#1 1-1-2018 11:16 PM

gracesully11
Grace
Cork, Ireland
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Looking for help planning winter trip in Europe!

Hi all,

It's the new year so I'm looking for some travel inspiration! I've got 4 countries on my bucket list - Switzerland, Austria, Finland, & Norway.

I've never been to any of them before so I'm hoping you lovely lot will point me in the right direction of where to go/stay & what to see in each place.

I can do 5 weeks from mid November so obviously it'll be winter so maybe that changes what to see in each country? I'm a 30 something on a backpacker budget who likes trying new things & a bit of adventure!

Hoping someone will help & point me in the right direction!

Thanks!

 

#2 12-31-2017 4:14 PM

Maurizioago
Maurizio
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Re: Looking for help planning winter trip in Europe!

If you are going to visit Austria; don't miss Salzburg. There is lot to see there; including a beautiful castle.

About the other countries I don't know. I haven't been there.

Ciao!

 

#3 1-2-2018 1:36 AM

sarahelaine
Sarah Elaine
Manchester, England
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Re: Looking for help planning winter trip in Europe!

Your biggest problem that time of year is the lack of daylight. Bad weather you can largely dress for- and you will need good socks, waterproof shoes or boots and quick drying clothing- but by November there will be very little light at all for Norway and Finland. That’s not to say don’t go- Finland in particular had plenty of winter tourism in the visiting Santa market, so there’s lots of activities for keeping people busy, and i’ve had plenty of friends have good trips with lots of sledding and short hikes round about then. There’s also a chance of northern lights. Norway might be a bit more restricted, though, and given the nature is more of an attraction than the cities your dates might not be idea for that.

You’ve also picked some very pricy countries- i’m assuming you know that and have budgeted with that in mind?

Lauro is a real expert on Switzerland, and hopefully he’ll be along with some advice. I love the train network there- there are passes you can buy in advance that cover the rail networks, look on the man in seat 61 website for info (www.seat61.com I think). The area around Interlaken is lovely and although it’s very expensive, I think it’s worth taking the journey up to the Jungfraujoch. The visitor centre is about the kitshest place i’ve Been in Europe but the observation post out over the glacier is spectacular. But in general the mountains and landscape is spectacular- and extremely accessible given the popularity of skiing means there’s trains and cable cars everywhere.

I’ve had more city breaks in Austria than nature trips. Salzburg is extremely pretty, and you can do both city and massive ice cave tours from the same base there. Vienna is a beautiful city. There is a lot of late 19th century and Art Nouveau/Jungendstyle art and architecture there, including a lot of Klimt and Schiele, if you like art museums. The Schonbrunn palace is spectacular.

 

#4 1-2-2018 6:33 AM

fransglobal
Francis
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Re: Looking for help planning winter trip in Europe!

Agree with Sarah about lack of daylight - major problem in Norway.

Agree also that these are very expensive countries  - again especially Norway. Switzerland is very expensive too.

With five weeks, you could easily combine Switzerland with Austria with Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary.

Your money would last a lot longer in last three.

Interlaken CH, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna in Austria, Prague in Czech Republic (Cesky Krumlov too) and Budapest well worthwhile. Ljubljana and Lake Bled in Slovenia. All musts in fact.

 

#5 12-31-2017 11:36 PM

Toonsarah
Sarah
London Borough of Ealing, United Kingdom
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Re: Looking for help planning winter trip in Europe!

The lack of daylight is a disadvantage in Norway, I agree, but we had a great winter trip there a few years ago, using the Hurtigruten boats to travel up the coast right to the North Cape. We stayed in Tromso before and after our 'cruise' and saw the Northern Lights twice - once on an organised photography excursion, once right over the town. I liked Tromso - some good museums focused on Polar exploration, picturesque wooden houses and an interesting modern church. But daylight sightseeing was restricted to about 10.00 - 15.00 at best, and it IS expensive.

 

#6 1-3-2018 12:10 AM

planxty
Fergy
London, England
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Re: Looking for help planning winter trip in Europe!

Hello there and just to add my tuppence worth to the comments above, some of which were submitted by people I have met and respect as travellers, you really want to be mortgaging your house, dog and possibly your Granny to go to those places.  I doubt you could have picked more expensive destinations if you had tried.

I played gigs in Finland and Norway some years ago and it was just as well as the prices were crazy even then.  I was in Austria for a few days last year (as it is now) and staying in Innsbruck which was gorgeous but again very pricey.  I would not even attempt Switzerland as I just cannot afford it.

The three countries you mention that I have visited are all beautiful and I wish you a great trip but you really need to think hard about budget.

 

#7 1-1-2018 2:53 PM

Maurizioago
Maurizio
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Re: Looking for help planning winter trip in Europe!

I forgot to suggest you Innsbruck as another base to stay in Austria. It is a nice and interesting town. You could spend a couple of days there and see (visit) the main attractions this town has to offer; see the imperial palacem, the cathedral and Ambras Castle.

 

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