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Europe in December for 10 Days

Carlisle...
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Europe in December for 10 Days

Hi!

I have some time off I need to take in December and am thinking about traveling to Europe for about 10 days. I am in my mid-20s and on a budget and therefore will be staying in hostels for the most part. I am having a hard time figuring out where to go that will have most sights open. I am interested in architecture and history mostly so I enjoy taking tours/going to museums. I have traveled around Europe on a few trips with my family. Ive traveled to the "bigger cities" on bus tours (London, Paris, Lucerne, Rome, Florence, Venice, Budapest, Prague, Berlin, Munich, Venice) and toured Ireland, Belgium, and the Netherlands extensively. Places I considered were northern Italy, Spain, southern France, and England (since Ive only been to London) but wasn't sure if most things would still be open. I am definitely open to suggestions. In addition, I don't speak any other languages besides English unfortunately so I will need to travel to a place where I can get by only speaking one language. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks in advance!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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1. Re: Europe in December for 10 Days

The most obvious gaps in your European traveling seem to be (a) Spain and Portugal and (b) Croatia and Slovenia. I've never been to either in December, so I don't know how the Yule season dynamic would affect things, positively or negatively. Of course, if I were able to go to Europe in December, my personal preference would be to head for a Christmas market (or two) in Germany, but that's just me.

kent
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2. Re: Europe in December for 10 Days

Gary With 10 days, you could easily do Venice, the Veneto region and perhaps Milan as well. Italy is however is not the cheapest destination in Europe. If you wanted to see the Last Supper, check the opening times with the Milan forum, as entry is very strictly regulated.

I read a trip report from a solo traveller ( also on a budget) who visited Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania in the winter, although it looked bitterly cold from his photo's, he seemed to have had a great trip.

Spain would be much warmer than the UK, and Barcelona is an excellent destination, with plenty of good quality budget accommodation and cheap(ish) flights from the UK.Madrid is one of my favourite cities, mainly because it is so easy to travel to other stunning places in Spain ( loved Toledo). Madrid is very cold in the winter.

Lisbon would also be a good option, but being on the Atlantic, be prepared from rain. Whether you'd want to spend a full 10 days in Lisbon is up to you, as it is a relatively small city, but you could add a few days in Porto to the mix.

If you haven't been to Prague, then I'd highly recommend it. Loads to see and do, very walkable, good flights from the UK, and with 10 days you could consider adding a trip to Budapest as well.

Istanbul? Again a facinating city, outstanding food, loads to do and see, excellent public transport, but be prepared for rain and possibly fog.. and snow!

For the UK, yes some things do close for the winter,but if you pick a county or city and go to the tourist info site for that area, you'll get a good idea of what is open.

If you want to do a multi stop visit within Europe, then travelling by train makes a lot of sense, not only because it's cheaper, but it does save all that faff of getting to and hanging around airports. The best website for all train questions/routes/suggestions etc is www.seat61.com

Finally... if you are looking at flights, please be aware that the low cost carriers are very hot at enforcing their individual carry on luggage rules, so it may be worth looking at national carriers too for a comparison.

Carlisle...
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3. Re: Europe in December for 10 Days

Thanks everyone for the input. You posted that Spain would be a good option. Since I only have 10 days do you think it would be doable to go to Madrid, Barcelona, and the Andalusia region? Or would that be too rushed? Since I am already over there I would like to see as much as possible but also want to enjoy myself and not feel like I am running from place to place. Also are there any sights in Spain that I should definitely see on my trip?

kent
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4. Re: Europe in December for 10 Days

Gary... Spain has an excellent high speed railway network, so if you are thinking of a multi destination trip, I'd advise using the train experts for advice and info for a possibloe route... see www.seat61.com

There are plenty of flights from the UK to both Barcelona, Alicante, and Madrid, but fewer flights into Granada. So, if putting a trip together, you may want to check flight prices and availability first, and then plan the rail route.

The triangle of Granada, Seville and Cordoba would take most of your 10 days, but I personally think you could still add either Barcelona or Madrid to the mix. I think you'd be hard pressed to add both.

In Madrid and Barcelona, you could join local day tours, and this could add some real value to your trip, but for Granada etc, you could very easily do your own self guided tours with the aid of a good guide book.

Edited: 02 October 2014, 12:48
San Diego
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5. Re: Europe in December for 10 Days

Everyone travels differently! My style is very different in that I'd go to Barcelona for a whole week! I love it there and so far have been there for 10days and have not seen everything!

IF you must go to more than one city then I'd just do Barcelona and Madrid with some possible day trips from each to nearby cities. I'd not dash around the whole country in only10 days.

IF you want specific info about what to see/do you really need to go to the forum for Barcelona, or Madrid or wherever else you wish to travel. They have folks there that can really help you plan specific itineraries.

Edited: 02 October 2014, 19:07
England, United...
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6. Re: Europe in December for 10 Days

What to see and do is very personal.

For me I would like to see the marshes and wildlife in Andulucia. I have a trip to Granada planned to see the venues other than the Alhambra Palace and art exhibitions. I would also like to be in the coastal area for the Gypsy festival, dancing and music. I would like to return to the Prado to see the art in Madrid. I also want to try some local foods. I'm pretty sure this wouldn't be your idea of fun.

Choose the things that interest you about your destination and search out what to see. Unless you just want to look at the same things as the majority go to see, then you just need to look at TA's Things to do in the green bar at the top of the relevant forum.

San Diego
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7. Re: Europe in December for 10 Days

I like your itinerary sue!! When is the Gypsy festival??

8. Re: Europe in December for 10 Days

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