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European cities for a stay of one or two weeks
Old 10-30-2015, 10:50 AM   #1
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European cities for a stay of one or two weeks

Much, though not all, of my past travel has been visiting various places in Europe, and skipping about from one place to another, staying 2-3 nights at most. Now, I feel that we should set down the luggage for a longer term in a city and more thoroughly explore it and its surrounding environs for about a week or two.

We are considering either a two week stay in one city, or two one week stays in two different cities. (Yes, we would like to stay longer, but that is not possible at the moment.)

We are looking for cities that in and of themselves would be interesting places to spend a week at least, maybe two. Also cities where the environs have interesting stuff to explore outside the city that allow for getting back to our room at night. (An example would be the salt mines outside of Krakow Poland.)

The cities should have a good transportation systems within them and to get to interesting environs around them.

We are not the types to spend day after day at the beach reading, or hanging out at our favorite cafč people watching, though that is a great thing to do at times.

What cities would you recommend and why?

Rome and Paris are out for various reasons, but other than those two biggies, we are wide open to suggestions.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:08 AM   #2
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Two places that pop into my mind: Italy Amalfi coast, and France Provence. I like the first for the scenery, and the second for the culture and way of life. Both places have interesting surroundings and food to keep a visitor engaged for a week, which may not be enough if he is into it. Sorry about public transportation; you will need a car for Provence, while trains and buses can get you around the Amalfi region.

For the first, one can stay in Sorrento as the base and make day trips to the spectacular Amalfi coast, Pompei, the island of Capri. For the second, there are many choices of town to stay in: Avignon, Vaucluse, or Sorgues.

Ah, the possibilities are endless. I am sure other posters will come up with zillions. There's just not enough time or money. But whichever you choose, it will be a nice trip and the one week will feel so short.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:21 AM   #3
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Plenty to choose from.

Zurich, Vienna, London, Paris, Barcelona, Moskou (is that still Europe for you?), Durbuy (little city in Belgium, do trips to other cities), Valencia, Bilbao, Rome, Dubrovnik, Budapest, Bordeaux (go castling / wine tasting)
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:34 AM   #4
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Some of my favorites, where I would always be happy to spend a week or more:
Bamberg, Brugge, Brussels, Edinburgh, Köln, London, Munich, Prague, Zurich (alphabetical order).

That's Europe anyway, but don't forget there are so many great cities in the Western Hemisphere that are equally fun to visit.
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Old 10-30-2015, 12:36 PM   #5
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That's Europe anyway, but don't forget there are so many great cities in the Western Hemisphere that are equally fun to visit.

Agreed.
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Old 10-30-2015, 12:52 PM   #6
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I saw Zurich getting mentioned twice. When visiting Switzerland, we have stayed in Geneva and Bern, and only made a day trip to Zurich. Switzerland is a small enough country and the train system is so good that one can stay in the middle of the country and make day trips to see the rest. Even Geneva is sufficiently small for us to explore most of it on foot.

Brussels is a crowded city that we did not find interesting. But it made a good base for day trips by train to other historic towns like Brugge or the tiny country of Luxembourg.

Barcelona and Madrid are cities that offer plenty on their own with architecture and museums, plus opportunities for day trips by train to nearby landmarks.
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Old 10-30-2015, 01:15 PM   #7
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Have had a great time subletting a flat in Nice, France (in vieux/old Nice) for a couple of weeks. Not badly priced, and Nice is the hub of the bus system - 1E fare anywhere along the coast each way, easy walk from home. Strongly recommended. We traveled out of Nice almost half the days we were there, good food there, having a kitchen means that the food budget gets spent when it's worth it. Great markets, wonderful ice cream, picking up sea glass on the beach. Will probably do again, but DW says we need to visit some other countries before we go back to France again.
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Old 10-30-2015, 01:24 PM   #8
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I find Vienna incredibly stimulating. Gateway to the East, for one thing.
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Old 10-30-2015, 01:45 PM   #9
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I'll second NW-Bound that either a Swiss city (Bern would be my choice, or perhaps Lucerne) or Brussels are great spots for a "home base" with lots of day train trip opportunities. If you like scenery, hiking, etc., then go for Switzerland. If you like museums and history, Brussels might be better.
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Old 10-30-2015, 01:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
Much, though not all, of my past travel has been visiting various places in Europe, and skipping about from one place to another, staying 2-3 nights at most. Now, I feel that we should set down the luggage for a longer term in a city and more thoroughly explore it and its surrounding environs for about a week or two.

We are considering either a two week stay in one city, or two one week stays in two different cities. (Yes, we would like to stay longer, but that is not possible at the moment.)

We are looking for cities that in and of themselves would be interesting places to spend a week at least, maybe two. Also cities where the environs have interesting stuff to explore outside the city that allow for getting back to our room at night. (An example would be the salt mines outside of Krakow Poland.)

The cities should have a good transportation systems within them and to get to interesting environs around them.

We are not the types to spend day after day at the beach reading, or hanging out at our favorite cafč people watching, though that is a great thing to do at times.

What cities would you recommend and why?

Rome and Paris are out for various reasons, but other than those two biggies, we are wide open to suggestions.
We liked Sarlat (France) a lot and easy spent a week there.
Personally I prefer smaller towns.

However you will need to check on public transportation requirement as we had a rental car and found that you can cover more ground comfortably, especially small villages etc., with a car.
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Old 10-30-2015, 03:01 PM   #11
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Amsterdam... It's been a few years since I've been there but the roads/highways and overall transportation was very good and lots to see. You may want to rent a car since there is a lot to see and do on day trips. Zandvoot (beach area) is very nearby and "interesting" for a quick visit. (although it may be getting to cool/cold there at this time of the year) Dutch is the primary language but I was able to get by speaking English (Texan) pretty well. Casinos in the area, if you are into that. A sightseeing round trip to Brussels is easily doable in a day as are many other interesting locations, depending on what you like. Actually saw some windmills from the highway on one trip.

London is only an hour plane hop away.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:42 PM   #12
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Salzburg is a great little city - short rides on trains to major cities
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:45 PM   #13
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We liked Sarlat (France) a lot and easy spent a week there.
Personally I prefer smaller towns.
We stayed in Bezenac three nights. Dordogne river valley is magnificent!. We traveled to Sarlat one day but it was packed with people/autos. In awe of the cave art site we visited (Not the re-created one.).
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:57 PM   #14
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London would be a great first choice if Paris and Rome are out. I'm partial to Munich, but Berlin is great possibility. Amsterdam is outstanding with easy side trips all around including Delft, Rotterdam, etc.

Chicago is a great Polish city, too.
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:27 PM   #15
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We go to Italy every Spring and stay for a week. We like to stay in the same place for the entire week so we maximize our time seeing stuff and minimize our time packing and traveling. This year, we made our home base a country inn right outside Perugia and then drove out to one of the Umbrian hill towns each day (Perugia, Narni, Orvieto, Assisi, Gubbio) returning to the inn in the evening. We have also spent an entire week in each of Florence, Venice, and Rome. All three cities have more than enough to hold your interest for the entire week, and I could still go back to see more in each of them.
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:54 PM   #16
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Chicago is a great Polish city, too.
Growing up, I always heard there were more Poles in Chicago than in Warsaw (or maybe Krakow - the 2nd largest city in Poland?). I couldn't google it back then

I lived on the NW side, Portage Park area of Chicago for a few years in the 70's. A few years ago, my son and DIL rented a place in neighboring Jefferson Park (also in Chicago city limits, for those unfamiliar with the area). I was surprised just how 'Polish' Jefferson Park had become. In the 70's I don't recall it being so obvious, but now, many of the shops have signs in Polish. And the Copernicus Center (performing arts theater, focused on Polish talent) is in that area. So yes, you can soak up a lot of Polish culture there.

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Old 10-30-2015, 09:41 PM   #17
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Salzburg might be my choice too. Plenty to see in and around the city, with Berchtestgaden and Hallstatt easy day trips away, as well as Munich. Depends on what you are really looking for though.
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:48 PM   #18
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This is such an impossible question. I can think of several cities that have not been mentioned. It really depends what type of experience you are looking for.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:43 PM   #19
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Great suggestions. I will have to do more research.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:48 PM   #20
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Salzburg is a great little city - short rides on trains to major cities
Yeah, loved Salzburg.
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