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Alternative trip to Berlin Marathon and Oktoberfest?

I was supposed to run the Berlin Marathon and then do Munich (Oktoberfest), Bavaria and Salzburg...likely we'll do it in 2021 now instead! Traveling with my wife and 9 mo old baby.

What are some potential excellent (maybe realistic?) alternatives for end of September-beginning of October around Europe for 12-14 days? I know that's an open-ended question, but perhaps people with knowledge of regional Covid severity/restrictions (continuously evolving I know!) and with knowledge of traveling at that time of year could help narrow it down.

We were thinking Portugal, Spain, Scotland, Western France, or Ireland or some other region that could be explored in a couple weeks. Thank you everyone for your help in keeping our autumn European travel dreams alive...but realistic...haha.

Posted by
963 posts

Any of your alternates would be wonderful, but thinking in terms of “realistic”, in your shoes I would look to see which countries have the slowest growth/most control now and hope that affects the future. So Spain and France might be less optimistic choices than Ireland (???) but I don’t know bc I haven’t been following Ireland as closely. What are these countries speculating about opening? I would narrow it down that way and then make sure all reservations are refundable.

Posted by
785 posts

You might also want to have a domestic fall back plan, in case European travel is not possible by then. Tourism all over the globe is suffering - would be a good time to support the home front. I'll emphasize the prior poster's point about refundable reservations, regardless of what direction you take.

Posted by
66 posts

had the same trip planned Berlin for the marathon , munich for Oktoberfest then 2 weeks in Portugal
right at this moment with all the current information about covid and countries restrictions , I think ill be staying Canada . I just don't think Europe or anywhere will really be open for tourists

Posted by
1930 posts

Current business thinking (from Deloitte consulting) has Spain opening back up to international tourism around December 2020 at the earliest. With domestic tourism starting up again around late August 2020. You may want to seriously consider domestic tourism for this year.

Posted by
5429 posts

A lot depends also on how successful the U.S. is in controlling the virus -- what countries will not only be open to tourists but open to U.S. tourists ?
And when will the passport office be open to get the baby's passport ? EDIT right now they're only issuing new passports for "life and death" situations.

2020 may end up being a domestic road-trip year for lots of us.

Posted by
753 posts

Perhaps consider Switzerland and/or small towns Germany- countries that I love exploring, and seem to have more supports in place regrading containing the virus? I'm obviously not an expert here, just love encouraging folks to visit these countries.
Safe travels.

Posted by
942 posts

Any big gatherings will be cancelled if Oktoberfest is any indication and this from Germany a country that is opening sooner than most.

My suggestion, stay close to home-save up your money and have an extra fun trip in 2021.

Posted by
8 posts

The good thing is we don’t have to worry about the passport issue...we got one when she was only 2 weeks old :) But I think we might look domestically at a national park or at Central/South America instead which may be less restrictive that Europe this year.

I guess when Europe opens back up to American tourists we’ll have to do a 1-month trip instead of just 2 weeks! Dreaming about travel and planning it is such an’s a huge buzzkill to not be able to do so with any certainty :(