amsterdam, paris and london -- help!

Apr 18th, 2012, 03:48 PM
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amsterdam, paris and london -- help!

My fiancé and I will be taking our first trip to Europe from July 19th until Aug 6th (19th/20th travel days) (Aug 6th return travel day) Flying into Amsterdam arriving at 9pm on July 20th I am thinking the Saturday and Sunday in Amsterdam (2 days/3 nights) as the two major things I want to see are the van Gogh museum and the Anne Frank House and they are both open on the weekends. I am also thinking a maximum time in London of 4 nights as the city seems to be extremely expensive. This leaves 10 days for Paris which I am thinking may be slightly excessive. Is there anywhere that you would recommend or is 10 days fine in Paris? Any help at all is greatly appreciated as I am feeling slightly overwhelmed with the planning of this trip.
hvanider is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 03:50 PM
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I forgot to mention that we can fly out of any city, but must fly into Amsterdam.
hvanider is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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If you like museums, history and gardens, London can take weeks.
Moreover, there are wonderful day trips or short over night trips from London such as Kew Gardens, Bath, Stratford on Avon, Brighton, Stonehenge etc.

10 days in Paris is actually fine and you can take some wonderful days trips from Paris. The speedy European trains can take you to the mountains and lakes of Annecy and Geneva, Normandy or Provence to name a few for a an overnight.
There are many wonderful day trips from Paris such as Giverney, Rouen, Versailles, Fontaine Bleu. Go wild on trip advisor and google images...see what interests you!
hellokittie is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 04:01 PM
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Why dont you go to Bruges by train after Paris and fly back from Belgium? Its supposed to be very romantic!
hellokittie is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 04:04 PM
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You do know that the Olympics are in London this summer which will contribute to the high prices.
hellokittie is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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The problem is that when you first arrive, jet lag can make things a blur, and day-to-day events can seem hard and intense. So maybe spend up to 4 nights in Amsterdam (July 20th-24th; depart the 25th). You did not say how you would travel to London, but how about spending two nights in Antwerp (July 25th/26th; depart the 27th - - you could even daytrip to Brussels, Bruges, or Ghent) before combining train/chunnel to London (July 27th-29th; depart on the chunnel to Paris the 30th). That would leave you five full days in Paris (arriving later the 30th, leaving on the 6th), and if Paris doesn't totally captivate you, you could take side-trips to Versaille, Beaune, or the coast. This is just a sample itinerary - - you can mix and match with your wonderful time window - - but it is sometimes really restorative and inspiring to mix 'smaller' and sidelight destinations with exhausting big cities. Especially that it is possible to go to a big city, and find that you are really citied-out, or even don't like the place - - while alternatives can be little gems.
dfourh is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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You are really giving London short shrift. Even if the hotel - or you may consider an apt - is somewhat more - there is a massive amount to see and do. And while I love Paris there is no way I would spend 10 days there versus 3 in London - I would splut evently and do a day trip from each.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 20th, 2012, 06:32 AM
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Thank-you for your responses.
Looking at the prices of London (just happens to be the time of the Olympics) we may not go to London until our next trip. Any suggestions? I have not bought my flight into Europe yet either, but I was thinking Amsterdam first as my Fiancé will be at Nijmegen when I arrive.
hvanider is offline  
Apr 20th, 2012, 06:43 AM
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Skipping London this time around might actually be a decent idea. I would spend at least 4 days in Amsterdam, add Antwerp and Ghent and Bruges and Brussels into the mix, and the rest in Paris, with maybe a day trip or two. All of those places will be less expensive than London, and it's a nice mix of big and small cities. I am assuming you are not planning to drive.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 20th, 2012, 06:51 AM
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Amsterdam is a wonderful place to visit. Don't overlook it.

This is TMI, but am pasting my trip report:
"Final stop: Amsterdam. Five nights’ stay, first visit for all of us.

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Amsterdam! You always hear of the Red Light district and the coffee shops and the laissez-faire attitude, but you don’t hear how open and friendly the people are, how lovely the canals and side streets, how wonderfully trendy the restaurants and cafes, how people are out strolling at all hours of the night and you feel safe everywhere. I think I’d expected it to be quaint and charming (which it is), but in a dark wood-paneled cliché way, not in the young and contemporary way it is.

The standard reply we were given in Amsterdam, when we asked for anything, was always “Of course!” How refreshing.

We stayed in a fabulous location, at The Hotel Residence le Coin, which was directly across a small street from the Hotel de l’Europe, down the street from the Hotel Doelan, on Nieuwe Doelenstraat (sp?). A great neighborhood in the heart of old Amsterdam.

The hotel has a lift and A/C, also free use of the hotel’s washing machine and clothes dryer in the basement (which was welcome as we’d been traveling over a week when we arrived there). Each room has a little kitchenette, a nice-sized bath, large rooms with wooden floors and a sitting area. It’s fairly new, so everything sparkles. Very friendly front desk, too.

Two cafes on the same block as the hotel were wonderful: Café Katoen for a university atmosphere, and Café le Jarden, for great table seating on the canal.

Amazing dinners at two restaurants in particular:
“Stout!”, at Haarlemmerstraat 73 ( Fabulous ‘foamy asparagus’ soup with shrimp, chateaubriande, fresh fish, dessert course, wine list. Very trendy lighting. Great service. We’d gone to the neighborhood in search of a restaurant called “Lof” which we’d seen written up. We didn’t like its atmosphere, but were lucky that Stout! was just across the street.

Also at “Restaurant Dining Eleven” we had a great dinner. It’s at Reestraat 11. Also trendy and contempory, well-presented and beautifully-served meal.

Another nice dinner at “frenzi”, at Swanenburgwal 232. Very simple and contemporary. We arrived shortly after 10:00p.m., when most restaurants close in Amsterdam, and persuaded the owner to sell us any left-overs they had in the kitchen! They put together a nice Caesar salad with cooked-in-the-shell shrimp and mango. Very nice.

Also a good brunch at a place across the street from frenzi—called “Puccini”. Creative salads and sandwiches. Very nice also.

We took a canal cruise one evening. Toured the Anne Frank Huis and the Van Gogh Museum. Visited the Nieuwe Kerk (sp?) Our teens went to a concert at the Paradiso and loved it.

One afternoon we did the 2:30 “Best of Holland” excursion to Volendam and Marken, with a stop to see wooden clogs made, Gouda cheese created, and to visit windmills. It was by bus, with a boat from Volendam to Marken. A lot of fun. Even our two teens liked it.

Our teens also liked shopping at one street in particular, between our hotel and the museum district. Also a Zara shop there, and many others like it. They thought the selection and prices were better in Amsterdam than what they’d seen in London and Paris even.

A detail about Amsterdam if you go there-- carry enough Euros in cash, because many places won't accept a credit card for a 'small' purchase (i.e. under 25 EU).

The only unpleasantness we encountered in Amsterdam related to cab rides and inconsistent pricing. Especially when our two teens were grossly overcharged cabbing to the hotel from the concert. They were well aware of the route, having walked it already twice, but we'd wanted them to cab home late at night. They knew the cabbie took a very round-about way back in order to over-charge. Also, when we arrived at the taxi sand at Central Station, I was literally swarmed by rather aggressive cabbies and felt uncomfortably jostled by them all."
PeaceOut is offline  
Apr 20th, 2012, 01:46 PM
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Thank-you for your input. We have decided to do Italy and Greece instead. We will be doing Amsterdam, Paris and London next year for our honeymoon
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