Thinking about a European vacation. Have 2 boys..14 & 17. Last time we were in Europe 14days...did Rome, Florence, Venice...Paris, London. What should we do next? We move pretty fast...and like to be busy. Would love some suggestions. Love shopping...sightseeing and great food. we have 14 days and must go July or August.
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Budapest
I think of the Alps. Your family could have a great time with a mix of outdoor activities.
How about Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest?
Or, Berlin, Dresden, Prague and Vienna.
When you go to the greatest cities, they're worthy of 4 day minimum time. Every time you move you lose one day, and your first and last day of the trip are essentially wasted.
I like the suggestion about Alps but you being from Billings got big mountains nearby. Something what you don't have nearby would be Prague, Vienna, Budapest and some smaller towns on the way like: Brno, Bratislava, Cesky Krumlov, Hallstatt, etc. You would not have time for all of them; Hallstatt is not exactly on the way but worth of small detour.
Berlin, Prague, Budapest - lots of youth culture in Berlin and Budapest, lots of beautiful architecture in Prague, and lots of good food in all three!
Thanks so much for your suggestions! LOVE the ideas....will start researching them! One more question? Budapest or Munich?
If the only choices are Budapest or Munich, I choose Budapest. But do look at how the whole trip will flow, where you'll fly into and out of, and how you'll get between places. If Munich is going to fit better with your itinerary, there's certainly worthwhile things to see and do there.
If you are going to Berlin, allow as many days as you can. The sheer number and variety of sights there is amazing; like London or Paris or New York, you'll never run out of things to do there.
Well maybe it's just winter coming, but I'd pick Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona and finish in the south of France, could see Collioure and Carcassonne. Could drop Lisbon if not enough time, but you said you like to move fast.
But the actual trip is in July or August.
True, but it wasn't the warmest summer here, and Montana is pretty close. I'd be looking for warm weather still. Also we did Barcelona and south of France with our teens and had a great time.
If you can manage 5 cities, I'd add Vienna between Prague and Budapest. The train stops there anyway . . . unless you fly between them, it's a long trip.
I had started planning a "spain & portugal" vacation but looked at weather in the past for july and august and worried about the heat. I actually considered doing Berlin 3-4 days....Prague..3 days...Budapest 3 days and flying to Barcelona for our last 4 days.
Any thoughts on that?
July and August can be quite hot in central Europe, though likely not quite as bad as Madrid. Just understand that there's a good chance you won't always have pleasant weather and go with the attitude that if it's not 85F or higher, you're having a good day. You may get lucky, of course.
Take a look at actual historical temps during your target period for recent years, day by day, on one of the weather web sites, such as wunderground.com.
I spent the summer of 2015 in Italy, eastern Germany, and the Balkans. From June till mid-September it was hot almost every day. Washington DC-style hot. Aside from days at altitude in the Dolomites, the one exception I remember was 2 or 3 days in Schwerin, which is in far northern Germany; it was coolish there and it rained. But Berlin was hot, Dresden was hot.
I've not been to either Budapest or Prague ( hope to someday) so I have to defer to others here for itinerary. I like the first suggestion of Amsterdam too though. I think its a bit quieter to end with, you wouldn't need 4 nights, so then wouldn't be cutting Budapest or Prague short. We rented bikes there and had a great time. Also got direct flights home from Amsterdam with KLM
We actually had slightly cooler weather the summer we were in Barcelona ( mid 70s) so I tend to forget how hot it can get!
Chani, "...I'd add Vienna between Prague and Budapest. The train stops there anyway...."
Actually direct trains from Budapest to Prague and vice versa don't go via Vienna. They go via Bratislava and Brno. But of course you can go by one train from Budapest to Vienna and then by a second train from Vienna to Prague.
My bad. Thanks Ilja. I was just thinking that it's a long train ride and better done with a stop mid-point. Vienna is the "usual" stop, but I've also heard good things about Brno.
Kim - you asked about Berlin 3-4 days....Prague..3 days...Budapest 3 days and flying to Barcelona for our last 4 days. Consider the amount of time you need for each change. According to bahn.de, there is a night train from Prague to Budapest, if you think you'll all get a good night's sleep, that would be a good plan. Barcelona is always a good option.
Amsterdam - 3 nts
Berlin - 4 nts
Prague - 3 nts
Budapest - 3 nts
Such a diverse itinerary this is - Charming Amsterdam, Cosmopolitan Hip Berlin, Fairy Tale Prague, and Boho Budapest! Something for everyone. We have done this exact route by train - some very lovely countryside to travel through.
Here's the kicker. My family would like to spend the last few days on a beach. Any suggestions for a great city we could fly to from Budapest to include a beach in this very diverse itinerary?
How about flying to Malaga ? Ryan Air flies there from Budapest
Fly to Dubrovnik... The beaches are not sandy, but pebbles, water shoes are a must. The water is great and there are sea kayaking, rock jumping and the walled city is fantastic! Many young people in Dubrovnik on holiday. It would be a definite change and very interesting. You could also hop on a ferry and hit other islands. If any one in your family has watched Game of Thrones .. King's landing was filmed there.
Dubrovnik would be a fascinating destination, but if that's the last stop before heading back to the US or Canada I suspect it might complicate--and increase the cost of--the return flight. However, the same could probably be said about a lot of the attractive European beach destinations.
I was wondering why you wanted to waste time on a beach so I looked up your profile and saw you were from Billings, MT. I agree, go for it. I am going to offer something a bit different then. Why not rely a little on low cost European flights-Amsterdam, Prague, Athens/Greek Island. (Personally, I would pick Berlin instead of Prague, but throwing in different architecture instead.) How do you get your teenage boys to shop? Keep in mind I'm not sure how well Prague to Athens would work on a flight, but I'm sure someone else on the forum will know if it works.
I like the idea of Barcelona, because there's lots more to do there than just beach, and because flying back to the US is easier from there than from many other European "beach" destinations.
Are you (and your kids) aware than many beaches in Europe are rocks and pebbles rather than sand? If you want sandy beaches, be sure you are going to a place that has them.