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Amsterdam, Brugge, Paris, Prague...suggestions?

alli_esq

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
909
Hello, everyone! I have been lurking a lot these days but so busy with work that I have not had much chance to post...but I know so many of you PSers are very well traveled and you might have some suggestions--so I am here for some help :cheeky:

I am so lucky to be traveling to Amsterdam, Brugge, Paris and Prague (total of two weeks) in the upcoming weeks to celebrate my 2nd anniversary with my DH, and I was wondering if any of you had any suggestions...we have purchased Rick Steves' most recent books on all the cities we're visiting (PSers recommended him for our Italy honeymoon, and we found him SUPER informative and great!) and we plan on downloading all his mp3 walking tours as well...

Does anyone have any must-see/eat/drink ideas for any of those cities? All suggestions are super welcome!

(By the bye, as terrible as I am for never having posted photos of my replacement e-ring and set that I got after losing my e-ring 2 years ago, just before my wedding, I FINALLY just bought a new camera for this trip so I have every intention of attempting to take some photos and post them SOON!!!! Before now, I never had an even halfway decent camera, so I could never get a non-blurry photo!)
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
1,190
My favorite place in Paris was Sainte-Chappelle, a smaller medieval church near Notre Dame. I found it to be less crowded, full of whimsy, and much more intimate than the massive cathedrals- although those are awe inspiring as well. The interior is painted, which I had never seen anything like it, with stars to imitate the night sky, saints' medallions, and fluer-de-lis, and the walls are full of vibrant stained glass.

If you can get out of the city for a day, the Loire Valley has some beautiful chateaus open for tours.

Have fun!
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
Oooh, what a great trip!

We were just in Bruges this summer and had one of our best meals of the trip in The Flemish Pot, or De Vlaamsche Pot, here's their website:
http://www.devlaamschepot.be/

Mmmmm. Moules and fries.

We only spent two nights there, and it just wasn't enough. It really is like a fairy tale town, you are going to have so much fun strolling around, munching on fries or chocolate or what-have-you, the bells tolling in the background, the cobblestones at your feet. *sigh*

I haven't been to Paris or Amsterdam in years, and I've never been to Prague, so I will be watching this thread with great interest.

Have a wonderful trip! (We love Rick Steves books, as well.)
 

Mahogany Jewel

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 16, 2010
Messages
45
I traveled to bruge, Amsterdam, and Paris in July. When in Paris you must take a trip to versaille. When in Brugge take a boat tour of the city and buy local chocolate. I don't remember the name of the place I got mine from but you won't miss it because the line will be out the door! I went to the Van Gough museum in Amsterdam but it was just ok to me. I regret not going to the Anne Frank house instead :(.
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,376

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
11,280
No suggestions but we just got back from 3 weeks in Europe, 2 on a Rick Steves tour, and I would follow what he recommends in the book. Usually EXCELLENT advice!!! BTW, they have been having a HEATWAVE!
 

Echidna

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
723
aviastar|1318015206|3035469 said:
My favorite place in Paris was Sainte-Chappelle, a smaller medieval church near Notre Dame. I found it to be less crowded, full of whimsy, and much more intimate than the massive cathedrals- although those are awe inspiring as well. The interior is painted, which I had never seen anything like it, with stars to imitate the night sky, saints' medallions, and fluer-de-lis, and the walls are full of vibrant stained glass.
Ditto. It was absolutely beautiful- you must see it!
 

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
7,565
Apart from Louvre, of course, I loved Saint-Denis.
Definitely, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Sadly, have never been to the two other cities. Prague is on my short list.
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
amsterdam is one of my fav cities in the world.

i love the van gogh museum....

drinks at http://www.cafe-belgique.nl/html/About%20Belgique.html which is a place where locals go and very small. a trip to the bathroom up the narrow winding staircase is better undertaken prior to imbibing...... however, if you've been in brugge, you may already be tired of belgium beers....you could instead try jenever: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenever which they drink a lot of in this same little cafe. this cafe is not macdonalds and does not cater to take away coffee....as one hapless tourist i observed was told with much scorn. it is also not a "smoke" cafe.........

the Time Out books have great suggestions.

the dutch had colonies everywhere and as a result they have citizens from everywhere. it is an opportunity to try ethinic foods. also, local cheese! also, i prefer dutch chocolate to swiss but think belgium makes great chocolate also.

just jump a tram and take it everywhere....oh, and don't walk on the tracks as they ring a bell for you to get out of the way and its your loss, literally, if you don't. ditto re bike riders.

the canal boat tours are nice.....both day and night. its interesting to see the city at night and you can see into the homes through windows.

also, this was interesting. http://www.amsterdam.info/museums/cat-cabinet/
an opportunity to see how the older merchant class lived.

i find it impossible to be bored in amsterdam. take your time and explore the neighborhoods. stop for a drink or a bite to eat. wander around.
 

alli_esq

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
909
SO sorry to take so long to reply, everyone--my wireless router went out and this is the first time I've been able to really get online with my laptop (rather than my iPhone--and I thought it would be too difficult to respond on there!)

Thank you to everyone who responded!!!

aviastar and Echidna: Sainte-Chappelle sounds lovely--I'll be sure to put it on my list. I love smaller churches for that very reason.

Haven: Thank you so much for the food recommendation (anyone who knows me knows that's all I ultimately care about anyway--eeeeaaating!!!!) :lickout: I have been unclear how to spell Bruges/Brugge...I see it spelled both ways, so I assume one is correct and it's probably the way you spelled it :D

We will also only be there for two nights, but I hope that we will take in as much as possible during that time! Thanks so much for your well wishes!

Mahogany Jewel: We are going to go to Versailles, definitely, though I should probably get on making those arrangements since we are leaving relatively soon. Is it a full-day activity, would you say? We do plan on seeing the Anne Frankhaus while in Amsterdam (I actually never read her diary growing up, so I'm reading it now before I leave!)--and eating pllllenty of chocolate ;))

Matata: Thank you for the recommendation! I wish I had posted here before I made all my hotel reservations :((

AprilBaby: Ohh I hope you had a fabulous time! I wish the heat wave would come back while we're there, since I think it'll be rather on the chilly side, but we'll come prepared with layers of clothing!

crasru: Definitely putting Saint-Denis on my list (the Louvre and the Van Gogh museum are already on there!)--thank you!

movie zombie: your post really thrilled me--I cannot WAIT to see Amsterdam...I have heard so many amazing things and I will absolutely check out the Time Out information as well. I loooove cheese AND chocolate so I will be sure to test them all out and come back with my results :lickout: Thank you for all your tips--I will absolutely bring them along with me!
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
alli--Oh, we'd be great travel buddies. I'm all about trying the local cuisine. And then trying it again. And then a bit more . . .

I think Bruges (pronounced "broozh") is the French version, and Brugge (pronounced "broo-gah") is the Flemish version. I could be wrong, but I believe that's what I read in the Rick Steves book. I always write it as "Bruges" because that's the way I pronounce it. Not that I speak French, or Flemish for that matter. :cheeky:

Two nights in Bruges was lovely. We spent both nights sitting outside of very loud bars with gaggles of young people streaming in and out of them. It was great people watching. I think the local beer is called Zot, and we drank a lot of that. One night a very drunk young man fell right into my lap, broke one of the sandals I bought that morning, and spilled beer all over the gorgeous leather purse I had also just bought. And you know what? We didn't even sweat it, because we were having such a lovely time in Bruges!

We took the boat ride along the canal and had a fabulous guide, and it was lovely. But my favorite daytime activity was sitting in le grand place, munching fries, and watching people go by.

The bicyclists really cracked us up, as well. Many locals ride bicycles, and they're the large, heavy touring bikes where the rider ends up sitting straight up, the handlebars are super high. We see so many speed cyclists at home that it was just really, I don't know, whimsical to see people riding these big cruisers.
 
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