Traveling to Europe this summer (tips anyone?)

  • WCROC

    Posts: 25

    May 24, 2015 4:52 AM GMT
    I will be in Europe this summer, spefically:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Northern Ireland (3 days)
    London (3-4 days) (and a few cities in England 3-4 days)
    Berlin, Germany (3 days)
    Staying in Paris but want to see France (1 week)

    I already have Scotland planned, but my friends and I need places to see in all the other areas, especially Berlin and Northern Ireland. We have our friend from Paris showing us around France, but she will only meet us for a few days.

    Any places that are a must see and restaurants to eat at are welcome!
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    May 24, 2015 3:43 PM GMT
    figure your own way around:
    Work on getting a gsm based smart phone that works well in the countries your traveling. Find apps that are European based but text & speaks english or a language of choice.

    -get an street map app that uses an internal db if you do not plan to get a local data package large enough to support online gps support

    -get a European version of waze, alert you on traffic conditions.

    -get a subway mapping application. Especially if you plan not to drive, intimidated with the driving in the UK with 10x the population density, left side driving and high fuel prices.

    -find a European Yelp that has various reviews.
  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    May 24, 2015 7:37 PM GMT
    Don't neglect Amsterdam

    (BTW, It's pronounced ahmstr dahm'. Soft a's & accent on dahm.)
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    May 24, 2015 10:32 PM GMT


    In Berlin:

    - Berlin Wall Memorial
    - Holocaust Memorial at Cora-Berliner-Straße 1
    - GSM phone if you want to be able to communicate
    - Fernsehturm Berlin (TV tower observation deck)
    - Museum Island
    - Potsdamer Platz
    - Brandenburg Gate
    - Walk the Kurfürstendamm
    - Eat some curry wurst from a street vendor anywhere.
    - Walk through the main Berlin train station - the hauptbahnhof http://bahnhof.de



    ... much more is possible too..
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    May 25, 2015 1:11 AM GMT
    Make sure you wear some comfortable shoes and in the cities walk, walk, walk! There is always something interesting to see on foot.

    My London Tips

    Science Museum, British Museum, V&A, Natural History Museum.

    Walk along the Thames embankment from Albert Bridge to Tower Bridge (6 miles) and you will get to see many of London's most iconic sights. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/thames-path-north-section-2.pdf

    Walk from Buckingham Palace to St Pauls Cathedral via The Mall, Trafalgar Square, Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill.

    Walk around Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens.

    Walk up and down Kensington Palace Gardens, a street containing some of London's grandest houses (many Embassy residences).

    Avoid Oxford Street, unless you are really into unremarkable shopping. Selfridges is worth a look though.

    Visit Harrods: It is vast! Check out the Food Halls, which are amazing.

    Walk from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square and see the posh shops and some of the most expensive real estate in the world.

    Walk through Mayfair which has lots of grand architecture including Grosvenor Square (the US Embassy has statues of Eisenhower, FDR and Reagan outside).

    Walk along the South Bank.

    If you want to see the Changing of the Guard go to St James' Palace, where you will actually get to see the ceremony, rather than Buckingham Palace, where you will mostly get to see the backs of other people's heads.

    Walk confidently into any of the smart hotels and use their luxury washrooms, which are usually located somewhere off the main lobby.





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    May 25, 2015 2:10 PM GMT
    Sign up for https://www.couchsurfing.com. You can meet the locals.
  • Olympus1991

    Posts: 46

    May 25, 2015 5:28 PM GMT
    Berlin is an excellent choise, try 3 days of Amsterdam too!
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    May 26, 2015 1:05 AM GMT
    It might help us advise you if you told us what you were interested in. Also, consult some guidebooks.

    France - a very big country - a week is not very much time.
    In Paris - see Sainte Chapelle, and preferably during an evening concert, when you get to see the pre-revolution windows as well as enjoy the concert. Take a day trip (easy by train) to any of Chartres, Reims (if by car, include Épernay and taste champagne), or Fontainebleau (would be included in the Paris metro card -Pass Navigo Découverte, if you buy Zone 5).
    Best food: use http://www.viamichelin.com/web/Restaurants or a Michelin Guide to find a good (not necessarily a 1,2, or 3 star) restaurant out in the country. The atmosphere will be better, the cost much lower, and the food just as good as at a good restaurant in Paris.

    Berlin - Reichstag building - probably need online reservations in advance; Charlottenburg and Sanssouci palaces and gardens.

    EDIT:
    Not for the OP, since you say you have a friend in Paris to take you around - but for anyone else - finding the best (not necessarily the most expensive) restaurants in Paris - see the website ParisByMouth.com

    Also, a great source of very specific info (not necessarily recommendations of where to go) is the Berlin forum on TripAdvisor.com. Thousands of previous posts, and you can ask questions about specifics, and get answers from Berliners.
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g187323-i135-Berlin.html
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    May 26, 2015 2:06 AM GMT
    Independent Travel Community for Indie Travel - BootsnAll
    bootsnall.com

    Also go to LonelyPlanet.com to look at the forums. I'll start you off with this forum for England.

    https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/europe-uk-ireland/england

    And here's a forum for Scotland.

    https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/europe-uk-ireland/scotland

    All these forums are free and you can ask question of people who are there in the cities you will visit.

    These aren't gay sites or straight sites. They are sites with very active travelers who are glad to answer your questions. You can mention that you're gay in your posts. Nobody cares at all.
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    May 26, 2015 5:32 PM GMT
    Olympus1991 said try 3 days of Amsterdam too!


    I'm trying 4, next week. Can't wait!
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    May 26, 2015 8:12 PM GMT
    Ex_Mil8 said
    Olympus1991 said try 3 days of Amsterdam too!


    I'm trying 4, next week. Can't wait!

    beware of rats! icon_biggrin.gif