1st Trip to Europe


Nov 30th, 2016, 04:05 PM
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1st Trip to Europe

It's my first trip to Europe and I'm traveling to Brussels, Belgium - I have a friend in Grad School there. Going to travel in Feb or Mar of next year.

If my trip will be around 12 - 15 days, what should I see there and where should I travel around to?

I would love to include Amsterdam in my trip, however I have no clue on how public transportation operates there.

Any information to the above questions will be helpful!

crazysoccerstarr is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2016, 04:33 PM
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google : 'travel amsterdam brussels' and you this :
Amsterdam-Brussels by train - Thalys.com


Traduire cette pageSee your train timetable from Amsterdam to Brussels at Thalys.com! And book now on the official website.
WoinParis is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2016, 04:49 PM
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We can't really suggest where you should go in the time you have, there are too many possibilities. Are you willing to take a cheap flight to somewhere? Europe has many budget airlines, in no time you can be anywhere, from Lisbon to Prague, from Helsinki to Palermo. Look at www.skyscanner.net and www.whichbudget.com

Trains are plentyful and fast - start by checking out the train specialist's website at www.seat61.com

As WoinParis suggests, Amsterdam is very possible from Brussels. And so is Paris - I cannot imagine NOT wanting to go to Paris - just ask your friend in Brussels about his experiences, he probably has become a fan of Paris by now, or will become one if you both go there.
michelhuebeli is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2016, 05:28 PM
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Why don't you get some guidebooks from the library and read up on the possibilities. I see you're a soccer fan. You could go to a game or two and visit famous stadiums. Manchester has a soccer museum. You can fly between European cities on cheap airlines. Look at skyscanner.com for flights out of Brussels.
Mimar is online now  
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Nov 30th, 2016, 05:59 PM
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Can you hold off on your trip just a few weeks and hopefully have nicer weather? Feb and March are just about the least enjoyable time to go, weatherwise.

Trains are comfortable, easy, fairly cheap and go city center to city center most of the time.

There are also low cost airlines between major cities.

For what to see or where to go. What historical site, place or city have you studied or read about that sparked your interest or excitement? Start with that.

Pick up some Best of Europe (or Italy, England, Spain, etc.) guide books. Watch some videos on the travel channels.
Sassafrass is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2016, 07:42 PM
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Paris and Amsterdam are both very easy by train, as pointed out above. Western Europe has an amazing train system compared to the US - I love trains, and it's always a treat to ride the trains when I go to Europe.

But you don't have to limit yourself to just those huge cities. You might pick one or the other and also see some more of Belgium. The most obvious tourist highlights are Bruges (also spelled Brugge - Belgium is bilingual), Ghent, and Antwerp. There are plenty of other towns, easily reached by Belgium's efficient train system. I enjoyed the town of Leuven, which is close to Brussels, maybe a 25 minute train ride away. You could do all of these as long day trips from Brussels, though a night might make things easier especially in Bruges, which is very touristy and less busy with tourists at night.

Amsterdam and Paris are really too big to try to see as day trips - though you could sure cram a lot of highlights into a day trip if you wanted to (Eiffel tower and a few museums in Paris). It might be easier to fly into Brussels and out of one those cities (get your bearings in Brussels, then go on your own near the end for a few nights in one of the big cities then fly out of there). You can often book your plane ticket as an "open jaw" ticket into one city and out of another for about the same price as a round trip ticket. That would save you the time and hassle (and money) of backtracking to Brussels at the end. Amsterdam is a tad easier (smaller) to navigate than Paris in my opinion, though I prefer Paris, which is in my view a more beautiful city.
Andrew is online now  
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Nov 30th, 2016, 08:18 PM
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1st Trip to Europe
Posted by: crazysoccerstarr on Nov 30, 16 at 7:05pm
I would love to include Amsterdam in my trip, however I have no clue on how public transportation operates there.

Amsterdam is an excellent choice. So is Paris. Take a train to either one. For an illustrated introduction to the trains in Europe see http://www.enjoy-europe.com/hte/chap17/rail.htm
spaarne is offline  
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Dec 1st, 2016, 12:42 AM
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As Belgium has a lot to offer outside Brussel, the attractions in the Netherlands are not limited to Amsterdam. Look at www.holland.com/global/tourism/destinations.htm for some suggestions.
In both countries the train services are excellent. Use www.belgianrail.be/en/Default.aspx for schedules and prices in Belgium and www.ns.nl/en/journeyplanner/#/ for the Netherlands.
Tickets for the Thalys can come with a huge discount when bought well in advance.
tonfromleiden is offline  
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Dec 1st, 2016, 12:50 AM
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Belgium is Tri-lingual (or are you ignoring the German speakers)
bilboburgler is offline  
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Dec 1st, 2016, 03:17 AM
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Wir sprechen Deutsch in Eupen unz.
We spreken Vlaams in het noorden.
Nous parlons le français dans le sud.
But no prob, we also speak English.
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