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First time trip to Europe advice. thanks

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Hello all,

This is my first time on this forum, but from what I gather, it's a great place to start research on all things travel. I hope to gather as much information as possible before we embark on our journey. Thanks in advance for the help! 

My wife and I are looking in to our first European trip! We are in the planning phase of the process and will most likely purchase our plane tickets in the next 3-6 months with an arrival date between August-October of 2016. So, lots of time to plan a route and listen to all of the expert travelers in this forum for advice. 

Here's a few things to consider before giving any advice:

- Independent travel is what we are leaning towards. 
- Timing: 16 days (may push it to 17/18) depends on work schedules
- Would like to Fly into Amsterdam or depart from Amsterdam (no reason at all, just thought it would be fun to see it). 
- Would like to see 3-5 cities if that is possible (I understand 16 days means around 14 days on the ground). 
- Would like to travel by train to save on money
- We'll be utilizing AirBnb for the most part
- We love food, history and culture
- Both are first timers in Europe, so we figure a "beginners" route in Europe would be our best introduction to travel.
- We are flying from the West Coast of the United States

I hope I didn't miss anything to help with the advice, but ANY advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks

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