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Which way?

Alabama
Level Contributor
1,693 posts
Which way?

Hi,

I've finally nailed down where I'm going and when but..... I'm having trouble trying to figure out where to start and where to finish.

Start in Amsterdam-Germany-Belgium-Paris-Amsterdam. Fly home OR reverse it.

Start in Paris-Belgium-Germany-Amsterdam-Paris. Fly home OR

Arrive Amsterdam and depart Paris or vice-versa. So much I want to see and do I'm having brain overload on some things.

I'm planning on mainly using the trains to get from city to city, will that be a problem?

I've been reading this forum for months now and have saved a number of post that have been very helpful in making my decision but I just can't seem to be able to decide on this and a few other things but those can wait until I sort this out.

Thanks for any and all help!

Winter Haven...
Level Contributor
11,937 posts
3 reviews
1. Re: Which way?

Get an open jaw ticket into one city and back out of another and your trip gets a lot easier. Fly into Paris and hit Amsterdam and Belgium on your way to Germany where you fly back out of or vice versa.

"Not all those who wander are lost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Sugar Land, TX
Level Contributor
71 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: Which way?

We are doing a similar trip next summer. For lab out the same cost, we are flying into Amsterdam and home from London.

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
9,519 posts
52 reviews
3. Re: Which way?

Indeed. Unless the cost of an open jaw ticket is prohibitive which they usually are not anymore there is no reason to double back to your starting point unless you have lots of time and actually make a circle visiting new areas all along the way

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,943 posts
4. Re: Which way?

How much time have you got in total and which places in Germany do you want to see?

When are you going?

Compare open jaw flights... Hubs like Amsterdam, London, Paris, Berlin may have good offers.

For the train rides inbetween check www.seat61.com

1 post
5. Re: Which way?

Hi,

Trains from Amsterdam to Paris (via brussels) are great. Short time to spend? I wrote a blog on hopping into Amsterdam for one day: cityblog.amsterdam/2015/…

Maybe you get a tip there.

Best!

Cityblog.amsterdam

Chicago
Level Contributor
1,740 posts
18 reviews
6. Re: Which way?

How long is your trip? That is an important consideration here. The forum can better give solid advice if we know this. Open jaw, tho is the way to go. Germany is huge. Are you looking at Berlin or areas central or south. I would envision starting in Paris and train it toward Brussels and hit Ghent. Continue on to Amsterdam by train, and finish up in Berlin or head down to Munich. Of course there are so many more options.

Alabama
Level Contributor
1,693 posts
7. Re: Which way?

Thanks everyone!

Open jaw it is. I believe I'm starting in Germany-Cologne, Berlin and Munster.

Belgium-Ghent-Bruges-Antwerp and possibly Ardennes Area?

Paris-museums, a little shopping :) still on the drawing board here.

Fly out of Amsterdam: now here I have a different scenario. I have TOOO much I want to see and do.

Example: Canal Cruise, Ann Frank House, Willet-Holtuysen, Van Loom , Geelvinck Hinlopen, Huize Frankendael Mansion, EYE Film Ins., Albert Cuypstraat, Westerkerk, areas outside Amersterdam- Waterland, Haarlem, Muiden. To name a few!! :)

I want to stay outside the center in a quieter area say: Plantage, Jordaan, Amsterdam Oost, De Pijp, Zuid.

My Dates are 9th May-24th May. I'm thinking 4 or 5 days in Amsterdam?

Any help/advice appreciated! :)

Chicago
Level Contributor
1,740 posts
18 reviews
8. Re: Which way?

I hate to burst your bubble, but 15 days for all that is not possible. I counted 8 different cities. You won't get more then a full day in each with all the travelling between you need to do. For 15 days I would do 3 maybe 4 cities. I would choose Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin.

Alabama
Level Contributor
1,693 posts
9. Re: Which way?

Thanks Suewynn, I thought I was over estimating myself. From Amsterdam I can do day tours by bus, train or bike to Haarlem, Waterland and Bruges? I think I can extend my time in Amsterdam if need be.

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,943 posts
10. Re: Which way?

Ah, that's why I asked how many days you have... No point in recommending an order without knowing that. With only 15 days I'd stick to a maximum of 3 bases. Fly into the first, train or plane to the second, fly home from the third. And from those bases maybe do daytrips. Which bases... depends on what kind of tickets you can find and which cities appeal to you most.

Waterland and Haarlem can be done as daytrips from Amsterdam. Bruges, in my opinion is too much travel time to merit a daytrip (at least 3.5 hours one-way, *not* counting time to get to the station! more likely 4 hours). For me 7 or 8 travel hours back and forth means I'd want to stay at least one night. Although I did crazy daytrips with that much travel time but for very specific reasons, and by car, enabling me to come back well after midnight.

Bruges is a beautiful medieval town but we have plenty of those in the Netherlands too. For example Zwolle, Deventer, Den Bosch are also very pretty. About an hour's travel time by train. Haarlem is also medieval. www.ns.nl/en is a train planner for the Netherlands.

Paris is farther from Amsterdam than Bruges, but takes less travel time. 3h20min by train. The city is huge and has loads to offer, I think it merits 3 full days (4 nights) at LEAST. www.seat61.com for planning international train journeys, use the third drop-down menu.

As for Germany, it's so big... for me Berlin is my favorite city in the world after Amsterdam but its 'sights' (museums / monuments) are not the main reason for that. What I love are all the cafes, bars, beer gardens, city beaches, street art, vintage markets and shops, and the general vibe. I don't like its western half much.

If you want to combine Cologne, Münster and Berlin, your 15 days are basically full, although Cologne and Münster require less time.

But don't forget that every time you move base, you will lose almost a full day during which you will probably not be able to do any sightseeing / wandering around a city at leisure. Less = more ;-)

Edited: 01 January 2016, 19:01