Author Topic: At loose ends in Europe for 6 days + Journey  (Read 220 times)

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At loose ends in Europe for 6 days + Journey
« on: October 27, 2014, 08:14:01 PM »
So, due to some work and vacation scheduling, I find myself with 6 days to make my way from the Czech Republic to England during the second week of December. I'll be alone (I'm fine with that) and probably travelling with at least one large suitcase.

I was thinking of buying a week long rail pass and sort of going where the wind blows me (just generally north west), but would welcome any and all ideas for things I should do.

Christmas markets are fun, but I have generally had my fill of them after a couple days. I have heard that the ones in Nuremberg are the finest in the land, so I might make a stop there. I've been to and seen Prague and Berlin. I'm pretty sure I don't want to go as far south as Italy, and not as far north as the arctic circle. Some other ideas were Brussels, or maybe Paris, which would be new for me. I get sick on ferries, so I will probably chunnel across to the island. Any other ideas?


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Re: At loose ends in Europe for 6 days + Journey
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 08:31:37 PM »
I love the Nuremburg Christmas market, but some of the smaller cities also have very nice little markets as well. 

You can't go wrong in Paris...I mean, you could spend the whole 6 days there :)

Brussels and Amsterdam are lovely, but you only have 6 days..

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Re: At loose ends in Europe for 6 days + Journey
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2014, 04:40:25 AM »
Bruges is absolutely lovely and I believe they have a nice Christmas market as well. It's a really charming city.
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Re: At loose ends in Europe for 6 days + Journey
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2014, 07:03:28 AM »
May I suggest, instead of one large suitcase, two small ones, or one small and a medium?

A large suitcase can get very heavy, very fast. Two small ones can be held one in each hand, and balance each other out.

And if you divide your stuff carefully, if one gets lost or stolen, you will still have enough clean underwear to keep going.

I know airlines charge more and more for a second bag, but there are times when two small bags are infinitely easier to deal with than one large one.

As for where to go, if you haven't been to Paris, two or three days would be fun. I spent a week there once and didn't get to see everything I wanted to.
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Re: At loose ends in Europe for 6 days + Journey
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2014, 08:12:01 AM »
I will be in Rome in december so i'll wave to you!

Sounds like fun. I've been to brussels for one day in the winter about a year ago - to be honest i was not overly impressed with the city and i would never go back. besides the fact that it was very very cold, there were whole areas where i felt *very* unsafe and vulnerable (and this is from someone who will pretty much go anywhere), the so called "tourist information" centers were extremely rude and unhelpful, and the city seems to consist of chocolate stores and waffle stands. ok, i know the last bit is not accurate but that's kind of what i felt by the end of the day. I understand that either Ghent or Bruge would have been a much better choice.

Paris - i've never been so I can't say but that's where i would probably go.

I don't know how the trains work, but i would probably opt for Germany or Austria, the northern part of italy, maybe switzerland and then paris. Even if you just spend a day in each, it could be lovely.

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Re: At loose ends in Europe for 6 days + Journey
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2014, 03:48:28 AM »
Gent is lovley.

I'd love to see Neuschwanstein Castle at that time of year, I've only ever been in the summer. It has the advantage of being in Bavaria which is a fabulous area. Very friendly.
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Re: At loose ends in Europe for 6 days + Journey
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2014, 06:25:11 PM »
I'm actually on an interrail holiday right now! You can buy a five days in ten pass, but book Eurostar separately as the Interrail supplement is more expensive than most tickets.

I'd suggest Vienna, Salzburg, Nuremberg if you want it, and work your way across Austria and Switzerland to Belgium if you have a pass. Don't go through France if you have a pass - you have to reserve on TGVs and it's very expensive on top of the pass.

If you want stunning scenery on a trip, do go to Italy. DH and I were very glad we had a compartment to ourselves between Munich and Verona, because the noises we were making at the scenery were not dignified. (We kind of lost the power of speech and were "oooh" and flapping hands at each other.)

But my number 1 piece of advice is go to The man who runs it is a train travel fiend and we have taken so many holidays using his website.

(Current holiday is London-Germany via Brussels, Germany-Northern Italy, and we're off to Switzerland on Friday to see friends, before home via Germany and Belgium.) previousky we've done London-Zurich via Paris, Zurich-Salzburg, Salzburg-Vienna, Vienna-Munich, sleeper to Paris, home via Eurostar again.

Also, if you can afford it and are doing long journeys, splurge for a first-class pass. It's less than €150 euros more and is worth every penny in terms of comfort and ability to get a seat.

If you're only doing a couple of long journeys, don't bother with a pass. Book your tickets in advance, it'll be much cheaper. If you decide to go to Bruges and are heading directly from there to London book "any Belgian station" to London. Only £5 more. Also, is a wonderful resource for planning as it has all the timetables for Europe. The app is very useful if you have a smartphone.