Initial Request: We are open to several different trips, probably whichever seems to make the best of our time. We have 4 different trip thoughts/possibilities: Lithuania, Finland/ Estonia (ferry across water), Mont St-Michael (would there be a good time of the year to go here… when would be the best time to go if we must go possibly before the end of march?), & Jersey/Guernsey. We want to go over our Feb holiday (13-15 Feb). We would like to get back not too late on Monday evening. We can leave on the 12th evening, if flights leave after 2030. We are able to fly out of Frankfurt, Frankfurt Hahn and Luxembourg or any others within 2 hours of base. If they are only 1 hour away, we can take a flight an hour earlier.
Initial 1 hr of research:
I recommend Vilnius, Mont St-Michael or Riga…
Lufthansa has a good non-stop direct flight to Vilnius that leaves from Frankfurt at 8:50 pm. You would get in late but then have the entire weekend to explore. And they have a return at 2:55 pm on Monday that would get you home nice and early to prep for the week. 148 euro round trip.
I think Mont St-Michael would be a great car trip and gives you lots of flexibility. It is a 6 hr drive from Ramstein. That sounds like a long drive but when you figure an hour drive to the airport, getting there two hours early with a 2 hr flight somewhere, it is almost the same time as the best flights. You could leave from work and stay at a cute place either in Normandy or somewhere in route, get up and have breakfast and then cross over to Mont St-Michael.
Lots of combinations for Finland and Estonia but none of them are great and they are all expensive. Here are the two best options I was able to find. 1) Fly Lufthansa round trip in/out of Helsinki. Good flight going at 8:50 pm (nonstop) Friday night and then return Monday (1 stop) leaving in the afternoon and home before dinner. 2) More expensive / more convenient option is take the one way flight on Lufthansa on Friday to Helsinki and then fly back from Tallinn. (634 Euro). None of the cheaper/smaller airlines had any great deals that didn’t have a connection.
Getting to Jersey or Guernsey from Germany/Luxemburg looks hard and probably best to combine with a future trip in the UK. I didn’t find anything nonstop or anything that wouldn’t take a full day of travel.
On the other hand, getting from Frankfurt to Riga has lots of options and may be something to consider. You can leave Friday night, return Monday afternoon for $211 round trip.
Let me know which one you like or if you want me to dig into any of these further (transportation, hotels, activities).
Follow-on Request: I’m going to say lets plan to go to Vilnius. It’s cheaper. 🙂 Both Riga and Vilnius sounds interesting though and Riga might be good to keep in mind for the future. Can you look into the details… Hotel and what things to do. I’d prefer a hotel versus hostel (mainly because I like not having to share a shower) but a cheap hotel is fine since we’ll want to go see things (a 2 person room at a hostel wouldn’t be bad either). We’d just need to make sure we can check in late since I know some hotels aren’t able to accommodate that. To do… The popular things and the must do things. It would be nice to have both inside and outside options in case the weather isn’t great.
And what flights are the ones we need to book?
Additional 1 hr of Research:
For hotel, hotwire has what looks to be an outstanding option for hotel – 4 stars, 46% off so it is $39 a night or a 5 star hotel for $89 a night. Both in the old town area. The 5 star has a 95% recommendation rating. Hotwire hotels are not always cute but I’ve never gone wrong and they have always been what they say they are. Once you are booked (they are non refundable) you can email or call the hotel about late check-in.
Hotel Titlto looks promising. 52Euro a night. Irish owned (should speak Enlgish). Includes breakfast. Has airport transfer. Only 1 room left. http://www.hoteltilto.com/?online-reservations
148 Euro ($167 USD) each
Friday, 12 Feb, 2050 on Lufthansa flt LH888 (2 hr 5 min flight time)
Monday, 14 Feb, 1425 on Lufthansa flt LH887
I found it using Whichairline.com but it redirected my to Lufthansa’s main page.
Saturday: Explore Vilnius. The old city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Highlights include: Cathedral Square, Vilnius Cathedra, Gedimino Tower/Hill, National Museum of Lithuanian, President’s Palace, Jewish Quarter, ghetto, Gates of Dawn Chapel, Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit, Frescos at the University. New Town: KGB Museum/Museum of Genocide Victims. Hundreds of churches through out the city (Catholic).
*Free walking tour at 12.
STARTING TIME: everyday at 12 p.m. (noon)
MEETING POINT: in front of Vilnius Town Hall
DURATION: 2-2,5 hours
LANGUAGE of the tour: English
They also have a couple of other 10E tours. Check out the link below. One of those tours could be a good option for Monday morning.
Sunday: Trakai (medieval capital of Lithuania; resort village surrounded by 5 lakes with a 15th century castle)
Transportation options: the public bus goes from the bus station and costs less than 2 euro each way. There is also a train (it is also less than 2 euro) but runs less frequently and is just a bit farther from the sights in Trakai. (Can also rent a car, take a taxi, uber)
Ritzy place for lunch at Trakai with a view of the castle: Apvalaus stalo klubas-Titulinis
Take one of the city tours (see the link above), visit the sights you didn’t get to in the city (but be careful because it looks like most museums are closed Mondays), or visit Uzupis (east of Old Town) which is a fake break-away district (declared 1998).
Airport Transfer thoughts:
-Arrange with your hotel
-Arrange a transfer – some websites are below
Low Cost Vilnius (VNO) airport transfer, Vilnius airport to city (20 pounds)
Bistro 18 gets good reviews for lunch (this place was on every list I looked at)
Dublis Restoranas is #1 on trip advisor
*Always ask your hotel and walking tour guide
Local dishes: Dairy products and potatoes are mainstays of the Lithuanian diet, and pancakes are particularly popular. A traditional (and unforgettable) meal is cepelinai, a zeppelin-shaped parcel of a glutinous substance (allegedly potato dough), with a wad of cheese, meat or mushrooms in the centre. It comes topped with a sauce made from onions, butter, sour cream and bacon bits.
**16 February is Independence Day (1918) so there may be a lot happening the weekend you are there!!
Kindle Travel guides on Amazon (both free if you are kindle prime):
Have a great time. Please let me know if I can do anything else to help.