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What should I do? Skip Amsterdam, Brugge, London... Or go to all?

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Apr 16th, 2012, 07:08 AM
  #1
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What should I do? Skip Amsterdam, Brugge, London... Or go to all?

Hi,

I'm an 18 year old traveling through Europe on my own for around 3 weeks in July. I've seen a fair bit of the continent already, both cities and smaller towns and countryside and I generally appreciate architecture, food, culture, and sights (e.g. Eiffel Tower, Heidelberg bridge), rather than museums and that sort of thing (the Louvre, for example).

I'm trying to plan my first ten days or so, and I'd like opinions in regards to my thinking/plan. I arrive into Frankfurt Airport early in the morning of the 30th and plan to head straight down to Munich to visit some friends, spending the night, then taking the City Night Line on the night of 1st from there to either:

1. Cologne (taking another train straight onto Brugge)
2. Amsterdam directly

If I were to take option 1, I'd spend the next 3 or 4 (?) nights in Brugge, hoping to see it Ghent, and maybe day-trip to Amsterdam. Option 2 would see me spend the day/night in Amsterdam, then move to Brugge for the next 2 or 3 (?). From Brugge, I would take the Eurostar to London, where I would spend either 4 or 5 nights, depending on the time spent at the above. From London, I would fly out to Geneva to continue on with the rest of my trip, which is looking no more straight-forward than this segment!

Anyway, my questions are:

1. Which option should I take and therefore at which city should I stay?
2. Would you recommend any alternative plans?
3. How many nights should be spent in London, given my interests? And at the other locations? Would you recommend cutting one destination for the sake of my sanity?
4. Given it will be summer, should I be looking for air-conditioned accommodation, or is this difficult to come by?

Thanks!
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Apr 16th, 2012, 07:12 AM
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I'd like to add that I believe the cost of taking the City Night Line does not change with distance, so it would be more economical, I would think to take Option 2, if that makes any difference...
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Apr 16th, 2012, 07:17 AM
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Personally I would say that if you are only giving Amsterdam a day you might as well skip it completely. It deserves more than that.
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Apr 16th, 2012, 07:38 AM
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What about your opinion re: London vs Amsterdam - would I be better off scrapping London and spending the time in Belgium and the Netherlands? I'm really bad at decision-making in this regard, so any help or opinion is appreciated!
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Apr 16th, 2012, 07:43 AM
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Tbh it seems daft to be heading straight off to Munich then heading north before heading south again. Maybe you should rethink your itinerary all together to cut out doubling back like that.
Spend longer in Munich with your friends, and get over your jetlag there, add Prague maybe and leave the northern cities for another trip when you can spend longer and do them justice.
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Apr 16th, 2012, 07:54 AM
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There's a reason, though - I'm headed to the Tour de France for several of the mountain stages (from the 10th to the 14th of July), so I have to be in the area for this. I've already seen Southern Germany, Switzerland, Alsace and the like, and am flying out of Zagreb... So from Aix-Les-Bains (where I'm going for the tour), I'm hoping to somehow (recommendations?) get to Slovenia and spend the week there before flying out. It's a shame this out-of-the-way destination happens to fall right in the middle of the trip!

Given that I've always wanted to see Brugge, that I want to have a good look at London because I may want to go there for further study in the near future, and that I want to end up in Slovenia, I thought I'd keep the South til later.

So on my list of real 'must do activities', I've got Munich, Aix-les-Bains, and Slovenia, but at specific times for the latter two, while I've already seen much of Switzerland and Southern Germany... This is why this trip is becoming difficult to plan!
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Apr 16th, 2012, 08:33 AM
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I really like Amsterdam, and Brugge is lovely. But neither hold a candle to London IMO. But that is just me personally. If I had a choice between 5 or 6 days in London or 5/6 days in Benelux - London would win 9 times out of 10. Especially since you seem to want to scope it out for future stays.

But honestly - both are reasonable options. Whatever you pick, just don't try to 'do' Amsterdam in one day.

"I'm really bad at decision-making in this regard, so any help or opinion is appreciated!"

which I probably didn't help at all
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Apr 16th, 2012, 08:42 AM
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Thanks for your help, and yeah, I'm definitely leaning toward leaving Netherlands for another trip and just passing through Belgium on the way to London.
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Apr 16th, 2012, 08:58 AM
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Given that you are 18 I'm going to assume you have a lot of energy and that you will be traveling light and that you can sleep on the train. If so, I would go to Amsterdam first for two days, then do Brugge for one, and the rest in London and take the train from there to France. Brugge is a nice little town, although I hear in July it's crammed with tourists (I've only been there in off season). But you really can see most of it in a full day, or two half days (arrive in the afternoon, spend the night, sight see in the morning and take a late day train to London). Sure Amsterdam 'deserves' more than a couple days but two full days will give you a good taste of it - especially if you don't want to go to all the museums. I agree that one day isn't worth it, but two or two and a half would let you feel you've seen it and know how high it is on the list of places you want to return to. Now if you want to spend hours lingering over meals, and see all the museums then I'd give different advice.
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Apr 16th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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3-4 days in Brugge is simply too long. I would swap the times between Amsterdam, which needs 3 days IMO. London, where I live, could take weeks alone! We've had visitors come every year for a week (we've lived here for six years) and they still haven't covered it all....nor have I! All these places are great, though. I wouldn't stress it--you'll have a ball.
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Apr 16th, 2012, 09:20 AM
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If you're 18 spend the time in Amsterdam and skip Bruges and Ghent!
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Apr 16th, 2012, 05:13 PM
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Thanks for all your help so far - and yes, that was my thinking in terms of Amsterdam, as I have heard there is not so much in the way of 'sights' but it is more of a walk-around and look and museum destination, but there has to be a change of plans - I'm not able to head straight from Frankfurt to Munich, as my friends won't be there at that point in time, so I need to figure out a plan that will allow the following:

-Fly into Frankfurt early on the 30th
-Brugge (& Brussels, Ghent if time)
-Amsterdam
-London
-Aix-les-Bains (10th to 13th or 14th)
-Slovenia (Lake Bled, Ljubljana and possibly
-Zagreb (from Slovenia to fly out late on 21st, but if time permits I'd head to Plitvice for a day)

And if someone could help me fit in Munich somewhere along the way, which is proving difficult as it's a bit out of the way and air/rail connections aren't the best, from what I can see.
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