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Amsterdam--pros and cons

I am planning a trip to Paris in the next 6 months. I am considering whether to stay in France and go to other day-trips in the area (like Lyon, Versailles, etc. ) or be very adventurous and go to Amsterdam for a 2 day-trip experience. What are your opinions on this plan?

Posted by
3551 posts

While Amsterdam is wonderful leave the Netherlands for a trip itself. There are so many wonderful places to visit in and around Paris. You could spend weeks in Paris alone then there is Versailles, Giverny, Fontinbleau, Chantilly,Loire Valley. I have been traveling to France all my life and there are still places in Paris I visit over and over. Like London it is an extraordinary city.

Posted by
334 posts

I would only leave France if you have an extensive amount of time. We spent six weeks just in the south of France and still didn't have time to really relax and just enjoy.

Posted by
4132 posts

I think it depends on how much time you have and how much you want to see Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is a wonderful, friendly, world-class city. You can get a taste of it in two days (though more would be better). But I don't know if it works well with your itinerary.

If you decide to visit both cities, save travel time by flying into one and home from the other.

Posted by
421 posts

well this is probably not going to be your first and only trip....
we did Paris and Amsterdam on our first trip among other places and I am glad I did it but that being said out of all the places we did in the UK, and france such as the Loire Valley and Chartes Amsterdam was a bit of a let down somehow.
Just not what I was expecting. I am not saying I hated it tho.
So I say it depends on how badly you want to see it.
if it is somewhere that really is drawing you then I say go!!!!

Posted by
5 posts

Pam, if you decide to go to Amsterdam you could cover it in two days. I did the Riksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum in one day. They are only a couple of blocks apart, so it was easy. The Anne Frank House the next day with walking the neighborhoods and canals. Parts of Amsterdam were dingy, but it has been there a long time and can be a letdown for some. I say go!! David

Posted by
13 posts

I love Paris, but if you've got extra time, Amsterdam is a great side trip. If you're only going to be in France for say 1 week, I'd recommend just staying around Paris. But, if you're going to be in Europe for more than 7 days, a 2 day trip to Amsterdam is well worth it. Amsterdam is only about 3 hours by train from Paris, and it is well worth the trip. The Dutch are completely different than Parisians. They are much more laid back, pleasant, and they all speak English.

Posted by
192 posts

I've never been to France, but last year, husband and I spent 4 days in Amsterdam. We liked it so much we are planning to go again in a year!
You can do the VanGogh and Rijksmuseum in one day, easy. Lots of walking and standing, not many places to sit down and appreciate the art.
Anne Frank Museum--go after supper one evening; much shorter lines, much less of a crowd. Take kleenex.
Dutch Resistance Museum is worth an hour if you have the hour.
The Dutch trams are great--clean, on time.
Dutch people speak English because it's required in school after about the 7th grade.
Dutch people we encountered were very friendly, easy-going.
When walking, be very aware of all the bikers! They number in the millions, I'm sure.

Posted by
362 posts

I just returned from a reverse trip, staying in Utrecht, Netherlands and making a quick overnight to Paris. I would recommend to take a Thalys train from Gare du Nord (on metro line #4) taking you into Central Station in Amsterdam. The time at airports is wasted with such quick, on time departures and arrivals on Thalys. Get off the train and either go to VVV (vistors information center) to the left of your existing the station) or my suggestion would be buy a canal boat pass for 24hours, again right in front of the train station. The hop-on hop-off boat can take you to any museum you may want to get to without the tram. Anne Frank, and Van Gogh with a boat tour are my not to be missed . Coffee houses are not for coffee and red light district is not much to look at. The two cities are sooo different I think you would enjoy the differences. I have family in Holland and also did a day trip from Paris to Utrecht so it can be done. Go for it. I love power vacationing.

Posted by
47 posts

Flying open-jaws (say into AMS and out of CDG) is a good idea, it saves 4-5 hours round tripping from Paris. Also, Schiphol airport is very easy to navigate. Just follow Ricks directions to the lower concourse to catch the train to Central Station and poof, your there. Another plus, everyone speaks english, yet you are definately in Europe. It's a good way to get in the swing of things before you get to Paris. One last thing, if you do decide to go to the Dam, have a sip or two of "coffee" for me. Have fun.......

Posted by
28 posts

We did 6 days in paris + three days in amsterdam a few years ago and loved it. Flew open jaws which is more efficient. The train ride from paris to amsterdam is smooth and quick. Amsterdam offers: 1) Rijcksmuseum, one of the best in Europe 2) Indonesian food (gotta love rice tables!) 3) Dutch/Belgian beer 4) The Jordaan district, with cafes overlooking the canals. 5) A quick side-side trip to Haarlem, only 20 minutes away by train.