Amsterdam, Paris and then where?

Jun 18th, 2003, 06:07 PM
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Amsterdam, Paris and then where?

I am taking a life long friend who is going blind to europe as a gift. The goal was to fly into Paris, but with the strikes and cheaper airfare to Amsterdam, we will hopefully take the train to Paris. Need help on itinerary in Amsterdam for 2 days. We will spend 5 days in Paris and then will have 2 days for either Germany or Belgium. I thought about Brugge over Brussels or maybe Rotterdam and Delft. My friend has never been outside of the US. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. Clea
Clea is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 06:24 PM
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That's very sweet, Clea.

I haven't been to Amsterdam, so don't know if 2 days is adequate. But, given the choice, I would add those two days to Paris. If you (or friend) haven't been before, you can easily spend 7 days in Paris and wish you had more.

I wouldn't relish all that packing/unpacking and travelling for just a two-day leg of the journey.
JeanneB is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 08:45 PM
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My suggestion would be 3 or 4 days in Amsterdam and 5 or 6 days Paris. Realize going between the two places via train, you'll lose most of 1 day in transit anyway.

That's plenty for a nice itinerary with only a 9 day trip (IMO).

Where do you fly out of? Will you need to return to Amsterdam?
suze is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 11:33 PM
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Rotterdam and Delft are certainly different from Amsterdam or Paris; where you should go depends on what you want to do and much can your friend see now? Are you aiming for architecture, art museums, great food, or general sights, sounds and tastes?
Rotterdam has a great boat tour (Spido)of the world's biggest harbor. It also has some very interesting modern architecture, a few great art & architecture museums, some quaint small harbors with boats & outdoor cafes, and the Pilgrim church and some connections with US history. It's not charming, though, having been nearly flattened by bombing in WWII. Delft IS charming, with a near-intact historical center perfect for walking or biking and inhaling old-world charm. There are a few museums but its biggest draw is its lovely old center with small canals, renovated canal houses, churches, and some lovely squares with terraces trees. Since Rotterdam and Delft are only 12 minutes apart by train, you could stay in Delft (calmer, safer and nearly impossible to get lost) and take the train to visit Rotterdam. Let me know if you want more information about Delft.
If food is very important I have to admit that you can generally eat better in Belgium, though there are plenty of decent- even excellent - restaurants in Delft.
jenviolin is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 11:00 AM
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Clea, I would divide my time between Paris and Amsterdam. You will have plenty to see and do in both of those places and still not get enough.

Just an opinion, but Delft, Rotterdam and Brussels don't offer very much. Now Brugges and Germany do, but I suggest taking in as much as you can of the two main cities on your itinerary.

Amsterdam has some great museums to start with. The canal tour, although 'touristy', is really a great way to see the city. The Amsterdam 'Eyewitness Guide' has some worthwhile suggested walking tours along many canals and although I really didn't see myself doing it initially, a visit to the Anne Frank house is very recommended. Visit the Leidesplein, the Rembrantplein, Centraal Station, Dam Square, the Old and New Churches, the flower market, etc., etc.

Bring comfortable shoes and your imagination.

Best of luck.
leesimmons is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 11:24 AM
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I'd vote for Brugge. It's an easy detour and a quiet interlude between two busy cities.
Cluny is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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I'd vote for Gouda a charming town about 20 mins on the train from Rotterdam
SaraL is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 11:32 AM
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My vote goes to spending time between Amsterdam and Paris. There's plenty to do in Amsterdam, and if you want to get out of the city for a day, there are plenty of day trips such as visits to Volendam and Marken, or Aalsmeer (I'm sure that's spelled wrong).

Brugge is charming, but unless you want to add several days to the trip, I suggest you limit your stay to two cities.
luvtotravel is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 01:16 PM
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Hi Clea,

What a nice present.

For your 9 days, I suggest

Arr Amsterdam: 3 days
1/2 day in transit to Paris - 5 days
1/2 day in transit to Amst
stay overnight before leaving for home.
ira is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 04:04 PM
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Thanks for all the advice. I think we will take everyones suggestions and limit our visit to Amsterdam and Paris, with a one day to Volendam. The suggestions on what to see will be a great help. I would like my friend to get a little bit of everything, museums, cafes, and just walking around.
Clea is offline  
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