SOUTHAMERICA From Colombia, joined Dec 2003, 2496 posts, RR: 15 Posted (9 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1549 times:
I'm planning a trip to Europe next winter, probably in January. I've been thinking on where to go, but haven't really made up my mind yet. I know many of you could give some valuable advice.
Spain, France and Germany are out of the picture, already been there. I don't want to deal with visas other than Schengen, so places like the UK are out as welI. I know it's winter (it's the only month I have vacations) so I think it would be better to stick to less cold areas probably around the Mediterranean (although cold doesn't really matter if there's a place really worth visiting ). I was thinking in going to Lisbon, Rome and Athens, but I'm not really sure, one hears mixed comments about every place (Rome too touristy, Athens mixed opinions).
Ps76 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1436 times:
Three places I have enjoyed which might be interesting:
1. Norway: The thousands of pine trees and red timber barns are very picturesque even in winter. You did say you didn't want somewhere cold though and it is cold in winter. It is also extremely expensive. It's not always like a postcard but there are some great sights from time to time. Plus pretty much everyone speaks good english which makes things easy although maybe less interesting. I have only been to Kristiansand, Oslo and Stavanger.
2. Bratislava in Slovakia: Ryanair fly direct there from London. It is an extremely picturesque old town with very few tourists and a beautiful Christmas Market in November/December time. There are also very cool old Eastern European trams to ride on and you can catch one to a big modern shopping mall if you feel like something different. They use the Euro but when I used to go there it was very cheap compared to France etc. They have some great modern beautiful bookstores and cafes which blend in beautifully with the old town and a couple of good hotels (Ibis and Marriott I think) quite close. Heading out of the city centre you definitely see some more ugly communist style apartment blocks and stuff but the countryside is meant to be beautful too. Plus nowone speaks english which is fun!
3. Madeira is a cool place with the island of Porto Santo too. Plus it has a very cool airport. If you like hiking there are lots of Levada trails which you can either do on your own or join up with a tour. Funchal is a quite affluent city and reminded me a little of Switzerland (maybe because the people are all good-looking)! There is not much sandy beaches but you can go snorkelling or even scuba diving if that's your thing in some places.
rwsea From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3014 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (9 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1371 times:
The reality is that all of Europe will be cold in January, even places along the Mediterranean (I went to Barcelona a few years ago and the high was 8 degrees). That said, you still have a better chance of sun if you stay in the bottom half of Europe. I'd recommend Prague and Budapest - beautiful that time of year, a lot less crowded, and VERY cold but still often sunny which makes the cities very nice to visit. Of course, there's also Switzerland or Northern Italy for skiing.
If you really want to try and keep it warmer, then Rome and Tuscany are definitely great options!
If I had a couple of weeks (and a healthy budget), I'd perhaps go to Rome for a few days, then Prague/Budapest, and finally, try something like Lapland or Iceland so you can try to see the Northern Lights!
One thing I'd mention too about Bratislava was that when I used to go there a few years ago there were very few tourists. I'd generally only see one of two on the bus from the airport and then maybe a few walking around town. Maybe they were there but I didn't notice them! That just made it more fun for me!
Unless he's got money to burn Norway especially in winter is very expensive, if you want to see something Scandinavian go to Sweden or Denmark, far cheaper and a lot easier to get around, plus Stockholm is simply stunning in winter.
NoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7796 posts, RR: 13 Reply 8, posted (9 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1264 times:
You seem to be more interested in cities rather than the countryside. Lisbon is a nice city and has a mild winter with an average temperature around 10°C. Rome can be warmer but easily be colder as well since the city lacks the warm gulf stream. I would not worry about tourists in Rome in January. Florence should be 'doable' in winter, too.
I have been to athens in late November / early December and it was surprisingly warm, but I cannot say Athens was among my favourite cities.
If I were you, I would either pick Lisbon or Rome and do some day-trips.
andrej From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 810 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (9 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1235 times:
by all means, you are welcome to come here, spend some EURs , and enjoy this little town, but before you do, here are some comments on Bratislava:
-> Bratislava in winter is cold/wet/grey and uninspiring.
-> I would give it about 2 days for you to explore historic center in full (with excursions and visits to museums/galleries).
-> Unless you want to go clubbing (city center clubs are full of gold-diggers and hoes looking for foreigners; there are some good clubs that offer good music and are frequented by locals as well; if you need some suggestions write me a message), the night time will be boring.
-> You can visit thermal spas.
Now if you come in late spring/summer time:
-> Bratislava is fun, colorful, full of people. The promenade is very nice for evening strolls by the Danube River (there is a shopping mall Eurovea - one of the nicest in Europe - which is frequented by locals and foreigners).
-> There are plenty of tourists - most of them arrive from Vienna or on the river cruises (so they congest city center during the day and leave for BUD/VIE at night ).
-> On Fridays and weekends, stag parties arrive and they are obnoxious (I would have their asses deported ASAP, as they are giving their respective countries bad name).
-> There are nice and interesting clubs, but you have been warned.
-> You can visit near by historical sites (frontier of Roman Empire, Celts...) , places of interest (the region is well known for vineyards, plenty of lakes, castles, etc.).
Basically the winter time (Oct-Mar) is not the best time to visit Bratislava (my humble opinion).
dcaviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 165 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1171 times:
Bratislava? You can't be serious. There is a reason why not many tourists go there. Not much to see and nothing to do.
Every city in Europe has old town, why would you waste your time going to Bratislava?
andrej From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 810 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1164 times:
Quoting dcaviation (Reply 13): Every city in Europe has old town, why would you waste your time going to Bratislava?
Hence why many tourists combine it with their visits of Budapest and Vienna. After all, Bratislava was an important city in Austrian (and Austro-Hungarian) Empire and it is good for a day (max. 2) visit.
na From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 9600 posts, RR: 10 Reply 15, posted (9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1159 times:
If you prefer Southern Europe (well in winter you should), then Italy is no.1 without a doubt before considering something else. Fly to Rome, visit the eternal city (always worth a visit), then rent a car (or take a train) and drive up to Tuscany with its myriads of beautiful sights like Florence, Lucca and Siena. You can also go south, south of Naples and stay a few days at the Amalfi coast and the Basilicata.
dcaviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 165 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (9 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1130 times:
Quoting andrej (Reply 14): Hence why many tourists combine it with their visits of Budapest and Vienna. After all, Bratislava was an important city in Austrian (and Austro-Hungarian) Empire and it is good for a day (max. 2) visit.
I agree with you that you can do Bratislava in one day. There is not much to do after first day in town.
Thats exactly what I did. Went to Budapest and on the way back I stopped in Bratislava. After 3 hours I was done.
It was on summer sunday and I was surprised that only few people wondered the streets (most of them tourists).