The Right Way to See Europe?

There is, of course, no one “right” way to see Europe.

There are, in fact, an almost infinite number of right ways.

Many of those right ways are discussed in this thread, which rob in cal initiates by explaining his broad impression of the differences between how Americans treat a visit to Europe compared to how a European might treat a visit within Europe:

Americans would usually hit all the famous sites, going from one big city to another, making sure to see the usual suspects, the Eifel Tower, the Colosseum, famous Cathedrals etc. etc. … I also enjoyed going to nice places that Americans usually don’t go to. By this I mean beautiful but not famous must see places. Several wonderful lakes spring to mind, Tegern See in Bavaria, Worthersee in Austria, Traunsee in Austria, and several regions such as Istria in Croatia, cities such as Budapest (I visited in 1989 and would imagine its more visited now). All of these places would have European visitors, but not many Americans.

The thread contains several recommendations for off-the-beaten-path locales that are worth a visit. As well as practical discussion as to why the popular tourist spots are so popular to begin with.

Golden sunsets takes the discussion in a slightly different direction and describes how she and her husband’s travel habits have changed as they have aged:

Phase 1 in our “youth” we travelled in an ” if it’s Tuesday it must be Paris” manner, checking off the boxes on our must do list. … Fast forward to travel with family Phase 2 and we switched gears to rent a car and sea a region, e.g. Provence and Tuscany and rent an Agriturismo 2 BR space on a wine estate. … And now, Phase3: we don’t want the hassle/liability of renting/driving a car in a foreign country, so our new approach is to choose 3 locations geographically near each other on a train line and spend 5 days in each location. e.g. Prague/Vienna/Budapeste, Venice/Verona/Florence, Amsterdam/Bruges/Brussels. We make our own train reservations and really enjoy the feeling of doing this on our own and viewing the countryside when moving from one city to the next.

And just to show that this thread isn’t an exercise in American bashing, some posters describe how traveling in the “wrong” way isn’t restricted by nationality.

Reminded me of going to The Ark in Kenya circa 1985……..people staying overnight there were bused in from a central meeting point……on our bus a lady guide was pointing out and naming various animals we passed on the way……….one couple, who HAD an actual checklist, were crossing off the ones thus identified without, I suspect, even looking at the animals themselves.


The husband would say “Cross it off, cross it off”. ~Nemo2

When European friends came to the USA for the first time many years ago, they want to see Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, and Disneyworld. In a weekend. On short notice ~Bestwifeever

Read the thread in its entirety: Vacation in Europe like a European

Image: “Tourists” by Pedro Ribeiro Simoes. CC BY 2.0.

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