Travel EUROPE: Travel Tips & Tricks

Drakescoffeecake

Brownlow Medallist
Jan 31, 2010
20,193
15,250
Busan
AFL Club
Adelaide
I would defo recommend Amsterdam as a base. Schipol airport is only 15 mins by train and it is one of the most central airports that flys everywhere after Heathrow. It’s close to Scandinavia, Belgium, Germany and France, so you could catch the train a lot, plus it’s only 25 mins to UK/IRE and an hr from Spain and Italy. And lastly, it’s an absolutely brilliant and fun city.


On iPad using BigFooty.com mobile app
Side note: Amsterdam is fun but it gets old real quick. I was there in "low" season this year and it was still bursting with tourists - could hardly move. Yeah the cafes are cool and check out the red light district for a night to see how ingrained prostitution is into their lifestyle - but you only need a night to do that. But it's just so over run now and pushing thru the crowds - mostly loud drunk English lads - ruins the experience somewhat. I've visited Amsterdam three times now but the last two times only as a base to go out and see Haarlem, The Hague, Utrecht, Zaanse Schans and Rotterdam.
 

Gigantic

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 31, 2014
8,774
9,940
Sydney
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
Rabbitohs, Liverpool, Phoenix Suns
Side note: Amsterdam is fun but it gets old real quick. I was there in "low" season this year and it was still bursting with tourists - could hardly move. Yeah the cafes are cool and check out the red light district for a night to see how ingrained prostitution is into their lifestyle - but you only need a night to do that. But it's just so over run now and pushing thru the crowds - mostly loud drunk English lads - ruins the experience somewhat. I've visited Amsterdam three times now but the last two times only as a base to go out and see Haarlem, The Hague, Utrecht, Zaanse Schans and Rotterdam.
Rotterdam or Utrecht is a cool place to hang out and base yourself tbh. It's not too far from Schipol airport too.

Besides the canals and red light district, can't think of much you'd be missing out on if you stayed in Rotterdam or Utrecht as opposed to Amsterdam.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

wadistance

Premiership Player
Sep 17, 2011
3,695
3,578
Hamburg, DE
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
BvB, Boston Celtics
Any big ticket European city is the same now. I can’t be bothered with Barcelona these days, nor Paris or san Sébastien. Croatia in summer is also a no go. It’s all about finding somewhere that’s not in the tour guides. Get on Instagram and find some accounts that post photos from all around a country. There’s a great account called top Germany photo - I’ve found so many cool little towns to visit that way.

Also the third and fourth biggest cities in a country are often just as good as the biggest, but more fun. For example, I know silent alarm will go hard on be for being pro Germany - but everyone who travels here goes to Berlin and maybe Munich. But the top tourist destination for Germans is Hamburg. It’s only 90 mins by train from Berlin, but the only Aussies I ever run into here are ones that live here. It’s worth picking your countries, then doing a little research about the cities you want to go to

https://instagram.com/topgermanyphoto?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=brvdlqba1oq6

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Gibbsy

Moderator
Oct 12, 2009
22,308
23,885
Geelong
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Manchester City, Victory, Cavs
Any big ticket European city is the same now. I can’t be bothered with Barcelona these days, nor Paris or san Sébastien. Croatia in summer is also a no go. It’s all about finding somewhere that’s not in the tour guides. Get on Instagram and find some accounts that post photos from all around a country. There’s a great account called top Germany photo - I’ve found so many cool little towns to visit that way.

Also the third and fourth biggest cities in a country are often just as good as the biggest, but more fun. For example, I know silent alarm will go hard on be for being pro Germany - but everyone who travels here goes to Berlin and maybe Munich. But the top tourist destination for Germans is Hamburg. It’s only 90 mins by train from Berlin, but the only Aussies I ever run into here are ones that live here. It’s worth picking your countries, then doing a little research about the cities you want to go to

https://instagram.com/topgermanyphoto?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=brvdlqba1oq6

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Loved Hamburg. Of all the cities and countries I went to over 4 months it was comfortably the place I would have felt most at home living in permanently. Really nice spot.
 

Deliverance

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 19, 2011
8,479
12,099
MCG
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Loved Hamburg. Of all the cities and countries I went to over 4 months it was comfortably the place I would have felt most at home living in permanently. Really nice spot.
I'd agree. I could easily live in Germany. Everything just works so well. Interesting history. Loveley natural environments. Pretty cool theme parks. Awesome cars and roads. Pretty decent beer. Easy access to French wine. Stayed in a castle last time I was there, me and the missus calculated how long we could live in the castle if we quit our jobs and sold our house in Aus. :D
 

wadistance

Premiership Player
Sep 17, 2011
3,695
3,578
Hamburg, DE
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
BvB, Boston Celtics
Loved Hamburg. Of all the cities and countries I went to over 4 months it was comfortably the place I would have felt most at home living in permanently. Really nice spot.
Thats what I tell most of my mates when they come to visit when they ask "so what are we going to do/see".

Hamburg isnt a place for monuments, big ticket art galleries and all that stuff. Its a working european city with the most bridges in europe on the second biggest harbour in europe, but with some really rich wartime history. Its set around a beautiful lake, and has a great eating and drinking culture - my advice to them is that its a city where you live like a local - ride bikes, drink and eat at nice restaurants, get fischbrötchen at the fish markets, see a concert at the Elbphilharmonie, go shopping on the canals in neuer wall. It's all super compact and you wont spend all day commuting by subway
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Big Cox 88

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 1, 2010
5,838
7,503
Perth
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
AC Milan, Chelsea
Any recommendations for Montenegro?
Go to Zabljak and hike up Durmitor. Stunning views of Black lake and the surrounding land mass. 6-8 hours return if you are into hiking. It is a scramble in some areas though genuine goat tracks.

Kotor is a lovely Gothic town, however it tends to be a Bali style resort city for rich Russians.
 

Big Cox 88

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 1, 2010
5,838
7,503
Perth
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
AC Milan, Chelsea
Next year I can take 6 months long service leave. I am thinking of heading over to Europe, booking an apartment for six months and using it as a base for the time I'm there and just making short trips to different places. Is this possible? What would be a good city to base myself in? I would want a city that is central so I can see as much as possible. I'm thinking maybe Prague or Budapest. I was in both of these last year and loved them.
Germany would be a great place to live and base yourself. As others have said Hamburg is great, however Munich is more central and has excellent plane and train access to all of Europe. Budapest and Prague are both fun, beautiful and cheap, however the language barrier would be more of a hindrance than it would be in Germany where most speak English.
 

wadistance

Premiership Player
Sep 17, 2011
3,695
3,578
Hamburg, DE
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
BvB, Boston Celtics
Germany would be a great place to live and base yourself. As others have said Hamburg is great, however Munich is more central and has excellent plane and train access to all of Europe. Budapest and Prague are both fun, beautiful and cheap, however the language barrier would be more of a hindrance than it would be in Germany where most speak English.
Munich is also closer to the mountains - something I really really miss here, living on a flood plain! Forget Berlin, the place is a dump.

Another idea would be Köln/Bonn. Köln is the gateway from Germany to western europe by plane or train but not as pretty, Bonn is super pretty and also close to the airport. Lots of english in Köln as well.

The big question is - do you have a UK/Euro passport? I'm guessing with the username, probably... otherwise the schengen issues will obviously arise.
 

wadistance

Premiership Player
Sep 17, 2011
3,695
3,578
Hamburg, DE
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
BvB, Boston Celtics
All that waste of tax money. And it is ugly.
Yes and no. I get the hate towards it, a lot of people hated Sydney Opera House. But the numbers going through there are truly astonishing. I booked tickets for Jose Gonzales in September, sold out in under an hour. I'm actually sitting here in the coffee shop I work at, opposite the Spiecherstadt, looking at it right now. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I love it.

Personally, I think waaaay too much is being spent on roadworks in the inner city - just build the U5 past Gartnerstr. already!
 

Blackhawk42

Premiership Player
Feb 5, 2018
3,861
6,408
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Chicago Blackhawks Melb Renegades
Bruges (it's in Belgium). I hope people here have seen the movie and get that joke. But anyway, Belgium was the first country I visited outside of Australia. First day in Brussels was super cool, but definitely only because I was 26 year old seeing a different country for the first time. In hindsight there isn't a hell of a lot to do or see. My Mrs had been to 37 countries by that point. On our second day we caught the train to Bruges and spent the day there. She said it was up there with some of her favourite cities in Europe for the medieval and cute factor (her words), and I had the time of my life exploring the city my favourite movie is based in and checking out the cool little beer bars and chocolate shops. Definitely a gem more people should seek out if they are looking to find smaller places to visit.
 

Morning_Fog

Premiership Player
Jun 24, 2018
4,295
4,296
AFL Club
Adelaide
OK Big Footy, do your thing...

I have 3 weeks (21 to 23 days) during late December to mid January.

Looking at going to Europe but a bit overwhelmed right now at where to start, where to stop, how long to stay in one place or even if I should just use 1 location as a base and then do day trips from that base.

Should I fly into Heathrow and take it from there. I don’t know but looking for some advice on what is good, bad and things to avoid.

I know we want to do England and then some other non english speaking countries.
 

Seeds

Hall of Famer
Sep 15, 2007
34,459
29,764
I don't know
AFL Club
Geelong
OK Big Footy, do your thing...

I have 3 weeks (21 to 23 days) during late December to mid January.

Looking at going to Europe but a bit overwhelmed right now at where to start, where to stop, how long to stay in one place or even if I should just use 1 location as a base and then do day trips from that base.

Should I fly into Heathrow and take it from there. I don’t know but looking for some advice on what is good, bad and things to avoid.

I know we want to do England and then some other non english speaking countries.
You know its winter right and will be super cold and wet and it will also be the xmas new years period so incredibly expensive. Either fully embrace the cold and go up to Lapland or sking in the alps or spend it in the big cities that will have plenty of things to do in doors such as London, Paris maybe Edinburgh, Prague or Rome. Also try to do some xmas festivals such as Strasbourg, prague, salzburg or the ones all over germany. Mediterreanean will be warmer but still pretty cold and not so fun if its not swimming weather so avoid going there.
 

Morning_Fog

Premiership Player
Jun 24, 2018
4,295
4,296
AFL Club
Adelaide
You know its winter right and will be super cold and wet and it will also be the xmas new years period so incredibly expensive. Either fully embrace the cold and go up to Lapland or sking in the alps or spend it in the big cities that will have plenty of things to do in doors such as London, Paris maybe Edinburgh, Prague or Rome. Also try to do some xmas festivals such as Strasbourg, prague, salzburg or the ones all over germany. Mediterreanean will be warmer but still pretty cold and not so fun if its not swimming weather so avoid going there.
The cold is ok and the Christmas stuff is the stuff I’m after. Will looking into those. Thanks.
 

Top Bottom