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Old 05-04-2006, 08:14 PM   #1
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Hi everyone, my buddy and I will be travelling through Europe for about 9 weeks and we were wondering if anyone has an suggestions on what we should do/go and see in each city. Of course we will most probably view the typical tourist attractions but we would like to really get into teh culture and see/attempt things that would not normally be seen/or attempted by the average tourist.
The some of cities we will be visiting are:
London
Paris
Madrid
Cadiz
Tangiers
Ibiza
Nice
Florence
Rome
Naples
Dubrovnik
Split
Zagreb
Budapest
Bratislava
Vienna
Salzburg
Innsbruk
Munich
Prague
Berlin
Hamburg
Stockholm
Amsterdam
Brussles

Any info on these places would be greatly appreciated...thanks
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:27 PM   #2
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All I can say is try and leave Tangiers as soon as you arrive. Thats as far as I made it in Morocco, but wasnt impressed. Ask Bellelass, shes the Moroccan guru.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:40 PM   #3
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Why thank you, Jake.

If you go to Tangiers, probably by ferry, dont stop and talk to anyone. Keep your shit close to you. I mean CLOSE. Fight your way through, find your own cab. It will be tough but worth it. Tangiers is pretty alright other than the port, I wasnt too impressed. Take a gander down in the old part of the city, in the markets. I dont have any reccomendations, because when I was there we visited embassies and day tripped to achaeological sites. If you're there for just a day, I suggest scoping out the old medina, and settling down in a seaside cafe and ordering some mint tea. Its amazing stuff. If you feel adventurous, find a place that serves Tagine. Its morocco's national food or something- stewed meat and vegetables piled with rice or couscous and covered with a tented clay dish. Then they put the whole thing in a raging fire until its ever so slightly burnt. God its amazing stuff. I miss moroccan food.. But yes. Try the tea if nothing else. On a hot day it cools you down quick. It smells funny and looks funny but its ambrosia...

But honestly, if you're interested in real Morocco I would suggest getting on a train and heading south. Rabat has some lovely old ruins, Fez is excellent, Marrakech is magical. Literally. There are no words to describe it. It's like stepping into 1001 nights... Trains are incredibly cheap and not too bad in Morocco. We went across the country for the equivalent of ten bucks. Everything is amazingly cheap in morocco.
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Old 05-05-2006, 12:25 AM   #4
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Funny, my first reaction on seeing "Tangier" on your list was, go somewhere else in Morocco, too! If it's really all you can do, belle already gave you the same suggestions I would have - ignore the people wanting to "help" you, keep an eye on your stuff (or if you're just daytripping, bring as little as possible!), check out the souk, maybe the beach, have a cup of tea, yum! And if you can't find tagine, at least have some moroccan bread or cookies or something. The food is soo good. But yeah, if you have a little more time, go somewhere else - it's a great country, so much to see and do and the people are generally so friendly and hospitable, it's unfortunate that many visitors don't see more than Tangier and get a negative impression.

In Cadiz, there's a great little Maritime Museum (I think that's what it was, it was just being set up when we were there a few years back, but there were a couple of displays on fishing and boats, so I assume), in an old fortress right on the coast. It was under reconstruction while we were there, so the exhibits were hit and miss, but there were also few visitors, so we just clambered around the old fort and explored the building as much as anything.

In Rome, the Vatican Museums are stupendous, give yourself the whole day. The tours are expensive, but they do save a fair bit of time over waiting in line. We reckon we got two more hours inside the museum, just by skipping the line. For us, it was worth it. If you do take the tour, don't worry that it goes rather quickly - once you get to the Sistine Chapel, you can go back and explore at your own pace. It's helpful to have a guidebook, so you can work out where you want to go.

If you go to St. Peter's early in the morning (I think it opens at 7) you miss the tour groups, and around 8 they start saying masses in the side chapels, so you can wander around until you find one in English, French, German or whatever your language preference is.

In Naples, don't miss the Chapel of San Severo. It's a tiny place, but there are two statues that are masterpieces, well worth seeing. Be stubborn and plant yourself at Christ's head, if you have to, to make sure you see the optical illusion. Also, the Archaeological Museum (where they have most of the artefacts from Pompeii) is closed on Tuesdays, so take that into account when you're planning your visit. We went there before the site itself, which worked for us, but it was determined by timing, too.

Also, walking up Vesuvius and then going to Pompeii (you can do both in one day, if you start early enough) gives a good perspective on the immensity of the eruption.

In Bratislava, check out the Blue Church.

Prague's Museum of Applied Arts is not as touristy as most other sights, and from the bathroom window you get a great, uncrowded view of the Jewish Cemetary next door. Very atmospheric, especially on a rainy day.

In Stockholm, we stayed at the Af Chapman hostel, which is an old sailing ship, and is really convenient to the Old City (Gamla Stan). Most of the rooms are in the hostel building on shore, which is where the common room and breakfast room are, but sleeping on the ship was really fun. I loved the different museums there - the Vasa Museum centres on the old ship, but there's also a separate Maritime Museum if that is of interest (it is to me, could you tell?). It's kind of out of the way, though, so unless it's a big draw, I'd skip it unless you have several days. The Medieval Museum was very cool, though, it's underground and kind of creepy, but in a good way.

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Old 05-07-2006, 03:24 AM   #5
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Sounds like a great itinerary. One suggestion, try to spend 3 days in most of your stops, if you have the time. It's about the minimum "unwind" time, and gets you comfortable and feeling like a local. That said, of course, there may not be 3 days worth of stuff to do in every stop.

So, let me chip in on some specifics per city...

London
Go on a pub crawl, see the British Museum, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London. I know, touristy things...hmm, how about a day trip to Dover Castle?

Paris
I hate Paris. Get out of there!

Madrid
Party like a madman...the Madridlenos are the wildest, craziest, stay out all night partiers I've seen. Then, take day trips to Toledo and Segovia.

Nice
Get yee down to Provence -- it's beautiful! Mediterranean scenery, hilltop towns, castles, Roman ruins...

Florence
The highlight is the Tuscan countryside, IMO. Also you have to see the most beautiful city in the world -- Venice!

Dubrovnik
Now I'm jealous...I've been wanting to go there. The historic old town just look ssooo coool...!

Budapest
I like the hillier, upper part of town with the sights (Buda? If I remember correctly). However, it's a great wandering around town, too. Check out the Chain Bridge at night.

Amsterdam
A-dam is a surprisingly pretty town with its canals and all. Leave some time to wander to appreciate its beauty. The Dutch train network is ultra efficient, so you can easily day trip to other towns like Delfft.

Brussels
The battlefield of Waterloo is a short bus ride away. The center of town has its historic section, but Brussels isn't really the best city in Belgium for sights.

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Old 05-07-2006, 08:28 AM   #6
 
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These a good suggestiosns, except what mike said about paris. it's a wonderful city with amazing sites. i stayed a the Hotel andre gill which is a 2 star hostel/ hostel. it's in montmatre and was really nice with free interent and a bar while still very chill. Go do the big touristy things first, then i suggest to just explore on foot. you'l;l find so much stuff within walking distance of whereever you stay! oh, and the erotic museum was actually pretty interesting. i seriously watched a silent era porn film for about half an hour. heehee, but it was really a coolplace! and check out any other the cathedrals and churches that are around. france is chlak full of good'uns.
Stokholm, i dont think i even did anything touristy there because i was visitin a friend. If you have time, go to the American Sotre. it's just this store full of crap that the swedes think that we would have or seomthing. you can buy like, cocoa pebbles there, among other odd things. it was hilarious. And if you want, see a movie in the theatres there. they're all in english with swedish subtittles so you can understand. and it was a pretty different experience. like you were actually going to see a live show. we even sat in the balcony section.
and find some hole in the wall sports bar and watch a soccer game. the coolest people in the town are there.

have a great trip!
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:33 AM   #7
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Budapest

House of Terror museum

Szechenyi baths (avoid Gellert bath's on Buda its where the tourists go and if you want to see the men playing chess its in Szechenyi)

The National Museum

The Arts Museums (both opposite eachother on Hosok tere - heroes square)

Hosok tere

Citadel

Buda palace

Fishermans bastillion

Opera house

House of parliament

St stephen's bascilica


If you can head outside of Budapest head for day trips head to Godollo and Szentendre (both about 40 mins on the hev)

if you can get away for a night head for Lake Balaton for amazing water sports/ beach areas
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