Paris/London/Amsterdam What to See, Do

Dec 4th, 2007, 05:52 PM
  #1  
CWM
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Paris/London/Amsterdam What to See, Do

I'm going to Paris (4 days), London (3 days) and Amsterdam (3 days) beginning December 14th. I've been to London for a short trip but I'm basically new to all three cities. I've done some research but thought I'd ask the experts for opinions on what I must see, do or visit in each city. I'm sure there's enough to keep me busy in the city, but if anyone has any day trips they recommend, please let me know. Thanks in advance for all your input.
CWM is offline  
Dec 4th, 2007, 06:24 PM
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Yes, there is enough in each city to keep you busy for weeks (unless you just wish to do a Ho-Ho bus and move on).
What are you interested in ?

tours, galleries, museums, shopping, the theater, architecture, pubs ,restaurants, monuments, parks, clubs....or.....
danon is offline  
Dec 4th, 2007, 06:48 PM
  #3  
CWM
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Thanks for the response and I can see I left out some valuable information. I'm definately going for the sightseeing. Museums, galeries, etc. I'm not sure whether it's best to do these solo or with a tour. Because it will (or could ) be chilly, I'd rather not spend all day outside, but I'm not opposed to visiting outdoor sites.

No shopping, thanks. Pubs and bars will be a part of the trip. Restaurant-wise, I'm not strapped for cash, but I prefer a more casual establishment, especially since I'll be dining alone.

p.s. what's a Ho-Ho bus?
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Dec 4th, 2007, 07:09 PM
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"what's a Ho-Ho bus?"

Hop on-Hop off tour bus

Paris? Museé d'Orsay. Louvre. Walk along Rive Gauche weather-permitting. Arc de Triomphe might be a tad chill at this time of year.

Amsterdam? The Rijksmuseum. Van Gogh Museum. Bit of a pattern developing here.

Oh yeah. And a nice coffeehouse for some space cake.

knickerbocker is offline  
Dec 4th, 2007, 08:00 PM
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I wouldn't put in any daytrips outside of those cities for those number of days per place.

I spent only a very short time in London quite a few years ago, but do remember being awed at St Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London tour. Did not get to go inside Westminster Abbye and regret that.

Don't forget to see the Anne Frank house.. I like the Van Gogh museum but I think it has been expanded since I visited it, so I need to go back! The Rijksmuseum is partially closed so I can't comment on what is still available to view. The Amsterdam Historiche Museum was quite interesting, and we enjoyed the Houseboat Museum this past April.

Paris - the Louvre, of course - don't think or even try to 'see it all', just pick out a few highlights to look for (I liked the Napoleon Apartments, the Cupid and Psyche sculpture, the Italian and Dutch paintings...). Musee d'Orsay for the Impressionists and much more, the Musee Jacquemart-Andre (mansion) was lovely. Go up the Tour Montparnasse (brrr on the 59th fl. terrace in December, though, but there is an enclosed observatory on the 56th). See the Christmas windows at Galeries Lafayette, and go inside to see the beautiful stained glass dome. And so much more....!
Travelnut is offline  
Dec 4th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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I don't know how much you can see in London in 3 days - it is a huge city.
You may wish to take a bus tour to see the highlights ( like the Palace,
Trafalgar, Piccadilly , etc)
Tate Modern ( if you like modern art) the Globe theater, the Tower Bridge and The Tower are all not too far from one another.
The houses of Parliament, the Westminster Abby and Tate Britain ( a lot of Turner) are close by.
Near the Trafalgar square you will find Tate Gallery and Portrait Gallery.
The British Museum is huge , seeing even a few rooms takes hours.
PP mentioned 2 museums in Paris. but there is much more. Actually Paris is easier to get around and the streets are more beautiful
Again, you may take a bus tour to see the highlights ( the Eiffel Tower, etc). I don't know if they have river cruses in the winter but it is the way some enjoy seeing Paris.
Amsterdam is the smallest and 3 days may allow you to see the previously mentioned museums, relax, walk around
etc.
I never take tours so I cannot comment on what is better to do.
danon is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 02:08 AM
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Amsterdam will be busy, so close to Christmas.
The Rijksmusem is partially open and now easily combined with a visit to the Van Gogh museum. There is an extra exhibition at the Van Gogh at the moment called Barcelona, and one on Anton Mauve and Van Gogh. I haven't got to see them yet
The Anne Frankhuis is worth visiting. Try to buy your tickets in advance to save queueing, you can do it online, for all of the above.
A canal boat tour can be interesting and rests aching feet.

If you fancy space cake or other mind expanding things you need a coffeeshop not a coffee house.
hetismij is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 06:55 AM
  #8  
CWM
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Thanks for all your responses. You've provided some great ideas. Obviously most I've read about, but it's always good to get confirmation from others. If anyone has any cool pubs, bars or restaurants they can recommend I'd appreciate it.

Thanks again.
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Dec 5th, 2007, 08:42 AM
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" If anyone has any cool pubs, bars or restaurants they can recommend I'd appreciate it.'

It depends on where your hotel is - especially in Paris and London .
If you give the location, it would be easier to suggest a few places .
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Dec 5th, 2007, 09:53 AM
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MaureenB
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We loved Amsterdam and found some great cafes and restaurants there. I posted a detailed trip report for London-Paris-Amsterdam, that you can find by clicking on my name above.

I remember the name of one cafe in Amsterdam, the Cafe de Jardin (sp?), right near the Hotel de l'Europe. It has seating at the canal, and a very nice menu with good service. Not cheap, but not expensive. Great for taking a break and watching activity on the canal and thereabouts.

Also the Cafe Katoen (sp?), which is just on the corner near the Jardin.

Finally, a great pub/restaurant called Frenzi, in that same neighborhood. And a very classy, contemporary restaurant called "Stout!", in a further neighborhood.

If you can't find my trip report, post back and I'll try to find it for you.
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Dec 5th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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'one cafe in Amsterdam, the Cafe de Jardin (sp?), right near the Hotel de l'Europe. It has seating at the canal, and a very nice menu with good service. Not cheap, but not expensive. Great for taking a break and watching activity on the canal and thereabouts.'


ditto!
danon is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 10:30 AM
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I'd also look at the Fodor's Destination guides you will find here to get an outline of what to see. Post a proposed itinerary, and people here will be happy to help refine it. And, if you post your hotels, some resto recommendations.

You will need to trim quite a bit, since you do not really have much time in each city. Jet lag + checking in to hotel first day, then transfers between cities + check-ins, then getting to airport last day..when you map all of this out you lose quite a few chunks of days.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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Was not fond of Amsterdam when I was out there for work for a few weeks. . .but

Anne Frank House
Heinekan (sic) Beer Tour
Van Gogh Museum
Shopping (loved the shopping there!)

I went to the Red Light district (main strip) at night with a coworker and it was kind of scary. . .Got offered drugs every 10 seconds and harrassed. . .Don't go there at night standing out as tourists, you will be harrassed. . .I think its a better idea to check it out during the day.


The Rijksmuseum. . I was not a fan of. . .not worth the trip if you ask me, unless you are a huge Rembrant fan. I say pass on it.

Cafe de Jardin. . thumbs up!
lamgray is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 12:04 PM
  #14  
CWM
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Being the corporate traveler during the year, I'm using my Marriott points for the hotels. In Paris I'm staying at the Marriott Champs-Elysees. In London I'm at the Marriott County Hall (right next to the Eye) and at the Amsterdam Marriott. I know, I know...I'm not exactly getting the local flavor by staying at an American chain hotel. But the price is right ($0) so I'm not gonna complain.

Thanks again to everyone for your suggestions.
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Dec 5th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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In London, I really liked the Special Documents Room in the British Library and the verger's tour of Westminster Abbey.

I don't think anyone has mentioned Ste. Chapelle in Paris. Try to see it on a sunny day for the best look at the gorgeous stained glass windows. It's quite near Notre Dame.
carolyn is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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From Amsterdam take a day trip to Haarlem. The train takes about 20 minutes and runs about every 10 minutes. Be careful of pickpockets in Amsterdam Centraal Station, and in tourist areas around the city. The scum are professionals.

hopscotch is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 06:52 PM
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One more thing. The Amsterdam Marriott is across a canal from the Lediseplein, a HEAVY tourist area with gazillions of bars and restaurants. I suggest that you walk or take a tram up toward the center. The Spui is my favorite area, and the Jordan is not far from there.

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Dec 5th, 2007, 09:15 PM
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another vote for Spui - nice bars and restaurants frequented by the locals.
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