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Trip To Europe, Advice Please.  
User currently offlineDC10extender From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 617 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1962 times:

I am going to Europe for 2 weeks next Thursday and I am not sure exactly what to do. I am going to Barcelona, Paris, Munich, and Vienna. I have three to four days in each city and would like to hear from you about where to go and what to see. Any advice would be really appreciated. Thanks.


Did you ever read on your birth certificate that life is fair? Thats cause its not there.
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEMA747 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 1171 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1941 times:

I have never been to Barcelona, have only been to Vienna train station and Munich airport so can't comment on them.

Paris is an amazing city and you will have no trouble finding things to do there. If your into art then there are more galleries/museums than you could want. Eiffel tower is worth a trip but not if your afraid of heights!  Wink A trip on the river is also a good idea when your feet get a bit tired.
My advice would be to get to a central location (use the metro as its really good) and then just walk. You will come across loads of things be it shops, museums, parks and gardens etc. If you get tired hop on the metro and go to another bit of the city. I really like Montmartre. All the parks are nice for a bit of chilling in.

If you want any info on plane spotting/photography at CDG or any other Paris info PM me and I'll see what I can do.

Have a good trip.  Smile

Andy S



Failing doesn’t make you a failure. Giving up and refusing to try again does!
User currently offlineNosedive From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1921 times:

Quoting EMA747 (Reply 1):
Eiffel tower is worth a trip but not if your afraid of heights!

Get there early, or be prepared to wait for a long ass time. The tower puts on a cool light display at night. I watched it at 2am drunk a few weeks ago. Was pretty cool.

Quoting EMA747 (Reply 1):
Montmartre

 checkmark 

Also check out the Military museum/Napoleon's grave. The Louvre is great.

Quoting DC10extender (Thread starter):
Munich

Hofbrauhaus! Olympic Stadium, Neuschwanstein, BMW, Glockenspeil, German History Museum, beer gardens

Quoting DC10extender (Thread starter):
Vienna

Mozart's house, Schonbrunn, Freud museum, more beer gardens

Get a multi-day transportation ticket for each city. It's cheaper. Leave your hotel aroun 10am and don't come back until 7pm, if only to drop off some things and go out for dinner. Paris tourism Munich Vienna

You're in the 16-20 group, as per your profile. If you're traveling alone, and you're not hosteling it up, I'd say you're missing out. You'll meet some characters in hostels, makes for some fun nights... sometimes for all the right reasons.


User currently offlineIFEMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1917 times:

Remember that when you eat in restaurants, you don't and won't get free refills of your drink. You want another coke, you gotta buy another coke.

User currently offlineCharles79 From Puerto Rico, joined Mar 2007, 1331 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1891 times:

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 3):
Remember that when you eat in restaurants, you don't and won't get free refills of your drink. You want another coke, you gotta buy another coke

That's true, yet most Americans aren't aware of that fact. Or the fact that in supermarkets in Germany they don't bag your groceries...or give you free bags at all! I once watched an American couple get into a fight in Heidelberg cause no one came to bag their stuff.

Have fun, Europe is certainly an amazing place to visit or live. My only advice is not to try and cram everything in one vacation...the European countries have been there for many years, and you'll probably get a chance to go back many times. Draft a rough schedule of what to do each day, but don't get down if it doesn't work out the way you planned. And do try the local cuisine!

Cheers!

Charles


User currently offlineEELonghorn From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1889 times:

In Munich, I spent an entire day here.
http://www.deutsches-museum.de/en


User currently offlineSJCRRPAX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1882 times:

Quoting Charles79 (Reply 4):
That's true, yet most Americans aren't aware of that fact. Or the fact that in supermarkets in Germany they don't bag your groceries...or give you free bags at all! I once watched an American couple get into a fight in Heidelberg cause no one came to bag their stuff.

Wow, I guess I should be embarrased by this... but when I was in Germany the store I would go to would put the groceries in a plastic bag for me, and as far as I know, they didn't charge me. I guess they just liked me. Or maybe it helps if you can't speak a word of German. I think San Francisco charges for plastic bags, maybe I should go there and see how it works in Superflys hometown.


User currently offlineRichPhitzwell From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1876 times:

Drink Absinthe in Paris, just because its illegal here  Big grin

User currently offlineWaterpolodan From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1649 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1873 times:

Quoting DC10extender (Thread starter):
Barcelona

Go to Gaudí's Parc Guel and the Sagrada Familia... both amazing in their own ways. Also, the food is mind blowing wherever you go, and there is a fantastic nightlife! Love that city.


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7961 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1862 times:

Great itinerary!

Vienna:
The entire old town within Ringbahn. It's small enough to explore it by foot.
Naschmarkt at Linke Wiener Zeile. It's a farmer's market with a strong Oriental influence. Come early in the morning!
Have a Sacher Torte (chocolate cake) and a "Großer Brauner" (coffee) or "Melange" (coffee with more milk) at a typical Vienna styled coffeehouse.
Go to a "Heuriger" (a combination of pub and restaurant) to have dinner. The prezels and sausages on your table are not free, which shouldn't stop you from having one or two.


Paris:
The main sights: Champs Elysee, Tour D'Eiffel, Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame ...
Walk along the banks of the river Seine. You could start at Notre Dame.
Montmartre - best to be seen in the evening. Go up to Sacré Cœur to enjoy a beautiful view over the city.
Quartier Latin


Barcelona:
Las Ramblas
Walk off from Las Ramblas into any sidestreet!
Sagrada Familia
Parc Güell by Gaudí - it's north of the city but provides a great view. Clearly a must see, even better than Parc de la Ciutadella in my book.
Barcelona's nightlife is vibrant. Enjoy it.


Munich:
Being from Berlin, I must say that's probably the weak part of your travel itinerary.  Wink
Seriously, Munich can of course not compete with the other three cities, but you could visit
Englischer Garten
The BMW museum if you are into cars
Deutsches Museum
a beergarden, of course - the Hofbräuhaus is a tourist trap!
Marienplatz (together with the nearby shopping street the only place in Germany, where you are not allowed to drink alcohol in the public).
Dachau - the former concentration camp


Have fun.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineNosedive From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1842 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 9):
Being from Berlin, I must say that's probably the weak part of your travel itinerary

Hehe, I may have to agree with you here  Wink

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 9):
the Hofbräuhaus is a tourist trap!

Still worth it for us American tourists! But yeah, go to a "proper beer garden" and drink you litre beers  yummy 

Pay as much as you can in coins. If your bill is like 13.63€, at least put in 3 cents, 13 or 63 cents is better. Your pockets will thank you later. Be prepared to be paying for most things in cash, esp in Germany. Why oh why can't this country learn to love the debit card!? In some places, I've noticed neither my credit card nor my debit card will work, case in point: Parisian metro stations. Oh well.
Speaking of subways, Paris and Vienna (I believe) have museum-subway ticket packs. Look into them; they may save you a buck or 2. If not, I found Paris's 10 card subway pack a better deal than a 3 day ticket. It depends on how much you will be walking.

By the way, if you're flying around, make sure you know about how much time you'll need to get to/from the airport. RER trains from the middle of Paris will take you anywhere from 25-45 minutes, depending on how many stops you make. From the Hauptbahnhof in Munich, MUC is about 45 minutes out there on the S-bahn. On the CAT in Vienna, I think it took about 20 minutes from the Hauptbahnhof to the airport.
As for check-in times, in each airport, I was off the train and at the gate in under 30 minutes in each airport. Of course, not having any checked luggage and self service check-in kiosks will do wonders.  Silly I'd still try to be at the airport 90 mins. before your flight, just in case things get hairy you've got some time.

Oh, and don't expect passport stamps, save the ones you'll get when you enter "fortress Europe" and leave it. Here's why-Schengen Agreement


User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4689 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1819 times:

Quoting EELonghorn (Reply 5):
In Munich, I spent an entire day here.
http://www.deutsches-museum.de/en

 checkmark  For an aviation geek, this is a must. While they also have some nice aircraft (like a Ju-52 and HFB-320), the collection of aircraft engines there is simply unbelievable.
Oh yes, there are also other things to see (and hear!) there!



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7961 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1786 times:

Quoting Nosedive (Reply 10):
Why oh why can't this country learn to love the debit card!? In some places, I've noticed neither my credit card nor my debit card will work,

Was it that the clerk or the waitress didn't accept your card or didn't your card work when using an ATM? ATM machines should always accept foreign debit and credit cards. Some people told me it's a good idea to let your bank know that you are going to to travel to Europe. When they notice that your card is used in Paris one day and the next in Vienna, they could assume a fraud or that your card was stolen.

Most places accept EC debit cards, but credit cards are indeed not as widely accepted as they are in the U.S. The good thing is that this helps to keep prices some 5% lower.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineRichPhitzwell From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1779 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 12):
Some people told me it's a good idea to let your bank know that you are going to to travel to Europe

Correct you are sir. They need to know when and where you will be. Also check with your bank on fees. My credit card had no fees to use it, but my debit when used as a credit card added little fees for every transaction. Even when using my debit card as a debit they would add not only the normal fee for withdrawls but the additional fee per transaction.
I caught this a couple of days into my trip otherwise I would have had to pay a good couple hundred in this silly fee.


User currently offlineNosedive From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1740 times:

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 12):

Was it that the clerk or the waitress didn't accept your card or didn't your card work when using an ATM?

My debit card works in pretty much all ATMs; it's damn shame Wells Fargo doesn't have a partner bank here in Germany, though. Places like grocery stores, convenience stores, some electronic stores (Saturn and Media Markt), book stores, etc. usually do not like credit cards, and an EC card is not the same as an American debit card. Some of my non-German European friends also like to gripe that Germany is a bit weary of credit cards. Either that, or something is getting lost in translation.

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 12):
ATM machines should always accept foreign debit and credit cards

That's pretty much the case. Talk to your bank about partner banks in Europe so you don't get slammed with processing and conversion fees.


User currently offlinePelican From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 2531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1728 times:

Quoting Nosedive (Reply 14):
Some of my non-German European friends also like to gripe that Germany is a bit weary of credit cards.

Well, although I'm German I would like to use my credit cards more often.

Quoting Nosedive (Reply 14):
and an EC card is not the same as an American debit card.

And? Who cares what kind of debit card it is? The fact is, debit cards are widely excepted.
Why Germans don't use them more often I can't say. I use it for every purchase over 10€ and wonder why most people use cash to buy stuff at the grocery. I seems just silly to me - first you have to get money at the ATM -using your debit card, than you have to count your money at the cashpoint unless you want a ton small money... why not skip the ATM and use a debit card at the cashpoint?  banghead   banghead 


pelican


User currently offlineOHLHD From Finland, joined Dec 2004, 3962 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1719 times:

Vienna: Start by walking around the Ring. It is called so and you will get to Townhall, Burgtheather ( opposite of Townhall) Parliament, 2 museums ( cultural and natural historic museum) with Maria Theresia ( former emperor) sitting in the middle and pointing towards the arts museum. She is famous for declaring that all children have to go to school! She was also the one who received a kiss by Mozart when he was really young. Opposite of the museum is the last remaining city gate and inside is the Hofburg. From there the emperors ruled the country. If you walk on you will reach the street " Graben". It will lead you to the St. Stephans Cathedreal. From there walk the Kaertner Strasse which is big shopping street to the Opera.

From there take the metro U4 in direction Huetteldorf ( my favourite football club is there btw Big grin ) and get of at Schoenbrunn. This is the fantastic castle that was built by the royals. Make sure you get to the bag side which is even more impressive!

I hope it helps a bit and can easily be done in 4 hours.  Smile

As mentioned before the Sacher Tart can be bought any were but the original flair is at the Opera house as the Hotel Sacher is right there behind it.

Make sure you eat a Schnitzel. Big grin


User currently offlineDC10extender From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 617 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1678 times:

Thanks for all of the advice. I will take some notes. Trip report to follow my return.


Did you ever read on your birth certificate that life is fair? Thats cause its not there.
User currently offlineBREmer From Germany, joined May 2004, 551 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1660 times:

advice on Munich...

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 9):
a beergarden, of course - the Hofbräuhaus is a tourist trap!

Agreed, don't go there unless you wanna meet dozens of other Americans and Japanese. If the weather is good, the beer garden is a MUST. The biggest beer garden is the 'Chinesischer Turm' (Chinese tower), just take the U6 subway to Giselastr. station and then bus 54 or 154 to the Chinesischer Turm stop or just walk from the city center.

If the weather sucks, have your beer at the X-club. Granted, it's no Bavarian folklore, but the ultimate bar tip of the young locals. It's located Clemensstr. 71, you can look it up on Google Maps, the nearest bus/tram stop is 'Kurfürstenplatz'. Be careful, that thing is such a secret tip it doesn't even have a sign on the outside.  Wink

Since you have several days to spend, you could also consider a trip to the Lake of Starnberg and Andechs monastery (famous for its beer and food), which are both easily accessible by suburban rail ('S-Bahn'). Neuschwanstein castle is also not too far, two hours by train (town of Fuessen).

Other things in Munich: Olympic Stadium, Nymphenburg Castle, Deutsches Museum, BMW.... think it's all been mentioned so far.

Lukas

[Edited 2007-07-09 21:33:25]

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