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It's a whirlwind, but I can't wait part 2

...continued

Prague - Arrival depending on train situation, then spend a full day and a partial day - leaving for Amsterdam hopefully on a flight if we can find one cheap enough. If not we'll do a night train, again if one exists. For Prague, we are pretty much following Rick's advice in the Back Door guide.

Amsterdam - We are hoping for 2 nights if all works out with a flight -- arriving one day for an evening of festivities and then spending another full day and leaving the 3rd day for Paris -- while there, we plan on seeing Anne Frank house, Van Gogh museum, Keukenhof Gardens, and spending some time strolling through neighborhoods and enjoying the canals, and of course, evenings in the Red Light district.

Paris - 3 nights, with 2 full days and one partial day upon arrival - everyone (except me) have their sights set on Versailles, I am not convinced that with such a short time in Paris it is wise to do a daylong trip elsewhere; however, after seeing some reviews here, it does sound lovely. Some highlights I would like to attempt are: Ile de la Cite, Eiffel Tower by night (should be easy since we are planning to stay in the Rue Cler area), Louvre, Arc de Trimphe, Rick's Champs E. - Rue Cler walk, Tuileries Garden - just as some ideas. Would a stop in Brussels on the way from A. to Paris be worth it?

So... your thoughts?! :~)
Thanks in advance.

Posted by
11450 posts

NO, I wouldn't take any time ( even ten minutes) away from Paris by stopping in Brussels.

I would skip seeing Tuilleries, I mean, so you are going to the Lourve anyways, and it is right there, so just look at it and keep going.

A great way to see the city in the evening is the boat tour, one( of many) starts near ET so you can board it there( on right bank if I recall ) and it does a circle . The city at night all lit up is special, the bridges, and the ET,, well , it is very enjoyable. Smuggle on a bottle of wine and an opener and sit out on the deck and have some wine, we did this on a bike tour( the tour leaders smuggled like 1/2 dozen bottles on and paper cups, it was very funny, but fun!

I love Versailles so although I do agree with you, that with only 3 days you are crazy to spend time at Versailles, part of me also agrees with friends that it is worth it,.. oh well, can't help there.

Posted by
64 posts

Your iterinary is decidedly ambitious. That being said.. I would make sure to do the following:

  1. Make sure all the places you want to go will be open on the actual days you will be there.
  2. Research, research, research! Make sure you decide what is ABSOLUTELY essential to see and what can be skipped.
  3. Plan in time for sleep, eating, relaxing and doing laundry (unless you plan on just packing enough not to do laundry while you're abroad). You don't want to exhaust yourself half-way through.
  4. Make sure you have contingency plans for any unplanned events - ie. you miss the train you wanted or it is full, etc.
  5. Keep an open mind - you may find some amazing impromtu festival to see, etc.

And most importantly.... Remember, you can always go back. If I were planning the trip I'd probably spend more time on 2-3 cities rather than jumping around so much, but I definitely understand the desire to see and do everything.

Posted by
108 posts

Assuming you're traveling in June, you need to be aware that the Keukenhof Gardens will be closed at that time. They are open March 20th-May 18th, then closed for maintenance, and planting. Their website: www.keukenhof.nl

Posted by
6898 posts

Wow, a trip loaded with night trains so that you can squeeze in enough daylight to see so many places. Not the best idea way to travel although many do so that they can see as much as possible. Note that as a senior, I haven' really seen a "trip of a lifetime" yet.

We have seen many many posts on this site from people who report that they are unable to sleep well or at all on night trains. They end up exhausted. These trains are noisy and rumble through the night. The opposite is Tim from Minot, N.D. who loves night trains. He really likes his night trains.

There is a 6:00am train from Salzburg to Prague that arrives at 12:53pm (6hrs 53 min). Any night train options will most likely take you back through Munich and take over 13hs and train changes to get to Prague.

Posted by
56 posts

Kim-Wow, what a trip! Amsterdam can be seen from the canals, add Anne Frank's house and a museum or two, plus some eating and your day is done. Someone else already told you Keukenhof will be closed then.

Paris-Rue Cler is the best area to stay, Eiffel Tower is gorgeous at night. Louvre is exhausting, but if you love art, it is a must see, SKIP the Tuileries--expensive food and can be seen with a stroll on your way to somewhere else, like Notre Dame. Take the hop on/off BOAT, it's 1/3 of the price ofthe bus and will drop you at all the major sites, except the Arch, which is a hump to get to from their stop, but worth the leisurly walk up the Champs Elysees....have fun!

Oh, almost forgot, Prague=Expensive. It used to be cheap, but they have realized the value of capitolism since the wall/curtain fell. Follow Rick's advice for the self-paced tours there.

Posted by
2002 posts

With only 2 1/2 days in Paris, I recommend skipping Versailles. Particularly if this is first time in Paris. You may not get to all the places you list but you will see many wonderful things - and you will know you must return! About the Tuilleries. If you visit the Louvre, and particularly if it's a nice day, stroll away from the pyramid and into the Tuilleries, it is a beautiful area and wonderful for people watching. You can also go to the Orangerie Museum which is at the end of it, (where the ferris wheel is). It's a lovely museum.

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you for your suggestions and ideas. I appreciate so much being able to sound off to people who have done this before. People who I don't know, but trust very much... I can't wait to share with you how the trip went! I am sure I will have more questions before I go, until then...