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1 week to visit Barcelona, Paris & Amsterdam

1 week to visit Barcelona, Paris & Amsterdam

Old Aug 15th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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1 week to visit Barcelona, Paris & Amsterdam

Hello,

I know this isn't a lot of time, but we have an amazing opportunity to see these 3 cities and only have 1 week.

The catch is, that wherever we choose to fly home through will have to have a stopover in Frankfurt. Also, we will be starting in Florence (we will be in Italy first for 8 days for work).

My initial thoughts four our itinerary would be:

November 2nd: We must escort a group to the Florence airport in the morning. We would hopefully be able to fly to Barcelona, and have a part of the day there to relax.
November 3rd and 4th: Barcelona
November 5th: Travel to Paris, and hopefully have part of the day there.
November 6th, 7th and 8th: Paris, and travel to Amsterdam at the end of the day on the 8th.
November 9th: Amsterdam
November 10th: Fly home from Amsterdam, through Frankfurt (I figured this was the best option to end on).

What do you think? Is it too crazy? Will it be easy to fly and/or train between these cities without booking in advance?

Thanks so much for your kind advice.

Susan
Montreal, Canada
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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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Re: trains - you can potentially save tons of money by booking trains in advance - walk up fares can be much much higher than online fares.
www.voyages-sncf.com for Spain-France and Paris-Amsterdam "Thalys" train specials. Also www.thalys.com for Paris-Amsterdam trains.
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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 12:14 PM
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It's doable. Funny -- my husband and I will be in Barcelona on Oct. 30, 31 and are leaving on Nov. 1! Just missing you. On our last Europe trip, Oct. 2004, we crammed in Amsterdam in 1.5 days. We were sad we did that, in the end. We only got a taste of the city -- and now really want to go back and spend at least two more full days there. I think you're fine on the days in Barcelona and Paris. I'm wondering if maybe you should forgo Amsterdam and instead split that extra time between Paris and Barcelona...There's certainly (I think) enough to do in Paris. I've been there three times and still could do more. I'm going to Barcelona in Oct. for the first time, so I can't speak for that city, but I've heard great things!
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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 12:16 PM
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Also, I wouldn't plan to train it between Barcelona and Paris -- that would take FOREVER. See if a low-cost airline flies between the two cities on www.flycheapo.com
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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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but you can get some bargain fares on the Elipsos overnight trains Barcelona-paris - save night's hotel may make it cheaper than flying. www.elipsos.com
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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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With only one week, I would not take trains between any of those cities! With such little time, why would they want to spend it on trains when they can be at their destination in an hour?

Your itinerary sounds doable, although I personally wouldn't do it. It'd be too much moving around for my taste.
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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 02:01 PM
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Hi, sue,

With planes as they are at the moment, I like PalQ's idea of an overnight train. Of course the flight may only be 1 hour, but it's all the rest of the palaver surrounding air-travel that gets me down.
Do you mind of we ask why you have picked to do three cities in a week?
Could you not fly to BCN and spend the week there/in that area?
Or limit yourselves to BCN and Paris? [or BCN & A'dam]
However you choose to travel, you are losing at least 4 half days to travelling, which is quite a lot out of 7 days. Cut out one leg, and you effectively gain a day.
Train will be easier than air travel without reservations I think, [not the night train though] but with so little time, I would want travel and hotels planned ahead so I didn't lose time sorting them out.
Good luck!
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Old Aug 17th, 2006, 05:36 AM
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Thanks everyone.
We have decided for now to schedule a flight home from Paris. We figured that it's a safe bet, whether we do all 3 cities or just do Paris for one week!

Thanks for all your help, especially with the train and plane suggestions.

Susan
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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Thanks jenandstephen - have you ever used flycheapo.com? The prices seem great, but I am still one of those travellers who is leary about using airlines that I have never heard of...

Thanks.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 08:39 AM
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I have flown easyjet between Paris and Barcelona and it's economical and a good deal because they use central airports (Orly in Paris, BCN in Barcelona) which not all economy airlines do. If you have to include transit time from either of the outlying Paris or Barcelona airpports it will eat up most of the day (including the flying).

I agree with the suggestion to drop Amsterdam if you only have that amount of time. I like to move around more than average when I travel but even I feel if you cut things too short you end up feeling frustrated. You do need a basic minimum to even get a "taste" of a place like Paris or Barcelona.

If you had even one or two more days then I would do Amsterdam, and I would take the train from Paris, and you can wait till you get there to book it. Otherwise skip it.

Buy your airline tickets from Florence to BCN and BCN to Paris now. Price on those types of tickets go up the closer you get.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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Good move dropping Amsterdam imo. That just seemed to hectic for me, although I'm sure technically do-able. Were I in your situation, I'd just go to Paris for the week.

For the poster who mentions only 1-hour to fly, that is misleading and not accurate. Since airports are outside the city center, and with the current state of affairs at airports, I don't think there is any air journey that will take less than approx. 4-5 hours from your day.
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