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Top Sights to see

I am going my first trip to Europe in 95 more days. Going with my mom, dad, brother and his wife to Paris for 2 nights. Then my mom, sister-in-law and myself are going to London for 3 nights, Rome for 3 nights, Munich for 3 nights, Prague for 1 night and Berlin for 1 night. Then back to where my brother and sister-in-law live in southern Netherlands. What would you reccommend seeing if this is your first trip over in each places?

Posted by
430 posts

How old are you and your sister-in-law? What are you more interested in -- history? scenic views? activities? shows? music? food? musuems? Give us a little more to work with and we can help steer you a little.

Do get some books and start reading -- with that many stops Rick's 'Best of Europe' will be your best first stop for info.

Posted by
879 posts

For a first-timer in London, I would say that the Tower of London is a must-see. Then, read up on Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral (they're two very different churches) and pick one. And finally, something fun and fluffy like the Food Halls at Harrods or afternoon tea in the Orangery at Kensington Palace. I would also take one of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours of the city to get oriented and to see at least the exterior of plenty of other interesting sights.

Posted by
27 posts

I am 25 and my sister-in-law is 28. I do have quite a few of Rick's travel books. I like history am into some arts. I am not big on going to bars and drinking as most people my age are into. I want to see the best sights I can in the city with what short of time we have in those cities.

Posted by
207 posts

London - British Musuem and Tower of London
Rome - Borghese Gallery and The Colosseum
Paris - Notre Dame and The Louvre

I haven't been to the other places yet. Have a great time.

Posted by
8455 posts

I would do a walking tour in each of the cities you want to go to. Far, far better than a bus tour and usually cost less. This way you get to see many of the major sites.

I sure would not pick the Hofbrauhaus as the best thing that Munich has to offer though. That is just sad, when compared to all the beautiful sites that are there. That said, I would spend more time in Berlin and less in Munich, more to see and do. Prague is the odd city on your list. Save it for another trip if all you have is one day.

Posted by
12040 posts

I would recommend more than 1 night in both Berlin and Prague, if for no other reason than both of these destinations take a considerable time to reach. Also, consider how long it will take to travel between each point.

As for the southern Netherlands, the big question would be "where"? Do you mean along the northern border with Belgium, or the spur around Maastricht?

Posted by
1357 posts

As others have said, you're covering a lot of ground. Counting in travel time, even in the cities where you're staying 3 nights, with a travel day in there, it only gives you 2 days to see the town. In Paris, I'm assuming the first day is the one you're arriving, so with the ride in from the airport and the jet lag, it only gives you about half a day. I spent a week in Paris and didn't get to see everything I wanted to.

I'd suggest dropping Berlin and Prague. They're great towns, I've loved both of them, but by the time you get to them, you've only got a couple of hours to do anything.

Here's what I liked about Paris:


Musee D'Orsay

Eiffel Tower

Pere Lachaise

Notre Dame

Sacre Coeur

walking the Champs Elysses


Bateau Mouche boats at night

Crepes, bakeries, markets

Posted by
2297 posts

If you like history please pre-book a tour of the Reichstag in Berlin. It's free, you don't have to stand in line AND to get to see how Sir Norman Foster's restauration plans transformed it into a living history and art museum. I can't stop myself from promoting these tours in every posting about Berlin. It was the highlight of my trip to Berlin just a few days ago.

And yes, add another day to Berlin even if it means cutting your visit to Munich shorter.

Posted by
27 posts

My brother and his wife live in Kerkrade, Netherlands. We are going to be there 2 days before we start out trip in Paris.

Posted by
284 posts

Here are some of my favorites from a historical perspective in each city:

Paris for 2 nights – Seine Cruise, Louvre (history section in the basement – Medieval section), Grand Arc de’ Triumph, Invalides (Napoleon Tomb, Holocaust Museum, etc.), Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, etc..

London for 3 nights – Churchill Bunker, British museum, British Library, Westminster Abbey, Hard Rock Café Vault (if just to play Hendrix’s’ flying-V), Harrods Food Court (some of the best food in England, if you are in the neighborhood), Abbey Wood Studios (crosswalk on cover of Abbey Road) , etc.

Rome for 3 nights – St. Peter-in-Chains Church, Coliseum, Forum, Pantheon, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Scavi tour under St. Peters, Piazza Navona, Church of San Luigi del Francesi, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, etc.

Munich for 3 nights – never been there

Prague for 1 night – St. Vittus and Prague Castle, Lennon Wall, Kafta Museum, Charles Bridge, and Astronomical Clock

Berlin for 1 night – never been there


Posted by
12040 posts

Here's a few things around Kerkrade. It sits just to the north of Aachen. You can visit Charlemagne's cathedral, or if you feel rheumatic, visit the baths. The center of town is pleasent enough, especially if there's a market.

Nearby Maastricht is a also an enjoyable, typical small Dutch city (but without canals, unlike many of the cities along the Randstaad). Other than strolling around the pedestrian streets and market, and the usual cathedral, there aren't really any "sites" here. With only two days, I probably wouldn't visit both Aachen and Maastricht.

Over the border in Belgium, near the city of Genk, there's a large outdoor folk museum, Domein Bokrijk. This is one of the better folk museums I have ever visited, and it is virtually ignored by most foreign tourists.

Posted by
430 posts

Off the sights topic... but since you are now 89 days from your trip, you can make train and other restricted eservations in many of your destinations -- if that applies to your situation.

Posted by
13681 posts


You have got a good list here, however, my suggestion would be: set aside 2 nights for Berlin, if that is IMPOSSIBLE, then skip it. You could spend one night in Munich...I would do that... and then have the time for BERLIN, a definite must-see, especially the Brandenburg Gate, and the surrounding area--Pariser Platz and Unter den Linden. OR, if you find yourself in a time crunch, then skip Prague.

Paris---definitely see the army museum in Les Invalides and Napoleon's Tomb...that's the whole idea.

London---as a first timer there, see the Changing of the Guard at 11 AM in front of Buckingham Palace...definitely! I missed that when I went there the first time.

Posted by
1 posts

Of the places you've mentioned, I've only been to two. My recommendations would be:

London: Westminster Abbey. Architecturally, historically, culturally, you can't go wrong. And it is a stone's throw from the Parliament building (think "Big Ben"), Abbey Road, the West End theatre district, Covent Garden, etc., with lots to do, see, and places to eat. Backdoor tip: both Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral have Evensong, a traditional evening prayer service that is sung by their boys' choirs, and is free and open to the public, although you should arrive early to ensure that you get a seat. Also, the Tower of London is well worth the price of admission. Take the Beefeater tour and chat with one: they are fountains of knowledge and entertaining to converse with.

Paris: Notre Dame is gorgeous, but always CROWDED and it's difficult to appreciate the interior amidst the throngs. Stroll a few blocks away thru the Latin Quarter, however, and there's St. Severin, St. Germain Des-Pres, and St. Sulpice (of DaVinci Code fame), and over near the Louvre is St. Germain-L'Auxerrois, all beautiful churches without the teeming throngs. The Square in front of Notre Dame is fun, though, especially at night, when there are musicians, buskers, fire-jugglers, and all sorts of odd characters. The museums go without saying, of course! In general, I recommend walking around and experiecing the great variety that Paris offers: the Latin Quarter & islands and Le Marais, along the Seine around the museums, and Montmartre are all great for ambling around. If you're a film buff: Les Deux Moulins from the film Amelie exists, and the food is good! Also, from the top of the Arc de Triomphe you can see the office building Louis Malle used in Elevator to the Gallows.

Posted by
27 posts

You guys have been a big help. I can not wait to go. I have been counting down the days and I have only 84 more to go.

Posted by
29 posts

I am jealous of this trip--it sounds like so much fun. My advice would be to maybe cut out prague or berlin as staying there only one night would hardly give you any time to see them. It is not like you would be missing out as you could tack that time onto one of the other cities like Rome. Rome and Paris are the kinds of places that you will CERTAINLY not get bored with an extra day there. Remember that the distances between these places are quite large and by time you factor in travel and finding your hotel you may end up on the train and in transit more often than you are site seeing. I would rule both Prague and Berlin out and stay 3 nights in paris, 3 in Munich, and 4 in Rome. That 4 nights in Rome only gives you 3 days to sitesee and you will still be rushed. Have fun!!