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London, Paris, Brussels/Bruges, Amsterdam itinerary help

London, Paris, Brussels/Bruges, Amsterdam itinerary help

Oct 7th, 2017, 11:46 PM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,817
And you should avoid rental apartments - there's a crackdown going on.
Do yourself a favor and get an air-conditioned hotel, instead.
Here's one that's quiet and close to good transport:
fuzzbucket is offline  
Oct 8th, 2017, 04:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 741
You have a fun trip to look forward to, but please don't try to do it all on your 1st trip because all you'll be seeing as you travel from one city to another is countryside from the train. With that short amount of time, I would suggest only visiting 2 cities and perhaps a day trip from each. Once that's narrowed down, get some guidebooks, then decide what you and your mom want to visit. Try to visit things that are in the same general area (you don't want to go from one end of a city to another, then back, to sight see. This is especially true in both London and Paris). Once you've determined what you want to see, then order any tickets on line for that as some places will sell out and you won't be able to get in. This takes planning to know what specific day/time you'll be visiting. Lines for some places can be quite long, which will eat up the time you'll have to see it. As for hotels, you'll have to provide what your budget is. When booking, check to see if the hotel rate includes breakfast, and, if not, find out how much it is. You can always stop for breakfast outside the hotel as well. Most hotels have a lift (elevator), but not all and that's important to know too. Don't even think of driving, but rather rely on public transportation. Finding a parking place in these cities will pretty much be non-existent. The train system in Europe is amazing! London uses the pound sterling, while everywhere else the euro. Using ATM's won't be a problem, but make sure you notify your bank and credit card companies (use a card without foreign transaction fees) you'll be overseas so they don't put a hold on or freeze the card.

I'm repeating pretty much what everyone else has said, but you'll need to do some homework to make the most of your trip. Write out exactly what you want to see in each city and note opening/closing hours and what day (if any) closed. Two cities would really allow you to get a feel for the place rather than trying to add another city or two, but that's your decision to make. With advance planning, you can't help but have a fantastic trip!
Debs is offline  
Oct 8th, 2017, 06:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,993
It will explain how to get from country to country, and the timing involved.
Plan on purchasing tickets 90 days in advance.
If you can go at "off times", you'll save money.
I would look for refundable tickets, in any case.?

No reason to buy 90 days in advance if wanting refundable tickets which are usually full-fare fully flexible to some extent - buy early for discounted and train-specific tickets that are usually non-changeable.

Refundble tickets cost a lot more often than non-refundable discounted tickets.
PalenQ is online now  
Oct 8th, 2017, 07:02 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 9
Thank you everyone for your great advice. After reading what you all have to say, we are going to narrow down our destinations and do some more research. We will be back with more specific questions once we narrow down are destinations. Thank you all!
lknisle1 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2017, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 431
If you have 14 days and you want to see more than 2 cities, do it. Everyone travels at different pace and has different stamina. You know your mom and yourself.

I will echo what was already said about Paris being a visually stunning city. And I too much prefer Bruges to Brussels.

Taking in account the countries you want to see:

-4 nights London
-4 nights Paris
-2 nights Bruges
-3 nights Amsterdam

The distances by train at not very far and can be part of the excitement.
ToujoursVoyager is offline  
Oct 9th, 2017, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,251
>>Taking in account the countries you want to see:

-4 nights London
-4 nights Paris
-2 nights Bruges
-3 nights Amsterdam <<

How would that be possible when at most they will have 12 nights on the ground.

4 nights in London at the beginning of the trip nets just 3 full days and jet lag to deal with.
janisj is online now  
Oct 9th, 2017, 06:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 431
she said "We are discussing possibly going for 14 days"
I read it too fast; you are right that they would have to cut 2 nights out. Or maybe they can even extend the trip further??
ToujoursVoyager is offline  
Oct 9th, 2017, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 431
Actually, she needs to cut one night somewhere from my itinerary. But it depends what kind of travelers they are. If the OP and his/her mom like to be relax when they travel, get up later, linger over lunch, have amazing food, people watch, be thorough with the destinations then I think Janisj suggestions are excellent.

However, that would drive my mother insane. She does not travel to relax but to explore. She is up at 6am. She likes to compare and contrast different cultures during the same trip. She will stay in obscure towns not in guide book. Everyone has a different pace of traveling. There is not a right or wrong one.
ToujoursVoyager is offline  
Oct 9th, 2017, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,836
We are discussing possibly going for 14 days therefore 12 full days.

First, I would suggest thinking in terms of hotel nights, so as to avoid confusion with the night one spends on the plane going east, and the night at home spent after flying west.

So: I'm assuming you have 12 hotel nights.

Some thoughts: I'm more laid back about faster travel than some. Assume you will return on another trip. That said, be realistic about the time it will take to move around.

overnight flight - 1 n.
London - 3 n. We have visited London many times coming or going from other Europe destinations. So, if you plan to return, don't worry, you will have other opportunities to visit.
Eurostar to Paris, 4 n. You can leave early pm from London, which gives you a bit more time there.
Bruges or Gent - 2 n. (We actually did a night in each.) The real joy is these places break up the train journey Paris-Amsterdam quite nicely.
It's a bit tight, but doable. However, your budget will have to be sufficient to cover the ground transportation.
Amsterdam - 3 n.

Total 12 n plus overnight flight.
It is a bit tight, even I prefer 4 n minimums in larger cities.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Oct 9th, 2017, 10:15 PM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,817
PalenQ - Refundable tickets are a good idea, because if there's a strike, or a significant delay, you get all your money back. I don't mind paying a little extra for the convenience.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Oct 10th, 2017, 10:35 PM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,817
If your mother is up at 6 AM, she won't find anything that will be open. Most cafes only open around 7:30 AM.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Oct 11th, 2017, 04:57 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,088
fuzzbucket.....your hotel suggestion is going in my notes for our next trip. It looks like our kind of place if we don't stay in an apt.
TPAYT is offline  
Oct 11th, 2017, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,993
PalenQ - Refundable tickets are a good idea, because if there's a strike, or a significant delay, you get all your money back. I don't mind paying a little extra for the convenience.>

But it is often more than a little extra- like bahn.de/en - German Railways 29 euro tickets that are train=specific and cannot be changed not fully refunded vs may 80-90 euros at full fare.

Or Thalys tickets Paris-Amsterdam- or Eurostar tickets London-Paris can also be $100 or more cheaper than fully flexible tickets.

But if difference is not much like on short trips or slower trains then yes.

If doing several rail trips at fully-flexible ticketing then a railpass often may be cheaper and provide the ultimate flexibility on most trains in Benelux-Germany (the Germany-Benelux Railpass would be one to consider - it comes also in 2nd class, unlike many Eurailpasses and with it you can hop any train (except Thalys) in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxebourg and Germany.
PalenQ is online now  

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