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Old 02-13-2019, 05:52 AM
 
1,265 posts, read 1,566,428 times
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I would just go. Book a hotel for the first night, after that, just see where you end up.
I am original Dutch and would never go to Amsterdam. It is extremely busy, lines everywhere and 3 times more expensive as the rest of the country. There are many smaller towns where you can spent all day being amazed.

Same goes for the two other cities... You wil spent 400 a day.

The train system is great in EU. Fying is cheaper, but in a train you see the cities and countryside.
Plus.... You DO have legroom.....
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
11,606 posts, read 3,974,177 times
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Here's a few useful sites

Eurail pass - Rail pass - Rail Europe railway passes

Beginner's guide to Eurail passes 2019 | Buy a Eurail pass online

Budget Airline | Book Cheap Flights Here | Skyscanner

Flights in Europe | GoEuro

Oyster cards and travelcards in London - Getting Around London

Last edited by Brave New World; 02-13-2019 at 06:42 AM..
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Holly Springs, NC
1,293 posts, read 724,801 times
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Thanks everyone for the tips, tricks and links. I feel better about this now.

The trip should last about 2 weeks and I just put the "big cities" I want to visit, but aside from the touristy things to do (Buckingham Palace, Eiffel Tower, etc.) I would really like to see some countryside as well. I think my next steps are to nail down the timelines (i.e. 4 days in London etc.) and then branch out from there.

My preference is to use rail to get from place to place, and to see some countryside. The suggestion further up to ask the hotel concierge for recommendations seems like the best bet for the "free days" because I feel that would be more personal than me just hitting up a website that posts more touristy spots.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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Do get Eiffel Tower tickets as soon as they go on sale online. The walk up line can be an hour or more. And Anne Frank House (Amsterdam) tickets also need to be bought online about 60 days ahead of time since you can’t really buy walk up tickets for that one.

We tend to go for no concierge hotels like Holiday Inn Express, Premiere Inn, Ibis, Ibis Styles, or Motel One with a goal of $80-$150 a night for room costs. Not fancy, but clean, quiet, and new enough to have been built with air conditioning, which can matter during summer months
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Holly Springs, NC
1,293 posts, read 724,801 times
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One other question - for those who have been to either Amsterdam, London or Paris - what are the best "outside the city" excursions you've been on? For example, if we are staying in London, what is a good day (or half day) trip? Can be with or without public transit. I'd like to see more than just the touristy main cities on the trip.

Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:51 AM
 
9,190 posts, read 9,269,502 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoSox 15 View Post
One other question - for those who have been to either Amsterdam, London or Paris - what are the best "outside the city" excursions you've been on? For example, if we are staying in London, what is a good day (or half day) trip? Can be with or without public transit. I'd like to see more than just the touristy main cities on the trip.

Thanks!
London:

1. Stonehenge. (take a tour to get there)
2. Bath. (take a tour to get there)
3. Windsor Castle. (take a tour to get there)
4. Oxford. (take a tour)
5. Cambridge (take a tour)

Paris

1. Fontainbleu (Napoleon's palace) Easily accessible by train from Gare de Lyon.
2. Versailles (but its close by) a suburb of Paris reachable by the RER.
3. Giverny (where the artist Monet lived) Take a tour or rent a car to get there.

Amsterdam.

1. If you have full day consider taking a tour to Bruges, Belgium (considered one of the prettiest cities in the worldl)
2. Marken a lovely dutch village.
3. A countryside windmill tour including the dikes that keep the ocean from the land.
4. Volendam (picturesque harbor)

I would sign up for day tours to see all of the above attractions in the Netherlands.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,680 posts, read 16,098,271 times
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For Stonehenge, also do the nearby cathedral city of Salisbury- lovely old cathedral town with one of the surviving copies of the magna carta on display and sheep grazing in the fields just across the river.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:55 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,548 posts, read 39,934,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoSox 15 View Post
One other question - for those who have been to either Amsterdam, London or Paris - what are the best "outside the city" excursions you've been on? For example, if we are staying in London, what is a good day (or half day) trip? Can be with or without public transit. I'd like to see more than just the touristy main cities on the trip.

Thanks!
1) STAY outside the city (that is the richest experience and will save you 2 hr commute on a 1/2 day tour...)

Maps.me app has brought us many 'historical place' hidden gems (and plenty of 'Where's Waldo?" / can't find it)
I recently picked up a England Small Town Walking Tour book (in my $3 'BAG -o-books' from the library (All were travel books! yippee).. The BEST time I have had in rural areas were 'discovered' by taking time / lodging / dining / talking with 'locals' . Much of Europe is seriously into 'Trekking' long daily walks between pubs. Many horse tours between pubs (especially in Wales)

I would seriously NOT do UK and Mainland Western Europe in a single 2wk trip. Commute time is miserable / lost day (at least do night commute if you must commute).

When doing UK... add Wales, Scotland, Ireland and be SURE to buy a Royal Oak membership BEFORE you leave the USA (400 National Trust sites for $75 pass)

Amsterdam and Copenhagen you can rent bikes, scooters, and power boats for personalized tours. (waiting for buses eats a LOT of your day).

Plenty of nice countryside in France. Normandy Coast is very touching for those of us who had family spill blood there. There are many country estate museums / venues nearby.

remember... ENJOY the journey and do NOT book (a honeymoon) solid (1-50 yrs later...you will be disappointed you missed the 'roses'). The gems come unexpected! Journal ...and look back in 30 yrs ... totally Amazed!
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:20 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,905 posts, read 1,585,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
...
Amsterdam.

1. If you have full day consider taking a tour to Bruges, Belgium (considered one of the prettiest cities in the worldl)
.....
I didn't realize Bruges was that close to Amsterdam... I second this & would even suggest an overnight stay in this lovely place.

If you are doing all these by rail look into Eurail pass prices & see if they work out. It used to be required to be bought before arriving in Europe & I'm not sure if the UK participates.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:39 PM
 
Location: North State (California)
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If you want to see Hampton Court Palace, near London, you can get there by boating along the Thames from Westminster, it is a beautiful trip.
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