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need some traveling advice...

Travel Forums Europe need some traveling advice...

1. Posted by SCbB (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y

Me and my two girl friends are taking a trip to England this July. We've been dying to go to the UK but also to see a bit of mainland Europe. We planned to go to England for a week and then stay in Spain or Italy for a week. Our mums were fine with the England bit because I'm a citizen there and know my way around, but my friends' mums weren't so sure about the 2nd week. Also, there are some serious money issues in one of the girls' family.
They finally decided that it would be ok to go for two weeks but only stay in England and then visit Paris for a couple of days because it would be safest and cheapest for them. We are really dissapointed because we heard Paris is a cool place but not too exciting and we were really looking forward to Barcelona. We also really wanted to visit Amsterdam but my friends' parents would most definately not go for that idea. We were hoping to just plan our own little side trip over there for a couple days and I was wondering if anyone knew the best way to get from England to Amsterdam for cheap.
Also, if anyone has any tips on fun stuff to do outside of the major tourist attractions in any of those places because we aren't very into the tourist trap scene. Thanks for any advice you can give me!
~Brit

2. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Hi SCbB,

You can be in Barcelona or Amsterdam in a couple of hours from London.

Ryanair flies to Girona outside Barcelona (prices of flights at the moment are as little as £2.99.) And I know that Easyjet fly to Amsterdam ...both of these are low-fare airlines and fly regularly to these cities.

Check out the websites....

Hope that helps!

E

3. Posted by HDW (Budding Member 10 posts) 11y

How do most people work their way around the whole money issue? I mean, it's different everywhere you go. I've been looking at rates for B&B, hotels and hostels all over England and haven't found much of anything encouraging, given the British pound is near twice my US dollar:(. And then does Ireland use the Euro, or the British pound? Thanks for any advice you can offer in advance! I appreciate all the help!

4. Posted by SCbB (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y

Thank you so much for the help!

Also, does it cost very much to go from train from mayfair to stansted?

5. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 11y

For the cheapest flights, try http://www.easyjet.com/

What's wrong with the usual "tourist trap scene"? There're so many worthwhile tourist things that you really must see. Plus, there's nothing worse than coming home from somewhere and being asked,

"Did you go to xxx"?
"Um, no."
"What about abc?"
"Um, we didn't make it there either!"
"But you did see the ....?"
"Nope, didn't see that!"

6. Posted by danielita (Budding Member 12 posts) 11y

Quoting james

What's wrong with the usual "tourist trap scene"? There're so many worthwhile tourist things that you really must see.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE "TOURIST TRAP SCENE", FOR ME IS QUITE EXPENSIVE TO TRAVEL ABROAD, SO WHEN I DO, I WANNA SEE MORE THAN JUST THE KNOWN/FAMOUS PLACES... AND WHEN I CHOOSE TO GET OFF THE "TOURIST TRAP SCENE" I'M AIMING AT DISCOVERING THINGS, THINGS THAT U WOULDN'T USUALLY SEE IN A TRAVEL AGENCY'S BROCHURE... THOU THE FUN PART IS WHEN U COME ACROSS THESE PLACES BEEING LOST OR TRYING TO FIND STH ELSE...
BESIDES, IN MY OPINION U GET A REAL FEELING OF A TOWN JUST BY WALKNG AROUND NOT BY GOING FROM MUSEUM TO MUSEUM... THAT'S WHY I USUALLY DON'T TAKE TOURS...

DANIELA

7. Posted by SKR (Full Member 47 posts) 11y

It's easy to get to London Stansted - either get a return bus from Victoria Coach Station to the airport (takes around an hour and a half, has regular departures, costs £15 return) or the Stansted Express from Liverpool Street train station (takes about 45 minutes I think, again regular departures, and I think a return costs around £25, but I may be wrong.

Slightly off the beaten path in London:

Go to Greenwich. Take the DLR from Liverpool Street and get off at Island Gardens. This will give you a view over the river to Greenwich, back up to the sky scrapers of docklands, and you can then walk under the river through the 100ish year old pedestrian tunnel. In Greenwich you have the old naval college, a nice town centre with restaurants and bars, the oldest royal park in London, the Observatory and the Greenwich Mean Line with a nearby a viewing platform back to central london. If you continue through Greenwich Park past the observatory you get to Blackheath (so called because of the bodies they buried there as a result of the black death) which is quite picturesque. From there you could either walk back to Greenwich and get a boat back to central london, or catch the overland train from Blackheath train station.

Walk up Primrose Hill. It's at the North-West section of Regents Park, so you could either walk through the park or go to Chalk Farm tube station and ask in a shop where to go from there. The village of Primrose Hill is also known as a choice of celebrities with all the boutiques, restaurants and swish pubs that occupy the area.

For non-tourist trap nightlife, go to Old Street tube station and East along Old Street towards shoreditch high street. You'll see some funky bars on Old Street itself, there are more on Hoxton Square, and on the roads that leads south from Old Street. Definitely take a map, an A to Z of London if possible - you can buy them from tourist shops and bookshops etc.

As for Amsterdam, it really is nowhere near as seedy as some people might imagine. There are just SO many people milling about that it would be hard to find real trouble....though it goes without saying that you should keep an eye on your belongings at all time. if I were you I'd go and tell your parents when you get back home ;)

Let me know if you need any more help...
Simon

8. Posted by SCbB (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y

Thank you soo much for all the information!! It is really a big help!
Simon thank you for all the off the beaten path suggestions!
I really do like to see all the sites but I just find more fun and adventure in discovering lesser known sites. I like to meet locals and learn about real life in the places I visit rather than just to do what everyone would expect. It's always more fun to explore the hidden side of what everyone else sees in new places. I don't mind being a tourist, but coming from a place where tourists and outside interest is not always warmly welcome, I know it is very appreciated when visitors actually show an interest in locals and their lives rather than just ignoring them and not showing any concern for the people who live in and create their beautiful vacation spot.
I just like to live a little in their shoes as well as be a tourist.

9. Posted by notarealme (Full Member 49 posts) 11y

Hi Brittney,

My advice would be to learn some of the Language of the place you are going as in some places, european dont think much of Americans, as people think as a whole they dont have passports, and are not happy with politcal issues, me ill take people as they come. As for not going to some places, you will find everwhere in western Europe is safe weather its London or Holland, Germany or France.

At most learn to say " i speak little ...."

the German for that is "ich sprechen ein biâchen deutsch"

In Ireland they use €uros, but not in the north as that belongs to the UK. As for the exchange rate, because of the dollars decline, it will cost you about $14.00 for a mac'd's meal.

10. Posted by nickla (Respected Member 223 posts) 11y

Hi, coming from the states you will find most places in Europe quite expensive, especially the UK. You are unlikely to find anywhere particulary cheap to stay over here especially in the big cities. Continental Europe is slightly less expensive and you can generally find cheap hostels and the like to stay at.

Id agree with what has been said so far, easyjet, ryan air and bmi baby all fly from london and go to various places in Europe. I have been to both Amsterdam and Barcelona recently and i loved both - though did get my backpack stolen in Barcelona:( Dont let this put u off as i accidently ended up in the "Bronx" of Barcelona, or so i was told by the policeman!! If u wanted to see a couple of places in Europe then i would recommend looking into the details before hand so you know about train journeys etc that u may need. U can get most places quite easily by train so may be able to fit in a few different places.

Hope this helps.

Nicola