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2 weeks, 1 city

I fell in love with Munich in 2010 and have been back every year for at least a portion of my vacation. I have often thought, "wouldn't it be great to know a city so well that I don't need a camera or guide books?" For my next trip, I am considering staying in Munich for the entire 2 weeks (minus a couple of day trips). I want to live like a local, without the need of a camera, guidebooks, or a daypack. Has anyone considered staying their entire vacation in one city? Would most consider it a wasted vacation? I know an easy answer is, "two weeks Munich NO, two weeks Paris, YES" but what other cities would you even consider spending your entire vacation at?

Posted by
14157 posts

I stayed for 2 weeks several times in London (aunt had a flat there!!) and it was wonderful! The people at the Midnight Shop (the local convenience/grocery) actually started recognizing us by the end. (They also helped my ex-husband figure out how to re-do a fuse that had blown on Christmas day.) I would do it again in a heart beat. Pam

Posted by
565 posts

In order: Paris Berlln London
Tokyo (haven't been, I'll make it one day)

Posted by
3428 posts

1- London- easily could spend a month or more if I'm allowed the occassional day trip by train.
2- Inverness - 2 weeks easily and maybe 3- with the occassional day trip.

Posted by
527 posts

Spent 4 weeks in Vienna and loved it. Had a great apartment shopped at the local stores and ate in the neighborhood restaurants. Wonderful. Went back last Christmas with our Jack Russell for a 10 day stay in another apartment...again wonderful.

Posted by
1489 posts

London! It's the only big city I can see myself spending 2 weeks in. I think like you I could be happy spending 2 weeks in Munich - with lots of side trips, but that's generally not my style.

Posted by
425 posts

Alex, wow 4 weeks. I got a personal message from another user who told me he could easliy stay 2 weeks in Vienna. Emily and Toni, thanks for the responses! Have you actually stayed 2 weeks at any of those locations or just think it would be great to do so?

Posted by
527 posts

Rob,
First visit to Vienna was in May 2001 for about 10 days (spent another 5 cycling down from Aschach an der Donau to Krems). Returned for 10 days to celebrate New Years in 2002-03. 2004 was the 4 weeks in Aug-Sept. Last Christmas was our return and we felt right at home wandering the city. Having our Jack Russell this last trip made for many, many conversations with the locals. I think everyone has a favorite city and never should feel any guilt about spending their time there if that is what they want to do. Rent an apartment in Munich and enjoy!

Posted by
1068 posts

I would do this in a heartbeat. Have done it, in Paris. Several times. And in Tours. And almost in Copenhagen. Other places I would do it? Gosh. A ton! Small and large places. Country places. Huge cities. Having the luxury of really getting to know another place - how wonderful! Off the top of my head: Berlin, Munich, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Copenhagen, Aix-en-Provence, Strasbourg, Swansea, Oxford, Manchester, Dublin, Rome, Palermo, Lyon, Barcelona, Lisbon, Amsterdam... okay, I'll stop. And yes, for some smaller places, short day trips count. :-)

Posted by
7061 posts

I think I'd be happy spending two weeks almost anywhere (with side trips to other locations of course). Actually, I'm renting an apartment in Paris for the month of August. Will probably take 4-5 side trips outside the city, but mostly will enjoy living like a local (whatever that means), shopping in same markets, visiting local parks, walking around "my" neighborhood, etc. I fell in love with Paris on my first visit in 1997 and it's taken me this long to get back again. That was a very short 3-day visit, this will be more in depth. I can't wait.

Posted by
14580 posts

Two full weeks in one place...I did that in 2009...sort of... but they were not 14 consecutive days, first ten days and then later came back for another three to four days. That was in Berlin staying at the same Pension in Charlottenburg for the entire 14 days. Staying there was, however, not my "entire vacation" luckily. Could I do a trip just two weeks in one city with or without a couple of side trips as the "entire vacation?" Paris, Berlin, London, Vienna...the top spots. Those places for a full week...easily Munich, Leipzig, Dresden, both with two side trips.

Posted by
6619 posts

We've stayed 12 nights each in London and Paris, would gladly spend a month in either, including some sidetrips. Friends of ours just returned from a month in Paris, their first visit, thought it was just a little too long (which means it was just right because they were glad to come home). They took sidetrips to Chartres and Tours, saw some of the French open, got to the big museums multiple times. They rented an apartment and ate in a lot.

Posted by
2732 posts

Our first trip to Europe (1982) we spent two weeks in London. I have to admit I was definitely living like a tourist, not a local, but I loved every minute of it. I could do it and enjoy it almost anywhere. I would never give up my camera though! And I would still want to see things. Honestly, I'm not that big on this living like a local stuff. The locals go to work and clean their houses and take the dog to the vet.

Posted by
3049 posts

For me, personally, two weeks in Munich would be a little much. I like it, have visited several times and plan to return, but it's not that huge or interesting to me. THAT SAID, different people like different cities! I'm mostly indifferent to New York, but could easily spend 2 weeks in New Orleans. And I like this style of travel, honestly. I've been considering a full week in Barcelona recently. Any place with a beach I'd consider staying two weeks in. For cities without beaches I'm a little less excited but I'd do a week or two in Berlin, Vienna, or Paris in a heartbeat. I've returned to many places I've visited which confounds some of my family and friends, but if you like a place it makes sense you'd want to return and see as much as possible and REALLY experience it, so I applaud your idea, it's way more interesting to me than trying to fit in a bunch of far-flung "sights". But if you're going to be in Munich that long - consider a day trip to Ulm, or Stuttgart for a change of pace! Oh, and don't forget the Bodensee!!

Posted by
149 posts

I have spent my entire vacation in London several times, with an occasional day trip. Also twice in Sydney, Australia, once in Prague, and once in NYC. Except for Prague, I could spend a month in either of those places easily.

Posted by
1986 posts

London, London, London. So much to see and do in and near the City Munich is one of my favorite European Cities, but i cant see more than 5-6 days there.

Posted by
11507 posts

I can , do , and have spent two or three weeks in Paris , actually have spent longer but those were family visits so I don't think they can count ( staying with family is different then being in a hotel or even an apartment,) . There really is just so much to do in Paris, there are over 200 museums ,, hundreds of cafes and restaurants, etc.. and there are also quite a few great daytrips from Paris, Reims, Chartes, Versailles, Rouen, Tours, Chantilly, Fountainbleau, etc etc, I would also consider 2 weeks in London, or Rome,, with daytrips of course. There are likely other places where one could enjoy a visit of a week or two, but I haven't been to them yet. I tend to think I would rather visit a place for a week first, then return for a longer visit next time. There are also some cities I have visited, that I would not want to spend 2 weeks in .. Florence, Venice,Amsterdam, nice places, but they would not keep me happy for two weeks.. 4-5 days max. I am not really into spending only one night anywhere, as that only works out to one full day, and I haven't been anywhere thats not worth at least 2 days.

Posted by
425 posts

Thanks for all the responses! Gives me something to think about. My initial thought was Paris or France for the entire two weeks, but then I thought "why would I stay in a country two entire weeks where I don't speak or understand the language?" It gets real lonely, even for two, in a country where you don't speak the language. Munich was the obvious choice then. I love Munich and Bavaria and really want to just park somewhere for a couple of weeks. Again, thanks for all the responses!

Posted by
14580 posts

@Rob...knowing the language obviously helps, sometimes a great deal. In that sense Munich is well worth it, you made a good choice. I agree... Reims, Fontainsbleau, and Chantilly, not only doable from Paris but captivating places for repeated visits. Other than Paris, obviously, where I have spent a week or more consecutively in France, is Arras, which included day trips to Lille, Cambrai, Boulogne, the villages in the area, etc. In my view doing a two week stay in one city and its surroundings is not wasted vacation, daypack or no daypack. I don't use one anyway. The two week stay does require more detailed planning.

Posted by
209 posts

London, Rome, Paris, Florence. We will be spending a week in each this summer. I don't think two weeks in any of these cities would be wasted. We've spent two weeks in London before (well Greenwich really but most of our time in London) and didn't come near running out of things we wanted to do, though we did a fair amount of day-tripping. It is not a beautiful city the way Paris is, but but there is such a variety of things to do in the City and an even greater variety of day-trips out. We've also spent a week and a half in Florence including several day trips. That was an all Renaissance all the time vacation. If you don't really like that period of art, a week in Florance let alone two would be too much. I haven't tried Paris more than four days at a time, but we are about to spend a week there and there are at least two weeks of things I'd like to do there. Rome is endless whether you like ancient Romans, early Christians, Jewish History and Culture, Renaissance art or Baroque art. It's history stacked on history, and once you get beyond The Forum, Vatican and Spanish Steps areas, relatively uncrowded.

Posted by
3255 posts

Hi Rob!
Not a wasted vacation at all! For us, two weeks in Paris or Rome would be fun. I'd also consider renting an apartment in a small village in Provence for a couple of weeks to visit local markets, cook using local produce, and check out local wineries. A fun question to ponder!

Posted by
262 posts

Paris for sure, going to do again in September, renting an apartment, only way to go. Umbria, spent a month with family in a lovely villa.
Would do a gain in a heartbeat! Any place you want to get to know intimately would be a great choice. Happy Travels!!

Posted by
3049 posts

Rob - you're already familiar with Munich so you may already have explored these areas, but just in case you haven't, I didn't really start to dig Munich that much until my last trip where we ventured out of the mitte and started exploring some of the other neighborhoods. The city suddenly feels a lot less touristy and yet a lot more vibrant. I really enjoyed the cafes, window shopping, and bars in both the Glockenbachviertel and Schwabing. Hopefully you're planning this for a warm time of year, because exploring Munich's biergartens could be really rewarding as well!

Posted by
3980 posts

We've spent lots of months in various cities and smaller towns in Europe. We try to do a 1 month home exchange each summer so we plan where to go for a base that offers good day trips and easy transportation connects because we usually do an overnight trip somewhere else nearby for several nights during the month. We've been doing this type of region exploring since 1995. Some of our favorite places have been London and vicinity 2X, Frieburg, Albi, Zug, Aix en Provence, and Koblenz. We never really worry too much about language barriers these days but carry a translation book with us and now have an app on our iPhone to use. We write down things to show train clerks or shop owners in case our pronunciation is too horrific to be understood...(It can save you from getting a big block of cheese for a picnic when you only want a couple of slices). I think your idea of staying 2 weeks or more in a single city where there are many things you want to do and see in the vicinity is a really good idea. Many people rent apartments to get the feel of settling in and really exploring an area. Enjoy your planning.

Posted by
1010 posts

London, London, London. You can use the Tube (Underground) and trains to go everywhere. You don't have the language issues like you do in France. You also don't have the rude people like you have in France. We were in France, during two trips, for five weeks. We were there in 2009 and 2010. We have been to London four times in the last four years. We are leaving for Ireland on Saturday and will spend an additional 10 days back in London. You can't go wrong with London. You can do day trips outside of London also. You can also go by Eurostar over to Paris for a day or more.

Posted by
800 posts

Our first trip together to Europe we spent 10 days and "did England". Our 2nd trip was 10 days for Rome and points south. Our 3rd trip was 8 days in one city - Hong Kong. I know that's not the 2 weeks you're talking about (we left our young children at home at that was about as long as I could go), but each trip was better and better, seeing a smaller and smaller area. Not wasted at all. I seriously discourage others from even trying to see more than one country in a single trip (unless it is the ones that seem to "go together - Germany/Austria or England/Ireland). I have always loved the idea of immersing myself in a single culture. My single regret for not going to college when I was young is that I never did a study abroad like my daughter who spent a whole year in Strasbourg. She loved it and we loved visiting our "french girl". So where would I spend two weeks? New York is the first answer. In Europe I'd probably start with London because I've never been there more than 3 days at a time and there is so much I haven't done/seen. Otherwise I can't think of a major European city that I would not consider for a long trip. We've never been to Munich but I had a friend do a month in Berlin and she loved that. I think your idea sounds great. We'll have to talk about it some more at our next Atlanta meeting!

Posted by
11507 posts

I have never thought of the langauge issue, as its never been an issue.

Posted by
964 posts

I never thought I would do this, as I love change and travel- but yes, Verona, in Italy. We went for 2 weeks last year and are going for 3 weeks this year. There's just something about the place that I love as I get to know it better. And it's central to lots of other places for day trips.
There's a different pleasure in getting to know a city really well, so definitely not a waste of a vacation.

Posted by
2764 posts

I could probably spend that long in a lot of cities.. Paris, London, Madrid, Venice, Florence all pop to mind without actually thinking too hard :) (and while some of those are realistic Venice might send me to bankruptcy :) )

Posted by
2732 posts

Sorry, Paul. That's not how I read your post, but if that's what you think, then I guess we agree. Happy travels!

Posted by
2732 posts

"I hate some people's approach to travel." Seriously? Shouldn't we all travel the way that gives us maximum enjoyment for our money? And not care if other people have a different style?

Posted by
134 posts

The first time I visited Florence was for half a day, then a year later I thought 3 days would be a long time in Florence. The next year I spent 2 weeks and love, love, loved it. I would do it again--for a month!! If it is a city you love, I think it is a good idea.

Posted by
317 posts

Two weeks is definitely not a waste in my book. Munich is a beautiful city with good beer, great people, and fantastic transit. Two weeks in Munich would not go amiss by me! Others I'd consider - London, baby! Paris Tokyo Hong Kong Vienna New York
San Francisco