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Old 09-03-2006, 08:19 AM   #1
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Hey all!
Since I have received MANY brillliant tips on here before I just want to hear if you guys have any good ideas on how and where to spend a budget week at Christmas 06 in Northern Europe?
Has to be Northern Europe due to the cheaper flights there so am now considering either London, Berlin, Amsterdam or Paris....not too much into France and it also needs to be fairly cheap to stay there at hostels as well as have some cool places to see (i.e. not closed due to Xmas days) so any ideas???

Seems Amsterdam is fairly expensive to stay in...? LOADS to do and see in London of course and cheaper(food wise and free museums and great parks I mean) but would I miss out on any of the other cities? And I hear Berlin is very cool and alive - but is that at Xmas too???

Oh and Barcelona is on the list as well but I've heard it's expensive too???
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Old 09-06-2006, 12:10 PM   #2
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In my opinion, you cant beat Germany at Christmas. the markets there are brilliant.

how about Cologne? the christmas markets there are fantastic. theres about 5 or 6 all over the city, including one on a boat on the Rhine.

Ive never been to berlin at Christmas but im sure that its great too. im thinking of going there for a few days before christmas to visit a friend if i can.
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Old 09-06-2006, 02:09 PM   #3
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I went to Berlin about a week before Christmas last year. I really enjoyed it, but we didn't go out much in the evenings, so can't say much about the nightlife or anything. However, there was plenty of stuff to do during the day, including (as mentioned) the lovely xmas markets! They sell all sorts of yummy foods!

London will always be buzzing, whether it is Christmas or not, so I can safely say you won't be bored or stuck for things to do in London.

I've only been to Paris in the summertime, loved it, but can't comment on how it'd be around Christmas.
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Old 09-06-2006, 02:34 PM   #4
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Paris around Christmas time is beautiful (ice skating at the Hotel de Ville!), and the city is even more lit up than usual. That said, it's cold as hell and everything's closed half the day. On the other hand, there are far fewer tourists so it's pretty easy to get up to the major sites without too much of a crowd.

London is, as mentioned, always happening, but Christmas Eve is relatively dead. I went to a club that was *specifically* having a Christmas Eve event and they even decided to close that one down at 11 because nobody showed. Christmas itself is pretty dead. Not much for transit (though black cabs do roam around), and almost everything is closed. On the other hand, there are the Peter Pan swim races at the Serpentine in Hyde Park, plenty of Dickens-themed walking tours (actually pretty neat) and the services at Westminster Abbey are legendary, whether you're religious or not. The day after (Boxing Day) the whole city goes mad with shopping. In fact, you can walk out at 6am and see people camped out in front of the stores, hoping to take advantage of the sales. Nutz.

I know you didn't mention Ireland, but if it does come up, I'll have you know it's absolutely DEAD there on the 26th (St. Stephen's Day) until the evening when all the pubs decide to open up. Then it's back to its rowdy, drunken self. Except for a lot of the cool little mom and pop shops, which decide to take that whole week off anyway.

I'll be in Spain for Christmas this year, and in Barcelona in time for New Year's eve. It's not all that expensive, if you ask me (far cheaper than most other European countries!) and the great point is that it'll be around 55º-60ºF. The toughest part is airfares around that time frame, since everyone's off visiting family for Xmas.
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:42 AM   #5
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(omisan @ Sep 6 2006, 11:34 PM) [snapback]138603[/snapback]</div>
Quote:


I'll be in Spain for Christmas this year, and in Barcelona in time for New Year's eve. It's not all that expensive, if you ask me (far cheaper than most other European countries!) and the great point is that it'll be around 55º-60ºF. The toughest part is airfares around that time frame, since everyone's off visiting family for Xmas.
[/b]
As usual - great tips, Omisan - cheers!

Yea, the temperature is why i consider Spain instead but still looking for those too-cheap-to-believe ticket offers I know you didn't ask for any tips but a tip for everyone - this airline sometimes have almost free (you just pay the taxes) tickets and fly from few, but central cities and to many cities from out of Copenhagen - just a tip for the backpackers.....
Hmm, I kind of figured UK/Ireland would go dead around that time but am trying to shorten the trip so I won't be there until the 25th....if I can find the money after I probably might spend too much on flying over to see the wonderful Tenacious D live in Glasgow in December.......siiiiigh....my heroes




<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(freakypete @ Sep 6 2006, 09:10 PM) [snapback]138578[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
In my opinion, you cant beat Germany at Christmas. the markets there are brilliant.

how about Cologne? the christmas markets there are fantastic. theres about 5 or 6 all over the city, including one on a boat on the Rhine.

Ive never been to berlin at Christmas but im sure that its great too. im thinking of going there for a few days before christmas to visit a friend if i can.
[/b]
Never been to Cologne either but have to spend the time at a very central big city where I can find a cheap flight to.....so if Germany it'd have to be Berlin. But thanks for the tip - have heard quite a few people love Cologne, so definetely some other time!

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(lauren313 @ Sep 6 2006, 11:09 PM) [snapback]138595[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
I went to Berlin about a week before Christmas last year. I really enjoyed it, but we didn't go out much in the evenings, so can't say much about the nightlife or anything. However, there was plenty of stuff to do during the day, including (as mentioned) the lovely xmas markets! They sell all sorts of yummy foods!

London will always be buzzing, whether it is Christmas or not, so I can safely say you won't be bored or stuck for things to do in London.

I've only been to Paris in the summertime, loved it, but can't comment on how it'd be around Christmas.
[/b]
Probably won't be going out much in the evenings either but spending them at some hostel ....is there enough to do (museums, parks,etc..) at day time in Berlin and was it full of travellers at Christmas time?

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(omisan @ Sep 6 2006, 11:34 PM) [snapback]138603[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
Paris around Christmas time is beautiful (ice skating at the Hotel de Ville!), and the city is even more lit up than usual. That said, it's cold as hell and everything's closed half the day. On the other hand, there are far fewer tourists so it's pretty easy to get up to the major sites without too much of a crowd.

[/b]
hmm, sounds nice but is it cheap to stay in Paris?
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
is it cheap to stay in Paris?[/b]
Not as cheap as it used to be.. I think hostels are typically 25€ a night now. For as big as a city as it is, it sure doesn't have that many decent hostels. Hrmph.

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Old 09-07-2006, 11:39 AM   #7
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Rincewind's acquaintance @ Sep 7 2006, 06:42 PM) [snapback]138752[/snapback]</div>
Quote:

Probably won't be going out much in the evenings either but spending them at some hostel ....is there enough to do (museums, parks,etc..) at day time in Berlin and was it full of travellers at Christmas time?

[/b]
There is loads to do in the daytime. Lots of museums, especially ones dedicated to the Holocaust and the war, etc. There are also loads of shops, parks (Tiergarten is a HUGE park/open space, with lots to do there, including a zoo I believe - don't quote me on that, I didn't go there!). Plus, the markets are open day and night.

I stayed in a hotel actually, so not sure about how buzzing the hostels will be, but as it's such a popular spot at Christmas time, I imagine there will be loads of travellers around.
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:44 AM   #8
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(omisan @ Sep 7 2006, 07:55 PM) [snapback]138758[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
Not as cheap as it used to be.. I think hostels are typically 25€ a night now. For as big as a city as it is, it sure doesn't have that many decent hostels. Hrmph.
[/b]

Yes - them damn frenchies.....
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