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If you're not staying at the 717 in Amsterdam, reconsider.
If you want to go cliche (but still good) tour:
* 1/3 of the time in London
* 1/3 of the time in Paris
* 1/3 of the time in Rome
If you want to do something different, I suggest selecting a few cities from the following:
* Prague, Munich, Barcelona, Budapest, Amsterdam, Berlin
I bought some batteries, but they weren't included... so I had to buy them again. What do batteries run on?
This is the second time I've heard Grosvenor house. May have to give that place a go, but is expensive to stay there. Just looked up Duke's hotel...DAMN, "discount" mid-week rate of $436/night. I've heard London is expensive, but wow. May end up picking a neighborhood and doing priceline. Really like the straight razor shave idea.
To CincySpartan...we're staying in the Montmarte area in Paris on MSURed's recommendation.
I stay in Montemarte when I go there on business.... It is very cool, but a little removed from the center of town. It is a very long walk and at night if you wander too far it is shady. The red light district is right there...
I know you don't want to hear it, but for your first visit, I would NOT reco Montmarte. Stay in Saint Germaine, I have to fully record this... Everything that is in Montemarte is here, same atmosphere, but much closer to everything you want to see.... And safer
As far as London, stay anywhere in the city, the public transportation is fabulous. I have stayed near Kensington and been very happy
Drop me a PM if you're looking for London hotels. I can recommend a few that are very nice with reasonable rates.
I think we should take some of these people, and send 'em up to Bear Mountain for a picnic.
airbnb and vrbo are good places to look. We used these recently for both Paris and Amsterdam. A couple of other tips:
- We stayed here in Amsterdam recently: http://www.vrbo.com/62234. I'm not sure if she will rent for a couple of days, but the area is great. We like to stay out at the Leidseplein area which is still in the city center but away from Centraal Station which is more touristy/yahoo-central. There are many other places on these sites that should rent for just a couple of days.
Check out Thalys for train travel between Amsterdam - Brussels - Paris. It is a high speed line and is a quick hop between the cities.
Someone mentioned getting tickets on line for a few sites, but check for anything you want to see if there are online sales and book it early. If either of you are interested in the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, the ticket line wraps around the building. If you prebook your time now, you just walk right in at a separate door. Also, reserve tickets for Tour de Eiffel. With 2-3 days in each city, you will not want to be standing in lines.
When you arrive at Centraal Station (if arriving by train), if you plan on using the trams, you can get a multi-day pass for the time you are staying. But I've never had any luck with the kiosks taking my non-dutch credit card, so walk out of Centaal Station and veer to the left of the center of Centraal Station to a white building where you can go to the counter an purchase day tickets on your credit card. Then, whenever you enter and exit the tram or bus, you need to check in/out by holding your card up next to the card reader at each entrance. Don't forget to both check in and out.
Restaurants and Bars
Food can be very expensive, but it can also be very good. Have fun exploring, some of our favorites to hit are:
- Cafe van Puffelen - good food, bar scene
- Landskroon - Bakery/cafe - very small but very good
- In de Wildeman - tough to find on a small alley, but very good bar with a great selection of beer
- Brouwerij 't IJ - tram ride to the brewery in the base of a windmill with indoor and outdoor seating, open 3-8pm, but great place to grab a couple of late afternoon beers.
- Maos/Chipsy King - good cheap meal alternatives for falafel(very good) or fries
Paris is very, very large. Get a multi-day pass for the metro as well, should be easier than getting one in Amsterdam. If you plan on the Louve, this is also very huge, don't plan on seeing everything, just pick a small section.
We used either airnbnb or vrbo for an apartment here as well on my last trip, it worked flawlessly. We were just 1 block away from a pedestrian street with restaurants/bakeries/etc. It was quite nice, unfortunately I don't have the link.
Also, again, make sure you pre-book anything museum or site you want to see. I can't help out much more than that. I've only been a few times, but mostly for work where there wasn't much site seeing.
Good luck RasTrent, you are going to have a great time. I've been to all of the places you are planning to attend except Paris.
It's been over a decade since I've been in London but I would suggest getting a hotel close to a subway stop. The city is too large to see on foot and too expensive by cab. Having a hotel near the Metro makes your morning/evening commute quicker and easier.
As far as things to do: some great museums/attractions there (Imperial War Museum, British Museum, Tate Modern, Tower of London), fantastic theater (I always wanted to see some Shakespeare performed in the Globe theater), there is also some great shopping in London.
Brussels: I only spent a couple of days there so don't have too much to advise you about. I liked mini-Europe, trying some great beers, walking by Mannekin Pis, eating some belgian delicacies like waffles, chocolate, and fries. I also liked my day trip to Bruges.
I've been to Amsterdam numerous times and can give you lots of advice there. How many days are you staying there? For a first visit there I would stay close to Centraal Station. It is the transportation hub for the city and the rest of the country. If you feel comfortable taking trams, renting bikes, or walking everywhere you can stay a little further out but will spend more of your precious vacation time traveling from attraction to attraction (and tiring out if you walk) giving you less time to see things.
That being said, Amsterdam is the smallest of the cities you are visiting.
How many of the following you do can only be determined by you and your wife.
Anne Frank huis (my wife loved it, get there before they open so you don't have to wait in line. We went there on our first afternoon and the line was at least 2 hours long, went back the next morning, arriving about 10 minutes before opening, no line at all.
Van Gogh museum (go after visiting a coffeeshop for a trippier experience)
Rijksmuseum (especially if it has reopened. It's been mostly shut down for many years undergoing a massive renovation.
The Resistance Museum (it's right across the street from Artis Zoo, if you want to combine them, also near the Tropenmuseum)
Tropenmuseum (nice museum about the lands that the Dutch colonized)
I can't remember the name of it but we also enjoyed a small museum about the canals and the canal houses. We also liked a museum in the Jordaan that had some trippy phosphorescent art (visit a coffeeshop beforehand)
Unless you and your wife are completely opposed to these type of things, go to a coffeeshop (or several), also walk through the redlight district. I don't smoke at home but there is something truly liberating about being able to smoke in such a beautiful, "live and let live" place like Amsterdam where it is completely acceptable. I recommend cafe 420 if you like classic rock. Have them vaporize your marijuana for a healthier and easy smoke.
Walk through the red light district, although kind of seedy (after midnight), to see how their society take "live and let live" to the next level. If in that area during the day stop to see the Oude Kerk and the Amstelkring museum.
Eat at a Rijstafle (spelling?, a rice table). It's an indonesian (one of the Dutch colonies) dinner with lots of little dishes to share.
Drink good beer. Go to the Heinekin Experience (a little touristy, but neat if you have time and like that sort of thing)
I second the recommendation for In de wildeman cafe (just down the street from cafe 420) and Brouwerij 't IJ (which is near the zoo)
We had fun going to Boom Chicago one night for some improv comedy.
We also went to a couple of movies at the Tuschinki theater (we were there for a week on our second visit, wouldn't normally see movies on vacation).
We also had a good time at the House of Bols coktail experience (by the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum, and not far from the Heineken experience)
I would also recommend a canal cruise or even better a bike tour with joyridetours.nl
Walking through the Jordaan neighborhood is very nice. A gentrified area with pretty houses. In that area we enjoyed going to a cheese tasting at Reypenaer Cheese Tasting Room. One of the best places to stay, for several reasons, not far from centraal station (5-10 minute walk), close to tram stops (less than 5 min), very romantic, old historical building, quaint place to stay, close to the main shopping street of the city, close to restaurants and tourist facilities, close to nightlife (Leidseplein or Red Light district), on the eastern edge of Jordaan, lots of coffeeshops around. Only negative for me would be it is non-smoking. The name of the place is Hotel Brouwer, I haven't had a chance to stay there.
Good luck with your planning.
Avoid France. It's smelly and the people are rude. Check out anything Mediterranean. I've heard Greece is nice.
I'd go to the Sweden vs Switzerland hockey game. Heard its a hot ticket and can't be found streaming online anywhere!
2-1 Sweden after 2, it has actually been a really, really solid game so far...and the USA took the bronze...
I am heading to Paris and then Rome in September. I have 7 nights to play with here. My question, should I do 3 in Paris and 4 in Rome or vice versus?
Another location you might like is Clerkenwell, not far from King's Cross (and east of Mayfair). A really cool hotel there is the Zetter which for the same accommodations is usually about $100 USD less than top hotels around Hyde Park. It's a nice area and may work better for you. The bar is very nice also and there are a lot of bistro-type joints for dining around there. (I would still hit Trumper's and Jermyn St and also get that martini at the Dukes, but they are a few stops away on the Tube)
Best price guarantee for direct bookings. The Zetter Hotel - Stylish award winning boutique hotel in London. Bistrot Bruno Loubet in house. 4 star hip hotel in Clerkenwell, EC1M, UK
This post was edited by FIJI239 81 11 months ago
Go to the Edinburough Tatto(fabulous), Paris 4 days, Florence 2 days, Venus 3 days, Prague 2 days. You can rent an apartment in Paris very easily on the Internet! Enjoy!
Do not confuse Grovsner House with the Grovsner Hotel.
The Grovsner Hotel is connected to Victoria Station, and is reasonable and convenient. I've stayed there, and would recommend it.
Grovsner House is a JW Mariott hotel, on Park Lane, and is twice as expensive as the Grovsner Hotel.
Don't confuse either with my own favorite hotel in London - the Mariott Grovsner Square, which is actually on Grovsner Square But, it ain't cheap.
This post was edited by FredF3 11 months ago
if you are looking at hitting a new country every couple of days... then you might want to get a eurorail pass if you are going to do that much travelling.......the high speed network from london into paris/brussels, and then further afield into italy/ holland/ germany/ spain would work quite well......
I really liked Barcelona. But if you're into beer, you should concentrate on Belgium, Munich and Prague.
If you're going to be in London over a weekend in mid-September, PM me closer to the time and I can let you know where to catch the MSU football game.
There is a lot of good info in this thread re: London, but I would add Camden for shopping at the Stables Market and freak-watching. Also, if the weather is decent (ha, ha), get a boat from Westminster Pier to Tower Pier. It's a nice way to see some of the city from the Thames and tour the Tower of London when you get off.
Feel free to PM me with any specific questions, and I'll be happy to buy you a pint when you get here.
To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time. -- Leonard Bernstein
My parents are people who like to tick boxes on their lists of places to see, so they do the kind of trip where they spend 2 or 3 days in a city and try to hit as many as possible in the time they have. Each day they get up and hit the "sights". I think it's a terrible way to travel personally because you don't get to really get a feel for the place in that short of a time. Not to mention 1/3 of your vacation is spent travelling. My wife and I like to pick a city and stay in the same place for a week. I would say 4 days in a city is the absolute minimum I would spend. If it can be done in less, it's probably not worth visiting in the first place. Of course, some people like seeing as much as possible. I guess to say, "I've seen that" or something?
This post was edited by nickexperience 11 months ago
Went to Europe last year for the first time. Barcelona is a must see in Spain. Sagrada de Familia is a amazing. In France, I went to Nice. Absolutely beautiful city. Had a hotel with a wonderful view of the Mediterranean. In Italy I went to Lake Garda. Pretty far out, but awesome lake, and a great place to hike. Those are my three recommendations.
This post was edited by Manhattan Green 11 months ago
Metropolitan Hotel with room service from Nobu.
ooooh... european travel agent time....
you will not find flights between paris and brussels, brussels and amsterdam because the trains were quicker (plane carries actually book onto trains for connections.......)
you are best off doing the whole lot by train.....
london paris is 2 hrs...
paris brussels is 90 mins ish.....
brussels amsterdam is about 2 hrs ish.....
visit the eurostar/thalys website.....should be able to find some good deals....
Take the train from London to Paris, and ride first class. You'll get a nice meal and wine the whole ride while you take in the sights, and it's not that expensive. Good times.
Was awesome in Berlin yesterday, but today in Luzern was 50s and rain.
This is still an awesome city.
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