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Travel in Munich, car rental from Amsterdam to Normandy

Travel in Munich, car rental from Amsterdam to Normandy

Old Sep 11th, 2023, 05:05 PM
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Travel in Munich, car rental from Amsterdam to Normandy

14 day cruise from Imjuiden(Amsterdam) in Baltic now has turned into extra time In Munich and trip to Normandy.Trip mid May 2024 for DH and I. Flying out of Chicago to Munich Thursday with arrival on Friday at 1 pm with departure Monday at 1 pm instead of a 2 hr layover in Munich. Love how planning one thing turns into visiting a whole differently country. Plan to take Lufthansa bus from airport to train station and then probably ride share to Hotel am Markt in city center. Tried to book Hotel Schickler based on comments here but already booked! So now Iím thinking need to get going on planning. On Monday we will arrive at Schipol about 2:30 pm-we now also wonít have to deal with immediate jet lag effects!
The plan was to extend cruise out of Amsterdam to visit Normandy beach area. Initially also thought we would do train travel but realizing we donít pack the lightest for a 14 day cruise into northern climates so plans have changed a to car rental. This is where I need your input- first, this is the first time my DH will be driving in Europe and wants the car to be an automatic. Confused about comments re: need for international driverís license-yes or no?, with unlimited miles can you go between borders-Netherlands, Belgium and France without any special rental needs?, how important is the no deductible addition-when renting cars in US have never added on extra insurance cost as covered by credit card or personal car insurance? Are airport car rental areas at the Schipol terminal or do you get shuttled to a designated car pickup area. Plan to reserve car for 4:30 ? Enough time for US citizen from Munich to get through what I am assuming will be both immigration and customs.
Secondly-need major assistance with trip from Amsterdam to Normandy Beach area. Arrival at Schipol from Munich at 3 pm on Monday.
Day 1 Monday Schipol leaving about 4:30 pm your input needed for first stop. Having real difficulties figuring out best distance for time constraint. Stay in Belgium? 3 hours driving?
Day 2-4 Tuesday- Thursday 3-4 hour Drive rest of way to Normandy beach area?Would be great to stay in one place but is that feasible? Best to drive farthest distance and make way back or stay somewhere in between. Main focus would be WWII history. Would love accommodation suggestions- open to all different types but allergic to dogs so try to find no pets allowed places- yes many times this limits us.
Day 5- Friday probably plan to return car rental Friday night. Lately for travel before cruises we have been renting car until Sat. but return early to airport night before and Uber to hotel in Imjuiden for Friday night as cruise leaves Saturday afternoon. This allows for less stress on first day of cruise. Interested if input suggests stay eastern outskirts of Amsterdam Friday due to travel from Normandy area and then car to airport Sat am before transport to cruise port Imjuiden.
All suggestions gratefully accepted as they have been very helpful in the past to make for a great trip! I just canít seem to get a handle on time frames. Generally enjoy museums, my family says I am a church fanatic, like local food, but shopping not a huge priority. Can visit area on own but probably would like one day guided tour of beaches for the wealth of info they provide. Would love to visit Mont St. Michel but due to mobility issues not on the list and hopefully that would help decrease the rushed time for the other areas.
Thanks
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Old Sep 11th, 2023, 06:32 PM
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Too many questions!
​​​​​​I will try to answer some.

You arrive in the Schengen Zone in Munich. That means you don't go through customs/immigration again in Amsterdam.

Unless your state driver's licence is trilingual English/Dutch/French, yes the driver needs an international driver's permit. They are not that expensive from AAA and either the rental agency or any police who stop you have the right to demand it.

Renting from and returning to Amsterdam - - smart, saves you a one-way fee. Check with the rental agency but normally travel to other EU countries is fine. Best to check about clean air zones on your way, as a Dutch car won't have a French Crit'Air sticker. Automatic transmission will cost you more but will be readily reservable.

​​​​​​Insurance - the rental agency may have age restrictions or demand an older driver take their insurance. Check that with a dummy booking. Probably your premium traveller US credit card will let you decline comprehensive cover. Read that specific policy.
​​
I would gently suggest that four days of driving in your five days before the cruise is a lot. Use ViaMichelin for more realistic estimates of driving time than Google's. Are you quite, quite sure the extra destination has to be Normandy? The Netherlands has much to offer, as does Belgium.

​​
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Old Sep 11th, 2023, 07:25 PM
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Thanks! Was going to divide it up into multiple posts so thanks for covering what you did. Last summer we spent six days in Amsterdam so looking for a different area. My husband doesn’t mind driving extended time but wanted to make sure we still had enough time for some sightseeing besides just driving, initial info was about 7 hours each way from Amsterdam to Normandy area. That is why I was looking at more realistic personal experiences. Thanks for clarifying questions.
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Old Sep 11th, 2023, 09:43 PM
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Are you planning on touring in the Amsterdam and environs again? I'm sorry to say, your post was a bit hard to read (please include paragraph breaks on your next post! ) so perhaps I missed it. But if your focus is mostly Normandy and environs, I'd fly into Paris rather than Amsterdam. Use the train to Normandy and from that region rent a car.

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Old Sep 11th, 2023, 10:20 PM
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You should have no problems going between those countries in a rental car - there are sometimes some restrictions, but not with NL/BE/FR. However, I think your plan is ambitious as you will spend much of your time driving. I did something similar in about 10 days (Brussels - Mont Saint Michel) and still felt there was too much driving. In NL particularly your time will be spent on freeways, and will be so in other countries if you want any time between destinations. If it were me and I had 5 days before a cruise out of IJmuiden, i'd see the Netherlands and maybe Antwerp at a stretch. That would be comfortable, you could travel B roads so you'd be able to see things, and you'd get to know one destination really well. There is a lot to see beyond Amsterdam and pretty much everyone has English, it would be a relaxed trip.

Lavandula
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Old Sep 11th, 2023, 10:23 PM
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And if you want some suggestions of what to see:

Utrecht
Leeuwaarden
Groningen
Maastricht
Delft
Den Haag
Hoorn
Marken
Naarden

The list goes on...

Lavandula
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Old Sep 11th, 2023, 10:41 PM
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Hi katk,

Just a few notes about Munich --

There are really no ride-shares here, as it's not legal. Just hop into a taxi when the bus lets you off. Also, your hotel is right in the middle of the Viktualienmarkt, a pedestrian area, so you'll be walking the last block.

I wonder why you're not taking the Sbahn into town? It'll probably be faster, as the bus will be vulnerable to the many traffic jams that ring Munich. Also, the city has just introduced new train cars for this route, with more space for luggage. Instead of getting off at the Hauptbahnhof (main station), get off at Marienplatz, which is about a 5-minute walk to your hotel. Both S1 & S8 stops at Marienplatz.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Sep 11th, 2023, 10:53 PM
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There is long term luggage storage (max 30 days) at Shiphol.

According to Google, Shiphol-Bayeux is faster by train than car.

Taking tours negates the reason for a car.

We have driven from Brussels to Normandy, there wasn't much of interest for us in between. Would have liked to have taken the slow coastal roads ( Dunkirk, Dieppe)
but we also only had 4 days.

Last edited by cdnyul; Sep 11th, 2023 at 10:58 PM.
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Old Sep 12th, 2023, 07:38 AM
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I was coming back to say what my fellow Canuck pointed out. With perhaps only one change of train, you can get from Schiphol to Bayeux carrying just enough luggage for the mini-trip.

Or, train just as far as Belgium and enjoy chocolates, architecture and WWI sites.

Other new thought - again, store the cruise luggage, high speed train to Paris, one overnight, join a three day tour to Normandy out of Paris. Or travel by train after your overnight and do tours out of Bayeux. You can make it back to Schiphol in one day.

Last edited by FTOttawa; Sep 12th, 2023 at 08:15 AM. Reason: New thought
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Old Sep 14th, 2023, 12:24 PM
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Thanks for the food for thought!

Checked with the hotel- they are in the pedestrian zone but taxis are allowed to drop off guests. Thought this was probably the case as the hotel arranges airport shuttles and didn’t think they would make their guests walk 5 min. with luggage for transit. So will probably take Lufthansa bus to train station and then taxi to hotel in Munich.

Uber is available in Munich and can be reserved based on their website.

Rental car concern from Schiphol now is focused on having the correct documents for all the different requirements in Netherlands, Belgium and France. Also if possible to visit low emission areas and not risk getting fined. It seems like rental companies really don’t care and are just comfortable charging any fees that may be incurred which looks like could be substantial for 5 day rental. Anyone have recent experience with this as I know new restrictions have been put in place this summer.

Response re: taking a tour defeating purpose of rental car- tour in Normandy would be for one day out of three and tend to provide much useful info for area visiting. Car allows us flexibility to go support local accommodations, dining and attractions outside of public transport areas.

Yes! Normandy ( WWII history) would be the focus.
Day 1 (Mon)4:30 pm start towards Normandy from Schiphol spend night in Lille France
Day 2-4 (Tues-Thurs. or Fri.)drive to Bayeaux, spend 3 nights or instead 2 nights and then drive to Rouen
Day 5 (Fri) Drive to within 1/ 1/2 hours from Schiphol, spend night
Day 6- (Sat) early drive to Schiphol, return rental car, taxi to Imjuiden

Comments re: this itinerary and suggestions for accommodations appreciated!

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Old Sep 14th, 2023, 02:01 PM
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You will need a Crit'air sticker in Lille:

https://www.eplaque.fr/en/crit-air-e...20in%20a%20LEZ.

also if you stop anywhere in Belgium, Ghent and Antwerp also have an LEZ. Rather than getting a sticker for one night, you may find it easier to park your car on the outskirts and catch a bus in.

Also, it's IJmuiden, not Imjuiden (said Ay-Mowden). The IJ is a body of water in the Netherlands and the muiden bit means 'mouth'. J is written as a capital because IJ (also spelt 'ˇ' when lower case) is considered a letter of the alphabet.

Lavandula

Last edited by lavandula; Sep 14th, 2023 at 02:04 PM.
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Old Sep 14th, 2023, 04:10 PM
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I am hoping that the rental cars will have the appropriate stickers as yes most of the cities we were looking at visiting in Belgium, etc. require them. That is why I am looking for input from anyone that may have dealt with these issues.
Thankfully this forum has helped me to be aware of this issue.
Sorry about the misspelling didn’t review and missed the auto correct of IJmuiden.
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Old Sep 15th, 2023, 10:05 AM
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Dutch cars don't need to register in Belgium if they comply with the LEZ rules, which rental cars will certainly do. There are no stickers; if your car is not compliant (ie old diesel cars or very old petrol cars) you have to pay online before entering the LEZ.
I don't know how you would get a crit'air sticker for France for a hire car. You need details of the car and you don't have those in advance. Check with the car rental agency for this.
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Old Sep 15th, 2023, 12:40 PM
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Thanks for the input. We hope to rent a hybrid car so was hoping they would not “upgrade” the car. This may make me feel more comfortable visiting or staying in the LEZ areas.
My concern was the info I had to have pay on line includes registration info which you don’t usually have with rentals.
Thanks again
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