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First Trip to Europe - 12 days for Amsterdam and Germany

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I need a bit of advice regarding a trip this coming September to Amsterdam and Germany. I've been reading other posts so I have a few ideas of what I'd like to see but any help and suggestions would be appreciated. And even though this is my first trip to Europe I also know that I need to edit the number of places I go even though the first instinct is to try to cram as much in as possible. I'll be traveling with my partner so this will be a trip for 2.

So, that being said, the current plan is to fly into Amsterdam and spend 2 nights there. Based on the flights I've looked at so far we'd arrive early in the day so we'd have two full days there.

Next, take a train from Amsterdam to Cologne and stay there 3 days. See Cologne, and then use it as a base for some day trips to be determined. I found this thread: http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/cologne-area.cfm which is helpful.

After this, I need some ideas. I'd love to see Rothenburg or similar towns. Once we leave Cologne we'll have 7 full days available before heading back to the US.

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