Help! Need to plan European vacation by tomorrow for sometime betwen 5/12 and 6/3.

NecroJoe

Forum Addict
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Messages
19,254
Location
San Francisco area, CA, USA
Car(s)
2015 Mazda 3 S GT, 2015 VW e-Golf
How would you plan a 2 week vacation in Europe?

We have travel vouchers we need to spend before 6/3...and I just found out what a shit show the next few weeks will be, and I need to get something planned and the trigger pulled by tomorrow...because I may not have any more time to devote to research, etc.

Anyone have any suggestions?

It's our first real vacation together, and her first time out of the country.

We want to stick to places that will be good for English speakers with no 2nd language abilities. Ideally some modern city stuff, some "old" stuff, and some landscape/scenery stuff.

We're A-OK with "typical tourist, Kodak-moment" style places...since we don't travel a lot, we don't need to "go where the locals go to really get a feeling for the local culture and people". For example: If we went on a trip that included Egypt, we'd want to see the sphinx, the pyramids, and then move on. No need to find a great local caf? that serves someone's grandmother's recipe for Aish El-Saraya.

We'd love to see some castles and centuries-old architecture, some amazing cliffs/fjords/mountains type things, and city to spend a few days where we can walk around.


I think in my perfect scenario, we'd see some fjords and castles, spend some time in London and somehow seeing some (and bunch) of really cool castles and old buildings...Amsterdam maybe?

As someone who's only ever been on 3 "vacations" in my entire life (drove to Niagra Falls from Wisconsin with the family as a kid, went to Portland for a week for vacation after working on a project there for 3 months off and on, and a week in New York), I'm panicking a bit.

I went to Germany for a month in High School, so preferably something other than Germany even though it was amazing/great!
 
Last edited:

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
DONOR
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
16,733
Location
42 miles outside of Chicago
Car(s)
‘18 VW Golf GTI, '87 Mercury Colony Park
Help! Need to plan European vacation by tomorrow for sometime betwen 5/12 and 6/3.

Munich is good, Ulm is.... ok but not as easy. Restaurants I went to had English waitress' but the regular stores were more difficult. I liked Ulm but it's not really a place to spend more than a day at. Neuschwanstein is 2 hours south from there.
 

NecroJoe

Forum Addict
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Messages
19,254
Location
San Francisco area, CA, USA
Car(s)
2015 Mazda 3 S GT, 2015 VW e-Golf
Munich is good, Ulm is.... ok but not as easy. Restaurants I went to had English waitress' but the regular stores were more difficult. I liked Ulm but it's not really a place to spend more than a day at. Neuschwanstein is 2 hours south from there.
Ahh, I actually just added a note about Germany. :lol: I went there in the 90s as a sort of month-long pseudo foreign exchange thing in high school, so i'd probably want to visit other parts of Europe. Munich was super cool, though, and Ulm looks like a charming place to spend a day or three.
 

RdKetchup

Snow Mexican Surender Monkey
DONOR
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
4,474
Location
Montreal, Qc, Canada
Car(s)
FoRS, Japanese touring triple
From what I saw, everybody speaks English in Scandinavia, and Norway has fjords, but it's expensive.

So maybe a combination of that with a few days in England (London - Oxford - Bath)...
 

Redliner

Y'all got any lamps?
DONOR
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
22,590
Location
Lamp
Car(s)
I don't drive, I fly.
Denmark, Finland and Netherlands are really easy to get around for English speakers, and are also really nice places to visit.
Copenhagen is a expensive but worth a visit, Helsinki is also a lovely city but Maastricht is just one of my favorite places on Earth, and pretty cheap compared to the other two. :D
 

NecroJoe

Forum Addict
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Messages
19,254
Location
San Francisco area, CA, USA
Car(s)
2015 Mazda 3 S GT, 2015 VW e-Golf
From what I saw, everybody speaks English in Scandinavia, and Norway has fjords, but it's expensive.

So maybe a combination of that with a few days in England (London - Oxford - Bath)...
Oxford and Bath seem like good stops, and it's also at least in the neighborhood of the (yes, I know it's sort of over-rated) Stonehenge.

- - - Updated - - -

Denmark, Finland and Netherlands are really easy to get around for English speakers, and are also really nice places to visit.
Copenhagen is a expensive but worth a visit, Helsinki is also a lovely city but Maastricht is just one of my favorite places on Earth, and pretty cheap compared to the other two. :D
Thanks for the note about those places being easy for ignorant monoligual amaricans. (To be fair, if we had more time I'd be absolutely willing to spend a couple months to learn as much of a language as possible...just don't have the time!) Ha!

- - - Updated - - -

How about gardens? Anyone have any recommendations of some epic gardens that would take hours if not days to walk through?
 

DanRoM

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
8,073
Location
Ruhr Area, Germany
Car(s)
MX-5 ND, CBF1000 & two bikes
Apart from the obvious United Kingdom (Edinburgh is awesome, London has many many museums for free or cheap) I'd recommend Amsterdam and by extension, some other cities in Netherlands (yeah, Maastricht comes to mind... also Den Haag, Rotterdam, perhaps Utrecht) - although as the typical German I go to NL for having a relaxing weekend in a tiny village at the coast mostly and do not know the big cities very well. It has also the advantage that the N?rburgring is close by. ;)
Also, Copenhagen. Expensive but worth it. The city is currently suffering from lots of heavy construction work for their new metro, though.

Regarding Germany: Berlin, Hamburg and Munich are supposedly worth a visit and also very navigatable without speaking German. A little thin for filling two weeks though.

If you want to see awesome landscapes, there's Scotland, Norway or the Alps. The latter is the most inconvenient of the three for English-only speakers.
 
Last edited:

mgkdk

Aced mod training!
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
6,438
Location
Denmark
Car(s)
VW UP! Renault Clio
How about gardens? Anyone have any recommendations of some epic gardens that would take hours if not days to walk through?
What kind of gardens? If you are in Copenhagen you could take a trip to Fyn and visit Egeskov castle, there is a huge garden around and also barns filled with old cars and motorcycles :) Aaaaand I just realised it's closed in winter, sorry :-(

But Copenhagen is nice and there is plenty of touristy stuff there, and most danes under 50 speak english just fine,
 

MWF

Now needs wood
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
27,768
Location
MWF HQ, Ukadia
Car(s)
MX-5 1.8i Indiana SE, update pending
Another vote for Berlin - it's a really cosmopolitan and Bo-ho place with a metric fucktonne of things to see and do plus the public transport network is excellent and accessible all day for about $8 per head including trains, trams, buses and subway. Would be a good place for a long weekend and I am sure Dr Grip would be happy to show you around and/or give you some pointers. Plus most of the people you will encounter will have good enough English.

From personal experience I can recommend:
http://www.topographie.de/en/
http://remise.de/Classic-Remise-Berlin-english-summary.php (free and full of absolutely stunning classic cars plus it has a bar and restaurant)
http://sdtb.de/museum-of-technology/623/
Checkpoint Charlie
Berlin Wall
plus a ton more.

Oddly as a Brit I can't really tell you much about London.



Oh and Stonehenge while fascinating isn't that impressive and it's a PITA to get to unless you plan to be nearby anyway. TBH you're just as well watching a documentary about it.
 
Last edited:

Cowboy

My name is Sheridan
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
9,805
l was going to suggest Scotland, but if you only have 2 weeks, even a quick tour of the touristy part (Glenncoe, southern Highlands,Loch Ness, Eilean Donan, Isle of Sky) would take 5-6 days including travelling up and down again from England so that might to big a chunk of your time, but it would fit your castle/historical building/nature requirement, if you include the Northern Highlands it's as pretty as Europe ever gets nature wise if you ask me....and they almost speak English! :p

As an American visiting Europe though, really you can't go wrong with any Historical city, they all have their own atmosphere and style, no matter if it's Rome, Paris, London, Bruges (much smaller), Barcelona, Edinburgh,Vienna, you name it, lots to see and do everywhere, but the sheer visual impact of looking at a city much like it was 500 years ago will amaze you if you have never been....
 
Last edited:

screwdriver

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
92
Location
In the toolbox
Car(s)
@@@ @@@ @
How about Venice, Dolomites, Salzburg, maybe Munich, Vienna, Prague.

Alternatively think about South of France (Camargue, Les Baux, Cotes' d Azur - though English won't get you very far outside hotels...) maybe Monaco, Switzerland (Never been there on vacation though), Schwarzwald (Hinterzarten, if you need a locaction), See the Ruhrpott Cologne maybe, Hamburg, Amsterdam.
 

Interrobang

Forum Addict
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
8,145
[...]Amsterdam maybe?
Yes. That. The Dutch all speak english and Amsterdam is something I'd recommend over Berlin in a heartbeat. I love Berlin, but I love Amsterdam more ;)

Copenhagen is supposed to be similar and also awesome, but I've only been when I was 6 ...

Also like to put Paris onto the List. The French are not as reluctant as they once were concerning speaking english (they are far from the Dutch/Germans/scandinavian countries, but you'll be fine) and it's got the
modern city stuff, some "old" stuff, and some landscape/scenery stuff [...] some castles and centuries-old architecture
all covert.
 

narf

Sgt. Maj. Buzzkill
DONOR
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
18,168
Location
Kiel/Wherever, Germany
Car(s)
'19 BMW M240i
If you're fine with two countries and a flight in between, I'd do London first and then head to Norway, as late in your travel window as possible.
London covers a modern European city, lots of old stuff, and lots of touristy Kodak-moment stuff. Norway covers landscape, scenery, fjords, nature, all that stuff plus a day in Oslo or so.

Depending on your vouchers, Iceland is an interesting option as well. For example, Iceland Air lets you extend your stopover for up to seven days - you technically have only one flight, but get to explore the Island :thumbsup:
https://www.icelandair.us/flights/stopover/?pos=US&lang=en

If you'd like to stick with one country and no flights in between, London first week and Scotland second week :)
 
Last edited:

MWF

Now needs wood
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
27,768
Location
MWF HQ, Ukadia
Car(s)
MX-5 1.8i Indiana SE, update pending
narf makes a great point. Iceland is pretty epic and it's not as expensive as you might think plus there are deals to be had. Even a 3 night stopover would be enough to get a real flavour of the place.

And if you think you can get good seafood in SF, wait until you try fish in Reykjavik!
 
Top