Amsterdam-Paris-London triangle

Nov 14th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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Amsterdam-Paris-London triangle

Ok, assuming I have settled on a Paris - Amsterdam- London 2 week trip from Jan 9-23...

*Any particular order I should see these cities in? (I am flying into one city and leaving from another)

*Is Train the best way to get from one city to the next?

*Any hostel recc's for each city? I have read a lot of reveiws online, but would love to base my reservation on someones recc who has been there.

Who can I call regarding figuring out the "train pass" situation? The whole Eurail thing confuses me - I don't want to buy a pass that I won't get my money's worth out of...and also don't wish to get stuck somewhere b/c I do not "get it".

Thank you for your help
Marzipan is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 12:25 PM
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1. To save on travel time and travel expense, you should do either London-Paris-Amsterdam or Amsterdam-Paris-London.

2. Yes, take the train.

3. Can't help you there.

For a trip like your where you only need to ride the train twice, a railpass won't make sense.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 06:38 AM
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Thank you! I suspected I might not really get my money's worth out of a rail pass....but I wanted to be certain.
Marzipan is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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Our first trip to Europe was similar, except we did a London-Brussels-Paris itinerary with a long daytrip to Amsterdam.

If you have never been to Europe, I would start in London and end in Paris. The language barrier will be non-existent in the UK, minimal in Amsterdam, and unpredictable in Paris. By delaying the French part of your trip, you will have become familiar with other aspects of European travel (train schedules, etc.) and any language difficulties encountered might not be as frustrating.

Since your focus is on major cities, train travel is the only reasonable alternative.
smueller is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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Hi M,

You have answers on your other post.

To find it, click on your name.

ira is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 07:58 AM
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Who can you call? BETS European Rail Hotline answers all such questions with expert staffers - 800-441-2387 - ask for their free European Planning & Rail Guide that answers many train questions and has a wealth of info on lots of things. But i don't think there's any railpass you would want for your triangle. But you should ask about eurostar fares (London-Brussels or London-Paris - can be as low as $90 round trip but these have to be reserved far in advance as they are in limited supply - you could pay much more just by showing up. You can also ask about special fares on Thalys trains linking Amsterdam and Paris - like the bargain Smilys fare. anyway you asked who to call and BETS is the best i've dealth with.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 10:58 AM
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To PalenqueBob, thank you for suggesting I call BETS. Byron was VERY knowledgeable and helpful.

So... things are coming together and I really, REALLY appreciate everyone's help with the planning of this.

Remaining questions:

I appears that it will cost me around $200 total in rail travel to get around. I was advised in earlier replies to fly into either London or Amsterdam and take the rail to Paris from either city, then fly out of the remaining city.

Someone also suggested a $50 flight to Amsterdam from London, then rail it back to Paris to fly home [of course, then I don't get to use the Eurostar].

Since all three airports are major ones and cost me the same to fly into or out of...I wonder which order I will choose?

Tentatively I am thinking I'll fly into London, then take the Eurostar for about $120 to Paris, then take the train to Amsterdam for about $100 (?) and fly home from there.

Does anyone see any trouble with this plan? Am I missing anything?

The cheap flight to Amsterdam from London makes me anxious/nervous b/c it is so cheap and I wonder if I'll get confused at the airport of something.

Marzipan is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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Amsterdam to London is very easy by plane, with either BMI or EasyJet. Don't worry at all about that.

Look at the site to get hostel recommendations. These are what I recall from budget forums, although I haven't stayed at these:

Piccadilly Hotel hostel in London - extremely central location, reasonable prices, and towels are available.

La Maison hostel in Paris - location in the 15th is not super-central, but it's near a grocery store and metro and it's a better quality than most in Paris. Otherwise there are several, very central BVJ hostels that sound reasonable.

StayOkay Vondelpark in Amsterdam - clean, no-smoking hostel with very good facilities overlooking a lovely park, with a pretty good location. Go to and see if you can get a special offer (I found a one-free-night offer for this place a few months ago, although I didn't stay there.)
WillTravel is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 11:51 AM
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A plus to train travel is that you'll see the countryside in between - rural Kent in England then Flanders in northern France as you ride one of the world's fastest trains - going up to 186 mph in France. Then the Paris to Amsterdam Thalys you see the flat lowlands - planes are quicker but don't you really want to see the countryside in between - modern comfortable trains are not nearly the hassle of crammed airplanes to me! Go for the train.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 12:03 PM
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Again, it's best to put Paris in the middle and then use the train.

London-Paris: direct Eurostar. Fast, convenient, and you get to go through the Channel Tunnel.

Paris-Amsterdam: not much to see, but not very long on the direct Thalys.

You don't duplicate much at all.

If you put London in the middle, you need to cross the Channel twice. If you want to do this, train Paris-London and then fly London-Amsterdam.

Worst is to put Amsterdam in the middle. If you do train both trips, it's a long one from Amsterdam-London with a change in Brussels, and you duplicate a significant portion. If you fly between Amsterdam and London, you miss out on going through the Channel Tunnel, and your only train trip Paris-Amsterdam is more boring.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 16th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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Paris-Amsterdamned is more boring but to the first time traveler there are lots of neat things to see:
1- northern France, with the ubiquitous French villages dotting the landscape, each punctuated by a soaring church steeple
2- the train tracks along the Canal d'l'Ourq for many miles - you can see the peniches (barges) on the canal and tied up in bunches at places
3-Brussels - not much of a view here but just after leaving the Gare du Nord, on the right side you move right above one of Europe's classic redlight districts - the scantily clad girls behind picture windows can be seen clearly from the train.
4-antwerp - though Thalys skirts the town you see the forest of church steeples and the port in the distance
5-Holland - you see the thousands of bikers on their Dutch tanks cycling on bike paths along the train line - you see innumeralbe canals and drawbridges and antique old wooden drawbridges
6- Just before Dordrecht the train goes on a long bridge over the Rhine River (actually called the holland's deep here i think) - notice the parade of huge barges and ocean-going ships going to and from rotterdam, Europe's largest port i think.
6-Rotterdam - notice the sleek modern buildings in the city centre that was smashed to smithereens in WWII - Europe's most thoroughly modern city
6-Den Hague - train goes right by some of Europe's most avant-garde modern architect - highrises
7-Leiden - the train now goes thru Holland's famous flower fields
8-amsterdam - you circle the city before arriving at Centraal station.
I've taken this route many times and an never bored - by bored is in the eye of the beholder - no not dramatically scenic in a natural way but so captivating in many other ways.
PalenqueBob is offline  
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