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Old 06-30-2005, 07:12 PM   #1
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Hi everyone,

I'll be having my first Europe backpacking trip this Oct to Nov with my friend.. So we've divided the cities we gonna visit between ourselves to find all the information about them. Here are what i've planned for Paris, London, Amsterdam and Lucerne:

Paris (22nd Oct) --> Reach Paris at 10am. Check into Le Fourcy Hostel. Visit Champs-Elysee, Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower
23rd Oct --> Disneyland
24th Oct --> Basilique Du Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge, Louvre Museum
25th Oct --> Place des Vosges, Cathédrale Notre Dame, La Conciergerie (Not going in), Sainte Chapelle (Not going in), Catacombes, Jardin du Luxembourg, Bateaux Les Vedettes du Pont-Neuf Cruise or Compagnie des Bateaux-Mouches (Any idea which is better?)

Take Train to Amsterdam

Amsterdam (26th Oct) --> Reach Amsterdam at 11am. Check into Shelter City Hostel. Visit Nieuwmarkt, De Bijenkorf, Dam Square, Anne Frank Museum, Canal Cruise at night
27th Oct --> Artis Zoo, Magere Brug, Blauwbrug Bridge
28th Oct --> Marken, Volendam and Windmills Tour (4 1/2 hrs). Visit Jordaan area.

Take easyjet to Edinburgh. Tour Edinbugh, Manchester and York.

London (6th Nov) --> Reach London ard 1pm. Check into Piccadilly Hostel. Visit Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, Victoria & Albert Museum, Trocadero Shopping Center at night.
7th Nov --> British Museum, Tate Modern, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square
8th Nov --> Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath Tour
9th Nov --> Madame Tussaud's, Harrods, Buckingham Palace, Imperial War Museum, Westminster Abbey and Houses of Paliament (Not going in), Big Ben

Take Ryanair to Rome. Tour Rome and Venice

Lucerne (17th Nov) --> Reach Lucerne at 9am. Check into Lucerne Backpackers. Tour Schwanenplatz, Kapellplatz, Kornmarkt, Old Town Hall, Chapel Bridge, Mills Bridge, Mills Square, Wine Market, Stag Square, Panorama, Lion Monument, Collegiate Church of St. Leodegar, Kurplatz
18th Nov --> Eiger - Jungfrau Glacier Panorama View Tour.

Take night train back to Paris.


Any advice for me?? Is it realistic enough? Any comments on the hostel we've choosen will be great too. Thank you all in advance~
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Old 06-30-2005, 08:01 PM   #2
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i say allow a whole day for the Louvre, i hear that u could easily spend 2 weeks looking at everything, but if your going to pay addmission u may as well allow a whole day.

also u may want to do some of the touristy, musuem stuff before dinsenyland (or just go on the day with the nicest weather)

I found that looking at to many museums/ art galleries in a row was just too much, and it got to " hey look another famous moneument, big deal"

just my 2cents worth
(not that i've even been to paris.
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Old 06-30-2005, 10:22 PM   #3
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First of all, welcome. Second of all, believe me, as soon as you get over there all your plans are going to change. (Seroiusly.) You have a great idea of things to see but rather than micromanaging your days down, just go with the flow when you arrive. Third, Disneyland may be a waste of time unless you're REALLY into All Things Disney. It's not all that close to Paris, for one thing, and it's pretty much exactly like Disneyland in the States, and I don't know about you but I don't go to Paris to feel like I'm back in the US. Fourth, if you're going to the Sainte-Chapelle, there's no point NOT going inside-- you can't see much of it from the outside because it's housed in a government complex. Plus the whole reason to go there is the incredibly gorgeous stained glass.

*edited to add: Fifth: Both of the "bateaux" companies are about the same, so pick whichever one has a boat at the dock. And try to go right around sunset if possible.
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Old 06-30-2005, 10:32 PM   #4
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Hell, I don't want to edit again so I'm going to add more.

Windsor, Stonehenge *AND* Bath all in one day-- as a day trip from London, no less!-- is extremely optimistic to say the least... It's a solid couple of hours to get to Stonehenge from London alone, not taking into account traffic. *shrug*

Actually, I'm not trying to disparage, but honestly, you're going to be freakin' exhausted with that brutal itinerary you've set for yourself. The British Museum, the Tate Modern, the Tower and the Tower Bridge all in one day is going to be really pushing it, especially since they do not open til 10am and close around 5pm.

Slow down a little, take in the sights and sounds instead of running from one tourist attraction to the other-- I guarantee you'll have a much more satisfying trip.
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:28 AM   #5
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Thanks zylah for your advice... disneyland shd be third day of my paris trip seeing that the catacombes only open from tues to fri... as for louvre, we are not really that much into arts.. i intend to just take a look at their website and choose those that i really wanna see. so when i get there, i wun spend too much time looking for it.

space virgin --> thanks for the welcome! And i like your nick! lol...
anyway, thanks for the great advice too.. i'll take note of several things.. btw, i'm not from the US, and haven been to a disneyland before.. so i'm actually quite excited abt it .. i've saw how beautiful the Sainte-Chapelle is, maybe i'll go in when the weather is good~~ yeah, most prob i wun be following my itin (haven followed my itin too when i backpacked australia), but i like it when i have a list of attractions i can go to.

we'll be taking Premium Tour for the Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath Tour. we really cant choose between the 3~~ if you were to choose 2 out of the 3, which will you choose? oh yeah.. decided not to go tate modern (added it in my list cos it is free.. )


thank you guys!! i love this forum!
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:12 AM   #6
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As SV said, the British Museum and Tower both take several hours, heck, the British Museum is worth a lifetime. It sounds like a pretty exhausting pace to me, but I do understand the "see it all" approach, that's my usual preference. Be sure to take time out to "do" as well as to "see". You can have high tea at the British Museum, or better yet, in the Orangerie in Kensington Garden. (The atmosphere is more genteel, and the orange cake is divine.)

Consider the Musee d'Orsay instead of the Louvre, if you're not especially interested in the works of art at the latter - the Musee d'Orsay is just as jam packed with cultural treasures, but it's not as mind-bogglingly extensive and the building is really, really cool.

Also, consider doing the outside things (Champs Elysees, Arc du Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Jardins, Trafalgar Square, etc) before or after the museums close. That way you'll be able to see more "attractions" during the day, and still see the other iconic places that never close. Also, by going at night or especially early in the morning, you'll get a different feel, thinner crowds (though they shouldn't be too bad in Oct/Nov) and more intriguing photos than the stock midday shot.

If you're not interested in going into Westminster, another way to see a lot of the riverside sights in London is to take a boat cruise. You'll see Parliament, St. Paul's (from a distance), several historic ships, Tower Bridge etc. etc. if you take the trip to Greenwich, and if you don't want to see Greenwich, you can just hop on the tube back downtown.

Sounds like an incredible trip, good luck with the planning, and have a great time.
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Old 07-01-2005, 12:29 PM   #7
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Ditto what everyone else said.

In Paris, DEFINITELY do the Eiffel Tower at night. The view is better and the lines much shorter. And yeah, seeing every other outdoor thing at night is better, since it's "the city of lights" and all, and it'll be less crowded.

If you do wind up going to the Louvre, get there EARLY in the morning, unless you want to wait in a mile-long line.

The British Museum and Tate Modern EACH took a full day for me. And I'm the type to get sick of museums quickly. So you might want to take that into consideration.

In Amsterdam, line up early for the Anne Frank House tour. Unless you want to be in another Louvre-like line.

Be prepared to scrap your plans, and often - this is a backpacking trip and not a package tour, right? You're gonna see stuff you hadn't thought of doing, and you'll probably WANT to do those things. Sticking to the plan is never fun anyway

Relax, enjoy what you can, and keep in mind that Europe will still be there when you're an old pensioner...
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