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Forums » The Netherlands » Does it make sense to do a side trip to Amsterdam from Paris?

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JenTay

Does it make sense to do a side trip to Amsterdam from Paris?

by JenTay »

I've always wanted to go, but am not sure if I want to devote an entire trip to Holland. It looks like there's train service between the two, I guess I'm wondering how long it takes and how reliable the trains are. Also, if I were to just do one night in Amsterdam, would that give me enough time there? I mostly want to see the Ricemuseum (don't know how to spell it) and the Anne Frank House.

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drfumblefinger

RE: Does it make sense to do a side trip to Amsterdam from Paris?

by drfumblefinger »

The train ride is about 3.5 - 4 hours each way, using the high speed trains.  So it's a good half day journey.

I'm not sure I'd do it for one overnight, but with two nights and a full day there, you can see most of what there is to see that interests you there.

Can you arrange your travel to fly into Paris and fly back from Amsterdam?  Would save you a lot of travel funds and time if you can.

By the way, I'd also highly recommend seeing the Van Gogh Museum, which has more than half the paintings he ever created.  Also, spend time just walking the canals.  It's very memorable.

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kringenwally

RE: Does it make sense to do a side trip to Amsterdam from Paris?

by kringenwally »

The Good Doctor gave you good advice. I might add that first flying into Amsterdam then moving on to Paris might work better, just in case for some nebulous reason you don't like it in Amsterdam (can't think of why that might be, but stilll), so that Paris will be your more lasting memory.

That kind of ticket, flying into one city and home from another, is colloquially often called "open-jaw", but that term doesn't appear on airline websites, there you have to click on "Multi-City". It often doesn't cost more than a straight return ticket (what Americans call "round-trip" even if there is nothing "round" about the itinerary). And even if it does cost a bit more, you still save by not having to double back just to catch a flight home

Also look at getting two one-way tickets, and making the trip between Amsterdam and Paris on your own, on another airline or by train. Whatever works out best for you, there are options.

Find a DVD or two about Amsterdam at your local library, and a guidebook, and disregard the sensational aspects that travelogues sometimes highlight and exaggerate - the cannabis and the prostitution. You can spend a couple of weeks in Amsterdam and not be confronted with either of those, they do not define Amsterdam for most people.

But what matters are items like the (huge!) www.rijksmuseum.nl/en (Rijk means "empire" - it's the State museum, mostly for older art and historic heritage), the Stedelijk Museum (Stedelijk means "of the city" - it's the City museum, mostly for modern art), and the Van Gogh of course. Strolling along the canals, checking out the Royal Palace, taking a couple of rides on the canal boats with a guide on the microphone pointing out fascinating details along the way - then going for a menu hunt in the area near Leidseplein where restaurants of all ethnicities and types abound - that's great fun for a few days!

You can easily get around by tram and on foot; there are excellent walking tours suggested by the Frommers people at www.frommers.com/destinations/amsterdam/0043010008.html.

Take along a compass (not kidding!) because the canals gradually curve around like a horseshoe, and when you thought you were heading south suddenly now you're heading east or even north... But with a compass and a map (virtual or otherwise) it becomes great fun.

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PHeymont

RE: Does it make sense to do a side trip to Amsterdam from Paris?

by PHeymont »

FWIW, there actually is a distinction between open-jaw and multi-city. Open-jaw is actually a subset of multi-city (and occasionally does appear on airline websites, in the fine print).

(New York-Paris)-(Paris-Athens)-(Athens-New York) would be a multi-city itinerary. But (New York-Paris)-(Athens-New York) has an "open jaw"--an unticketed leg of the flight that you might drive, or take other air service, or whatever. 

 

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kringenwally

RE: Does it make sense to do a side trip to Amsterdam from Paris?

by kringenwally »

Interesting, I have yet to see the open-jaw moniker on a website where I can book such flights. I'm looking at BA and Kayak and ITA Software for your NYC-PAR /  ATH-NYC example, and it is listed under Multi-City, with or without the missing leg. AF calls it "Multi-Destination", listing it equally again whether or not there is a missing leg.

I always thought that Rick Steves had come up with, or at least popularized, the "open-jaw" term. Maybe I give Rick too much "credit"?

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