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18 Day Itinerary- Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris.

18 Day Itinerary- Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris.

Jan 6th, 2014, 09:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1
18 Day Itinerary- Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris.

I've been lurking for quite a while and I think I have a solid enough idea of what I'd like my trip to look like, so now I'm posting.

First, a little about me. I'm 27 years old, never been to Europe, but have travelled elsewhere extensively. On vacation I enjoy eating well, museums, walking, and sightseeing. I have no fear of public transportation. I have little desire to drive anywhere in EU.

I'm planning this trip for late August- early September. The exact dates will depend on when I am granted vacation days from work. I'm traveling alone, which I enjoy. My budget is quite negotiable. I have plenty saved, and I work a good job with excellent overtime opportunities.

I'll be using AirBnB for lodging, which I've done in many other cities and LOVE. Seriously, if you haven't tried it, please do. It has made such a positive difference in my vacations.

I plan on using trains for transport between cities, and public transportation, bicycling, and walking for travel within each destination.

Here's what I'm thinking so far:
Day 1- Travel from US
Day 2- Arrive in Copenhagen, late evening. Do very little aside from find my apartment, eat, and probably sleep quite a bit.
Days 3-4 explore Copenhagen.
Day 5- Depart Copenhagen midmorning for Hamburg. My real destination is Amsterdam, but it's quite a long train, and I'd like to see a tiny taste of Germany. Hamburg seemed like a nice place for a daylong break. It looks like the 1130 train would put me in Hamburg at about 1615. Find my apartment, eat, explore a little. Just to clarify, I am using Hamburg as a break in travel. I am not under the illusion that I will "see the city" in my short stop.
Day 6- Walk around Hamburg, find some breakfast/lunch. The 1245 train from Hamburg would put me in Amsterdam about 1900. Find my apartment, walk around, get some food, find a bar.
Days 7-8 explore Amsterdam.
Day 9- depart Amsterdam in the afternoon for Brussels. The 1315 train would get me to Brussels a little after 1500. Same deal as before, find my apartment, food, walk around. The shorter travel time means I can spend some time in Amsterdam before I leave, and I have a whole evening in Brussels.
Days 10-11 explore Brussels.
Day 12- Depart Brussels to Paris. The 1430 train would get me to Paris a little after 1600. Find my apartment, eat, walk around.
Days 13-17 explore Paris. I have a longer number of days in Paris, because I would like to do a day trip to do a WW2 Normandy tour.
Day 18- travel back to US.

Does this seem feasible? Enjoyable? I like to move around a lot on vacation, but not feel super rushed, if that makes sense. I didn't list the sites I'll see because each city has plenty.

Does anyone have a different suggestion for a "halfway point" day in a city other than Hamburg? I know that night trains run Copenhagen-Amsterdam, but I'm not interested in being on a train that long or overnight.

My last question is one regarding long layovers. Polish Air has several inexpensive ticket options with long layovers in Warsaw. Is it feasible that I could explore the city and see some cool sites? I know a bus goes directly to the city center, but I'd love to hear from people who have done it!

Thanks for reading the whole way through, and thanks in advance for your excellent advice.
bubblyblue is offline  
Jan 7th, 2014, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,645
If available, I would take an overnight train with couchette between Copenhagen and Amsterdam.
Michael is offline  
Jan 7th, 2014, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,220
Since you are young, well-organized, and like to travel, I assume you will return to Europe. Perhaps seeing a few places well, is better than seeing many poorly. You will lose from 1/2 to a full day moving from city to city. And there much to see outside of these cities they you cannot see from a speeding train.
IMDonehere is offline  
Jan 7th, 2014, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,984
Many folks find Brussels underwhelming - I'd put less time there and more somewhere else - like Bruges, to many the absolute highlight of Belgium - I'd actually suggest basing there and maybe doing a day trip to Brussels - check out the youth hotels in Bruges - some really nice ones and great place to meet other folks your age - better to me than an isolated room in someone's house.

In fact youth hotels (not youth hostels but budget hotels catering to young adults with bars and a convivial atmosphere - Amsterdam has many of these and I'd urge you to stay in them rather than an isolated B&B (though it depends on the person - some want privacy) - but many folks you age stay in the zillions of youth hotels in Amsterdam, Bruges and Brussels.

Anyway if going by train here are some superb IMO sites to help plan the rail part - www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com. For discounted tickets check the German Railways web site - www.bahn.de/en for trains involving Germany - booking far ahead can result in deep discounts but those tickets are non-changeable non-refundable so be sure of your times and dates but you can save a ton of money that way but lose flexibility.
PalenQ is online now  
Jan 7th, 2014, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,984
. I have a longer number of days in Paris, because I would like to do a day trip to do a WW2 Normandy tour.>

Though there are excursions by bus tour from Paris they cost a ton and you can easily do this on your own - take a train from Gare Saint-Lazare station in Paris to Bayeux and hook up with minibus tours (several companies) offering half-day or daylong tours to the highlights of the Jour-J - or D-Day coast - the Colville-s-Mer military cemetery poignantly overlooking the beaches were so many now lying here were slaughtered by German gunners on the ridge -

and leave a few hours to see Bayeux itself, one of the few Cotentin Peninsula towns or even Normandy towns not heavily damaged in WW2 (nearby Caen for example now looks every modern after being rebuilt) - Bayeux is a sweet old regional town with a famous cathedral and a museum with Queen Matilda's Tapestry in it - a mammoth tapestry documenting the Norman Invasion of England in 1066 - the battle near Hastings with the Saxon King Harold's forces (think it were Harold but maybe some other king) and wander around town.

Train fare ain't much and right across from the train station last time I was there was a booking office for mini-bus tours - if not now go to the tourist office in the town center and they will book on spot half-day tours - or book in advance on your own, leaving plenty of time to get there by train.
PalenQ is online now  

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