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European vacation ideas

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European vacation ideas

Old 03-18-06, 11:10 AM
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European vacation ideas

I'm headed to Europe with my girlfriend for 11 days in late June/July. We're flying into London and flying out of Amsterdam with hopes of spending some time in Paris. We don't want to visit too many cities because then we'll end up visiting more train stations than anything else.

How many days would you recommend in each city assuming it's your first time to each one? (I've been to Paris 5 years ago, but the girlfriend has not)

I was thinking something along the lines of 3 days in London, 5 days in Paris (I also want to visit Normandy as a side trip), and 3 days in Amsterdam. Cost is not really an issue, but I do want to keep it within reason -- and it seems as though Paris is the most expensive of the 3 cities (as far as hotels are concerned)

Thoughts?
Old 03-18-06, 11:56 AM
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5 days in Paris seems like a lot. 3 days in the other places looks good. Any chance of adding a stopover in another city? Maybe 3,3,3,2 ?
Old 03-18-06, 12:47 PM
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i think London and Paris are a few hours away from each other by train. You can fly into either one and either take a few day trips to the other or spend a few days in one and then take a train to the other.
Old 03-18-06, 12:51 PM
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Won't taking the girlfriend to Paris put too many "ideas" in her head? I always figured Paris was a place you go AFTER you're married. Enjoy!
Old 03-18-06, 12:53 PM
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if you want to stick to the cities, than that is a good schedule. If you also want to check out some things in the country like Stonehenge than I would stick to 5 and 6 in London and Paris or vice versa with a 1 day trip out to the country in each onel.
Old 03-18-06, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
if you want to stick to the cities, than that is a good schedule. If you also want to check out some things in the country like Stonehenge than I would stick to 5 and 6 in London and Paris or vice versa with a 1 day trip out to the country in each onel.
Good thought Al! 5 days in London with day trips to Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Oxford, Cambridge. 3 or 4 days Paris, with day trips to Versailles and Normandy. You might consider 2 days Amsterdam
Old 03-18-06, 02:38 PM
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Yeah, I've heard that Amsterdam is good, but not worth more than 2-3 days tops. Plus we'll be pretty tired near the end of the trip and greatly desiring our 7-11 Big Gulp.
Old 03-18-06, 02:39 PM
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Hey RavenTwo -- Just noticed your location -- how far from Amsterdam. I would be open to the first European DVDTalk meeting
Old 03-18-06, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
5 days in Paris seems like a lot.
Because???

I can never under people who say how much is too little or too much. Every person is different. Me, I could live in Paris for years and it'd never be "too much."

It depends what your goals are, Abs. If you want to say you've been to lots of places, spend an hour in each city and maximize the places you go to. Or pick one place for all 11 days are really learn it inside out. Honestly, I think you should trust your gut and split it how you want. Is this going to be your only trip to Europe with her? Doubtful. My advice is, go with your instincts and if there is a place you really want more of, plan it in for the next trip.

I don't think you're going to regret another day in any one of those places. It is a joke to say that all you need is X days in any one place. Some people live there whole lives in those cities and continue to extract value from them.
Old 03-18-06, 03:00 PM
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Any idea how much money should be set aside for food?
Old 03-18-06, 03:52 PM
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My wife and I did 3.5 days in London and then 3.5 in Paris last winter (took the Eurostar from London to Paris). We actually feel like London will be the city we go back to again because of all the cool things we couldn't fit in. But if you are going to Normandy then I think you have it scheduled right (don't forget Versailles for a few hours).

As for food, it seemed that both London and Paris were pretty expensive. We didn't go over there for food so we ducked into cheap places (or ate from street vendors). I'd rather eat at "expensive" restaurants here in Atlanta that cost much less than over in Europe. I'm sure that's strange to some people since those cities have wonderful restaurants. Just not that big of a deal to me.
Old 03-18-06, 04:09 PM
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Not weird. I actually get annoyed at people who insist you should vacation one way or the other. Everyone is different.

We tend to vacation in one place (and surrounding area) for a week or more. We really try to get to know the place we're going to. This includes getting a place with a kitchenette. That way we shop at local stores, and I tend to whip up breakfasts and often enough lunches, too. It has the benefit of letting us soak up local culture and save a bit of cash, too. Thus we can not pinch pennies for dinner.

Plus, for food, the best things often aren't the most expensive. In London we found the Indian area and had some fantastic Indian food for a number of nights. Lunches were often in pubs, a good beer and tasty pub fare. In Amsterdam we were grooving to the fresh herring sold by merchants at the open air markets. Paris offers the price fixe dinners to keep costs down, though I take advantage of those and my wife never wants all that food and doesn't go that route.
Old 03-18-06, 04:20 PM
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What sort of things are you most interested in seeing/doing while you are over there?
Old 03-18-06, 04:21 PM
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come here! prague is beautiful in the summer! (except, due to the nature of the city [tiny in comparison to most other european capitals], it will also feel like you're not necessarily in the Czech Republic, because you'll be SURROUNDED by tourists. most of the merchants in the tourist area are either Croatian or Ukrainian on top of that...)

it's still a great place to be and round trips on EasyJet from London are affordable.
-di doctor-
Old 03-18-06, 04:22 PM
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May I suggest reversing your itinerary as follows:

2 days in Amsterdam.
1 day in Paris, just to throw up.
8 days in Detox. (London should be fine)


Originally Posted by Bushdog
Because???

I can never under people who say how much is too little or too much. Every person is different. Me, I could live in Paris for years and it'd never be "too much."
Yeah, I feel that way about a lot of places. Paris is not one of those places. I do need to go back some day though, just to have a better experience than my previous visit.
Old 03-18-06, 04:27 PM
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I'm serious, how much money should be set aside for food? I'm thinking that for a two-person 11-day trip, maybe $1000 should be enough for a fair mix of cheap/expensive food.
Old 03-18-06, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
I'm serious, how much money should be set aside for food? I'm thinking that for a two-person 11-day trip, maybe $1000 should be enough for a fair mix of cheap/expensive food.
That's close to $100 per day.

That should be plenty for 2... not gourmet every single meal, but who needs that? You would still be able to eat well and throw in a few nice fancy places within that budget.

We are budgeting about the same for 12 days in spain, and it should leave plenty of budget for tapas.

Just don't buy 2-3 cans of pop every day. That stuff is expensive over there.
Old 03-18-06, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
I'm serious, how much money should be set aside for food? I'm thinking that for a two-person 11-day trip, maybe $1000 should be enough for a fair mix of cheap/expensive food.

Thats a good start. Try to book a hotel with a breakfast. London will probably be more expensive since the pound is at about a $1.75 per and the Euro is roughly at $1.21 per Euro. Eat at pubs in London and at McDonalds in Paris
Old 03-18-06, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiTownAbs, Inc
Hey RavenTwo -- Just noticed your location -- how far from Amsterdam. I would be open to the first European DVDTalk meeting

I'll bring the Belgian Beer as long as you bring the Big Gulps, I kinda miss having 72 oz of Mountain Dew in my belly
Old 03-18-06, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
I'm serious, how much money should be set aside for food? I'm thinking that for a two-person 11-day trip, maybe $1000 should be enough for a fair mix of cheap/expensive food.
I thought this was Chitown's thread. Are you his girlfriend?

Seriously though, entirely dependent on your tastes. Going to multiple countries, with lots of options, it is hard to give a per diem. Also, who knows how much you eat? $1000 seems safe. Not sure why you need to set the money aside, ATMs work well, and outside of the Netherlands, credit cards are readily accepted at no extra cost.
Old 03-18-06, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by RavenTwo
I'll bring the Belgian Beer as long as you bring the Big Gulps, I kinda miss having 72 oz of Mountain Dew in my belly
Yeah, no kidding, huh? They seem to have everything in the world except for a LARGE soda. After a long day of walking in the heat, the ONE thing you *really* want is a Coke.

Either 1) It's too small or 2) it's too expensive.

Ah, well, Water is better for you anyway.
Old 03-18-06, 06:18 PM
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Hm... truth be told, I didn't even *think* about food. I just assumed that I could find similar fare (cost wise) in each of those cities as I could in my own -- but yeah, eating out 3 times a week for 11 days can add up pretty quick if you're not careful.
Old 03-18-06, 06:41 PM
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Good thread. I am thinking of going to either Europe or a Caribbean cruise for vacation later this year. Still haven't decided yet.
Old 03-18-06, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bushdog
Seriously though, entirely dependent on your tastes. Going to multiple countries, with lots of options, it is hard to give a per diem. Also, who knows how much you eat? $1000 seems safe. Not sure why you need to set the money aside, ATMs work well, and outside of the Netherlands, credit cards are readily accepted at no extra cost.
Well, I mean set aside as in "how much to expect to pay."

I am just curious about the various food costs. I did forget about the dollar being weaker there.
Old 03-18-06, 07:03 PM
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I would say $15 per meal, per person is safe. ($90 / day for 2 people)

Breakfast will cost you less (may be included some places as well), dinner will cost you more... but that should balance out with enough for occassional snacks, sodas, and a nicer restaurant every few nights (maybe one per city).

If you want wine with dinner each night, add on a bit.

If you will go to clubs, add on accordingly.

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