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3-4 day Solo Travel Trip Suggestions in December outside of Germany

I'm going on a business trip in early December in Frankfurt. I plan to spend a couple days in Nurnberg and Rothenburg to take in their Christmas markets, but I'm looking for side trip ideas outside of Germany that are a cheap flight from Frankfurt and safe for a solo female traveler.

Ideally, I'd like to spend 3-4 days in this spot before returning back to the US. I'd like to visit somewhere I haven't visited yet. A good vacation for me includes taking in the tourist sights, shopping, pleasant people, safe area, desserts and wine or beer. I've already visited most of Germany, Switzerland and France, London, Rome, Florence, Milan, Istanbul, Lisbon, Budapest, Prague, Salzburg, Belgium, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Madrid. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance for your wisdom. :)

Posted by
11613 posts

Lisbon? Are you looking for nonstop return flights?

Posted by
2779 posts

First of all: Be sure to visit the Frankfurt Christmas market before you visit Nuremberg. You'll see that not only is Frankfurt's one of the oldest but also one of the nicest!

Great sights, great shopping, great people, safe... 2.5 flight hours from Frankfurt: Istanbul! Served from FRA by Lufthansa, Onur Air, Turkish Airlines, daily. Hotel there? The Marmara Pera: Excellent location and a rooftop swimming pool overlooking all those 1500 years old sights!

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you Zoe and Andreas for the suggestions! I forgot to include Lisbon and Istanbul. I've been to both cities and had a great time in both areas. I'm humbled this morning as I reflect on how many places I've been fortunate enough to visit. :)

Andreas- I will check out the Christmas markets in Frankfurt. Thanks for the suggestion!

I am looking for a non-stop flight or a train ride to the side trip. Any other suggestions?

Posted by
7649 posts

Hi buffie-have you been to the British Isles? London, or somewhere else in England, Wales, Scotland, or Ireland might be reached cheaply. Some of the locals speak English, too :-)

Posted by
389 posts

I would vote for another part of Italy (e.g. Venice, Florence, Naples) or southern Spain (could hit Seville and Granada perhaps).

When I was stationed in Germany, I enjoyed taking trips into Italy in the winter; you could walk around outside doing tourist stuff and it wasn't bitter cold. Southern Spain is often warmer still.

Posted by
16894 posts

Given your previous travel experience (and mine) I would pretty confidently say that any place in Europe is safe enough. You have visited a lot of big cities and a big cities will probably also be the option this time, in order to have convenient flights and more indoor attractions. At, you can put in a search from Frankfurt airport to "Europe" to see what affordable options come up. Have you been to Copenhagen? Venice or Florence? Krakow?

Posted by
1243 posts

Venice? By way of Innsbruck or Bolzano? I prefer the train and like the train ride as an event in itself. I am a woman and have traveled safely and happily to and through these destinations via the train more than once.


Posted by
18808 posts

Since you have done Central Europe pretty well maybe you should fan out. I've always been of the mindset that places that are great in warm weather are best left to warm weather and places that have long cold winters tend to have more to do and more culture in the winter. So maybe Finland, Sweden, Norway, or the Baltic States of Estonia (high on my list of places to go), Latvia or Lithuania?

We went to Israel one year in December for the first day of Hanukah. RT out of Budapest was $350 and took about 3 hours.
We went to Moscow one year in early January for Orthodox Christmas. RT out of Budapest was $350 and took about 3 hours.
Budapest to Istanbul was also about $350 RT. I'm not encouraging Budapest because you have already been there but I bet you can get similar or better rates from Frankfurt. Another off the wall place we are planning for the spring is Azerbaijan (west of the Ural Mountains makes it sort of more or less Europe).

Posted by
252 posts

It would be helpful to know where you need to fly back to?
Do you want to escape the cold weather or you do not mind?
Scandinavia is wonderful at that time of the year. And Norwegian has very affordable flights from Oslo/Stockholm/Copenhagen.
I love all 3!

Posted by
5 posts

Cyn- Thank you for your suggestions. I've been to London a couple times. Ireland is on my list for another trip. :)

Will- Great suggestions! I've been to Florence and would like to see Venice for a romantic trip at a later point. I've heard Southern Spain is great. I'll look into this area some more.

Laura- I agree. A big city will be ideal as far as convenient flights and lots of attractions. I use all the time. I wanted to get a pulse on the best cities from fellow travelers first, then check flights. Copenhagen, Oslo, and Southern Spain are the top destinations right now.

Debbie- thanks for the suggestion. Venice is definitely on my list, but that is one place I'd prefer to visit with someone and in warmer weather.

James- thanks you for the detailed suggestions. Norway and Sweden are places I'm considering.

Val- I'll be flying back to San Francisco, CA, preferably direct. I'm looking to take in a new spot, and do not mind the cold too much. I love to ski, but am apprehensive about skiing in a foreign country alone. Hank you for the suggestions.

Posted by
2779 posts

Cities I have visited this year that are definitely worth 3 days (2 nights): Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Helsinki (dark in winter), Stockhom (dark), Bergen (dark), Oslo (dark), Copenhagen, Riga (dark), Dublin, Edinburgh, Lyon,...

Frankfurt is THE Star Alliance hub, so all of these destinations are just a direct flight away.