Copenhagen or bust?

Jan 2nd, 2016, 08:58 PM
  #1  
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Copenhagen or bust?

Hello everyone. I am planning a trip in mid April with my family of 6 (four children ages 13-21) to our ancestral lands of the Netherlands and Norway, and need help deciding whether to do a couple days in a third country or not. We will have 11.5 days on the ground, and are planning the following:

2.5 days in Amsterdam

3 days in surrounding areas of Netherlands: Broek in Waterland/Monnickendam/Marken; Keukenhof/Leiden; Delft/The Hague

4 days in Norway: 2 in Oslo and surrounding areas (visiting ancestral villages); 1 doing Norway in a Nutshell; 1 in Bergen

That leaves me two more days and I'm not sure of the best thing to do with them. I was originally thinking of dipping down into Belgium to see Bruges or Ghent because I've heard great things about those places. Now I am thinking that instead we would go to Copenhagen for two days. We do have ancestors that came from some villages near that city in Denmark, and if we did it, we could also take the night ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo, which sounds like a nice experience.

My questions are these: Am I trying to do/see too much by taking 2 days to Belgium or Copenhagen? Which place would be better from a tourist standpoint (ancestry aside)? Would it be better instead to add a couple more days to Netherlands or Norway? Keep in mind that it isn't summertime but am traveling in mid April (primarily to mesh this with spring break and so we can see the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse).
Doezie70 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2016, 09:09 PM
  #2  
kja
 
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"Would it be better instead to add a couple more days to Netherlands or Norway?"

That would be my call, particularly because of the time of year when you are traveling (when hours of daylight are not maximal) and the size of your group. But it's your trip, your call! Do be sure you've blocked out sufficient time for transportation (including time for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.) and have paid attention to opening / closing hours. And FWIW, many of us find it more helpful to count NIGHTS in a place than DAYS there -- it helps focus attention on the need to get from place to place. ;-) Enjoy!
kja is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2016, 11:20 PM
  #3  
 
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On the ancestry side - do you know from where your ancestors originally came? Have you included a visit to that town in the Netherlands in your plans?

All the places you want to visit in the Netherlands are close enough to Amsterdam that you can just stay in Amsterdam and do them as day trips.
I would add a day to each country personally. You need to get to Oslo and settle in, which will take up a good chunk of day, and you can fill a couple of full days there quite easily, especially if you are planning to visit nearby villages as well as the city.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 02:37 AM
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Daylight hours are from about 6 to 6.30am to 8pm or later in Scandinavia in April.

If you can make time for Denmark, it would tie in nicely to your plans but you have too little time in any place IMO. 2 days in Denmark is not enough time. When you say villages near to Copenhagen, where exactly are they?
Odin is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 04:54 AM
  #5  
 
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I don't think we know enough about your schedule and transit. You seem to ant to go from Oslo to Copenhagen but your trip in Norway ends in Bergen. Would you do Bergen to Oslo to Copenhagen???? Or reverse the order of your trip in Norway?

Agree to lay this out day by day showing where you will start, any transit and where you will sleep. For transit include the complete time from the hotel in the first city to the hotel in the second city - not just the time of the flight.

I think this trip is quite fast-paced but doable and if you add Copenhagen you will have time only to visit your ancestral village and not really much time - if any at all - in Copenhagen.

Once you have laid it out like this with actual transit you will have a much better idea if this is realistic.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 06:42 AM
  #6  
 
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I'd jump towards extending Netherlands part of holiday, try Zeeland for instance, a bit harder to get to the little ports and medievel town centres are pretty pleasant.
bilboburgler is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 09:07 AM
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Belgium is by far the greatest country on earth.
Populated by the brightest people.

I'd advise to be flexible. You may - may - want to see Bruges but I'd do it a one-day excursion and would put 1 or 2 days more into Amsterdam or neighbourhood. Adding Copenhagen or a side trip to Belgium would imho give more hassle.

my 2 pences. And yes, april days are very short in Denmark.
Whathello is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 09:21 AM
  #8  
 
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Well, no in April daylight hours are pretty much the same in most places since you are already past the vernal equinox.

It's really only in winter than days are much shorter in the more northern countries.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 10:22 AM
  #9  
 
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On the first of April the day length in Copenhagen is 13h 6m, by the 30th it is 15h 16m. Hardly short days imho.
For comparison Amsterdam is 12h 59m and 14h 53m, while Oslo is 13h 8m and 15h 53m.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:10 AM
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My mistake. I went to Copenhagen days were like 10 am 3 pm, but I guess it wasn't april then.

Thanks for clarifying. BTW I loved Copenhagen - stayed only one day though.
Whathello is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 11:43 AM
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Are you sure you were in Copenhagen? Days never start at 10am, sunrise is at 08.38am at the moment and sunset at 3.51pm.
Odin is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 12:10 PM
  #12  
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Thanks everyone. Sorry I was not clear on the itinerary order. We would start in Netherlands, leaving at night on the 6th day to fly to Copenhagen. Two nights in Copenhagen. Take the overnight ferry to Oslo. Two nights in Oslo, Norway in a Nutshell to Bergen, two nights in Bergen and then fly out. I WISH I could make it a longer trip, but simply cannot with the younger kids' school schedules and my work needs. As I'm typing this, it sure seems like maybe it is too much to add Copenhagen; lots of "two-nighters". :/
Doezie70 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 12:13 PM
  #13  
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@hetismij2:
The places my family were from was Broek-in-Waterland, Ilpendam, Amsterdam, Noordwijk, Leiden, Hellevoetsluis, Hoorn, den Helder, among others. I plan to see most of those; that is what is making this trip really exciting for me, to be able to visit where my ancestors were from.
Doezie70 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2016, 12:31 PM
  #14  
 
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Yup Odin.
I went to Aalborg actually maybe days were even shorter. but it felt like that - it was a day totally overcast.
Anyway, irrelevant for the OP.

Do-see : your trip is about ancestry - so keep most of your time for it.
If you have too much time, then it will still possible to make a trip to Belgium but from what you write, I'd say concentrate on your focus.
Whathello is offline  
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