Waitlisted events/places in Europe or Asia in Spring 2014
March 7, 2013 12:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm slowly pulling together a plan to throughout Asia and/or Europe this time next year - March or April 2014. Are there any events or places that are difficult to get into that would be worth signing up for now? I'm thinking of things like elBulli, which had a year long waiting list.

I'll have about 4-6 weeks (so more questions on the trip will be coming), and we'll be traveling west from Southeast Asia. Other than that, nothing is set in stone at the moment, so if there's anything we should plan for now, I want to know about it.

This will be 2-4 people at any given time depending on how individual schedules work out, and let's say money is no object.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: London/area

The Fat Duck (you book 3 months ahead, in the morning, exactly to the day)
Dabbous (12 month waiting list)
Surgery on the NHS
posted by MuffinMan at 1:05 PM on March 7, 2013

Your question is very, very broad in terms of place and activity type. Those things that are hardest to get into - in terms of needing advance countries are:
1. Countries with picky visa policies - like Bhutan.
2. Some sporting events
3. Various restaurants - here is a list of the "Best 50 restaurants in the world" - topped up by Noma in Copenhagen.
4. Various festivals - either traditional folk festivals or music festivals.
5. Arts events - opera at La Scala for example.
6. Courses - studying with with some particularly prestigious teacher for example.

I think you will get better answers if you can be more specific.
posted by rongorongo at 1:30 PM on March 7, 2013

I was going to say exactly what rongorongo did.

If it were me, I'd sit down with a map and a calendar. You don't need to know your exact itinerary, but if you're arriving in Bangkok on March 1 and flying home from Barcelona on April 30, start by taking a look at the holidays. Then, what major worldwide events are going on? I'm thinking stuff like the World Cup or the Olympics. Are there any major local festivals that coincide with your trip? Anywhere you've always dreamed of going that you'd like elite access to? Any city that's perfect for one of those Best Restaurants In The World situations?

You understand, don't you, that six weeks for all of Asia and Europe is a nonstarter? Right? Before you can buy opera tickets you need to figure out what this trip actually is. Because a month and change isn't long enough to cover that much ground, especially if you want to be able to do things like go to the winter Olympics or eat in restaurants that aren't in airports. I mean, you could easily spend six weeks in Southeast Asia and be seen as a vacationer by all the gap year backpackers.
posted by Sara C. at 1:47 PM on March 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You understand, don't you, that six weeks for all of Asia and Europe is a nonstarter?

Oh yes, absolutely. I'm not expecting to even see a fraction of what two entire continents have to offer.

Before you can buy opera tickets you need to figure out what this trip actually is.

Normally I plan vacation to go do a particular thing (camping in a national park, attending a concert, etc), but in this case I have the time and money and people to go with, so this is more of a "Get out and see things" trip.

Part of my reason for asking this question is to get a feel for what those things are that might need some lead time to plan around. The coming months should give us a more definitive route, so perhaps I can ask for more direct advice then.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:59 PM on March 7, 2013

But... what things? Where? What kinds of things do you like to do? It's really hard to give meaningful travel advice for two continents and ALL THE THINGS.

If it were me, I'd be looking at the Sochi Olympics since I've always wanted to visit Russia. Or I'd find cultural sites with long waiting lists (the Last Supper comes to mind), or amazing experiences that require long term planning, for example the Cannes or Berlin film festivals, the Venice Biennale, etc. But if I were thinking more of an Asian trip, none of that would be relevant at all.

One thing I didn't think of on my last trip to Europe (and Asia might be relevant, too), is that it's sometimes possible to arrange tours that go beyond what's available on the fly to the average tourist. For example in Rome there's a special tour of the Colosseum that goes much deeper than the standard tour you book at the entry turnstile. I don't know that you need to book a year in advance, but it does require advance planning.

But, again, there's no point to looking into anything like this if you could literally be in any of dozens of countries halfway across the world from each other. First decide where you want to go. Then start booking tours and buying tickets and getting on wait lists.
posted by Sara C. at 2:11 PM on March 7, 2013

Best answer: The Tower of London's Ceremony of the Keys.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:22 PM on March 7, 2013

Best answer: Viewing "the last supper" in Milan
posted by banishedimmortal at 4:54 PM on March 7, 2013

Best answer: The Vasari Corridor in Florence and the Alahambra in Granada
posted by jcrcarter at 10:29 AM on March 8, 2013

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