Planning a trip to Europe

<p>I know this isn't really a CC topic but I have had such good advice about other things that I thought I would ask it on here anyway. We are planning a dream trip for this summer. My father left me some money to use on a trip to Europe with our DD. We have some plans and some places we want to go. We were going to add in Spain for several days but d/t timing we are not able to add this in. So this gives us more free time. So far we have -</p>

<ul>
<li>6 days in Ireland
-then flying to Munich - train to Austria - 4 days traveling to Salzburg and Innsbruck</li>
<li>then 3-4 days in Paris</li>
</ul>

<p>There are so many other places I want to visit but now that we are in the planning stages I can't narrow it down. I want to go everywhere but trying not to make it too crazy. We were thinking of more time in France - but where? My DD loves history so we were thinking a day in Normandy. I would love to go to the Bordeaux region. The other possibility is Italy - but not sure where? Any suggestions would be wonderful. Thanks so much for your help.</p>

<p>Have you been on trip advisor...google it and have fun planning around your must see places. Have you considered Switzerland?</p>

<p>It of course depends on what you are interested in, but some things I would consider given your plans so far:</p>

<p>Since you are going to be in Munich you could go north to Rothenburg, the best walled city I have ever visited (probably been there 20-25 times, including last summer) and/or go southwest to visit a couple of Ludwig’s castles, Linderhof and Neuschwanstein are my favorites. If you like to hike you could do some hiking in southern Germany, or my personal favorite, Zermatt, Switzerland. </p>

<p>If you want to drop down into northern Italy, I know I would want to, I would suggest Venice (perhaps my favorite place) and Cinque Terre.</p>

<p>You could also spend more time in Paris, we were there for two weeks this past summer and would go back in a heartbeat.</p>

<p>I don't think I'd recommend Cinque Terra for awhile. Right now, "popular Cinque Terre hiking trails remain closed at the beginning of 2012 (as well as the villages of Monterosso and Vernazza)" due to the terrible flood and slides that took out much of those beautiful villages. You can still do some local hikes there and see the other towns, but those two are the best by far. The amazing trail that hits them all is still closed, so I'd wait until that's been fixed. So sad, what a beautiful place. We hiked it and stayed in Monterroso just before the floods.</p>

<p>busdriver11-
You are right about Cinque Terre, I was there last summer before the flooding.</p>

<p>So sad, isn't it, count? One of the most beautiful places on earth. I know they will rebuild and it will be fantastic again, but it's going to take some time. I started planning my next trip back there before we even left. That was one of the big highlights of our Italy trip.</p>

<p>It is so hard deciding and thanks for all of the suggestions. My DD was lucky enough to dance in Austria several years ago which is one of the reasons she wants to go back to there. We did a day in Venice and she did not like it too much, it was 96 degrees that day, and did not smell so good which may be why it is not high on her list to return. We have family we are visiting in Ireland. As for Paris, she has never been there and I think it is fabulous and she needs to go. Keep the suggestions coming!</p>

<p>
[quote]
Since you are going to be in Munich you could go north to Rothenburg, the best walled city I have ever visited (probably been there 20-25 times, including last summer) and/or go southwest to visit a couple of Ludwig’s castles, Linderhof and Neuschwanstein are my favorites. If you like to hike you could do some hiking in southern Germany, or my personal favorite, Zermatt, Switzerland. </p>

<p>If you want to drop down into northern Italy, I know I would want to, I would suggest Venice (perhaps my favorite place) and Cinque Terre.

[/quote]
CountMonteCristo and I must think alike in this regard. I'd recommend all of these places although if the trail linking the towns of the Cinque Terra is wiped out then it'd be best to skip that this time.</p>

<p>Rothenburg is very picturesque as is Zermatt. Zermatt is a unique place given that what few vehicles they have are electric and the setting is spectacular. Be sure to take the gondola up the mountain at least part way. It's expensive but not something to skip.</p>

<p>The Neuschwanstein castle is the 'Cinderella castle' Disney copied for the parks. It's also a spectacular setting.</p>

<p>All of the above are fairly close to the Munich area.</p>

<p>Some people will tell you to spend more time in Paris but a few days is enough for me.How much time to spend depends on the individual and what they like to do. I'm not one for lingering all day drinking coffee at a sidewalk cafe - I'd rather go see and do things.</p>

<p>Just accept you won't be able to do everything and enjoy what you can do given the time you have and maybe go back for another trip another time. However, if you can tack a few days on you can do even more so try to do that if you can swing it.</p>

<p>What do you want to do - see the countryside, historic buildings, museums or sit at roadside cafes and watch the people? That will shape responses. Also, what time of year?</p>

<p>I sometimes like to do overview trips and hit more cities, so I know where I can go back and spend more time on another trip. In large cities, I find the sightseeing buses provide a good overview of all the major tourist attractions. I've done that in London, Paris & Barcelona and haven't been disappointed. </p>

<p>I do see no London listed. Why? There are cheap flights from Ireland-London, from there you could take the train to Paris, then trains to other destinations in Europe. I might also spend a day in Amsterdam (4 hour train from Paris) to see Anne Frank house and Rembrandt & Van Rijk's museums (the latter are next to each other). </p>

<p>What are you planning to see in Ireland. I've been there several times and have clear opinions of what are 'must sees' and 'skips'. </p>

<p>PS - this is the perfect place to ask for recommendations! I planned a wonderful family trip just after Christmas 2010 with the advice I received here.</p>

<p>A visit to Omaha Beach in Normandy with an overnight stay on Mont Saint Michel was a real highlight of our family's trip to France. A history buff would be in heaven.</p>

<p>My husband has been to Ireland several times so we are pretty much set with what we want to do there. He has family we are visiting in Waterford and County Clare. We are also going to do the Rock of Cashel, Blarney Stone - I know touristy but one of the people we are traveling with is destined to kiss the stone. I think we are also going to go to Galway. My husband is in charge of planning this leg of the trip, I am in charge of the rest. I have been there but it was for my honeymoon so I am not the expert. We also were in Paris in 2001 without children which is why we want to go back. We had a horrible experience in Berlin so not sure if we want to do much in Germany. It is just very inexpensive to fly to Munich from Cork, Ireland and is only 2 1/2 hours then by train to Innsbruck. We also have been to London, again no DD in attendance, so that is a possibility. I want to try places I have not been to yet which was why I was thinking Italy and more of France. What does anyone know about Bologna?</p>

<p>Bologna is a wonderful city and they have, hands down, the best food in Italy. I am particularly fond of staying in towns like Bologna. Centrally located, lots of easy train connections, inexpensive to fly into and a great base for a variety of side trips like Ferrara ,Modena or even Ravenna. Just be careful about summer travel to Italy. It can be very crowded and cities such as Florence, Rome and Venice can be a big hot mess. Add to this --- during August (Ferie d'agosto) a good percentage of restaurants and other businesses close up for the summer holidays.</p>

<p>Summer Olympics in London so keep that in mind.</p>

<p>
[quote]
We had a horrible experience in Berlin so not sure if we want to do much in Germany.

[/quote]
What happened in Berlin? I haven't been to Berlin but I've been to much of the rest of Germany and have enjoyed it. Places like Rothenburg and Neuschwanstein are nothing at all like any of the cities in Germany - they're both very small places.</p>

<p>Also in Germany and nice - along the Rhine river from around Wiesbaden (not far from Frankfurt) north. It's loaded with castles to see and small villages and is pretty scenic.</p>

<p>I'd probably avoid the London area while the olympics are going on - hotel rooms will probably be scarce and expensive and places crowded.</p>

<p>Is your plane to Munich then train to Salzburg equal to a plane to Salzburg?. Its a mistake to do too much in a short time. Not only will your experiences be a mish mash, but between getting to/fro train stations/airports you wont actually get to experience much. As someone said, avoid London. If you do wind up in Austria - check out prices to Istanbul - they arent expensive, and yes it's not Europe, but you can be on 2 continents in one day! If you stay in a hotel by the sea, you can get a few days beachwise as well as sightseeing one of the most interesting countries. If you dont want Turkey, investigate going to Prague for 3 days from Austria.
Try to avoid large cities such as Paris London Rome or even Florence and Venice during the summer. The heat is awful, the crowds are extra long and you won't see many natives.</p>

<p>I know you want to go to Ireland...I would do Italy (Florence, Venice, Pisa), France (Paris) and Spain (Barcelona).</p>

<p>Paris is actually cool in the summer, too cold for my taste. We were in Rome in June last year.</p>

<p>We have travelled around Europe every year since kids were little. If you ask them where they would go back to, it would be Italy. They are not crazy about UK (London).</p>

<p>Rothenburg is lovely and has this spectacular altar: File:Rothenburg</a> ob der Tauber 018.JPG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I also highly recommend visiting one of the Baroque churches designed by the Asam brothers. This is the one in Munich: Asamkirche</a> - Munich, Germany If you like hiking you can take a gondola up to the top of most skiing peaks and then hike the tops of the mountains.</p>

<p>We also loved it in Rothenburg ob der tauber. It was a very relaxing place & our 1st major stop in Europe, while we adjusted to time zones and a cultural shift.</p>

<p>I'm a huge fan of Paris, so my personal suggestion would be to focus on the city and take day/half-day trips outside. Among the cool, historically important, but close places you could go: </p>

<ul>
<li>Senlis
Senlis</a>, Oise - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</li>
<li>Chantilly
[url=<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Chantilly%5DCh"&gt;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Chantilly]Ch&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/li>
</ul>