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Old 10-01-2014, 01:45 PM   #21
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Weather would be the deciding factor for me. Berlin in the summer and Seville in the winter months. I've been to both and the are both awesome. I love Southern Spain as a whole. Barcelona would also be a lot of fun.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:53 PM   #22
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Strasbourg, FR is very nice and walkable with public transit
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:40 PM   #23
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We spent a couple of nights in Leipzig, Germany, and thought it was amazing. Great accessible size, good train station, nice outdoor market, cheaper than Munich and Berlin. It is pretty much in the center of your touring area. Enough English is spoken. We would return in a heartbeat.

Basel is beautiful but not inexpensive.

I've not been there but hear Dresden is gorgeous and cosmopolitan.

Agree that Budapest is good, and a lot of people like Prague.

Vienna is central too, but not sure about its priciness.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:42 PM   #24
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Vienna is very pricey.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:45 PM   #25
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Barcelona and Venice would be towards the top of my list. Visited both and loved them both.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:04 PM   #26
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Venice is very pricey.

Maybe nearby Mestre would be a decent base. Close to visit Venice whenever you want, close to the airport and of course rail links to rest of northern Italy. But to take international train trips, presumably you have to go west to Milan first?
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:10 PM   #27
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Which time of the year?

Ideally, late Spring to early Summer, or late Summer to Early Autumn. Ahhh... the advantages of retirement.

Great suggestions! Thanks.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:15 PM   #28
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What languages do you speak?
Parlo l'italiano un po. Sto studiano italiano con Duolingo. È molto buono.
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Good city for 2-3 months in Europe?
Old 10-01-2014, 03:22 PM   #29
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Good city for 2-3 months in Europe?

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Parlo l'italiano un po. Sto studiano italiano con Duolingo. È molto buono.

Milan? Turino? Geneva?


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Old 10-01-2014, 03:50 PM   #30
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Lviv, Ukraine
Tallinn, Estonia
Plzen, Czech Republic
Tbilisi, Georgia
Places where they like Americans and the beer is good.
I could spend a year in each place, E-Z.
Got to admit I am (happily) surprised about the "like Americans" part. My apparently ignorant default belief has been that, outside of tourist areas where greenbacks are always welcome, former soviet satellite denizens eyed Yanks suspiciously.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:04 PM   #31
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If I was staying in the Czech Republic, I would choose Prague, not Plzen as mentioned earlier. You'll find more people that can speak English and have all of the comforts of a major city for a reasonable price. It's centrally located in Europe, providing easy travel to Austria and Germany, the airport is small with inexpensive flights (look at smart wings) and overall it's wonderful city. Great food, beer and culture, even though the latter can be difficult if you don't know the language.

If you want to be close to Vienna, then you could go over the border around Bratislava. I'm less familiar with this area, but I know many Slovaks go to Austria for shopping, etc, since they are close. If I remember correctly it's around an hour drive between the two cities, a bit less for Vienna's airport.

Berlin could also be interesting, but I've never been there. If you're looking to keep it on the less expensive side, then I'd be looking at the former Eastern European countries. If weather is a concern, then you could also look at Trieste or parts of Croatia. Both are in reasonable locations and are going to be cheaper than London, Paris, etc.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:14 PM   #32
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Venice is very pricey.

Maybe nearby Mestre would be a decent base. Close to visit Venice whenever you want, close to the airport and of course rail links to rest of northern Italy. But to take international train trips, presumably you have to go west to Milan first?
For at least some of the cities look at the commuter rail network (SBahn in Germany and Austria). Consider looking towards the ends of the routes.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:18 PM   #33
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Switzerland is probably the most expensive other than the big cities (London, Paris, Vienna, etc.). Also I think they may be a little stricter on how long you can stay (used to be that way back in the '90s anyway).

Cologne is a great central location for both train and rail. Most mid-size European cities have excellent public transportation because both cars and gasoline are very expensive and many families get along with one car with everything else on public transport.

Sounds like a wonderful adventure. Keep us posted!
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:51 PM   #34
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Strasbourg, FR is very nice and walkable with public transit
I live there, and can confirm that this is true. You wouldn't have the choice of air destinations that you would have from a city like Frankfurt or Munich, but there are good train connections. Metro area population is about 450,000.

However, if you only speak English, Germany (or the Netherlands, or the northern half of Belgium, or Luxembourg) might be a better choice. Pretty well everyone there speaks English; plus Germany, in particular, generally welcomes Americans (having hosted several hundred thousand U.S. troops for many years). Cologne would get my vote.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:58 PM   #35
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Looks like Strasbourg is right on the border of Germany. So weather not as nice as say along the Mediterranean coast?
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:05 PM   #36
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Another vote for southern Spain/Andalusia. Very affordable and just a great vibe that I think many FI/RE types would find amenable. Access to other parts of Europe may take a little more doing than central places like Frankfurt. But flights on Iberia are quite affordable. Also, you can get to more exotic places (North Africa, e.g.)
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:06 PM   #37
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Looks like Strasbourg is right on the border of Germany. So weather not as nice as say along the Mediterranean coast?
I can get on a city bus from the end of my street, pay $1.60, and get off 10 minutes later in Kehl, Germany.

It's a semi-continental climate. You need to switch the central heating on from October through to April, but we only get 4-5 winter days where it doesn't get above freezing all day. In summer we might have 15 days total around 90ºF. About 20 inches annual rainfall (most of the rain lands on the Vosges mountains to the west). Nicer weather than Seattle but not as nice as San Diego.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:08 PM   #38
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A place I travel to for work quite often, Wroclaw, Poland. Used to be Breslau, Germany. It is a big University town with wonderful scenery, rich history, cheap living, great public transportation and you can fly to almost anywhere in Europe very inexpensively on Ryannair or Easyjet...
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:30 PM   #39
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Last Feb/March, we spent a month in a small town in Portugal but sounds too small for you. Then a month walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. We also traveled around Spain a bit. Both were fairly affordable and enjoyable.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:38 PM   #40
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Pffft...



Wow, I didn't know Paris was in the Davis Mountains! And I wish Florence were that close to me - wow! And Vienna is in Louisiana? Dang!
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