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Planning honeymoon, PLEASE HELP....

Travel Forums Europe Planning honeymoon, PLEASE HELP....

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1. Posted by ma_galazin (Budding Member 41 posts) 7y

I'll be getting married in October 2009, and we are set on doing Europe as our Honeymoon but are having EXTREME difficulty narrowing down where we want to visit. We'll only have about 10 nights/11 days and it is our first trip to Europe. There are so many places to see that we simply cannot decide and we would like to start making arrangements soon. I'll list the destinations that we are most interested in and if you guys could help with some travel suggestions, that would be greatly appreciated! We obviously want to see and do as much as we can, so seeing/staying in as many of the following destinations as possible would be fabulous! Thanks in advance!

Areas we are most interested in:

Belgium:
-Ghent
-Bruges

Germany:
-Nuremburg
-Regensburg
-(anywhere else in Bavaria?)

Austria:
-Salzburg

Czech Republic:
-Prague
-Cesky Krumlov

Thanks guys!:)

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 7y

With 10 nights, I highly suggest you see no more than 2 or 3 cities--else you'll see not much more than the inside of a train/bus/car. Else pick cities that are just 2-3 hours away from each other for quick travel jaunts.

The only place I've been to on your list is Brugges--and it was lovely! I recommend it.

Congrats and enjoy!

3. Posted by ma_galazin (Budding Member 41 posts) 7y

Quoting tway

With 10 nights, I highly suggest you see no more than 2 or 3 cities--else you'll see not much more than the inside of a train/bus/car. Else pick cities that are just 2-3 hours away from each other for quick travel jaunts.

The only place I've been to on your list is Brugges--and it was lovely! I recommend it.

Congrats and enjoy!

We are just now beginning to realize that we are going to have to limit our choices to fully enjoy our trip. The problem that we are now having is that Bruge was our number one choice and Prague was number two. We'd love to have the opportunity to stay in both places, but I'm not sure that it will be possible... anyway, as I mentioned, our plans are definitely not set yet and we would love any suggestions on where to go and what to see! We haven't yet decided where we are flying into/out of, but we were originally considering going into either Prague or Munich and flying out of Brussels. It's beginning to look like our original arrival/departure cities may be too far and we will have to adjust, but I'm definitely open to all suggestions! thanks again!

  • **also, for those that are familiar with the regions that I listed, Do you have any estimation of travel time between Munich and Bruges by either train or car? Another question that I had is if anyone can recommend either Salzburg or Prague as a better destination? We are starting to think that we would like to do maybe two cities split for the time with some daytrips thrown in...

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 7, 2009, at 12:07 PM by ma_galazin ]

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

You can easily combine Southern Germany with Salzburg or the Czech Republic. Fly into Munich, then go to Salzburg, from Salzburg back to Munich, from Munich to Prague and back.

It will be very hurried to do this in 10 days, but doable. I'll gladly help you work out the details, I am somewhat familar with this area.

How do you intend to travel? By car or by train? Where do you intend to stay, hostels or small pensions? What is your budget? Cheap cheap or romantic, once in your life? Are you active, like wildwater rafting or long-distance cycling? Hiking? Or are you one to relax on a cruise?

5. Posted by ma_galazin (Budding Member 41 posts) 7y

Quoting t_maia

You can easily combine Southern Germany with Salzburg or the Czech Republic. Fly into Munich, then go to Salzburg, from Salzburg back to Munich, from Munich to Prague and back.

It will be very hurried to do this in 10 days, but doable. I'll gladly help you work out the details, I am somewhat familar with this area.

How do you intend to travel? By car or by train? Where do you intend to stay, hostels or small pensions? What is your budget? Cheap cheap or romantic, once in your life? Are you active, like wildwater rafting or long-distance cycling? Hiking? Or are you one to relax on a cruise?

Our budget will not be huge and we are hoping to find at least a few self catering accomdations as we love to have breakfast in. Travel wise, we were hoping to mainly use the train services, but a rental car will not be out of the question although we would prefer to limit the car to only a few days. We mainly just want to sightsee and take in the local culture. We are definitely more of the "lounging" type and would like to have an opportunity to relax. This is part of the reason that we are having such a problem planning. We want to have a nice laid back trip, but there are so many places that we want to see at the same time! It makes for atype of contradiction in the style of vacation that we want, which is why it is becoming near impossible for us to plan it....

Being completely unfamiliar with region is making it difficult too. We love the medieval feel of the old cities in the locations that we have mentioned and my wife is very interested in seeing/visiting some castles. We are no longer into the party scene, so nightlife isn't a necessity. We mainly want to see some historic sights and take in the local culture. Is language going to be a problem in these areas or is English fluent? This is another minor concern of ours...We would love to visit some areas a bit more off the beaten path, but we are nervous about the language barriers so we will most likely end up sticking to the more "touristy" destinations (for the most part).

EDIT**

The More that we have been doing research, the more that we are realizing that we would love to see both Bavaria and Belgium. Do you think that it would be possible to maybe stay half of the trip in Bavaria and have a chance to see some sights in the region as well as Austria or the Czech Republic and then travel to either Ghent or Bruges to finish off the trip?

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 7, 2009, at 12:48 PM by ma_galazin ]

6. Posted by ma_galazin (Budding Member 41 posts) 7y

We are starting to narrow down our choices...We may want to start with a stay in Regensburg or Nuremberg, Germany and do some day-tripping from there, followed by a stay in Bruges, Belgium also with some day-tripping. Any suggestions?

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 7, 2009, at 1:50 PM by ma_galazin ]

7. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Quoting ma_galazin

The More that we have been doing research, the more that we are realizing that we would love to see both Bavaria and Belgium. Do you think that it would be possible to maybe stay half of the trip in Bavaria and have a chance to see some sights in the region as well as Austria or the Czech Republic and then travel to either Ghent or Bruges to finish off the trip?

No.

Way too rushed. It might be possible if you somehow find extra days, making it a 16/17-day trip.

Bavaria + Czech Republic in 10 days is very rushed already, and this is only possible because of the direct and fast train connections between Prague and Munich as well as the fact that you can fly directly into Munich airport even from outside of Europe. (Where are you from btw?)

You can pretty much consider Salzburg as part of Bavaria. Although it is now in Austria, it is directly at the German border. To see the ultimate highlights of Bavaria you usually need about 7 days, this includes seeing Salzburg. With a bit of squeezing and rushing about you can add Prague to a 10-day-schedule thanks to the relatively good connections. Cesky Krumlov is also not impossible, but then you really need to prioritise and stick to a rigid travel plan.

The problem of combining Belgium with Bavaria is the distance involved. Brugge to Salzburg is over 1000 kms, I estimate the travel time by train to be around 13 hours including changes. The bahn.de website is currently down, so I cannot look it up, but IIRC there is no nighttrain between Brussels and Munich. If it is true you loose a whole day travelling between the two areas, a day you simply do not have.

Look at the practicalities: You got 11 days. Flying in and out of Europe takes away 2 days, leaves you with 9 days. Say you fly in and out of Brussels. 2 days for Brussels, 3 days for Brugge, 2 days for Gent, 1 day travelling to Bavaria, one day back to Brussels = no time at all in Bavaria. Flying between Belgium and Bavaria might be the solution, but then you need to give up the plan of seeing the Czech Republic. It would still come down to a 1-full-day-per-city whirl though.

You wrote:

We love the medieval feel of the old cities in the locations that we have mentioned and my wife is very interested in seeing/visiting some castles. We are no longer into the party scene, so nightlife isn't a necessity. We mainly want to see some historic sights and take in the local culture.

This makes me think that Bavaria would be ideal for you. I've been to Salzburg and Cesky Krumlov and both places totally blew my mind. A 10-day tour of the highlights of Bavaria (Salzburg included, but no Czech Republic) would allow you to get a good feeling of Bavaria, maybe see something off the beaten track and give you enough leisure to really enjoy your honeymoon.

But if you prefer Belgium, consider a trip that combines Brussels, Brugge and Gent with either Amsterdam or Paris. Those cities are "classics" and much closer to Belgium than Bavaria. Connections by train are frequent and fast, making travel easy.

8. Posted by ma_galazin (Budding Member 41 posts) 7y

Quoting t_maia

Quoting ma_galazin

The More that we have been doing research, the more that we are realizing that we would love to see both Bavaria and Belgium. Do you think that it would be possible to maybe stay half of the trip in Bavaria and have a chance to see some sights in the region as well as Austria or the Czech Republic and then travel to either Ghent or Bruges to finish off the trip?

No.

Way too rushed. It might be possible if you somehow find extra days, making it a 16/17-day trip.

Bavaria + Czech Republic in 10 days is very rushed already, and this is only possible because of the direct and fast train connections between Prague and Munich as well as the fact that you can fly directly into Munich airport even from outside of Europe. (Where are you from btw?)

You can pretty much consider Salzburg as part of Bavaria. Although it is now in Austria, it is directly at the German border. To see the ultimate highlights of Bavaria you usually need about 7 days, this includes seeing Salzburg. With a bit of squeezing and rushing about you can add Prague to a 10-day-schedule thanks to the relatively good connections. Cesky Krumlov is also not impossible, but then you really need to prioritise and stick to a rigid travel plan.

The problem of combining Belgium with Bavaria is the distance involved. Brugge to Salzburg is over 1000 kms, I estimate the travel time by train to be around 13 hours including changes. The bahn.de website is currently down, so I cannot look it up, but IIRC there is no nighttrain between Brussels and Munich. If it is true you loose a whole day travelling between the two areas, a day you simply do not have.

Look at the practicalities: You got 11 days. Flying in and out of Europe takes away 2 days, leaves you with 9 days. Say you fly in and out of Brussels. 2 days for Brussels, 3 days for Brugge, 2 days for Gent, 1 day travelling to Bavaria, one day back to Brussels = no time at all in Bavaria. Flying between Belgium and Bavaria might be the solution, but then you need to give up the plan of seeing the Czech Republic. It would still come down to a 1-full-day-per-city whirl though.

You wrote:

We love the medieval feel of the old cities in the locations that we have mentioned and my wife is very interested in seeing/visiting some castles. We are no longer into the party scene, so nightlife isn't a necessity. We mainly want to see some historic sights and take in the local culture.

This makes me think that Bavaria would be ideal for you. I've been to Salzburg and Cesky Krumlov and both places totally blew my mind. A 10-day tour of the highlights of Bavaria (Salzburg included, but no Czech Republic) would allow you to get a good feeling of Bavaria, maybe see something off the beaten track and give you enough leisure to really enjoy your honeymoon.

But if you prefer Belgium, consider a trip that combines Brussels, Brugge and Gent with either Amsterdam or Paris. Those cities are "classics" and much closer to Belgium than Bavaria. Connections by train are frequent and fast, making travel easy.

WOW!! thanks so much for the info. this has been extremely helpful, but it has also sent my mind spinning on which itinerary to choose. We were initially set on Belgium, but Bavaria is becoming extremely appealing. Looking at the map of Europe, I completely underestimated the travel time between Bavaria and Brussels. Supposing that we did pick the Germany option as our main hub, we were interested by a stay in either Nuremberg or Regensburg for half of the time (five nights) followed by a five night stay in another city. Do you have a suggestion as to which would be the more desirable location as well as some other good options on where to stay for the second half of the trip? If we decide on Belgium, you did hit the nail on the head! We are going to base our stay in either Bruges or Ghent and visit the other places that you have mentioned....Now it's just a matter of which to choose....

We did, of course, also consider Munich for a stay, but it seems so huge and overwhelming that we aren't quite sure yet. One of the reasons that we had Brugge pegged as our top destination is that it seemed to offer a bit more "quaintness" rather than the large city atmosphere. We are from just outside of Philadelphia in the U.S. and my wife is extremely unfond of huge american cities. I know that the cities in Europe will be very different from those around us, but we do want to take this into consideration. We have been traveling to small, quiet islands in the Caribbean for the past 8 years, so this is the extent of our travel so far. Europe is so intriguing, yet so overwhelming at the same time.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 7, 2009, at 2:45 PM by ma_galazin ]

9. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

I strongly suggest you get your hands on a schematic map of the train lines. It helps you plan you journey.

For example if you look at the railway map and the national timetable of Belgium you soon see that pretty much every train originates and ends in Brussels, making Brussels the ideal place to get out and see the whole country.

Regarding Munich: The typical Bavaria, the one you see in the movies and on the picture postcards, is south of Munich. The region is called Oberbayern (Upper Bavaria) and to see it you need to base yourself in Munich. It is pointless to stay in Nuremberg for it, because Nuremberg is the capital of another region called Franken. (Do not make the mistake of calling a Frank Bavarian, this is as bad as calling a Scot English.) Since you intend to travel in October I suggest you split your time: 5 days in southern Bavaria, Munich, Salzburg and Füssen and 5 days in Northern Bavaria, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Würzburg, Nürnberg, Regensburg and then back to Munich. Around Würzburg is a wine-growing region, chances are good the weather will be nice and pleasantly warm for October. The leaves will be turning and the first young wine will be available for tasting.

One more thing: Have you considered taking a cruise on the Danube from Passau to Vienna, maybe on to Bratislava and Budapest? It would be a great 10-day trip, with lots of leisure and lounging in comfort. I've cycled this route last July, it is really nice. Plenty of American and Japanese tourists cruising the Danube on their 4- and 5-star ships with full board, English or Japanese-speaking guide, stopping at all the important sights, no need to leave the cabin to get from A to B. Can be worth a look. Talk to a travel agent, these are typically package deals.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 7, 2009, at 3:47 PM by t_maia ]

10. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Something I just remembered:

Late September/early October (September 19th to October 4th 2009) is the time of the Octoberfest in Munich. It is a huge event, if you are interested in going book accomodation now.

http://www.oktoberfest.de/

The Octoberfest is a massive beer fest, it attracts very large crowds. Italians, Aussie, Kiwis, Brits, Austrians, Germans, French, Russians, ... they all come to get stinking f*cking drunk and party until the lederhosen and the dirndl dresses come off.

If that is not your cup of tea, stay away from Munich during that time. Also note that on the very last day of the Octoberfest flights to Munich should be cheap and that a number of hotels/restaurants/hostels in Munich close for a much needed rest after the event.

If you are looking at renting a campervan on Oct 5th in Munich - be prepared to be told that they need to be cleaned first after all the puke and piss that comes with being drunk on massive amounts of beer.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 7, 2009, at 5:52 PM by t_maia ]