nathan, A really cool place to visit is Carcassone in France. They have bed and breakfasts there and a fancy hotel. It's a walled medieval city. Stay inside the Castle walls, when the tourists go home you can walk around without the crowds. That is just one one the coolest places we've stayed. Need more info?
Supply (13-02-2008 02:29)
Can you please give me more details on how to get to Carcassone and how to reserve hotel/bed and breakfast to stayin the castle as you are explaining? It sounds very interesting. Is it outrageously expensive?
Thanks a million!
Ruth (04-03-2008 05:20)
I can't thank Brad enough for his write up. I am going to Europe for my honeymoon in August and the info was very useful. Coming all the way from The Bahamas (which is located in the Caribbean) I would have been very disappointed. There are several places that we were considering visiting, but based on his description we'll save ourselves the disappointment. On the other hand, there are places that we hadn't even thought about that he gave high ratings to, so we'll be sure to try and include them in our two-weeks stay.
Thanks a million
joe chatterton (22-03-2008 02:08)
Hey there! I am going to backpack through Western Europe for a month in September. Any suggestions on where to go and what not to miss? Would like all those experienced travellers to give some insight!
ruthvik (21-04-2008 02:42)
I am planning on studying abroad somewhere in Europe for a semester. I am thinking about Germany, Spain, or Italy. Does anyone have anyone have any experience studying in these countries and would like to comment on what they would reccommend? Thanks.
rome appartments (24-05-2008 05:26)
Rome, Italy should be at the top of your list. There are just too many great attractions to mention, but it's worth to spend a few days there.
Hello Declan! I am endlessly looking on these websites for advice for where to go and what to do. I think never having left America before I am sure I am in over my head. My boyfriend and I are going to be planning a trip shortly to Europe and neither of us know ANYTHING! I know that this is not your job or profession but from your responses it looks like it could be. hahahha! Anyhow, I want to visit Ireland while I am there and we are not your common tourist. In fact we are your outdoor country camping type and really would like to enjoy it like we enjoy our own home. Would you happen to have advise for types like these ;)
was just wondering if you had any tips on planning my trip around Europe, I'm going with two friends round Europe for 22 days and am getting a bit confused as we will be going by train so its a bit difficult planning the times it takes to get to places to make sure I get the ferry from Rome on time to get to Ibiza for the last 8 days of the month. Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated and I will deffinately be going to La Costiera Amalfitana as it sounds like exactally what im lookin for.
Josh Hicks email@example.com
If you visit Europe you must visit Hungary a great place with a thousand year history. whistler lodgings
does anyone have any thoughts about portugal i heard it was really nice