Trip to Europe, Summer 2014
- This topic has 75 replies, 23 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 4 months ago by zahavasdad.
August 6, 2013 5:52 am at 5:52 am #610278
I currently work and am pretty sure I will have more than enough in savings next summer to take a trip to Europe and still have at least one grand in savings after. to make this intended trip as cheap as possible how would I go about finding frum people to host me in various European countries?August 6, 2013 8:17 am at 8:17 am #988199sm77Participant
First of all, you can buy a EU rail pass, and take overnight trains
between cities for the nights. Youth hostels offer cheap nightly rates. Open up some US credit cards, that give you large signup bonuses for airline miles, so you can fly for free. Finding frum people to host you, is not so easy. Europeans mostly live in small apartments in the heart of the cities. Plus in the Summer most Europeans are on holiday for at least a month.August 6, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am #988200
You have to decide what countries you want to go to.
There are only 3 countries with sizeable jewish populations able to host tourists. England France and Belgium. However in England a percentage lives in Manchester and Gateshead (which is about 200 miles from London). The jews of Belgium are mostly chassidic and they live in Antwerp. Antwerp is not really a tourist destination.
So you are basically Stuck with London and Paris if you want to stay with people. You can certainly forget about Italy which IMO is the nicest country in the world. The jewish population there cannot support hosting. They can basially support restaurants and shuls. even in Rome and Venice. Venice usually has more tourists than local jews. They ask the tourists to help contribute to the shul.
Ive love to visit Europe and enjoy visiting there, I love the midevil streets and seeing old places. However I dont know your backround, If you live in a frum neighborhood you might have grown up sheltered and not have street smarts. There are alot of pick-pockets, scammers and other people more than willing to take your money as a tourist you are easy pickens. Unless you have the street smarts Im not sure Id attempt it. Trust me I learned the hard way, luckily they only took a small amount and Ive learned to be alot more careful (maybe too careful)
Be aware that many things taken for granted in Brooklyn are harder to find like Kosher food, of course they arent too hard in London or Paris but elsewhere it is.
Also some countries are cheaper than others, England is really expensive and so is Italy (not as bad as england) I spent $13 on a Hamburger PATTY in London.
ive gone there without a tour and have no problem riding the subways and reading maps, but I will hide my identity as much as possible. I know an uncle who had a rock thrown at him in Amsterdam (Probably not the best city for a frum girl to go to) Its known for debutchery.
Now if you want to go, Here are the cities Id recommend visitng
London, Paris, Barcelona, madrid , Toledo (Near Madrid oldest Synagoguge in europe from 1100’s) Rome, Florence, Venice, Prague (Lots of jewish sites in Prague) , Budapest and ViennaAugust 6, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm #988201EnderParticipant
I’m confused, is the trip in 1994 or is it already 2034 and I didn’t notice?August 6, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm #988202
FYI my favorite city in the whole world is Rome, not only is it beautiful there is so much history and the food was totally amazing. Unlike most places the Kosher food is generally run by Israelis and not very authentic. In Rome its Italian cooking, Roman Style (In america our Italian cooking is Naples and Scicilian style because thats where the immigrants came from) So Roman cooking is not exactly the same.
Rome is also one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, Its likely excpet between 1943-1945 there probably has been a shabbos minyan in ROme since the time of the second Beis Hamigdosh. Very few cities if any can make that claim.August 6, 2013 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #988203
I visit Europe every year and have never experienced any anti-Semitism.
Also what sm77 said about most Europeans living in small apartments is not true.August 6, 2013 5:01 pm at 5:01 pm #988204
right, I understand that in some places, I might need to book a hotel, my friend has relatives in france, possibly in england as well. ideally, this would be a two and a half week trip.August 6, 2013 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #988205pinnymMember
Switzerland is AMAZING!!!August 6, 2013 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #988206sm77Participant
Sign up for the Starwoods SPG personal and business cards, that should give you 30k bonus points if you can do the minimum spending. That will give you enough points, for plenty of hotel stays. Find it on the dansdeals website.August 6, 2013 7:10 pm at 7:10 pm #988207rebdonielMember
If I were to go to Europe, I’d initially see Rome and Paris. The Jewish life and food scene is remarkable in those cities, and they are both immersed in history.August 6, 2013 7:22 pm at 7:22 pm #988209
Reddoniel the biggest jewish life city in Europe is Prague.
There are only few a few jews there, but the jewish places were not destroyed by the Nazis and they are all intactAugust 6, 2013 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #988210
I hearAugust 6, 2013 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #988211
No e-mail…, maybe it is because you are a girl and people do not think you are Jewish? Otherwise, it is totally not true.August 6, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm #988212Torah613TorahParticipant
There are Europe tours for frum girls, especially if you want to visit Holocaust memorials.August 6, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm #988213
I would not visit too many holocaust memorials at least on the first trip
Its really hard to see them.
It was even hard being in Germany the first time.
visiting one or 2 holocaust sites is ok, but dont overdo itAugust 7, 2013 2:21 am at 2:21 am #988214yehudayonaParticipant
Over 25 years ago, I was told not to wear a yarmulka on the street in Paris. I suspect there are many more Arabs there now, so it’s probably even riskier.
Of the three big tourist cities in Italy (Rome, Florence, and Venice), my favorite by far was Venice. One reason is that there are no cars. Italian drivers are crazy.August 7, 2013 2:34 am at 2:34 am #988215ultimateskierMember
Look up My One Kosher Hotel its in the Italian Alps. I was there over Pesach and skied. The best skiing in my life!!!!!! In the summer there wont be enough snow to ski but its still stunnnniiinnngg! Spend a few days hiking or something to break up the city seeing. The hotel is very nice, the people who own and run it are really pleasant and accomodating. The food is OUTSTANDING!
Venice is by far a must see! My favorite part of Italy!
Dont go to Spain the people there are terrible. We flew through there and had a stop over. Ewwww. England is a fun place (also lingo convienent and those accents never get boring) but its not in the whole Europe scene….
Definitely go to My One Kosher Hotel, Venice isnt too far from there and then work your way around there 🙂 im jealous!!!!! Can i come?August 7, 2013 2:44 am at 2:44 am #988216jewishfeminist02Member
My friend has frum cousins in Denmark.
The first time I went to Poland, one of our group members who speaks and understands Polish noticed some graffiti on the streets which she told us contained anti-Semitic language. Other than that, I have not (yet) experienced anti-Semitism in Europe. My husband and I have a stopover in Zurich on our way to E”Y; I’ll let you know how it is there.
In general, Chabad is probably your best resource.August 7, 2013 3:20 am at 3:20 am #988217
for sure, I am trying to avoid hotels as much as possible on this trip.August 7, 2013 5:34 am at 5:34 am #988218Avi KParticipant
Why are you supporting unrepentant anti-Semitic countries? Visit EY and do many mitzvot.August 7, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am #988219
Spain was not a problem, its not true the people were nasty at all.
It could be I speak some spanish so it allowed a little communication.
Also its not true these places are unrepentent Anti-Semitic. In Spain Toledo is called the city of 3 religions. They tell everyone to see places like Santa Maria La Blanca (The Oldest shul in Europe) they have renamed streets in Toledo, Segovia and Cordova for people like the Rambam, the Rif and Simon Ibm Gabriel.
In Bratislava (Presburg) they have renamed the street and tram car for the Chasam Sofer. They have built a monument on the grave of the Chasam Sofer.
In Prague they are proud that their 2 most famous residents are the Golem and Franz Kafka. They tell people to visit the Josefov (Jewish Quarter). They even have a statue of the Mahral in the City Hall.
In Rome they tell people to visit the Jewish Ghetto and sample the authentic Roman Jewish Cooking.
In Amsterdam the #1 tourist site is the Anne Frank HouseAugust 7, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm #988220AstrixParticipant
Prague is beautiful and there is a chabad house and some kosher places to eat. I backpacked in Scotland not knowing what to expect and we found a small community called Giffnock in middle of nowhere with chassidim. But not much anything else jewish in Scotland.August 7, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm #988221
Zurich is a great place with quite a large Jewish community.
I find that most American’s perceive Europe as a place where everyone is anti-Semitic, and that if you walk on the street with a yarmulke you will be pelted with stones. This is defiantly not the case. I go to Europe every year on vacation and have never experienced any ant-Semitism there.August 7, 2013 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm #988222ED IT ORParticipant
Prague is truly amazing.
Switzerland is Gorgeous in the alps and horrible in the cities…
France is OK
Paris is Horrible.
This rule applies to all of Europe: as long as you don’t try to stand out you wont suffer from Anti semitism, and of course don’t go out yourself late or anywhere seedy…
Enjoy… pS give up on saving….August 7, 2013 1:40 pm at 1:40 pm #988223
thanksAugust 7, 2013 1:40 pm at 1:40 pm #988224
CrazyBrit +1 on Paris
I hate Paris, what a dump, the Seine was brown and disgustin. I wasnt in interior France so I dont know about that.
And the french DO speak english.
The are Chabads everywhere, some cities have more like Prague which seems to have become a hot spot for jews to visit.August 7, 2013 2:10 pm at 2:10 pm #988225rebdonielMember
One of the advantages of visiting Rome is that Rome has beautiful synagogues that are Nusach Italki. I don’t think one can experience this in any other place (with the exception of EY, perhaps), but it definitely would be a draw for me.August 7, 2013 2:25 pm at 2:25 pm #988226
The arch of titus in Rome was built to embarass the jews.
When I walked under it, It felt good, the civilization that built the arch is no longer here, but I am and able to walk under it freely.August 7, 2013 3:04 pm at 3:04 pm #988227
No email…, maybe you visited Zurich on Mars or Venice? I visited Switzerland, including Zurich, on Earth. I saw it and others had similar experiences. If you go in a Chareidi (meaning looking very different) clothing, you definitely get very dirty and hostile looks. If you just wear a yarmulke, the hostility is somewhat less.August 7, 2013 3:20 pm at 3:20 pm #988228
I do not look charedi so they dont bother me, the relative who was thrown a rock at does look charedi, he will not return to europe.August 7, 2013 3:25 pm at 3:25 pm #988229kakoParticipant
So, here is my question. Where can you go looking obviously jewish (yarmulke, etc) and be safe? Last year I had a short stopover in Madrid and I played it safe by wearing a baseball cap. My guess is not in Paris.August 7, 2013 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #988230
mdd you have no idea what you’re talking about.August 7, 2013 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #988231
For those worried about a certain mode of dress in Europe. In middle american it isnt so hot either.
Most are used to be in areas like NYC or Flordia where jews are fairly common.
Take a trip to Wyoming or Utah and you will get a differnt reactionAugust 7, 2013 5:01 pm at 5:01 pm #988232
Kako, think — England.August 7, 2013 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm #988233
GatesheadAugust 7, 2013 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #988234
as a girl, I think its a bit differentAugust 7, 2013 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #988235
You dont want to go to Gateshead at least as a tourist, if you want to visit the seminary thats another story
Gatesheads is a drab industrial city in england, very drab and nothing to do and no distractions, thats why the yeshiva was put there Its also about 200 miles from London so you cant stay in Gateshead and visit London on day trips.
Look on a Map of England and see where Gateshead is to London, its farAugust 7, 2013 7:28 pm at 7:28 pm #988236lovebeingjewishParticipant
Hate to spoil your trip but Hopefully Mashiach will be here by then and you will not have to worry about going to Europe, you wouldnt want to go to Europe, how about that.August 7, 2013 8:58 pm at 8:58 pm #988237jewishfeminist02Member
My mother-in-law is from Glasgow and has a beautiful accent. She now lives in America and her sister lives in London. My husband has some extended family still in Glasgow. We hope to make a trip to visit them at some point. My understanding is that Glasgow used to be a vibrant community, if a small one. There are still some frum people left there, but not many. It’s chaval.August 8, 2013 3:46 am at 3:46 am #988238
No email…, I think most people who really have been there agree with me.August 8, 2013 1:01 pm at 1:01 pm #988239
Mdd I have really been there more than onceAugust 8, 2013 1:33 pm at 1:33 pm #988240NaftushMember
My wife and I “specialize” in visiting European cities that have very small populations of committed Jews. Before going, we make contact and offer our services (mainly mine as a baal koreh, etc.). No one in these communities gets excited about that until we really show up and contribute. Then we are treated royally. It can be done in many, many towns, especially with so much lead time to build relations.August 8, 2013 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #988241rationalfrummieMember
Eh, go to eretz yisrael. if you’ve never been, you should definitely go! it’s an incredible place. you don’t have to worry about kashrus or looking too “Jewish,” there is lots of hiking and scenic areas (go up north to the golan), people are diverse, and you’re in eretz hakodesh!!August 9, 2013 1:19 am at 1:19 am #988242
Zahavasdad, I don’t think we disagree. I agree if one wears a baseball cap and blue jeans, there is nothing to worry about.August 9, 2013 2:33 am at 2:33 am #988243
Europe alot is cheaper than Israel
And its not only the plane ticket, Hotels in Jerusalem are insanely high. In most of Europe (except maybe LOndon and Paris) you can eassily get decent hotel room for $100 or less.
Not to dimish Isael, I want to go again, but the price scared me away. but there really is to do more in Europe, dont forget its alot bigger.
Kosher food can be a problem in Europe no doubt, especually Spain. In London Paris, Rome, Venice , Vienna, Budapest and Prague it wasnt difficult alot from jews go thereAugust 9, 2013 3:51 am at 3:51 am #988244
“I was told not to wear a yarmulka on the street in Paris. I suspect there are many more Arabs there now, so it’s probably even riskier.”
I went to Paris two summers ago. I didn’t want to go; I had heard that the country was anti-Semitic, anti-American, and hostile to people like me who can’t speak French. But my office insisted.
All three of my preconceptions proved wrong. I wore my yarmulke all over the city on the streets and subways and saw many other frum guys wearing yarmulkes — the ONLY place outside of Eretz Yisrael and New York where I have seen that. I didn’t get a single nasty look, even from the large numbers of Muslims there. And the Parisians were quite happy to practice their English with me and didn’t mind that I was a clueless monolingual American.
I also found one of the friendliest little synagogues anywhere. I was saying kaddish, so after landing in Paris on July 14 I found the closest synagogue to my hotel and ran over there for minchah. They were having a kiddush in honor of Bastille Day between minchah and arvit! In America it is hard enough to get people to skip tachanun on July 4!!!
They quickly figured out that I was a clueless non-Francophone Ashkenazic American and they started arguing over who would get to host me for Shabat meals despite my total lack of French and lack of understanding of the Sefardic nusach. The Sefardic Shabat food was great, and they told me that in the past 20 years attitudes among French people — with the exception of non-assimilated Muslim immigrants — has completely changed and they no longer hold by their anti-American and anti-Semitic views, and also know that they need to know English to function in the modern world. Even Marine Le Pen, the leader of the racist National Front Party, dropped anti-Semitism from the party platform in the last election and the country would have elected a pro-Israel Jew, Dominique Stauss-Kahn, as President had he not been France’s equivalent of Bob Filner. 🙁 The French government also generously funds Jewish day schools, but OTOH it has not permitted an eruv anywhere in France.
I should mention that Paris has hundreds of kosher restaurants as well, all over the city. I spent a week trying to find a bad one and was unsuccessful. And the Bastille Day fireworks were as impressive as any I’ve seen in New York or Washington on July 4.
Enjoy!August 9, 2013 3:58 am at 3:58 am #988245
I’ve also been to Dublin and Madrid. The Dublin frum community is incredibly tiny — at most a dozen shomer Shabat families — but incredibly friendly. There is a kosher-friendly guest house a short walk from the synagogue and the bus system goes everywhere. Dublin even has a small Jewish museum. (And yes, everything coming out of the Guiness brewery is kosher.) No kosher restaurants but there was a kosher caterer who operated out of the synagogue kitchen who will send food anywhere on the island. It is an English speaking country with an Ashkenazic English speaking Jewish community — the synagogue used Artscroll siddurim. Ireland has basically no history of anti-Semitism; there is one Jewish school that gets government funding. No eruv.
Madrid has a somewhat larger community but they were mostly away on holiday while I was there, so I really can’t say much except that the synagogue (Sefardic) is VERY hard to find. There was a nice small Best Western hotel just a few blocks away, and there were two kosher restaurants, both Moroccan cuisine. No eruv there, either.
Enjoy!August 9, 2013 3:59 am at 3:59 am #988246
I should add that the local custom in both Dublin and Madrid is that Jews do NOT wear yarmulkes in public. I did, and it identified me as a clueless tourist.August 9, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am #988247notasheepMember
ZD – clearly you have never been to Manchester, there is plenty to do there and it boasts a large Jewish community as well. I think we covered this point on another thread, but there is nowhere in England that is that expensive for food.
Avi K – there is so much Jewish history steeped in these places, and some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. E”Y is beautiful and full of mitzvos but for many people it’s not an easy trip to make, since flights can be very expensive.August 9, 2013 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm #988248
Ive seen frum people in middle america touring the national parks, they were wearing baseball caps too.
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