{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Need help - First time traveling to Europe next month for 10 days with spouse and a kid. Planning to go to Barcelona first and then Madrid, Zurich, Amsterdam and Brussels....", "post_id": "5d21314230ff32001fba9c5c", "reply_count": 38, "vote_count": 0, "bowl_id": "5af0f2b1132f350013acdc55", "bowl_name": "Travel Recommendations", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Need help - First time traveling to Europe next month for 10 days with spouse and a kid. Planning to go to Barcelona first and then Madrid, Zurich, Amsterdam and Brussels....

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My first reaction is that you do not have time to enjoy all of these cities in 10 days. Are these the only cities you’re considering? Which are your musts? Perhaps we can suggest a few stops that are closer to your musts.

- The train between Amsterdam and Brussels is very quick.
- You can get from Amsterdam / Brussels to Zurich via train, but it would take a long time so I would suggest flying.
- I wouldn’t spend more than a day in Brussels. I’d recommend Bruges over Brussels which can be reached by train (1-1.5 hours from Brussels)
- I haven’t been to Spain but taking a train from Spain to Brussels would also be lengthy so I’d recommend a flight.

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Agreed. Just did 10 days between Paris (2 day trips to Normandy) then Bordeaux and Amsterdam...the travel itself cuts out two days not to mention the jet lag.

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That’s still too much for 10 days. You’re not going to give yourself enough time to enjoy each city. You’ll spend more time traveling between cities than you actually will stay in the cities.

This is what I think you’re propsjng
Barcelona Days 1-3
It’s a 10 hour drive from Barcelona to Gibraltar. That’s all of Day 4
Day 5 in Gilbralter
Day 6 fly to Amsterdam, spend the half day in Rotterdam (where the airport is)
Day 7 take the train to Amsterdam
Day 8 drive to Bruges, spend half day there
Day 9 Brussels AM and fly back to Barcelona
Day 10 fly home

What about Spain and either Lisbon **OR** Paris (or southern France)

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Spend the full 10 days in Spain / Portugal and have an amazing time. So many great small cities in Spain as well, you could just do Spain to be honest

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That is way too much for 10 days - that looks like more of a 3-4 week trip. My advice would be to pick two countries max and stay in each city for 2-3 days, so you can relax and experience the culture of that city. It is exhausting to have to change hotels every day or every other day.

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Pick 2 cities

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If your tix are in Barcelona then just do Spain. Barca -> Valencia -> Sevilla -> Madrid -> Barca

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I agree with the other posts. spend the full time in Spain. At least three days in Barca, then rent a car and enjoy some of the gems in southern Spain. The Alhambra is a must see along the way to Gib

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Second everyone’s opinion on the fact that this is too much. Also, Just FYI - South of Spain is hot AF in August (unbearable to be outside hot). Gibraltar IMO is not worth the time of getting there. It’s just a rock with monkeys and some duty free stuff for sale. I’d rethink this plan. Alternatively, you could do Barca, St. Sebastian + Basque Country (+ Biarritz if you are keen on crossing into France), Madrid. Otherwise, do Barça, Madrid, Lisbon (+ Porto)

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How old is the kid? Can he handle this itinerary ?

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Oh hell no. You guys are nuts. It won’t be a vacation, it will be torture for everyone. I didn’t take our kid to Europe until he was 6 and we always stick to one, Max 2 countries per trip!

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I’d recommend a road trip. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels and Brugges. Cuts down on transport time if you keep the cities close by

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Go to literally any other city in Switzerland besides Zurich. Switzerland is amazing and Zurich is meh and expensive

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id recommend lucerne switzerland over zurich any day

Thanks guys. I am going to exclude Switzerland. I do want to check southern Spain around Gibraltar. How does this sounds.
Land in Barcelona and stay there for a couple days.
Drive to Gibraltar.
Flight from Malaga, Spain to Amsterdam.
Drive to Rotterdam, Brussels and Brudges.
Fly back to Barcelona and back home.
Thoughts?

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A drive from Barcelona to Gibraltar is 3 days if you are lucky. Spain is a big county.

2 or 3 days in Barcelona (Scarface’s Familia, Ramblas and the food) a train to Madrid (Prada, royal palace and a side trip to Teledo) and then a train to Granada (Alhambra, the cathedral and the site of the old worlds fair) and then home

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Agreed ^

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Thanks guys. Really helpful everyone. We are gonna discuss and finalize/condense the trip. Now we are thinking of just doing Barcelona and Switzerland. The kid is 2 years old.

South Spain had been on my list since my childhood but I guess it will have to wait based on what I am hearing here.

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Stick with Spain only. So much to see and do in the entire country.

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Only thing I’ll add that hasn’t already been clearly said, Bruges is very touristy and only a half day trip. If you only have your 10 days there is nothing particularly spectacular about Bruges that makes it a must on your short itinerary .

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Completely disagree - Bruges is worth a two night stay (just finishing our annual trip to Europe as we speak...). Spending the night(s) in Bruges, you really feel the “magic” of the city after all of the day-trippers leave. Definitely one of our favorites in Europe. If you don’t have time to dedicate a full day or two, then save Bruges for your next trip across the pond.

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Fly between each city except Brussels and Amsterdam. (You can afford it as a manager )

Also, echoing everyone else - Europe isn’t like the USA.. it’s actually interesting. As boring as Zürich is... you need 10 days to appreciate it, let along some of your other amazing destinations.

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Best ways to travel between these cities and any other recommendations? Also open to checking out other cities and dropping a couple of these if they are more convenient and worth seeing.

Thanks all!

Switzerland is amazing - even making Zurich the jump off base. Was just there for the weekend and we did some hiking and a boat ride on Lake Zurich. If you have more time, I suggest to get a car and drive down south towards Italy. I did a 2 day road trip to Lake Lugano a few years back and it was gorgeous.

Brussels was a huge let down.

God damn Americans who think Europe is just one place and you can see it all super quickly. With that itinerary you well spend more time in flights and trains than doing anything enjoyable

If you go to Barcelona, make sure to prebook the sagrada familia and park guell, Both sold out while I was just buying the tickets so book in advance!! Also if you want to see the Anne frank house in Amsterdam pre book! That was also sold out. For Europe I recommend a fanny pack because a lot of my friends got robbed in day light, also consider tours in some cities you’re not gonna be staying in too long... it really helps with navigating around and learning history about the city and the stress is not so much on you to plan

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