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Old 06-11-2005, 12:58 PM   #1
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Recomendations for Europe Trip please...

Hi please I need every piece of advice I can get from all of you, I'm leaving on June 20 for the next two months (hopefully more)

this is more or less the places me and a friend are planning on visiting

barcelona
london
liverpool
dublin
paris
amsterdam
berlin
cracovia
praga
vienna
munich
zurich
milan
venecia
florencia
rome
napoles
monaco
niza
barcelona

so please anything... others cities, cheap places to stay in, museums, what to bring anything from your experience I would be really grateful can't wait to go but I'm a bit nervous
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:04 PM   #2
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western europe is ridiculously expensive for anyone who isn't british.

i don't know anything about mexican currency, but i'm sure it gets its ass kicked by the euro.

if you want to get away from the tourist traps, and you don't want to spend a lot of money - go to eastern europe. go to poland, lithuania, czech republic, etc.

all i'm saying is be prepared to spend a LOT of money.
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:27 PM   #3
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The euro is declining in value at the moment however.

As Zoomerang implied some of the cities on the list are pretty expensive - if you are prepared to stay in hostels or even 2 or 3 star hotels - less so.

I paid €60 a night for a reasonably decent 3 star in Vienna a while back, for example.

But that list looks good - there are plenty of sights in most of those cities.

Most European cities have excellent public transport (Dublin being one of the exceptions unfortunately) and are easy to get around.

I would recommend Lyons in France - beautiful old town there.
Cities like Berlin and Vienna - the sights are all easily accessible (and there are plenty).

I notice you have Zurich on the list - Switzerland is particularly expensive unfortunately. If I was visiting a Swiss city I personally would choose Geneva above Zurich.

In terms of specific places to stay, if you do google searches on, say "Berlin accomodation" you'll come up with plenty of matches, it's a matter of finding something that suits your budget.

If your inter-railing it which I assume you are, don't worry too much about pre-booking except for the more touristy places like Paris.

I'm not an expert on Eastern Europe - I'm just wondering would there be more of a language barrier there? Zoomerang is probably better informed about that.
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:39 PM   #4
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ok, i've been to some of the cities you've mentioned... here are some recommendations!

london: the National Gallery is fantastic- be sure to check it out. shopping in Covent Garden is a lot of fun. see a play/musical- you can usually get cheap seats the day of the performance. take a tour of the Tower- it's fun and touristy. be forewarned that pubs close at 11 pm- so find some after-hours bars/clubs if you want to stay up late! a day trip to oxford or cambridge is really nice- i prefer cambridge, personally.

Dublin: sooo fun! lots of nightlife in temple bar. go to guinness brewery, trinity college, shopping on grafton and o'connell st. do a musical pub crawl. try to take a day trip to see some of the countryside! have a drink at the octagon bar in the clarence.

Paris: so beautiful it will break your heart... i lived in the 5th Arrondisement, and loved it... the Sorbonne is there, it's gorgeous. Sit in the Luxembourg Gardens on a nice afternoon and people watch. Go to the Musee D'Orsay (esp the TOP floor), the Louvre, Picasso and Rodin museums. Buy a baguette and some cheese, and sit on the banks of the Seine. Eat pain au chocolat every morning. be sure to check out the Marais district as well- it's the Jewish/Gay area. such fun. the Bastille area has lots of fun bars and clubs- a very young area. Go see Jim Morrison's grave. (if you couldn't tell, i ADORE paris!)

Amsterdam: Visit the "coffee shops." 'Nuff said. no seriously, be sure to go to the Ann Frank museum (very moving), the Van Gogh museum, the Rijksmuseum... Walk around the Red Light district (it's kinda creepy, but interesting). Browse the sex shops. eat waffles at 4 am. it's a good time, but don't stay for more than a few days or else you might never leave...

Prague: this city is GORGEOUS. take a walking tour of the Jewish synagogues- there are some beautiful ones there. Drink absinthe. (it's legal!!! i *almost* tried it... but chickened out!). I was there in '98, and it was starting to get pricy... probably pretty expensive now.

Vienna: Go see an opera. The big art museum (forget the name) is really good.

Venice: sit in San Marco plaza at night (when it's cool) and get a drink at one of the outdoor cafes. Go to the Peggy Guggenheim museum (it;s my FAVORITE museum in the world- it's housed in this beautiful old house on the canal... wow.)

Florence: the Duomo, of course. See the "David"- it's amazing. Buy some cheap leather goods from the outdoor markets. Just take in the beauty of this amazing city...

Rome: St Peter's is breathtaking. Lots of ruins to see. Fantastic, but expensive, shopping around the Spanish steps.

Milan: Not much to see in the city itself... one big church (forget the name). Take a day trip to Lake Como if you have time. it's stunning.

Anyway, those are all the cities i've been to... i'll post more if anything comes to me. Have a GREAT trip, and be sure to post lots of photos when you return...
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:40 PM   #5
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Well i'm quite aware of the euro currency and hopefully I'll be bringing enough money to get by, and yes we are planning on taking a little trip to eastern europe.

As for the cities I'm quite aware that most of them, if not all of them are really expensive, but I'll be in barcelona for 4 days where my sister lives, before heading to london and yes the idea is to stay in hostels as much as we can and we are thinking of buying the famous "europass" although most of my friends who have been there many times said you pretty much spend the same with or without the europass


thanks for the comments!!
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:42 PM   #6
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Stuff I don't see on your list, but would check out anyway:

In France - Avignon. Really pretty and picturesque and not as overrun with tourists as some other places.

In Italy - Siena and Ravenna. Siena is as perfect a town as you can possibly get, with amazing views of the countryside, and the essence of Italy. Ravenna is a tiny little place dotted with tiny little churches, mostly in the pre-Romanesque style that you will not find elsewhere in Europe save right across the Adriatic.

I agree with Zoom (I sexily agree in fact) that Eastern Europe is the unknown jewel.

Krakow in Poland is nice, but if you can see Gdansk, go there as well. Prague is also beatiful (go see Karluv Most - Charles Bridge) and take a pic of it in the fog if you can - AMAZING. The Czech Republic is getting more and more expensive, so if you want a cheaper, yet similar version and culture, hop across the border to Slovakia, which has remained pretty cheap and relatively devoid of Western tourists.

Hungary is beautiful, especially Budapest. Walk across the Danube on one of the many bridges and go see the parliament buildings. Pecs is good for cheap shopping but not much else.

The Balkans are very interesting. If you want to go see Sarajevo, it's a nice city. I have not been since before the war, but I remember Bascarsija was a really fun part of town (with good and at the time, cheap food). Croatia's coastline is much more beautiful than Italy's, and I'd recommend you go to Dubrovnik, which may just be the most stunning European town. Some of the southern islands are beautiful (Hvar and Korcula, the birthplace of Marco Polo), and then further south you have Greece and its many lovely islands as well.
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:45 PM   #7
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one more thing i forgot to add: try to see edinburgh, if you have time. it's so pretty and the people are incredibly nice... plus, the views on the train ride from london are incomparable (only about 4 hrs by train).

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Old 06-11-2005, 01:47 PM   #8
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Ally Thanks so much!! I'll definetly take your word for all those places you've recommended
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:47 PM   #9
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Yeah Avignon is worth a visit - this can be combined with Lyons perhaps as they are quite close.
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:49 PM   #10
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It's been a few years since I've been, but lets see what I can remember.

London-Definetly check out Picadilly Circus. It's the the Times Square of London. And if you're into flea markets, there are alot in London. The food wasn't great, but we found a few good places in Chinatown. And the fish and chips in some places. Go to trafalgar square. I think there's an art museum near there and there are alot of street artists too.

Paris-The Louvre, Eiffel Tower(go at night, the view from the top with the city lit up is breathtaking ), and the Champs-Elysées. It's the main with coffee shops, stores, etc. And it leads right to the Arc De Triomphe. I stayed right off of the Champs, it was great! And don't be surprised if the restauraunts are still busy late.I went to a coffee shop at 1 am and I had to wait for a table. Oh, and when you're at the Eiffel Tower, there are street vendors selling crepes. Try them, they're delicious.
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by *Ally* a day trip to oxford or cambridge is really nice- i prefer cambridge, personally. [/B]
My vote goes to Oxford. Probably my favourite campus in the world.

Oh, and if you do go there, you can always stop off in Stratford upon Avon on the way, and the Cotswalds area is absolutely beautiful in the summertime.
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Old 06-11-2005, 02:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Stuff I don't see on your list, but would check out anyway:

In France - Avignon. Really pretty and picturesque and not as overrun with tourists as some other places.

In Italy - Siena and Ravenna. Siena is as perfect a town as you can possibly get, with amazing views of the countryside, and the essence of Italy. Ravenna is a tiny little place dotted with tiny little churches, mostly in the pre-Romanesque style that you will not find elsewhere in Europe save right across the Adriatic.

I agree with Zoom (I sexily agree in fact) that Eastern Europe is the unknown jewel.

Krakow in Poland is nice, but if you can see Gdansk, go there as well. Prague is also beatiful (go see Karluv Most - Charles Bridge) and take a pic of it in the fog if you can - AMAZING. The Czech Republic is getting more and more expensive, so if you want a cheaper, yet similar version and culture, hop across the border to Slovakia, which has remained pretty cheap and relatively devoid of Western tourists.

Hungary is beautiful, especially Budapest. Walk across the Danube on one of the many bridges and go see the parliament buildings. Pecs is good for cheap shopping but not much else.

The Balkans are very interesting. If you want to go see Sarajevo, it's a nice city. I have not been since before the war, but I remember Bascarsija was a really fun part of town (with good and at the time, cheap food). Croatia's coastline is much more beautiful than Italy's, and I'd recommend you go to Dubrovnik, which may just be the most stunning European town. Some of the southern islands are beautiful (Hvar and Korcula, the birthplace of Marco Polo), and then further south you have Greece and its many lovely islands as well.
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Old 06-11-2005, 04:27 PM   #13
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Originally posted by anitram


My vote goes to Oxford. Probably my favourite campus in the world.

Oh, and if you do go there, you can always stop off in Stratford upon Avon on the way, and the Cotswalds area is absolutely beautiful in the summertime.
yeah, oxford's not too shabby... you can't go wrong with either school.

if you're there when the Royal Henley Regatta is going on, go watch the races (famous crew regatta). i went, and it was so cool to see all the aristocrats in their race-day finery. but don't worry- us "commoners" don't have to get dressed up; we can just sit on the riverbank in jeans.

also, if you're there when Wimbledon is going on, you could try to get tickets for that... you just have to wait in line the day of the match. but be sure to go to an EARLY round match- the quarterfinals and onward are nearly impossible to get tickets for.
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Old 06-11-2005, 06:15 PM   #14
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As Ally has mentioned, if you come to Vienna, make sure to see an opera. Don´t buy tickets from the people dressed up like Mozart on the street. This would include a good concert, but it´s a typical set-up for tourists, not exactly with the best orchestras Austria has to offer.

Try to see the opera house instead. You can get good seats at the balcony starting at about 30, 40 bucks a ticket, but you might have to reserve as early as 2 months before of the performance. If you want to decide spontaneously, you might try a standing ticket. We have those for music students etc., it won´t be very comfortable, but you can enjoy the athmosophere of the opera house, you hear evrything (don´t see very well though). You get those special tickets (they have around 50 or 70 each night) only in the (late) afternoon of the performance, and you might have to queue, but its worth it if you like classical music, and they go away really cheap, about five bucks for a ticket. See what they play and if you like it.. you might prefer a classical concert 8if you don´t like operas that much), this will take place at the Konzerthaus or at the Musikverein (no special student´s tickets here as far as I know).

You might want to see Schönbrunn, which was the castle of the Emperor. In summer, have a nice coffee break up at the Gloriette, if the weather is fine. You can get to Schönbrunn by Underground (U4) in about 15 min. from the center.

If you like underground clubs to hang out, try the Flex. It´s located at Schottenring, another underground station near the center. You will have to follow the people probably or ask them from there.. you cross a street, then go down the stairways to a little river. Its nice to chill there, action starts at ten or eleven p.m. Soda water will be for free (except of a 1 Euro refundable charge for the glasses), many people bring beer and wine from the supermarket and drink it outside, that´s ok there, no one will bother.

If you prefer baroque/ classicist churches, go to St. Stephen´s cathedral. Another nice church is Votivkirche, near to the university. If you want to go Shopping, your place is Kärntner Str. (in the center, at St. Stephen´s square) or Mariahilfer Str.

Also, if its nice weather, go through the parks in the center. It can be wonderful there in summer. Young people hang out in Burggarten (castle park, in the center near a place called Hofburg, which actually was the Emperor´s town palace), play guitar, hippie mood.

If you´re more into museums, make sure to check out the Museumsquartier. Most of that is modern art. If you want to talk to students, go to the university campus (altes AKH, orginally an old hospital was located there, so it´s full of nice gardens too), also located near to the center.

That should keep you occupated for a day or two Have a great time in Vienna!
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Old 06-11-2005, 06:41 PM   #15
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And Amsterdam is a different story....

Very cool place. Be a little careful though, they like to rip off people there (the usual precautions, in Amsterdam, don´t buy drugs on the street, etc.) I haven´t been there for the last four years, so the club scene must have changed quite a bit.. Amsterdam is really beautiful in summer. There are grachts, ok, the inhabitants of Dam will tell you they stink, but you know, everything is full of trees and water and bikes and it´s just nice. people are super-friendly (different from some Germans or Europeans)..

As to Milan,... yeah.. beautiful city too. The Duomo is a great church. Starting from the big Duomo square, you will find a street where every Italian fashionista that can´t afford Via Montenapoleone (where the real top fashion is located) buys fashion. At the start of that street, there is a fashion shop called "Energie" (actually also a label).. they do clubwear. According to my opinion, you will get some of the best cut jeans in the world there, plus funky t-shirts. They´re not cheap, but, lets say, moderate.

Other than that, Italy is food, food, food. One time you should try a real italian dinner, which usually means various antipasti, pasta, then fish or meat, and finally desserts. Lots of wine too

Venice is one of the most romantical places, nuff said. Expensive though.. if you´re not a millionaire, why don´t you try Venezia Mestre? Now that´s a part of town which is not directly at the canals (half an hour from there), but which is the modern center of the city. You can actually afford a hotel there, and in the day you can see all of "classical" Venice, it´s very easy to reach, public transport is good (in Italy however, the trains will always be late; they like to strike too ). Florence is nice, it´s one of the cultural hearts of Italy, lots of universities and art there.. if you can, get out the train in Verona too, another very romatical city. It´s on the way from Venice to Milan, and there is Romeo and Juliets house.

Rome would be a chapter of its own, there is so much to see there... you will realize the changes compared to >Northern Italy soon. Generally, North of Italy is richer and the south can be a little chaotic. However, most Italians have a very special kind of warm-heartedness you will not find in the rest of Europe. The traffic is incredible though, if you walk, be very careful!

Best of luck, hope I´ve helped you a little..
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