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9 replies
First timer looking for suggestions
sept2007
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Let me start by saying what a great resource that this forum is. I have been lurking for some time now however; my upcoming backpacking trip is around the corner and thought I would get some ideas from the experts.
 
Let me start by saying that I have never been to Europe. I plan on meeting my up with some friends on Amsterdam on Sept. 14th, and then heading to Paris with them. However I plan to begin my journey on Sept. 3-4th   on my own checking out sites. My original plan was to arrive in Prague spend 4-5 days checking out the city, train it over to Germany for 3-4 days (any recommendations in Germany?) then meet my friends in Amsterdam on the 14th. From their friends and I will head to Paris then home to Boston from Paris on the 18th.
 
Since I have never been to Europe nor gone backpacking for any length of time I would like to get some opinions from those who may have journeyed in the past. Am I being unrealistic with the distances and timeframe? Might there be better options out there for me to do before I meet my friends in Amsterdam? Any sites, hostels, castles, museums ect. ect. that you can recommend? I am open to suggestions other than Prague-Germany; any ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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Maybe spend less time in Prague?
I would head over to Berlin from Prague (many visit Cesky-Krumlov along with Prague). Maybe stop in Dresden on the way?
There would be plenty to do in Berlin for 3-4 days before Amsterdam.
Other people might have different opinions about this.

sept2007
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Might I ask the best way to go about buying train tickets in order to travel between the major cities. For instance can I just buy a package and go where I want or should I purchase when I get here?

I assume that the package purchased in advance will be much cheaper and allow greater flexability?

heavydrinker
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Cil

Maybe spend less time in Prague?
I would head over to Berlin from Prague (many visit Cesky-Krumlov along with Prague). Maybe stop in Dresden on the way?

 
I think 4-5 days in Prague is perfect.  You can spend a full day at the castle alone, a day trip to Kunta Hora, a day at the museums, and a day or two checking out the town & the different neighbourhoods.  I hated Cesky Krumlov and wouldn’t recommend it to me worst of enemies, not worth the 5 hour overcrowded unairconditioned bus ride.

Quote:
There would be plenty to do in Berlin for 3-4 days before Amsterdam.
Other people might have different opinions about this.

 
I think 4 days is good for Berlin, it’s a very big city with lots to see & do… could spend a week there and still not be bored. 
 
For Amsterdam, you only need 2 days.  It gets annoying quite fast, and the ladyboys are better in Frankfurt.

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Any sites, hostels, castles, museums ect. ect. that you can recommend? I am open to suggestions other than Prague-Germany


I think you’ve chosen well.

9/3-5  Prague

9/6-9  Berlin (huge, in 4 days it’s do-able)

9/9-11 Rhine area: Lots of options here.  Good place for castles – tour Burg Eltz west of Koblenz and Marksburg south of Koblenz in Braubach.  Stay in castle-hostel in Bacharach (on the Rhine but 500 stairs uphill – really) or in in St. Goar hostel (cheap, good location w/ferry to town and station on opposite side of river; Rheinfels castle ruins are just atop the cliffs above the hostel.)  Do a daytrip by train up the Mosel River for Burg Eltz and Cochem together; do a second daytrip on the Mosel if you want to see Trier, former Roman city.

9/12-14 Amsterdam: 3 nights is about right if you want to see some stuff.  The Rijksmuseum is great.  Take a daytrip up to the touristy but interesting village of Zaanse Schans (train to Koog-Zaandijk station, walk from there.)

Have a good trip.

sept2007
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Thanks, what will be the best way for me to get to Rhine from Prague? Do you know toughly how long it will take so that I can plan accordingly? The castles are one thing that I am interested in (arn’t too many castles here in Boston). 

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Overnight train:  Leaves around 8 pm, direct to Frankfurt, arriving 6 am, transfer there for the Rhine.  This and other schedules at http://reiseauskunft…

Overnight bus:  Leaves around 10 pm, arrives Frankfurt about 6 am. transfer there to train for the Rhine.   Also a 5 pm departure arriving midnight.  Bus is usually a lot  cheaper if you get tickets in advance.  See schedules and prices at
http://www.touring.d…
(Use Deutschland for Germany, Tschechien for Czech Republic when selecting destination and origin countries.)

Here’s a good webpage for the walk to Burg Eltz from the Moselkern station:
http://www.bensbauer…
Lots of hostels in the Rhine – Mosel area. This site also has very good info on inexpensive B&B’s there:
http://www.bensbauer…


sept2007
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First I want to thank everyone for their great suggestions. Due to plans, finances ect. ect. my trips have turned a bit from Berlin to Munich. Anyways, here is what I have planned and as always I would love to get some suggestions, comments from anyone out there who might be able to lend advice.
 
I hear that there are about 2-3 castles in Bavaria that I would love to check out. Since I will be renting a car to get around Bavaria I assume this will not be a problem?
 
Thanks again!
 
9/5 – Arrive Prague 430pm
9/5 – See ??
9/5 – Night in Prague
 
9/6 – Bus to Cesky Krumlov in AM
9/6 – See ??
9/6 – Night in Cesky Krumlov
 
9/7 – See ??
9/7 – Night in Cesky Krumlov
 
 
9/8 – Bus to Prague
9/8 – See ??
9/8 – Night in Prague
 
9/9 – See ??
9/9 – Night in Prague
 
9/10 – Depart Prague 7am
9/10 – Arrive Munich 820am
9/10 – Rent Car in Munich/Drive to Neuschwanstein Castle
9/10 – Night in Castle Bavaria
 
9/11 – See ??
9/11 – Night in Bavaria
 
9/12 – See ??
9/12 – Night in Bavaria
 
9/13 – Drive back to Munich
9/13 – Drop off car
9/13 – Night in Munich
 
9/14 – Depart Munich 850am
9/14 – Arrive Amsterdam 215pm

tictactoe88
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Wow… I’m really jealous.  I actually just came back a couple of weeks ago from Europe.  I went on a Contiki tour and visited a few of the same places and had sooooo much fun.  Paris, Muich, and Prague.  It was amazing.  I know you were looking for a few suggestions on a where to go and what to do.  As far as paris goes… eat crepes… they are delicious.  In Munich, we were able to visit Dachau.  It was definitely a step aside from all of the fun we were having, but a really good look at the past.  I don’t know how much into history you are, but nonetheless it is a really cool place to visit.  And in Prague, we went paddle boating.  It was beautiful and gave us quite a different view of the city.  Have fun on your trip. 

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For Germany: visit Nuremberg. Historical place because of WW2 ofcourse, but it’s also beautifully rebuilt.
 
For the Netherlands: 2 days in Amsterdam should be enough, I’m not really fond of our touristic capital although if you like art there’s a lot to see. You should head into the country, (and not de Zaanse Schans as mentioned above, except when you want to meet more Americans and Japanese).
 
Check out one of these:
*Rotterdam (1 hr from Amsterdam, 22,30 return ticket, http://www.vvv.rotterdam.nl/uk/), the 2nd city, and the largest port of Europe (3rd in the world). In september during the worldportdays many companies and things like customs open their doors for tourists. The city is also totally different from other Dutch cities since the center was destroyed in WW2 and rebuilt in a modern way. Some think it’s just concrete, others love the architecture. I must say I’m glad I live there and not in Amsterdam.
*Utrecht (30 mins from Amsterdam, 11,70 euro return ticket, http://www.goutrecht.nl/uk.html), the 4th city of the Netherlands, but still very small, also canals like Amsterdam, but instead of tourists and neon you’ll find more bars and students (about 1/4 of the population).
*Leiden (30 mins from Amsterdam, 14,00 euro return ticket, http://www.hollandrijnland.nl/index.php?site=1&lang=2), oldest university city of the Netherlands, also a historic center.
*Delft (45 mins from Amsterdam, 19,90 euro return ticket, http://www.delfttoerisme.nl/eng/index.shtml), also a university city, but also the place where the Dutch Royals are buried. Very interesting to see. Maybe you can get some original Delft blue pottery on your way out Wink 
*The Hague (50 minutes from Amsterdam, 17,70 euro return ticket, http://www.denhaag.com/default.asp?id=DOORWAYNEWS-uk), the government seat, but also home of the Peace Palace and some tribunals. Maybe you’re interested in international law. You can also check if the Queen is home Wink
 
You can easily combine the last three I mentioned.
 
On this website you can find most castles in the Netherlands, it’s in Dutch, but some map clicking will get you far. http://www.kasteleninnederland.com/
 
When you’re in Amsterdam, I’d also suggest to go to Muiden for a day. Just take a bus from Amsterdam Amstel trainstation (7mins from Amsterdam Central station). Lines 110, 152 and 157 will take you to Muiden in about 15 mins. You should visit the town of Muiden (www.muiden.nl) ofcourse, but also the castle over there which houses a museum (www.muiderslot.nl) and the fortified island of Pampus (www.pampus.nl).
 
Tip if you’re planning to train a lot inside the Netherlands: a daypass (40 euro), for unlimited use of the train for one day within the Netherlands. For an additional 5 euro you may also make unlimited use of all trams/buses/subways. Also available for 5 days.
 
Wanna know more, feel free to ask.

I am traveling for 4 days