London -Amsterdam-Paris

May 18th, 2019, 04:14 PM
  #1  
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London -Amsterdam-Paris

Hello,

About to book air for summer trip to London-Amsterdam-Paris.. 12 days total . First trip to all three cities and bringing my two teens , 17 boy , 16 girl. We enjoy exploring cities, walking, history, museums, theatre.

Trip would begin in July with possibility it would extend
to early August.


Itinerary: 4 nights London , 2 nights Amsterdam, 4 nights Paris

Questions:

Would the two days in Amsterdam be better used for more time and day trips to other towns in London /Paris?

Opinions on Edinburgh vs Amsterdam? (We may visit
Ireland /Scotland the next two years).

Areas to stay in all three cities ?
Covent Garden was recommended in London
St. Germain was recommended in Paris
Hotel or Apartment ?

Should August in Paris be avoided if possible?


Thanks

MP


Last edited by BlueHorizon; May 18th, 2019 at 04:18 PM.
BlueHorizon is offline  
May 18th, 2019, 05:46 PM
  #2  
 
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OK -- you would have 3 days in London, 1 days in Amsterdam and 3-ish days in Paris. That is a lot of moving for not very much time in any city and definitely not enough time in London if any of you are dealing with jet lag.

A 12 days total trip nets you a mere 9.5 days free on the ground. So I would pick TWO cities - Whether that is London + Paris, or London + Amsterdam, or London + Edinburgh (though Edinburgh is EXTREMELY crowded and EXTREMELY expensive in August so you would want to do Edinburgh first as early in as early in July as your dates allow and end in London)

Covent Garden is great - but 20+ other equally good neighborhoods are all over central London. What is your budget?

>>St. Germain<<

Saint-Germain-des-Près is central and convenient - buy with teens I'd personally stay in the 4th or 5th.
janisj is online now  
May 18th, 2019, 08:40 PM
  #3  
 
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History, Museums, Walking, Theater? With that criteria, I would stay in London with a bit of time outside London. I know Amsterdam has it all too, but there is so much in and around London, I would not want to use up any more time in travel.
I am sure you already know the biggies like The British Museum, Westminster, etc.

Some other suggestions.
Instead of Trooping to Amsterdam, include Bath as an overnight. It is an amazing city for history and architecture. It is quite interesting to see how society from London spent time at balls and feasts in Bath and considered America such a backwater, they did not have much taste for really pursuing a war. Seeing places that Jane Austen wrote about is also fascinating. Top that off with the spectacular Roman Baths and see first hand how The Roman Empire really did rule the world. The architecture and design of the buildings and the town is beautiful and remarkable for the time. Throw in lovely walks through town and along the river and you have in a small space and small amount of time, an incredible amount of history and beauty and culture. There is a free walking tour of Bath every morning. Check times.

Second, theater in London is not cheap, but still is a lot less than NYC. Unless you are totally set on a particular show, once there, take a walk in the theater area or go to the discount ticket office and see if anything appeals to you. Look at concerts and dance performances too. We try to go to something every afternoon or evening that we are in London. The first day, we get tickets for the rest of the week. Also, your kids might enjoy the Globe. Splurge and get seating, unless you actually want to stand up in the Sun the whole time. Look to see what is playing on which days before you go. I hate spending extra to order from the states, but they might sell out. Get an opinion from someone who has been recently. There are good sandwich shops near the Globe.

Make a visit to Hampton Court a must do. Interesting for all. Take a boat at least one way. Must check current times of everything.

A short canal trip on a long boat on the Regents Canal is fun.

You could also also do a day trip to either Oxford or Cambridge and let the kids (you too) row a pole or Punting boat. Sorry if I have the wrong word. Been a while since I did that.

Eat in the crypts of some of the churches. Read some reviews first. They used to all be quite good, but some are not so good anymore.

Victoria and Albert Museum is often overlooked, but is quite wonderful.

I urge you, do not take the HOHO bus. It looks fun when you are standing on the street, but is a big waste of precious time and money. You will likely be stuck in traffic - never where you can actually get off, breathing fumes and hot.
Sassafrass is online now  
May 18th, 2019, 08:55 PM
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>>row a pole or Punting boat. Sorry if I have the wrong word. Been a while since I did that.<<

It just a 'punt' - and one poles it. . .

If it was my trip with two kids I would also do JUST London (with a day trip or two) - my first post was just to talk the OP down from three to two destinations

But a bit over half the time in London and a few days in one other place would be OK too.
janisj is online now  
May 19th, 2019, 06:47 AM
  #5  
 
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If I were working with such a limited timeframe I'd pick just one city, and it wouldn't be Amsterdam. If it were me, I'd pick Paris, but that's a personal preference. And no, unless you are operating on 20-year-old assumptions there is no problem with visiting Paris in August. In fact, accommodations there are likely to be the cheapest they are all year. There are countless possible day trips.
StCirq is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 07:12 AM
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It is a punt, you "punt" it with a pole. You can also hire a person to punt it for you. If your family spends any time in boats it will be easy to do, otherwise plan to get wet.
I'd drop Amsterdam as well.
Factor in jetlag/sleep deprivation from the flight and the excitement the first day is ruined, stay out in the sun, go to a park, run up a hill etc and try to stay up late eating only a light evening meal.
Getting out of town to Oxford/Salisbury/Winchester/Cambridge is easy to do and in high summer everyone else will be doing the same. You may be as well as just go for a walk along a canal or river. Say walk to Windsor and catch a train back.
bilboburgler is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 09:00 AM
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If you do all three, wouldn't it be easier to travel London-Paris-Amsterdam? You could take EuroStar from London to Paris.
MoBro is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 09:04 AM
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You can Eurostar to Amsterdam too.
I would drop Amsterdam though given the length of your trip.
hetismij2 is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 11:17 AM
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Thanks for all the insight and recommendations.
Have decided to cut it to two ..London/Paris and
add a day so 11 nights (not counting travel)
So 6 or 7 nights London /4 or 5 nights Paris

-airfare is considerably less in August. Although budget is flexible so not a major consideration unless lodging prices are also better values in August vs July?

-Is Paris less crowded in August?

-why the 4th and 5th vs St. Germaine with teens?

-best day trip from Paris other than Versailles?

-Bath or York?

-Hampton Court or Windsor?

Thanks!

MP





BlueHorizon is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 11:29 AM
  #10  
 
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>>-Hampton Court or Windsor? <<

Hampton Court

>>-Bath or York?<<

Both are great -for families I'd usually recommend York. But your kids are older so either would have lots to interest.

>>-why the 4th and 5th vs St. Germaine with teens?<<

The 6th is fine but IMO the 4th/Marais or the 5th/Latin Quarter would be more fun.
janisj is online now  
May 19th, 2019, 11:35 AM
  #11  
 
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Trains -book the Eurostar train London to Paris ASAP for serious discounted fares - www.eurostar.com - www.seat61.com has great insights on doing that yourselves online - general info trains like you'll take on day trips also www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com.

7 nights London - 5 Paris - I'd still consider taking two days off London and 1 Paris and spend 3 days in Amsterdam, a city way different than those other two. Lots of tourists in Paris in August. Paris-Amsterdam by train www.thalys.com takes about 4 hours.
PalenQ is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 11:47 AM
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>>7 nights London - 5 Paris - I'd still consider taking two days off London and 1 Paris . . . <<

As is often the case you mis-read the post. They don't have 7 nights in London and 5 in Paris. They have eleven nights total. So the OP clearly posted "So 6 or 7 nights London /4 or 5 nights Paris". To explain - that means EITHER 6 nights London and 5 nights Paris OR 7 nights London and 4 nights Paris . . .

And with logistics and kids I would not add a third destination.
janisj is online now  
May 19th, 2019, 11:53 AM
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Yes missed a day - I'd still take a day off each Paris and London and stick to original plan - Amsterdam is small compared to those other two so 1.5 days there is better than in say a Paris. And Schiphol Airport is so easy to get to and is always up in the top of favorite airports.
PalenQ is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 11:57 AM
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Yes, Paris is less crowded in August.

The 6th is fine, especially so if you're a blue-haired old lady with a fat wallet, but the 4th and 5th have a lot more going for young people. As does the 11th, my favorite.

There are SO many possible daytrips: Giverny, Chartres, Chantilly, Senlis, Fontainebleau, Pierrefonds, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Auvers-sur-Oise....do some reading and choose.

I think it's a tossup between Bath and York.
StCirq is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 12:03 PM
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Yes, Paris is less crowded in August.>

Yeah the city as a whole as many Parisians are on holiday but as tourists go expect long long lines at major sights and many Europeans on vacation come to Paris - Brits too and lots of tourists from all over the world.
PalenQ is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 12:17 PM
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Britons are no more likely to be in Paris in August than any other time of the year, and possibly less so - they are all busy invading StCirq's neck of the woods for their summer hols. Ditto most Europeans. The Dordogne is the place to avoid if youwant to avoid European tourists.
hetismij2 is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 01:00 PM
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So true! And Provence.
StCirq is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 01:16 PM
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Isn't August one the busiest month in Paris for genuine tourists?
PalenQ is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 01:21 PM
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I think the Latin Quarter has a young vibe your teens might like.
MoBro is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 01:24 PM
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Latin Quarter is not far from the Sorbonne area which would have more a younger vibe if school is in session.
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