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Europe in May - Suggestions Please!

Jacksonville...
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Europe in May - Suggestions Please!

A little background:

-I'm traveling to Europe on 5/1/13 and won't be coming back until 5/24/13.

-I've been to Eruope twice before, once on a study abroad program to Madrid in college and once with an ex-girlfriend. This will be my first time traveling abroad by myself.

-In my travels to Europe before, I've seen most of the major cities/attractions in Spain, France, Italy, and England.

I'm flying into Manchester on 5/1 and I have to be in Liverpool on 5/19 for an LFC match (I'm a fanatic). Other than that, my travel plans are wide open. I was planning on checking out Amsterdam, Berlin, and Munich as those are places I've never been before. I also want to spend a few days in Paris and Edinburgh since I have friends in those places with whom I would like to visit.

So what I'm asking for are your opinions on where I should go and what I should see. If you had 3 weeks to trek around Europe, what places would be on your must-see list? And I'd prefer to see new places that I didn't note above.

Thanks in advance!

Chula Vista...
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1. Re: Europe in May - Suggestions Please!

Hi Riley and welcome to the forum,

It might help to know a little more about you and your travel plans/style in order to provide better answers:

- Where are you coming to Europe from?

- How do you plan on getting around? Train? Car? Both?

- Interests? You list large cities... Any interest in more rural areas?

- Budget for transportation and lodging?

In Germany, I enjoyed a drive up the Rhein River from Mainz to Koblenz, and then through the Mosel Valley from Koblenz to Trier. Very scenic and through the German wine country.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a small German town dating back to medieval times that is a bit touristy but worth an afternoon or a day. The Kriminalmuseum there is quite intriguing--it's amazing what one human was capable of doing to another back then.

The old town of Bamberg is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is worth exploring.

In Bavaria, Prien am Chiemsee and the area around Berchtesgaden, including Konigsee. was particularly scenic.

Salzburg, while it can be a little touristy, is an interesting and compact city to explore.

Just east of Salzburg is the Salzkammergut region with lots of lakes and Alpine villages.

I also particularly enjoyed the area around Appenzell, Switzerland with the cows grazing in the pastures with their cowbells clanging away. I only spent an afternoon in Luzern, but I would love to return one day. And the area around Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, and Grindlewald are right in the heart of Switizerland. I couldn't make it to the summit of the Jungfrau because of weather, sadly.

In France, I enjoyed the city of Beaune in the Burgundy wine region.

Also in France, along the Normandy coast are the WW II historic D-Day sites--Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery (truly humbling). Nearby is Mont St. Michel which is definitely worth a visit.

The Brittany coast of France in the area of Vannes has some great small towns and amazing seafood.

Just some things to get you started... Enjoy your planning!

England, United...
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2. Re: Europe in May - Suggestions Please!

You seem to like cities mostly but I would suggest a day out in the Scottish countryside. It is stunning and not like anywhere else in the world I've been.

Wonderful time to go to Europe with the blossom and usually the best weather.

Edited: 21 December 2012, 18:40
Jacksonville...
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3. Re: Europe in May - Suggestions Please!

-I'll be flying from Jacksonville by way of Philadelphia.

-Once I'm over there, I plan to get from country to country through a combination of plane and rail. I've had pretty good experiences with the budget airlines like Ryanair and easy jet in the past so I will probably look to use them again. But if I'm looking to travel within a country or to a neighboring country, then rail makes more sense.

-my interests are probably more in line with the larger cities. I'm interested in museums and cultural attractions by day and I'm looking to meet other young people and socialize by night.

-my budget has some flexibility. I would describe myself as a value-oriented consumer/traveler. I'm not looking to splurge on a room that I'm not planning to spend that much time in anyway, but I have enough saved that I shouldn't have to stay somewhere sketchy either. As long as the accommodations are safe, clean, and somewhat centrally located, I'm good. Save the frills

Thanks for the feedback so far. Out of everything you suggested, the beaches in Normandy would probably interest me the most. I'll have to research those a little

Jacksonville...
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4. Re: Europe in May - Suggestions Please!

Also, it should be noted that as far as languages go, I'm an English speaker obviously and I can speak conversational Spanish. So that may be another reason I'm looking to stick to cities because my German/French/Dutch is non-existent

Chula Vista...
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5. Re: Europe in May - Suggestions Please!

Thanks for the feedback...

As far as languages are concerned, I've driven through a lot of rural France and Germany, and while people weren't as proficient with their English as in larger cities, I rarely had a problem completing a transaction in a restaurant, hotel, or gas station, so don't let that hold you back. Heck, you may find out they may speak Spanish.

Seeing as you tend to favor cities, you may want to try Brussels, and perhaps Bruges.

Brussels seemed to have a split personality. The center of the city was very historic, yet there are many modern buildings as its the effective capital of the European Union. (I definitely got the sense I was in world government capital.)

Bruges was much more quaint with its canals and architecture.

I've not been there yet, but Copenhagen is on my "bucket list."

When I went to Normandy in May 2009, I stayed in Arromanches-les-Bains at the Hotel Le Chanteclair (nice, basic accomodations).

I had a car and it was about a 20 km drive to the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Europe in May - Suggestions Please!

I'd want to see Prague..................it's a beautiful city........

Las Vegas, Nevada
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7. Re: Europe in May - Suggestions Please!

You've seen Western Europe. Head for Central Europe. Croatia and Slovenia are incredibly beautiful. Budapest is one of the world's great visiting cities.

Rail into Hungary or Slovenia is simple. Croatia is more of a "rental car" destination than a train-travel spot.

Jacksonville...
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8. Re: Europe in May - Suggestions Please!

Yeah I have to say, Croatia and Slovenia intrigue me. A friend of mine went t Croatia last year and put some pictures online; it looked amazing. Would it make sense to catch a train there from the Netherlands or Germany? Is that feasible or would a flight be easier?

Las Vegas, Nevada
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9. Re: Europe in May - Suggestions Please!

My impression is that Ljubljana, Slovenia, is better integrated into the European rail network than anywhere in Croatia. And some of the ultra-discount airlines fly into second-tier airports in Croatia, such as Zadar (which is not far from Plitvice Lakes National Park, which would be a must-see).

Croatia and Slovenia apparently have a very good inter-city bus system (so I've heard -- I don't have any experience with them). So if a car rental is not a viable option, buses would be within these two countries.

Sheffield
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10. Re: Europe in May - Suggestions Please!

Do try Slovenia and Croatia - just lovely.

A boring aside - if you are booking on-line or by email, do spell out the day and month. In Europe, saying that you will arrive on 5/1/2013 means the fifth of January.