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-   -   Traveling to Amsterdam and anywhere else for 3 weeks... Any suggestions? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/traveling-to-amsterdam-and-anywhere-else-for-3-weeks-any-suggestions-953509/)

LRenee Oct 13th, 2012 05:54 AM

Traveling to Amsterdam and anywhere else for 3 weeks... Any suggestions?
 
Hello to all you world travelers out there, I have an upcoming trip to Amsterdam next week, and will be there until the first week of November. I've been planning on visiting Amsterdam since last summer because I have a friend who moved there because of work, so he's always invited me, and now I'm finally going. Since I'll be staying in his apartment in Amsterdam, I plan on dropping off my bags and doing some traveling while over there. Thought about taking the eurorail to London and Paris for a few days, maybe 2-3 days in each city, but where else? Does Berlin sound like a good idea too, or would anyone suggest traveling throughout England and/or France instead? I have been to London and Paris in November of 2010, but only for about 8 days, and I must say the travel from London to Paris seemed extra long because of the delayed train, so this time around I really just want to enjoy myself and take it all in. I was a little tired from traveling the last time, and didn't get to do and see a ton, but I still saw some. So this time I'll have more time to see it all.

I would prefer to go to a few places and have a good time sightseeing, as opposed to going to a lot of places and only spending a very small amount of time there. I don't care about adding a ton of stamps to my passport, if I can't enjoy myself its sort of like I wasn't even there. But if a place is nearby I'd love to see it.

I have to mention one last thing: me and my friend will be mostly hanging out my first week in Amsterdam, he'll show me all around, and we're going to see Chaka Khan on Friday, so from Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 until November 2nd I'll be free to go and see any and everywhere else. I'm a female, in my 20s from NYC, so I love big cities and stuff like that. I studied abroad in Greece while in college, so I am not new to international traveling, and am always careful and mindful of my surroundings so no need to worry. With all this in mind I would love to hear some of your thoughts and suggestions. Thanks a bunch!

annhig Oct 13th, 2012 06:14 AM

hi LR - welcome!

what a great opportunity to see more of europe, although as i read it, you haven't got THAT much time - 2 weekends?

I think that what I would do would be to head for places that maximise my time on the ground, which probably means the train rather than flying. Therefore the two obvious choices are indeed Paris and Berlin. Paris will take just over 3 hours, however Berlin is well over 6 hours, so instead of going there, why not explore more of the Netherlands - Utrecht, Maastrict, then there's Antwerp over in Belgium, even Luxembourg, which some think is underrated.

timetables and costs can be found here: bahn.de [yes, i know it's weird but the easiest website for checking on cross-border trains, even ones that don't go to Germany is the german one].

good luck and have a great trip.

PalenQ Oct 13th, 2012 07:52 AM

I also think you may want to concentrate more on Germany and Belgium and Netherlands and Paris - if you go to London via the Chunnel train from Brussels then try to fly back home from there and chose London and England for most of your time - you could also take the train to Paris stay a few days there and then take the Chunnel train to London - so Paris and London are great choices for two large cities with umpteen things to do or stay in the Germany-Belgium-Paris area.

anyway for lots of great ideas on European trains I always spotlight these IMo terrific sites - www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - be sure to download the latter's free and superb IMO European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of suggestions for rail itineraries in those countries (http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/si...s/rg011210.pdf).

And you do not take the 'eurorail' anywhere in Europe - you mean take the train - a Eurailpass is a pass good on trains and if you stay in Benelux and Germany then you may indeed want to get a Germany-Benelux Railpass if traveling enough of course which would let you hop on virtually any train in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

LRenee Oct 13th, 2012 08:01 AM

Hi Annhig,

Thank you! And thank you for responding. Yup, 2 full weekends for traveling (the first weekend there I will mainly be in the Netherlands), I agree with maximizing my time on the ground, plus I love traveling on the train. But if I were to add Berlin to the list I would fly, only because its quicker to fly, and like you said would take much too long on the train.

I do like your suggestions about Belgium and Luxembourg, thanks!! My friend has lived in Amsterdam for about 2 years now, so I'll see if he has anything planned that first weekend because I would love to travel throughout some of the Netherlands. I will also use that website you provided. Thanks again, and I will keep you posted on where I go. Take care!!

LRenee Oct 13th, 2012 08:13 AM

Hi PalenQ,

Thank you for responding. Your suggestions look great also, as wellyou as theyou websites. I couldyou skip London and explore more on Germany, Belgium, Paris and the Netherlands. I also have a friend staying in Paris who just contacted me, so I definitely will be going there, and maybe just skipping on London if this helps any. I'm writing down all these suggestions because they're helpful and will really help me to maximize all my time away.

And thanks about the 'eurorail' correction. I've only taken it once for travel from London to Paris and back, but thanks! I really appreciate this, and will keep you posted!!! Thanks again :)

janisj Oct 13th, 2012 01:13 PM

"<i>And thanks about the 'eurorail' correction. I've only taken it once for travel from London to Paris and back, but thanks! I </i>"

A wee bit of further correction. :) You didn't take 'eurail' . . . That would have been the <u>Eurostar</u> train between London and Paris.

LRenee Oct 13th, 2012 03:02 PM

Yes, euroStar, exactly! You knew what I meant so that's all that matters haha. Thanks JanisJ :)

PalenQ Oct 14th, 2012 07:36 AM

That would have been the Eurostar train between London and Paris.>

Or as most Americans call it "The Chunnel Train"!

bilboburgler Oct 14th, 2012 08:08 AM

Berlin is a bit far over for me. I might look at closer cities such as cologne, hamburg, trier. If you want to see old stuff you could add say Lubeck.

janisj Oct 14th, 2012 08:27 AM

"<i>Or as most Americans call it "The Chunnel Train"!</i>"

Not

LRenee Oct 14th, 2012 08:55 AM

Thanks a bunch bilboburgler, I love an old look, so I'll definitely consider Lubeck.

All your ideas are really helpful. I've done some research last night and I'm thinking of going from Amsterdsm to London for 3 days, then from London to Paris for 3 days there, and from Paris I could head to Luxembourg for 3 days. I think this is a solid plan, and definitely feasible. After Luxembourg I was thinking of heading back to Amsterdam on the 31st and will have 5 days there before I fly back to NYC.

Does this sound decent you guys, or does anyone think I need more/less time in a particular city? Should I make more use of my last five days? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks again :-)

JanisJ :-)

janisj Oct 14th, 2012 09:19 AM

"<i>Does this sound decent you guys, or does anyone think I need more/less time in a particular city? </i>"

Sounds reasonable. My only quibble might be it sounds like you didn't spend much time in either London or Paris last time. You <i>might</i> consider adding a day or two to either or both of them.

LRenee Oct 14th, 2012 09:50 AM

JanisJ, good point!! I actually only spent about 2 days in London and 3 nights 4 days in Paris, so I could add an extra day to each of them... Does 4 full days sound like enough time in both cities to explore???

Thanks!!

LRenee Oct 14th, 2012 09:51 AM

JanisJ or would 5 days in one of them seem a bit more reasonable? I'm flexible, and have the extra days to spare.

dfourh Oct 14th, 2012 11:02 AM

Wanna have some fun? Go to www.skyscanner.net and do a search for flights: FROM Amsterdam TO Everywhere. Search for the ENTIRE MONTH you will be there, so it pulls up all fares from Amsterdam to everywhere for an entire month. You'll see ROUND-trip flights to places like Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Germany for under $100 round-trip (very often, this is cheaper than taking the train to somewhere close by)! You also have a big advantage since you can pack light and avoid baggage fees.


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