Europe Travel Suggestions

GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,350MI6 Agent

Hi everyone:

As we have a very large European contingent here on this board, I wanted to solicit some advice on travel.

The wife and I are doing a trip in Europe next year. We have a Barcelona->Rome cruise happening at the end of July, 2022. We're flying in early to explore Barcelona, so we've got the pre-trip covered. What we don't have is the post-trip. We did Rome/Italy back in 2019 so we're thinking of flying to another European city for two days (fly to city on Saturday afternoon, fly home on Tuesday).

What are the best European cities to hit for 48 hours, bearing in mind that this would be the beginning of August (your big holiday month)? We're leaning towards Amsterdam as my wife has never been there (I have, but many years ago) but we're open to other suggestions.

Another consideration is the cost of airfare home. From certain cities (Amsterdam, Paris, London), the airfare home is in the $2500 range. From others (Berlin), it's under $1000. Depending upon where we go, it may be cheaper to take a quick flight to Berlin or another city and then fly home from there, but that adds another level of complication. I'd be keen on Berlin but my wife has been to Germany in the past so I'd like a different alternative if possible.

Thanks!

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Comments

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,405MI6 Agent

    why not Napoli or Venice or Florence if you're already in Rome? save you a lot of time and money since you're already so close and all are fascinating in their own right. Venice of course was in at least three Bondfilms, giving you an official excuse to do research for us. And Pompeii is within Napoli's suburbs.

    Make sure you check out all that wacky Gaudi architecture while in Barcelona. As well as the Basílica de la Sagrada Família (which might actually be finally open after 100 years of construction) there's Casa Milà and Casa Batlló and other Gaudi-designed apartment blocks, and Park Güell which is like an all-Gaudi theme park on top of a hill overlooking the city. You wont have to spend money on hallucinogens if you stare at that architecture long enough.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,105MI6 Agent

    Prague is a good destination. It's very beautiful and interesting city.

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,350MI6 Agent

    Hey there!

    On our Italian trip back in 2019, we did Rome, Florence, and Venice. We loved all three of them and got to spend enough time all three cities to be satisfied. This coming cruise, we finish in Rome but we also hit a few other Italian cities that we missed in 2019, so we've got Italy pretty well covered now. We also did the Greek Isles in 2019, else I'd want to go there.

    And yeah, I'm very pumped to see the architecture in Barcelona. I've heard from many people that it's a wonderful city. We're flying in early to spend 2-3 days there.

    Prague is near the top of our list of cities to consider. A good friend of mine lived in Europe for 2.5 years (due to his wife's employment) and they got to tool around to many cities; Prague was one of his favorites. I'm also considering Lisbon, Portugal. The main reason why is that I'm considering Portugal as a country to retire to in 10-15 years.

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  • 00730073 COPPosts: 859MI6 Agent

    I concur, Napoli is a wonderful, noisy, smelly, chaotic city one of my absolute favourite places on earth. It is nothing like northern Italy, where you might just as well be in Switzerland by comparison.

    "I mean, she almost kills bond...with her ass."
    -Mr Arlington Beech
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,105MI6 Agent

    "See Napoli and die"? 🤨

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,350MI6 Agent

    OK, I'll look into Napoli. We were wanting to cross another country off of our list but I'll look into it.

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    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • OrnithologistOrnithologist BerlinPosts: 496MI6 Agent
    edited September 2

    Ok, so this depends entirely on what you like in a city...

    Berlin (my hometown) is amazing, but I think one can enjoy it better the longer one stays, so might not be ideal for your requirements. Reason being that there is no real city center (each district used to be its own city, like in London) and no contigous "old town" as in other, more picturesque places an American would probably enjoy most about Europe. That being said, there is an abundance of history, culture, museums, parks, lakes, etc. not to mention the nightlife (still difficult now because of Covid, most likely better next year). It is also criminally underrated as a Bond location😉, even though it featured in Octopussy (briefly), and more so in The Living Daylights (the book version!). I don't know where else you've been in Germany, but Hamburg and Munich also have big airports and are arguably more doable i.e. easier to get to know than Berlin, given limited time. Frankfurt (biggest airport) is mostly a financial center so I would not recommend it for tourism (cue the Hessians trying to lynch me!)

    I would strongly advise you to spend as much time as you can in Italy though, since it is probably the most beautiful country in the world 😍 Apart from the aforementioned, I would also add Siena, which is a smaller city, but beautiful, and QoS was filmed there.

    Croatia and Greece are not far from Italy, and both well worth exploring, as would be Vienna if you decide to move northwards... Prague, Budapest, Krakow are incredible if you want to look at "eastern" (rather central) Europe, and you also have some Bond locations there...

    If you do decide for Berlin, let me know, I'd be delighted to give you some (more) recommendations.


    Edit: In August, the weather (heat) might be a factor. Southern Italy and Greece can go up to 40° celsius, while places further north are arguably in their best season (least likely to be rainy and grey...).

    "I'm afraid I'm a complicated woman. "
    "- That is something to be afraid of."
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,350MI6 Agent

    Thanks for the input, everyone!

    From discussions with the wife, I think we've narrowed it down to the following:

    • Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    • Lisbon, Portugal
    • Prague, Czech Republic

    It's going to come down to cost and timing, more than anything. Right now, the flights are looking best for Lisbon so that's creeping up to the top of the list over my wife's preference, Amsterdam.

    Current rankings:
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>OP>DN>
    TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • IceQIceQ Posts: 129MI6 Agent

    Left field option - Iceland? Lots of flights from around Europe to there and then onwards to the states, completely stunning scenery, plenty of film locations, good food, friendly people etc.

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,350MI6 Agent

    Iceland is on our wish list for another trip. I've heard great things about it from many people. This trip, we want to stay on mainland Europe if at all possible.

    Current rankings:
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    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,243MI6 Agent

    Iceland is very very expensive. I thought it was rather a dull place. The cuisine however is superb

  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 1,989MI6 Agent

    Mrs Red Kind is Neapolitan so, having spent a fair bit of time there, I can vouch for it. Some of the best food on the planet, and until you eat Pizza in Napoli. You ain't eaten Pizza!

    Other cities to consider? Lisbon? Estoril (tick off OHMSS)? Munich?

    Enjoy the planning. That's half the excitement! :-)

    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,350MI6 Agent


    We really want to do Naples and Southern Italy in general on a future trip. We want to do that as part of a week/10 days effort, though. This is only 2 (maybe 3) days, so that's why we're thinking of one of these other cities as a 'quick stop'.

    Best pizza of my life was in Rome. If you're saying the pizza in Napoli is superior, then I'll definitely have to test that out!

    I think we've narrowed it down to Lisbon and Amsterdam. It's really coming down to cost and ease of flying home at this point. From both cities, we can get non-stop flights home, and that really appeals.

    Current rankings:
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>OP>DN>
    TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • IceQIceQ Posts: 129MI6 Agent

    Super dull… this was all in 4 days last week, depends what you like I guess…

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,105MI6 Agent

    If you go to a Nordic country for the scenery there are only two real choices. Iceland is one of the two... 😁

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,350MI6 Agent

    My wife's heritage is half Swedish and half Norwegian. She's been to both countries already else we'd go to one of them. I'd particularly love to visit Norway at some point.

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    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,243MI6 Agent
    edited September 10

    @IceQ I went for a whole week and saw some stunning scenery. Your pix are fantastic. But one week was too long. Once the excursions were done, I found little else to occupy me. I ran out of things to do at night. I was on my lonesome though so maybe I needed to share the experience. I do remember watching the sun fall and rise within the same hour. I also recall it rained for three days. Sorry to say, even beauty can become dulled.

    @The Red Kind Yes. Napoli is a great city, all southern Italy is majestic.

    @Gymkata If you only have a few days, Amsterdam is perfect, very picturesque and everything is easily accessible. People very friendly and language is not a problem. Cuisine a bit hit and miss. Do plan your itinerary though or you'll just waste time in coffee shops [ahem...] and canal side bars. Oh, wait, you're on holiday...

  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,189MI6 Agent

    I love Roman and Neapolitan pizza. Specific toppings aside, the biggest difference is the thickness of the crust with traditional Napoletana crusts tending to be thinner than their Roman counterparts although I certainly wouldn't describe Roman crusts as thick when compared to some pizza-franchise crusts outside Italy!


    Thanks guys, you've made me hungry now!

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,350MI6 Agent

    I've been to Amsterdam (and Rotterdam) before, but that was back in 1996. I had a fun time in both cities and I agree, the Dutch are an extremely friendly people and most of them that I interacted with spoke English very well. My wife has never been there and wants to see it. Considering it's a hub for Delta/KLM/Air France, it's kinda a no-brainer for a quick and easy city to see without breaking the bank.

    My one negative memory about Amsterdam is that I was targeted for mugging when I first arrived. I had a good friend working in Rotterdam at the time...he was there for 3-4 months at the request of his employer, so we arranged to meet in Amsterdam and then take the train to go and see Paris. I arrived in Amsterdam in the afternoon and, after hitting Central Station from the airport, I was walking around with my carryon trying to kill time while I waited for my friend to arrive via train. While stashing my carryon in a locker, I noticed that I was being trailed by 3 guys who were about my age. They were trying to be discreet but my danger-radar was on full alert. I kept walking around, staying in public areas, for another 20 minutes or so. Sure enough, I kept seeing them out of the corner of my eye wherever I went. I eventually went into a music store and waited for them. When they stopped outside of the store, I turned around and stared at them through the window. They stared back for a second, the 'leader' smiled, and they moved on. I never saw them again.

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  • You Know My Name007You Know My Name007 Posts: 48MI6 Agent

    my wife and i have just done a 3000km Road trip to see and do my bucket list tick offs we went the omega museum in Biel switzland and then over to austria to the 007 Elements in Sölden where some scenes from Spectra were filmed

    you can also go down to Garda see and drive the bond road ( were a few films were filmed )

  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,350MI6 Agent

    that sounds like an amazing trip!

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    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
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