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Dublin, London and Paris (or London, Paris and Amsterdam).


Apr 9th, 2015, 02:14 PM
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Dublin, London and Paris (or London, Paris and Amsterdam).


My best friend and I are planning a trip for our 30th birthday and we would like to go to Dublin, London and Paris or London, Paris and Amsterdam. This will be our first trip to Europe and we would like any and all input (thank you in advance!) about these destinations together or if we should just stick to one city opposed to two or three (we are SO newbies, we need all the help we can get!).

We would ideally like to go for about 2 weeks (crossing fingers, I can accrue enough PTO) or at least a week (which we would definitely narrow it down to one or possibly two cities).

I would appreciate all suggestions for places to stay, we are looking for about $200/night but wouldn't mind saving all the extra money we can. We are open to all ideas! We are also planning all the 'touristy' attractions that we can possibly see but not sure which ones are worth it.

We have also decided that we wouldn't mind getting a little exercise in, so any suggestions on walking tours would be great.

Also, we are trying to go in the beginning of March (our birthday month) and have been told by a few locals from England that it will be really cold but we might get better deals on flights and hotel accommodations. When would be the best time to purchase plane tickets? Booking hotel rooms?

Long story short- we are so clueless about anything (wow, that sounds so sad, ha ha) that any tidbits of information would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!


arivera is offline  
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Apr 9th, 2015, 02:55 PM
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Seems so. You're better off getting clued in on your own and using the board to refine your choices (e.g., no to the London Pass, prob. yes to the Paris Museum Pass, use the daysoutguide.co.uk website for London discounts, go to londontown.com for hotel info, etc.).
BigRuss is online now  
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Apr 9th, 2015, 04:32 PM
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If it were me and I had 2 weeks I would do one week each London and Paris with a day trip or two from each. But only you can really decide what are your must see things. You need to read through several guide books and then check out tour brochures (not for schedules but for pix and info on major sights).

Whoever told you England is cold in March does not understand the meaning of cold in the US. March is spring - which comes earlier in England and France than in the mid/north US. Yes, it can be chilly and rainy but nothing like cold (the feet and feet of snow that Boston received and the 20 degree temps in NYC would be a disaster in England). Look at one of the standard weather sites to see what the actual averages are.

And in March you are likely to get more hotel deals since it's still shoulder season.

Suggest you do some in-depth reading and then come back with specific questions or draft itinerary for people to comment on.
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Apr 9th, 2015, 04:42 PM
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I agree with BigR--you need to do a lot more investigating on your own first.

Dublin--we were there last year and loved the 3 days there. Very walkable, interesting architecture as we were really just used to the Continent.

Amsterdam--LOVED the canals and it makes it really unique as are houses, houseboats and red light district etc,

Paris--I always go to Paris no matter what on whatever trip I am taking. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT.

London--wonderful city, so much to see and have been a couple of times and find the history fascinating.

My choice: Paris and Amsterdam for sure, with London beating out Dublin.

Weather: I found fodor.com destination had almost 99% accuracy on what the weather would be for previous trip in Oct/Nov. As you are going in March, maybe April?, check it out. With comparing maybe nicer weather in April and same fares, you might decide to go later. FYI: Easter is March 27, 2016 as well as changing to Daylight Savings Time in Europe. In US we will change to DST March 13.
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Apr 9th, 2015, 06:24 PM
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In London museums are mostly Free. You can also take advantage of 2 for 1 admissions to a lot of sights.


As said, don't buy any London Pass or Paris Viste Pass. If you go to Paris and want to see 2 or 3 Museums it might be worth the Museum Pass. Note that the visits have to be on consecutive days. So, if you buy a 2 dy Museum Pass you have to visit the museums back to back days but you can visit as many as you like multiple times. Even just to use the bathroom.

I haave done the combo of London / Paris a few times and find it makes for a nice non rushed visit for a 2 week time.
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Apr 10th, 2015, 03:21 AM
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Not sure Fodorites like Ireland very much.. maybe ask on a couple of forums not just this one.

I do like Ireland, but not a fan of Dublin which is Irish by location and little else.

Paris probably 3 days, same for Amsterdam and London, most folk who go to London spend most of their time going other places from there like Bath or Stratford! (nice place like it a lot but not from a London base)

And Dublin, 3 days is more than enough, but if you want to see Ireland and the Irish (many Americans prefer not to) then fly into Shannon and see the western side before getting to Dublin for your flight home.
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Apr 10th, 2015, 04:15 AM
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Well, I have to disagree about going other places besides London if you have never BEEN to London. There are, IMO, PLENTY of things to do and see IN that city without ever stepping foot beyond it.
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Apr 10th, 2015, 04:17 AM
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I would do London and Paris and probably Amsterdam (if you have two weeks, which I strongly advise you really try to get, it makes the cost and time of the flight more 'worth it'). London and Paris for 4-5 days each and Amsterdam for 2-3 days. You can take trains between them. Dublin is just less interesting and harder to get to than Amsterdam when combined with London/Paris.

Fly 'open jaw' - into London and home from Paris or vise versa. Check kayak.com for prices, sometimes it's cheaper to go into one city and out of the other. But whatever you do don't just do 'round trip' in/out of the same city because you will waste time and money getting back there for the flight home.

Consider later in March, even a couple weeks can make a difference in the weather. March is 'iffy' in all of Europe. I've been to London, Paris and Amsterdam multiple times in March and gotten everything from warm and sunny to freezing and rain. (Sometimes in the same year). But it's more likely to be nice the second half of the month (although I would avoid Easter).

Use booking.com to at least look at hotels (even if you choose to book them direct with the hotel, although I just book right through booking.com). Stay in the city centers even though they will be a bit more expensive than outlying areas. You would use up any savings with transportation into the city centers anyway. Although for London I've found travelodge (the one in Waterloo) to be a good hotel - pretty cheap yet nice enough and a good location. Travelodge is a chain in England and probably not on booking.com In Paris look at hotels in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th arrondissements.
isabel is offline  
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Apr 10th, 2015, 08:35 AM
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I've been to all 4 cities mentioned. I loved all 4 but I would have to go with Amsterdam over Dublin. It's a one in a kind city. Plenty to do in 3 days. That being said,I prefer Ireland over the Netherlands, England, and France. If you get the chance to do 10 days in Ireland -- take it -- and see Dublin and the rest of the island in one trip. Whatever you decide, you will have a great time.
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Apr 10th, 2015, 09:17 AM
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I too have been to all cities mentioned.. and loved them all.. and also give nod to Amsterdam over Dublin.

Theres a fair chance it may be rainy and cool in all the cities you have chosen,, March is not a warm sunny month for sure , ( I was in London on March 17th one year and it was literally freezing.. sleet, hail, rain, wet snow.. lol ) .. but any of the cities you mention can be nasty.. OR nice then.. but give the edge to nasty.

There is TONS to do and see in London and Paris.. a week each and you still would not run out.. but Amsterdam is such an easy fit.. only 3 hours by train from Paris( and train can be CHEAP if you book well in advance , months.. on the Thalys website) .
Same with Eurostar.. book direct on Eurostar website. months in advance and you can get real deals!

If I had 2 weeks ( and as said.. really really try to ) I would do 5 days London, with possible daytrip to Bath or Hampton Court, and 5 days Paris, possible daytrip to Versailles,or Chartres , and 3 days in Amsterdam.

I can recommend Hotel St Pierre in Paris or Hotel College du France , both are cheap, but both have small rooms.. the Hotel College du France is a tad nicer,, but location is EXCELLANT , both hotels in great area where you can walk to many sites, shops , cafes etc. And as I said.. cheap hotels..

In London last year we stayed near Russell Square at the Celtic Hotel.. loved our room.. had a fireplace, high ceilings etc.. and a great cooked to order breakfast, the full deal.. but its not a fancy place.. have stayed other places but definitely would stay there again! If you have a bit more money , try the Nadler.. really quite nice, small rooms but well done.. great area also.

Amsterdam .. can't help with accomadations there.. wouldn't recommend place we stayed at last time, and I found it hard to find reasonably priced places in center of town.. your budget is a bit more then mine.. but not much.. so you may have better luck , plus you are going off season, I have only been in summer ($$)
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Apr 11th, 2015, 10:47 AM
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Wow, thank you all so much your input and website links! It is greatly appreciated! Thank you for taking the time out of your day to respond to my question and help me in anyway!

Kindest and healthy regards,

arivera is offline  
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Apr 11th, 2015, 12:36 PM
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That's the exact trip I took with my sister and daughters in 2008 - Paris, London and Dublin. The only thing I would change is to go to another part of Ireland instead. Dublin was very nice, but I wish we had gone to the area around the Cliffs of Moher. I have not been to Amsterdam, but you can't beat the beauty of Ireland. Enjoy your trip!
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Apr 11th, 2015, 04:16 PM
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Thank you for your response, mbkcbc ! I was thinking of Cork instead of Dublin, as I have some family from there. As I try to do my research, I feel so insecure booking a trip outside of the U.S. ! I feel like even with all the reviews I am reading, it's still tough ! There is so much do to do, the first response is very correct. I need to narrow it down to what I really want. I can not express the thankfulness for every response.

In addition, I am open to staying outside of the city too. Ideally, I'd like to stay as close to the attractions as I can but I am also open to saving money. This will also be our first trip out side of the United States, so if there are any attractions we should just skip, I'd like to hear 'your' must see places!

Many thanks,

arivera is offline  
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Apr 12th, 2015, 05:36 AM
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I am planning a similar first time trip to Europe. I've found Rick Steves Europe to be helpful in prioritizing what to see on a first trip. Then I supplement with fodors and the forums. Good luck!
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Apr 12th, 2015, 06:01 AM
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I would choose London, Amsterdam and Paris. Unless you plan time in the Ireland countryside (which I would not do in March, Dublin is not much of a draw for me. I hope you enjoy your research - a good place to start is the "Destinations" tab on this forum. Once you have made decisions we can help with the details.
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