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Old 06-18-2009, 06:14 AM
 
1,001 posts, read 1,441,474 times
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I'm going over to Europe for the first time with a friend. We want to see a few cities (probably Paris, Amsterdam, and London the most) over there, but we only have a week to do so. I know we won't be able to see everything, but we want to hit the major sites. Would it be possible to stay in one of the cities and maybe catch a high speed train each day to the other cities? We were thinking about maybe getting a hotel in Brussels and going to London, Amsterdam, and Paris each. Would that be possible or are we over stretching ourselves? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:45 AM
 
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Feasable but not practical - high speed trains between Paris and London take about 2 hours, same in the other direction to Belgium (I think they go to Amsterdam as well). Cost is about $50 one way for the very cheapest rates. So to do this you are talking about 4 hours a day (assuming you stay in Paris) and $100 round trips.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:39 AM
 
Location: San Diego
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If you go to Belgium, skip Brussels and do Bruges instead. I think your itinerary totally doable. We went last September for 15 days and flew into Paris and out of Rome. We rented a car and drove from Paris to Bruges, Amsterdam, Munich, Venice, and Rome. We had plenty of time to do all that we wanted to do and feel that it was the best trip we've taken so far. You're the only one that knows your travel style!
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:26 AM
 
Location: France
37 posts, read 113,785 times
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I believe it would be easier to choose Paris as a base. Paris London is definitely doable given that you start early in the morning, come back quite late to ensure you have enough time in London and are on top form because London requires a lot of walking.
Paris Amsterdam takes more time, I don't think it's doable within a single day. I agree that Bruge is a better choice than Brussels. All this of course depends on how much you want to really see of each city. I'd favor Paris and London - each offer so much to see and experience.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:28 AM
 
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Just to clarify - I think the OP's topic is not necessarily visiting all these cities, that's not an issue, but instead staying in one city as a base (Paris) and "day hopping" to the others (London, Brussels, Amsterdam).

edit - rudy.viae "got it"
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Sudcaroland
10,664 posts, read 7,977,145 times
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I wouldn't do that: too tiring, too expensive, and what a waste of time while in the train! You have to spend at least 2 days in each city listed to see as many things as possible, including going out at night to see what it's like there! You would probably miss a lot if you did as you say...
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:54 AM
 
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I'll third the "Bruges" nomination; it's a WONDERFUL city; we found it far more inviting than Brussels! All of these places have more than you could possibly see in a week and I'm of the "less is more" camp. Pick two of them and divide your time might be a better option. There are bus tours that will cram as much as you want into the tour, but I've always thought they were a lousy way to see Europe. For me, they always felt only slightly better than watching a good travel video. Paris or London? BOTH are equally enjoyable, I believe. I've always thought it would be really relaxing to pick some place like Bruges and REALLY explore it. Sit in a cafe and talk to the locals. Take in a museum or two. Stroll through a park. See other historical sights. Check out the pubs at night... All I can say is: SO much to see, so little time. But hope you two have a great trip!
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,610,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e2ksj3 View Post
I'm going over to Europe for the first time with a friend. We want to see a few cities (probably Paris, Amsterdam, and London the most) over there, but we only have a week to do so. I know we won't be able to see everything, but we want to hit the major sites. Would it be possible to stay in one of the cities and maybe catch a high speed train each day to the other cities? We were thinking about maybe getting a hotel in Brussels and going to London, Amsterdam, and Paris each. Would that be possible or are we over stretching ourselves? Thanks in advance.
Europe in a week can be done one of two ways: 1. Pick one city and enjoy yourselves. Make plans to return again to visit a different city. 2. Spend so much time trying to see everything that you end up really seeing nothing. Are totally exhausted by the time you get home and have to look at photos and postcards to even remember where you went.

I'd chose option #1.

I've been to all 3 cities (a few times) and I would chose either London or Paris. Not both. Let's break it down. Day 1, you've flown into your new city. A few hours at the airport upon arrival to get your bags, get through customs and get to your hotel. Depending on where you flew in from, your "clock" is totally off. You may be hungry for dinner but it's the morning. Get to your hotel and get settled. Make a plan for the tourist things. Go out and buy some water, snacks, then go and eat and grab a beer. Day 2-6. Only 4 days to see the city. Paris and London can easily take up all of those days and you still won't be able to see everything. Day 7, you're on your way back to the airport to go home.

London and Paris DO have the train that connects them, but that means spending one day traveling back and forth (it takes about 2 hours each way) and then only 2 days in each city.

Stop and enjoy yourself. Europe has been there for a while and will be there for when you decide to go back. The Paris I visited in college looked the exact same as when I went 10 years after.

While the "10 countries in 10 days" might work for some people, I think it's one of the worst ways to spend your money. Europe is full of tourist destinations. What will make your trip special is when you and your friend are trying to find some place, get totally lost, and end up finding the best park/church/pub/cafe you've ever been to. You'd never be able to find it again, but it is now part of your "when I traveled to Europe" story. Part of what makes Europe great is immersing yourself in the culture. A week doesn't give you much time to do it, but if you only spend 3 days in 2 major cities, it will feel more like a "hit and run" than an actual traveling experience.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:33 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,941,952 times
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Do you have one entire week actually on the ground, or are the 7 days including travel-time (one day each) to and from Europe?
Seeing all 3 cities in one week is feasible, but not cost-effective.
Don't forget about jet lag--it is very real.
You want to enjoy yourself.

With 7 days to sight-see, I do think you can do London-Paris.

I've done trips where I spent an entire 10 days in London.
I've done trips where I spent 3 entire weeks in France.
But I've also done the London/Paris trip in 9 days, and it was fine.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:53 AM
 
Location: BELGIUM
616 posts, read 649,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Feasable but not practical - high speed trains between Paris and London take about 2 hours, same in the other direction to Belgium (I think they go to Amsterdam as well). Cost is about $50 one way for the very cheapest rates. So to do this you are talking about 4 hours a day (assuming you stay in Paris) and $100 round trips.

Paris to amsterdam

Thalys: Your train between Paris, Brussels, Cologne, Amsterdam - Purchase, Online train tickets reservation

Londen to paris

http://www.eurostar.com/dynamic/_SvBoExpressBookingTerm?_TMS=1245405155737&_DLG=Sv BoExpressBookingTerm&_LANG=UK&_AGENCY=ESTAR&countr y=US&lang=UK&VT=EB
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