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Is this a doable itinerary? Recommendations?

Is this a doable itinerary? Recommendations?

Feb 28th, 2016, 05:40 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 3
Is this a doable itinerary? Recommendations?

Hello! It will be my first time visiting Europe and I was wondering if you think this is doable in 19 days? Do you have any advice or other suggestions? Or even things to do? I am not too dead set on anything except Rome because I have family there (so free lodging).

*Fly into London*
London: 3 full days/ 4 Nights
*4th day: train to Paris*

Paris: 2 ½ days/ 3 nights
*on 7th day train to Brussels*

Brussels: 3 1/2 days/ 4 nights
*On 11th day: trip to Antwerp for ½ day and train to Amsterdam*

Amsterdam: 3 days/ 4 nights
*15th day: Fly/ train to Rome*

Rome: 4 days (maybe make some day trips depending on family)
*19th day fly home*
rosem258 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,242
OK -- it is rushed but doable.

These are your choices - but they wouldn't be mine. For instance I love (absolutely adore) London and really REALLY like Paris - yet you are devoting more time to Brussels which I could easily skip entirely.

You have very little time for London which is by far the largest city in western Europe and you will be jet lagged for at least the first day or so. You will likely only get to 5 or 6 of the major sites. And Paris - 2.5 days is really short.

You could easily do just London/Paris/Rome and still not see everything you want in each city. If it was me I'd do something like 5 or 6 days in London, 5 days in Paris, 3 days in A'dam and 5 in Rome. Why did you pick your specific list -- that will help us help you?
janisj is online now  
Feb 28th, 2016, 06:51 PM
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I picked Belgium mostly for sentimental reasons. My parents met there and I lived there when I was a baby so I wanted to go back and kind of recreate the pictures. But maybe I'll drop a day there and add it to London.

I also picked Amsterdam just because I hear it is incredible and would like to experience some time there!

I picked less time in Paris just because I don't really care about seeing it as much as the other places. It seems to also be on the more expensive side for accommodations and food?
rosem258 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 07:14 PM
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I know that Brussels holds special interest for you but the major sites can be seen in less than a day. I would add the additional time to Brugge, a very charming town with lots to see. Better to see Brugge with at least one overnight although I enjoyed multiple nights there. Or Gent would be my second option after Brugge.
joannyc is online now  
Feb 28th, 2016, 08:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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>>It seems to also be on the more expensive side for accommodations and food?<<

Not at all IME. Paris can be cheaper than Brussels/Amsterdam in a lot of ways (not Rome merely because you have free accommodations there) and can definitely be cheaper than London.

OK - If Brussels is a must and you don't care much about Paris (different strokes) Then do London, 2 days in Brussels and 2 or 3 in Amsterdam, and finish up in Rome.

Just don't try to cram in five cities in 17.5 days (which is all you have free)
janisj is online now  
Feb 28th, 2016, 10:10 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 7,647
I agree with janis, if Paris doesn't interest you I would skip it as you really don't have enough time to do justice to four cities, let alone 5.

Personally I would favor Paris over Brussels and Amsterdam but I can understand your desire to return to Brussels and Amsterdam is very worthwhile.
KTtravel is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 11:38 PM
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I would drop 2nights in Brussels and add them to London and Paris. If you have never been to Paris its worth a visit even if it interests you on paper less than Brussels. I would also drop a night from Amsterdam and add it London or possibly Rome. If you are flying into London you may have less than 3 full days with 4 nights. London/Paris/Rome have the most possible things to explore for a tourist than other destinations in Europe.
mjs is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 03:44 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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>>I wanted to go back and kind of recreate the pictures<<

Of course, do it then - even if other Fodorites do not like Brussel (I do, but I am often there for business in the EU offices, so I probably know more of it than the average tourist). I admit that 3 1/2 days for Brussel is a lot unless you take daytrips to Brugge and Gent and maybe the place where your parents lived (if not IN Brussel) from there.

Did your parents live in Antwerpen? If yes, go there, if not, skip it.

Paris is absolutely gorgeous. And the most expensive city on your list is London. In each of these cities you can feed yourself at low cost. Especially in Paris, it is very easy to find food items for picnics of outstanding quality in grocery stores, bakeries, charcuteries, rotisseries, boucheries and department stores.
traveller1959 is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 04:14 AM
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Don't skip Antwerp!

Here's a recent article;
Tulips is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 04:43 AM
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Amsterdam is often a fairly expensive destination. You hear Amsterdam is incredible, but for many people it's not. I happen to like it, but it is tricky to pick destinations based on what other people like.

The one thing I don't think you should skimp on is the family connection to Europe. Most tourists don't go to Europe on that basis, but of those that do, it makes for a very special kind of travel/life experience that is more than sightseeing. Not long ago, I had a friend visit me here in Europe whose German father had fled the Nazis by taking a ship to China, and he was surprised at how much it meant to him to walk some of the same streets his father had walked, and to stand in the port where the ship had departed and think about that life-changing moment. So your parents lives were changed in Brussels, and you wouldn't exist without that moment -- so whatever sights there are that can be seen in Brussels a day (many would dispute that assessment if one is interested in art and architecture + chocolate) the typical tourist timetable is irrelevant to how much time you might want to spend in Brussels on a journey other people can't time or value at all.
sandralist is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 06:15 AM
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As above. Some added comments about Paris and Bruxelles.

Bxl is a fantastic city, I live close by, so I know.
But 3,5 days is a lot - honestly I'd cut 1,5 at least.
I disagree that it can be done in less than one day but you'll only scracth the surface anyway/ So I'd spend a day there to visit and a day to recreate your images.

Paris : I work there and have slept in close to 150 hotels - some good, some not good some great.

In average I pay 100 €/night, max is about 150 € min is 75 to have something decent (basic). I can help you give some choices if you tell me where you'd like to be and how much you want to spend. I prefer to sleep in outer arrondissements - less touristy and cheaper but you tell us !

Amsterdam is great but much smaller than London or even Paris - I'd cut one day there too. Train from Brussels to Amst take 2 hours (+ time to reach station and leave station at arrival) by Thalys (capitaine.com if you are coming from US, Thalys.com works fine too).
Whathello is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 06:22 AM
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Thank you everyone for your help! I will definitely cut 2 days in Brussels and probably visit Brugge and add the day to Paris or London.
rosem258 is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'm not sure why you are trying to squeeze in Paris since you aren't all that interested in the city. If you simply dropped that, you'd have a decent itinerary and timeframe.
suze is online now  

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