Best way to plan a week

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Mar 16th, 2006, 12:58 PM
  #1
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Best way to plan a week

Hello all,

My girlfriend and I will be going to France for a study abroad program in April. After the program we plan to stay an extra week for vacation starting in Paris and also ending there (flying home out of CDG). My question is what would be the best way to plan out our week. We want to see a lot of things but we realize that 1 week is not a lot of time with so many things to see. So we narrowed down the places we'd like to visit.
1. Paris
1. London
3. Amsterdam
Would visiting all 3 be feasible to do given 7 days? If so what's the best way to do it? How many days at each place, and how should we travel, by train, car, or plane? Where should we stay, etc?
If all three are not possible/recommended how would you recommend spending the 7 days?

Thanks,
Sebastian
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Mar 16th, 2006, 01:09 PM
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I would pick 2 of the 3. For me that would be Amsterdam and Paris on a 3/4 or 2/5 day split, taking a train round-trip.

London is huge and expensive. While technically "feasible" I don't think 2 days in each of 3 major cities is the best arrangement.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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I understand your dilemma. However, travel to Paris and enjoy the city. Wasting time travelling again to another city will burn two days essentially. You are young and will have other opportunities. Don't ruin this one by cramming in too much.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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I agree with Suze. I love all three, but given the time frame I would choose Paris and Amsterdam, and break it up 5 and 2. You could easily do both Paris and London but both deserve at least 4 nights in my opinion.

Tracy
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Mar 16th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Wow that was fast!

Are there any other destinations would you guys recommend besides Amsterdam?
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Mar 16th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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I'd choose Paris and London, myself. It depends on what you want to see. I wasn't crazy about Amsterdam, myself.

You can get to London by Eurostar in only a few hours (not sure the time to Amsterdam, but I think about the same). So, that's a wash. Sure, London is huge, but most people on a first trip just stay in the central area and maybe go to the theater, see Buckingham, Westerminster Abbey, Big Ben, a few great museums, etc. There's no problem doing that in London in a few days, and the overall size of London as a metropolitan area doesn't really matter.

It may cost more by train, not sure. You just have to decide which appeals to you most, and let me guess what you are going to pick and why.

You can't do all three in a week, so pick two and that is plenty. Now you are wanting to throw in more on top of the two, which puts you back in square one. But, if you really want to and like only being a couple days in a place -- you could throw Brugges into visiting Amsterdam. Also, Brussels, but I wouldn't give either one of those two priority over Paris and London or Amsterdam.

You don't say where you will be in France, so maybe you just want something other than France for a week and a change, even if you haven't seen Paris. I can sort of understand that feeling, maybe you will be tired of France you are thinking?

I don't know what kind of study abroad program you have, but I have been in some and certainly was able to travel on weekends within Europe. If you are anywhere almost in France, I would think you could carve a three day weekend out and visit Paris during that stay rather than having it be part of your extra week.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 02:11 PM
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If seeing Paris isn't enough for you, I would suggest 3 nights Paris, 1 night Antwerp, 2 nights Amsterdam.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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Thanks for the reply, the study program is for a week in Rouen then on the last night we will travel to Paris which is when our vacation will begin. So I figured we could knock out Paris in a few days first then pick one other location.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 02:31 PM
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Nope, no other suggestions... becasue if I were in your shoes, I'd simply stay in Paris for 1 week. It's not like you'll get bored!

As with Christina I was not wowed by Amsterdam, like some people are. But it is convenient located to Paris and would make a fine 2-3 day trip if you are really interested in seeing another city. It is much more manageable in a short period of time than London, imo.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 03:46 PM
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I agree with Amsterdam but only because I think Eurostar is REALLY expensive for such a short trip. I am not at all sure, but I think getting to Amsterdam is a lot cheaper. And I really love Amsterdam and I think it's more manageable to see most of it in 2-3 days.

London is not. In London you will only be able to do the major sights and in my opinion that doesn't give much of a feel for the city. I thought I hated London after my first two trips. Finally, on my third and fourth and fifth, I started staying and hanging out by the Tate Modern. So if you DO decide to go to London, I recommend staying outside of the tourist stuff - I can't recommend Southwark enough. Now, even when I am only passing through for a night, I feel like it's "MY" London and I love it.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 04:12 PM
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As students (presumably normal student age), Eurostar to London can be quite cheap ($45 each way, usually pretty much a wash with a flight given getting to and from the airports). This isn't exactly an answer to your question, but presumably doing the study abroad program, you'll have some free time (weekends, at least). You might look into going to Paris for a couple of those (no idea, but France might have a similar thing to the UK, where students/young people who are there for a while can get a discount on train travel). If that's possible, you could do both London & Amsterdam in 1 (very busy) week (you won't see everything, by any means, but you're young; I have the contrary view to another poster, who encourages you staying in one place because you've got lots of time; go to several different places; you'll have lots of time in the future to spend more in one place, plus you'll have a bit of experience in multiple places, helps you decide where to go again).
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Mar 16th, 2006, 04:32 PM
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Should probably add that you can only get the $45 Eurostar tickets 1100-1500, weekdays.
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Mar 17th, 2006, 10:55 AM
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well, if you study abroad program consists of only one week in Rouen (what can you study in one week?), then I agree you can't take time out of that week to travel to Paris, also.

Either one would be fine (London or Amsterdam), I think you just have to read a little and decide what you want to do and see most.
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Mar 21st, 2006, 07:56 AM
  #14
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OK we have decided on 5 days in Paris (including the day we get in) and 3 days and nights in London.

But now I have a new problem, we will be in Paris first, then go to London for the 3 days (weds, thurs, fri). On Saturday, we have to make it back to CDG for our flight back to the states at 11:30AM.

How should I plan this out?
A) Buy roundtrip eurostar tickets to get to London and back to Paris, minding the time to return and get to the airport.

B) Buy roundtrip eurostar tickets if cheaper than 1 ways, and book a 1 way flight back to CDG from London so we dont have to worry about getting to the airport?

C) Any other ideas?? keeping in mind that I cannot change our return flight back to the states out of CDG.
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Mar 21st, 2006, 07:59 AM
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You can't see anything in any real depth in 7 days, so one thing you can do is to hit all three superficially on your first trip, then focus on one destination on each subsequent trip. By traveling in the evening, you avoid consuming prime sightseeing time - so you don't actually lose 2 days to travel.

I'd start in London. Go straight through Paris on the evening your school ends and hit the ground running the next morning. There's an 18:00 departure that gets you to London at 22:28 with a short trip across Paris to change stations.

Spend two whole days in London, and be at Liverpool St. station at 17:02 for the Dutch Flyer. You'll be in Holland at midnight; one hour gets you to Rotterdam, or two to Amsterdam.

Spend two whole days in Holland, then take the 18:56 Thalys to Paris, arriving 23:05.

Three days in Paris and out.
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Mar 21st, 2006, 08:52 AM
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I do NOT recommend spending your last night in a different city unless you have a backup for getting to your plane.

If you fly and LHR is temporarily closed because of morning fog, it will be too late to take the train.

Whatever you decide to do, sleep at a hotel that's within a train, bus, and taxi ride of the departure airport.
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Mar 21st, 2006, 09:13 AM
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I vote with Robespierre... actually, I think I'd like that jaunt!
Except for me, Rotterdam holds little call to my soul...
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Mar 21st, 2006, 09:32 AM
  #18
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Good advice! I'm going to switch it around, start 3 days in London, taking a train the first day out of Paris then come back to Paris for the last 4 and finish there. Thanks!
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