Post # 1
I’m super excited!!! We are doing 2 weeks in Europe for our Honeymoon! We are going to do London, Amsterdam, Belgium-Brussels & Bruges, and Paris! Anyone have a similar itinerary? The thing is that we are going to have to do major budget planning. Anyone have who has been or is planning to go too have any budget hotels and apartment rentals recommendations??
Any tips on where you stayed, where you ate, what tours you did etc that were reasonably priced would be greatly appreciated!!
Post # 3
That’s an awesome itinerary! Congrats! I’m not going to those places but I have visited all of them on separate occassions when I lived in the Netherlands. You are going to have an amazing time. If you have any questions about Amsterdam specifically, feel free to PM me.
Post # 4
@dianeanthony: I’d recommend a minimum of 3 nights in London, Paris & Amsterdam and then 2 nights each in Brussels & Bruges in order to fit it into the 14 day time period (you’ll also have to account for travel time). For the trains & Eurostar, take 2nd class to help keep costs down. Also, flying into 1 city & out of another might be more cost-effective rather than roundtrip since you’d still have to factor in the time & $ that it would cost to backtrack to the original destination in order to catch a flight home. Luckily, London & Paris have really user-friendly subway systems, but they & the other 3 cities are also really walkable, too.
Post # 5
europe/UK have a low cost airline called easyjet which has a london to paris route, the further in advance you book the cheaper it is. If you book now for March 2012 a flight from London to Paris is £23.99 per person including taxes, I think it costs something like £10 to check in a bag though.
Post # 6
EasyJet is awesome – I used it when I traveled around Europe after studying in Denmark.
Husband unit and I are still thinking about a trip – Copenhagen, Berlin, Prague…for 2 weeks when he comes back from Afghanistan. I LOVE Berlin.
In Amsterdam (my sister lived there for a few years), my mom always stayed at a hotel called the ‘T (pronounced het) and she loved it. Also, eat falafal and chocolates. And Indonedian food. YUM.
Post # 7
We just got back from our 2-week honeymoon earlier this month! We flew into Paris, rented a car, and drove to the Loire Valley and stayed there for 2 nights, drove to Bordeaux and stayed 3 nights. Then we flew to Madrid for 1 night, to Brussels for another night, and then took the train back to Paris for the rest of our time there.
Definitely look into Ryanair and EasyJet. We only went to Madrid because of the cheap flights (e.g. our flight from Madrid to Brussels was 1 Euro each! But then with baggage fees and taxes, it ended up being about 60 Euro).
The first time I stayed in Paris was at this hostel called the MIJE (you can get private rooms). This time, we rented an apartment. A couple of good sites for finding an apartment are: http://www.vrbo.com/ and http://www.my-apartment-in-paris.com/ . There, you can search by number of rooms and location. Good luck planning!!
Post # 8
@dianeanthony: Wonderful! If I were you I’d cut Belgium and spend more of those days in your other chosen locations. It is a gorgeous city but quite dull in comparison to the other cities and I’ve heard many many other people agree with me.
Sorry if this offends anyone, but I just wanted to give my two cents. 🙂
Post # 9
We did a crazy 3 week backpacking trip through Europe for our HM! It was so fast paced but so much fun! 🙂
In London we stayed at a hostel Easyhotel Paddington
It’s not exactly romantic so if that’s what you want I would not recommend it. But if you want budget, efficient then go for it.
In Paris we stayed at THIS one bedroom apartment. We loved it, clean, efficient with a terrace view of the Eiffel Tower. And it had a washer, if I were you I would plan it so every couple days you are staying at a place with laundry facilities so you don’t have to pack a ton of clothes.
Couple blocks from Moulin Rouge, in Montmartre and across the street from a train station.
I sooo miss crepes from Paris!
We wanted to experience different travel methods and went from country to country via plane, train, ferry, etc. It was fun!
Here’s a post I did a while back on it!
European HM: Our Itinerary & Lodging
Post # 10
Wow! Thanks for the replies! I’ll look into these suggestions.
Post # 11
I would def not spend 2 days in each city in Belgium. Bruge is nice but a majot tourist trap. I’d avoid it at all costs during the summer, but if you’re going in October after your wedding it’ll be nice, if only to go to The Chocolate Line. If you like chocolate at all, it’s a must. Simply the best.
Depending what you wanna do you may not even need a full day in Brussels. It’s not a very nice city and you can see it in 1/2 a day. No need to go to museums here as they are expensive and you can go to museums for free in London, so there isn’t going to be too much to do. See the peeing boy, that’s about it. If you’re a beer lover you can spend the evening in Delirium cafe, have a forestine (my fave).
Post # 12
My fiance and I love Belgium! But then, we are beer people. We spent a week there last summer on a beer trip and had an amazing time. Both Brussels and Bruges are definitely fun, although Brussels can be a little underwhelming depending on where you stay / hang out. Here are thoughts based on our experiences:
Brussels: stay at the Pantone Hotel. It’s really fun and modern, very affordable, and in a nice upscale neighborhood outside of the worst touristy areas, but still very central. Ask for a room with a balcony on an upper floor, and you’ll have amazing views of the city. If you like Belgian beer, Delirium Cafe is okay, but again, very touristy. It was not our favorite. Here is a nice source if you’re interested in finding a good authentic beer experience. In general, Brussels is an interesting city because it’s right in between the Dutch and French parts of Belgium and has an interesting mix of the two cultures. Every street has two names (Dutch and French), lots of interesting food options, etc. One last Brussels recommendation: Pierre Marcolini, my favorite chocolate shop in Belgium. Just the shop alone is incredible — it reminds me of a luxury car dealership.
Bruges: not as touristy as everyone says (or at least the touristy-ness doesn’t ruin it), especially if you are traveling in the non-summer. It really is beautiful. If you like the movie In Bruges, you should not miss visiting the city. We stayed at Den Witte Leeuw, and I highly recommend it (and it sounds like there are many great bed and breakfast in the city). I think avoiding hotels in favor of smaller b&bs and inns is a good way to save money and have a much less generic experience.
I can also give some advice about Amsterdam: similarly, I would avoid hotels, which can also be touristy and very overpriced. There are a number of really nice apartments that you can rent, such as this one (and I think there are lots more), which are much bigger, in better neighborhoods, and more charming than any hotel you could get in the price range. In general, the Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets) neighborhood is the nicest: lots of shopping and good restaurants, central, not touristy.
Post # 13
@modernmustard: I agree w/you about Belgium — LOVED it! I didn’t have much hope based on what I’d heard/read. But found that I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, Brussels was bashed so much, that we thought we would “hit it & quit it” after 1 night. Instead, we enjoyed Brussels much more than we expected to & were glad we didn’t cut the trip short. It felt like “Paris Lite.” The gorgeous art nouveau architecture is everywhere. And we, too, loved the balance of French & Dutch. IMO, the Grande Place is the most beautiful city square in all of Europe. The city has been undergoing a renaissance since it became the seat of the EU, so it’s kind of like a “city to watch.”
Bruges is such a cute town. It was even better after all of the day-trippers left. It feels like you’re walking through a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale with all of the cobblestone streets, swans on the canals, and people riding bicycles through the old streets & ringing their little bicycle bells to let you know they were about to ride by you. Very charming!
A bunch of us are fans of microbrews & imported beer, so the beer in Belgium was a focus for that particular trip & we weren’t disappointed!
Post # 14
***UPDATE ON ITINERARY*** NEED YOUR OPINIONS!
So after reading a lot of posts, I think we decided on:
We are flying into London so we are thinking due to jet lag, that we should start off with 4 nights in London, 3 nights in Amsterdam, 2 nights to be split in 1/2 day in Brussels and 1 full day/night in Bruges, ending with 5 nights in Paris.
We plan on traveling by train mostly to each destination. We read we should spend approx 2-3 days in Amsterdam as it is small but there is still much to see in Dutch food and culture. We are on our honeymoon so we like to eat good food, drink wine, and enjoy seeing the big spots we should see and the culture. We like a high paced trip so we feel like we’ve done a lot. Does this sound like a reasonable amount of time in each city? It sounds like Brussels is more of a 1/2 day trip and that Bruges is more of an overnight stay to see the city at both day and night?? Also, we are excited for Paris because we want to rent an apt and do picnics etc. The last day in Paris we would be leaving in the morning to go to the airport etc so that wouldnt be a sight seeing day etc.