Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

London, Paris, Amsterdam in 8 days: Tell me what's wrong.

London, Paris, Amsterdam in 8 days: Tell me what's wrong.

Old Jan 10th, 2008, 07:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 98
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
London, Paris, Amsterdam in 8 days: Tell me what's wrong.

Is it wrong to do a ďhit and runĒ in Europe?
Donít flame me, but on my next trip to Europe, I just want to hit the sights I havenít seen before. My girls are going with me (their 1st trip) so anything they see will be new to them and they wonít feel like they got slighted. They just want to go traveling with me, see some museums, shop and get a feel for the area. Weíve had many discussions, but both wanted Paris for their first trip.

My aggressive itinerary:
Friday: fly out
Sat: arrive London/chill out
Sun: British Museum
Mon: Tower of London
Tues: train to Paris in the early am/chill in Paris
Wed: Louvre
Thur: shop
Fri: Train/Amsterdam
Sat: Anne Frank haus
Sun: leave/home from Amsterdam

Since Paris has to be on the visit list, the add-on choice was either London or Amsterdam as they both contain at least one museum I want to visit (British Museum/Anne Frank). Selfishly I donít want to choose between the two, since I donít know when Iíll be able to visit Europe again. Iíve never been to Amsterdam before (wanted to see Anne's house since I was 13) and Iím regretting I didnít visit the British Museum on my last visit to London; hence the dilemma.

Iíll address a few points upfront:
*Jet lag: the day after landing has chill time written in/plan on just strolling about the city
*Travel between cities would probably be train: we plan on packing light, with the train ride itself also considered as ďsightseeingĒ and not just a means to get to another destination.
*Rent a Paris apt w/washer/dryer. Will save time doing laundry.
*I personally donít want to stay in any one city the full time. I know serious Fodorites will balk at this.
*The Tower & Lourve itinerary was just thrown in for the girls. Iíve been to both already. Another site could be substituted.
*Both girls are used to aggressive sightseeing/traveling.

Anyone want to play devilís advocate?

P.S. If you get to read any older posts of mineÖI was concerned about keeping under $5000 for this trip. So far Iíve saved $1200 and the girls have committed to saving money for their own shopping. We should be able to use NWA miles to either get some or all of the flights comped.

cammci is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2008, 08:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello cammci, probably a faster trip than I would take but of course it is not wrong. Looking at your itineray I note that you are allowing time for transfering from one city to the next. So many travellers to Europe do not take that into considertions as you are. Please give us a trip report when you get home and settled back in. And best wishes to you and your daughters for a beautiful trip. I am sure it will make for a lifetime of wonderful memories.

LoveItaly is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2008, 08:32 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 697
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you like to be on-the-go, then the itinery looks fine as you've limited what you want to do each day. As Loveitaly said, you've allowed for travel time too.

Not everyone likes to travel around so fast, but each to their own. I can understand the "what if I never get back there?" feelings.

I think most Fodorites would be more concerned if you were trying to do too much each day ie some people try to pack in 5 sights a day and forget about travel time.

You will need to book ahead for the train from London to Paris to ensure you get the time you want.
speckles is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2008, 09:49 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,501
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

There is nothing wrong. But if I had 8 days I would probably try to stick to 2 places and not three. There is so much to see and do in both Paris and London so it is a shame only staying there a day or two Well, here is my Paris trip report with pictures and links: http://gardkarlsen.com/Paris_France.htm

http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2008, 11:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Book your tickets for the Anne Frank Huis (note the spelling online so you don't have to join the queue. Another little bit of time saved - you can use that time in a cafe people watching and getting your breath back. You'll have time to just wander in Amsterdam or to visit the Van Gogh museum maybe. (Again you can buy the tickets on line.)

Have a great trip!
hetismij is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 02:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 26,778
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This itinerary is fine, particularly if you can do an open-jaw into London and out of either Paris or Amsterdam. You have limited yourself to sites that can reasonably be seen in the time provided - indeed, the Anne Frank Huis will likely take only an hour to visit (lines are another story, however), meaning you will have plenty of time to wander around.

A couple of other thoughts, strictly around transportation:

1) If you are using miles, be prepared to be flexible, which might mean flying into AMS and out of London, or into Paris and out of AMS, or most likely into and out of AMS, as that is where NW has the most flights. If you have dates and wanted help, some here might be able to help you find flights that would work.

2) An open jaw itinerary, while no more expensive with miles, can result in a premium if you end up buying. It will still often be the cheapest option, but you should make sure you do a careful work-up of the costs.

3) Given 1 & 2, if you find yourself having to get from AMS to London (or vice versa), I highly recommend VLM airlines, which will take you into London City airport, which features short lines, direct access to the DLR, and check-in cutoffs of only 30 minutes or so.
travelgourmet is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 03:09 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<<< London, Paris, Amsterdam in 8 days: Tell me what's wrong. >>>

London, Paris, Amsterdam in 8 days, that's what's wrong

alanRow is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 03:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If that's what you fancy, then fine - you've been before, you obviously know what you are doing & are not trying to fit in too many sights (the usual problem with aggressive itineraries). My only suggestion is re

"*The Tower & Lourve itinerary was just thrown in for the girls. Iíve been to both already. Another site could be substituted."

How about the open top bus tours, to give them an overview of all the major sights in each city ? Depending on how many hours a day you want to spend sightseeing you could spend half a day doing the bus trip then the other half at the Tower/Louvre - or just do the bus tours with breaks for getting off, strolling about a bit, cafes, etc. You could also do a bus or boat tour in Amsterdam on your Anne Frank house day - from memory (admittedly a long time ago) the AFH doesn't take long.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 03:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,567
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In reality you are not attempting to do London, Paris, and Amsterdam in 8 days. You have specific target sights and have planned rather well if your goal is to visit the British Museum, the Tower of London, the Louvre and the Anne Frank House in 8 days. I think is great.
Viajero2 is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 04:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,067
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think it will be fine. In reality you'll see lots more than what is on your short "list". For example, the day you do the Tower of London you could probably walk across Tower Bridge, along the Thames, perhaps cross back over the Millenium Bridge to St Pauls. Even pop into the Tate as you pass it. All that would still not fill up a whole day and you'd really see at least five sites. The day you do the British Museum you could walk to Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square (and even pop into the National Museum), and over to Buckingham Palace, then down to the Thames to see the Houses of Parliment, etc. Most of the outstanding things for a first timer (your girls)to see are not things that take a lot of time. Since London musuems are free "popping" into the Tate or the Natinal Musuem can give you a nice taste of them in less than an hour. Of course you won't see everything but a little is better than nothing. Same with Paris. Look at maps, guidebooks and pick neighborhoods to shop/walk around. Some shopping areas are a lot less expensive than others. And you have one whole day listed for the Louve and most people are tired after 3-4 hours (or less). So that leaves many other hours in the day.

If you plan well you'll really see alot even in three days in each city. One of the things that takes some people a lot of time is meals - because they plan ahead where they want to go, make reservations, have to be in a certain place at a certain time. If you just stop for quick meals where and wheneve you get hungry you'll have alot more time for sightseeing.
isabel is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 04:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 98
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you everyone! I needed a critical eye to this latest idea-I'm pasting this post to my planning journal.

When I visit (usually solo) I push, push, push myself to cram every bit of highlight in. I don't regret it, but on this one I don't feel, nor think it's realistic, to expect it from the girls.

Since I've created some sort of "baseline" travel experience for myself, on future trips I do intend to visit, stay a little longer and revisit some of my favorite places, savoring the experience.
cammci is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,567
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
cammci-- your latest post certifies your membership as an Official Fodorite Happy travels!!
Viajero2 is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 05:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,040
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have to agree about buying your tickets on line for the Anne Frank Huis.

We visited AMS the beginning of Nov., 2007, and as we approached the A.F.H. at 10:30 a.m., the lines were already around the corner.

People having online tickets enter through the 2nd door (furthest from the corner) and ring the doorbell, so that someone will buzz you in. It's all glass, so they can see you standing outside from the ticket counter.

It was great - we had our tickets in hand, rang the doorbell and were in-and-out in about an hour. By that time, it looked like the entrance line to purchase tickets was wrapping around the second corner of the block.
i_am_kane is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,541
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

No doubt online tickets to the
Anne Frank House are the way to go
but the line for regular tickets
moves along faster than most places.

We were around the corner and half way
past the church yet were in within
half an hour.

ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2008, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 513
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I second caroline-edinburghs recommendation of the bus tours in Paris and/or London. Even if you don't get off at many stops, I've always really enjoyed being able to look around and get a general feel for different neighborhoods.
beckytx is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Apr 10th, 2017 03:43 PM
Feb 6th, 2016 02:24 PM
Jan 23rd, 2007 11:15 AM
Mar 21st, 2006 09:32 AM
Feb 2nd, 2006 03:49 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -