Amsterdam, London, Paris, Brussels -July

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Sep 13th, 2007, 04:18 PM
  #1
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Amsterdam, London, Paris, Brussels -July

Just put some FF tix on hold for the 4 of us; this time we're taking the kids (ages 7 and 9). Please help with the itinerary and names of good hotels to stay.

The order of the trip is due to availability of FF tix. Tried multiple combinations and finally found something that works. Flying into Amsterdam, then into London. From here plan to take the chunnel to Paris, and rail to Brussels (Brugge) and then back home. The time allotted is approx 3-4 days per city and I think that works for us. For London, we have family so we will be staying with them.

Some basic questions: What kind of rail pass should I look into?

Is Lon to Paris in the same pass?

From Paris, how long does it take to Brussels? And should I stay in Brugge instead? From what I've read, I'd rather sightsee Brussels for a bit and then go to Brugge.

Please also help with some quad hotels that are reasonable in price and close to train/bus stations.

The major things I have down is:

Amsterdam: canal ride, Anne Frank house, Windmills in Zaanse Schans

London: hop on hop off bus tour, other things...I am sure our family will let us know here as well.

Paris: with the kids, only really want to accomplish Eiffel tower, maybe part of the Louvre (Mona Lisa), carrousel area and a Seine boat ride.

Brussels/Brugge??

Thanks again for all your input. Because of Fodors, our last trips have been absolutely perfect!
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Sep 13th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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there really isn't a rail pass that would save you money on those few trips.

You didn't ask but - IMHO both London and Paris require more than 3 or 4 days to even scratch the surface. Especially if you are staying w/ family in London unless they live right in the center of the city. If they are on the outskirts of Greater London you will spend a lot of your sightseeing time just traveling back and forth.

I'd personally do something like 5 days in London, 5 days in Paris, and 2 or 3 days in A'dam and Brussels/Brugge.
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Sep 13th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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Thanks. I know time is short but I didn't want to make the trip longer than it already is. We can shorten some place as you suggest and try to add on to London. Just wanted to see only the top sights and then go back another time to spend more time in each city.

Please do still let me know of recommended sites or hotels.

Thanks.
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Sep 13th, 2007, 05:41 PM
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to give you better advice - what part of town do your London relations live?
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Sep 13th, 2007, 06:05 PM
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I will have to find out to be exact, but I know one cousin lives 10 minutes from the airport and another approx 20 minutes away.
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Sep 13th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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which airport - there are several. Before you make big plans re London the first thing you need to find out is where you will be staying.
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Sep 14th, 2007, 04:34 AM
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Near LHR. Yes, good idea. Will find out and post.
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Sep 14th, 2007, 06:32 AM
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Another question, should we stay in Brussels or Brugge with the kids?We will be coming from Paris. If we stay in Brussels for 2 or 3 nights, then we can go to Brugge as a day trip and leave one day for Brussels.

The other option is to go from Paris to Brugge-Is there direct train service? Stay in Brugge for 2-3 nights and see Brussels full day before taking the ride to London. My departing flight out of London is at 8:30 pm. Please advise.
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Sep 19th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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I found out they live close to LHR, to the west of central London.

Please help with the itinerary as I need to book the flights.
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Sep 19th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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For your kids I would definitely skip Brussels. Antwerp is better. Then go to the Hague. Visit charming Madurodam. Spend a day at Duinrell Water amusement park for water slides and so much stuff you and your kids will not want to leave.

I can't see a rail pass in your itinerary. Buy tickets. Chunnel to Paris and train to Brussels/Brugge/Antwerp are premium trains. They require reservations and fare supplements.

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Sep 19th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Thanks. What about Brugges. From what I've read, it sounds so beautiful. Where should I spend the night between Amsterdam and Paris?

Also can I see the windmills at Zaanse Schans and Madouram the same day? Don't know how far apart hey are.

Thanks.
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Sep 20th, 2007, 01:59 AM
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No you can't do Madurodam and Zaanse Schans in one day. Even by car you would be pushing it, by public transport it just isn't doable.
If you decide to stay in the Hague instead of Amsterdam then visit Panorama Mesdag too. You could also visit the Kinderdijk windmills from there - but again not on the same day as Madurodam.
Also consider the Delta works.
If you base yourselves in Amsterdam there is perhaps less of interest to the kids - the zoo and Nemo maybe, but you can get to Zaanse Schans, either by public transport or take a tour. If you are going to Anne Frankhuis book the tickets online to avoid the queues.
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Sep 20th, 2007, 03:02 AM
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I think the kids would enjoy Brugge more than Brussels; much smaller, prettier. Brussels has its charms but is more difficult to get to know, especially with children in tow.
And from Brugge, you could add a daytrip to the beach at Knokke; kids age 7 and 9 would certainly enjoy that, and it's only 15 mins by train.
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Sep 20th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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Thanks. So should I do Madouram one day and then Zaanse Schans another day? Does this seem feasible:

Amsterdam-day to relax and see Anne Frank House, canal ride
Next day: Madouram day trip
Next day: Windmills day trip (can spend another night in Amst or train to Brugge)
Brugge day
Train to Paris
Paris-Eiffel tower
Paris-Versaille day trip
Paris-
Paris
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Sep 21st, 2007, 12:59 PM
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You're only spending one day in Amsterdam. If you're coming from the US, with children, I would only do one daytrip; either Madurodam or the windmills, and spend two days in Amsterdam. Too much traveling otherwise.
Spend a night in Brugge; it's very very busy during the day in summer. If you have a hotel there, you'll enjoy it more, and it will be less crowded in the evening after daytrippers leave.
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Sep 21st, 2007, 01:42 PM
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If you are based in Amsterdam drop Madurodam and do the windmills plus a bit more in the city itself. Don't forget to figure jet lag into your planning west to east is far worse than east to west and your kids could find it tough.
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Sep 22nd, 2007, 09:22 AM
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Thank for your replies. I already booked the trip so I am all set. I had to move it to the beginning of August.

We are first flying Newark to Barcelona. We'll be there several days before flying into Amsterdam so hopefully we'll be over jetlag.

So for Amsterdam, you are suggesting we skip Madurodam and just stick to the windmills, correct?

Thanks.
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Sep 22nd, 2007, 09:45 AM
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Hi P6,

> Flying into Amsterdam, then into London. From here plan to take the chunnel to Paris, and rail to Brussels (Brugge) and then back home. The time allotted is approx 3-4 days per city and I think that works for us.

I respectfully urge you to rethink your timing, especially with 2 kids.

You will lose at least 1/2 day each time you change venues: that's 1.5 days just traveling.

Amsterdam and Brussels are nice, but don't need as much time as London and Paris.

I would plan no more than two nights each for A and B.

1. You might not need a railpass at all. See www.whichbudget.com for discoount airlines to London.

1a. See www.eurostar.com (click UK or France for home country) for discount trains. Often, 1-day RT is cheaper than one-way.

2. I think that you get a discount for the eurostar, but it's not free.

3. See www.voyages-sncf.fr for schedules and prices. You can often get PREMS discount fares, expecially if you go to Brugge via Lille-France.

4. What's your hotel budget? Is a triple room with an extra bed acceptable? Can the kids sleep in the same bed? You might need only a twin double.

5. >Paris: with the kids, only really want to accomplish Eiffel tower, maybe part of the Louvre (Mona Lisa), carrousel area and a Seine boat ride.<

Well, that's a bit rushed for one day, but doable.

YOu might want to look up Paris under "destinations", and also read
Paris Superthread
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34519236

100 Great Things to Do in Paris
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...=2&tid=1277898

Degasís Paris Walks
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34712768

We liked Brugge for a day. Some have spent a couple of nights. I think that the kids will like it.

>My departing flight out of London is at 8:30 pm.

I would make Brugge a daytrip from Paris, no more. Add the time to L or P.

Sorry, can't help with Amsterdam.







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Sep 22nd, 2007, 10:10 AM
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Brussels is mostly a business town, but nice. People rave about Brugge because it's clean and unique (we go next month). recommend 1 day each.
http://portail.irisnet.be/en/tourismeloisirs.shtml

We stay at Sheraton Rogier in Brussels, across street from Rogier Metro stop, although Eurostar arrives at Midi station (several stops south).

I have found this site helpful, with metro maps, etc.
http://www.eurorailways.com/products/
premier_trains/eurostar/london_to_paris.htm

We have ridden the Chunnel first class and second class -- second class is very satisfactory. Both require a reservation.

Can't help with Amsterdam, but have been told multiple times to be out before dark (nitelife not quiet or safe).

London and Paris are fabulous!
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Sep 22nd, 2007, 10:42 AM
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Thanks for all the great advice as usual. I can still change the itinerary around so how is this:

Amsterdam for 3 days
Train to Brugge-overnight
Train to Paris - 4 days
chunnel to London-4 days

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