Which two cities? One trip on budget

Oct 12th, 2000, 04:32 AM
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I second Annie's recommendation for the Hetel Doelen (Nieuwdoelenstraat, Centrum) in A'dam.The rooms are actually relatively big for there - it is a cramped city.Get a room high up with a view over the Amstel.It's very quiet, good for a good nights sleep & the view from the breakfast room is magical.Prices are on the net.Buy a 15 ticket strip of tram tickets when you get there.(there's a place opposite centraal station.)Don't take a car.
Oct 12th, 2000, 10:50 AM
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I think Paris and Amsterdam would be fine; I've never been anything but delighted in either, day after day.
However, if September looks like the best bet, I might suggest substituting Edinburgh for Amsterdam, and arrive at the end of August for the last few days of the Festival. It's one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and during the festival, one of the liveliest. Plus there are easy, cheap air connections to Paris daily, and you can learn all about the Auld Alliance.
Oct 13th, 2000, 07:48 PM
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Paris is a given. As to Amsterdam, I've been there many times, it's interesting, but not where I would go if I only could go to one other city than Paris. I would prefer London, Rome, Venice or Barcelona, based on my travels, but Venice is my first choice - it's unbelievable.
Oct 14th, 2000, 03:13 PM
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I second what Gary just wrote. Amsterdam is OK but I've never been able to figure out why some people like it so much. Lots of other cities are much more fascianting--Rome, Berlin, small towns in Germany, France, PRAGUE is great, LONDON, etc.
I wouldn't waste my time on Amsterdam if I thought it would be my only trip to Europe, that's for sure!
Oct 15th, 2000, 03:51 AM
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I feel I have to "defend" my city (Amsterdam)a bit. To each his own, but:
1. Amsterdam is # 4 tourist city in Europe (after London, Paris and Rome);
2. The art museums are world-class. (van Gogh, Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum)
3. Amsterdam has one of the best concert halls in the world. (Concertgebouw)
4. One of the largest areas of original 17th century buildings in the world, and people still live in these buildings;
5. Nightlife is second to none in Europe, in my favourite bars I meet more Brits, Germans and Americans than Dutch!
6. One of the free-est cities in the world: as long as you don't harm or bother other people you can do as you like.
7. Very safe. The only nuisance are pickpockets; normal precautionary measures are enough to have a very safe stay. You can walk home to your hotel at 3:51 AM without any problems.
8. Almost everyone speaks (and wants to speak) English, so it is indeed possible and easy to meet locals.
9. Cheap for US and British visitors with current exchange rates. A friend from San Francisco who just visited here found prices to be "very low".
10. The Netherlands is a small country, so you can do day trips to other cities, villages or areas of natural beauty within a 50-mile radius.

Oct 15th, 2000, 06:05 AM
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I agree 100% with Sjoerd. Amsterdam is great! Much easier to walk everywhere than London or Paris - but has a great public transport system if you don't care to walk (trams and canal "buses"). Very safe anywhere, anytime. A great combination of daytime sights and night-time fun. A bicycle tour just outside the city is a great way to see the country, which is very compact - VERY flat too! The people are friendly, funny (in a pleasantly subtle way), and speak excellent English.
Oct 18th, 2000, 05:20 AM
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I'm English and I love Europe.
These are my favourite European cities in order of preference:
1. Barcelona
2. Paris
3. Amsterdam
4. Istanbul (european - just)
5. Florence

I suppose I don't include London because that seems "ordinary" to me.
Sadly, hotels in all European cities are very expensive. Amsterdam doesn't really have enough hotels and I think they are very expensive for what you get (compared with say Barcelona or Paris). If I could go to only two cities, I guess it would be Barcelona and Paris. Have a really nice time both of you.
Oct 18th, 2000, 06:25 AM
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Here's my two sous' worth:
Though I really like Amsterdam, and could spend days on end there, I would choose a 'southern' city, like Barcelona or Rome, to offset the 'northern' city of Paris. As Elaine said, an overnight train (there's a direct train to Barcelona that leaves at 8:30pm and arrives 8:30am, and to Rome at 7:30pm arrives 10:00am. Get a two-person sleeper for the best night's sleep - personally, I sleep like the proverbial log on trains) saves the cost of a hotel and makes efficient use of limited time.

Paris has a plethora of budget hotels; Barcelona also has a pretty good selection, as does Rome.

Here's another alternative: Venice. I took the reverse trip (Venice>Paris) with an itinerary suggested by Ben Haines, and got to see some gorgeous Swiss scenery. There's a train that leaves Paris 7ish in the morning, goes through Switzerland (change in Lausanne) to Italy (change in Milan) and arrives Venice 7ish at night. And you can't beat Venice for a place to visit....
Oct 18th, 2000, 12:05 PM
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I have been to most of the major cities in Europe and have to say that I have enjoyed every single one of them. But, if I were going to take my daughter to Europe, I would not go to Amsterdam. Don't get me wrong, my wife and I were there just last month and had a great time. But I think you could get a more varied flavor of Europe from other cities. Let's face it. They (nearly) all have great museums, famous landmarks, castles, churches etc.

I would pick two or three cities out of the following: Paris, Venice, London, or Rome. I can promise you that you cannot go wrong with these destinations. It would be a shame to go to Europe and not see someplace in Italy.
Oct 22nd, 2000, 04:36 PM
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Hi, there! I'd like to thank everyone again for their helpful replies to my question. I'm amazed that people are so willing to share their recommendations with us. To put it simply - "How nice". Thanks. Kim.
Oct 23rd, 2000, 11:40 AM
Ellen Hutton
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There is nothing to compare with Paris in my opinion. I would spend the bulk f my time in Paris with a day trip or two, and then to Amsterdam, primarily because Amsterdam is not city in which you need to spend more than three days. I went for a three-day weekend and felt like I had seen much of what I wanted to see and still had down time.
Oct 24th, 2000, 07:16 PM
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Hi Kim, I have traveled for many years with my daughters and now granddaughters.I have spent "Spring break" in Prague. There is a tour group from my state that does very inexpensive.,but very top notch trips<all over the world>.My suggestion would be to take a week tour...then take a week on your own and return with the next group. I have done this several times with friends.So...you are using their air fares.They have a very good choice of cities..they stay in first class hotels in great locations.Then you would have the second week "on your own".Have a great trip/If you are interested in the name...just email me. N.
Mar 28th, 2001, 01:35 AM
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So, Kim,
Have you made you decision yet? Just curious.
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