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Best pre-purchased options for museums and local transportation

Best pre-purchased options for museums and local transportation

Aug 13th, 2010, 02:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 44
Best pre-purchased options for museums and local transportation

Hello trusty Fodorites!

I am so extremely thankful for all of the help I have received in planning my trip to Europe! We have completed phase one (Hotels/transportation from city to city) Now we are on to phase two! I need some help deciding if we should purchase city museum passes and transportation passes before we leave to avoid lines and save some money! I know that I can rely on all of your help!

So here are the cities and number of days we will be in each! We will probably be hitting some of the major sites in each city, I am open to any suggestions!

London 3 days (Parliament, British Museum etc)
Paris 1 day (Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame)
Amsterdam 3 days (I am open to any suggestions!)
Florence 3 days (Open to suggestions)
Rome 4 days (Trying to hit the major sites!)

If anyone has any secrets on where/when to buy these I would appreciate your help!

Thank you again! I can't wait to share my trip report when we return!

Kat79 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 239
Florence - book Uffizi and Accademia
Rome - book Galleria Borghese, Vatican, get a Roma Pass.
London - do you want a tour of the Parliament on the inside? That is possible, but I believe you have to email them in advance.
sam86 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Incidentally, when are you going?
sam86 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 03:15 PM
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Thanks Sam! Do you think we should book before we leave the US? Or should we just book when we arrive at our hotels?

We will be there in October.
Kat79 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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I'm going to Paris, Florence, Rome, Venice in September - I booked the following over this last week - the Vatican, Galleria Borghese, Uffizi, Accademia. Some people do it even earlier. You should do it as soon as possible to get the dates and times you want. But you want to consider first if you want to go to all of them/some of them of course.

For Rome - the Roma Pass lets you use the public transport system and 2 museums are free on the card and many others discounted. So I think it's a great deal. You can get it online or buy it once you get to Rome.

You have one day in Paris - you might want to reserve a ticket if you want to go up the Eiffel Tower. The Louvre - go early. Notre Dame - lines move fast, except for the one to climb the tower.

I'm sorry I don't know anything about Amsterdam = )
sam86 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 05:01 PM
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Thank you Sam! Have a great trip!
Kat79 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 465
Consider the IAmsterdam Card, which gives you access to public transportation and most museums (but not the Anne Frank House) in Amsterdam. I can be purchased for 1, 2, or 3 days, and you can do it online if you want. Here is a link:

tom18 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 05:59 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion Tom! Does anyone have any additional suggestions for Rome or Florence?

thanks again!
Kat79 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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"Does anyone have any additional suggestions for Rome or Florence?"

What are your interest? We can make better suggestions if we know.
ellenem is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 06:30 PM
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My husband is a huge history buff and we both are extremely interested in Catholisism. I know it's broad, but we really are open to any and all suggestions!!!
Kat79 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2010, 10:17 PM
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Be aware that the Roma Pass does not cover the Vatican, and it's good for 3 days. so your 4th day would be at Vatican City. One of the best uses for the Roma Pass is the Palatine Hill, Colosseum, and the Roman Forum. those are all considered one site for ticketing purposes. When you get to the Colosseum, which has long lines, you can keep to the left and get in with your card. The line on the right is for buying tickets. If you are interested in Roman History yuo should also go to the Capitoline Museums on the other hill across the forum from the Palatine. The piazza there and the broad steps leading up to it were designed by Michelangelo. It's called the Campidoglio.

If you haven't heard about it, do read "Brunelleschi's Dome" about the competition, the politics, and the engineering of building the dome of the Florence Duomo. You probably would find "Galileo's Daughter" interesting and useful about the history of his troubles with the church and his house arrest in Florence.
charnees is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 12:39 AM
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You can buy tickets fro Anne Frankhuis online - recommended to avoid the queues. You can also buy tickets for the van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum online.

For three days you need to get a public transport pass from the GVB offices opposite the entrance to Centraal Station in Amsterdam. They will advise you as to which is the best for your needs.http://www.gvb.nl/english/Pages/default.aspx
This pass will only be valid in Amsterdam, so if you go for a day trip elsewhere you will still need to buy tickets.

The I Amsterdam card does not include the Annefrankhuis but does include the van Gogh and Rijks plus lots of other museums, and public transport. It really depends on how many museums in Amsterdam you wish to see and how much public transport, within Amsterdam, you are likely to take whether it is worth it. http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/iamsterdamcard

Do you want museums, shoppping, atchitecture something else? Give us a clue and I can make some further suggestions.
hetismij is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 03:24 AM
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If you're only in London for three days, it's very, very unlikely there'll be any point in buying anything in advance. Most major museums are free: there IS a commercial pass which gets you into paid-for attractions like the Tower, but it's so expensive it's far more sensible to buy just the tickets for those paid for attractionbs.

If there are two of you together, search this site for details of the Zone 1/2 Paper Travelcards, which will get you into most paid-for attractions at a 2 for 1 rate and give you unlimited travel for most ofthe day. They have to be bought from the railway (not tube) ticket office at a railway (not tube) station.

Parliament is not open to overseas visitors (including UK expatriates not on a UK electoral register) to tour in October. You can queue up to see a debate or Question Time for free (http://www.parliament.uk/visiting/vi...rseasvisitors/)

If interested in Catholicism, you must visit St Etheldreda's church in Ely Place: the oldest Catholic church in the English speaking world (though not, as some soundbite-loving guides like to claim. continuously in use since before the Reformation), and practically the only medieval church in Britain that retains (well, to be honest, has restored) the feel of what churches were like before the Reformers destroyed all the art.

One Mass is properly sung and chanted in Latin in most central London Catholic churches on Sundays, though generally the great Mass settings are sung better (every Sunday) by the choirs in the major Anglican churches.
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 03:54 AM
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The Tudors didn't just go through phases of religious extremism that wiped out much of went earlier: they shamelessly knocked just about everything in London down and rebuilt it - and most of what they didn't destroy, the Fire of 1666, Hitler and some crass post war planning did, so there's little more than the Tower and Westminster Abbey dating from before the Reformation. Add to that the Reformers' zeal in destroying anything that smacked of idolatry, and we're very short of relics of pre-Reformation religion in London.

Since Catholicism almost disappeared from the London scene from the Reformation till the Irish swamped the place in the 1850s, this meant anyone interested in the history of Catholicism had to go on, or create, tours full of victimisation sites and half-truths ("this is where St Ermintrude was disembowelled under Elizabeth" or "this is where James II was disgracefully overthrown for trying to bring England back to the Church")

However, the new Medieval galleries at the Victoria & Albert Museum have brought together a huge proportion of what little pre-Reformation English religious art managed to survive. Ivories and wool embroidery (known as "opus Anglicanum" and highly valued in medieval Rome) are particularly fine.

Only 600 of England's 8,000 medieval churches retain any trace at all of their pre-Reformation paintings, and unfortunately almost none are easily accessible from central London. There's virtually no surviving statuary anywhere

In the British Museum, there's some Roman-era Christian paintings in the display of relics from Lullingstone and some fragments that had been in St Stephen's Chapel in Westminster Palace.

In the Museum of London's medieval gallery, there's a small painting of St Peter.

And in Westminster Abbey, there's a fair amount in the South Transept, in St Faith's Chapel and in the Chapter House wall arcades. The Retable in the Abbey Museum just about completes all that remains of a thousand years' dedication.
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 08:37 AM
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Wow! Thank you all for your insight. I am so excited to go now!. This will be my third trip overseas, but the first for my husband. It will be my first trip to Italy though, so we are extremely excited!

Thanks again!

Kat79 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 10:43 AM
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Kat, it's actually impossible to advise you on Florence and Rome, with so little input on your behalf. Just "history" and "catholicism" is simply too "broad" - every sight in Rome and Florence is connected to history or to catholicism or to both of them. If you name a few sights in each city that you don't want to miss, and tell more specifically about your interests, we can build pretty complete sightseeing itineraries around that...
franco is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 10:47 AM
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Kat, to get a sense of how far franco can help you with Venice, Florence, Rome, see the last 6 or 7 posts on this thread:

sam86 is offline  

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