General Question

Likeradar's avatar

What do I have to see in Europe? (see inside for specifics)

Asked by Likeradar (19575points) April 28th, 2010

I’m headed on the trip of a lifetime soon…

For those of you who have been to Paris, London, or Amsterdam, what are must-sees? Or what restaurants must we eat at?

We’re keeping the trip fairly loose. I know we’ll do the normal tourist stuff like the Eiffel Tower, Trafalgar Square, and the Red Light District. I also want to see the Van Gough museum. I’m not sure if we’ll do the Louvre or not.

Can you suggest anything else the boy and I should see or do? We’re pretty mellow, like culture and the arts, really enjoy fine dining, and are into quirky things.

Side question: We’ve been reading travel books, but are there any unexpected cultural differences we should be aware of so we can respect local culture?
Thanks!

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12 Answers

primigravida's avatar

A friend of mine went to Amsterdam and saw a sex museum, not sure if you’re into that kind of quirky or not, but it looked fun. And also, why WOULDN’T you do the Louvre??

hannahsugs's avatar

I think it’s well worth a trip to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Big Ben, London Tower, Buckingham Place. You don’t have to do the tours, just sort of a “and you can see it from here” kinda thing. Personally, the coolest part for me was seeing Stonehenge and Stratford Upon Avon including a tour of Shakespeare’s house, but I’m a HUGE Shakespeare fan. Oh, and take in a show at the Globe and/or Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company.

And do the Louvre. Maybe not as well as you should, but take a couple hours to just go from one end to the other. Great workout.

cazzie's avatar

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is amazing too. They’re renovating the building, but it’s so HUGE, that they are organising it so that there are still some exhibitions in parts of the building and then there is a travelling exhibition as well, and they change… so here’s the website (English version) so that you can see what will be on when you are there.
http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/tentoonstellingen/?lang=en

The Van Gough museum was nice too, but in a different way. The Rijks blew me a way. (I was there before the renovations started)

As for cultural differences, The French smoke… everywhere. You have to put up with that. DO try to speak a bit of French when you’re there or apologise profusely for not understanding. I only spent half a day in Paris, but the southern French I’ve met were all super lovely people and really went out of their way to help.

Amsterdam and the Dutch people can seem abrupt and rude, but it’s just their way. Don’t take it personally, they’re like that to everyone. hahaha.

It’s the opposite in England. Manners matter. Please and thank you and a smile, even if you don’t see their’s first, if you offer one up, it usually breaks any tension or awkwardness.

I’m still waiting for my trip to London to do the Shakespeare thing. I wanted to do that for my 40th, but… life (or rather death) happened and there was no chance. I would really do the Shakespeare thing in London, but I’m a Bard Nerd.
http://www.shakespeares-globe.org/

If you don’t have a lot of time for the Louvre, they have a section on their website to help you plan a ‘themed trail’. Pick the theme that you like best, and it shows you where to go and how long it takes… (trails take from 1 hour to 3 hours )
http://www.louvre.fr/llv/activite/liste_parcours.jsp?bmLocale=en

Have fun.

Mat74UK's avatar

You’ll have to try and get here to eat: The Fat Duck

ragingloli's avatar

You definitely have to eat a Döner Kebab.

JeffVader's avatar

If you’ve got a few £££‘s available then when in London, you’ve got to book a table at ‘The Ivy’.... actually you might want to think about booking before you get over here as it has a waiting list…. basically you’ll have the best food you’ve ever eaten in the most exquisite environment possible.
http://www.the-ivy.co.uk/?utm_source=Google+Latitude&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=the%20ivy%20restaurant

ucme's avatar

Eurodisney in Paris,it’s more or less the same as the US version only Mickey Mouse has bad breath & Minnie has underarm hair issues.Don’t you just love the French?

TogoldorMandar's avatar

Well visit side City’s in Holland. Amsterdam is a old city and has lots of cultuer but the side City’s are older and have lots of historic things. And then you can see the real culture of Holland besides Multi-cultural Amsterdam.

Have fun…

janbb's avatar

In Paris, walk along the Seine and/or take the bateau mouche ride (scenic boat ride) from in front of the Eiffel Tower particularly at dusk. You will come back in the dark with a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower. Take the metro to the foot of Montmartre (stop Abbesses)and walk up the hill to the place de Tertre and Sacre Couer. Again, a really nice late afternooon thing to do; touristy but still evocative. Take a look for the Lapin Agile. Do not go to a show at the Moulin Rouge; it is a touristy rip-off. The sightseeing hop on-hop off busses are a good orientation for the first day; try to sit on top in the open air. You can get a combo ticket for the bus and the boat. If you are in the 5th arrondissement, the rue Mouffetard is a great market and restaurant street to stroll and eat in. Have hot chocolate at Le Deux Magots on boul. St Germaine. It is pricey but worth it.

In London, I recommend the Sir John Soane’s Museum in the City. He was an architect and his house is a wonderful curiosity.

Likeradar's avatar

@primigravida I wasn’t planning on doing the Louvre because I’ve heard it can take days to feel like you’ve seen it and I’m only going to be in Paris for 2 days. I’m going to check out @cazzie‘s link though.

Thanks for the ideas all! Now added to the list, Anne Frank house, sex museum, and maybe visit some other cities in Amsterdam. And avoiding the Moulin Rouge. :)

cazzie's avatar

If you’re going out of Amsterdam, one of the side cities I like is Haarlem. (that’s right,,, the ORIGINAL, remember NY was settled by the Dutch first). ....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haarlem

It’s a short train ride out of Amsterdam and easy to spend the day there. The last train leaves around 23.00 or so back to Amsterdam. I can get a restaurant recommendation if you like, I know some people. ;o)

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