London-Paris-Amsterdam in 10 days

Jan 25th, 2010, 07:43 PM
  #1  
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London-Paris-Amsterdam in 10 days

This is our first family trip to Europe. We are 5 people (3 kids of 11, 7 & 7 ages). Already bought tickets to arrive at London and leave from Amsterdam.

We will be staying 4 nights in London starting from March 27th, 4 nights in Paris from March 31st and 2 nights in Amsterdam.

Currently I am looking at in expensive places to stay in London, Paris and Amsterdam. Please let me know if you know any good place.

I would also appreciate if you can help me figures out the best places in these cities to visit during these days.

Thanks,
RP
junk4rp is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 07:56 PM
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I would seek out apartments in London and Paris. You will have lots more space and will cost you less than two hotel rooms. If you want an hotel in Paris, this is a charming place with peaceful gardens in the 5th. We stayed here in 2001 with our kids and got a very good price for two rooms.

http://www.hotel-grandes-ecoles.com/
macdogmom is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 08:01 PM
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@macdogmom: Am looking at the apartment options for London and Paris. Guess in A'dam I have to book hotel though.
junk4rp is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 08:23 PM
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What is the best way to visit Keukenhof Garden near A'dam?
junk4rp is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 09:43 PM
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junk4rp: What is you budget for hotels/apartments - How much per night? You may have said in your other thread, but it has so many posts, it is hard to find details.
janisj is online now  
Jan 26th, 2010, 12:55 AM
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There is a shuttle bus which runs from Schiphol to Keukenhof, Connexxion #58. It leaves every 15 minutes. Either get the train out to Schiphol or get the interliner 370 or red Sternet bus #197 from Leidseplein to Schiphol.
You can buy a combined bus and entry ticket online at www.keukenhof.nl
hetismij is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 02:22 AM
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There is really useful information here about renting short term flats in London:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...n_England.html

And basic information about London here:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...n_England.html

In addition to the fantastic advice you'll receive here, I thought I'd add these articles to the mix.
The author lives in London and is a curator in a London museum.
Bowsprit is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 02:32 AM
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I didn't see this thread, and I put a few suggestions about Amsterdam on your other thread.
NorCalif is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 05:21 AM
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For Amsterdam hotels check the Netherlands forum at http://tripadvisor.com

Look for the Priceline hotels thread... usually in the first page or 2. You can get two 4* hotel rooms in Amsterdam for little more than $120 using "name your own price" these days.

Needless to say... get your travel arrangements (most likely trains) between cities organized as soon as possible...
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 05:34 AM
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@janisj: I have a budget of $200/night for accomodation. Had a little lower but heard it is not possible to have anything in that. BTW, I am geeting a few responses from apartments from Londodn which seems to fit in this budget. A little apprehensive about apartment though since I knwo nothing about London.

@Hetismij: Yes I have checked that information about the Keukenhof gareden. Do you think spending half a day and money worth the visit to the garden ( We love flowers!) Is there any place I can buy discounted tickets to the garden? Is buying online beforehand is the best option?

@Bowsprit: Thank you a lot for your information. I will check those links to get some more information.

@NorCalif: I have read your comment on the other thread. I read about the boat club. Would have loved to try, but after browing their site, looks like it is probably be not possible. Is there a lot of demand for their boat rides?
junk4rp is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 05:36 AM
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@ParisAmsterdam: Will refer your link to understand Amsterdam hotels. Yes, I will book the tickets in trains soon. Is there a cheaper way to get Eurostar and Talys tickets other than the lowest price it shows on their sites?
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Jan 26th, 2010, 05:56 AM
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There are no discounted tickets for Keukenhof. You will be early for tulips, though there will be lots of other flowers to see. Only you can decide if it is worth it for you.
Buying online is easiest if you are sure you will visit, if you aren't sure about it then wait until you get to Amsterdam. You can buy tickets for the bus and entrance on the day you want to go.
Your kids may actually prefer a visit to Artis, Amsterdam zoo .
The lowest price shown on the train websites is generally the lowest you will get - agencies add their cut to the price often too.
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Jan 26th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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rp - yes, the St. Nicolaas boat rides are in demand, but they often have last minute openings. But with 5 of you it might be harder to count on finding room at the last minute.

I went to Keukenhof several times last spring ( I had a season pass so it was economical - but only makes sense if you're going to go at least 3 times I think). The first time I went - can't remember exactly what date - was before the tulips were really blooming - the daffodils and hyacinths and crocuses were. But they had big indoor displays with beautiful tulips - so you could still see many varieties of tulips, also orchids and other flowers. It was worth seeing even then IMO. Because it was less crowded then, I almost enjoyed it more than later on. The park itself is very pretty - a beech tree alley with big old trees, water fountains, and all - in fact I wish it was open all year, even without the flowers.

Then when I went on April 15 last year the tulips were in full bloom as I recall. Although as hetismij points out, the height of the bloom varies by year. But the crowds really did take away from the experience for me - think Disneyland-type crowds. So I enjoyed going late in the afternoon - I think it's open till 7:30 PM or so. I liked going around 3:00 or 4:00 PM - the tour bus crowds begin to thin out and you still have a few hours to see the gardens. They have food booths and cafes, although as you would expect, the food tends to be expensive for what you get. My friends and I used to just bring sandwiches - they have picnic tables.

Anyway, having said all that, I don't know, with only two days in Amsterdam, if that would be what you would most like to do. The garden is beautiful, but when you're in it, you're not as aware you're in a different country, if you know what I mean. Whereas walking around Amsterdam, sitting at a sidewalk cafe on a canal or river, you definitely know you're not in Kansas (or DC in your case, I think) any more.
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Jan 26th, 2010, 08:33 AM
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I forgot to say, if your kids (or you) are at all into castles - a trip to the small village of Muiden would be doable for a few hours. It's a lovely small town on the river Vecht only about 7 or 8 miles from Amsterdam, with a moat and castle, Muiderslot, built in 1280. You can reach it from Amsterdam directly by bus or by train to Weesp and then a 5 minute bus ride to Muiden.

Here's a wikipedia link with a few pictures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muiderslot

To tell the truth, for a really nothing-like-it-in-the-US experience, I might choose to spend half a day there rather than at Keukenhof. But since you said you all especially like flowers .... decisions, decisions. ;->
NorCalif is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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You might look at the Hestia Hotel in AMsterdam. They have a 5 bedded room. It's a bit over yur budget but does include breakfast, which was quite good. It is well located to the Van Gogh and Rijk Museums, Vondelpark and canals. It has good transport options within a block.
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Jan 26th, 2010, 02:33 PM
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In your other thread, I suggested you look at a five-person room at the YHA St. Pancras in London - www.yha.org.uk It's basically right across the street from St. Pancras, where you catch the Eurostar to Paris.

Lee Ann
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Jan 26th, 2010, 03:23 PM
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@NorCalif: Thank you for the details on the Keukenhof garden. Yes, I want to go there, but with your comment about not being aware that we are in different country makes me think. If it was not half a day, I would have definitely gone. Now, have to run it through the family. Also big thank you for the information on Muiden castle. Definitely looks interesting for the kids. Like you said decisions...decisions...

@avalon: Will look into the Hestia Hotel. We will tweak the budget again if does not fit with the right place.

@ElendilPickel: I looked into the YHA site. Sorry if I forgot to acknowledge that in the other thread. They do not have availability during our trip. I am looking into a few apartments. Will post the ones I am considering as a separate thread in a couple of days to get a feedback from fodorites.

Thank you every one for your continuous feedback. It really helps me in bouncing ideas.

RP
junk4rp is offline  
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