European road-trip for the holidays (filter).
Meeting up with a friend in Paris on the evening of the 19th - both of us traveling there from different continents and wrapping up on Jan 2nd back in Paris. Here's the current plan:
Week 1 (Road Trip!):
12/19 - Arrive Paris, stay overnight.
12/20 - Drive to Munich, staying with friends.
12/21 - Explore Munich, Christmas markets, etc.
12/22 - Drive to Vienna with a stop in Steyr, Austria*.
12/23 - Explore Vienna, Christmass markets, etc.
12/24 - More Vienna, Christmas Eve Mass at St. Stephansdom*.
12/25 - Drive to Venice.
12/26 - Explore Venice.
Week 2 (based out of Geneva, where we have a free apartment):
12/27 - Drive to Geneva.
12/28 - Ski Chamonix, stay in Geneva
12/29 - More skiing, still in Geneva.
12/30 - More skiing, last night in Geneva.
12/31 - Drive to Paris for New Years.
1/1 - Explore Paris
1/2 - Friend flies out, I'm off to London for a day then flying out myself on the 3rd.
*Both of these were "local recommendations" given by friends - cool things to see and do. I am particularly interested on these around our route.
1. Cheap / decent hotel near the airport in Paris - any suggestions?
2. Driving - we're both pretty set on it because a) we both love driving / road trips, and b) we crave the flexibility of being able to stop off in this or that place along the way, stay at a B&B outside the city rather than a hotel in it, etc.. We realize trains are good around here but would really need a strong argument against driving to sway us at this point. Any tips on tolls / etc. appreciated, as well as things along our routes not to miss.
3. Hotel in Vienna - same as above, we are looking for something more local / small, preferably on the city outskirts. From what I understand most of Europe will shut down on the 25/26th, so I figure on spending Christmas day on the road.
4. Hotel in Venice - see above.
5. Best skiing recommendations within reasonable driving distance of Geneva? I'm pretty set on Chamonix as I've been reading about skiing there my entire life, and extreme skiing is my "thing," although not my friend's, so I'm only pushing for one day there - the other 2 days we're looking for something more enjoyable to ride together.
6. New Years Eve in Paris - where to go? What to do? Where to stay?
Any input on the above or anything I'm not thinking of is appreciated in advance. I've only been to the UK and Greece before so if parts of (hopefully not all!) my plans are idiotic, please hope me. We're pretty much going off of the Lonely Planet guide and the AskMe tags (i.e. Vienna
, etc.) for things to do in the cities we are at, but any other suggestions on stops along the way that are don't-miss are appreciated.