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Posted: 1/8/2002 11:54:38 AM EDT
Need info from someone who has went to Europe for a vacation or honeymoon. We will probably be going in September of this year, but don't know where we want to go. I was thinking about either London with a couple days in Ireland, or possibly Italy. Everything I have ever heard about France has been bad so that isn't at the top of my list right now. For those who have been there... 1. Where did you go, how did you like it. Would you go back again? 2. How much should we plan to spend for 2 people, per week (not including air fare). I know this can vary greatly based on many factors, but just want to get an idea of how much an "average" person would spend. In other words I don't need luxury everthing, can walk or taxi instead of rent a car, etc. 3. Any other info you think I should bave would be appreciated. We will be getting lots of more info before we go, but I am just trying to get as much info as I can right now. Thanks.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 12:03:36 PM EDT
Friends of mine just returned from Paris / France, but I imagine what is true there will be true for all of Europe. The BIG thing they talked about was how on the public transportation its so crowded, you WILL be pressed on all sides. Routinely, they could feel people sliding a hand into their pockets to steal their money. It was so crowded, you couldn't move or do anything about it. Wear a moneybelt.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 12:18:28 PM EDT
London is [b]very[/i] expensive. Hotel, food, taxi, etc. South of France is gorgeous, the food is excellent but I don't know about cost. I do know it's not as expensive as London or Paris though. Italy, find yourself a nice town on the Adriatic Sea...it's gorgeous, and so are the sights [;)]. I've never been to Capri, but I hear it's amazing: [url]http://www.capri.net/home/en/index.php[/url] Have fun!!
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 12:24:05 PM EDT
You'll get more specific info. from others, but what I would emphasize is the longer you can stay, the better. I'd go for cheaper accomodations and travel and stay for as long as you can arrange/afford. Try not to do a blitz tour, or try and see everything. Instead go for quality, spend more time in a region or area. Northern Italy, for instance, is amazing. Florence is a city not to be missed, and you could spend days there, and travel in the area. Look into a Eurail pass or the current equivalent. Usually that allows you unlimited train travel throughout Europe (perhaps excepting the UK). The trains and other public transports work pretty well, though the further south you go, the more crowded they become. If you spend a lot of time in southern Europe, it would pay to upgrade to first class, especially if you travel overnight to save money on lodging. As far as security goes, a money belt and pouch around the neck/in the shirt is fine. Tourists look like, well, tourists, and are easier targets when they walk around with their heads up you-know-where. It's obviously worse in the big cities, as it would be if you were in Atlanta, L.A. or NY. Don't let it bother you, just take reasonable precautions, don't overload yourself with luggage, take lots of film, and have a GREAT time. It's a wonderful place. Read alot, ask around, prepare yourself and then go! The Lonely Planet guidebooks are very helpful. There's alot to see in this world!
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 12:34:35 PM EDT
London stinks.Go to Italy,Brescia to be exact.You know what they make there.Plenty of other stuff for you nad the wife to do.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 12:41:44 PM EDT
This is your Holland tourist promotor Visit us, see Amsterdam, the friggin windmills in Zaandijk. And some of the best definitions of what a coffeshop is not to mention the women....sheit I forgot it's your honeymoon..[:D] Didn't mean to be rude, I was just being me. But really, if you look past all the standard issue hallmarks..the Netherlands are nice to visit. Especially the towns of Utrecht, Arnhem and my hometown Zaandijk(for the windmills if you like them, otherwise let me know when you're visiting and I'll be happy to toast to your marriage in my home...) Kuiper
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 12:41:48 PM EDT
HKer, I traveled across Europe 7 years ago and had a great time. I flew into Scotland and stayed in Edinbourgh for a couple of days. I then drove down through Scotland (by myself) and into England for the next 7 days. I met up with my buddy and his wife in London and toured there for a few days. The Imperial War Museum in London is a must see. It is fantastic. We took the Tube (that is what Londoners call the subway) every where we went. Very easy and efficient. I had never been on a subway before and I figured it out easily. I loved London and would like to go back. From there we flew to Cologne, Germany and started our train travels (we had a Europass) through Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France. We were over there for a total of 6 weeks. Most of the time we stayed in bed & breakfast places. Some were nicer than others but all were clean and safe. Only in a couple of places did we have reservations for a room. Most of the time we would find a place once we got into town. We never had a problem finding one. People at the train stations will approach you and ask if you need a place to stay. They are trying to fill up their B&B, honest people. Don't know if I would trust anyone in the USA if they approached me at a train station or airport. We had no problems in France. We were in Paris for several days and went into the Loire Valley for a few days and also went to Reims (famous for champagne) for a couple of days. We were over there the same time you want to go. If you like beer and parties, go to Munich for Oktober Fest. It starts in about the middle of Sept. Boy, talk about a party!! We were there one the first day. There are 12 beer tents set up on the fairgrounds and each tent holds 6000 people!! At noon on the first day it was packed. Oh boy, what great fun. We took the TGV, France's high speed train from Geneva, Switz. to Paris. It does 170 mph. That was a rush. As for the money I really can't remember, I would say around $120 a day for a room, food and a tour or two. Probably more though. Also take a backpack for your belongings, not your set of luggage. Backpacks are the only way to travel over there. Trust me on this. Those little wheels on your suitcase aren't going to work on cobblestone. Don't worry about looking like a bum, most people travel like this. The only place we went in Italy was Venice. It was kind of trippy with all the canals. Nice place though. Just remember that you are in their country. Be polite, don't get upset if they don't speak English. You are there to have a good time so relax and enjoy a new challenge.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 12:49:32 PM EDT
Go where ever you want. I had a blast in every major city in Europe while I was stationed there. If you go to London you got to go see Stone Henge. One of my most memorable moments. Paris is cool no matter what anybody says. You can spend days in the Louvre and tripping down the Champs d'Leesay (sp?) Nueremberg is cool and you'll want to get to Southern Bavaria too. Go to Grafenweir (sp?) for some war history and do Berlin too. Amsterdam is a must also. You'll need 3 or 4 days to dry out afterwards though. Once you've pissed away most of your cash get out side into the small towns and get to know some of the locals. You'll meet some very friendly people who are very proud of their country and will love to show you around at no charge. Good luck.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 12:51:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: Wear a moneybelt.
View Quote
Yeah, watch for pick pockets. There are some career professionals over there. They even work in teams. Watch out for people offering unsolicited help like "oh can I show you they way" or "clumsy me, I splilled ketchup on your coat, let me wipe it off." While one person distracts you as such, the lifter moves in from behind and does his business. There's really no point in trying to "blend" in as a local. If you can then there maybe something wrong with you.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 12:57:35 PM EDT
I took a school trip to Italy last June/July, we were there for 9 days. We went pretty much every where-Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, and a few other places (Venice and Rome were my favorites). I would go back in a second. If you do go, DO NOT go with a tour group. We did (EF Tours), and it was way too stressful. We spent at least 6 hours in the bus every day for transportation. It would be better just to plan it yourself-you may not see quite as much, but you'll enjoy yourself more and be able to relax. We also took Lufthansa Airlines-It's a German carrier, and we had to stop over in Frankfurt. It was an EXCELLENT airline. As for money, I spent about $500 dollars over 7 days. Breakfaxt and dinner were included, so I just bought lunch, Water, and souvenirs. Don't use traveler's checks when you go. The easiest thing to do would be to get $100 or so in Euro, and just use an credit/debit/ATM card for everything else. I had a debit card with me that worked as an ATM card. There are ATM's all over (especially in touristy places) as well as places to change money. You should also bring some American money with you. I noticed that nobody in Italy wears shorts, they all wear khaki pants with button down/Polo shirts, and no sneakers. Also, EVERYONE smokes. People were smoking in most of the resteraunts. As far as security-I had an LL Bean money belt under my shirt with Passport, $50 in American and $50 in Lira with me. I kept my wallet in my fron pocket. You may also see a lot of gypsies around. Just ignore them and don't give them any money-many times one will distract you while another picks your pocket. Bring lots of film, and don't put it in your checked baggage-the X-rays will damage it. The X-rays in the carry on machine won't damage film. Italian hotels are not nearly as nice as American hotels-In one we stayed at you had to pay extra for AC. The staff is also less willing to help. That's all I can think of for now, I'll update if I think of anything else...
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 1:11:20 PM EDT
Hker, I would recommend a trip to Germany. If I'm not mistaken Octoberfest starts in September. If your looking for something on the romantic side, try the Rhine / Mosel river area. Lots of beautiful little towns, a castle every few miles and lots of good food, good wine and great beer. And you might just find something useful in a army surplus store somewhere. Larry
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 1:14:34 PM EDT
HK, Drop me an E-Mail and I'll see what type of German info I can get for you. I'm currently living in the far west of Germany about a 1/2 hour from Luxemburg. -David
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 1:25:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2002 1:26:41 PM EDT by Tuukka]
Finland´s nature, especially in Lappland in the time you are coming to Europe is breathtaking, if scenery is important to you. The prices here are generally very affordable and if you visit a certain weapons dealership/indoor range, you can fire a wide range of fully automatic weapons [;)] Not that i would be linked to the dealership in anyway..... [:D]
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 1:58:34 PM EDT
HKer: I lived in England for six years straight. I will tell you that if you go to England, you will see one of the most gorgeous countrysides there is, filled with castles! The first thing I noticed outside of London is that everything is GREEN!!!The grass is dark green no dried out grass, fences made out of stone criss cross the countryside, thatched roof cottages. You will not see any of this in the US. Pubs in every village. Oh and the Lagers,Bitters and stouts..that is a whole nother thread. LONDON: Great City, lots of life and history. The Tower,Crown Jewels, Big Ben, West Minster Abby, St. Pauls, Picadilly Square, So Ho, The UnderGround, Ka Bobs (Great after clubbing/drinking snack), Hippodrom, Herrods--Been to all of these-- police cars screaming by eeeh ahhhh, eeeh ahhhh, London taxis and double decker buses everywhere.This has brought back alot of memories. Do not stay in London. I would go on the outskirts and get a bed and breakfast, that is the way you lodge/travel in England and cheaper. Food is bland-like they never heard of spices. Petrol (gas) is very expensive. VAT is standard. When I was there a pound cost $1.55. God knows what it is now. If I had the time and money I would get on a plane right now and get over there...Jay
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 2:10:42 PM EDT
Go to Norway and see the Troll Wall.. 5000 vertical feet for climbing and BASE jumping. Ropes PS - bring me back some Euro coins [:D]
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 2:43:34 PM EDT
HINT: Don't be "the ugly American". Try to speak the language a little, learn the customs, and understand the culture. Take a page or two from Rick Steve (the PBS travel guy). Research where you're going and decide where to go and what to see & do BEFORE you leave. Wear lots of leather and leave the Nikes and Starter jackets at home, and you won't look so much like a tourist! Forget traveler's checks - bring your ATM card - they work everywhere and it's safer not to carry a lot of cash. I live well, so I plan on at least $500/week for the four of us for food, souveniers, and sundries. Lodging is extra - consult current guidebooks for deals. I went to Paris last year in Feb. I loved it and the food was great. The sandwiches they sell on the street were the best, as was everything else. I even ate some snails and liked them. The girls are HOT. I got to sit in on guitar with a blues band in a bar one night and was treated royally. I did not meet a single rude person except this one dickhead Arab in an epicerie (quicky-mart) one night - he understood "fuck you" and a finger very well. I have made several trips to Munchen (Munich) in Deutschland (Germany), and it has to be one of my favorite cities. Too much to list, but I found great music, great food, HOT women, and also the ski area near Garmish is fantastic. The weissbier is to die for. [beer] Italy? LOVE IT! I lived in Vicenza for 3 years in the 70's, and cried when I left. I still have good friends there. I love the food, the wine, the people, and I try to soak up the culture, art, etc, as much as possible. September will be nice - less tourists and not as hot. I've also been to England, Ireland, Holland, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Morocco, Egypt, and Israel (fucking HATED Israel - rudest, most pushy and argumentative people on the face of the earth). For my honeymoon we flew to Munich, rented a car, and drove to Venice and back over a two week period, seeing the sights and staying where we wanted. Beautiful! I'm taking my kids on the same trip this spring. As far as costs, the last trip to Paris cost me $379 round trip Delta non-stop, and I spent around $30-$40 a day on grub & drink (I like to eat). Stick with wine or beer, or BYOB - mixed drinks are EXPENSIVE in Europe in restaurants and bars. Go! Have fun!
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 3:21:51 PM EDT
I went to Europe 2 years ago, and had a blast. The most expensive thing about Europe is just getting there. Once there, it was very cheap. But I was staying in $15 hostels, which you wouldn't want to do on your honeymoon. Not if you want to stay married long! I mainly went to Italy because of a friend studying there and a friend's family, but I also spent 3 days in Amsterdam which is a really lovely city. The March weather reminded me of summer in Alaska. I am definitely going back. Another friend is studying art in Florence again, but I spent only 2 weeks in Italy which wasn't enough for me. Sorry to hear Paris is off your list, because it's at the top of mine. When I go back to Europe, I am definitely going to Paris. There are just too many amazing things in Paris to avoid just because of the people who live there. The most impressive thing I encountered in Europe was the Vatican. I didn't travel to the British Isles. Air fares now are super-cheap but they are likely to rise, especially for the summer. However, the whole terrorism BS might nix that. A ticket to Rome is $577 for me. Super cheap. Transportation by train is usually really cheap. Major cities and even countries are relatively close to each other compared to the US. Public transportation in the cities is a breeze. I am sure for $1000 a week you could have the time of your life, very nice and in style.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 3:52:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2002 3:54:34 PM EDT by Ratters]
Been there three times in the last three years, once a western Europe tour and two trips to eastern Europe. As this is your first trip you may just want to see the high points. We did France, Switzerland, Italy and France again on the first trip. Wife bought tickets to the F1 at Magny Cours to get me to go to France. France is actually OK in and of itself. Paris is full of the jerks though. Southern France all the people loved Americans. Switzerland is clean, beautiful and EXPENSIVE as is most of Europe. We stayed with my wife's Aunt and Uncle there which helped defray the costs quite a bit. We then went to Italy which was quite a culture shock. Very dirty compared to Switzerland, especially Genoa where my family is from. Our favorite place of the trip was actually Pisa, as all the tourists left at sundown and we had a great evening and the best meal of our trip. Florence was nice, about half the people were American tourists so I felt better there. Three days was enough of that place though, all scooters and people on cell phones. We went to Paris for four days after this and I was so ready to go home to civilization at the end of two weeks. Western Europe is very expensive, especially if all you drink is Coke like me. Single Cokes are like 3 or 4 dollars and warm. The savages. Also, watch out for gypsies. No joke. Especially in train stations. They are very pushy. You just have to be firm on the virge of aggressive with them. Now Eastern Europe. My wife worked in Budapest for about 8 months and I went to visit her twice. Loved both trips. Had I known I would have stayed with her. She had a free three bedroom flat and a car for her stay plus a hundred bucks a day per diam. Budapest is as pretty as any city in Europe, the people are nice (unlike Prauge), and it is CHEAP. Most of my lunches were one to two dollars. A VERY expensive restaurant meal is about ten dollars. The gelatto cone that cost me almost ten bucks in Florence (don't ask) was only about 80cents. Plus you can go to Vienna by boat which is fun. We are going back to see the F1 either this summer or next. Oh yeah, NO TRAVELLERS CHECKS. They are a waste of money. Use your ATM card anywhere and you get the best exchange rate possible. Figure a one to two hundred a day western Europe and twenty to fifty in eastern Europe. Good luck finding what you want to do and have fun. Congrats on the upcoming nuptuals.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 4:02:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 6:39:23 PM EDT
I travel a fair amount for my job, mostly to Asia but did get a few trips to Europe in last year. There are a couple of places I'd like to return to with my family for a vacation: Prague - A beautiful old city with reasonable prices, great restaurants, concert halls, and God's gift to beer lovers......... Pilsner Urquell. Someone earlier referred to rude people in Prague but that wasn't my experience at all. It's one of the few ancient European cities that hasn't been bombed or otherwise war damaged, I'm told. I stayed at a fairly new Marriott downtown that was quite good and not too pricey, easy walking distance to one of the old city gates, a square, concert hall, restaurants, etc. Vienna - Clean, expensive, pedestrian friendly. An incredible Cathedral in the old city center pedestrian mall with stonework that has to be seen to be believed. Both cities have lots of little shops for your bride to peruse, prices will be better in Prague and they have sidewalk type cafes where you can sit and quaff those Pilsner Urquells while she shops. [beer] I 2nd the advice on pickpockets. I lost a cell phone to a couple of Gypsy kids who set up shop outside a restaurant in Slovakia - one to distract me with dried flowers for sale while the other made the snatch. They were so adept that I never suspected a thing until I got back to the hotel and discovered the phone missing from a very deep inside coat pocket. If a kid approaches and bumps you over there, put aside your American nice guy instincts and shove back.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 7:14:47 PM EDT
Amsterdam, legal drugs & prostitution. I am going in April! Oh, you are on your honeymoon? Then Paris. But I agree with the above, one of my traveling companions had his wallet filched out of front velcro pocket. Luckily a native woman pointed out the theft and he got his wallet back.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 7:29:11 PM EDT
Honestly take a look at Portugal. It is the cheapest place in Europe for a Holiday. I have been to Europe countless times 20ish. My wife is Portuguese and I love the country. A nice hotel in Lisboa will run about $55 U.S. compared to the same hotel in Berlin for about $100 U.S. The food is excellent, night life is hopping, beaches in the Algarve (South), great wines, beautiful women (I married one), great value for the dollar. Speaking Portuguese is not required, most places that are equipped to handle tourists speak English. Portugal is the favorite spot for countless Germans, French, and Brits. Check it out before you write it off. The people are fantastic, not rude ie. French, very warm and hospitible sp? Good Luck. Tim
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 7:46:57 PM EDT
first of all...dont go to f***ing Paris, the french suck..(denying us airspace to bomb libya, cooperating with terrorists..saluting hitler at the 38 olympics etc) i do recommend Ireland though, especialy southern Ireland, the great republic of Eire , and most definetely counties cork and kerry. i lived in western europe for 7 years and nowhere compares to the freindly Irish when it comes to hospitality. stay away from northern ireland though untill the brits get the f**k out. also if you get to mainland europe, i loved The Czech Republic a must see there is Marianske Lazny (Marian Bad) a spa town that is the jewel of eastern europe.
Link Posted: 1/8/2002 8:00:51 PM EDT
Toured with a group, and solo a couple of times. Recommendations (in order): Italy, Italy, Italy! Spain Portugal Switzerland Germany Austria Holland Denmark Norway Sweden Finland Belgium Luxembourg England (expensive, many immigrants, otherwise great. Good place to start and/or end to depressurize) No doubt, some great deals to be had in the former Eastern Europe nations as well, but no experience, though. Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic rumored to be good, but a lot of crime. France is dirty, expensive, sucks and has the world's largest collection of rude arrogant assholes in one place. Greece has problems with crime, terrorists, and anti-Americanism.
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