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Subject: Visiting Paris + Amsterdam. Need travel tips rss

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Bogdan Petrar
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Hello everybody,

in September I will visit Paris + Amsterdam. This is the first time I'm leaving my country so I want to make it a very nice experience. Now, I'm sure it will be, but I want to be sure I woun't miss something I like.

I will take the plane from my town (Timisoara), first time with a plane also , and I will fly to Paris on 4th September. I will stay there until 10th (probably) then I will drive to Amsterdam (Actually in Almere, very close to Amsterdam) where I will stay some 3-4 days, then I will go back to Paris.

Now, I have asked this on another forum I frequent and I got a louzy "Just google it" response, so I hope here I will have more luck.

What should I visit? What shoudn't I miss? Since I will go with a car from Paris to Amsterdam, I will drive through Belgium. What should I visit there? What should I eat?

I mean ... I want to know everything Beer, food, historic buildings, board game places, coomic book stores... you know, the good stuff


Thanks
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Billy McBoatface
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Well, my advice on Paris is to skip the day trip to Versailles. It's always too crowded, and although it's a large palace complex, the rooms themselves really aren't that exciting. Here's my photo from inside Versailles:

Bet you wish you were there. yuk

If you want a day trip, try Chartres instead, and make sure you go up into the spires of the cathedral. Oh, and eat out as much as you can afford in Paris. I was walking into restaurants totally blind every time, and always got a great meal.

Since you're spending 6 days in Paris, you could also take a train down to the Mediterranean and spend a day or two on the beach. Nice is a fun city.

Anyway, Paris is great. I've been there twice and had a blast both times.
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Bogdan Petrar
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Actually I will spend like 11 days in Paris.

I will arrive in 4th September, in 10th September I will go in Amsterdam for 3-4 days then I will come back for ... another 3-4 days.

Anyway, I'm not a fan of big crowded spots. I would really like to visit the Eiffel Tower and walk up the stairs. I guess I will have to really "wait" to enter the tower

I just googled Chartres and that looks awasome and it dosn't seem far from Paris. I will definatley go there.

Thanks
 
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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You do want to visit the Eiffel Tower, but you do not want to walk up the stairs. It's enormous.

My top tip for Paris is buy a good map before you arrive. I never found a book or map shop anywhere I was there, ruined my trip. Also my guide book was crap.

Second, get up to the top of Montmatre and the Sacre Couer, on a nice sunny day. Fantastic view over Paris. There is a funicular railway to save your legs.
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Diane Close
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EYE of NiGHT wrote:
You do want to visit the Eiffel Tower, but you do not want to walk up the stairs. It's enormous.


And I wouldn't bother with the top level viewing platform either. The middle one has great views and is far less crowded. Even in the off-season folks tend to skip the middle platform and crowd together in long, long lines waiting for the elevator to the top and the packed-in-like-sardines atmosphere up there. Do yourself a favor and take a nice, leisurely stroll around the second floor platform and skip the elevator to the top. Go to the top of Montmatre and climb the stairs at Sacre Couer (or take the funicular), instead, for spectacular views of Paris.

Surprisingly few tourists actually go inside Sacre Couer! It's definitely worth looking at for the wonderful mosaics. You can't take pictures inside (which may explain the tourist reluctance), but they're worth the look.

For cheap but fabulous do-it-yourself "hotel camping" dinners, visit the Monoprix. This is where average Parisians go to purchase their everyday stuff, yet their deli counter has fabulous food that you'd never find in the American or British equivalent (WalMart/Woolworths) and chefs to help with recommendations too.

I also highly recommend Monet's gardens and house in Giverny. Gorgeous at just about any time of the year and definitely worth the visit.
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Ingo Keiner
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-Catacombs
-La défense
-Le Louvre
-Pere Lachaise
Do a trip with a Bateau Mouche at night!
Buy a weekly metro-ticket!

...and if you don´t know, what to do next or you are too tired to do anything useful, just sit down in the nearest café and relax. Take your time there and watch the people hurrying by. Maybe you can talk to some natives or you can try to drink the wine-list up and down...
BUT don´t try this on Champs-Elyssés (or similar), it will ruin you!
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Sean
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I've never been to Amsterdam but Paris is a wonderful city. You will have plenty to do and see there. I agree with the previous entries on the list but I must also add that a trip to Paris is not complete without a walking tour of its many and varied gardens. If I remember correctly there are a couple on the bank of the Seine that are linked. An Autumn stroll along the banks of the Seine through some of the gardens is pretty romantic. Good luck to you.
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T. Nomad
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Diane's right: walk up to the middle. Awesome views of the city.

The problem with both of these cities is they're just too gorgeous, there's too much to see. In such a short time, you need to go with your own interests. Love art? Hit the galleries? Are you a foodie? Then unique, creative restaurants are the way to go. There's a maths museum in Paris for example, that most guidebooks probably won't mention, but if you're a maths geek, Foucault's pendulum is a must see. The city's more recent "hot" attractions include City Beach, which like the Eiffel Tower was derided and opposed, but now that it's built is a favourite among locals. I personally love strolling through the arrondissements (faves: 17th, 11th, 4th) and discovering whatever hits me, but I'm a city junkie.

I lived in Amsterdam for some time, and think it's the most beautiful city in the world. But I've never been to Anne Frank house--it's all about *your* interests. I like everything about the city except the strip from the station down to the Dam, which looks like the tourist quarter in every European city. Definitely take a canal cruise (Amsterdam has more than Venice does), though: at night. If you can, reverse it and spend one night in a rented houseboat: cook up a great meal, then sit on the deck and watch the people of the city float past you while you drink/smoke the finest the city has to offer.

Almere is another story. The city didn't exist 40 years ago, as the land was under water. It's entirely a planned city, and so has the finest public transit network in the world. The prettiest part of town is "de Regenboogbuurt," a residential neighbourhood built inspired by the rainbow:


But the whole city is an architectural marvel, in harmony with the water from which the land was claimed:



Here's a good web page on the city:
http://us.holland.com/t/almere
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M H
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wmshub wrote:
Well, my advice on Paris is to skip the day trip to Versailles. It's always too crowded, and although it's a large palace complex, the rooms themselves really aren't that exciting.

They definitely should build a theme park, yes?



Of course, it is crowded there, but the rooms are impressive. shake

In Amsterdam you can visit the Sexmuseum http://www.sexmuseumamsterdam.nl and the red light district, of course during the night.
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Billy McBoatface
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Topper Harley wrote:
Of course, it is crowded there, but the rooms are impressive. shake
You know, I've been there twice. Both times it was so damn crowded that I had to stand on tiptoes to see anything but other people's heads (look at my photo in my post above for an example). So yeah, I guess "the rooms aren't that impressive" should have been rephrased "you can't even see how impressive the rooms are because there are so many other people there." In any event, I stand by my recommendation to skip it, unless you are going in the off-off-off season.
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Bogdan Petrar
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Almere seems like a "houses town" It will be a nice place to visit.

Versailles seems very beautyful but because of the crowd I might not enjoy it at all. I usualy like quiet towns. I like to go on the streets people don't go. I like to see how people live.

I saw an episode of Antony Bourdain when he was in Paris and he said something like "Throw away your guide book and just go to the streets". That's what I like to do. Now I know some of the things I want to visit are full of people because it's normal, I don't really want to spend 1 day and see nothing... just tourists.
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Mystery McMysteryface
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wmshub wrote:
Topper Harley wrote:
Of course, it is crowded there, but the rooms are impressive. :shake:
You know, I've been there twice. Both times it was so damn crowded that I had to stand on tiptoes to see anything but other people's heads (look at my photo in my post above for an example). So yeah, I guess "the rooms aren't that impressive" should have been rephrased "you can't even see how impressive the rooms are because there are so many other people there." In any event, I stand by my recommendation to skip it, unless you are going in the off-off-off season.


A co-worker of mine had a similar experience at the Notre Dame cathedral, dark, crowded, musty-smelling, and to top it off, full of signs warning of pick pockets!!! He had a similar photo there like Bill's at Versailles.
 
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Diane Close
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wmshub wrote:
Topper Harley wrote:
Of course, it is crowded there, but the rooms are impressive. shake
You know, I've been there twice. Both times it was so damn crowded that I had to stand on tiptoes to see anything but other people's heads ...


What time of year are you people going? I went in early September, in 2004, and it was deserted.
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Billy McBoatface
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pdclose wrote:
What time of year are you people going? I went in early September, in 2004, and it was deserted.
Wow, deserted in September? I took my photo of people's heads in August 1999. I know that August is the peak of the tourist season, but I wouldn't expect it to drop off so quickly.

The other time was during the summer, but I don't remember exactly what month; it was a long time ago.
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Bogdan Petrar
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Actually my father told me August is the month where a lot of france people have vacantion so that's why maybe it's so crowded.

By the way, I found a good way to find places I MUST VISIT:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Heritage_Sites_in...

coolcoolcool

Ah, probably this year I woun't have time to go and visit the South of France, maybe next year I will visit CARCASSONE.... "DROLLING SMILIE"
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