12 days in Europe for the first time.

Feb 10th, 2013, 07:44 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 5
12 days in Europe for the first time.

Hi everybody, My husband and i are planning our first trip to Europe. Is going to be 12 days (May 8-19), and the itinerary is Orlando(May 8, 7:45pm)-London(May 9, 8:45am) London(May 9-11)Paris(May 11-14)Brussels(May14-15)-Bruges(15-16)Amsterdam(May16-18)London(May 18-19). Since is our first time we need as many suggestions as we can for hotels, restaurants, point of interest, packing, most suggested areas, transportation, etc. I know is not enough time that is why we need your help, so we don't end up wasting time just wondering around the streets without a clue on what to do or go. Thank you in advance.
manuelamo is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 08:01 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,645
I think that you re trying to cover too much, but a guidebook might perhaps convince you better than I of that fact.
Michael is online now  
Feb 10th, 2013, 08:02 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,038
Too much territory in too little time.
StCirq is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 08:03 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,870
I personally think splitting London into two such short stays unnecessarily complicates/confuses things. Plus you list being in two cities the same day which isn't really the way it works and means you are cutting both cities short.

What you have now is:

London -1/2 a day on May 9,
London one day on May 10,
Leave for Paris on May 11 half a day in Paris.
Paris May 12 and 13
Leave for Brussels on May 14 - half a day in Brussels
Leave for Bruges on May 15 half a day in Bruges
Leave for Amsterdam May 16 half a day in A'dam
A'dam May 17
Leave for London London 18 -half a day in London
Fly home may 19.

Instead of staying in London at the beginning, I'd book a flight the same morning on to Paris or to Brussels or to A'dam (actually Amsterdam probably makes the most sense)

Stay two nights in Amsterdam. May 9 - 10

Train to Bruges OR Brussels stay 2 nights May 11- 12

Train to Paris stay 3 nights May 13 - 15

Train to London stay 3 nights May 16 - 18

Fly home May 19
janisj is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 12:27 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Than you for the advices. That is what I thought. Now, do you have any recommendations on hotels and good locations to stay, I really need to start making reservations before is too late.
manuelamo is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 12:51 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
What is your budget per night for a hotel?
Mimar is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 12:54 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,055
I would suggest making Bruges a day trip from either Brussels or Amsterdam. That way you have one less change of hotel, and it leaves the option of dropping it if you are tired of traveling (which I think you may be). I agree that you are squeezing a lot of locations into a short amount of time. Consider dropping Brussels altogether, to give yourself more time to enjoy the other cities.
msteacher is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 12:59 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,038
For locations, you need to do some basic guidebook research - it's all subjective. For hotels, we need to know, preferably in euros, what your budget is.
StCirq is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 01:49 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,444
personally i would drop entirely Brussels unless you have some overwhelming reason to go there.

May 9 - fly into London, fly to Amsterdam. Stay two nights.

May 11 - train to Bruges, stay 2 nights.

May 13 - Train to Paris stay 3 nights

may 16 - Train to London stay 3 nights

May 19 - Fly home

you could reduce Bruges to one night if you were going to get there early and leave late. but if you like beer, it's a great place to stop for a bit longer.
annhig is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 02:07 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,563
Sheeyoot, I'd drop everything but London and Paris - you don't have enough time for either in your original itinerary or even in Janis'.

Can't recommend places to stay until you state in dollars what your nightly budget is.
BigRuss is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 02:36 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,587
Hate to jump on the "change your itinerary" wagon, but if you could fly out of Paris instead of returning to London, that would be a good idea.

It's been a couple three years but we enjoyed the Hotel Botaniek in Bruges. Its a B&B within easy walking to the square. Not too expensive.

For a first timer, consider Rick Steves recommendations if you are on a budget. (I'll duck now, while the Steves haters start throwing things. )
Bitter is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 02:43 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,587
On such a short trip, you could spend aa day in Brussels and feel like you've seen the highlights, IMHO.

To each his own, but after seeing the continental cities, you may be a bit underwhelmed returning to London (except your wallet, which will be overwhelmed). It just depends on what your interests are. If you do return to London and find this to be the case, get out of town. Go to Bath or somewhere.

You'll want to map out what you are looking to do in Paris so you can group them and efficiently hit them while in the neighborhood, so to speak. That is true for London, too. Arguably the others are more contained, unless you are really branching out.
Bitter is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 03:02 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,055
Since it appears you are from Orlando, I just want to help put your current plan in perspective. How would you advise me if I said I had twelve days to visit Tallahassee, Orlando, Ft Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, and then return to Tallahassee to fly home. It is physically possible to do it, but how much opportunity would I have to really enjoy each city?
msteacher is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 03:03 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,055
Oops, that should have said original plan, not current plan, as it seems you have made some adjustment. However, still a concept to think about.
msteacher is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 08:10 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 5
It seems a lot of you agree on leaving Brussels off the trip. The only thing is making us want to go there is because my husband works for a beer company and wants to go to the Stella Brewery, I guess we could do that in just a couple of hours and head to Bruges. My total budget for the trip is $8,000 that includes the plane tickets, the only one I founded nonstop Orlando-London is $2,600 for both. That leaves me $5,400 for hotels, attractions, transportation and food ($540 per day).
I also need recommendations on what kind of clothes and key items to pack.
Once again, thank you!
manuelamo is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 08:37 PM
  #16  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,703
A good guidebook or two should be very helpful as you plan. You'll learn all sorts of things you didn't even know to consider!
kja is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 03:12 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,055
If you want to tour a brewery, you can go to Heineken in Amsterdam.
msteacher is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 06:21 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
Bitter's opinion of London is not shared by the vast majority of tourists. Don't let him lead you to shortchange it -- any more than you already are.

You could do Brussels as a daytrip from Amsterdam or better Paris. Or you could stop en route in Brussels, leave your luggage and do a quick trip to the Stella brewery. Some other Fodorite can confirm luggage storage availability in Brussels.
Mimar is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 07:42 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,587
Mimar, to each his own. I have a love hate relationship with London. London is a major city and feels like it, with great museums and entertainment, but one need not go across the pond for that. IMHO it lacks the feel of a Paris or A'dam.

London does call me back, but it is an exhausting city.
Bitter is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 08:59 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,444
The only thing is making us want to go there is because my husband works for a beer company and wants to go to the Stella Brewery, I guess we could do that in just a couple of hours and head to Bruges.>>

lol, a busman's holiday!

but why does he want to see another factory, when you could go straight to Bruges and drink the real stuff? honestly, they have a wonderful selection of beers in the bars there which added to a drop-dead gorgeous town is difficult to beat.
annhig is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:22 PM.