30 days in Europe, what to see?
August 20, 2009 4:57 AM   Subscribe

One month in Europe on a budget, what should we not miss? Landing in Frankfurt tomorrow!

My wife and I will be landing in Frankfurt tomorrow. We plan to see Germany first and then either go via Austria to Italy, or the other way around via Hamburg to Amsterdam, then south from the Netherlands to Belgium, France, eastward.

Aside from the obvious things that can be found in guidebooks and the various good city-guide applications I've already put on my iPhone, what should we not miss? I'm looking for suggestions from metafilter on those hidden gems and out of the way places you've personally encountered on your travels. We have exactly 30 days and will be traveling on a moderate budget, staying in hostels that have private rooms for couples or budget pensions, riding 2nd class trains (generally not TGV, ICE, AVE if we can avoid it or there's a special ticket price).
posted by thewalrus to Travel & Transportation around Frankfurt, Germany (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It's not very well known, but Kassel is a wonderful little city, and well worth a day trip from Frankfurt. It's about an hour's trip on the ICE, although I think there's a non-express, as well.
posted by deadmessenger at 5:17 AM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Germany is wonderful!

I lived and worked in Frankfurt for a while, and suggest you try a regional speciality - Apfelwein, or "Apple Wine".

Adolph Wagner is a traditional Agfelwein tavern, meaning you'll sit at communal tables with a bunch of strangers to drink (and perhaps eat).

Don't be surprised if folks start singing, and if they do - join in!!

Heidelberg is worth a day trip, nice castle, pleasant little town, somewhat pricey so bring some food and bottled water with you.

Oh yes, most hotels include breakfast, so make sure you get up early, eat as much as you can and you'll only have to pay for dinner in the evening.
posted by Mutant at 5:46 AM on August 20, 2009

We just returned from Europe. Did eurailpasses. Our first day we went to Cochem, Germany. Nice, scenic little town on the Moselle. Just up the river is Burg Eltz, Rick Steve's favorite castle in Germany, and now ours also. From there we meandered thru Rothenberg (which is worth a day), Salzburg, Austria then to Trento, Italy. Check out the Castel Pergine just outside Trento. It would be a splurge, but reasonable for an authentic castle hotel with a wonderful, candlelit dinner. But the focus of the trip was to go thru Venice and get to Trieste, Italy to rent a car to drive thru Slovenia into the Istria area of Croatia. (trains are not very widespread or timely in this area). Check Istria out. We (family of 4) had a wonderful stay in an apartment on a working farm with a delightful Croatian family for 60 euro per night (high season). We had fresh milk, meat, cheese and bread from the farm every day. Driving the rental around the area was fun and easy, and there is lots to see and do within daytrip distance. Anyway, something different from the usual tourist spots, but you do need a car.
posted by ehoenig77 at 5:56 AM on August 20, 2009

I always suggest Slovenia, particularly Bled. Stay at Traveller's Haven. Hike out to the Vintgar Gorge.
posted by nitsuj at 6:22 AM on August 20, 2009

I recently went on a month and a half trip through Europe, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland. Some photos here!

For me, the best part of the trip was Switzerland, especially the Lauterbrunnen Valley. We stayed at the Rick Steve's recommended Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald although there are a few other hotels in the region. Hiking around the area using Gimmelwald, Murren or Lauterbrunnen as a starting point will keep you occupied for at least 3 to 4 days. If you can't get enough of Switzerland, going to Zermatt to get some fantastic views of the Matterhorn will add another 3 days of hiking!

Switzerland in general tends to be expensive (especially food), but if you stick to hiking where all you need is a good pair of shoes, it all balances out in the end.
posted by ianK at 7:13 AM on August 20, 2009

Oh, in Amsterdam, don't miss the fantastic Van Gogh Museum.
posted by ianK at 7:17 AM on August 20, 2009

Hamburg is fun. If you do go, mefi meetup, and you should definitely go to the Miniatur Wunderland. I also posted some things here in a previous thread.
posted by chillmost at 7:48 AM on August 20, 2009

Salzburg, Neuschwanstein Castle, Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Berlin is very interesting historically, but most of the history is depressing and a lot of the architecture is oppressive.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:52 AM on August 20, 2009

There are quite a few castles in the Netherlands; I enjoyed Muiderslot, which is just east of Amsterdam.

Also in the northern Netherlands, there's quite a bit to do in De Veluwe; you can rent bikes for free and ride through the forest there, or even stay in a yurt for 50 euros per night.

If you go into central Amsterdam, I recommend spending an evening at In De Wildeman, a bar with a huge beer selection. Also in central Amsterdam, there might be a book market on Het Spui (pronounced "spow", not "spoo-ee").
posted by transporter accident amy at 10:25 AM on August 20, 2009

Visit Neuschwanstein and Heidelberg castles. Both are amazing and perfect compliments to each other. Neuschwanstein is like a fantasy and Heidelberg feels like a town where the residents have just left for a little while.
posted by thekiltedwonder at 10:52 AM on August 20, 2009

Ypres in Belgium has the In Flanders Fields Museum.

Deltaworks in the Netherlands.
posted by kudzu at 11:51 AM on August 20, 2009

My favorite place in Paris was the Grand Mosque. They've got a cool tearoom. A great place to chill out and pretty reasonably priced.
posted by mdonley at 11:57 AM on August 20, 2009

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