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Trip to Europe in December

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Sydney, Australia
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Trip to Europe in December

I am planning to spend about a month in Europe with my family of 4 with 2 teenages, aged 17 and 21.

We will be arriving into

Frankfurt and would like to visit Switzerland,Italy,France and England if possible. I have booked a week in an apartment in Florence from 17/12-24/12 and then another apartment Cela Canet Malibu Village from 24/12 to 31/12.

Any suggestions on where and what we should do and visit working around these 2 dates which we had confirmed.

Also, should we consider renting a car or use the eurail ?

Any suggestions would be fantastic

Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg
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1. Re: Trip to Europe in December

First, you are not flying into Frankfurt (Oder) which this forum is for, but Frankfurt (Main), in a completely different part of the country.

On the way to Switzerland by the shortest route, you will be passing through the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg ( www.baden-wuerttemberg.de ; www.tourismus-bw.de ; www.schloesser-magazin.de/en for the excellent castles, palaces, monasteries and gardens operated by this state).

The Advent season beginning in late November means Christmas Markets in Germany. Stuttgart ( www.stuttgart-tourist.de ) has one of the largest, oldest, most visited, and most beautiful with the roofs of all of the stalls highly decorated, probably more so than anywhere else in Germany, and a lovely setting by the Old Palace, New Palace and Stiftskirche (old church). If your teenagers are boys, or even if they're not, the Mercedes Benz and Porsche Museums are excellent and the Mercedes Benz Museum is loved by all visitors irregardless of age, gender, or whether they particularly like cars or not. Stuttgart is after all where the automobile was invented.

15 minutes away from Stuttgart by public transportation are two other great places to visit, each of which will have large themed Christmas markets: Esslingen ( www.esslingen.de ) Medieval & Christmas Market with its excellent well-preserved medieval old-town center; and Ludwigsburg ( www.ludwigsburg.de ) Baroque Christmas Market close to Germany's largest perfectly preserved palace (in www.schloesser-magazin.de/en ), called the "Swabian Versailles". one of the great palaces of Europe, with several days' worth of excellent things to see including the longest and best palace tour that I've been on in Europe.

50 minutes south of Stuttgart is our favorite town in Germany to repeatedly visit, Tuebingen ( www.tuebingen.de ), just quintessential Germany with its hilly cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, castle, interesting nontourist shops, one of Europe's oldest universities, and the nextdoor delightful well-preserved excellent medieval Bebenhausen Monastery (in www.schloesser-magazin.de/en ). Tuebingen has two special events- the International Chocolate Festival, chocolART ( www.chocolart.de ) from 29Nov to 4Dec and the very short Christmas Market from 9-11Dec.

A lovely nearby mountain valley spa town of the Swabian Alb ( www.schwaebischealb.de , our favorite area of Germany, low mountains with lots of castles, caves and excellent cliffside scenery), is Bad Urach ( www.bad-urach.de ).

For a lovely fairytale-like castle, Hohenzollern ( www.burg-hohenzollern.com ) is just south of Tuebingen by Hechingen.

Just a few ideas of some excellent places to visit on your way to Switzerland from the real Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

If you rent a car in Europe and drop it off in another country, you will have high international one way drop-off charges. If you need a car, rent one for a few days where it would be necessary. Public transportation is excellent throughout most of Europe, and with careful pre-planning, inexpensive train tickets can be bought ahead of time.

Five countries in a month doesn't give you much time anywhere. I wouldn't rush about frantically trying to "see it all", an impossibility anyway, but make sure to take the time to enjoy what you do see. And also remember a visit to Europe shouldn't be just about old scenic places to visit but also include the modern day inhabitants.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Trip to Europe in December

Thank you for clarifying and for all your wonderful suggestions.

I would definitely love to visit the Christmas markets and perhaps spend some time visiting Stuggart and its surround.

Thanks again

3. Re: Trip to Europe in December

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