Help a bunch of late 20-somethings plan their last hurrah in Europe.
February 6, 2008 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Oh noes! We're getting old! Help a bunch of late 20-somethings plan their last hurrah in Europe.

I'm in a group of 6 childhood friends that went to college and got jobs all within short driving distance. As we've taken on new jobs and responsibilities in new cities (none of us are family men yet, thank goodness), we've gotten away from our tradition of going places and doing ill-advised yet not completely illegal things. We recognize that the older we get, the less opportunities we'll have to do things like spend 2 weeks in Europe (sans girlfriends and work) and do dumb things.

In short (too late), this ain't no sightseein' trip. We're looking for places with great nightlife, great people, and an overall great scene. We also only have 10 days to do it. Some will say that this is a waste of an experience, and that's fine. I'll be sure to ride horses in Ireland with my girlfriend on the next trip. For this trip, I just need to know how to pack in the most fun in 10 short days.

The problem is that we don't know where to start, and the travel agents we've contacted have told us that we'll only be able to see 2 or so countries in the span of our trip. If we are dead-set on making Amsterdam one of our stops, what else would be recommended, knowing our time constraints? Money isn't much of an object, but we're not quite millionaires yet either.

With time as our most valued asset, any experiences/tips on travel (how much time do we lose with flying/customs vs eurail transit), lodging (Hostelling International experiences?), and places with outrageous nightlife/scenes that left a permanent mark (in a good way) on your life are all welcome. If it matters, the trip is tentatively set for mid-November.
posted by littlelebowskiurbanachiever to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Amsterdam
end of
(I feel bad saying this because Im a Londoner, were cool too)
posted by Neonshock at 1:05 PM on February 6, 2008


well my advice is barcelona barcelona barcelona.
I agree about keeping the number of destinations short, as you want some time where you go to actually do stuff.
why not go to amsterdam then fly to barcelona? or vice versa.
posted by alkupe at 1:26 PM on February 6, 2008


I had some mad nights out in London. With six of you, it'll be hard to go wrong. Travelling solo or with one other person means where you go has a big impact, but with six... you could end up in a Slovenian town with one pub and still have a crazy huge night.

But yeah, Amsterdam. And London!
posted by twirlypen at 1:26 PM on February 6, 2008


If you bumped up your timing by about a month, you could Oktoberfest.
posted by asuprenant at 1:37 PM on February 6, 2008


Best answer: Might be nice to balance either Amsterdam or London, both with a penchant for windy drizzly weather in November, with either Barcelona or Rome for instance.
Use a low cost air carrier to transport you between cities. Rail will take too long and can be quite expensive.

Parisians don't have a friendly reputation.

I have great experience with the nightlife in Granada in the south of Spain. But there are no budget air carriers directly flying there.

There are some askmefi threads with information on good hostels. Do some searching.
posted by jouke at 1:41 PM on February 6, 2008


I just did the Paris to Amsterdam train journey and would say for maximum fun potential, take the train in Europe. You might lose a bit of time (although sometimes i don't think so with the waiting at airports!) but you'll get a comfier journey, a bar, people much more willing to talk to you and there's generally a lot more potential for wacky hijinks.
posted by ukdanae at 1:42 PM on February 6, 2008


I did Berlin, Amsterdam and London in ten days last May. I would say Amsterdam is a crucial crucial trip. London I wasn't so hot about, especially the ten dollar beers in every pub. But with six people, really anywhere you go will be fun.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 1:44 PM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Do Amersterdam and Barcelona (I didn't like Amersterdam and would recommend Majorca or something instead but you seem set. But if you're not set, think warmer and less dreary than Amsterdam). Barcelona is exactly what you're looking for- lots of people, night life, shopping, etc. And cheaper and warmer than London. You can take a budget airline from Amsterdam to Barcelona without any hassle.

Don't stay in a hostel. It's a drag to worry about your stuff being stolen, about not getting to sleep because assholes are jumping around in the morning, etc. If you get triples or doubles without showers in budget hotels you'll be paying the same amount and you'll be a lot happier. Venere.com will help you find a good enough place for around 20 or 30/night /person.
posted by ohio at 2:09 PM on February 6, 2008


Kraków never sleeps.
posted by eritain at 2:47 PM on February 6, 2008


Response by poster: Thanks for all of the responses!

I had a friend who recently returned from London, and she said that there are tons of pubs and that it would be fun, but that it was expensive to drink. If it's the best time that we can have within a quick train ride, then I'm all for it. My only worry is that someplace equidistant and less obvious would be just as much/more fun.

We'll definitely give more thought to the hostel vs. triples in budget hotels idea. We may very well end up being those assholes jumping around.

Is London -- Amsterdam -- Barcelona feasible in 10 days? Is there an order that makes more sense than I'd be able to gather from a map?
posted by littlelebowskiurbanachiever at 3:25 PM on February 6, 2008


Is London -- Amsterdam -- Barcelona feasible in 10 days? Is there an order that makes more sense than I'd be able to gather from a map?

With low cost airlines you could easily do a few days in each place. 4 hours or so would take you from Barcelona to Amsterdam. A couple of hours from London to either. Dublins another great, but pricey, city for a party (get the clich├ęs out of your head!)

Londons going to be really expensive, especially with the exchange rate, I'd stick to Euroland if I were you. If you go to Spain get a bit out of the city for good and very cheap food and drink!

If it were me I'd do 5 days in Barcelona and 5 in Amsterdam, leaving Amsterdam till the end (if it's a final blow out Amsterdam will leave a lasting impression!) Both are great places for what you are after.
posted by twistedonion at 3:49 PM on February 6, 2008


Madrid has an absolutely great nightlife - people eat dinner til midnight, then the parties get going and stay til first train around 6.30, lots of afterhours clubs as well. I remember a 7-story disco right near the Atocha station. Fantastic! Not to mention, great food and even better drinks.

The weather's not great in November, it'll be a bit chilly, but it rarely if ever snows in winter, and won't be nearly that cold when you're there. They might even have the AVE rapid train up to Barcelona by now, though not sure, would only be ~2 hrs.
posted by Jhoosier at 8:35 PM on February 6, 2008


Berlin is by far the best party city in Western Europe. By far.
posted by atomly at 1:18 AM on February 7, 2008


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