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Petite374 Feb 1st, 2006 06:44 PM

8 Days - Paris, Amsterdam, London?
We have a eight day trip excluding travel days - and are trying to get the most out of our first trip to Europe - Is it reasonable to see three cities in eight days? This is our suggestion:

Paris - 3 days
Amsterdam - 2 days
London - 3 days

We arrive Paris on Saturday 4/1 at 9:40am and depart Paris on Sunday 4/8 at 8:25am.
Any Suggestions?

We are looking at Eurail passes but UK doesn't seem to be part of the Europass system so it seems like we'll have to buy single tickets to go Paris - Amsterdam via Eurail and then purchase Amsterdam - London, and finally use Eurostar to go London to Paris via the Chunnel. Does this seem best?

jules4je7 Feb 1st, 2006 07:05 PM

3 cities in 8 days is a bit overdoing it, I think, and you'll find yourself just learning how to find the best cafe before having to move on.

You may have 8 days on the ground there, but you're going to lose a half day minimum going to Amsterdam, another half day getting to London, and another half day getting back to Paris.

So now you're down to 6.5 days to see 3 MAJOR cities. I'd just pick one, maybe two now while you can change your plans and do that...

My best advice is to stay in Paris for 4 days, go to Amsterdam OR London for 2, then back to Paris, since you're already stuck with the tickets, I presume.

If you DON'T have your tickets yet, you'll want to fly in one city and out the other. This saves time and money of an extra train ride, time that could be spent seeing these beautiful cities.

We just flew into London in September, took the Eurostar to Paris (We bought $98 US Round trip Leisure Fare 2nd class tickets WAY in advance) and then just didn't return (it was cheaper than the $150 one way ticket). We then flew home from Paris.

We had 9 days really -- in on Friday morning to London, spent the weekend there, then Sunday morning went to Paris and spent the whole week there.

I can't imagine trying to pull up stakes and trying to move again in that short time.

You'll get plenty of advice here...I'm sure some will tell you to just stay put for a week, but I understand wanting to see a couple of cities, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Just travel knowing you'll go back!

Happy travels.


mjs Feb 1st, 2006 07:47 PM

I think Jules says it perfectly for me.

jsmith Feb 1st, 2006 08:01 PM

The first time we went to Amsterdam it was part of a 9 day London, Paris, Amsterdam vacation. We had been to London and Paris before but it was the first to Amsterdan for both of us. My wife had lived in both London and Paris for extended periods. We flew into London and out of Amsterdam with train in and out of Paris so we didn't have to backtrack.

It was a very enjoyable trip for us and I see no reason why it couldn't be for you.

h2babe Feb 1st, 2006 08:09 PM

I took the same exact trip like you 2 yrs ago and wished that I would have had more time in each city. It was do-able, but I was TIRED!!! I only slept about 4-5 hrs almost the entire trip because there were just way too many things that I wanted to see and not enough hours in the day. When I came home, I slept for probably 12 hrs straight. Phew.

janisj Feb 1st, 2006 08:24 PM

jules4je7 has about spelled out the main issues.

first of all it is only 7 days -- You can't count Apr 8 as a day since you will have to be at the airport by about 6 a.m.

Then start subtracting -

Day 1 may seem like a full day - but it isn't. by the time you travel into Paris and check in it will be after noon. Plus you will likely be pretty jet lagged so you will need to take it easy.

Then losing nearly 1/2 a day for each city change/new hotel - so another 1.5 days pretty much down the tubes.

So your "8 days" really converts to about 5 full days for sightseeing.

Do just Paris, OR just London, OR 3+ days London and 3+ days Paris, OR 5 days in Paris and a couple of days in A'dam.

And no matter what you choose, a Eurail pass won't be the best choice. Too little travel to make it pay.

SAnParis Feb 2nd, 2006 07:01 AM

I'd just stay in Paris, if you feel the need to wander go to Versailles, St. Germain-en-Laye or Giverny for a day...

suze Feb 2nd, 2006 08:01 AM

I would stay in Paris. Or maybe go to Amsterdam OR London but definetly not both. There're only so many hours in a day!

I won't rehash it because it is well said already above... but checking in and out of hotels, going to and from train stations or airports, all takes time that IMO is better spent sight seeing and enjoying one city.

Even if you go these 3 places you definitely do not need a Eurail pass!

Petite374 Feb 2nd, 2006 04:03 PM

Thanks so much for all your responses! They were helpful indeed and actually motivated us to extend the back end of our trip through April 14th giving us 13 "full" days instead of 8...and we definitely won't be getting a Eurail pass!

hipvirgochick Feb 2nd, 2006 04:49 PM

Glad to hear you have more time :) I was going to suggest all your time in Paris as well, although I haven't been to Amsterdam so I'm bias. We took the Chunnell (like Jules) for about $89 which is the fare they give you expecting you to return the same day. With your new days I suggest 6 in Paris, 3 in London, 3 in Amsterdam and the "extra" full day wherever it makes most senst to balance the travel time from point to point...Happy travels!

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