Europe travel itinerary for 12 days : Starting Amsterdam

amsterdam

Europe has always been delighting people with its beautiful sceneries, renaissance architecture, and diverse cultures. Our Europe travel itinerary tries to cover a portion of all these delightful arenas. Starting from Amsterdam, we would suggest things to do in Belgium, France, and Italy, the while the ending leg of the trip would be in Amsterdam. Here is a glimpse of our Europe travel itinerary:

Day 1-3: Amsterdam and neighboring cities of Netherlands

Day 4: Brussels, Belgium

Day 5-7: Paris and suburban areas

Day 8-11: Venice and Rome

Day 12: Amsterdam

Europe travel itinerary with all the details:

Day 1-3: Netherlands

Schipol, the main international airport of Amsterdam lies at the outskirts of the city. Once you land, you would be able to spot a number of taxi hiring services available for your comfort.  Next, check in to your hotel/hostel or AirBnB before proceeding with the paraphernalia of the itinerary. Here are a few good places to choose for your stay:

Stayokay Hostel Amsterdam  (Around 65 euros for 1 night)

Hotel Ibis  Amsterdam City West (Around 65 euros to 100 euros for 1 night)

Amsterdam Canal Hotel ( Around 100 euros for one night)

You would find comfortable and affordable means of transport in the trams running across the heart of the city. Take a tram from your nearest location to visit the Dam square, which is the heart of the city. Rent a bicycle, explore the banks of the canals and have a look around at the string of food joints and cafeterias, buzzing with activity. You can choose from a number of eateries decorating the heart of the city.

amsterdamday1

                                                                                                                                          Amsterdam

Day 2: Explore the city

According to the latest sources, the ‘I Amsterdam’ symbol has now been removed from the city. It was once a chosen spot by tourists, for some great photography. Here are the other things to look forward to:

Canal cruise :

Take the canal cruise and explore the city from a different perspective. This one hour would give you insights into the history of the Netherlands, the beautifully structured houses reminiscent of the past, houses of merchants and churches. These raconteurs silently speak of the transition of this city. The Dav Canal Cruise tour starts from  € 16 per person.

Van Gogh Museum:

This museum holds around 200 paintings, 400 drawings and 700 letters of this artist’s beautiful collection. You could also go for combo tours, which would cover this exquisite museum and cruising around the canal in one package.

Diamond factory tour:

Amsterdam is famous for its dozens of diamond factories. These factories are not only a leg of the city’s flourishing business, but also a tribute to the once-booming business of Jews in this field. You could visit the Royal Asscher Diamond Company or be a part of the Gassan Diamonds tour, not very far from Dam Square. Tours are free and are conducted between 9-5.

Anne Frank House:

Lastly, have a look at the place where Anne Frank resided during the trying period of World War II. Exploring the museum would take around one hour. The Frank family went into hiding here in 1942 while the world saw the persecution of Jews. Anne Frank, the little girl who wanted to be a writer, noted her experiences in a diary. These experiences have been made available in the form of a book.

Tickets to this museum cost  € 10 per adult. It lies at a walk of around 12 minutes from Dam Square.

 

van gogh museum

                                                                                                                                    Van Gogh Museum

diamond

                                                                                                                                 Skillset at diamond factories

diamond factory

Day 3: Countryside and neighboring cities

The countryside of the Netherlands is an asset worth exploring. From the various day tours available at Dam Square, Amsterdam,
go with the 6-hour long tour around Delft, Hague, and Madurodam. (Around € 60 per person)
Delft is the first stop of the journey. Delft is unique for its hand-painted antiques, from blue and white pottery to collections of jars and tulip vases. These are showcased in the Royal Delft Factory and Museum. A 10 minute guided tour would give you an insight into antique work from the 17th century and techniques used by potters to paint the earthenware. You can buy souvenirs from the gift shop at factory prices. Provided you get some time to walk through the city, Delft beholds the statue of Hugo Grotius(a pioneer in international law), Nieuwe Kerk(New Church) and Oude Kerk(Old Church).
Pottery at delft
                                                                                                                                                 Pottery at Delft
The voyage continues through Hague, with glimpses of the International Peace Palace, an administrative building for international law. It embodies the International Court of Justice, a branch of the United Nations. Other attractions include the Noordeinde Palace, a working place for the Dutch monarch William Alexander since 2013.
The final stop of this entourage is the Madurodam park. From the Schipol airport to the International Peace Palace, everything is displayed here in its miniature form. The creativity is worth appreciating when a tiny airplane lands near you or a little cruise goes about in the canals.
madurodam
                                                                                                                                     Madurodam
Where to eatThe Taste of Holland and Panorama Café at Madurodam
You would be back to Amsterdam (Dam Square) after this worthwhile day long journey. Take a tram back to your hotel after having dinner at the Dam Square.

Day 4: Amsterdam to Brussels

Brussels is the next destination in your Europe travel itinerary.  Take a train from Amsterdam (which would cost around 25 € per person) to take you to Brussels in around 2 hours 30 minutes.  Relax, check into your accommodation and get ready to explore the city.

Jacques Brel Youth Hostel

Hotel Novotel City Centre

Use the metro as you explore the city. Also, the metro stations portray the artistic side of the city.

Manneken Pis:

The city is famous for this sculpture of a small naked boy standing over a basin. It is symbolical of the city’s unique sense of humor. Legend says that a tourist lost his son in the city. When the villagers helped him to find the boy, he gifted this statue to them. Another tale suggests that the boy was a spy during the seige of the city. He urinated on the explosives in order to bomb thr city.

Metro stops: Anneessens, Bourse, Central

mannekin pis

                                                                                                                                                                Mannekin Pis

Central Public Park and The European Parliament:

Relax here and observe the second tallest monument in Brussels. Seating the European Parliament, there is both variety and beauty in the area around. Visit the Royal Palace and gardens surrounding it, replete with trees, fountains, and kiosks.

Metro stops: Maelbeek,Schuman

Atomium:

Atomium was created in 1958 by an engineer to depict an iron crystal magnified 165 million times. The nine spheres connected together depict the atoms and are connected via escalators and tubes.

Metro stop: 5 minute walk from Heizel metro station.

atomium

                                   Atomium        Source: https://visit.brussels/en/place/Atomium

 

Day 5: Brussels to Paris

Next in your Europe travel itinerary is the mind-blowing city of Paris. Reaching Paris is viable with buses, trains, and airplanes at hand.
You could take a train to Paris, with tickets starting from 12 € per person.

Where to stay?

Novotel Paris Centre Eiffel Tower Hotel  (Around 120 € per night)
Vintage Paris Gare Du Nord Hostel (Around 40 € per night)

How to commute?

Paris has a well-connected transport network, bus and metro being the primary modes for many residents and tourists. You could buy a metro ticket to ride around the whole day, for the next two days or for the next five days.  If you are a frequent traveler, you could buy weekly or monthly tickets ( known as Carte Orange, these tickets would also work for a bus trip). Buses too are a convenient access to the city. You could choose to hop on and off the Paris L’Open Tour buses to visit some of the best attractions in the city. The RER trains are a subtle option if you wish to visit the suburban areas of Paris.

Day 6: Explore Paris

Use the metro and RER train interlinking between tourist spots to explore the following attractions:

Champs-Élysées. (Nearest station: Champs- Élysées) : It is one of the best arenas for shopping in Paris . Champs-Élysées is a wide expanse between Palace De La Concorde and Charles de Gaulle, which is a seat to Arc de Triomphe( This monument commemorates the death of a huge number of soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the French Revolution)

Eiffel tower (Nearest station: Bir Hakeim, Ecole Militaire) : Named after its chief engineer Gustav Eiffel, Eiffel tower is the tallest monument in Paris. Explore panoramic views of the city from the second floor of this structure. You could explore the architecture using stairs or wait in long queues to avail the lift service. Either way, you would adore it! View the tower shimmering in mesmerizing lights at night. Parc du Champ de Mars is a large green space stretching in front of the tower, where tourists relax, play music and bask in the glory of this symbol of love.

 Louvre Museum (Nearest station:Louvre Rivoli and Palais Royal Musée du Louvre) : If you are an art lover, this is on the cards for you. Entry price to this museum is €15.00. Originally built as a fortress in 1190, Louvre Museum has a collection of around 40000 works of art today, with some ‘not to be missed’ masterpieces like Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.
Notre Dame (Nearest station: St-Michel Notre Dame) :It is one of the oldest Catholic churches of France, is an important attraction. An epitome of Gothic architecture, it is considered as the ‘House of God’ and is remarkable for its magnificent rose window.
Mont Martre is  a large hill surrounding Paris. It is believed that many famous artists worked here , including Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh. The hill is still marked by the presence of a number of artists displaying their splendid works. You would also love the view of the city from this hill. Reaching Mont Martre is easy , credits to the metro network.
Other attractions n the city include Pont de Neuilly  ( one of the oldest stone bridges of France) and Moulin Rouge ( a famous cabaret, also considered the birthplace of can-can dance; you can enjoy dance and music shows here).
paris
                                                                                                                Glimpses of and from the Eiffel tower
                                            
                                               
                                                                                                                                                           Notre Dam
                                                                                                                                      Arc de Triomphe

Day 7: Versailles

Your journey to Versailles from Paris would cost you around 7 Euros. Reach the Palace of Versailles ( Château de Versailles  ) which is around half an hour from the station.
The court of this Palace was a hallmark of all the political power, till the royal family was forced to return to the capital in the lieu of French revolution. Before the revolution, the complex included palatial structures, royal gardens , rooms once used by Louis XVI’s queen Marie Antoniette, the Hall of Mirrors ( a central gallery with mirror clad sculptures and arches) You would need a ticket to have a glimpse of these masterpieces.You could cross the royal gardens by foot or using mini trains/electric cars  that roam around the expanse. Admission to the grand apartments,Trianon Palace and Marie Antoniette’s estate would cost around 18 €.
                                                                                                                     The Palace of Versailles

Day 8: Disneyland and off to Italy

It would take around 40 minutes to reach Disneyland via RER train.  Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy station is just a 2-minute walk from Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park, and Disney Village.

Get clicked with Disney characters, enjoy activities in theme-based villages and explore rides suitable for both kids and adults, in Disneyland Park.

There are a number of eateries, shopping centres and entertainment arcades in Disney village lying very close to the Disneyland park. Some very good restaurants near Disney village:

Kind Ludwig’s castle

Cafe Fantasia

Annette’s dinner

                                                                                                                             Disneyland Park

 

Day 9 &10: Venezia

Next in the Europe travel itinerary is the magnificence of Italy.  Travel to Venezia via bus or train.  The nearest airport to Venezia is Marco Polo. You have many options to stay near Venice. This would ease your trip to and fro the magical water-world of Venezia. One of such good accommodation options is Hotel Mercure Venice Mestre (Around 70 € per night).
After a good night’s sleep and fulfilling breakfast, enter the city for a visit through its gateway Piazzale Roma.
Explore the city using water taxis(also known as Vaporettos) and water taxis. While a normal one direction ride in a water bus could cost up to 7  €, you could purchase Tourist travel cards or Venezia Unica Tourist passes if you plan to stay for a while and explore. You could also enjoy the exuberant charm of the city in a water boat or Gandola ( 80 € for 40 minutes). These long, sleek boats are sure to set you on a spin!
The main square of Venice is Piazza San Marco (also known as St. Mark’s Square). It is famous for St. Mark’s Basilica, which stands in the square, an epitome of religious faith and an example of finesse in Italian architecture.

Where to eat and shop?

The Rialto Bridge is one of the oldest bridges that span across the Grand Canal. Find the street adorned with diverse restaurants and shops buzzing with people from extreme ends of the world.
                                                                                                                                     A view of Venezia
                                                 
                                                                                                                                                       Rialto Bridge
You could try Riviera and Impronta Cafe.
Venice is famous for its Venetian masks, popularly worn during the Carnival of Venice, held every year.
Finally, take a tour of the Murano glass factory and the Murano Glass Museum . Take a Vaporetto(ferry) to the Murano island from Central  Venice for the glass factory. For the museum, take a Vaporetto to Museo Murano stop. It stands in Palazzo Guistinian. A tour around shall give you all the insights of the 1000-year-old tradition of glass making. You could get a glimpse of glass workers busy sculpting different designs of glasses or blowing molten glass. If this beguiles you, you are free to take a hands-on glass making workshop right from the hands of the experts!

Day 11: Rome

A frequent train or bus service from Venice would land you up in Rome in a couple of hours (approximately 50 € by train and 20 € by bus). Prefer to stay in the heart of the city (areas near Central Rome). Hotels could range between 100-300 € but that would definitely save you the extra cost of traveling across the city!)
Experience walking through the lanes of the city and along the banks of river Tiber. The city emanates the fine touch of Roman artisans. Hop on hop off bus services shall always be at your doorstep to guide you across the various sought-after destinations. The Roman subway system shall prove equally effective to guide you around.

Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinità dei Monti : The Spanish steps, constituted by a series of 135 steps between (with a church at its top) are one of the best attractions of Rome. The area around these steps jostles with activity, with people indulging in photography,shopping and much more! Try out the restaurants located here. Much of the variety in these menus would be constituted by Pizzas, Rivolis and Pastas.

There are a variety of eating options at Piazza Navona, also famous for its three fountains (specially Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi – the fountain of four rivers). To its south is Campo de Fiori , a popular market of Rome with all essential shops and party junctures!

The Colosseum:It is one of the most ancient and biggest amphitheaters in the heart of Rome. It was used to seat around 70000 people, who gathered to watch mock battles, enactments and dramas.

Piazza Venezia :It houses the National Museum and Mussolini’s balcony, from where the Italian Prime Minister gave his long speeches.

Also situated nearby are Roman Forum and Pantheon.  The Roman Forum was an important venue for trials, speeches and sundry affairs.
The Pantheon is one of the oldest Roman temples, built by Hadrian  later to replace Macrus Agrippa’s work ( done during the reign of Augustus). The original inscription was retained by Hadrian though , and the architecture of Pantheon is enticing, with eight round headed arches from the inner to outer surface. Hadrian also commissioned Castel Sant’Angelo, the towering building he constructed for his family, which was later used as a fortress. The statue on its top is that of Michael the Archangel, after whom the mausoleum has been named.

                                                                                                     Roman Forum
                                                                                         Castel Sant’Angelo
                                             
                                                                                          The Colosseum
                                              
                                                                                   Area near Spanish steps
                                          

Day 12: Rome to Vatican city

There are many options to reach Vatican city, the smallest country in the world. You could easily catch a bus from any location in Rome . Or probably  metro would be a lucrative option (take the red line to either Ottaviano or Cipro, both lie close to St. Peter’s Basilica).
St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the largest Christian churches in the world and is the seat of the Pope.  It is named after St. Peter, the first Pope who died as a martyr. St. Peter’s tomb lies just below the basilica’s altar . The church is a masterpiece carved by many artists including Michelangelo, whose intricate work on the vast dome shall mesmerize you. The throne of St. Peter has been conserved. The ‘Holy Chair’ , also known as ‘Holy See’ gratifies the spiritual authority of the Bishop or Holy Father. Sistine Chapel is the official residence of Pope in the Vatican city. It is symbolic of the rooftop Papal elections where white smoke is used to announce the victory of the next Pope. Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the chapel, which is a landmark of Renaissance art. Another important work of art here is the Last judgement, executed on the altar wall of this chapel. The chapel is open to visitors between 9 A.M and 4P.M.
End your day with dinner in one of the good restaurants in Rome!

 

                                                                                                          St. Peter’s Basilica
                                                                                                             Masterpieces of art at Sistine Chapel

Day 13: 

Checking off these places in your Eurpoe travel itinerary, it is now time to fly back to your native place, with loads of memories to cherish and lots of photographs to adore!

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