Hi, I will be going to Europe in March and am looking for spending money advice. I will be in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Rothenburg and Prague for a total of 12 days. Air, hotel, coach bus, breakfast, dinner and most attractions are included in the trip price (group tour).
I am thinking about bringing $1500 with me for souvenirs, art, drinking & clubbing. Is that too much? It equals out to about $125 USD a day...or about EUR 100. I would really like to take in a show at Moulin Rouge, and a show in Amsterdam, I would like to get a few prints or pieces of original art from both Paris & Prague.
Is this a decent amount? Or am I going a little overboard? I will be buying lunch on my own too. Plus, there may be other things not on the itinerary that I wont know about until we get there.
I really think that will be enough. Dinner and show at the Moulin rouge is about 150 euros http://www.moulinrouge.fr/home-flash-gb.html
Then all depends on the type of arts you want to take with you.
Lunch in Paris will be 15 euros for a set menu. Pragues will be a bit cheaper.
Clubbing in Paris with one drink is about 20-25 euros. (for the cheapest one).
Enjoy your trip
Ps For Moulin rouge you are better to book in advance as it´s very often fully booked.
Hi Flo Jo,
Thanks for the link! 150 EUR doesn't sound too bad for dinner and a show @ the famous (or is that infamous) Moulin Rouge. I kinda figured that Paris clubbing might be expensive. Last time I went to Europe, I didn't really give myself a budget, and I spent WAY more than I should have or even knew. I still don't really know how much I spent, but it was probably more than $2000. This time, I'm planning well in advance, and will be making larger withdrawals on my ATM, than what I did last time. (oh yeah, and no more phone calls home from the hotel, that really hurt my bank account. Emails only this time).
I'm not really sure what type of art I want to buy, but I figured at the most 75 EUR a piece and something that will catch my fancy. I may do the "tourist" thing and get a painting of 'le eifel', but I know I want a painting/charcoal/whatever of the Charles Bridge in Prague. We'll see, I'll figure that out when I get there, so long as I have a set "high amount" in my head beforehand. BTW, is 75 EUR stretching too thin for an original piece from a street vendor? I want to get something original and unknown, you know?
Anyway, thank you for the tips!
Sounds like you're going to walk straight into the biggest tourist traps...
First, don't think for a minute that artwork bought on Charles' Bridge is in any way original. Most street vendors aren't even Czech, but from still poorer countries. Plus their prices are an absolute rip-off. At the same time, Prague has a vivid modern art scene, where decently priced pieces can be bought. See that you make Czech friends, or ask around in galleries. If you want a charcoal drawing, it's cheaper and more original to make one yourself.
Second, Moulin Rouge is the place in paris 'par excellence' where you'll find ONLY foreign tourists. Like Charles' bridge in Prague, it's about the most un-original place in town. If you want a taste of parisian clubbing, check this website. That said, Flo's price quote sounds about right. I suspect that you want to see a nude show in Amsterdam; I don't know about any good ones, but there is a recent thread in this forum on the topic; check it out.
All in all, I think that your budget is too high. Of course you can easily spend it all, even tenfold that amount, but your experiences won't get any nicer if you do. Roughing it a bit, and trying to visit some less tourist-infested spots, will be much more satisfactory.
Yes, I will be walking into "tourist traps", but I know that. I'm going with a tour group. My professor does one every year, but on our free time (1-2 hours for lunch and after dinner) is when we try to explore the cities we are in. My thoughts on going this way is doing the tour thing will prepare me for my own journeys/travels later...in the sense that I will have some knowledge of the cities and their lay-outs. Does that make sense?
I'm disappointed to hear that the artists on the bridge and in the alley are not true Czechs, but I guess (thinking about it now) you will find that at every tourist area, huh. I will just have to find some true artisans on my own (oh darn ). Or, I may just have to brush up on my charcoal work.
Thank you for the website. I will definately do my homework before I leave. As for Amsterdam, yes I would like to see a nude show, but I would also LOVE to be able to buy some tulips as they are my favorite flower. Speaking of which, can I buy bulbs there in March? Or just the flowers? And if I can get bulbs, can I bring them back to the States? I know that here, we plant tulips in the fall for the next spring's bloom. Is that when they are planted over there?
Sorry for such a long post. There are so many things I want to know before I go. Thank you again for the response!
You can buy bulbs year-round; the amsterdam flower market would be the obvious spot for so doing, but sadly that's yet another tourist trap... At least be cautious that you buy fresh ones there, as some stands are said to sell crappy, old bulbs that do not flower at all :-)
Since various US authorities seem to prefer people to cross the border naked rather than wearing or carrying ANYTHING these days, I'd say better check in advance whether or not you can take bulbs with you on a plane. Else you can have them mailed to your home address.
[ Edit: Edited at Aug 25, 2006 3:50 AM by bentivogli ]
Having bought flower bulbs on Schiphol once as a gift for friends in the USA, I can say that the people at the Schiphol store asked me where I was flying, and then said that to the USA I'd only be allowed to import one of those sealed bags of flower bulbs. (With attached official documentation that they bulbs were free of disease or somesuch.)
It still cost me half an hour extra going through customs in the USA, as the people there had to look up the rules (you'd think there'd be plenty of people bringing bulbs from the Netherlands; maybe no one else actually declares them), but otherwise was free of trouble. (Of course, this was back in 2000. Nowadays they'll probably suspect that flower bulbs are an ingredient for the latest type of fictional explosive.)
Yes, the American government is over-reacting a tad, so I will check with customs about it before I leave. I work at a local airport here and although we don't have scheduled flights, customs does come down occasionally. But I will be flying out of NYC, so hopefully they will know better. I'll double check with my professor and tour company before too.