Travel

Paris, Amsterdam, ?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 8th, 2016 9:31 am
Tags:
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 11, 2009
22 posts
1 upvote
Montreal, QC

Paris, Amsterdam, ?

Hello RFD!

I just booked a flight to/from Paris, France. We'll be there between July 4th and July 16th. We're flying out from Paris on the 17th in the morning. I'd like to spend 4-5 days in Amsterdam and 3-4 days in Paris at the end of the trip. My girlfriend would like to see as many countries as possible (Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France) whereas I would like to see more within France and the Netherlands. Asides from Amsterdam and Paris, I don't know where else is worth visiting.

Our plan is to rent places with AirBNB, but before I can book the places I need to figure out where we should be going and what's the best way to get around? It seems to me like the eurail is a fortune and that we'd be better off renting a car. It's about $550 to rent a car for 13 days plus gas. From what I can see, a single trip on the Thalys from Paris to Amsterdam is 300 euros one way for the both of us.

In desperate need of advice!
16 replies
Newbie
Oct 21, 2009
95 posts
14 upvotes
Ottawa
I hate to burst your bubble but with 12 days you won't be able to see much in each country if you follow your girl friend's plan. With 2 countries alone,you already lose 3 days of traveling: arrival day, departure day and return trip to and from Amsterdam. I wiould rather spend more time in Paris than in Amsterdam. We were there 4 days and couldn't see all the things we had on the list and that was just in paris except for a half day trip to chateau de Versaille. You will spend a lot of time waiting in line to get in the popular sites. If you insist to visit other country, I would suggest London. Once you arrive Paris, take the train to London (4n) ferry to Amsterdam (2n) check rail and sail offer by Stena line, train to Paris(5n). Good luck!
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17619 posts
8299 upvotes
If you are looking to do Paris and Amsterdam, why not take in a city in between? London is a great suggestion, Brussels is also in between. Both are accessible without having to fly (which can be time consuming). I would not think it's a good idea to tour through Germany with that amount of time and having to stop in Paris and Amsterdam. If you wanted to skip Amsterdam then great, but it seems like you will spend a lot of time traveling if you want to go into Germany (Munich, Berlin, etc.).

Personally, I did not really find much that great about Amsterdam. I know it's popular for the coffee shops and that, so if that's your reason, that's fine. But for myself, I would rather spend time in London or in a small German city tour (Cologne, Munich, etc.). You do not have a lot of time, so unless you want to limit yourself to one country I think you'll have to focus on the major cities.
Member
Jul 4, 2007
334 posts
61 upvotes
Try seat61 for details on cheaper rail travel. I agree with poster above, London or somewhere in Belgium (brussels or maybe bruges?) would make the most sense. Alternatively you could do smaller towns around Paris or Amsterdam as well. It really all depends what you like.

I'd say youd only need 2-3 days, not including travel, in Amsterdam and 3-4 in Paris depending on what the want to do there.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 29, 2007
580 posts
39 upvotes
Not sure what you're looking at (maybe those overpriced online resellers?), but there's no way a one-way trip from Paris to Amsterdam would cost 300 euros for two people. The full priced fare is 130 euro one way, but 35 euro if booked in advance. +1 on seat61, the most informative site on train travel in Europe.

I would definitely spend more time in each city than trying to fit in as many countries as possible, Paris is not France and Amsterdam is not the Netherlands - you will only be scratching the surface.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2009
12335 posts
11165 upvotes
Your right just do Paris and Amsterdam.

Fly from Paris to Amsterdam -- about $100-$125 per person. Save time. Flights between cities in Europe are generally fast and security not as tight since your travelling within the Euro zone.

And just do both -- trust dont rush and do 4-5 countries the travelling will kill you and you'll be wasting time just travelling and not enjoying the cities (and wasting money on more planes, trains and automobiles).

Your young (I assume?!?!?!) so you'll get your chances to go back to Europe. Switzerland is also VERY EXPENSIVE and if your on a budget that is not the place for ya my friend...
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 11, 2009
22 posts
1 upvote
Montreal, QC
Thanks for the advice everyone. I think we're going to do London, Amsterdam and then Paris. We might take some day trips from each of the cities to see more of the surrounding countries.

I'll check out all the transport suggestions you guys have. Thanks again! What's the best way to get to the train station from CDG? Or is there something that leaves from CDG and goes straight to London?
Member
Jun 26, 2012
366 posts
628 upvotes
Toronto
angloman wrote: Thanks for the advice everyone. I think we're going to do London, Amsterdam and then Paris. We might take some day trips from each of the cities to see more of the surrounding countries.

I'll check out all the transport suggestions you guys have. Thanks again! What's the best way to get to the train station from CDG? Or is there something that leaves from CDG and goes straight to London?
From CDG you can either fly to London (easyjet or Air France) or get there by train. By train you'll have first to take the RER (commuter train) to Paris then Eurostar to London or you can get on a TGV from CDG to Lille then take the Eurostar to London!
Deal Addict
Dec 21, 2011
3477 posts
676 upvotes
Allenford
I would take a day or two from Amsterdam and spend it in London. Agree with other posters who weren't as fond of it for the longer stay. I would not take my London time from Paris.

We drove from Paris to Amsterdam last year and loved the French portion of the drive, Belgium was so/so highway driving and we didn't get chance to stop off as we were meeting people in Amsterdam, but when we got there I wish I had spent more time on the way.

Northern France is awesome, we drove all the way along the coast from Juno Beach and we will go back some time to rent a vacation place for a few weeks just to hang out and day trip.

London is a great city, I think that plan is solid, I did the Eurostar before right after the transatlantic flight (I was going London to Paris) and slept. It was lovely and I was refreshed when I got to the end.
Deal Addict
Jul 26, 2004
4570 posts
1651 upvotes
Agree with others that 2-3 days in Amsterdam is enough. Paris you can spend a 4-5 days no problem. with the other 4 days left perhaps Brussels and Western coastal France? London is not a bad idea and itself is a 4-5 days thing too, can get you back to Paris easily with a direct train as well.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 9, 2007
2225 posts
427 upvotes
i did London Paris Amsterdam, by doing london you get to ride the eurostar which is kinda cool.

london is easy to travel since you already speak the language. it's a little cost prohibitive, but just plan for it.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 11, 2009
22 posts
1 upvote
Montreal, QC
Thanks again for all the advice everyone. I think because we're booking last minute, everything is so freaking expensive.

I ended up changing our inbound flight from Paris to Brussels. The original plan was to head to London as soon as we arrived in Paris. It was much cheaper to fly from Montreal to Paris than Montreal to London. Unfortunately, getting in and out of London was a fortune. $350 (for 2) from Paris to London, and then another $300 for the train + ferry to Amsterdam.

It cost me $200 (total) to change the inbound flights for myself and my girlfriend. We're now flying direct from Montreal to Brussels. We're staying there for 2 days and from what I can tell about the hotel I booked, it's a reasonably affordable city! We're heading to Amsterdam for 5 days, because my girlfriend loves it there. Got a really nice hotel right near the centre. Then we're taking the Thalys back to Paris, where we'll stay at an AirBNB for 7 days in the heart of the city before flying back home.

Any suggestions for the cities?
Member
Jul 4, 2007
334 posts
61 upvotes
From Brussels to Amsterdam you could check out Bruges on the way, arrive in Amsterdam late. In amsterdam, I liked the riksmuseum and walking around the various neighborhoods and parks. Could daytrip to Haarlem or some other small towns around. Paris has been covered by a thread lately, so check that out.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17619 posts
8299 upvotes
angloman wrote: Any suggestions for the cities?
We found Brussels very reasonably priced compared to London and Paris (the cities we visited before we went to Brussels on our two trips to Brussels).

In Brussels you will most likely end up in the Old Town Square for a lot of things (Grand Place), so I'd recommend booking a hotel near it. We stayed at the Hotel Metropole our second time and it was an awesome hotel for a very reasonable price (you would not expect it from how it looks). We also went on some walking tours of the city - many of the historical building and that are gone, and Brussels is very unique as the head of the EU and capital of Belgium so hearing about modern history can also be nice. We found it to be a very relaxing city, definitely not as much in terms of attractions as Paris or London, so we were able to take a slower pace. Being that you are only there for 2 days, you might find it hard to really do too much other than walk around. If open, something like Coudenberg might be a unique place to stop:
http://www.coudenberg.com/en/prepare-yo ... YrvvkYnl1A
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2010
2764 posts
181 upvotes
Any recommendations for what to do in Paris and Amsterdam? Will be in each for about 3-4 days. thanks
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 11, 2009
22 posts
1 upvote
Montreal, QC
There's so much to do in either city. We did a bike tour in Amsterdam which was lots of fun. It was called We Bike Amsterdam. Our guide's name was Jasper and he was really awesome. It's really great just to walk around and take everything in.

For Paris we rented a condo through AirBNB. Got a really nice place near the metro which is super cheap and easy to use to get anywhere in the city. We walked around lots. Did the touristy stuff and had a blast. One day we went to Euro-Disney. I wouldn't recommend it. The Latin quarter had really good food. Montmartre is worth checking out. Chateau versailles is a little ridiculous for what it is. Gotta see the Eiffel tower. Paris is such an awesome city. I really had a good time there.

Good luck hope you have a good trip!
Deal Addict
Jan 31, 2013
1560 posts
380 upvotes
Red Deer, AB
No advice about Paris, but when in Amsterdam, try to get out of the city for at least one day ( take the train) you could visit Volendam or Marken, or The Hague and Scheveningen .Amsterdam is a great city but Holland has way more to offer!

Top