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Paris to Amsterdam

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posts: 7
Paris to Amsterdam

Hi All,

My wife an I will be travelling from Paris to Amsterdam in early April. We leave Paris on 07/04/14 and have a flight out of Amsterdam on 16/04/14. 9 nights.

I am looking a doing a road trip that includes Belgium, Luxembourg, possibly even Düsseldorf.

I was hoping to get some advice on any must see places or landmarks, or possible itineraries. how long is long enough? what places need more time?

1- it doesn't have to be a road trip. i have driven in europe before and loved it, but if train is the way to go then we'll be happy to do that.

2- Belgium is a must. the rest I will be happy to change.

3- One way car rental is an option.

4- we love our food and alcohol. wine, beer, cheese, all the great things in life! lol

I look forward to your help.

Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Munich, Amsterdam
posts: 6,165
reviews: 1
1. Re: Paris to Amsterdam

A road trip is fun but a car is not conventient in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. For Düsseldorf and Bruges for example it is not a problem because you can park outside the center for (nearly) free and have easy access to the old town.

Are you interested in mainly cities or also in nature, WW2 etc?

Some places to consider:

- Normandy (fisherman's towns and oysters)

- Bruges and Ghent/ Antwerp

- Ardennes/ WW2 history sites

- Breweries / monasteries

- Aachen/ Monschau

- Düsseldorf and Cologne

- Delft/ Leiden

- Kinderdijk

I would say google these and say what you fancy, then discuss the itenerary

Edited: 6:48 am, December 16, 2013
Amsterdam, The...
posts: 7,908
reviews: 60
2. Re: Paris to Amsterdam

For info on train travel anywhere in the world look at this fantastic website (and bookmark it for life): seat61.com/international-trains/….Uq7rtHi9LCQ

A road trip would be fun but the extra fee for handing in a car in a different country is probably really high.

Paris itself is quite a nightmare to drive in, especially without satnav. 7 exit roundabouts, loads of one-way streets, serious congestion, and I have not seen ONE Parisian car without a dent. Just sayin'...

Driving in Amsterdam as a foreigner will only give you a headache as well: dealing with thousands of kamikaze cyclists and speeding trams and taxis being the main problem, apart from 5 euro per hour parking fees, narrow canal streets, confusing lanes etc. But we have cheap parking outside the city (Park and Ride) from where you can take public transport.

Perhaps you can take a Thalys train to Brussels, rent a car to see some of Belgium (and Luxemburg), then take another Thalys or intercity train from Brussels to Amsterdam.

Book Thalys 92 days in advance when there are still some affordable tickets. Prices rise quickly and steeply. People actually start buying from the very minute they become available (midnight Central European Time).

Or even take (intercity) trains within Belgium instead of renting a car, depending on what you want to see (villages/ countryside or towns/cities?).

And leave at least 3 days to explore and enjoy the atmosphere in Amsterdam.




Edited: 7:15 am, December 16, 2013
Amsterdam, The...
posts: 7,908
reviews: 60
3. Re: Paris to Amsterdam

P.S. Train tickets for normal intercities within Belgium, within the Netherlands, and between the two, do not need a reservation and are fix price. So for example you can buy a train ticket for Brussels - Ghent on the day of traveling; same for Antwerp - Rotterdam, or Rotterdam - Amsterdam, or even intercity Antwerp - Amsterdam (though you'll need to change trains in Rotterdam).

High speed trains like Thalys and ICE require reservations and have sort of an airline ticketing system.

Currently there are no *direct* intercities between Antwerp and Amsterdam (I believe they will start running again by the end of 2014, too late for you); only seperate ones so you'll need to change trains. It may be more convenient for you to take the direct Thalys from Brussels to Amsterdam, or Antwerp to Amsterdam so as to avoid the (intercity) change in Rotterdam.

Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Munich, Amsterdam
posts: 6,165
reviews: 1
4. Re: Paris to Amsterdam

If you go around by car you can stop in Brussels for a couple of hours. See the Grand Market and that stupid little statue, then move on. A couple of hours in a parking gage doesn't set you back too much. But in Paris and Amsterdam you want to stay for a couple of night each so a car is a waste of money because you cannot use it in the city.

Amsterdam, The...
posts: 7,908
reviews: 60
5. Re: Paris to Amsterdam

Personally I'd skip Brussels altogether, only use it as a train hub if you go by train...

6. Re: Paris to Amsterdam

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posts: 7
7. Re: Paris to Amsterdam

thanks everyone for your posts. Just to clarify, we are picking the car up after having already spent 4 days in paris, we will be leaving paris as soon as we get the car. When we get to Amsterdam we will drop the car off straight away and spend a couple of days there before we leave.

I will look at the option of training it to Belgium then grabbing the car from there.

i was hoping to get an indication of how long i should spend in different areas\towns

posts: 7
8. Re: Paris to Amsterdam

ok so this is what i have put together.

07/04- train from Paris to Brussels

07/04 - 10/04 Brussels

10/04-hire car from Brussels, drive to Luxembourg

11/04- drive to Frankfurt

12/04- drive to Düsseldorf

13/04- drive back to Brussels, drop car off, catch train to Amsterdam

13/04- 16/04 Amsterdam

16/04 fly out Amsterdam

should I add more time anywhere? is there anywhere I should add in?

I am extremely flexible.

We would also be happy to skip major cities in favour of must see country towns.

Edited: 2:17 am, December 23, 2013
Amsterdam, The...
posts: 7,908
reviews: 60
9. Re: Paris to Amsterdam

Well like I said I'd skip Brussels altogether because it's ugly and grey and smelly, only use it as a hub... so I'd not spend so many days in Brussels, and use them to see (and stay in) Ghent and Bruges (can be done by train), or other towns. And for more time during the ride, i.e. not pack, check out and drive every day.

I haven't been to Frankfurt and Düsseldorf so cannot comment on those.

The Ardennes is a nice region in Belgium with caves, waterfalls and cute towns. It's perfect to have a car there. Read up in a guidebook or online.

I think that choosing just cities will make it more complicated: high parking fees, hard to find parking spots, navigation problems (or rent a navigation system)...

In Luxemburg the town of Vianden is nice and has a castle.

Edited: 6:04 am, December 23, 2013
Utrecht, The...
posts: 273
reviews: 17
10. Re: Paris to Amsterdam

Make sure you rent a car from a rental location in the north of Paris or maybe even a suburb north of Paris where you can get to by train.

Paris - Lille (2h15m): one night stay

Lille - Gent (55m): three night stay with daytrips to Bruges and Brussels

Gent - Antwerp (45m): one night stay

Antwerp - Amsterdam (1h45m): four night stay with a possible daytrip to either The Hague, Utrecht or Volendam / Marken

Personally I'd stick to France, Belgium and the Netherlands. While Germany has some nice cities it seems like too much of a detour with only 9 nights.