Allstarflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (8 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 1992 times:
After having been in the airline industry for over 4 years, I've done a ton of domestic traveling, and little international (London 2x). I'm thinking about using some of vacation accrual in Europe next month, and I was wondering how I can most easily (and affordably) get about and stay at night. Hostels, trains, things like that. I'm planning to go to Germany on LH (I guess to MUC - haven't looked at the itineraries just yet) and then mosey my way down through France to southern Spain. I should have ten days total, and I was hoping (in some way) to hop across to Morocco, if even for a short time. I want to see one major German city (MUC or FRA will be fine), Paris, Madrid, and if I have enough time, take a train back up through Barcelona and the French Riveria. Heck even pass through Switzerland, if possible. If anyone has some insight or could show me some websites (for purchasing train tickets - if trains can take me where I want to go - hostels, things to see, etc.), I'd appreciate it.
And if I don't respond on this right away, it's because I'm leaving work for the day soon, but I'll be checking this again tomorrow.
LifelinerOne From Netherlands, joined Nov 2003, 1897 posts, RR: 8 Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 1985 times:
Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 1): Make sure you hit Amsterdam, the fun capital of Europe. (Depending on your particular vices, of course!)
Ahh, how can you say that?? Amsterdam has just launched an extensive marketing campaign to get rid of that image... We also have very nice old buildings, canals, wooden shoes, flowers and DJ Tiësto... Who cares about the red light district and smoking pot...???
Get a EurRail Pass. I know this is an aviation site - but if you want to SEE Europe, that's the way to go. Start in Copenhagen. Take a ferry to Amsterdam. Take Rhine River Cruise to Frankfurt. Take the train to Vienna and Madrid
Allstarflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 1971 times:
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 4): Get a EurRail Pass. I know this is an aviation site - but if you want to SEE Europe, that's the way to go. Start in Copenhagen. Take a ferry to Amsterdam. Take Rhine River Cruise to Frankfurt. Take the train to Vienna and Madrid
How the heck do I do this? A ferry to Amsterdam - from Copenhagen? That seems a bit long, but then, to me it seems like Northern European geography would be more expansive. That whole route sounds like a cool plan, though. I'll look into it, but I'm open to pointers as to how to do this.
NoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7891 posts, RR: 13 Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 9 hours ago) and read 1952 times:
Quoting Allstarflyer (Thread starter): (I guess to MUC - haven't looked at the itineraries just yet) and then mosey my way down through France to southern Spain. I should have ten days total, and I was hoping (in some way) to hop across to Morocco, if even for a short time. I want to see one major German city (MUC or FRA will be fine), Paris, Madrid, and if I have enough time, take a train back up through Barcelona and the French Riveria.
That's plenty for ten days. In doubt, choose a little less to soak up atmosphere and blend with the environment.
Mdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4119 posts, RR: 9 Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 9 hours ago) and read 1942 times:
I'll throw my hat in here too. I'm planning on going with my family to Europe. We were planning on going to France, Italy, and Germany. Which places in Italy (aside from Rome) and Germany are family friendly places?
Also, how much is EURail?
"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
NoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7891 posts, RR: 13 Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 1924 times:
Family friendly? Well, that's certainly not Rome. The traffic there is crazy, but you nevertheless shouldn't miss Rome or Florence and the Tuscan countryside.
As for Germany, the most family friendly spots I know of are the Eastfrisian islands, such as Langeeog ( http://www.langeoog.de ) Nice beaches, dunes, no cars allowed and very little pollution. It's comparatively expensive, though and difficult to get there. And I don't think you are keen on spending your holidays on a little island, no matter how peaceful it may be. My sister in law and I spend a couple of days there every year to relax.
How about Freiburg and the Black Forest? It's a small but thanks to it's University relatively vibrant city with a nice old town. And Freiburg is only a stone's throw from Switzerland and France.
If you want to see a big German city, I would choose MUC over FRA any day.
Mdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4119 posts, RR: 9 Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 1916 times:
Quoting NoUFO (Reply 12): Nice beaches, dunes, no cars allowed and very little pollution.
One thing though...being brown, my family doesn't care for beaches too much . I think the historical sites are more important for my parents, which is why Rome is a must. As for Germany, it seems to me like Berlin has the most history. Also, where are the best places to see the castles?
[Edited 2005-04-16 01:18:14]
"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
NoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7891 posts, RR: 13 Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 7 hours ago) and read 1911 times:
Ahh, your parents. I was thinking of your kids.
Yes, than Berlin is a must see, Munich comes second. Castles ... oh dear ... Neuschwanstein of course and don't miss the Rhine valley (train!). And your parents will like Freiburg and the Black Forest, too.
Hint: "being brown" is interpreted as "being Nazi" in Germany.
ANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 7 hours ago) and read 1903 times:
Quoting NoUFO (Reply 14): and don't miss the Rhine valley (train!).
When I lived in Wiesbaden one of my favorite things to do was to take a KD Boat (the old Drachenfels was my favorite) down the Rhine from Mz/Erbenheim to Koblenz and return on the train. It will take most of the day, but it IS worth the trip. The Rhine Valley is one of the most beautiful places in Germany, bar none. Don't miss that ride.
NoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7891 posts, RR: 13 Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 7 hours ago) and read 1892 times:
All about Neuschwanstein and other Bavarian castles: http://www.schloesser.bayern.de/ (english) Neuschwanstein is in the southwest of Bavaria. Being there, you may want to travel to Lake Constanz (Bodensee), as well.
StevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months ago) and read 1874 times:
Using Eurail, you should be able to get a multi-country pass, but also look at each trip on an individual basis compared with the cost per day of a pass.
Example: I paid $200 for 5 days for last July, or $40 per day. For whatever pass YOU buy, determine the daily cost. So, if a particular train segment is less than that, then don't waste a day on your pass! Contrastly, if the proposed cost of a trip is more than the daily cost of your pass, then use a day of your pass. Forgive me for sounding like an accountant, but given the exchange rate these days, any money you can save is worth it.
Regarding Deutsche Bahn: I had no problems whatsoever...great value, if you ask me. Trains are on time, but not nearly to German standards of course, which is why most of them complain about it to no end. For us Yanks on vacation though, it's perfect, and better than anything here, that's for damn sure. Use their website, and that can help you plan departure and arrival times, total time on the train, and you can use it to book hotels, like I did. I used this site extensively to plan my 10 days through Germany, and it was priceless! I think DB lost money on my pass, but oh, well.
If you're limited on time in Germany, then Munich and Berlin are musts. But, if you do both this trip, remember it's about an 8-10 hour train ride between each city, and you might consider taking a night train. Don't bother wasting time in Dresden, it's not worth it, plus they're not openly friendly with westerners, either. Don't waste your time with the Nazi stuff in Nurnberg, either. Go to Cologne if you want to see the cathedral or a gay parade, otherwise forget it. Bonn is nice, but not a lot to see if you're short on time. Anyway, in either Munich or Berlin, do the walking tour, which is about 13 Euros, plus tip, which is highly recommended, as the guides REALLY know their stuff. Here's links for both MUC and Berlin. The Berlin site has a coupon that gives a 1 or 2 Euros off a tour if you print it now and give it to them when you pay.
Offers several tours. 3-4 hours for the city tour...try to get Henry if he's there. Also, get out to Potsdam if at all possible, Cecillienhof and Sansoucci are AMAZING to see. Tours leave from the Zoo Hbf (train station in the former West Berlin, near the zoo) or near Ostbahnhof, IIRC.
Stick with this company while in MUC...they have Neuschwanstein tours (allow 1 full day for approx. $40 plus tip. Book this advance on the website now if you're going to be there in the summer)
They also have a tour of Dachau as well I believe. Dachau is like 12 miles NW of the city.
Also in Munich...stay away from the Hofbrauhaus...total tourist trap! Unless you want to watch foreign tourists get drunk, forget it. Go somewhere authentic. The G. Schneider & Sohn brewery is about a block or so east of Marienplatz/neues Rathaus/Glockenspiel. Even better yet...and go to the Englischer Garten rain or shine...but there's a huge eating area at the Chinese pogoda area...treat yourself to a Storkelfisch! In the southeast corner of the park, check out the surfers in the river that comes out from under the street! They're fun to watch for 15-20 mins.
I love both Munich and Berlin...I miss it a great deal...I always have a blast there. I didn't get to do the Rhine cruise, but I understand the area between St. Goar and Bacharach is the most scenic, based on Rick Steves' tour book.
Spain: Barcelona over Madrid any day! The eastern coast is nice, several resort towns to check out. Stay in a Paradores (sp?) hotel anywhere, some are better than others, but the one we stayed at in Albacete was great. Seville is a nice city...I enjoyed it there as well, and consider going to see a bullfight at the Plaza de Toros in Madrid. To get to the south coast, from Madrid take the AGV from Atocha and it goes to Sevilla via one stop. From Sevilla, take a regular train to Cadiz, which is nice, and then ultimately get to Tarifa, which is the windsurfing capital of Europe. Stay away from the Costa del Sol, which is a tourist trap from everywhere I've read. You can do Morocco in a day..buy a day tour in Tarifa, and there's a ferry that leaves from either Tarifa (it might now, but there wasn't one in 2001) or Algeciras. Gibraltar is right there, but Morocco is a real eye opener! Worth it though, for a day. Go with a group, definitely.
Jet-lagged From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 863 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (8 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1851 times:
Europe is such a diverse place! Look into your heart and see what countries you are most interested in.
Mostly I've been to the cities, but I can make these suggestions:
For great European value, consider Budapest and Prague.
The great cities of Europe in my mind are Vienna, London, Rome, and Paris. Because for centuries they were the hearts of large empires or countries
Other great cities are
Germany - Munchen and Bavaria (never been to Berlin) is way better than the other cities IMO
Spain - Madrid (Barcellona also good)
Finland - Helsinki, in the height of Summer
Netherlands - Amsterdam - a great European city, and with some 'special' atraction
Portugal - Lisbon is nice
Italy - Florence is great too, as is Sienna
Greece - Athens is great. The rest of the country not so attractive, unless you are very partial to Greek history. The isles are good though
Eurail is the best way to get around. If you can afford it, rent a car for a few days, and experience the freedom of the countryside too.
A319114 From Netherlands, joined Aug 2004, 541 posts, RR: 3 Reply 23, posted (8 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1804 times:
You really should come to The Netherlands, it's a nice country to visit and there's lots of more to see besides Amsterdam. For Example, if you are into modern architecture you could visit Rotterdam, also famous for its harbour, one of the biggest in the world (really worth a visit). If I have time, I even could show you around in Holland.
I also really like Vienna, a great city with a rich history. Make sure you visit an opera performance in the Staatsoper (state opera).
Destruction leads to a very rough road but it also breeds creation