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Help me with my itinerary, please?

Salt Lake City, Utah
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Help me with my itinerary, please?

I will be coming to Europe June 9-30 (arriving in the morning on the 10th).

Background: I am originally from Holland but moved to the US in my early twenties. I am now 57 and have been back to Holland only twice since then. I am coming with my 21 year old son who wants to see where I was born and raised.

I want to spend roughly 11 days in Holland. Four nights in just Amsterdam (too much if it is just to focus on Amsterdam??) and then 7 days in Utrecht from which I will be doing day trips throughout Holland. Should I reduce my nights in Amsterdam to just 3 nights? We get to Amsterdam at 8:30am and will be suffering from jetlag I am sure. However, we wont have a hotel to check in to at that hour so will be sight seeing right of the bat.

Then off to Paris. How many days shall I spend here? I am thinking 6-7 nights. Is that enough or should I do 8? Then back to Holland for a quick visit with my Aunt before I fly back to the U.S. on the 30th.

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1. Re: Help me with my itinerary, please?

I think 7 nights in Paris is enough, and 4 nights in Amsterdam is better than 3. As you said you will be jet lagged on your first day(s?). There is plenty to see and do to fill 3 full days after that, especially if you take into account how nice it is to just wander the streets aimlessly and sit on outdoor terraces people-watching and sipping coffees or beers.

Utrecht is also a handy base with trains in all directions, although it's only 20 minutes from Amsterdam. In theory you could even visit Amsterdam as daytrips from Utrecht.

Note that Thalys tickets are already for sale up until mid July and prices may go up over time. www.nsinternational.nl

Veel plezier!

Edited: 22 January 2016, 03:40
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Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: Help me with my itinerary, please?

Leaving Utrech to Paris, should I book the Thalys from Amsterdam or Rotterdam?

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3. Re: Help me with my itinerary, please?

Post #1 +1.

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

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4. Re: Help me with my itinerary, please?

Utrecht to Schiphol and to Paris will be slightly faster compared to two other options (Amsterdam or Rotterdam). You can however book via Rotterdam and take an intercity from Utrecht to Rotterdam. It may also be a little more expensive than via Schiphol. personally I would go via schiphol.

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5. Re: Help me with my itinerary, please?

Can you not swap Utrecht and Amsterdam? Aftet arriving in the country, stay in Utrecht first, then Amsterdam, then leave for Paris?

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6. Re: Help me with my itinerary, please?

For Paris, 7 nights is not enough to do anything more than scratch the surface. There are that many things to do and see there, but in 7 you can see the major attractions. Some advice: if visiting the Eiffel Tower, buy one of the skip the line tours. They are quite a bit more expensive, but the queue at the general admission line is a mess. You'll spend hours in it. As a general rule, the earlier you get to a destination the better. For example, Notre Dame at 1pm has a line wrapping around it. At 0800 we had a 15 minute wait.

There is an app for Iphone called "Paris Metro". It is a dynamic connection manager for the Paris subway. Go on Google maps and write down the nearest metro stop at all your destinations. The app allows you to enter a starting and ending metro station and spits out all your connections. It will also save itineraries, but with your list all you have to do is enter your starting point and where you want to go.

As for Amsterdam, I'm at a loss to understand why you'd want to spend 7 days in Utrecth (family there?) versus 4 in Amsterdam. i've been to both and there is just so much more to see in Amsterdam.

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7. Re: Help me with my itinerary, please?

Rain, that's a great tip about the Paris Metro!

For whatever reason, the Mr. and I found the Paris Metro the trickiest of all the Metro systems we've ever tried to use. We finally got the 'hang of it' two days before we left. Hopefully with this ap we will be better prepared when we visit again this summer. Thanks!

I always learn so much from reading other people's threads!

Edited: 02 February 2016, 03:15
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8. Re: Help me with my itinerary, please?

@Teacher, it's all about looking at the names of the *end stations* of the metro lines you want to use. And often each line has its own color and number (or name) too.

A simple metro map should have all the lines including their end stations on it.

I don't recall there being much difference between metro systems in Paris, London, New York or Madrid.

Bonne chance!

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9. Re: Help me with my itinerary, please?

No prob, anytime. That app saved my wife and I a lot of time and consternation.

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10. Re: Help me with my itinerary, please?

Some of these questions and discussions are probably better handled on the Paris forum.

I'm a firm believer in the "more is better" theory of travel, so to me, most OP's, including Malyshka, never seem to have as much time available as they have ambitions to cover a lot of territory.

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