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Where to go? August, Europe, not beach, cheapish, Mum and adult daughter.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by voodoo child, May 24, 2011.

  1. voodoo child

    voodoo child New commenter

    Have you got any suggestions for a short break in August? I love Florence but it will be very busy. We have both done Barcelona and Paris. Possibly Portugal or less known bits of Italy/France. It will be a long weekend so don't want to go as far as Greece though would not rule it out. We'll need to fly so will have to walk or use public transport when there. Any ideas welcome including recommended airports/transport links and hotels. Can't spend masses so 5 star hotels are sadly out.
     
  2. voodoo child

    voodoo child New commenter

    Have you got any suggestions for a short break in August? I love Florence but it will be very busy. We have both done Barcelona and Paris. Possibly Portugal or less known bits of Italy/France. It will be a long weekend so don't want to go as far as Greece though would not rule it out. We'll need to fly so will have to walk or use public transport when there. Any ideas welcome including recommended airports/transport links and hotels. Can't spend masses so 5 star hotels are sadly out.
     
  3. Might be a bit far but how about Malta. There are plenty of reasonably priced places to stay and eating out is pretty good too (well it was at the places we found). Public transport is in the form of old yellow buses which are cheap and run frequently including early morning/late night on some routes. There is lots to do and the history of the island is fascinating.

     
  4. Lucca, in Tuscany? Avoid the mobs and excessive prices in this less well-known gem?
     
  5. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    English is spoken everywhere as well! Gozo could be nicer. 4 hour flight there, was 7 hours with a refuelling stop when I lived there!!
    Or what about Madrid, fascinating place to visit, Valencia, Granada, Sevilla, all fascinating.

     
  6. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    I would be tempted by the Alhambra.
     
  7. voodoo child

    voodoo child New commenter

    Hadn't thought about Malta - will look into. The Andalucian cities are wonderful - I did them last year so they are not on my list. Madrid is a possible too and Lucca. Thanks for ideas so far.
     
  8. I'm going to Brussels/Bruges/Antwerp in August. See you there!
     
  9. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Lead commenter

    Ah...Antwerp. Where the pubs never shut. [​IMG]
     
  10. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Latvia is cheap and lovely and has some great food. Riga is a fascinating 'edgy' city and rural Sigulda, with its castle, is beautiful. From Sigulda, you can be driven to a spot 24 KM upriver and deposited on the river in a rowing boat. You row gently back to town along a shallow river with forests all around you. We've done it twice, with lovely picnics in tow. Takes all day in the sunshine and there are nice places to stay in town.
     
  11. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Lucerne in Switzerland is beautiful in summer. You can go to the Lido and have a pretend few hours on the beach and a swim in the Lake. Plenty of culture and lots of opportunities for walking.
    Eating out isn't cheap but self-catering would make it a cheap option.
    The scenery is amazing and you can get around on public transport. Their equivalent of a travel card includes boats, cable cars and funicular railways.
     
  12. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Venice - stay on the Adriatic coast near somewhere like Punta Sabbioni and catch the ferry in and out (about an hour's journey across the lagoon).

    Interlaken? Flight to Bern, train for the last bit.

    Lazise - Lake Garda. The usual Italian lakey stuff plus theme parks nearby if you want them. Huge market. Flight to Verona.
     
  13. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Also - Sorrento. Flights to Naples. Pompeii, Herculaneum, Amalfi coast all within easy reach by train or bus.

    Maybe one Italian spot to avoid - 'Cinque Terre' Riviera coast. Overcrowded in summer and over-commercialised. Can't say I was hugely impressed, but that's just my opinion. Pretty much anywhere else in Italy gets my vote.
     
  14. invincible

    invincible New commenter

    #

    No bus now and hasn't been for a few years since they built the train station under the airport. Now you get into the city by S-Bahn. Really not much to see in Cologne apart from the Rhine and the Dom and the chocolate museum and other museums. It is good for shopping though. Cologne is more of an experience than for sightseeing.
     
  15. The chocolate museum has a factory shop but its not worth going all that way for unless you're very, very, very enthusiastic about choc.
     
  16. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    There is also a cathedral which is a world heritage site, regardless of whether you are a god-fan.
     
  17. She/he did mention the Dom.
    I don't think Cologne has the appeal of many places in France and Italy, except maybe at Christmas market time.
     
  18. What about Lisbon? I'm going on a return trip for a weekend next month. A beautiful city, in a beautiful situation with sea breezes although not quite on the coast. Really interesting history, and an insight into the whole lusophone culture, with its global influences, that is so often ignored in the UK.
    Prices are really reasonable in Portugal compared to the rest of the Euro zone. Public transport is especially cheap. The first time I went to Lisbon we were doing a tour of Portugal based on a guide to the best restaurants ( a tactic I would recommend) and we ate especially well in Lisbon.
    Last year I had a week in Porto, staying in a flat overlooking the Douro. I would also recommend Porto for much the same reasons ie good food, cheap and excellent public transport and interesting culture. We went on the open top bus tour as well. This has become a feature of recent city breaks and we will certainly be doing that in Lisbon. The first one we went on was in a blustery Edinburgh, which had an enthusiastic guide in a kilt. None has been quite as good since, however I think that they are great for getting an overview of a city, especially if your time is limited.
    Portuguese coffee has to be the best in the world! (Although I have yet to visit Brasil).

     
  19. voodoo child

    voodoo child New commenter

    Thanks Otter and everyone. It is great to get advice that is recent and based on experience. Lisbon and Porto sound good. I agree about the open top bus tours - the best one I have had was in Dublin with a refrain from the driver 'I'm Antony and I do everything', he was hilarious. Also enjoyed the Liverpool one and one in Seville (which included a walking tour in the price).
     
  20. We stayed at the Grande Hotel de Paris in Porto. If you read the reviews, best to ask for a room at the back. We went in February, so it wasn't busy - but it was really hot and sunny!
     

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