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isabel01 Jun 22nd, 2011 07:58 PM

Amsterdam or Paris? Traveling with teens.
Family of 4(2 teens) will be in London for 12 days. Already have plans for the Festival of Speed and day trips to Stonehenge/Bath and Oxford/Warwick. Are debating whether to spend 2-3 days in Paris or Amsterdam. The teens haven't been in either.

mjs Jun 22nd, 2011 10:29 PM


jamikins Jun 22nd, 2011 10:44 PM

I would ask them! 2-3 days is the perfect amount of time in Amsterdam, but you would also have a fab time in Paris. Paris is easier to get to - take the eurostar (book 3 months in advance to get the cheapest tickets) Have the kids look at some guide books and decide! You cant go wrong really!

madamtrashheap Jun 22nd, 2011 10:45 PM

Hard to suggest without knowing age of teens and general interests of family as a whole. However, based on the activities you've listed for London/UK, perhaps Paris for 3 days this time round.

DonTopaz Jun 23rd, 2011 02:53 AM

Both places are of course terrific, but sfter London, I'd choose Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is on a much more human and manageable scale than either London or Paris. The central city area is compact and full of interesting areas, canal-lined streets, and a great atmosphere.

Without knowing the teens, it's possible that they'd also be interested/moved by the Anne Frank House in AMS.

bardo1 Jun 23rd, 2011 04:24 AM

I agree - both are great. However, with only two or three nights, Amsterdam is a better choice this time. Paris deserves and needs a longer (5-7 nights) stay.

Byrd Jun 23rd, 2011 04:32 AM


qwovadis Jun 23rd, 2011 04:36 AM

Better vibe cute little hotels

In the Latin quarter by the Sorbonne oldest best

University in the world give them somethin to shoot for

Keep them out of the coffee houses in amsterdam.

mamcalice Jun 23rd, 2011 04:42 AM

Paris! No contest.

pauljagman Jun 23rd, 2011 05:20 AM

It depends on if they are ever going to go back. 2 or 3 days might be enough for Amsterdam but would be a quick walk thru Paris. I would go back for a week to Paris, it's a much large metropolis. Amsterdam is smaller and more manageable.

Of course if they are teens you might want to avoid the 'coffee' houses and red light district.

Are they mature enough to help you make that decision?

denisea Jun 23rd, 2011 05:46 AM

I agree with the Eurostar to Paris. You will only scratch the surface, but I think Paris is the better option.

hetismij Jun 23rd, 2011 05:57 AM

Why not ask your teens? I'm sure they have a preference.

isabel01 Jun 23rd, 2011 09:10 AM

Thanks for all the great input, but Im also leaning towards Paris. I know we're just scratching the surface but my daughter(16) took 2 years of french and loves art, so it should be interesting. Was also thinking on doing the Seine cruise at night, my husband and I did it over 10 years ago during the day and by the comments I've read it sounds incredible at night. Any hotel recommendations. I know it will be tough since its so late. We'll be there on @July 6.

The teens are 16 & 17 boy and girl.

nytraveler Jun 23rd, 2011 09:35 AM

They are ceratinly old enought that you can ask them. Also you should assign them to do the research and plan the sightseeing in whichever you decide on. I would assume they would want to do some things without you - and give the adults a break.

We found that worked really well when ours were 17 and 14 - they could shop or revisit a museum of whatever while we visited galleries they were not esp intersted in.

Just make sure they have a carnet and a map and let them explore their Paris.

november_moon Jun 23rd, 2011 10:24 AM

I think that because your daughter studied French, then Paris is the logical choice. It is always fun to visit places where you have experience with the language - to experience that language in action really helps cement the language in the brain.

Otherwise, I think that I may have recommended Amsterdam. I liked what DonTopaz said about Amsterdam being a human-scale city and a good contrast London.

You won't go wrong with either choice though.

oakglen Jun 24th, 2011 10:16 AM

Having worked in both cities, other than the availability of certain substances and services in Amsterdam, it can't compare to Paris.

menachem Jun 26th, 2011 10:07 AM

Paris. Easier to get there too. Don't worry about only scratching the surface. I don't know what is deep paris anyway. But perhaps a little planning is in order to prevent you all from running around the city too much during those days. At least allow yourselves a leisurely lunch and go to the park to do nothing. Just being in Paris and watching people, going to the supermarket, sitting around in the evening somewhere can be enough in itself. Do realize that during july and august Paris is also an excellent beach destination with Paris Plages going on: this year bigger than ever!!!

kerouac Jun 26th, 2011 11:48 AM

If you let them loose without surveillance, they will prefer Amsterdam. If you are going to be watching them, Paris is better.

KTtravel Jun 26th, 2011 04:40 PM


KTtravel Jun 26th, 2011 04:43 PM

What is your hotel budget?

Here are two great threads:

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