I was planning on traveling to Paris next week with my family for Spring Break. Unfortunately the prolonged garbage strike, is making this an unattractive choice for our daughters’ first visit there. We were originally flying to Munich from the US and then connecting to Paris. My wife and I are now thinking of keeping our flights to Munich but picking somewhere else in Europe to to connect to and spend the week.
Current choices we are pondering are Portugal (Lisbon particularly), Croatia, southern Italy, or Greece. Any places we should avoid for a late March trip, or for reasons I’m not considering.
Thanks in advance.
I’m in Italy now, we spent 12 days in Venice, Bologna, Naples, and Rome.
The weather has been spectacular, with warm days up to 20C (70ish for you ‘murricans) and cool nights down to 5C (40F) and a grand total of 15 minutes of rain.
We were on a food tour last night with people who had just come from Paris, and between the garbage and transit strikes it was not ideal.
My understanding is that the garbage collection problems affect only some arrondissements where the collectors are directly employed by the City, mostly out of the central areas most visitors are concentrated in*. Other areas where the service is sub-contracted aren’t affected and collection is as normal.
*Light blue on this map = normal service, green = strike-affected:
I can’t speak for the others, but Lisbon is amazing. Beautiful, rich in culture and sort of crazy - modern but ancient. Great transport, really good food, great tourism and really good shopping (if that’s your thing).
It felt completely safe, presumably in part by the fact that they manage the homeless and drug users in a very humane fashion.
A hint though… avoid the “main road” restaurants that attract tourists, and go one a block further (there are hundreds of places within each suburb)
I stayed in an AirBnB in Alfama, the ‘old district’ which I thoroughly recommend. Really spectacular, lots of tiny mom and pop hole in the wall coffee shops and restaurants. Its great for tourists, so hence my suggestion above to delve deeper into the neighborhood than the obvious places. Some of the best food I found was in these tiny local oriented places.
It is also cheap. Prices were on a par with Cape Town, where I live, so affordable for me, but trivial by US standards.
Austria is beautiful and close to Munich, but that changed the trip to a mountain type of vacation and I’m getting more of a city vibe than a rural village one.
I can add another vote for Lisbon if you decide not to go to Paris. We really enjoyed our stay there and the prices are reasonable; the food and wine is excellent. If you like museums go see the Gulbenkian - there’s something for everyone there - sculpture, paintings, textiles, mosaics, furniture, etc. The national museum is pretty great too.
The Oceanarium is also fabulous.
Austria is one of my favourite places in the world, we ski there and hike in the summer.
You also have the benefit of easy and cheap trains from Munich airport to Salzburg (2.5 hrs, 50 euro each), then on to Vienna (3 hours, 50 euro each) and from there down to Budapest. (2.5 hours 25 euro each)
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