Booked hotel and flights, what's next?

May 19th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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Booked hotel and flights, what's next?

Okay, so I have our dates and our flights/hotels booked for our upcoming Paris and Amsterdam trip this September. What is the next step?

Any tours I should book now?
When can I purchase train tickets between the two?
Any other tips would be appreciated!

msheiny is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 10:04 AM
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You can book high speed Thalys rail tickets between Paris and Amsterdam 90 days ahead and I would urge you to do so to save money.
Dukey1 is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 06:53 PM
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That's easy, start researching restaurants!
ruedebuci is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 07:01 PM
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Have you bought your guide books?
330east is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 07:17 PM
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A little day to day planning would be useful!
Robert2533 is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 09:29 PM
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I hate to mention this, but booking flights first often box yourself into less than desirable itineraries in terms of cost of time. I am not sure how you booked your flights, but even if you are going only to these cities, there are pros and cons of flying into Paris, then returninh from Amsterdam or vice versa depending on how the ground portion integrates into the flight schedule.

Same for non-refundable hotel bookings. I hope you made refundable types if you have not thought about the itinerary.
greg is offline  
May 19th, 2014, 10:46 PM
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<< What is the next step? >>

Establish your daily itinerary before booking anything.

What type of tours are you thinking of?
adrienne is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 05:29 AM
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You want more help? Then how about telling us what you plan to do in the two places?
Dukey1 is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 09:53 AM
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I think you are off to a great start. Now I would start thinking about how much time you have in each place and what your priorities are for sight-seeing. How much time will you have in each place? What are your priorities?
KTtravel is offline  
May 20th, 2014, 11:52 AM
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The OP already decided on their dates and itinerary and books the plane and hotel, that's perfectly normal. That's what I do, also. Now he/she just wants to know about some local tours and getting between the two.

If it were the first visit, I probably wouldn't book any major tours outside the city at all. You can visit some places on your own, but don't need to book ahead for that. When I was in Amsterdam, I went to Delft and that cheese market town, for example (Alkmaar). I just went on my own by local train or something like that, didn't book any tour. Alkmaar was fun, actually. YOu'd have to check its dates to see if it is possible.
Christina is offline  
May 21st, 2014, 08:00 AM
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We plan on staying in Paris for six days and three in Amsterdam. We chose to fly home from there due to it being a direct flight.
We haven't planned anything yet. Do you suggest purchasing the Paris Pass?

Any must do sights?

Thanks so far to everyone who responded!
msheiny is offline  
May 21st, 2014, 08:34 AM
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dwdvagamundo is offline  
May 21st, 2014, 09:56 AM
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NO not paris pass.. but consider the Paris Museum Pass.. a different item. Paris Pass is not even a pass but a collection of tickets that you will likely never have time to use all of and are glopped all into one price ( too high) when you could do things cheaper on your own.

The Paris Museum Pass may be helpful however.. but no need to prepurchase.. if you look on website you can see it is sold at many places in Paris with no mark up or postage fees to add.
Where are you staying.. we can tell you the closest place to you to purchase it.

Also, if you wish to go up the Eiffel Tower many folks like to book the prepurchase timed slot tickets. Long lines avoided. but you are locked into that exact date and time. They only sell a few for each time slot and they sell out almost immediately when they are realeased for their date of sale. The Museum pass does not cover the Eiffel Tower.. but it does include Versailles.

Definitely do a lot of reading on the forums ( this and others) you can avoid a lot of newbie mistakes and gain some great tips .. and yes.. look at some guidebooks. I look at them at librairies and I also pick them up cheap at garage sales etc.. they hotel/ prices etc are not current but the write up on the sites is never out of date . Use official websites to confirm prices and entry times ( almost all sites have their own websites.. google,, and in English, even churches like Notre Dame )
justineparis is offline  
May 21st, 2014, 04:37 PM
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We are staying in St. Germain at the Relais Christine!
msheiny is offline  
May 21st, 2014, 04:59 PM
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Paris Walks has very good 2 hour walking tours that are reasonably priced.

Notre Dame does a wonderful free tour 3 times a week, given by volunteer docents. Half the tour is about Gothic churches and the other half is specifically about Notre Dame.

Wednesday & Saturday at 2:30, Thursday at 2:00. Meet inside the church under the organ.

No need to book for any of the above tours; just show up.

Specific museums have tours.
adrienne is offline  
May 21st, 2014, 09:54 PM
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I just returned from first time in France and just posted a detailed trip report...the Paris portion could be of interest to you. I also posted some logistics tips etc. that may be useful.

After I had booked our fights and hotels like you...I rather obsessively read everything I could get my hands on...everything on this forum, borrowed books from the local library, bought a Michelin Green Guide to Paris (don't think you can get on Kindle, but you can get something like Rick Steves). The Frommers site has several mapped walks that we used as well. The one for Montmartre was especially useful as it took us to Sacre Coeur from behind, so you didn't have to run the gauntlet of "bracelet people" and other annoying scammers.

Do you speak any French? That's another thing we did. I speak German and my husband Spanish, but neither were useful in Paris (duh...but in other European cities we've used these other languages in a pinch when English was not understood). It's super important to have some French language basics down.

There's a fantastic thread someone started on TripAdvisor with title something like "What do you wish someone had told you before you went to France (Paris?)"'s now got over 1,000 entries and I will add some soon!

Have a wonderful trip.
leslieq is offline  
May 21st, 2014, 09:58 PM
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leslieq, Yes, you can get Michelin Green Guide on Kindle. I have it.

swandav2000 is online now  
May 22nd, 2014, 08:36 AM
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Get familiar with the transit system. Download an app for the subway for Paris. It's really quiet easy to use and easy to get anywhere quickly.
topeater is offline  

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