• Travel Planning Guide

A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Amsterdam vs. Paris for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Music


  • Pros & Cons
  • Attractions
  • Backpackers
  • Public Transit
  • Walkability
  • More time in Amsterdam or Paris?
  • Which is Cheaper, Amsterdam or Paris? (Travel Cost Comparison)

Which is Bigger, Amsterdam or Paris?

  • When to Visit Amsterdam or Paris?

Should you visit Amsterdam or Paris?

Which is cheaper to visit which is more expensive for vacation.

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Amsterdam or Paris, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Amsterdam is a scenic, historic, and canal-lined city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and live music.

Paris is a beautiful, iconic, and bustling city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. And you can't forget about the museums, theater, and nightlife.

Amsterdam and Paris: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Rijksmuseum
  • Less popular for food
  • Less family-friendly
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for students
  • Home to the Eiffel Tower

Is there more to do in Amsterdam or Paris?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Paris than Amsterdam. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Paris is very popular for its museums, theatre productions, food, and shopping, while Amsterdam attracts visitors for its historical sights. Amsterdam is famous for its scenic canals, huge biking culture, and its wild nightlife scene. Paris is famous for its world-renowned cuisine, iconic landmarks, trendsetting fashion, and dynamic markets. It is also well known for The Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower

How is Amsterdam different from Paris?

Which is better for a holiday.

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Paris and Amsterdam. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Amsterdam or Paris?

Paris is an unbeatable place for its museums and landmarks. Also, Amsterdam is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

The museums, monuments, and landmarks in Paris are among the most recognizable in the world. One of the most world famous landmarks is the Eiffel Tower. The city is also home to the world renowned Louvre, Notre-Dame, and Palais Garnier Opera House. In addition to the many iconic sights, there are beautiful buildings and hidden gems throughout the city.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Amsterdam. The city has a number of sights and museums including the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Royal Palace. The world renowned Rijksmuseum is a must see for any art enthusiast. There are also many smaller, lesser known museums that are well worth a visit.

Is Amsterdam or Paris Better for Theater?

Paris is an unbeatable place for its theatre productions. However, Amsterdam is not a theatre destination.

Famous for its theaters and plays, you'll find world-renowned shows in Paris. There are world class theaters as well as smaller local venues where you can enjoy a show.

Amsterdam is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Amsterdam or Paris? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Paris is an unbeatable place for its restaurant scene. However, Amsterdam is not particularly known for its local flavors and cuisine.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Paris is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. There are countless local restaurants, markets, and patisseries to explore. Make sure you try the steak tartare, pate, and macarons.

Amsterdam may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Food is expensive in this city, particularly in the touristy areas. There are some markets that sell great local items and the dessert cafes are awesome!

Is Amsterdam or Paris Better for Nightlife?

Party-goers will find similar levels of energy in Amsterdam and Paris.

The nightlife in Amsterdam is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. The city has some of the best nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of bars, dance clubs, and other activities that you can enjoy throughout the night.

Paris is a world class party destination. Head to Pigalle or the Latin Quarter for some of the city's best nightlife. There are all-night parties, cabarets, and exclusive night clubs that you can experience.

Is Amsterdam or Paris Better for Music?

Live music enthusiatsts will find something to enjoy in either Amsterdam or Paris.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in Amsterdam The city attracts its share of world renowned DJs and musicians. Popular music venues include Paradiso, De Melkweg, and Chicago Social Club.

Paris has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. Some of the most famous music venues include Le Pop In, La Mécanique Ondulatoire, and Les Disquaires. You'll also find many small bars where you can enjoy live music in a quaint setting.

Is Amsterdam or Paris Better for its Old Town?

Amsterdam is great for its historic old town. However, Paris does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Amsterdam . The old city center is one of the best preserved in Europe. It's enclosed by canals and has many historic churches, plazas, and buildings.

Paris does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Amsterdam or Paris?

Paris is an unbeatable place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Amsterdam is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping areas.

The abundance of shops in Paris make it a world-class shopping destination. Some of the best areas for shopping are Boulevard Haussmann and the Grands Boulevards, the Marais, and Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysées. The city is iconic for its fashion scene and world class shopping venues.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Amsterdam. For the best shopping in town, head to the Nine Streets area in the historic district and the two main shopping streets of The Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat.

Is Amsterdam or Paris Better for Christmas?

Paris is an unbeatable place for its Christmas activities. However, Amsterdam does not offer Christmas activities.

During Christmas, Paris is not to be missed. The city of lights really proves itself around the holiday season. In addition to checking out the Christmas lights, it's fun to go window shopping or check out one of the city's Christmas markets.

Amsterdam does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Amsterdam or Paris Better for Families?

Paris is an unbeatable place for its family-friendly activities. However, Amsterdam is not particularly known for its kid-friendly activities.

Paris is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. Check out Jardin du Luxembourg, or one of the city's many playgrounds. Also grab a treat at one of the city's many patisseries. And of course, there's Disneyland Paris.

For families, Amsterdam is not always the best place to visit. The city does it's share of partying, and there are some areas, like the red light district, that aren't exactly kid-friendly, but there are some nice parks, playgrounds, and the impressive NEMO Science Museum that you can explore.

Is Amsterdam or Paris Better for Couples?

Paris is an unbeatable place for its romantic activities. Also, Amsterdam is still popular, but not quite as popular for couples.

Paris has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. A city filled with romance, you really can't find a more ideal destination for a European honeymoon or a couple's getaway.

Amsterdam is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. For many, a visit to this city is all about the party, but for couples who enjoy history, architecture, or boat rides along the scenic canals, the city also makes a great getaway. It's also fun to stay in a houseboat and have a unique experience.

Is Amsterdam or Paris Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Amsterdam and Paris are fantastic places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Amsterdam. With it's party-hard personality and countless low price hostels, this city attracts its share of backpackers. Do note that many of the hostels aren't focused on quality, so make sure you understand what you're paying for. It may be worth booking a slightly more expensive room in a hotel.

A large number of backpackers visit Paris, as it is a very popular city for budget travelers. It's a big city, so it's easy to get lost in the chaos, but there are many hostels and other backpacker hangouts around town.

Is Amsterdam or Paris Better for Students?

Paris is an unbeatable place for students. However, Amsterdam is not popular with students.

Paris is a great destination for students. The city is one of the most popular destinations for international and study abroad students.

Amsterdam is not popular with students.

Is Amsterdam or Paris Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Amsterdam and Paris.

Visitors in Amsterdam can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. The city has metros, trams, buses, and ferries that help you get around. Since this is the Netherlands, getting around by bike is very popular.

Paris has a world-class public transit network to take passengers everywhere in the city. The city's metro system is very comprehensive. There's also a bus system that you can use to get around.

Is Amsterdam or Paris a more walkable city?

Amsterdam is terrific for its walkability. Also, Paris is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its high level of walkability.

Amsterdam is a very easy city to get around on foot. The historic parts of the city are very walkable and much of the city is best explored on foot.

Paris is a very walkable city. Some streets can feel a bit overwhelming, but there are many parts of the city that are easily explored on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Amsterdam Worth Visiting? and Is Paris Worth Visiting? .

Should I spend more time in Paris or Amsterdam?

How long in amsterdam or paris.

Both Amsterdam and Paris have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Paris has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Paris than Amsterdam . In general, 2-7 days is a good amount of time for Amsterdam, and 3-7 days is enough time in Paris.

Families should spend more time in Paris than Amsterdam. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Paris, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Paris than Amsterdam. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Paris that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Paris than Amsterdam if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Paris.

  • How many days in Amsterdam or Paris? Ideal Length of Stay Amsterdam 2-7   Paris   3-7

One day in Amsterdam or Paris?

Each neighborhood in Amsterdam has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

You'll find museums and theater around the city of Paris. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Amsterdam or Paris?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Amsterdam. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

You'll find theater and nightlife around the iconic big city of Paris. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Amsterdam or Paris?

Amsterdam is a fun place to experience. Each neighborhood in Amsterdam has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

You'll find nightlife and live music around the energetic city of Paris. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

A week in Amsterdam or Paris?

Each neighborhood in Amsterdam has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Paris is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Paris, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours from Amsterdam , The Best 2-Week Tours from Amsterdam , The Best Historical Tours in France , and The Best 10-Day Tours in France .

Which place is cheaper, Paris or Amsterdam?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

  • Amsterdam Prices Netherlands Prices Paris Prices France Prices
  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day Amsterdam € 175 Paris € 232

The average daily cost (per person) in Amsterdam is €175, while the average daily cost in Paris is €232. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Amsterdam and Paris in more detail.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person Amsterdam € 102 Paris € 151
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room Amsterdam € 204 Paris € 302

Compare Hotels in Amsterdam and Paris

Looking for a hotel in Amsterdam or Paris? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.


Hotels in Amsterdam

Hotels in Paris

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Local Transportation

  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc. Amsterdam € 20 Paris € 21

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Amsterdam

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Amsterdam:

  • Ride on Tram € 3.20
  • Renting a Bike € 15
  • One Hour Canal Cruise € 10
  • Single Day Transit Pass € 2.60
  • Transit Pass to Amsterdam Airport € 3.40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Amsterdam

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Amsterdam:

  • From Private Transfer to Paris: $2,376
  • Private Transfer to/from Bruges: $832
  • Kinderdijk & Delft Private Day Trip w/ Transfers: $810
  • Private Transfer to/from Brussels: $745
  • Private Transfer to/from Antwerp: $594
  • Private Transfer to Bruges: $389
  • Amsterdam Cruise Port: Private Transfer to The Hague hotels: $336
  • Amsterdam and Rotterdam: 1-Way Private Transfer: $313
  • Rotterdam: Private transfer to/from Schiphol Airport: $313
  • Schiphol Airport Private Transfer to Brussels: $293
  • 1-15 pers Taxi/Bus Transfer Amsterdam Airport to 's-Hertogenbosch: $290
  • Private Transfer From Amsterdam to Brussels, Stop in Utrecht: $283

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Paris

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Paris are as follows:

  • Metro € 6.40
  • Train from Airport € 9.00
  • Metro tickets € 6.80
  • Train € 20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Paris

Also for Paris, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Bus Transfer : Paris to the Palace of Versailles Round-Trip : $44
  • Disneyland Private Transfer - Luxury Minivan Service: $186
  • Private Transfer from Paris to Charles de Gaulle Airport: $84
  • Private transfer from Beauvais airport to Paris or back: $270
  • Airport Transfer: Paris Airport CDG to Paris City by Business Car: $101
  • Airport Transfer: Paris City to Paris Airport CDG by Luxury EQS: $153
  • Airport: Private transfer to/from Paris - Charles de Gaulle: $108
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Paris ORY Airport to Paris City by Business Car: $88
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Paris Orly Airport ORY to Paris City by Luxury Van: $110
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Airport Charles de Gaulle OR Orly TO La Defense: $23
  • Arrival Private Transfer: CDG or ORY Airport to Disneyland París by Luxury Van: $128
  • Arrival Transfer from Paris Airport CDG to Paris in Private Car: $91

Is it cheaper to fly into Amsterdam or Paris?

Prices for flights to both Paris and Amsterdam change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day Amsterdam € 43 Paris € 41

Typical Food Prices in Amsterdam

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Amsterdam:

  • Afternoon Tea € 6.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Amsterdam

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Amsterdam.

  • Self-Guided Food Tour in De Pijp Neighbourhood: $14
  • Self-Guided Food Tour in De Jordaan Neighbourhood: $14
  • Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam with Set Lunch or Dinner: $31
  • Evening Canal Cruise with Pizza and Drinks: $32
  • Amsterdam Evening Canal Cruise With Pizza and Drinks: $32
  • Food Tour Jordaan District: $35
  • Pizza Cruise with Drinks: $41
  • Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket with A GOLD MENU Hard Rock Dinner: $43
  • 3 Course Dinner in the Dark: $54
  • Private Cruise with Drinks & Pizza or Burger: $59
  • Dutch Street Food Tour on Amsterdam Market: $65
  • Vlees & Co 3-Course Dinner & Nightlife Ticket: $73

Typical Food Prices in Paris

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Paris:

  • Ice Cream € 8.00
  • Breakfast € 7.00
  • Breakfast for 2 € 30
  • Dinner on River Cruise € 86
  • Dinner € 57
  • Cheese € 13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Paris

For Paris, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Hard Rock Cafe Paris with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner : $33
  • Authentic Indian Dinner in Paris : $50
  • Paris Capitaine Fracasse 3 Course Seine River Dinner Cruise: $52
  • Paris : Seine River Bistronomic Dinner Cruise: $53
  • Seine Cruise Departure from Pont Alexandre III with Dinner Included: $65
  • Seine River Panoramic Views Dinner Cruise: $67
  • No Diet Club - Paris : Night food tour - Montmartre: $68
  • Paris : No Diet Club Food Tour - Best Spots in Le Marais: $68
  • Paris en Scene 3 Course Seine River Dinner Cruise: $68
  • 1-Hour Sightseeing Cruise with Bistro Dinner: $68
  • Dinner with Customized Wine Selection: $76
  • Paris Food Tour: $76


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc. Amsterdam € 37 Paris € 77

Typical Entertainment Prices in Amsterdam

Here are a few typical costs in Amsterdam for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:

  • Two tickets to the Houseboat Museum € 6.00
  • Entry for two to the Anne Frank House € 17

Tours and Activities in Amsterdam

Here are a few actual costs in Amsterdam for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Amstagram Tour & Moco Experience: $54
  • Amsterdam (Museum Quarter) Scavenger Hunt and Self-Guided Tour: $11
  • Cheese, Wine with Unlimited Drinks in Amsterdam Luxury Cruise: $55
  • Keukenhof Tulips and Zaanse Schans Windmills Private Day Tour: $275
  • 1 Hour Canal Cruise in Amsterdam: $21
  • 1 Hour Canal Cruise with Local Skipper and Complimentary Drink: $22
  • 1,5 hours Amsterdam Rickshaw Tour: $165
  • 2 Hours Private Amsterdam Rickshaw Tour: $214
  • 2 Hours Private Walking Tour of the Highlights of Amsterdam: $167
  • 2 hours Amsterdam City Tour in Pedicab: $220
  • 2-Hour Private Anne Frank Walking Tour with Drink: $145
  • 2-hour Red Light District and Old Town Walking Tour in Amsterdam: $49

Typical Entertainment Prices in Paris

For Paris, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:

  • Louvre Entry for Two € 18
  • Admission to Pantheon € 5.00
  • Catacombs (2) € 23

Tours and Activities in Paris

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Paris.

  • Paris - Free Walking Tour of: Montmartre: $2.16
  • Montmartre Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt Tour: $3.24
  • Montmartre Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $3.29
  • Marais Walk Self Guided Audio Tour: $4.40
  • Self-guided Tour Covered Passages in Paris: $5.40
  • Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and Tour: $5.40
  • Père-Lachaise Cemetery audio guide tour: $5.40
  • Private Self Guided Walking Tour in Montmartre Paris: $5.49
  • Self Guided Latin Quarter Audio Tour in Paris: $5.49
  • Self-Guided Tour - Louvre Audioguide, Paris: $5.51
  • Visit the Eiffel Tower at your own pace Self-guided audio tour: $5.96
  • Eiffel Tower Audio Tour Experience: $5.99
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day Amsterdam € 24 Paris € 24

Sample the Local Flavors in Amsterdam

Also in Amsterdam, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Amsterdam Private Self-Guided Pub Crawl Pub Quiz: $22
  • Original Pub Crawl Party with VIP Entrance: $26
  • Cheese and Wine tasting in Amsterdam: $27
  • Central Pub Crawl and Nightlife Experience: $27
  • Red Light District Pub Crawl: $27
  • Leidseplein and Red Light Pub Crawl: 2 Night Pass: $31
  • Chateau Urban Wine Tasting and optional bites: $32
  • Kings Night Ultimate Party Pub Crawl: $38
  • Red Light District and Local Pub Tour: $39
  • Dutch Wine Tasting || Amsterdam City Centre: $49
  • Red-Light District Pub Crawl and Booze Boat Tour: $53

Typical Alcohol Prices in Paris

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Paris are as follows:

  • Wine € 14

Sample the Local Flavors in Paris

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Paris:

  • Daily Paris Pub Crawl: Meet, Drink & Party (With Club Entry): $15
  • Paris Pub Crawl : Meet, Drink & Party (With Club Entry): $17
  • Latin Quarter Guided Pub Crawl to Bars and Clubs: $22
  • Paris Latin Quarter Pub Crawl Bars and Clubs: $24
  • Paris Bar Crawl: $24
  • Paris Pub Crawl: $26
  • Vineyard tour and wine tasting in Davron: $32
  • Wine Museum Guided Tour with Wine Tasting: $39
  • Audio guided tour and wine tasting at Caves du Louvre: $40
  • Paris St Germain Wine Tasting: $43
  • Wine Tasting in Paris right next to Père Lachaise & l'Atelier des lumières: $49
  • Wine tasting Paris Saint Germain des Pres: $52

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Amsterdam and Paris, we can see that Paris is more expensive. And not only is Amsterdam much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Amsterdam would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Amsterdam and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Paris would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Paris than you might in Amsterdam.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Amsterdam Expensive? and Is Paris Expensive? .

Paris has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Amsterdam. When comparing the sizes of Amsterdam and Paris, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.

When is the best time to visit Amsterdam or Paris?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Amsterdam or Paris in the Summer?

Both Paris and Amsterdam during the summer are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Amsterdam in the summer for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Paris for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Amsterdam is generally cooler than Paris. Daily temperatures in Amsterdam average around 17°C (62°F), and Paris fluctuates around 20°C (68°F).

In Paris, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Amsterdam. In the summer, Amsterdam often gets less sunshine than Paris. Amsterdam gets 204 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Paris receives 241 hours of full sun.

Amsterdam usually gets more rain in July than Paris. Amsterdam gets 75 mm (3 in) of rain, while Paris receives 58 mm (2.3 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July Amsterdam 17°C (62°F)   Paris   20°C (68°F)

Should I visit Amsterdam or Paris in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Amsterdam and Paris. Most visitors come to Amsterdam for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Paris because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Amsterdam is cooler than Paris in the autumn. The daily temperature in Amsterdam averages around 11°C (51°F) in October, and Paris fluctuates around 13°C (56°F).

Amsterdam usually receives less sunshine than Paris during autumn. Amsterdam gets 99 hours of sunny skies, while Paris receives 127 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Amsterdam usually receives more rain than Paris. Amsterdam gets 72 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Paris receives 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October Amsterdam 11°C (51°F)   Paris   13°C (56°F)

Should I visit Amsterdam or Paris in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Amsterdam as well as Paris. The winter months attract visitors to Amsterdam because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Paris this time of year.

It's quite cold in Paris in the winter. The weather in Amsterdam can be very cold. In the winter, Amsterdam is much colder than Paris. Typically, the winter temperatures in Amsterdam in January average around 2°C (36°F), and Paris averages at about 5°C (40°F).

In the winter, Amsterdam often gets less sunshine than Paris. Amsterdam gets 46 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Paris receives 62 hours of full sun.

Amsterdam usually gets more rain in January than Paris. Amsterdam gets 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Paris receives 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January Amsterdam 2°C (36°F)   Paris   5°C (40°F)

Should I visit Amsterdam or Paris in the Spring?

Both Paris and Amsterdam are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Amsterdam this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Paris for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In April, Amsterdam is generally cooler than Paris. Daily temperatures in Amsterdam average around 8°C (46°F), and Paris fluctuates around 11°C (52°F).

Amsterdam usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Paris during spring. Amsterdam gets 166 hours of sunny skies, while Paris receives 172 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Amsterdam usually receives around the same amount of rain as Paris. Amsterdam gets 52 mm (2 in) of rain, while Paris receives 50 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April Amsterdam 8°C (46°F)   Paris   11°C (52°F)

Typical Weather for Paris and Amsterdam

Related articles for amsterdam, related articles for paris.

visit paris or amsterdam

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City Or City

Paris Or Amsterdam: Which To Choose For a 3-5 Day Break

Should you stay in Paris or Amsterdam for a 3 to 5-day break? This article will help you decide.

Paris and Amsterdam are both capitals (France and the Netherlands), but they differ greatly in size: while the city of Paris has a population of over 2M, Amsterdam is a significantly smaller city at under 1M.

Paris is a world capital of culture, fashion, and cuisine, with an endless choice of world-class avenues, monuments, art venues, and dining options. Amsterdam, while much smaller, is charming with its canals, and also reputed for its rich cultural heritage. While not as grand as Paris, Amsterdam is picturesque and pleasant to visit. Paris is more spread out and requires more time and transport to visit. Amsterdam’s center can be seen by foot, bicycle, or tram. Amsterdam is English-speaking (unlike Paris) and has a more fun and relaxed nightlife.

Table of Contents

Paris or Amsterdam: what travelers say

  • Paris is impressive with its elegant buildings, majestic monuments, wide avenues, and large business district. Amsterdam feels cozier and charming with its peculiar houses and picturesque canals.
  • Paris is more beautiful but Amsterdam is interesting with its special canals and quaint architecture.
  • Amsterdam is smaller and more walkable with a lot more all-pedestrian zones. Paris is much more spread out and requires endless walking to get to places on foot – you typically take the metro or buses. Amsterdam is easier to wander and explore.
  • Amsterdam is much more bike-friendly than Paris. You can very easily ride your bike around and park it on a bridge, making the city easier to get around in a pleasant way. Cycling an important aspect of Amsterdam’s character.
  • Most people in Amsterdam speak English fluently. In Paris, in contrast, people either don’t speak English or are reluctant to speak it. Visitors can still get around in Paris provided they learn some basic French and have patience for interacting with the locals.
  • As a result, it’s easier for English-speakers to blend in local life in Amsterdam than in Paris, where you feel more like a tourist.
  • The Dutch are friendly and helpful even though they may seem a bit distant at first. On the other hand, English speakers often find the Parisians less friendly and tend to feel more welcome in Amsterdam.
  • Paris is also more crowded and busier all the time. Amsterdam is a lot less rushed.  Spending a few days in Amsterdam feels much more relaxed than in Paris, where there is so much to do and distances are so large with rushed people everywhere.
  • Paris has more choice of things to do but involves more public transport.
  • Amsterdam has a great and easy public transport system which can be a big advantage for a short stay. The metro transport system in Paris is also efficient (aside from frequent staff strikes) but requires more time and knowledge to get around since it’s a bigger city.
  • Amsterdam has fun and friendly nightlife. Paris has more going on but getting to places requires more effort, and going out for a drink is a lot more expensive.
  • While Amsterdam (and the Netherlands) is generally more expensive than France, many travelers feel they get more for their money in Amsterdam.
  • Amsterdam is in the lowlands and traversed by canals. Paris is hilly and cut in two halves (Right Bank and Left Bank) by the Seine river.
  • Amsterdam is a better option for a shorter stay (e.g. 4 days or less). In Amsterdam, most of the main sights can be visited in 3 full days, whereas in Paris, at least 6 days are needed.
  • While both Paris and Amsterdam have great museums and sights, Paris is better for exploring neighborhoods and street sights
  • Amsterdam is easier for a solo traveler as there’s no stigma of being on your own. Going out alone at night in Paris is not so common.
  • Travelers love Amsterdam for its canals, its neighborhoods, nice bars/restaurants, the Jordaan 9, the cycling, the windmills, cow pastures, and tulip fields
  • Some travelers who are not into marijuana cafes or the red light district don’t find Amsterdam so exciting. Also, people in Amsterdam are not as colorful as the French.

Paris or Amsterdam: access & transportation

Traveling between Paris and Amsterdam takes under 3.5 hours by train.

In Amsterdam, it’s a short 17-minute train ride from Schiphol airport to the city center.

While traffic in Amsterdam is congested, people tend to drive much more safely than in Paris. Drivers from other cities in France are often wary of driving into Paris.

In Amsterdam, bicycles are the main means of transportation, with many bike paths and laws protecting cyclists from cars. In Paris, although public bicycles (and electric scooters) are available in many places, cycling in the city can be nerve-wrenching due to traffic.

Both Paris and Amsterdam have easy and cheap public transportation, but Amsterdam is smaller so a lot can be done on foot. A stay in Paris generally involves some transportation costs, whereas from the Amsterdam city center you can walk to many places.

Paris or Amsterdam: vibe & people

Paris is a monumental, imposing city whereas Amsterdam is a cozy city with pretty canals. English-speakers tend to feel more at home in Amsterdam, vs more like a tourist in Paris.

Travelers feel the people in Paris often live up to their reputation of being unfriendly and arrogant. On the other hand, the Dutch are sometimes described as rude – which is probably due to cultural differences.

Amsterdam is considered one of the most liberal cities in the world, which is not as much the case for Paris.

Amsterdam is great to explore, see the charming traditional guild houses, admire the great Dutch master paintings, enjoy the bicycle culture, take a boat ride on the canals. You can go to one of the many saunas and spas all around the city center.

Some travelers are put off by the red light district and weed-selling coffee shops, however they are also an interesting part of the city’s vibe and liberal culture.

Paris is an international center for culture, art, cooking, fashion, literature, history etc, with a lot happening all the time. In Paris, one can have a very quiet and local lifestyle, or an active and cosmopolitan one.

Travelers often complain about the number of panhandlers and scammers in Paris, which can turn into a daily annoyance. Amsterdam has fewer scammers and feels safer and more relaxed for the visitor.

Paris is known for Monet and Michelangelo artworks, good wine, French pastry and crepes, whereas Amsterdam shines for its Van Gogh and Rembrandt masterpieces, good cheap beer, rijstaffel and pancakes.

Paris or Amsterdam: sights & culture

Paris is famous for having a large number of major cultural sights, some of the most famous being the Eiffel Tower, the 12th-century Cathédrale de Notre-Dame, the Sacré-Coeur Basilica.

Paris has world-class museums such as the Louvre, which hosts Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and the Musée d’Orsay, with paintings from Monet, Renoir, and other impressionist masters. Musée Rodin is less crowded than the Louvre, with some gems of its own.

Visitors also love the city’s neighborhoods, including the quaint Quartier Latin with the Sorbonne University, and chic Saint-Germain-des-Près with its posh shops and iconic cafés, both on the Left Bank of the Seine.

Other great neighborhoods to visit include the Marais, the area around the Canal Saint-Marting, and Butte Aux Calles. The Faubourg Saint-Honoré is lined with designer stores. Montmartre offers amazing views over the city. Paris also has some great parks.

In Amsterdam , travelers enjoy romantic strolls in the beautiful residential areas along the canals in the city center. Popular sights include the 17-th century narrow houses, the Joordan 9 canal-side area with its shops and galleries and attractive cafes, the Pijp local neighborhood, the windmills, pastures, and tulip surrounding the city.

Amsterdam has great museums, including the world-renowned Van Gogh museum (much smaller than the Louvre but very pleasant with Rembrandt and Vermeer masterpieces), the Rijks Museum, the New Hermitage (the largest art museum), and the Stedelijk Modern Art Museum.

The city museum has great temporary art exhibits. The Tropical Museum (third-world cultures) is also very interesting. The Anne Frank house and the World War II Resistance museum are a must-see for most travelers. The Foam Photography Museum is worth a visit.

The Heineken Experience is a popular beer tour. The red-light district is also nicer than you may think. Vondelpark has nice cafes and is near the majestic Royal Concert Hall. Cycling in the city is a great experience. Many bars and restaurants in Amsterdam offer candlelit dinners.

Paris or Amsterdam: food & nightlife

Paris offers good nightlife with more choice and more concerts than Amsterdam. The Marais area, for example, has trendy clubs located among 17th-century mansions. However, getting to the nightclubs in Paris commonly takes at least a half-hour metro ride and an expensive taxi ride to get back home.

Going out for drinks is much more affordable in Amsterdam than in Paris, where you can walk to many pubs and beer typically costs twice as much even in non-tourist places.

Some travelers feel the nightlife in Amsterdam is a bit ruined by soft drugs, which many people tend to consume to get high when going out.

Great food can be found in both Paris and Amsterdam. Visitors tend to eat French in Paris but international in Amsterdam, which has great Indonesian cuisine, but also Dutch, Japanese, Italian, Thai, Spanish etc.

In Paris, there are cafes with open-air terraces everywhere, as well as countless fine restaurants, bistros, and coffee shops with great pastry.

Amsterdam also has its share of good nightlife, including a thriving clubbing scene . many DJs from the Netherlands have become famous around the world. While Paris has many good clubs, travelers tend to find Amsterdam to be more fun and affordable for going out at night.

Amsterdam has a number of concerts scattered across the city, including shows at the renowned Boom Chicago Comedy Clubs. There are also countless cool hole-in-the-wall pubs to hang out, not mentioning the coffee shops, which sell marijuana, and the red light district with its bars and Erotic Museum.

Solo visitors generally feel comfortable and have a good time going out in Amsterdam, while Paris is less suitable for a single person without a lot of money to spend.

The Rembrantplein area is where most of the major clubs are concentrated, with primarily tourist crowds. In contrast, the Leidseplein nightlife hub has more of a mix of locals and visitors. Among the clubs are the Paradiso (housed in an old church), Melkweg, The Sugar Factory and De Kroen.

The Amsterdam dining scene is famous for its traditional Dutch restaurants, lounge restaurants, and Indonesian rice table places.

Paris or Amsterdam: shopping

As one might expect, Paris is shopping heaven with tons of store and galleries for all budgets. The Champs Elysées has upscale fashion stores but also a good selection of reasonably priced stores like Zara, H&M, NafNaf, Etam, Promod etc.

The Les Halles area (teen fashion), the Rue de Rivoli (between Bastille and Place Vendôme) and side streets, the Boulevard Saint-Germain and surroundings, the Grands Boulevards, with the Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps department stores, Le Bon Marché department store, are some of the most famous shopping areas. Montmartre also has nice boutiques for unique designer fashion.

In Amsterdam, the Jordaan 9 area is a great place to shop (or window shop). Bijenkorf on Dam Square has all kinds of designer stores with both expensive and affordable fashion. PC Hoofstraat has high-end brands.

The Damrak area and Magna Plaza shopping center are example of more affordable shopping places. Kalverstraat has big chain stores including H&M, Sissy Boy, Esprit, and River Island.

Paris or Amsterdam: lodging

Accommodation prices can vary a lot more in Paris depending on the area and hotel range. Average prices for a 3-star hotel in both cities, however, are roughly similar.

Paris is huge so the city has hundreds of hotels. The city has many areas to choose from for a short stay. Many travelers choose to stay in the Latin Quarter where Sorbonne University is and which has nice, relatively affordable restaurants, a lively nightlife, and proximity to the Luxembourg Gardens.

One recommended hotel there is Hotel des Grands Hommes , a small hotel located across the street from the Pantheon. It offers a pretty Parisian style, good service, and helpful staff. The rooms are relatively small but comfortable. Travelers often return to it.

In Saint-Germain, Hotel Residence des Arts is highly recommended. Located in a charming area across from Notre Dame, one block from the Seine, surrounded by cafes, and only half a block away from a Metro stop. The hotel has character, spacious rooms, and all the amenities you need.

Hotel Diana is also a couple of blocks from Notre Dame and across from the Sorbonne. It’s a short walk away from the Luxembourg Gardens and the metro.

In the Marais area, travelers have good feedback about Hotel de la Bretonnerie . The Marais is very close to many sights, full of cafes and shops, and has authentic Parisian life as opposed to a tourist vibe.

Hotel Caron has that great Marais vibe with many restaurants within walking distance. You can also walk to many sites, or take the Metro with is accessed on a short walk.

Across the river from the Marais, the Hotel des Deux-Iles is centrally located on Ile Saint-Louis (island). From the island, you can also cross to The Latin Quarter, or to Notre Dame. The Metro is close and there are a few nice restaurants on the island.

Hotel Londres Saint-Honore is a budget hotel located right next to the Louvre and Garden, with metro stops within a short walk. There are great restaurants around the corner. The hotel has a small one-person elevator. The owner speaks decent English and will provide great information about the city.

Hôtel Duquesne Eiffel in the rue Cler (famous market street) area has a great location, with easy access to the Eiffel Tower, Napoleon’s tomb and museum, Swan Island, the Alexander III bridge, and the Arc de Triumph (a bit further away).

Amsterdam has nice 4-5 star hotels in the Jordaan area, the Dam Square area, and the museum district.

The RHO hotel , right next to Dam Square, is often recommended. It’s very well located, a 10-minute walk to Central station, and very close to the tram for getting everywhere. The hotel street has a great pastry shop and a nice Chinese restaurant.

The Times Hotel is also a 10-15 minute walk from the station, close to 9 Streets and Jordaan areas, and a short walk to trams. It has small rooms with canal views and larger ones in the back. It’s within walking distance to the Anne Frank House and the Red Light district.

*** Photo credits: (1) Featured: “ Rue de Champs-Elysees ” ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ) by  Shabai Liu

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About the author.

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Jesse Massard

I'm Jesse, I've lived in and traveled to many different countries, and each time around I've done tons of research on the different places I could visit. I've always loved comparing cities before (and after) see them. Apparently I'm not alone, so I decided to make a website out of it and share my experiences and research. All packed?

Shopping is great in either Paris or Amsterdam, but we prefer Paris if we had to choose

Paris or Amsterdam: A Complete Comparison

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Paris or Amsterdam : How could you possibly choose between these two incredible European cities?

Paris is overflowing with romance and boasts a magical ambiance that simply isn’t replicated elsewhere in Europe. The smell of freshly baked croissants fills the streets and nothing rivals the dazzling light show of the Eiffel Tower when you’re walking along the Seine River.

But, then there’s Amsterdam! Full of charm and incredible Dutch architecture. Nicknamed “the Venice of the North” for its amazing network of windy, stone bridge-covered canals, this city brings nightlife and culture to a whole new level.

So, when comparing Paris vs Amsterdam , there is a lot to consider… shopping, cuisine, language, sights and attractions, cost, weather, museums, nightlife… you get it.

So, to help make your decision in choosing Paris or Amsterdam a little bit easier, I’ve broken down each of these topics into different sections!

I hope this full comparison helps you choose which city is right for you on your next European itinerary and who knows – maybe you’ll choose to visit both Paris and Amsterdam !

Happy Travels!

Which is Better Paris or Amsterdam?

Neither Paris or Amsterdam is better than the other all in all. This will change per traveler and will depend on a multitude of factors

When deciding between the two, there is no single factor that makes either Paris or Amsterdam better than the other. Unfortunately so, since that would make your life a whole lot easier!

But, since you asked, I’ll give you my personal take on which city I preferred over the other one…

Amsterdam ! It was so full of vibrant culture and interesting people . The food was great, the people were nice, the museums were interesting, and the scenery was simply spectacular.

Hear me out though… Paris was absolutely wonderful , as well. The food scene was better in my opinion than in Amsterdam and its iconic landmarks completely took my breath away.

The people were friendly (contrary to popular belief, I know), and it truly was a magical experience.

But, to be honest… I had a far better time exploring the rest of France than I did in Paris .

It was amazing, however, Paris doesn’t necessarily provide an authentic French experience and I would recommend only spending about 3 days in Paris if you have the option of going elsewhere in France.

Amsterdam , on the other hand, I wished I had more time after just a few short days. Though it is far smaller than Paris, I felt like 7 days would have been a more appropriate visit.

Of course, whether you think one or the other is better is going to depend on your preferences , which is why I have outlined them below!

The Best Time to Visit Paris vs Amsterdam

The spring and fall is the best time to visit either Paris or Amsterdam

Luckily for you, Paris and Amsterdam have this in common which makes it super easy to pack if you decide to visit both.

The best time to visit Paris vs Amsterdam is in the spring and fall! Both cities are overrun with tourists come June and they stick around until early September when schools begin to reopen and families return home.

In the spring, both cities blossom when tens of thousands of beautiful spring flowers cover the city streets.

Temperatures are mild but comfortable, and although there is a higher likelihood of rain , there’s almost a guarantee of shorter lines at all of the attractions, museums, and restaurants .

In the fall, orange, red, and yellow leaves line the canals of Amsterdam and the streets of Paris. The weather is a bit brisker in Amsterdam vs Paris , but still comfortable as long as you dress appropriately .

Spring is my personal favorite time to visit both Paris and Amsterdam since there are far fewer tourists , most businesses are beginning their long summer hours , and you can still find great discounts on airfare and accommodations!

If you want a more in-depth look at when to visit Paris vs Amsterdam, check out these articles:

✔️ Amsterdam in Spring: The Complete Guide ✔️ The Best Time to Visit Paris: 7 Things You Need to Consider for a Great Trip

Which City is Cheaper Paris or Amsterdam?

If you're on a budget and choosing between either Paris or Amsterdam, choose Amsterdam since it is far cheaper

If you’re choosing between either Paris or Amsterdam based solely on the price , the answer is simple. Avoid Paris and go directly to Amsterdam .

Paris is far more expensive when it comes to food, accommodations, and activities. That being said, you can find great deals if you visit in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall!

However, if you plan to visit either city in the middle of the summer along with the rest of the world, there’s a good chance you’ll be looking into an empty wallet when you return home.

While Amsterdam is more reasonably priced than Paris in a lot of ways, it’s still relatively expensive . I visited both cities in the springtime and was able to find good deals relative to the city.

In Amsterdam , a good deal in May meant about 90 euros for two people to share a room not big enough to open both of our suitcases at the same time above a coffee shop (a shop where cannabis is sold and consumed) in Rembrandtplein (prime neighborhood to stay in Amsterdam).

In Paris , a good deal in May meant about 120 euros for two people to share another tiny room with views of some pretty ugly city streets in a part of the city rather far from most of the major attractions .

Food in Amsterdam ranged from 3-15 euros per plate and food in Paris ranged from 4-25 euros per plate depending on the meal and location. We didn’t eat at any Michelin-star restaurants along our journey (though we heard they were wonderful!)

I visited both of these cities about a week apart from each other, so I got a relatively good idea of how cost varied between locations for the time of year. All in all, if you’re really on a tight budget , go to Amsterdam over Paris.

Is Amsterdam Colder than Paris?

If you're choosing between either Paris or Amsterdam for the weather, Amsterdam is typically colder than Paris in general

For the most part, Amsterdam is generally colde r than Paris , but they are both rather gloomy come the end of fall and dead of winter . Both cities are lovely during the holidays and many shops and businesses decorate for the festive season.

On average, neither city experiences a lot of snowfall , and Christmas markets are typically better in Paris vs Amsterdam .

If you’re choosing between these two popular European cities based on the weather, then just remember that Amsterdam is typically colder in the winter (yet slightly more dreary) and Paris is hotter in the summer .

I recommend visiting Paris in the fall and winter during the holidays owing to its grand Christmas markets and Amsterdam in the summer when the heat isn’t quite as brutal as Paris if those are your only two seasons to travel.

Otherwise, visit either Paris or Amsterdam in the spring or fall when the weather is cool but mild.

Is Paris or Amsterdam Better to Live?

Depending on the person, either Paris or Amsterdam may be a better place to live

This will entirely depend on you and your preferences , especially if there is a specific line of work you are looking for. Amsterdam is a city on a far smaller scale in comparison to Paris. Its streets are easily walkable and bikeable , so you can get around quickly and efficiently.

Jobs may be more difficult to come across, especially in the summers, and the weather can be depressing for most months of the year.

On the contrary, Paris is quite large and you’ll spend a fair amount of time walking and taking the metro between destinations.

A far larger cosmopolitan city , job opportunities are practically endless (depending on your career path) and the city feels like it is “ alive ” all months of the year owing to its big population of locals .

Both cities are great to live in, but if you prefer more of a “ neighborhood ” feel with lots of locals, I would suggest choosing Amsterdam . If you like big cities and enjoy always being in the center of the action , choose Paris .

Is Paris or Amsterdam Better for Christmas?

It's hard to choose between Paris or Amsterdam for Christmas since both offer great Christmas markets

In my opinion, spending Christmas in Paris is far more magical . Owing to the city’s grand size , you could stroll the city streets for hours and never get tired of seeing the iconic landmarks lit up in all of their splendor.

Even though many businesses close for the winter, the city almost becomes even more amazing!

Carolers, giant Christmas trees, and the smell of spiced mulled wine fills the numerous festive outdoor markets creating a wonderful ambiance for both the locals and tourists to do some festive holiday shopping .

Amsterdam isn’t shy to get festive either, however. Each year, Museumplein transforms into a winter wonderland equipped with an enormous ice-skating rink, decorated stalls selling handcrafted souvenirs , Santa’s village, and live caroling performances.

I am a huge fan of the holidays and could wander around looking at lights and drinking hot cocoa for hours on end, so for me, Paris is where I would go for Christmas .

The city has upwards of 20 different markets going on throughout the season, with the one in La Défense Esplanade holding an average of 350 different chalets to explore!

Though Amsterdam’s Christmas season is both magical and charming and definitely worth a visit , if you have to choose between either Paris or Amsterdam , then I would choose Paris .

3 French Phrases I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Paris

While many locals do speak English in Paris, there are a few very important phrases I wish I had known before I landed at Charles de Gaulle…

Does Paris or Amsterdam Have Better Food?

visit paris or amsterdam

While I would normally say this depends on your preferences (and it does), I personally believe Paris has better food than Amsterdam .

Now, don’t get me wrong! Stroopwafels, bitterballen, poffertjes, pannenkoeken… all SO delicious .

But, Paris just has far more options for delicious items, as well. I mean, crepes (sweet and savory), croissants, pain au chocolat, onion soup, croque monsieur, macarons, cheese, coq au vin… and so many more.

Paris is home to over 120 Michelin-star restaurants all serving up incredible cuisine on a daily basis. In Amsterdam , you’re more likely to find charming street vendors selling hot and melty caramel stroopwafels (the best ones can be found at the Albert Cuyp Market ) and other sweet and savory items.

In Amsterdam , food and beer/whiskey tours are plentiful and often are a great way to meet local friends. In Paris , it’s unlikely that you’ll even hear of a beer tour ( cheese and wine tours , particularly ones to Bordeaux , are far more popular). This alone may sway your decision one way or another…

While both cities have options for amazing food tours, if you have to choose between either Paris or Amsterdam and you’re a real foodie like I am, choose Paris .

You’ll have far more options to try different foods and a vast array of both street vendors and incredible restaurants to choose from ( in all budget ranges , not just Michelin-starred ones).

Things to Do in Paris

visit paris or amsterdam

When it comes to things to do in Paris , your options are practically limitless .

You could spend weeks on end exploring the dozens of incredible museums and art galleries scattered across the city, eat your way through the city’s vibrant food scene , enjoy a cappuccino at an outdoor cafe and people watch… really, the options are endless!

Some of the most popular things to do in Paris include:

✔️ Visiting Notre Dame (be sure to wait and listen for the bells to ring – it’s amazing!)

✔️ Wandering the hall of Le Louvre until you find the Mona Lisa

✔️ Enjoying an evening stroll or romantic dinner on the Seine River with views of the glittering Eiffel Tower

✔️ Sampling endless macarons and croissants at every boulangerie and patisserie in the city

✔️ Be sure to also visit the hilltop arrondissement of Montmartre

✔️ Stroll the Champs-Élysées until you reach the Arc de Triomphe

✔️ Explore the Sacré-Cœur

✔️ Consider taking a day trip to the Palace of Versailles !

Things to Do in Amsterdam

visit paris or amsterdam

Though Amsterdam is far smaller than Paris, that doesn’t mean there’s far less to see. In fact, Amsterdam is overflowing with character and exciting sights and attractions just like Paris!

Some of the best things to do in Amsterdam include:

✔️ Spending your time getting lost among the endless canals (on foot or by boat)

✔️ Taking a deep dive into the history of Anne Frank and how World War II affected The Netherlands

✔️ Visiting the popular Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum

✔️ Bouncing between markets in search of delicious food and beautiful flower bulbs

✔️ You could also opt to have a picnic in the popular Vondelpark (or one of the less touristy parks)

✔️ Take a tour at the Heineken Experience

✔️ Go search for the iAmsterdam sign where you can take an awesome selfie

The landmarks of Amsterdam may not be as endless as they are in Paris, but it is a fantastic city with amazing attractions nonetheless.

Is it Cheaper to Fly into Paris or Amsterdam?

It can be cheaper to fly into either Paris or Amsterdam depending on the season and country of origin

There is no saying whether flying into Paris or Amsterdam is cheaper as a whole , since this will vary greatly depending on your country of origin , the season that you plan to travel, the day of the week , and if there are any major holidays that month.

Overall, I have found that it is cheaper to fly into Paris than Amsterdam coming from New England, mainly because I am traveling from one major international hub to another.

For the most part, flights between smaller airports or lesser-frequented hubs tend to be more expensive and include more stops.

I, however, have also seen extremely great flight deals to both Paris and Amsterdam in the off-season, so sometimes you just get lucky with price drops.

I always use Booking.com and Expedia to check flights across numerous dates and airlines to help me find the best prices. I was able to fly direct from Boston to Switzerland for under $200 using these tools, so I suggest checking them out before your next trip!

✔️ Pro Tip: If you’re traveling to Paris or Amsterdam from within Europe, it will likely be cheaper to take the Eurail . Be sure to compare ticket prices and times for both flights and trains before booking your trip.

Is Paris or Amsterdam Better for Shopping?

Shopping is great in either Paris or Amsterdam, but we prefer Paris if we had to choose

Though Amsterdam does boast some incredible eclectic shops and is one of the best places to bring home an authentic Dutch souvenir , Paris is easily the winner when it comes to shopping .

In the 8 th arrondissement of Paris, the Champs-Élysées is a nearly 2-kilometer long stretch of road that is lined to the brim with high-end shops and boutiques .

Paris also hosts the annual Paris Fashion Week where famous designers from around the world come together to watch their latest designs flock the runway.

Additionally, every street in Paris, both the tiny cobblestone alleys and the grand main streets are covered in unique shops selling everything from the popular brands of Louis Vuitton and Coach to beautiful, handmade crafts and stunning artwork with everything in between.

If your decision between either Paris or Amsterdam can be swayed based on the shopping , then Paris is easily the right choice for you!

Is Paris or Amsterdam Better for Nightlife?

visit paris or amsterdam

If you’ve done any research on Amsterdam , chances are you’ve heard that it’s one of the nightlife capitals of the world .

And while I definitely wouldn’t disagree with this, I will say that the nightlife in Amsterdam is far different than other European cities, and you may not enjoy it as much as you would in Paris.

If you spend at least 2 days in Amsterdam , you’ll see that much of the nightlife revolves around De Wallen , or the infamous Red Light District .

There are tons of fun bars on the side streets of De Pijp , Jordaan , and De Wallen as well, but for the most part, you’ll find the majority of people circling the red-lit windows .

If you’re not interested in participating, the area is still fun to walk through and there are several bars located between each of the window brothels .

In the late evening hours, drunk food stops open up and you can buy delicious drunken noodles to walk back to your room with. I’m not sure when they close for certain, but we picked some up around 3:00 AM and they still had a line out the door!

But, in Paris , you’ll find underground speakeasies , elegant cafes with extensive wine lists, nightclubs scattered across the city, and plenty of restaurants with rooftop bars and views of the Eiffel Tower.

So, since Paris is much larger, you’ll have nearly 5x the number of options to choose from when going out.

But, you’ll also do a lot more walking between them or you’ll need to jump on the metro (which isn’t so safe after dark – read my Paris Safety Guide ).

All in all, both Paris and Amsterdam have excellent nightlife opportunities , but choosing one will depend almost entirely on your preferences .

✔️ If you want a more wild and exciting night scene, go to Amsterdam .

✔️ If you enjoy more casual social drinking with stunning views or want a romantic evening with your partner at a nightclub or sophisticated bar, head to Paris!

Is Paris or Amsterdam Better for Museums?

When choosing between either Paris or Amsterdam for museums, Paris has the upper hand

If we’re talking strictly numbers , then Paris is better for museums simply because it has nearly two and a half times the amount of Amsterdam . With over 125 museums within city limits, Paris has one of the highest total number of museums of any city in the world.

But, if we are considering both numbers and popularity , well, then this could easily be a tie between Paris and Amsterdam . Many of Amsterdam’s museums are world-famous and capture important historical events that are recognized as some of the most significant events in history!

In Paris , you have Le Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the impressive Centre Pompidou, whereas in Amsterdam you have the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, and the Van Gogh Museum.

Both cities offer incredible options for both historical exhibits and mesmerizing art galleries . But, if you want endless options for both, then perhaps Paris is a better option when choosing between Paris or Amsterdam for museums.

If you’re interested in a deep dive into the events of World War II , you can find these in both Paris and Amsterdam , although the Anne Frank House is said to be one of the most incredible museums of all time.

How to Get Between Paris and Amsterdam

If you can't choose between either Paris or Amsterdam, the train is a great way to get you to both

Luckily for you, if you can’t choose between Paris and Amsterdam there are numerous trains that depart each day between the two popular cities as well as several flights . The Paris to Amsterdam train only takes between 3-4 hours one way and prices start around €25 per person.

If you’re really on a time crunch , book a flight between the two. Flight times average around 1 hour and 15 minutes and you can sometimes find flights as low as €35 per person one way.

✔️ Pro Tip : This is when Expedia comes in handy since you can research multiple airlines at the same time!

Other Helpful Resources

Why Visit Paris? 25 Reasons to Visit Paris, France 17 Incredible Beaches Close to Paris Paris At Night: 24 Wonderful Activities and Tips For A Magical Evening Is France a Continent? The Facts for 2024 Is Denmark in the Netherlands? The Differences Does France Celebrate Halloween? La Toussaint Explained Paris Postal Code & Paris Zip Code 2024 (& Diagram!) Best Time to Visit Normandy: The Complete 2024 Guide

If you enjoy the city-by-city comparisons, check out Barcelona vs Lisbon: The Ultimate City Comparison !

It can be very difficult to choose either Paris or Amsterdam, but with these helpful tips you'll find which city is right for you in no time

Both Paris and Amsterdam are two of my favorite cities in Europe. Each is completely unique and they have totally different experiences to offer!

Depending on your preferences, there’s a good chance that after reading this post you’re leaning towards one city more than the other… and that’s okay!

If you’re still having a hard time choosing, I really suggest visiting both cities .

When I was planning my first backpacking trip across four countries in Europe, I also couldn’t choose between either Paris or Amsterdam , so I chose both… I didn’t regret it and I don’t think you will either!

3 Mistakes I Made the First Time I Visited Amsterdam

Want to know what NOT to do on your first trip to Amsterdam…?

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Hey there! I'm Emily Concannon, a seasoned globetrotter who has backpacked her way across over a dozen European countries, immersing myself in the diverse cultures, languages, and cuisines of the region.

My passion for travel transcends personal experiences; I've spent years learning how to transform my globetrotting knowledge into personalized itineraries for fellow travelers worldwide.

With a tally of 26 countries (and counting!) under my belt, my day job involves extensive research on different countries which often leads me to booking a new adventure every chance I get!

Urban Abroad

Urban Planning and Travel Blog

Amsterdam vs Paris

Living Abroad Last Updated · Sep 25th, 2022 [post_author_posts_link] · [post_comments before=""] -->

When comparing Amsterdam vs Paris which do you choose?

amsterdam canal

You’re looking for the perfect spot in Europe, and you’ve narrowed it down to two of the most iconic cities in the world. Amsterdam and Paris.

Both have similar climates, both are the capital cities of their historic countries and both have iconic architecture.

The big question to ask though, is which one is better?

Surely one must have better gastronomy, better art, a better cost of living or even better transport?

We’re here to give you the low down as to which of the two are better when it comes to just visiting as tourists or residing there permanently.

The capital city of The Netherlands and the most populous city in the whole country, Amsterdam is Holland’s beating heart.

Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Anne Frank are some of the iconic former residents of the historic city, which has remnants of the 9th century still standing if you go looking for them.

You’ve heard of UK and US residents visiting here for budget city breaks, so why would you want to come here instead of somewhere like Paris?

Why visit Amsterdam?

Quite simply, it isn’t what the media may portray it as. Amsterdam is a city of perpetual canals, iconic architecture and a knack for history.

amsterdam housing

Amsterdam’s contemporary art scene is an exhilarating thrill ride, but with an international twinge.

The city has some of the best museums including the Stedelijk, which may look like a giant bathtub from outside, but its temporary exhibitions are avant-garde and highly rated by locals and visitors alike.

Unknown to many, Amsterdam was actually an early adopter of the smart city concept in Europe.

There is no getting away from it – Amsterdam is a lowland metropolis with very flat ground. This is why it makes it a perfect city for cycling everywhere. This is what thousands of natives do every day.

One of Amsterdam’s biggest draws by far is that city has completely dodged the soaring skyscrapers that have scarred so many cities in Europe.

Forget the Heineken Experience for a minute, it is those Amsterdam townhouses that are the symbols of the city, and the canals make it unique.

Cost of Living Amsterdam

According to numbeo.com , the average living costs in Amsterdam are lower than you’d expect for a city. In terms of overall costs, it’s a cheaper capital city to live in than London.

food in amsterdam

The day-to-day stuff such as groceries and auto costs are slightly higher, but the rent and house prices are considerably lower.

Here are some of the numbers:

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs are 2,951.44£ (3,287.77€) without rent (using our estimator).
  • A single person estimated monthly costs are 825.72£ (919.81€) without rent.
  • Cost of living index in Amsterdam is 1.57% higher than in London.
  • Rent in Amsterdam is, on average, 16.71% lower than in London.

Also according to numbeo.com, Amsterdam has the 7th Most Expensive Gasoline per liter in the World.

This just shows how important it is for the new residents or visitors to Amsterdam to figure out they need to invest in a bicycle.

Best time to visit Amsterdam

The best time to visit the city is late spring or early fall.

To avoid crazy crowds while still enjoying good weather, we recommend visiting Amsterdam in April, May, September, or even as late in the year as October.

amsterdam safety

Although you have to be lucky with the weather, crowds in Amsterdam are much more bearable outside peak season.

If you want to avoid the cold, wet and windy weather avoid the Winter and Autumn period from November to February.

May is arguably the best month to visit Amsterdam in 2021 because of the relaxed COVID laws and the best weather. There are some days in May where it can be busy.

For example, on May 1 when most of Europe, including neighbouring Europe, celebrate Labor Day.

We recommend to completely avoid peak season in the Dutch capital since the crowds become completely unbearable.

No matter when you arrive, be sure to pick up one of these Public transport tickets that will allow you to use buses, trams and ferries.

Is Amsterdam Safe?

Amsterdam can be rife with pickpocketing and other petty crime. This is due to the tourist targeting and the exploitation of tourists that make the most of the recreational drug-taking scene in the city.

tourists in amsterdam

Most notably, magic mushrooms were declared illegal a number of years ago due to incidents relating to tourists not taking necessary precautions and making life-threatening mistakes.

Some parts of the city such as the Red Light District are pretty dangerous at night due to the gang activity and the control of legal prostitution.

Police have a hard time controlling criminal elements due to the immensely crazy nature of the Red Light District itself.

We would recommend steering clear of the Red Light District at night, but it can be a useful shortcut to the tourist spots during the daytime.

See this guide to safety in Amsterdam for more useful tips on staying safe and how to maneuver around the city in a safe manner.

Oui, monsieur et madame! Paris is a beautiful city. It has some incredible restaurants and iconic landmarks that have stood the test of time.

eiffel tower paris

The home of the Mona Lisa, Disneyland and Escargots, there are all things for all people here. There is no one reason for visiting, there are always many reasons.

Is Paris worth visiting?

If you are planning a visit or becoming a resident of Paris, you will find everything you need in this charming city.

The fashion capital of the world, the city has a long history of art and a rich culture full of historical figures such as Napoleon and Charles de Gaulle.

charles de gaulle paris

From museums to restaurants, cafés, and parks, the city offers endless activities to experience Parisien culture, which many say differs from the typical French sensibility.

You may have heard rumours and clichés, about how the city is filled with rats and the men are verbally abusive to women.

See these tips on safety in Paris and you’ll soon realize that this isn’t the case for most visitors to Paris, although we won’t deny that it doesn’t happen.

The multiple neighbourhoods of Paris makes tourism tricky, but there’s always something to visit in every corner of the city.

The Latin Quarter, for example, has an increased amount of museums, hotels, restaurants and other places of interest.

Another example is the Jewish Quarter that is more cultural than touristy but still retains some popularity. However, one can simply not miss a trip to the Picasso Museum while here

Cost of living in Paris?

When it comes to living in Paris, the prices may seem a bit scary. However, it’s quite normal for someone to decide that moving to an outer suburb is the best for them.

living in paris

When it comes to a family of four, the estimated monthly costs are 3,115.52£ (3,495.93€) without rent.

That would mean that before even looking at the cost of the pricey apartments in the safe inner city areas, you need to consider the fact that you need to set aside around £36,000 per year before rent.

When it comes to a single person, estimated monthly costs are 861.32£ (966.49€) without rent.

This makes the idea of living in Paris slightly less scary, which is why most cities such as Paris have flat shares or multiple people living in one apartment to share costs.

The cost of living index in Paris is 9.76% higher than in London, and the rent in Paris is, on average, 27.85% lower than the cost of living in London for example. This makes Paris cheaper than London but not Amsterdam.

Best time to visit Paris

The best time to visit Paris is from June to August and September to October. Both summer and fall have its ups and downs. From June to August the weather in Paris is just about parfait.

louvre pyramid paris

Average highs are in the high 70s (Fahrenheit) and there are long days of sunshine.

Unfortunately, summer is also the most crowded time – and the most expensive. For lower travel rates and significantly shorter lines at attractions, plan a visit in Autumnal months.

The seasonal foliage is known to flourish, though the city’s spring blooms are pretty famous too. If a travel deal is all that you’re after, a visit during the winter will surely shave off travel expenses.

Keep in mind though that Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, seeing upward of 30 million travellers yearly. So no matter what time you visit, there will always be tourists and some crowds.

How far is Paris from Amsterdam

The average journey time by train between Paris and Amsterdam is 4 hours and 15 minutes, with around 26 trains per day.

metro paris

The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays, so you should be booking a specific travel date in advance.

All trains depart from Paris Gare du Nord station and arrive into Amsterdam Centraal (Central) station.

While it’s possible to travel from Paris to Amsterdam by train, plane and automobile – taking the train is by far the quickest option when planning city centre to city centre travel.

Not only that, it’s much kinder on the environment, and you can arrive and depart from both city centres – so you’ll be swapping croissants for canals in just over three hours.

Amsterdam vs Paris: Final Words

Both are affordable places to visit or live, but they both have completely different infrastructures.

If you’re the business type that loves ingenuity in engineering and the marks of technology, Paris is your spot. However, if you are more into history and heritage, Amsterdam is your spot.

If we were forced to pick one, it would probably be Paris. With Paris, there’s always something you haven’t seen or done yet.

We don’t mind crowds though, whereas you may find 30 million visitors a year daunting. Follow some of our sustainable travel tips and be sure to book your flights and trains today!

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Paris or Amsterdam, which is better for your holiday in 2024?

Amsterdam and Paris both offer unique and enticing experiences, but which one should you choose for your city break or holiday?

We understand your dilemma. There is an abundance of travel guides for both cities, but few actually comparing them, and advising you which is the better for your trip. This article will provide our unbiased and independent views of Amsterdam and Paris, hopefully making your choice that little easier.

The article is structured into several sections, each of which can be directly accessed through the following links: •  Introduction to the cities •  Scores and ratings •  Which one should I, friends, or family visit? •  When to visit and weather •  Who is the city suited for? •  The perfect 48hours (with map) •  Tourism details (where to stay? airport details?)

Introduction to Amsterdam and Paris

Amsterdam , known as Europe's most liberal city, is an exceptional destination full of charm and unique character. While it continues to attract visitors drawn to its quirky and unconventional side, such as the famous coffee shops selling everything but coffee, and the infamous red-lit streets, the city is striving to transcend these stereotypes.

Today, Amsterdam is reinventing itself as a hub of culture and style, boasting world-class museums, a vibrant nightlife, and a welcoming attitude that distinguishes it from other cities. Far from a one-dimensional destination, Amsterdam offers an enriching experience that marries its lively past with an exciting and sophisticated future.

Eiffel Tower

There is no more famous sight in Paris, or possibly the world than the Eiffel Tower

Paris is famed as the capital of Romance, the epicentre of French culture and grand European art, and the home of iconic monuments like the Eiffel Tower. There's no question that it's an amazing city to explore. Everywhere you go along the Seine River it seems like there's a world-class museum or gallery beckoning. But Paris can also be overwhelming, not to mention downright gritty in some parts.

The history here goes back to the Celtic tribes of the 400s BC. But it was the 7th-century fortifications on the Île de la Cité that went on to form the medieval kernel of the town. The capital still radiates out from that, with bohemian neighborhoods along the Canal Saint-Martin, stereotypically Parisian cafes and cobbled streets in Montmartre, and enthralling cultural and foodie attractions throughout other arrondissements (areas).

Arc de Triomphe paris

The Arc de Triomphe, constructed as a memorial to the soldiers who perished in the Napoleonic Wars and French Revolution

Singel canal Amsterdam

Singel canal in Amsterdam with typical Dutch houses and houseboats.

Amsterdam vs Paris : City Ratings

amsterdam holiday trip review score

Summary Where would I journey for a personal escape? Paris Where would I send my parents for a memorable visit? Paris Where's the ideal destination for my adventurous 19-year-old cousin? Amsterdam Where should my food-obsessed friend indulge their culinary passions? Paris Note: The above comparisons are weather-independent and are based on travel during the most opportune times of the year. Details about the ideal travel seasons are elaborated upon later in this article.

In the sections that follow, you'll find a comprehensive comparison between these two fascinating cities. This includes recommendations on the duration of stay, the best times to visit, and tailored 48-hour itineraries for each city. The final segment delves into practicalities for your travels, such as the best airport to fly into, the optimal districts for your accommodation, and insider tips, for when you come to explore the city.

We hope that you find all of this information useful, in planning your next exciting trip!

Destination details

How long to spend each city?

Paris could take a lifetime to explore completely. This is a living, breathing, sprawling capital city, which means even the locals can be surprised at the new cafes, bistros, and cultural events that come and go. For travellers, at least three days is a good idea.

That's probably just enough to see the mainstay sights and hop into the Louvre to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa. Trips to explore outer arrondissements and sample Paris's pumping nightlife should probably be between four days and a whole week, with more extensions needed if you want to hit the Loire Valley for wine tasting.

A three-day stay is perfect to truly capture the essence of Amsterdam , allowing for a brief day trip beyond the city limits. Any shorter visit might feel hurried, particularly for first-time visitors.

If time allows, the surrounding area boasts a wealth of worthwhile destinations. Keukenhof, the world's largest flower garden, is a popular destination in spring. Additionally, the Zaanse Schans Windmills and the enchanting 'Kasteel De Haar' castle are nearby Additionally, many visitors opt to explore the planned cities of Almere or Lelystad, constructed on reclaimed land and just a 20-minute train journey from the central station These modern cities take pride in showcasing cutting-edge architectural design.

Louvre Paris

The Louvre with its distractive glass pyramid

Amsterdam bikes

The Dutch love to cycle…..

When to visit?

Spring is the ideal time to visit Amsterdam, just before the rush of the summertime tourist season. During this period, you have the opportunity to partake in the festive King's Day celebration in April or marvel at the endless sea of tulips at Keukenhof.

August is Amsterdam's warmest month, with average temperatures hovering around 22 degrees Celsius (71°F) — a mild warmth by many standards! Winter can bring temperatures down to just above freezing, making for a chilly experience. The weather in Amsterdam is notoriously unpredictable throughout the year, so it's wise to come prepared for all conditions. Whether it's wind or rain, don't be surprised if at least one day of your visit is met with inclement weather.

Amsterdam Paris weather temperature

The average weather for Paris and Amsterdam

Amsterdam Paris rain wet rainfall

The average rainfall for Amsterdam and Paris – is it going to be wet?

Paris is known for its café culture, it would be a shame to miss all those al fresco coffees on the canal side. Enjoyments like that are most likely to be had in the warmer months, which – this far north in France – means May to September. Outside of those, the rainfall picks up and things get chilly. That said, the summer is the most expensive and busy part of the year, so you'll be contending with others for those selfies by the Eiffel Tower.

Visits pre-Christmas tend to be pricier than those after Christmas. If you're eager to cosy up and see Paris in the ice and cold, you might want to push your break to February or March. Those months tend to be nice, quiet and free from the tourist masses.

Is it for me?

Paris is a master of art and culture. From the gold-gilded palaces of Versailles to the endless works of the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay, you'll never be short on paintings or architecture or sculpture. But the best Paris trips mix all that with a little bit of food, some classic sightseeing, and even a touch of hedonism. That makes this a versatile city-break option, offering wine bars and bucket-list attractions like the Eiffel Tower.

It's probably worth dodging Paris if you're not the sort who deals well with crowds, traffic, and big cities. The nearest place you can go to escape to nature are the forest parks on the outskirts. What's more, it can take a while to get from A to B in the French capital.

There’s something for everyone in Amsterdam. While it has historically attracted hipsters, it also has a lot to offer to those looking for a peaceful and relaxed place to getaway. It’s easy to follow one of the canals out from Rembrandtplein in the centre to a quieter neighbourhood such as Jordaan or Prinsengracht either on foot or by bike, or even better, floating along by canal boat.

Believe it or not, Amsterdam is also an incredibly family-friendly city. The relaxed approach to parenting permeates its museums, sights and events and the city is home to hundreds of playgrounds and child-friendly cafes.

Amsterdam canals

Amsterdam’s iconic canals, weaving through the city, create a picturesque and tranquil urban landscape

Sacré-Cœur Paris

The Sacré-Cœur provides one of the finest view of Paris

The perfect 48hours

Paris in 48 hours is a hard ask, but this itinerary should help distil the city's preeminent culture, art and atmosphere into two short days:

Day 1: Breakfast time in the 19th arrondissement. Local and traveller joints meet there, with some charming cafés and bakeries lining Le Bassin de la Villette, where there are open-air swimming spots in the summer months. Then, move south-west along the picturesque Canal Saint-Martin.

It takes you to the beating heart of the city, just shy of where the Île de la Cité hosts the beautiful Cathedral of Notre Dame. Take your photos and then move across the Seine River to the famous Latin Quarter.

It's the perfect place to explore in the afternoon, with boutique bookshops and atmospheric cafés aplenty. For the afternoon, cross the water again and duck into the Louvre Museum.

The morning rush should have subsided, so you can wander the exhibition rooms in search of the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo without having to jostle with too many. In the evening, return westwards to hipster Belleville. This district is one of Paris's Chinatowns, with more noodle shops and dim sum outlets than you can shake your guidebook at.

Panthéon paris

Day 2: Seek out the bohemian neighborhood of Montmartre to start your second day in Paris. It's known for its zigzagging cobbled streets and urban staircases, but also comes replete with cosy coffee houses with crispy croissants. At the very top of the hill where the district is draped is the gorgeous Sacré-Cœur. Its great travertine domes gaze over the city, so expect some awesome views.

On the way down, heading west, you might just pass by the infamous Moulin Rouge and its makeshift windmill all lit up in red neon. You can catch a metro from that to go along to Ternes. Emerge and you'll be looking straight down at the Arc de Triomphe, which marks the start of the Champs-Élysées – a place to shop till you drop. Be sure to pull yourself from that grand boulevard with enough time (and light) left to see the Eiffel Tower in all its glory. The landmark is just over the river to the south, but the best view might be from the Trocadéro Gardens on the northern banks.

Moulin Rouge paris

The Moulin Rouge

La Défense paris

La Défense is the modern side to grand Paris

48hours in Amsterdam

Day 1: Start in the Museum Quarter, home to some of Amsterdam’s world-class museums. Here, you'll find the Rijksmuseum, housing Rembrandt’s famous 'The Night Watch,' as well as the Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum, which boasts an extensive collection of works from artists such as Picasso and Warhol.

In the afternoon, explore the charming artisan neighborhood of Jordaan, known for its houseboats along the quays and crooked historical buildings. For nightlife, the lively areas of Leidseplein or Rembrandtplein are perfect destinations.

Royal Palace Amsterdam

Spring at Dam Square with the Royal Palace in the background.

Day 2: Begin with a visit to Dam Square and the Royal Palace, then venture into the red-light district. A trip to the Anne Frank House offers a poignant experience; booking online ahead of time is highly recommended..

For a more relaxed evening, capture a beautiful photo from the Magere Brug. After dark, this bridge, adorned with over a thousand lights, provides a vantage point from which you can see 15 bridges simultaneously.

Boat cruise Amsterdam

Boat cruise along a canal in Amsterdam

Tourism Practicalities

On arrival in Amsterdam Schiphol airport, the quickest way to get into town by public transport is the train which costs €5.40 and takes 20 minutes. The bus costs €5 and takes about 35 minutes.

Amsterdam is an expensive city. Walking and cycling are the best ways to get around. By boat you can see all the big sights too and there are many options for hop-on-hop-off. There is also an impressive public transport system of trams, buses, metros, trains and ferries to help you get around.

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

All cities have their perils but with regards to Amsterdam, probably the main ones to consider are bike safety and caution in the "coffee shops". As well as the usual bike safety rules you’d expect at home, keep an eye out for nippy scooters on the bike lanes and avoid rush hour if possible. In terms of the coffeeshop visits – don’t underestimate the effects of the products, as the varieties sold here are more potent than elsewhere.

Amsterdam is typically an extremely safe city for solo female travellers but it’s not advised to visit the Red Light District at night as the area does have a seedier vibe.

Paris is served by two large international airports. Low-cost carriers typically use Orly. From there, you can hop to Anthony Train Station and then switch to the urban metro line to reach the city. The trip costs around €12 in total. The more famous and larger airport at Roissy Charles de Gaulle is for long-haul fliers and premium services. It's linked straight to the Gare du Nord station in the middle of the city by regular trains that take around 35 minutes from terminal to town.

Choosing the right area to stay in Paris is important because each arrondissement has its own distinct vibe. You can pay extra and be somewhere like Grenelle and the 7th, where you're most likely to open your hotel window and be gazing at the Eiffel Tower. Or, you can opt for a B&B somewhere like the Canal-Saint Martin – a vibrant, student favourite – or in the 11th arrondissement – cheaper and more lived-in.

Seine River paris

The Seine River meanders through the centre of Paris

The Parisian transport network is vast and efficient. Travelers shouldn't need more than the RER and Metro combination. They can be caught to virtually all the major sights and areas around the capital. You can purchase a contactless card ticket to travel on all the lines – tariffs are €1.90 per ride.

Even among the French themselves, the Parisian people are renowned for being curt and a little rude. Remember that this is a working, living metropolis, so expect central areas to be busy with commuters and the like. You'll also want to be especially cautious on public transport when carrying large luggage or travelling at night, because pickpocketing and thefts certainly aren't unheard of.

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Paris or.....

Paris or Amsterdam Paris or Athens Paris or Barcelona Paris or Berlin Paris or Brussels Paris or Budapest Paris or Copenhagen Paris or Dubrovnik Paris or Florence Paris or Gdansk Paris or Istanbul Paris or Krakow Paris or Lisbon Paris or Madrid Paris or Marrakesh Paris or Milan Paris or Munich Paris or Naples Paris or Porto Paris or Prague Paris or Riga Paris or Rome Paris or Seville Paris or Stockholm Paris or Tallinn Paris or Vienna Paris or Venice Paris or Warsaw Paris or Wroclaw

Where to stay...

  • ..in Amsterdam
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  • ..in Venice
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  • Florence in 48 hours
  • 3 days in Madrid
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Amsterdam or Paris? Which is Better?

When I started writing this article I figured I would read what people think about both cities, because in my opinion, it’s easy, Amsterdam! But what do people actually prefer? Amsterdam or Paris? Why is that? Is it one better than the other? In what sense? Well, let’s take a look at it.

Paris is exactly what you expect it to be: everything you know about Paris, the feeling it gives, the charm it has and even the good food. In the case of Amsterdam, it is a city to discover, get to know what you want from it. One could say that Paris is better for visiting and Amsterdam, for living.

visit paris or amsterdam

On my defense, I am going to say that Amsterdam is a city to discover. Whereas my first day in Paris was a moment full of discoveries and lack of deception, when I went to Amsterdam I didn’t really know what to expect, everything was overwhelming and it took me a while to discover what for me is the beautiful city that I now know. Let’s take a look at both cities!

Visiting Paris or Amsterdam?

In my opinion, as well as my whole family and most of my friends, Paris is the most amazing city they have ever been to. I really do believe this is due to the fact that it lives up to the expectations. I mean, we all have a collection of memories of Paris we have seen in films since we were children, books, songs, and everything has created an idea of what this should be. And, guess what? It is all of that and more.

visit paris or amsterdam

In the case of Amsterdam, unless you have studied or been interested in it for a specific reason, we don’t really know what to expect and we get carried away by the most touristic aspects of the city. Of course, we have tulips, Van Gogh, art and history, but also drugs, prostitution, and party.

Both cities have their pros and their cons, but that obviously depends on every person’s taste. Visiting both cities properly requires a few days, so doing both at the same time it is never a good option if you have a narrow schedule. I would recommend you to visit Paris unless you have a great reason to visit Amsterdam.

Where to Stay in Paris and Amsterdam?

In Amsterdam I would personally recommend checking out these hotels for the quality-price relationship and the walkable distance to the most important attractions in Amsterdam:

  • Hotel Plantage  (3 STARS HOTEL)
  • Hotel Casa Amsterdam  (3 STARS HOTEL)
  • Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam Rembrandtpark  (4 STARS HOTEL)
  • Eden Hotel Amsterdam  (4 STARS HOTEL)

My recommendation for Paris with the same criteria are, close to the centre, good quality-price and nice reviews:

  • Hotel Aida Marais  (3 STARS HOTEL)
  • MileStay Paris Montmartre  (Luxury Apartments)
  • Best Western Premier Marais Grands Boulevards  (4 STARS HOTEL)
  • Citadines Les Halles Paris  (4 STARS CONDO HOTEL)

What can you see: Paris vs Amsterdam

When considering where to go it is important to know what you can see, places to go and all the main attractions the city has. Both of them are amazing for sightseeing, but checking these lists there is a clear winner. What I consider when I see the winner is the feeling of fulfilled expectation one has before visiting the city. See for yourself:

Paris implies doing the compulsory itinerary of impressive monuments and buildings:

  • Tour Eiffel
  • Arc de Triomphe – Champs-Élysées
  • The Louvre Museum
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral
  • Sacré-Coeur Basilica
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Musée d’Orsay
  • Tuileries Garden
  • Musée de l’Orangerie
  • Jardin du Luxembourg – Palais du Luxembourg

The Amsterdam version of this list is the following:

  • Rijksmuseum
  • Dam Square – Palace
  • The Red Light District
  • Van Gogh Museum
  • Anne Frank Haus
  • Stedelijk Museum

Of course, if I would compare those lists, which is possible, Paris would win. Going to the Tuileries Garden could not be compared to Vondelpark in no case scenario. Don’t get me wrong, Vondelpark is great, but it definitely is not the same. I have grown to love it the more I have discovered of it, but it is a city park. If only, Keukenhof would be the possible comparison but only for a couple of months a year (do you want to know when, check this article ). In most cases, it is the same, not everything is comparable.

visit paris or amsterdam

I have experienced Amsterdam with time, I have discovered all the places tourists don’t normally visit, I have discovered museums not everybody talks about and activities I never thought I would like. This is the Amsterdam that I love, not necessarily everything people visit. I understand that once in your life you have to go to the Red Light District and you have to do some touristic things. But there is much more than that, it just depends on what you personally enjoy doing. Among my favourite activities, I would recommend:

  • Stedelijk Museum ( read more )
  • Cheese for cheese lovers ( read more )
  • Close by cities : Utrecht, Delft, Gouda, The Hague, Rotterdam, Harlem , Zaandam, etc. All of them worth visiting and in just a few hours!
  • Windmills (close ones to Amsterdam here )
  • Cycling is a must experience (including its rules )
  • And you can also find 76 more things to do in Amsterdam (link here )

Some of my friends love Amsterdam for a more original way of shopping, vintage and many other things you can not only do in Paris. Among them, romantic dinner, eating good food (if you know where to go) and more.

Food is not even discussible: Paris. If you want good cuisine, the French cuisine is, if not the most famous one in the whole world, probably the second. Dutch cuisine has some good pieces such as the typical stroopwafels , great cheese and poffertjes . But Amsterdam is a place to find cuisine from all over the world and get to experience it: Korean, Nepali, Indonesian, Chinese, Indian, Argentinian, Mexican, Japanese and much more.

Other Aspects to Consider:

I have been thinking a lot about the advantages of visiting one or the other city and I came up with some aspects to consider in both of them. Here are some of the ones I considered and what city wins:

Queuing for attractions : in this aspect, both cities win. Paris and Amsterdam are very touristic cities that offer the possibility to book online their most famous attraction (and basically all the other too). This is something great because most of the time you will find that there are no tickets left for that day or even the whole week.

Time to spend in the city : Amsterdam can be more of a short trip whereas Paris could be more of a longer holiday. This is most of all because distances between things. Amsterdam is small enough to walk from one of your activities to the other whereas doing that in Paris could be a little tricky. Even if you take public transportation in Amsterdam, you will get to places much quicker. Organising something to see in Amsterdam during a weekend is much easier than in Paris.

Travelling with kids: both cities are children friendly, although I would suggest Amsterdam. Both cities have good deals of free entrance for most museums when it comes to children. For instance, both the Rijksmuseum and the Louvre are free for children. But as far as I know Amsterdam has a lot of cool museums that both parents are children could enjoy. Among them: NEMO Science Museum, Stedelijk Museum and the zoo, ARTIS. Plus, children travel for free up to 7 years old.

Language : in this one I have to go with Amsterdam. I would say that 99% of Dutch people speak English (read more here) something I believe Paris cannot promise. If you want to practise your French, Amsterdam is great, but I would also say that there are higher chances that someone will speak your language in Amsterdam. I myself speak Spanish and Italian and working in the touristic industry I have spoken more Italian and Spanish living in Amsterdam than living in Italy and in Spain. Funny, right?

Flights : both cities are great, well connected to the airports with shuttle, busses and more. Also both cities have two airports. In the case of Paris, they have Charles De Gaulle and Orly. In the case of Amsterdam you can fly to Schiphol or even to Eindhoven, an airport 1 hour or so away by train to Amsterdam, something relatively reasonable and with great deals.

Visiting only the city: if you want to visit just the city, Paris it is. If you want to make something else out of your holidays, definitely Amsterdam. The size of the Netherlands makes travelling around by train or car super easy and most cities end up being a one day trip. If you are interested in knowing more about one day trips from Amsterdam this article may inspire you. Getting to know the Netherlands is more than just Amsterdam, something harder to find out in Paris.

Weather : both cities are very gloomy during the winter months. Amsterdam is a little more colder and depressing, to be honest. That doesn’t bother me but I can understand that enjoying a city it also has to do with the weather. Amsterdam tend to be better during the summer months, not so warm and maybe not so rainy. Paris tend to look more alive during the winter.

Do you think money may be something to consider? Which one is cheaper, Amsterdam or Paris? Read here !

visit paris or amsterdam

Micaela Zaslabsky

My name is Micaela and I am an Argentinian student. I came to do my Erasmus here in the Netherlands and I fell in love with this country. Two years later I am living in Amsterdam, discovering more about the culture I love and enjoying everything this city has to offer.

Which is Cheaper, Paris or Amsterdam?

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  • France , Netherlands
  • Amsterdam , Paris

Paris vs. Amsterdam

Paris vs. Amsterdam

Table of Contents

The French capital is for people who find comfort in classic vintage pieces and those who yearn to travel back in time. It’s a city that has long mastered the perfect formula for allure and artistry, effectively bewitching the globe. If you see beauty in everything, both mundane and extraordinary, you won’t regret visiting Paris.

Meanwhile, the Dutch capital is made for tourists who tackle life in fast-forward motion. It’s for people who ache for something more, wanting to explore the leisures of the world to the best of their abilities. Amsterdam is your best bet if you want to discover things you haven’t known before.

Paris is not just any urban area; it’s a whole universe by itself. The streets of the French capital will give you a vibe so otherworldly you’d think you’re walking straight inside a vintage painting. Well, can you expect less from a city considered the most beautiful in the world?

Of course, this title is not only because Paris is home to the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. There are many reasons why the French capital is globally recognized for its beauty. Every stone pavement is saturated with history; every building is made with the ultimate craftsmanship. It’s even home to delightful works dating back several centuries.

The city is also a haven for the modern aesthete, one with love for all things fashionable. Countless avenues in Paris are jam-packed with boutiques, each with different styles and trends. It’s also where you go if you want to feast on various landmarks or feel the electrifying romance in the air.

Truly, a walk down the City of Love and Light will resonate deep within your soul. It’s where you go if you simply want to be, not worrying about anything but your next travel destination. Paris is genuinely a unique European spot you wouldn’t want to miss in your lifetime.

What Makes Paris Unique?

Abode for the fashion-forward.

If there’s one thing you’ll notice about Paris and its people, they’re always dressed to kill. It doesn’t matter if you see them walking on their way to work or lazily lounging in cafés during the weekends. They always look so put together, their every style becoming a worldwide fashion trend.

This is not surprising, especially since the French capital has worn the crown as the World Capital of Fashion since the 17th century. Of course, other cities have also established themselves when it comes to clothing trends. However, nothing comes close to Paris’ influence. It’s home to globally-famous Fashion Houses and the starting place of brands that made ripples worldwide.

Maybe you’ve seen your favorite celebrities sporting their collections on TV. That, or you personally owned a piece from a certain season. Familiar with Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Lauren, or Hermés? Perhaps you’re more into Paco Rabanne, Mugler, or Isabel Marant.

It doesn’t matter what your preference for designers is; the streets of Paris are brimming thick with high-end brands from left to right. You’d surely enjoy a trip to the French capital and adorn your hands with several shopping bags.

Traveling down the avenues of Paris with a limited budget but still want to upgrade your wardrobe? Worry not because the fashion capital has plenty of cost-friendly shops to help you with that. From vintage pieces to secondhand haute couture, no doubt you’ll find high-quality, affordable ones that fit your style.

Aside from spending money on shopping spots, you can also enjoy the city’s jaw-dropping fashion shows. Big brands often showcase different collections each season, particularly during February and September.

Smaller-scale fashion shows also occur in galleries all year round, like the one at Galeries Lafayette. The event is for reservations, but you can book a seat on the department store’s official website.

If you’re a fashionista at heart, you’ll find Paris a paradise on Earth. It’s home to the latest trends and the most stylish brands; you’d regret not staying even a minute longer. To make the trip more immersive, try to cop classic Parisian looks to blend in with locals, particularly the Chic-Décontracté dress code.

Sanctuary for Artistic Souls

Where do souls that feel strongly about art go when they want to express themselves? The City of Love and Light, no doubt. The French capital is considered a sensation on its own, especially if you factor in its unique ambiance and dignified landmarks. However, there are other reasons why those with love for creativity dream of stepping into the city.

If you haven’t noticed, Paris can attract brilliant minds that can create heart-stopping works of art. Its unique charm makes it the subject of several masterpieces, be it paintings, sculptures, or poetry. In addition, the city is home to creations that survived the passage of time in pristine conditions.

History geeks will also enjoy going down to the museums in Paris because of their rich cultural preservation. Take the Louvre, for example. It’s globally recognized as the largest museum in the world, containing over 550,000 artworks. Most of these pieces are hidden in storage, and only 35,000 are available for public viewing. Despite this, it’s a number you won’t be able to marvel at for a day or two.

If you were to allocate 30 seconds to appreciate each work of art in the Louvre, you’d have to walk around the museum for 200 days. It’s impossible to tour all collections if you’re on a brief travel getaway. As such, it’s in your best interest to prioritize the main masterpieces you’re dying to gaze at. Here are some of the most notable ones available for viewing at the Louvre:

  • The Dying Slave (Michelangelo Buonarroti)
  • Mona Lisa (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • Death of the Virgin (Caravaggio)
  • Dante and Virgil in Hell (Eugène Delacroix)
  • Alexander and Diogenes (Pierre Puget)

Think the Louvre is the best and only museum the City of Love has to offer? Well, you can’t be any more wrong. The French capital is filled with world-class museums that house a plethora of artworks. Here are some of them below:

Centre Pompidou. Paris has no shortage of eye-catching buildings, one of which is this museum that rivals the iconic Eiffel Tower. It’s considered the matriarch of the city’s contemporary art – uniquely made with industrial pipes and open glass windows.

The museum is filled with every masterpiece, from modern to contemporary ones. It’s also a library, a performance spot, and a cinema in one, so visiting it is definitely worth the time.

Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Located in the same area as the Louvre, this museum can’t be described as anything but grand. It’s filled to the brim with beautiful collections that show the French’s extravagant lifestyle. Detailed carpets, shining crystals and porcelains, and regal tapestries can be found left and right.

The museum is also Paris’s second oldest historic building, home to the world’s largest decorative arts and fashion stash.

Landmarks That Make a Mark

It’s not an exaggeration to say that when you step foot inside Paris, you’ll never want to depart. The French capital will provide you with many reasons to stay, maybe even have you wishing you were born into the city yourself. The main one is this: the most beautiful city in the world is home to many exquisite landmarks that will leave a mark on your heart.

Of course, you’ve heard of the majestic Eiffel Tower many times than you can count. Paris’ shining beacon is a hit background scene in countless movies and is a famous site where lovers ask for their partner’s hand. However, the City of Love and Light is more than just a starring scene in productions and a host to people’s romantic gestures.

It’s also home to many beautiful infrastructures, the French capital itself being a work of art. The paved cobblestone streets and the majority of buildings are of Haussmannian architecture. You’d find the avenues in the city sporting the same style, all with uniform exteriors and gilded balconies. This is one of the many reasons tourists love to walk around the arrondissements for hours.

Aside from the classic streets of the city, plenty of magnificent structures are scattered within the French capital. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a list of some landmarks that will make you wonder whether Paris is a city or a paradise on Earth:

Pont Alexandre III. The French capital is famed for its beautiful bridges, the most iconic being the Pont Alexandre III. It’s a Beaux-Arts-style bridge that separates Paris into two parts and symbolizes peace between France and Russia.

Gilded statues of ethereal nymphs and the mighty winged horse, Pegasus, adorn the bridge. Even glancing at this famed tourist spot from afar is enough to invoke feelings of wonder and awe.

Sainte-Chapelle. No photo can do justice to this gothic-style Parisian chapel built in 1248. Many consider it an architectural gem because of its intricate stained glass windows.

However, there’s plenty more you can do in this place, like checking out the holy relics collected by King Louis IX. It’s also where you go if you want to listen to classical music or visit the Conciergerie where Marie Antoinette was once jailed.

Amsterdam, one of the most visited cities in Europe, boasts of its unique streets made of water. It’s a genuine water maze of wonder, filled with countless boats and infinite possibilities for fun. Ever dreamt of cruising down canals and enjoying houses and mansions, each with a design much better than the last? How about going to Venice but not letting go of the electrifying party scene?

Well, Amsterdam is the answer to all your desires. It’s a city where you can do everything, from exploring many museums to watching graceful vessels filled with flowers. The Dutch capital even changes face at night, bringing out the big guns of the techno party scene. It’s where you let yourself loose, dancing to soul-deafening music and hopping to pubs of different genres.

It’s safe to say that the city is the perfect getaway scene for tourists of every kind. It doesn’t matter who you are; Amsterdam is where you’d like to spend fathomless days exploring. It’s perfect for people belonging under the rainbow banner and for those who want to dig deep into culture and history. It’s also where party animals can prowl 24/7; the Dutch capital truly has everything for everyone.

What Makes Amsterdam Unique?

Venice of the north.

If you’ve gone on a trip around Europe and grown fond of the floating city of Venice, you’d enjoy spending time in Amsterdam. This destination has been coined the Venice of the North mainly because of its similarities with the Italian town. To be specific, Amsterdam possesses a concentric canal system very much like Venice.

In fact, it’s even superior regarding the number of canals within the city limits. Venice has 150 channels, while the Dutch capital has a whopping 165 canals. Amsterdam’s inner canal system is so phenomenal that UNESCO dubbed it a World Heritage Site. It’s over 400 years old, making the channels majestic and historical to boot.

You’ll enjoy the numerous canal cruises the Dutch city offers, especially at night. With all the shimmering city lights, you’d see Amsterdam from a whole new perspective. There’s no better way to end your day tour than by riding a boat and enjoying the view with wine. Your only dilemma? Choosing which cheese goes well with the wine you’re drinking.

Here are some of the most famous canals in Amsterdam you’ll see during your cruise:

Herengracht. This waterway is Amsterdam’s most luxurious, particularly due to the properties surrounding it. It’s dubbed the Lord’s Canal or the Gentleman’s Canal because it’s where the city’s governors lived during the 16th to 17th Centuries.

Prepare to be starstruck once your cruise reaches the canal’s Golden Bocht. It’s filled with majestic double-wide mansions that will take your breath away.

Brouwersgracht. Also known as Brewer’s Canal, this waterway is one of Amsterdam’s prettiest sites. It’s where you can find merchant houses that date back to the Golden Age of the Netherlands.

It’s also your go-to spot if you want to check out high-class breweries and taste first-class wine made by locals. If you’re up to it, you could even go to the A Van Wees de Ooievaar. It’s a craft distillery known for its process of creating spirits from authentic copper kettles from age-old recipes.

Mighty Flower Power

Generally, the first thing people associate with Amsterdam is its idyllic waterways. However, the Dutch capital is more than its boat cruises and numerous bridges connecting the city. It’s also a place that can confidently boast of its spectacular flower scene, a genuine haven for anthophile.

You may think it’s impractical for a city dominated by canals to develop mighty floral power. However, Amsterdam made it possible, creating the only floating flower market on the whole planet. Locals call it Bloemenmarkt, a set of water stalls that started way back in 1862.

It’s open all year round, making the Dutch capital a fragrant city throughout the seasons. You could drop by during your trip and find flowers of all kinds, perfect as a dried souvenir or gift for a loved one.

Of course, you’ll encounter plenty of tulips, but other species are also available. Hyacinths, crocuses, snowdrops, and peonies are just some of the flowers you’ll witness in all their glory in the floating market.

Aside from Bloemenmarkt, you can also enjoy Amsterdam if you’re eager to attend glorious flower festivals. The Tulip Festival is the most famous, held from March to May. This period is known as the tulip season, so expect to witness only the best, most colorful flowers.

If you’re not keen on traveling to Amsterdam during this time, worry not. The city has plenty of floral spots you can enjoy all year round, including the Amsterdam Tulip Museum. It’s the ideal place if you want to dive deep into the Dutch capital’s special relationship with tulips.

This museum is a cozy place filled with photographs of the process of tulip cultivation in the city. It’s also where you can buy the prettiest tulip-themed souvenirs, so ensure you have some money for them.

There’s also the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, a great choice if you’re not a big fan of flowers. It’s one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, containing different kinds of plants. You’ll marvel at the big greenhouses home to various herbs and trees like palm, ficus, and cinnamon.

Green thumbs and anthophiles will appreciate Amsterdam since the Dutch capital is blooming the whole year. Similarly, tourists who love beautiful things will enjoy touring the city since it’s a delight to look at. It’s a maze of canals filled with pleasant surprises, overflowing with the ambrosial scent of flowers.

Museums Here, There… Everywhere

Amsterdam is a city abundant in canals and bridges, making it an ideal spot for tourists eager to explore something new. However, did you know it’s also a famous hub for those with a heart for history? The Dutch capital has the most museums per square meter out of all cities.

Statistic Netherlands claims that within 5 km (3 mi) of Amsterdam, there are approximately 23.7 museums. A 10-kilometer-radius (6.2 mi) sweep of the city reveals that 45.4 museums are waiting to be explored. This means you’ll surely encounter several historical sites in the Dutch capital within a few minutes of travel.

Curious as to what museums are worth dropping by? Well, here are some of the most visited ones you can enjoy in the Venice of the North:

Van Gogh Museum. This museum is considered the most visited in the country, raking in over 1.5 million tourists annually. It’s dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh, a Dutch painter known for using bright colors and emphatic brushwork.

This Amsterdam hub of art contains the largest collection of his work, numbering about 1,300 pieces. You may be familiar with some of them, such as the Sunflowers and The Self Portrait. Other artists include Claude Monet and Maurice Denis.

Rijksmuseum. Known as the national museum of the Netherlands, this spot is home to many Dutch Golden Age works of art. It’s where over 8,000 pieces of Dutch history are stored, telling the story of the Netherlands from 800 years ago.

If that’s not enough reason to book a trip to this museum, you may be convinced by the countless European paintings and artifacts it contains. Your inner history geek will surely rejoice with the abundance of cultures in the Rijksmuseum.

Party Till the Sun Rises

Amsterdam has been coined the Venice of the North due to its similarities with the Italian city. However, one of the main differences between them is that Venice is not a venue fit for wild nights of fun. Amsterdam, on the other hand? Well, you could say that the Dutch capital is a genuine hedonist’s haven. It’s jam-packed with pubs and every known ingredient for amazing nightlife.

Some would even claim that Amsterdam took the best bits of Barcelona, Berlin, and Budapest and combined them all in one big party cauldron. The result is phenomenal; the ultimate nightlife scene will make even the pickiest party animal come out to play. You’re free to go all-out drinking in different clubs or dancing to your heart’s content until the sun rises in the Dutch capital.

Make way for some of the smashing party spots you can find in the Venice of the North:

  • Shelter. Craving for an extremely brutal night out you will never forget your whole life? This club is Amsterdam’s answer for people who wants to let go of the reins during their trip. The music is ear-shattering, paired with an all-black decor that screams pleasure and intensity. This cool underground club plays pulsating electronica that will deeply resonate with your soul.
  • Vondelbunker. This party spot is the club for the cool and the courageous, built in a unique location you won’t find anywhere else. It’s tucked under a bridge, meant to be a hidden bomb shelter during WWII. This hidden underground club needs a bit of exploring, but it’s worth it if you think of the punk nights you’ll enjoy. The entrance is free to boot, perfect for tourists with a budget limit.

If you don’t have a strong affinity for alcohol, then Amsterdam has other activities you can explore. For instance, you can time your visit during the Dutch capital’s world-famous dance event. Known as Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), it’s a five-day music festival that happens every October.

People from around the globe would visit the Dutch city during this time, so you’d have plenty of opportunities to make friends. You can also showcase your talents, especially if you have a dancing bone hidden within. There’s no shortage of studio sessions, art workshops, and performances from local artists in the ADE. Other notable events include the Amsterdam Light Festival and the Holland Festival.

Paris or Amsterdam – Which Is Better?

You can never truly know a city until you’ve experienced its streets firsthand. Similarly, you can only judge which is better between Paris and Amsterdam after exploring them more intimately. The only way to do so? Set foot in both European capitals and compare your experience in the two cities.

Doing these tasks simultaneously is impossible, so you’d have to decide which one you will visit first. Choose Amsterdam if you can’t wait to taste amazing nightlife and have an endless buzz of booze. It’s a destination you can look forward to due to its many faces, one of which is the city’s party animal identity.

The Dutch capital is also where you go if you want to experience traveling in a new light. The city is a big marvel of concentric canal systems, one you can only appreciate by riding a boat. The infrastructures in each district are all a sight to behold, something you’ll admire more if you travel to Amsterdam through the water.

Meanwhile, opt to visit Paris first if you’re the type to enjoy a city that looks straight out of a vintage painting. The French capital has a certain charm that is fatal to people with artistic abilities. It’s also where tourists with a keen eye for beauty and aesthetics flock, spending hours in museums and fashion boutiques.

Paris is the ideal destination for people craving peace. The city possesses a particular stillness you can’t find anywhere else. Within its city walls, you’re free to let go of all your responsibilities and tackle every day gently with wine in your hand.

Is Amsterdam Cheaper or More Expensive Than Paris?

Based on Expatistan’s data, expenses in Amsterdam is 3% higher than that in Paris. The Dutch capital is the tenth most expensive city in Western Europe. On the other hand, the City of Light is a close contender and occupies the eleventh place in the rankings out of 85 cities.

To elaborate, Amsterdam’s transportation costs are 27% more costly than Paris’s. Booking a taxi in the Dutch city will cost you $26 for a 5-mile (8-km) distance, while the French capital will have you pay only $20.

Additionally, accommodations in Amsterdam are 3% more pricey compared to Paris. Clothes are also 7% more expensive in the Dutch city, with one pair of jeans costing an average of $97. The City of Light, known as a fashion hub, sells its jeans for only $83 per pair.

These expenses matter, especially if you’re a tourist staying in the Dutch city for several days. Don’t be too bummed out, though. Entertainment in Amsterdam is 13% cheaper than in Paris, so you can still enjoy the city. For instance, a pint of beer in the Dutch capital costs about $5, while Parisian beer is a whopping $7.

Paris or Amsterdam in December?

Deciding between Paris and Amsterdam for your December trip can be challenging. No one can blame you; both cities are overflowing with unique, individual charms. However, the trick to choosing the right place is this: prioritize what you want to experience for your end-of-the-year getaway.

Get ready for a trip to Amsterdam if you’re eager to experience a one-of-a-kind December riding a boat. It’s the ideal ride in the Dutch capital, perfect for when you want to watch the city’s many Christmas festivals. For instance, you can get the perfect view of the Light Festival on a cruise while enjoying a platter of the best wine and cheese.

Choose Paris if you’re eager to get the best of the end-of-the-year shopping deals. The city is known as a hub for fashion and art, so expect only the best and the brightest trends to surface during Christmas. As a bonus, the city can get extremely cold during December. It’s the perfect excuse to explore the endless cafés in the city for excellent coffee and hot chocolate.

Paris or Amsterdam in Winter?

Paris and Amsterdam are two European cities that can get extremely cold during the winter. Both capitals are stunning this season, their streets covered in pristine white snow. No one can blame you if you’re having difficulty choosing which will be your destination during wintertime.

Go to Amsterdam if you prefer to avoid large crowds during your winter getaway. It’s the perfect place to spend your cold days, especially if you enjoy a beer or two. The city is rich in breweries, so you have plenty of access to deliciously warm beer. Winter is also the perfect time to walk along the canal and find a solid spot you can skate to your heart’s content.

Meanwhile, book a trip to Paris during winter if you’re excited about the coming Christmas season. During this time, the city is clad in shining lights and armed with mini bazaars from left to right. You get to interact with a plethora of people, play fun games, and even share a cup of vin chaud.

Amsterdam to Paris Distance

The distance between Amsterdam and Paris depends on which kind of transportation you’d use. If you’re going to ride a plane or take the train, you’d have to travel a total of 268 mi (431 km). The aircraft is the better option if you’re short on time, but choose the train if you’re looking for a scenic journey.

Meanwhile, taking the direct bus from Amsterdam to Paris will have you commuting for 315 mi (507 km). Car rides are possible too, but be ready to drive for a total of 320 mi (515 km).

Amsterdam vs. Paris Size

Compared to Paris, Amsterdam has a bigger geographical size. The Dutch capital measures 219 sq km (85 sq mi), while the City of Light is only 105 sq km (41 sq mi). This makes Amsterdam over twice as big as the Fench capital.

Despite this, the population size in Paris is many times larger than in Amsterdam. To be specific, the data released by World Population Review shows that the City of Light is filled with over 11 million inhabitants. Meanwhile, Amsterdam is home to more than a million residents.

Amsterdam to Paris Flight Distance

The flight distance between Amsterdam to Paris is 431 km (268 mi). Ideally, you’ll reach Paris after about 32 minutes of flying. However, you’ll also have to allocate about thirty minutes for takeoff and another thirty for landing. This makes your total flight duration an hour and 32 minutes long.

Of course, remember that this can be affected by several factors. You’d have to consider the aircraft type, the speed at which it goes, and the plane’s designated route. Don’t forget the weather conditions and the wind speed during your schedule.

Amsterdam to Paris by Train, First Class

Traveling from Amsterdam to Paris via a first-class train will cost an average of $200. If you have more than enough money to buy a ticket to a first-class, don’t hesitate to do so. It’s the most premium way of travel via land, offering the best comfort for travelers aiming to set foot in the French Capital.

There is an abundance of perks available for first-class travelers you wouldn’t find anywhere else. First, delicious meals free of charge are offered during the three-hour ride. Free Wi-Fi, access to electrical outlets, and magazines are available for your convenience. The best of these benefits? First-class trains provide wider space to their customers, with bigger windows for a more scenic view.

Is There a High-Speed Train From Amsterdam to Paris?

If you’re looking for high-speed trains that travel the Amsterdam to Paris route, fret not. Thalys has got you covered, operating their futuristic TGV high-speed commuter trains every two hours or so. In some instances, they may even depart every hour, particularly during the peak seasons.

Twelve bullet trains depart daily, traveling at a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph). This means you can arrive from Amsterdam to Paris in only three hours. However, you’d have to book the tickets three to four months in advance to secure a spot for your target schedule.

Is the Train Ride From Paris to Amsterdam Scenic?

Train rides from Paris to Amsterdam are scenic, with picturesque views you can easily see through the clear windows. The route mostly passes the beautiful French countryside, but you can also witness a portion of magnificent Belgian lands. Don’t forget the jaw-dropping visuals of Dutch lands, a perfect background for pretty Instagram posts.

Paris to Amsterdam by Car

If you plan to travel from Paris to Amsterdam via car, know that you’ll have to drive a distance of 515 km (320 mi). This will take about 4 hours and 35 minutes on average but may vary depending on your chosen route.

For instance, you may encounter traffic on the road or other incidents that may cause delays. You may also be tempted to stop in a few cities, especially since the road to the Dutch capital offers plenty of entertainment. In this case, your travel time may extend to several hours, maybe even a few days.

Paris to Amsterdam by Car Rental

Renting a car is the best option if you like to travel smart while still enjoying the road from Paris to Amsterdam. It’s more budget-friendly than riding your vehicle while offering more flexibility than going via train. It’s also accessible to boot, mainly because the French capital has many car rental companies eager to seal the deal.

You can choose a one-way car hire, where you don’t have to return the vehicle to its point of origin. Instead, you’ll only have to set up an arrangement with the company and drop it off at a certain location in Amsterdam. Normally, you’ll be required by the car rental shop to leave it somewhere convenient. Some of the most efficient spots for this are the Amsterdam Central Railway Station and the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS).

There’s also the option of getting a round-trip contract, wherein you book a car to travel to Amsterdam and then return it to Paris. If you’re not staying over at the Dutch capital for several days and only there for a brief visit, this is the best for you. It’s way cheaper and faster than commuting back to the French capital.

Driving Distance From Paris to Amsterdam

The driving distance from Paris to Amsterdam is 515 km (320 mi). If you were to drive at an average of 112 km/h (70mph), you’d reach the Dutch capital within 4 hours and 35 minutes.

Amsterdam to Paris Road Trip

If your main priority when traveling from Amsterdam to Paris is leisure, you’ll have the best time riding a car. Not only is this option comfortable, but it also offers flexibility and freedom. You don’t have to chase a strict schedule or line up in a queue to get your ticket. You can explore as many cities as you want, so long as they are on the way to the City of Love.

In fact, there are plenty of awesome spots you can drop by during your road trip from Paris to Amsterdam. One of these is the Dutch town of Rotterdam, known for its abundance of vintage ships and exhibits. You could visit the Rotterdam Zoo, an all-in-one spot where you can glimpse plants and rare animals. It’s an ideal resting spot in which you can spend several nights and not get bored, especially if you have children as companions.

Another great stopover is Marne-le-Vallée, an up-and-coming town near the French capital. It’s where Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park are located, so it’s perfect if you want to have some fun.

Day Trip to Paris From Amsterdam

A day trip from Amsterdam to Paris is plausible, so long as you’re ready for a jam-packed schedule. First, you must prioritize the best transportation possible to arrive in Paris earlier. Flights are the fastest option, with an average travel time of 1 hour and 32 minutes. Trains also offer a quick route, with you reaching Paris after about 3 hours and 23 minutes if you’re riding a high-speed one.

After securing your travel option, you should also prioritize the destinations you want to visit in Paris. Expect your itinerary to be limited, so you should create the best touring plan possible. For instance, it’s ideal to see only two Parisian spots that are a short distance from each other.

You could also hire a city guide if you have enough money or avail of a day-tour package to get the most out of Paris. Private excursions usually cost about $750, but there are also hop-on hop-off bus tours that are only $41.

Cheapest Way to Get From Paris to Amsterdam

The cheapest way to get from Paris to Amsterdam is by taking the bus. Since you’ll be traveling directly without switching transportation, expect to spend $31 on average. If you’re lucky enough to book during the promo season, you could save and pay less than $20.

Buses are also the most environmentally-friendly option if you want to travel from Paris to Amsterdam. Additionally, you don’t have to drive and worry about whether you’re traveling in the right direction. However, remember that the travel time may take a while, with the journey taking 7 hours and 1 minute on average.

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Paris vs Amsterdam: Which One Is the Best City to Visit ?

Paris vs Amsterdam

Every year, Paris and Amsterdam attract many tourists. However, even if they are both known as capital cities for romance and gastronomy, they offer very different experiences.

In this article, I will give you all the characteristics of these two cities by giving them scores.

▶️ Let’s meet at the end of the article for the final ranking! Who will be the winner?

Here is a recap of the weather in Paris and in Amsterdam. You will find an insight of the average temperatures in January, April, July and October as well as the average annual rainfall and sunlight rates .

Amsterdam is known as a sub-oceanic, humid and rainy city, yet the rainfall in Paris and Amsterdam is similar.

Regarding temperatures , they are also very similar , but the temperatures are a little higher in Paris.

Score : +1⭐️ for Paris (maximum temperatures are on average higher in Amsterdam).

For further information, here is a site (site in French) with weather data by city

Here is a recap of the two cities.

Amsterdam is much smaller than Paris , and the number of inhabitants per km² is therefore much lower.

Score : +1⭐️ for Amsterdam (the population density is lower there which allows for better traffic and quality of life in general).

Cleanliness of the city

Paris is not really a good exemple in terms of cleanliness.

Graffiti on the walls, garbage on the sidewalks, dog mess and dirt in the metro… : the city is often criticized for its dirtiness.

As in any large city, cleanliness varies from one neighborhood to another .

Tourist areas, such as the Champs Élysées , are cleaned by private contractors and are often considered the priority areas for cleaning.

It is not for nothing that Amsterdam hosts the European cleaning trade fair ISSA Interclean every year.

As a true model of cleanliness in Europe, the city offers a pleasant living environment.

In other words, walking around the pedestrian streets of Amsterdam is a real pleasure : there are no papers on the ground, no overflowing trash cans, not even any unsightly chewing gum.

Score : +1⭐️for Amsterdam (we could have even given it⭐️⭐️).

Locals’ friendliness

Parisians are not exactly known for their friendliness and kindness. In general, they are considered unfriendly and rude .

Inhabitants of Amsterdam are known to be very warm , open , easy-going, and polite . Of course there are a few exceptions, but on the whole, Amsterdam locals are open and welcoming .

Score : +1⭐️ for Amsterdam (for the smiles).

Cost of living

Here is a chart illustrating the differences in prices (food, housing, transportation, etc.) in Paris and Amsterdam:

Score : +1⭐️ for Paris (even though the cost of living is similar in France and Holland, Paris is still a bit cheaper than Amsterdam).

For further information on prices in Amsterdam and Paris, check out this site which will help you make a comparison or learn more about each city.

Public transportation

Metro and bus in paris.

Metro Paris

There are 14 metro lines in Paris and 302 stations. One ticket costs 1,90 €.

On weekdays, the first metro leaves at 5:30 a.m. and the last one leaves around 12:30 a.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the operating hours are extended by one hour and the night bus takes over from 12:30am to 6am.

There are 316 bus lines in Paris and over 12,000 stops .

The city is divided into zones and prices are different in each zone. Several packages are offered in Paris allowing you to take several means of transport : metro, RER, bus, tramway and train .

  • The Navigo monthly and weekly pass , for example, grants you unlimited travel . Here are some prices: Navigo weekly pass: from 22,85 € OR Navigo monthly pass: from 84.10 €.
  • The ticket that you buy with the Navigo Liberté + pass costs 1,49 €. The good thing about this pass is that you have a maximum amount, set at €7.50 per day . Even if you travel a lot, you will not exceed this amount.
  • Travelers can choose the Paris Visite package for 1, 2, 3 or 5 days. You can travel as much as you want for the number of days you choose. Here are some rates: 1 day starting at 12 € OR 3 days starting at 26,65 € OR 5 days starting at 38,35 €.

Metro, tram and bus in Amsterdam

Tramway Amsterdam

The Amsterdam metro consists of only 4 lines , which is not much compared to other major European cities, but it mainly serves the suburbs:

  • Line 50: Gein – Isolatorweg
  • Line 51: Amsterdam Centraal – Westwijk
  • Line 52: Zuid – Noord
  • Line 53: Amsterdam Centraal – Gaasperplas
  • Line 55: Amsterdam Centraal – Gein

The metro is accessible from 6:00 am to 12:30 am (last departure).

Several tickets are available:

  • GVB 1-day card : this is a ticket valid for 24 hours from the time it is issued, during which you can use the Amsterdam public transport network without restriction (€8).
  • GVB 2-day card : this is a ticket valid for 48 hours from the time it is redeemed, during which time you can use the Amsterdam public transport network without restriction (€13.50).
  • GVB 3-day card : this is a ticket valid for 72 hours from the time it is redeemed, during which time you can use the Amsterdam public transport network without restriction (€19).
  • OV-Chipkaart : for stays of more than 3 days, its advantage lies in the fact that the card is paid according to the distance traveled (very advantageous for frequent use). The card itself costs €7.50.

Amsterdam has 43 bus lines and 14 tram lines . These are the main means of transportation used. A one-way ticket costs 3.,20€.

Here are the most important tram lines:

  • Lines 1, 2 and 5 : They stop by Dam Square , Spui , the Amsterdam Museum or Begijnhof and then split. Lines 2 and 5 go to the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum and line 1 continues to Vondelpark .
  • Line 9 : From Amsterdam Central Station, it stops by points of interest such as Dam Square , Spui , Rembrandt Square, the Hortus Botanicus , the Dutch Resistance Museum , Artis Zoo and the Tropenmuseum.
  • Lines 13 and 17 : Ideal for visiting Westerkerk , Westermarkt and the Anne Frank House .

The main lines run between 6am and 12:30am and the night bus takes over from 12:30am to 6am and their frequencies vary between 5 and 10 min.

➡️ If you are lost, I recommend downloading the Moovit app (available in French) which will help you find the stops and schedules of each line.

Tram and bus recap chart

Bicycles in paris.

Bikes and bicycles in Paris

Vélib’ is the bicycle rental system in Paris. There are 1,400 stations and about 20,000 bicycles , 35% of which are electrically bikes.

  • Several passes are available, including the V-Découverte Pass , valid for 24 hours, and the V-Séjour Pass , valid for 7 days. Each pass allows the simultaneous use of up to 5 Vélib’ .
  • For everyday users, other passes are available such as the V-Plus pass .

The rates are as follows:

  • V-Découverte and V-Séjour: 0 to 1 € for 30 minutes, 1 to 2 € more for 30 to 60 minutes and 1 to 2 € per 30 minutes beyond 60 minutes.
  • It will cost 5 € for the rental of a bike for the V-Découverte pass and 15 € for the V-Séjour pass.

Bicycles in Amsterdam

Bikes and Bicycles in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of cycling and has a gigantic network of bicycle paths of more than 400 km and numerous bicycle parking facilities .

Here, locals and tourists prefer this ecological and cheap means of transportation.

You will find many bike rental companies. Here are the most popular addresses of rentals where you can pick up your bike:

  • Yellow Bike Amsterdam : easy to get to, a three-minute walk from Amsterdam’s central train station (these bikes are bright yellow and are often used by tourists, which is useful because it lets locals know you’re probably a visitor).
  • MacBike Amsterdam : with six rental points located in the city center, this is one of the largest and oldest bike rental companies in the city (MacBike also offers some tours and excursions).
  • Discount Bike Rental Amsterdam : durable bikes of all shapes and sizes at a very reasonable price. Daily prices start at €7.50 for a bike with a coaster brake.
  • Black Bikes Amsterdam : available at 13 rental locations in Amsterdam – including the city center, from Leidseplein to the Red Light District. The company offers a wide range of bikes (which justifies slightly higher prices than its competitors).

The average price of a bike rental in Amsterdam for a day is 8-10€.

If you are staying for more than a week, try to get a second-hand bike. Easy to find in Amsterdam, it will cost you less than renting a bike several times.

Score : +1⭐️ for Paris and Amsterdam (one is better served by transportation but the other allows you to walk almost anywhere without being bothered by cars).

Paris is home to over 150 museums , about 70 public libraries , almost 400 movie screens , and about 130 theaters .

Louvre Museum

In Paris, although some museums are free like the Museum of Modern Art, the House of Balzac (exhibitions excluded), the House of Victor Hugo and some others, you have to pay to visit most museums .

Some people can enjoy the reduced rate like young people from 18 to 26 years old , students, holders of the “Paris Pass Famille” and “Famille nombreuse” cards and some others.

Young people from 18 to 25 years old can also have free admission to certain exhibitions , and so can minors up to the age of 18 , job seekers and people on social security, among others.

A few museums to visit in Paris:

The Louvre Museum is the largest museum in Paris with an area of 210,000 m2. Discover the 8 departments of the museum: Egyptian Antiquities, Sculptures, Works of Art, etc. All the periods and all the currents are represented there or almost. Admire the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo or the Louvre pyramid.

Price: 15 €. See the conditions of free admission here .

The Grévin Museum and its 200 wax statues of actors, politicians, sportsmen, etc. Take a close look at Lady Gaga, Louis Armstrong, Georges Clooney, Barack Obama or Charles de Gaulle.

Price : 17 to 25 € per ticket.

The National Museum of Natural History , which includes a number of museums, galleries, gardens and zoos. Discover the Jardin des Plantes for free, the Musée de l’Homme for about 10 euros or the Parc zoologique for 20 €.

Price : free, 10 €, 20 € depending on the building

The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie and its interactive exhibitions. Take part in experiments on volcanoes, oceans or space.

Price : about 8 € per ticket.

Eiffel Tower

In Paris, you will have the opportunity to visit many monuments like the Eiffel Tower.

Price : between 10.50 and 26.10 €.

You can also visit the Arc de Triomphe , at the top of the Champs-Élysées , on the Place de l’Étoile.

Price : 13 €.

You can also admire the Notre-Dame Cathedral , the Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Montmartre or the Pantheon (€11.50).

Galeries Lafayette

In Paris, most stores open from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm , Monday to Saturday. Some department stores like Les Galeries LaFayette or Printemps close at 8:00 or 8:30 pm .

Few stores are open on Sundays. Only a few stores located on the Champs Élysées or in tourist areas are open on Sundays, generally between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm.

Galeries Lafayette is a must, with nearly 3,500 international brands spread over nearly 70,000 m² .

There are also restaurants, and you can attend cultural events. The majority of the stores present are luxury boutiques, but you can also find stores with more affordable prices .

The Printemps Haussmann is also a luxury department store that spreads over three buildings and 27 floors in total.

Theme parks

Disneyland Paris

You will find many amusement parks, not in Paris but in its surroundings. With Parc Astérix , a theme park, La Mer de Sable , a Far West theme park and Disneyland Paris , you will have plenty of fun!

Amsterdam is home to over 75 various museums.


What attracts tourists to Amsterdam the most is the exceptional amount of museums that it abounds.

Here is a list of museums to visit:

Amsterdam Rijksmuseum which is one of the largest art museums in the world (if not the most prized by art lovers). Tise state museum has an unparalleled collection of paintings and cultural artifacts.

Price : from 20€ (free for children under 18)

The Van Gogh Museum or THE museum with one of the richest collections of Vincent Van Gogh in the world.

Price : from 19€ (free for 0 to 17 years old)

The Anne Frank House where Anne Frank lived until the age of 15 before she died in a concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen. You can visit the hidden rooms in the annex and even see the original diary.

Price : 14€ for adults and 7€ for 0-17 year olds

The Moco Museum or the most Instagrammable museum in Amsterdam (and most certainly in Europe). This contemporary museum of modern art aims to make art accessible to all and offers (beyond a lot of works) a sensory and colorful experience.

Price : 14.50€ for adults, 12€ for 16-17 year olds and 9.50€ for 10-15 year olds

Royal Palace

Dam Square is a must-visit if you are staying in Amsterdam. It is the location of the Royal Palace , as well as the Madame Tussaud Museum . It is a popular place for locals and can become a showplace for special occasions.

Explore the Ijburg neighborhood

Ijburg is a residential area in the east of Amsterdam that could feature in a futuristic sci-fi movie set. Composed of cubic floating houses of all colors, this area is a must-see in the city for the architectural feat it represents.

This project started in 2004 with plans to make 6 or 7 artificial islands.

The eight windmills (in French) of Amsterdam

If you walk around Amsterdam, you can go in search of its 8 windmills (De Otter, De Roe, Riekermolen…) They are a symbol of the city and have become a tourist attraction that is not to be missed.

Amsterdam’s canals stretch for a total of more than a hundred kilometers, with some 1,500 bridges crossing them, making them an attraction for tourists.

Stores in Amsterdam

As for the stores, the Amsterdam merchants set their own opening hours, but in general the stores are open from Monday to Saturday and some are even open on Sundays . Many stores close around 6pm but some close at 9pm .

The most famous streets for shopping are Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat . These are the main shopping streets of Amsterdam. There are many big names in fashion, but you can also find the main brands present in all major cities. And if the weather is not good, the Kalvertoren mall is a good place to find all the big brands.

To vintage lovers, Amsterdam has a neighborhood made for you. The 9 Straatjes (9 lanes) district is full of vintage stores. You’ll find fashion, designer workshops, jewelry making, art galleries, caterers and a multitude of trendy cafes, cafeterias and restaurants (take a full day to enjoy all the alleys and nuggets they contain).

Theme/amusement parks

Efteling Park

The Efteling Park is one of the largest amusement parks in the Netherlands. It opens the door to a parallel world of fairies , trolls and fairy tales . The Efteling Park opened in 1952 and is one of the most famous parks in Holland.

We particularly invite you to try the attraction of the Forbidden Cities or the Haunted Castle of the Strange Kingdom.

Price : about 45 € for a normal ticket (depending on the period)

Score : +1⭐️ for Paris and Amsterdam (they are both rich in monuments, museums and entertainment).

Paris has a long-standing reputation in the field of gastronomy. The French capital is considered as one of the capitals of gastronomy thanks to the many starred restaurants . There are about 115 of them.

Discover some of the culinary specialties to try out in Paris. Here are some dishes to try:

  • The croque-monsieur or croque-madame made out of a slice of ham slipped between two slices of buttered sandwich bread and a layer of grated cheese , all baked au gratin . The croque-madame has an egg on top
  • The tournedos rossini is made of a thin piece of beef on toast, accompanied by a slice of foie gras and slices of truffles

The capital is also known for its numerous pastries , discover some of them:

  • The millefeuille , made of puff pastry and pastry cream, recognizable by its topping
  • The opera , composed of sheets of Mona Lisa cookies and coffee and chocolate buttercream
  • The Saint-Honoré , made of shortcrust pastry and cream puffs, topped with caramel and pastry cream or whipped cream

Here is a selection of Parisian restaurants with different atmospheres and prices:

Jules Verne Restaurant

L’Archimède : a restaurant near the Canal Saint-Martin where you can taste French gastronomic dishes at reasonable prices , such as a beef filet or a sea bream.

Price : about 30 euros

La Gazette (in French): a restaurant in the 16th arrondissement where you can taste French dishes. Choose from salmon filet, entrecote , and for dessert, a red fruit pavlova or poached Poire William .

Price : about 40 euros

Le Loulou Montmartre : a restaurant with a view of the rooftops of Paris where you can try black pudding with apple and cinnamon , duck with butternut and maple syrup or a roasted camembert with honey .

Price : about 20 euros

Le Jules Verne , the gastronomic restaurant located on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower where you can taste the dishes cooked by the chef Frederic Anton.

Price : 35 to 230 €.

Here are some Parisian pastry shops to taste the best French pastries:

Stohrer patisserie

Sébastien Gaudard’s Martyrs pastry shop (in French). Between religieuse , caramelized choux or éclairs, taste many delicious pastries.

The Stohrer patisserie (in French), the oldest pastry shop in Paris. Go there to taste traditional pastries like baba au rhum .

British cuisine is often recognized as rich and experimental.

Discover the culinary specialties to try in Amsterdam. Here are some dishes to try:

  • Bitterballen these are delicious meatballs cooked in oil and traditionally served with mustard, this is THE Dutch snack par excellence .
  • Dutch fries or “patat”, are more traditionally served in a paper cone with various sauces. Try the ‘patatje oorlog’, which is a cone of fries covered with peanut sauce (a real treat).
  • Raw herring ‘haringhandels’ are available everywhere in the city as a sandwich or on a plate. It may sound a bit strange when you say it like that, but it’s an unavoidable specialty of the city.
  • Stamppot is the most traditional Dutch hot dish, it consists of mashed potatoes and other vegetables.
  • Gouda , one of the most famous cheeses in the Netherlands, named after the town of Gouda

Discover also the Amsterdam desserts :

  • Stroopwafel is a sweet made out of two thin golden wafers assembled with a layer of sweet syrup, usually they are even better on the market.
  • Tomepouce, named after a dwarf actor, is a rectangular pastry resembling the French mille-feuilles and is characterized by a layer of pink icing on top.
  • Poffertjes are tiny, fluffy pancakes served in a paper cone with powdered sugar

Here is a selection of restaurants in Amsterdam with different atmospheres and prices:

  Voir cette publication sur Instagram   Une publication partagée par Restaurant Greetje (@restaurantgreetje)
  • The Hap-Hmmm restaurant (in Dutch) is famous for its traditional Dutch cuisine and is particularly appreciated for its very affordable prices. You can enjoy, in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere, the famous “stampot” meat dish with mashed potatoes and vegetables

Price : around 20 €

  • Greetje restaurant , named after the owner’s mother, is a restaurant known for its simple and tasty dishes. Among its specialties, you will find its veal and fish dishes, its wines, its garnished dessert platter. The portions are abundant, which will satisfy the appetites of the biggest gourmets.

Price : on average 40 €.

Here are some typical bars in Amsterdam:

  Voir cette publication sur Instagram   Une publication partagée par Duke of Tokyo (@dukeoftokyo)
  • Waterkant is ideal if you are looking for a bar with an atmosphere. It is one of the most musical bars in Amsterdam with regular live artists.
  • Duke of Tokyo , or the eccentric trendy bar where you can drink the best cocktails in town. So if you are a fan of Asian culture or want to discover their culture, here is an interesting preview.

Grocery store comparison

Regarding grocery stores , here are some examples to illustrate the prices:

In general, grocery stores are more expensive in Amsterdam than in Paris but the difference is very slight.

Score : +1⭐️ for Paris (Paris is full of many more culinary specialties).

Here is a chart illustrating the characteristics of hotels in Paris and Amsterdam:

Here are some affordable hotels :

  • Hotel des Batignolles (3 stars), near the Montmartre District .

Price : Room from 55 €

  • L’Hotel Clairefontaine (3 stars), near Paris-Montparnasse. A lounge allows tourists to meet up.

Price: Double room from 70 € in low season and 80 € in high season

  • L’Hotel du Maine (2 stars), near the metro.

Price : Room from 75 €

Here are some more luxurious hotels :

  • The Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme (5 stars), near the Opera . You can enjoy a good meal at the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Pur .

Price : Room from 689 €.

  • The Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal (5 stars), located in the 1st arrondissement and near the Louvre Museum . Some rooms have a private balcony, and you will have access to a spa and a gym .

Price : Room from 370 € in low season and from 420 € in high season

  • The Renaissance Paris Vendôme Hotel (5 stars), near the Tuileries Gardens and close to the metro . Some rooms have a private balcony, and you will have access to a fitness center .

Price : Double room from 350 €

In Amsterdam, it is common for guests to tip doormen, baggage handlers, as well as cleaning staff.

  • Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam Rembrandtpark located next to the Rembrandtpark garden, an eco-friendly🍃 hotel.

Price : from €89

  • Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam is a hotel where quality outweighs price. Modern and chic decoration and breathtaking architecture.

Price : from €109

  • Hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam , a 5 star eco-certified hotel in an old building, typical of the area, with a pool and a beautiful terrace

Price : From €595

  • Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American , located less than 1 km from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, it is a 4-star hotel with pool and restaurant

Price : From € 233

  • Hotel TwentySeven – Small Luxury Hotels of the World is a newly opened upscale hotel offering 16 uniquely decorated suites, a range of personalized services, and a fine gourmet restaurant.

Price : from €790

Score : +1⭐️ for Amsterdam and Paris (overall the value for money is the same).

Paris has just over 60,000 Airbnb accommodations .

On the other hand, since July 2020 Airbnbs have been banned in the historic center of the city of Amsterdam (in order to slow down the tourist flow and untimely rentals). It is therefore still possible to rent Airbnb but in the outskirts of the center and they are less numerous than in Paris.

However, in Paris as in Amsterdam , the majority of accommodations are apartments , but some houses are also available.

Here are some affordable accommodations :

  • This elegantly decorated 18m² studio is perfect for 2 people and is located close to the Louvre.

Price : From €110

  • This apartment is in light tones that let in natural light.

Price : from 79 €

Here are some independent accommodations :

  • This bright brick-walled loft is located in the famous Marais district

Price : From 249 €.

  • This renovated apartment with a cozy atmosphere is located in the 5th arrondissement.

Price: From 170 € onwards

  • This charming apartment with sleek decor located near the city center in a charming industrial neighborhood

Price : From €112

  • This cozy apartment decorated with many plants located in the east of Amsterdam
  • This beautiful and comfortable studio in a family house (with terrace and greenery)

Price : From €131

  • This wooded bungalow near the beach of IJmuiden/Zandvoort and the train station Amsterdam Sloterdijk

Price : from €131

Score : +1⭐️ for Paris (there are many more choices in Paris and the prices are more affordable).
🥇 Paris: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🥈 Amsterdam: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Paris and Amsterdam attract thousands of visitors every year.

Both are cradles of culture, art and history, they have a good number of monuments and entertainment of all kinds.

However, despite their geographical proximity, the two cities remain very different from each other.

In Paris, chic, luxury and great monuments are the order of the day. Amsterdam on the other hand is a rather bohemian and relaxed city. Paris is considered dirty and the Parisians unsympathetic, while Amsterdam is appreciated for its cleanliness and the friendliness of its inhabitants.

🗺️ So it’s up to you to decide which criteria are more important to you.


I aim to share my tips and recommendations for the beautiful country of France. My goal is to help you plan your next adventure, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a once-in-a-lifetime trip. From finding the best hotels and restaurants, to discovering unique activities and sights, I’ve got you covered!

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visit paris or amsterdam

Paris or Amsterdam: Which City to Visit

seine river 999969 1920

Paris and Amsterdam are two of the most visited cities in Europe. Both cities are known for displaying their country’s cultures. Paris has beautiful boulevards and the Eiffel Tower and Amsterdam has picturesque canals and Dutch Renaissance architecture. If you are trying to decide between Paris or Amsterdam, here is your ultimate guide.

Table of Contents

Paris or Amsterdam Overview

is paris better than amsterdam

Paris is the capital and largest city in France with 2.15 million people living in the city and more than 12.5 million living in the metro area. It is one of the most visited cities in the world, along with Bangkok, London, and Hong Kong. Today, Paris is known as one of the most important hubs in Europe for finance, commerce, fashion, and the arts. It is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. The city is known as “the city of lights” and “the city of love”.

Paris is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the world. The Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 World’s Fair and quickly turned into one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Paris also has the world’s most visited museum, The Louvre which is home to the Mona Lisa. Another site that draws millions of people to Paris each year is the Notre Dame Cathedral.

is amsterdam better than paris

Amsterdam is the capital and largest city in the Netherlands with 873,000 residents. Amsterdam is known around the world for having picturesque canals and for being one of the most progressive cities in the world. The Red Light District is one of the most famous aspects of the city. Amsterdam one of the main centers for finance in Europe and is home to the world’s oldest stock exchange.

It has been consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world. It is also home to 177 nationalities, making it one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Amsterdam is currently the 5th most visited European city with nearly 8 million annual visitors.

Things to See

Eiffel Tower dominates the skyline of Paris. It is the most visited monument in the world that you have to pay to enter.

eiffel tower 3349075 1920

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris is known for its French-Gothic architecture. It is the most visited monument in Paris roughly 12 million visitors each year.

notre dame 3840613 1920

Palace of Versailles was the official residence of French royalty for more than 100 years. It demonstrates just how wealthy and powerful the French empire was at its peak.

versailles 1128989 1920

The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world. It is home to some of the world’s most valuable pieces of art, including the Mona Lisa .

louvre 2775455 1920

Arc de Triomphe is one of the largest triumphal arches in the world. It was built to honor those who fought and died in the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.

paris 4817730 1920

Rijksmuseum is a museum dedicated to the arts and history of Amsterdam. The building opened in 1885.

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Dam Square is the main square in the center of Amsterdam.

amsterdam 2014854 1920

Royal Palace of Amsterdam was originally built as the city hall in 1665. Later on, it became the residence of the Dutch Royal House.

dam 3714574 1920

Heineken Experience is a museum about the Heineken brand. It is located in the old Heineken factory.

Former Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam

A’DAM Lookout offers panoramic views of the city.

Overhoeks 1

Paris is known to have some of the best cuisines in the world. For a traditional French dish, you could try Choucroute garnie which is a dish consisting of sauerkraut, sausages, meats, and potatoes. One of the most famous foods you can’t miss is the baguette which is a common breakfast food here. Going to Paris without trying one of the world-renown baguettes should be a felony. Another pastry you must try here is the croissant. Macarons originated in France and are essential to try when you’re in Paris.

500px 2018 01 Croissant IMG 0685

Bitterballen is a traditional Dutch cuisine that is basically a ball of meat that is breaded and then fried. It is typically served as a snack or many people think of it as the perfect “drunk” food. On the sweeter end of the spectrum, you should try stroopwafel is the country it originated in. For those of you who don’t know, a stroopwafel is two thin wafer cookies sandwiching a layer of caramel. Frites are thick fries that make for very common street food in Amsterdam. If you want a more interesting version of frites you could also get patat which is a serving of frites with mayonnaise, peanut sauce, and chopped up onion. Check here for more traditional Dutch foods.

500px Bitterballen mosterd mayo

Getting Around

Paris is such a beautiful city that you will want to walk wherever you are heading. One of the most effective strategies for exploring the city is to explore one area on foot and then hop on a bus or take the metro to another area and repeat. Paris is known for having a great metro line, carrying over 5 million people per day. The metro system in Paris has so many lines that it can get you almost anywhere.

Paris Visite Pass is the 24-hour pass that might be a smart investment if you are planning on using public transportation a lot during the day. You can also by a pack of 10 passes for 18.60 Euros which is nice because you can spread them out over your trip.

Amsterdam is arguably one of the best cities in the world to explore on foot. Walking next to the canals with the famous canal houses surrounding you is an incredible experience. Most of the attractions are with walking distance of each other. If you want to explore the outskirts of the city, you should definitely consider renting a bike. Amsterdam is known around the world for the millions of bikes in the city. There are also parks surrounding the city that are nice to explore on a bike.

If you want to use public transport, you have the option to use the metro, buses, trams, ferries, and trains. It would be a good idea for you to invest in the iAmsterdam Card because it gives you unlimited access to public transportation, free access to over 70 museums and attractions, a one-day bike rental, and a canal cruise. The iAmsterdam card is more expensive than many other city cards in Europe but it might be worth it depending on your plans while in the city.

There is no shortage of bars and pubs in Paris. This city has small drinking establishments scattered everywhere so you need to just pick a neighborhood and find a place that fits your vibe. Some of the best areas to go to is Pigalle and Oberkampf. The Latin Quarter is a popular area for university students. For the most part, the nightlife is a little slower here but you have the option to get as wild as you want. Mix Club are two of the biggest nightclubs in the city if you want to go clubbing. Just search “bars and pubs near me” on Google when you figure out where you’re going to stay and check a few places out.

Amsterdam is known for coming alive after dark. From the infamous Red Light District to world-class clubs, the city is anything but dead at night. You can find a lot of the bars in the center of the city and the nightclubs outside of the city center. Amsterdam is home to the Amsterdam Dance Event which is a five-day festival and is considered the largest clubbing festival in the world. Some of the best clubs in the city are AIR Amsterdam, Panama, Escape, WesterUnie, Shelter, and Melkweg. You won’t have to worry about finding something to do after dark during your time in Amsterdam.

Disneyland Paris is located 32km east of Paris.

castle 1119788 1920

Mont-Saint Michel is built on a tidal island on the coast of France. It is still home to 50 people.

normandy 1046056 1920 1

Domaine de Chantilly is a French chateau that is 50km north of Paris. It has one of the finest collections of art in France.

chateau 3115962 1920

Keukenhof is home to some of the world’s best tulip gardens. It is often referred to as the Garden of Europe.

garden 1093681 1280

Rotterdam is just to the south of Amsterdam. A day of exploring the city would be a day well spent.

rotterdam 3354194 1920 1

Utrecht is known for its medieval Old Town and the canals throughout the city.

utrecht 4398559 1920

Amsterdam is also close to The Hague and a little further south is Antwerp .

Paris and Amsterdam are the two that are perfect examples of their country’s cultures. Paris is known for its beautiful architecture, boulevards, the Eiffel Tower, and French cuisine. Amsterdam is known for the canals, Dutch Renaissance architecture, and its red-light district and coffee shops. If you have time, you should definitely try to visit both. If you want to spend a week in a city, you will want to pick Paris because it is much larger and has more to see. If you are trying to decide between Paris or Amsterdam, you have to decide which culture intrigues you the most.

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Amsterdam vs Paris: Which City Is Better For You?

By: Author Valerie Forgeard

Posted on Published: December 9, 2022  - Last updated: July 1, 2023

Categories Travel

If you’re trying to decide which city to visit in Europe, you may be wondering which one is better: Amsterdam or Paris? Both cities have a lot to offer tourists, but they are very different. In this blog post, we will compare and contrast Amsterdam and Paris so that you can make an informed decision about which city is right for you!

Amsterdam vs. Paris

Paris and Amsterdam are two of the most popular cities in Europe. Both attract millions of tourists every year and both have a lot to offer.

However, there are some differences between the two cities that make one more appealing than the other, depending on what you hope to get out of your trip:

Paris and Amsterdam Are Both Expensive Cities

It’s common knowledge that Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world. But what about Amsterdam? Is it less expensive than Paris? And how does it compare to other European capitals?

The answer to this question is yes and no. On average, prices in Amsterdam are lower than in Paris and other European capitals. However, there are some things that are more expensive in Amsterdam than in other European cities and vice versa.

Paris Has More Museums

According to Wikipedia, Paris has about 130 museums, which is more than any other city in the world. Amsterdam has about 60 museums, which is still a pretty impressive number!

The Louvre Museum in Paris is one of the most famous museums in the world, along with New York City and London in the United Kingdom. So it’s no wonder that it attracts millions of visitors from all over the world every year. The museum is huge and you could easily spend weeks trying to work out your itinerary so If you plan a visit to the Louvre, I’d suggest you opt for the guided tour, it will make your experience much more enjoyable.

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is also very popular, but it doesn’t attract as many visitors as you might expect because it only houses paintings by one artist – Vincent Van Gogh.

Amsterdam Is Easier to Explore

Amsterdam is a city of canals, bicycles and coffee. It’s not as big as Paris, and that’s what makes it easy to get around. The people are friendlier, too.

Amsterdam is a city where it’s easy to get around. The public transportation system, called GVB, is one of the best I’ve used in Europe. It’s clean, runs regularly, and is relatively cheap.

The GVB (municipal transport company for Amsterdam) ticketing system is easy to use. The trains are efficient and easy to understand; there are signs above each track with the names of each station in Dutch and English, so you can easily see where you’re going without asking anyone for help.

There are bike lanes on almost every street in Amsterdam – even the main roads! You can rent bikes at many places in the city.

Things to Do in Amsterdam and Paris

In Paris, you can’t miss the Eiffel Tower. It’s one of the most famous buildings in the world and is located in the center of Paris. The view from its top is a must-see and will stay in your memory for a lifetime.

Another way to enjoy the city is to take a Seine River cruise or a day trip bus ticket to stop at any bus stop at the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, or at any bus station you want!

In Amsterdam, you shouldn’t miss to visit the main attraction of the city: Canal Ring! This unique water ring around the city offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a walking tour along the historic canal district with its beautiful 17th century houses. You’ll also find many cafes, stores, restaurants and historic buildings!

Amsterdam vs. Paris for Foodies

Paris and Amsterdam are two of the most popular cities in Europe, but they’ve very different atmospheres. Paris is more romantic and elegant, while Amsterdam is more fun and relaxed.

If you’re a foodie in either city, there are a few things to keep in mind:

The Food Scene

Both cities have a great gastronomy scene. In Paris, classic French cuisine is still alive and well, but there are also plenty of alternative cuisines from around the world. In Amsterdam, you’ll find everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to street food stalls and pop-up restaurants in unexpected places.

The Dining Experience

In Paris, many restaurants have formal service and dress codes (and even reservations). There are also many Michelin-starred restaurants with impressive wine lists. Amsterdam is less formal – but don’t worry if you don’t know wine or don’t have time for a three-hour meal! There are plenty of casual places where you can enjoy good food without breaking the bank or feeling out of place in jeans (or shorts!).

Accommodations in Both Cities

Amsterdam has a great selection of hostels, hotels, Airbnb, and B&Bs. You can also find hotel deals on Expedia.com or HotelsCombined.com if you want to save some money on your stay. There’s something for everyone when it comes to accommodations, no matter what your budget is!

Both Amsterdam and Paris are known for their national drink. France is internationally famous for its wine and even those who don’t usually drink wine could easily be tempted to try French wine.

While it’s true that Amsterdam is known as a beer city, that shouldn’t lead you to believe that there aren’t many wine bars in Amsterdam worth visiting. There are plenty! And while there may not be as many great beer bars on every corner in Paris (although there are), the number of good wine bars – and cafes serving great coffee – is overwhelming when you consider them all together.

Is There Better Nightlife in Paris Than in Amsterdam?

Paris and Amsterdam are two romantic cities in Europe. Both are beautiful, historic and very popular destinations.

But when it comes to nightlife, there are some big differences between the two cities.

Paris has an opera, famous theaters and large concert venues where you can experience world-class music, from rock to jazz to classical.

Amsterdam also has a great nightlife, and is known for its coffee shops and parties. In some cafes you can legally buy marijuana or get high at any time of the day or night at a party.

Paris and Amsterdam are very similar when it comes to weather. Both cities are hot in the summer and cold in the winter, and there’s little rain throughout the year, but there are some important differences.

Winter temperatures in Paris tend to be slightly warmer than in Amsterdam, but both cities have cold winters and hot summers. However, Amsterdam is colder in winter and more likely to have snow, while Paris has more frequent rain. But with climate change, all bets are off!

The crime rate is much higher in Paris than in Amsterdam. The most common crime in both cities is theft (especially pickpocketing). However, there are also many more muggings, robberies and pickpockets in Paris than in Amsterdam. Most of the crime happens in the summer months when more tourists visit France and more locals move away from Paris. When I lived in Paris, my cell phone was stolen. The next day I saw that it was for sale on some French shopping sites. I called the police, but they did nothing. Make sure you’ve insurance if you carry expensive valuables in Paris. In Amsterdam, I also felt much safer walking around the city at night. But like anywhere, it’s always best to be careful no matter where you go!

Both Cities Are Great for Different Reasons

As you can see, there are a lot of differences between the two cities. On the other hand, there are also some similarities.

For example, both cities are great for foodies and shopping enthusiasts (although Paris is better in this regard). Both cities also have extensive public art programs, and there’s always a tempting tourist attraction.

You can walk for hours in both of these cities without getting bored! Both cities have beautiful architecture and incredible shopping districts where you can spend all day browsing through the stores and boutiques.

There’s no doubt that both cities have a lot to offer, but it really comes down to your personal preferences. If you’re looking for a laid-back city with lots of culture, Amsterdam is the place for you. There are plenty of museums and art galleries here, as well as a great nightlife that will keep even the most demanding tourists happy! But if you want more hustle and bustle and more options, Paris is the right choice. And if you have enough of Paris, you can always spend a day trip or more at Disneyland Paris!

How to Travel Between Amsterdam and Paris

You can get a cheap flight between the two cities but it isn’t the fastest route and you’ll have to leave the cities to reach Amsterdam Schiphol Airport or Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport or Orly Airport.

Thalys trains are a better option. There are several trains that run daily between Amsterdam and Paris, they’re very comfortable and take approximately 4 hours.

The Thalys train is a high-speed train that runs between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne. It’s the fastest way to travel between these cities and one of the most comfortable ways to travel in Europe. The great advantage of Thalys is that Paris Nord and Amsterdam Central are located in the city center, avoiding long journeys from the train station to the city.

You Can Buy Your Amsterdam Paris Train Ticket Online

Thalys trains have standard 2nd class seating with 4 seats per row in an open car. Each seat has a table for laptops or newspapers and there are power outlets at each seat.

The 1st class cars have more comfortable seats, newspapers, food at your seat, faster Wi-Fi+ access with more data, storage space for your luggage, etc.

If You’re on a Tight Budget, You Can Also Take the Bus

Bus companies like Eurolines offer connections between Amsterdam and Paris. These buses take longer than trains but are cheaper and offer more flexibility by allowing stops in other cities along the way. You can book tickets online and should reserve them well in advance because seats fill up quickly, especially in high season when many Europeans go on vacation.

Teaspoon of Adventure

7 Day Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam Itinerary

Pont Alexandre III in Paris - 2 days in Paris itinerary

And finally in fall 2022, my husband, Colin, and I visited all three of these cities together and I realized Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam make the perfect week in Europe!

Not only are all three of these cities easily and quickly connected by train, they also offer so much to see and do from museums and boat rides to parks and famous monuments. Plus, each of these cities offers unique languages, cuisines and styles so you’ll feel like you’re visiting three distinct places.

I know you might not have the time or budget to spend many weeks in Europe. Or perhaps you’re looking for just a taste of these popular cities to see which ones you want to revisit in the future. My 7 day Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam itinerary below will give you a great sample of these European icons.

If you have a week in Europe and are looking to hit some of the best cities on the continent, check out my itinerary below! 

I’m sharing a detailed day-by-day breakdown of what to see, where to stay and how to get there. Plus, at the end of the post I share alternatives if you have more or less time in Europe, plus some Amsterdam, Brussels & Paris FAQs!

Colin, Riana and their dog Ellie posing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France in 2019

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning if you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support! And thanks to Visit Brussels for supporting my trip to their city. 

Table of Contents

Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam itinerary map

Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam itinerary map with route between the three cities

Summary: 7 days in Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam

  • Day 1: Arrive in Paris, see the city’s icons and Montmartre
  • Day 2: Visit the Louvre Museum and Jardin du Luxembourg
  • Day 3: Train to Belgium (90 minutes), see Manneken Pis & comic museums
  • Day 4: Visit Mini-Europe and the EU Parlamentarium
  • Day 5: Train to Amsterdam (2 hours), go on a walking tour
  • Day 6: Visit the Anne Frank House, go on a canal cruise & explore Jordaan
  • Day 7: Go to an art museum and relax in Vondel Park

Now let’s dive into the details of this awesome week in Europe!

Day 1: See Paris icons & explore Montmartre

Morning: walk through paris to the eiffel tower.

Bonjour & bienvenue! Your week in Europe starts off in Paris. If you’re coming from outside of Europe, the best way to arrive is likely flying into Charles de Gaulle Airport.

My favourite way to beat jet lag is to get some fresh air and sunshine. So we’ll start this European itinerary off by walking past some of the city’s top sights in the historic center ( follow this walking map !).

Start at the Arc de Triomphe, which you can view up close or even head up for a nice view over the city. From there, you can stroll straight down the famous shopping street, Champs-Élysées. Even if the stores are out of your budget (they’re certainly out of mine!), it’s still a nice street to walk down.

Continue until you get to Av. Winston Churchill, where you’ll turn right. You’ll pass the impressive Grand Palais and Petit Palais museums before walking across the stunning Pont Alexandre III bridge.

Once on the other side of the Seine, head towards Rue Cler. This adorable street is the perfect place to pick up everything you’ll need for a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower, which is our next stop!

Croissants and cheese in hand, find a spot in the Champs-de-Mars for a picnic with a view of Paris’ most famous icon. If the lawn isn’t open, there are benches all along the grass. This was something I did on my very first trip to Paris (and on quite a few trips afterwards) and it’s always so magical!

If you want to go up the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe, you’re going to want to book your tickets in advance . I highly recommend getting skip-the-line tickets since you’ll be moving pretty fast on this week in Europe itinerary and don’t have time to wait around. Get your skip-the-line Eiffel Tower tickets here and your skip-the-line Arc de Triomphe tickets here !

Eiffel Tower - 2 Days in Paris itinerary

Afternoon: Get artsy in Montmartre

After you enjoy your Eiffel Tower picnic and maybe head up the tower for a view, it’s time to Montmartre. Traditionally, this was the bohemian area of Paris and you’ll still find lots of artists there today.

The easiest way to get from the Eiffel Tower to Montmartre is bus (apx 40 minutes) or you can grab a cab/Uber (apx 20 minutes).

Our first stop in Montmartre is Sacré-Coeur, the famous church with a lovely view over the city. You’ll have to take some stairs to get up to the church, or else there’s a funicular if stairs aren’t for you.

Once up there, enjoy a panoramic view over Paris and take a walk through the church (it’s free!). If you want to climb the dome, you’ll need to pay and check that it’s open, as the hours vary.

From Sacré-Coeur you can continue walking through the Montmartre neighbourhood. There are lots of shops and street vendors to peruse, cute cafes and a few museums.

Montmartre is also where you’ll find the famous Moulin Rouge. You can splurge on a show ( grab your Moulin Rouge tickets here ) or simply snap a photo outside.

Entrance to the Moulin Rouge in Paris with it's iconic red windmill

Where to stay in Paris:

On our most recent trip to Paris, we stayed at OKKO Hotels and I highly recommend it. The hotel was incredibly stylish, modern and clean while not being too expensive.

Most importantly, it was located just a few minutes from the train station, which is helpful if you’re going to or from Paris by train. And as a bonus, it’s just around the corner from my favourite Italian restaurant and favourite bakery in Paris!

If you need more options for where to stay, check out 12 budget stays in Paris as recommended by travel experts!

Room at OKKO Hotels in Paris, France featuring a large white bed, peach wall and wood slat decor

Day 2: Discover Paris museums & parks

Morning: wander the louvre & cross the seine.

On day 2 in Paris, head to the Louvre museum before the crowds and get your fill of art history, plus the must-take selfie with Mona Lisa.

I’ve been to the Louvre twice and have still barely scratched the surface of what this giant museum has to offer. And I’m not even that into art! So even if you’re not a museum person or very artsy, I still recommend visiting the Louvre and I promise you will find something appealing.

Of course, you have to see the Mona Lisa. Is she underwhelming? Absolutely. But she’s still a must-see. So brave the crowds, get in line and prepare to be disappointed.

But after Mona, you’re free to discover whatever you want! There are huge rooms of tapestries and paintings (the busiest ones will be closest to Mona Lisa) but also recreated rooms, ceramics, statues and art from all over the world.

In 2018, my dad and I went to Paris and had entire Louvre exhibits all to ourselves. So if you’re finding the Louvre too busy, all you need to do is get farther from Mona Lisa!

7.5 million people visit the Louvre each year. Don’t want to stand in line behind them all? Get your skip-the-line Louvre tickets here!

Outside of the Louvre with the glass pyramid in Paris, France

Once you’ve seen as much art as you can handle, enjoy a walk along the Seine towards the famous churches, Notre-Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle.

They’re both worth seeing from the inside and outside, though keep in mind that Notre Dame is not scheduled to reopen until December 2024.

Once you’ve checked out the churches, cross the Seine and pop into Shakespeare and Company. This English bookstore is famous for being the first publishers of James Joyce’s Ulysses and a hangout for writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jack Kerouac and Ernest Hemingway.

They also have a resident cat you should be on the lookout for!

Shakespeare & Company, Paris

Afternoon: Relax in the Jardin du Luxembourg and explore the Marais district

For lunch, I’m recommending another picnic. This time, head to the Jardin du Luxembourg, a 60-acre park full of amenities to entertain you all afternoon. On your way there, pop into a bakery to pick up your picnic supplies.

After lunch, you have the afternoon free to explore some of Paris’s best neighbourhoods. You’re right next door to the Latin Quarter, famous for gardens, student-friendly cafes and the Panthéon. Or back across the water is everyone’s favourite, the Marais district, great for shopping and drinking.

Or, if you’ve got a hankering for more art or history, you can check out some nearby museums. Musee D’Orsay is a popular pick for lovers of 19th and 20th Century European art.

The National Museum of Natural History is a great family-friendly option. And if you love Les Mis like I do, you might want to visit the Victor Hugo Museum.

Need more ideas for things to do in Paris? Check out my 2 days in Paris itinerary!

Where to stay in Paris : OKKO Hotels

Day 3: Meet Brussels’s famous statue & comic book characters

streets of brussels, belgium, activities in brussels, visiting brussels in the rain, rainy day in brussels

How to get from Paris to Brussels by train

The best way to get from Paris to Brussels is by train. The train from Paris Gare du Nord station to Brussels Midi station only takes 90 minutes! You can pre-book your Paris to Brussels train tickets here .

Morning: Train to Brussels and see its mascot

After two days in Paris we’re saying au revoir and heading to Belgium! I recommend taking an early train so you can arrive in Brussels by mid-morning.

Once you arrive at Brussels Midi, drop your bags off at your accommodation and then make your way to Manneken Pis, the official mascot of the city.

Just like the Mona Lisa, expect a crowd and expect to be surprised at just how tiny this mascot is. Manneken Pis (which translates to Little Pissing Man) is only 22 inches tall and tucked away at the top of a fountain. But just like Mona, you’ve got to see him while you’re in Brussels!

Colin and Riana taking a selfie with manneken pis in brussels, belgium

The rest of our morning in Brussels will be all about Manneken Pis . Once you’ve taken your photos with the statue, head a few minutes up the street to Garderobe Manneken Pis where you’ll be able to see his impressive wardrobe of over 1000 costumes.

You’ll even have the opportunity to try your hand at dressing him (it’s harder than it looks!).

After that, head to the Brussels City Museum to learn more about the history of the city and to see the original Manneken Pis. That’s right, the one at the fountain is a replica!

The Brussels City Museum is also located in The Grand-Place (aka Grote Markt), which is one of the most beautiful places in Belgium. Take a few minutes to admire the architecture!

PS: If you’re into beautiful buildings, Brussels is known for its art nouveau architecture. Check out these houses around the city!

We had a Brussels City Card for our visit to Brussels and it made it so easy to visit all the top attractions, plus the card includes public transit rides. I highly recommend it if you want to follow this itinerary and save some money. Visit all of the top sights in Brussels with the Brussels City Card!

manneken pis street art in brussels, belgium

Afternoon: Check out the comic scene in Brussels

After a lunch break of fries, waffles and beer (you have to in Belgium!), it’s time to lean into Brussels’ other hobby: comics!

Belgium has a long history with comic books and is famous for creating some of the greats, like The Smurfs and Tin Tin. Brussels is even known as the comic strip capital!

Spend some time at the Comic Arts Museum, where you can read old comic strips (most are in French, but you’ll get the gist from the pictures) and see larger scale replicas of some beloved characters.

Then, head over to MOOF (Museum of Original Figurines) where you’ll meet even more action figures, comic book characters and super heroes. As the name implies, this museum is more focused on the figurines than the comic strips.

Despite not being hugely into comics, I really enjoyed visiting both of these places (and they’re both included in the Brussels City Card !)

If the weather is nice, you can finish out your first day in Brussels with a stroll through Brussels Park and admire the Royal Palace.

Smurf exhibit at MOOF, Museum Of Original Figurines, Museo de figuras de comic, brussels

Where to stay in Brussels

While in Brussels, we stayed at Mercure Hotel Brussels Centre and I highly recommend it. While it wasn’t particularly fancy or stylish, the rooms were spacious, clean and affordable. Plus, the breakfast buffet was great!

Best of all, it was just steps from the train station making travel to/from Brussels, and any day trips, super convenient.

Room at the Mercure Brussels Centre Midi hotel room

Day 4: Get to know Brussels, the EU capital

Morning: visit mini-europe and the atomium.

On your second day in Brussels, embrace the city’s prominence in the European Union . Home to many important EU organizations, Brussels is often called the capital of the European Union.

A little outside of the city center, you can visit Mini-Europe, an open-air museum displaying over 350 monuments from the EU at 1/25th their actual size. If you didn’t get a good selfie with the Eiffel Tower in Paris, now’s your chance!

Colin and I had absolute blast exploring Mini-Europe. It was so fun to see miniature versions of huge monuments we’ve seen in real life. Plus, most of the displays were interactive, making it even more fun.

After you’ve traipsed all through Europe, head next door to the Atomium . Built for the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958, the Atomium is now a tourist attraction, museum and art gallery, and still stands as one of the tallest structures in the city.

Get up close to check out the Atomium from the ground and then head up to visit the museum and see the views from up high.

visiting Brussels Mini Europe Grand Place with the Eiffel Tower and Atomium in the background

Afternoon: Tour the EU Parlamentarium

Head back into the city to continue learning all about the EU, this time at the EU Parlamentarium, a free museum all about the history and workings of the European Union.

As a Canadian and someone who is only vaguely interested in European history and politics, it may surprise you to learn that I loved the EU Parlamentarium and highly recommend it. This is not your average history museum!

While the EU Parlamentarium is chock full of information and historic artifacts, it’s also incredibly interactive. You can experience what it’s like to sit in on EU meetings, vote on political issues and see how past decisions have been made.

Plus, it’s free (though reservations are required ), so you might as well check it out!

After all that geography and history, you deserve a drink. Head to Delirium Café, Brussels’ most famous bar with over 2000 beers on offer. Even if you don’t like beer, they’ll probably have something that you’ll enjoy!

European map at the EU Parlamentarium in Brussels, Belgium

If it’s raining in Brussels, check out my list of rain-proof itinerary ideas!

Where to stay in Brussels : Mercure Hotel

Day 5: Walk around Amsterdam

Exploring the Nine Streets and Jordaan in Amsterdam

How to get from Brussels to Amsterdam by train

From Brussels, it’s an easy two hour direct train ride to Amsterdam. You can take a Eurostar train from Brussels Midi and arrive in Amsterdam Centraal.

Morning: Train to Amsterdam

Since the train from Brussels to Amsterdam takes two hours and you’ll have 2.5 days in Amsterdam, I think it’s fine to have a bit of a sleep in and spend your morning getting to Amsterdam.

I’d recommend getting on a train around 10am so you can arrive in Amsterdam in time for lunch. Trust me, you’re going to love this city !

First time in Amsterdam? Check out my 12 tips for a first visit to Amsterdam!

Keukenhof Gardens, 2014, outside of Amsterdam

Afternoon: Go on a free walking tour

Once you arrive in Amsterdam, head to your hotel to drop off your bags, grab lunch and then get ready to explore.

One of my favourite things to do in a new city is go on a free walking tour. This is a great way to get an introduction to a city, learn some history and culture, receive recommendations from your guide and even make some new friends. Just don’t forget to tip!

On a typical Amsterdam walking tour, you’ll explore Dam Square, the Red Light District, and have a chance to check out the Royal Palace. If you’re particularly interested in an aspect of Amsterdam, such as the Jewish Quarter or Red Light District , you can go on specialized paid tours.

Or do like the Dutch do and head out on a bike tour of the city !

After touring the city for the afternoon, end your first day in Amsterdam with a dinner of rijstaffel, which is an Indonesian rice table local to the Dutch-Indonesian population in the Netherlands. Think of it like Indonesian tapas!

skinny houses on the canal near the Red Light District, 3 day Amsterdam itinerary

Where to stay in Amsterdam

If you’re looking for an extremely memorable stay in Amsterdam, check out SWEETS Hotel where you can stay in an iconic bridge house right on the canals.

They have converted bridge houses all over Amsterdam so you’ll be sure your stay is unique with unbeatable views. Don’t miss my review of our SWEETS Hotel stay!

enjoying the view from our stay in amsterdam at sweets hotel

Or, if you’re on a budget and want to be as close to the train station as possible, check out THIS HO(S)TEL cube hotel .

Instead of a full-size room, you’ll stay in a private cube, similar to a capsule hotel. But rather than a rowdy and dirty hostel, expect a surprisingly spacious room (for a cube!), clean and stylish shared bathrooms, and a very funky vibe to the whole place!

THIS HO(S)TEL cube hotel in Amsterdam

Day 6: Learn about Amsterdam’s history and waterways

Morning: eat apple pie & visit the anne frank house.

Stroll down the beautiful canal streets on your second day in Amsterdam until you find Winkel 43, the famous apple pie restaurant. Indulge in a thick piece of Dutch apple pie, because of course you can have pie for breakfast!

Just nearby is the Anne Frank House, which is a must-visit while in Amsterdam. I’ve been through the museum five times and am blown away each time. It’s an extremely impactful visit.

If you don’t know, Anne Frank and her family hid in the attic of a warehouse in Amsterdam during WWII. They became famous because of a diary that Anne kept while they were in hiding which her father, sadly the only survivor, had published after the war. It was also turned into a play and has become a story known around the world.

The Anne Frank House is now a museum set in the very same place where the Franks hid. You’ll get to walk through the rooms where they lived and learn all about their lives, as well as the lives of Jewish people during the Holocaust.

You MUST book your tickets to the Anne Frank House in advance . Tickets are only sold online on the official website . As per the website, “Every Tuesday at 10am CET all tickets become available for a visit six weeks later.”

Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

Afternoon: Go on a canal boat tour & explore Amsterdam neighbourhoods

While it can be difficult to go back to touristing after a visit to the Anne Frank House, I find the perfect thing is jumping on a canal boat tour. It’s a nice way to clear your mind with some fresh air and process what you’ve just experienced while sitting back on a relaxing cruise.

Conveniently, many canal boat tours leave from right out from of the Anne Frank House!

Check out the most popular canal cruises here – from private boats or small groups to unlimited drinks and cheese tastings!

As you’ll learn on your cruise, the canals are the lifeblood of Amsterdam. It’s impressive to see how they’ve designed all the waterways and it’s a great way to explore the city.

If your boat tour was a round trip, you’ll return to the Anne Frank House about an hour later. From there, walk a few buildings down to The Pancake Bakery for a late lunch. This is one of my favourite places for pancakes in the city!

boarding our canal cruise boat ride during our 3 days in Amsterdam

After lunch, I recommend spending the rest of your day exploring the Jordaan neighbourhood. I used to walk through this neighbourhood all the time when I lived in Amsterdam and I always found it so charming.

People watch while enjoying a coffee, check out boutique shops on the Nine Streets or pop into local museums like the Houseboat Museum or Cheese Museum.

Only have 1 day in Amsterdam? Check out my 1 day in Amsterdam itinerary!

Where to stay in Amsterdam : SWEETS Hotel or THIS HO(S)TEL

Day 7: Wander through Amsterdam museums & parks

Morning: discover museumplein.

On the final day of your Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam itinerary, you’ll head out to Amsterdam’s museum district aptly named, Museumplein.

Here you can visit one (or more!) of Amsterdam’s famous art museums. Check out Dutch art and history at the Rijksmuseum , modern art at Moco Museum or Van Gogh’s best work at the Van Gogh Museum .

I’ve visited all three of these museums and can highly recommend them all. If you don’t have a huge appetite for art and prefer Banksy to Rembrandt, head for Moco. This museum is smaller than the others and features very funky modern art.

The Van Gogh Museum is a great pick if you want to check out the famous Dutch artist’s work. Or if you can’t decide which Dutch artist you like best, head to the Rijksmuseum and see them all!

Visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam with dad in 2018, Amsterdam and Paris itinerary

Afternoon: Relax in Vondel Park

Once you’re museum-ed out, it’s time for a picnic in the park! You can grab picnic supplies at the nearby Albert Hejn grocery store or check out the Albert Cuyp market for more local produce.

Once you have your supplies, walk over to Vondel Park, Amsterdam’s largest park. This is the perfect place to relax, people watch and enjoy nature as you wrap up your week in Europe.

For your final dinner in Amsterdam, I highly recommend Moeders (the Dutch word for mothers), a traditional Dutch restaurant with a really fun atmosphere.

Sadly, we’ve reached the end of your time in Europe! From Amsterdam you can fly or train home, dreaming of when you can return and explore more.

Vondel Park, Amsterdam

For more ideas, check out my 3 day Amsterdam itinerary!

Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam itinerary FAQs

Carousel with Sacre Coeur in the background in Paris

How many days do you need for Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris?

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, you can visit Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris in a week . They’re all very close to one another and if you want a fast-paced 7 days in Europe, this is a good way to spend them.

However, if you have more time, I’d recommend using it. With 10-14 days, you can slow down and explore each of these cities more in-depth . You would also have time for day trips or to add another city to your itinerary (more on that below).

When should you visit Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam?

Spring would be the best time to visit Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam . The weather is nice and you can avoid the heavy crowds of summer. Plus, you’ll be able to catch the cities in bloom and exciting holidays, like King’s Day in Amsterdam.

Autumn is also a great time to visit – the leaves are changing, the weather is still usually nice and, again, the crowds aren’t as bad as they would be in summer. We visited all three of these cities in late September 2022 and it was a great time to be there!

Summer in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam will be packed and warm. And winter can be cold. But if those are the only times you can visit, it’s still worth the trip!

amsterdam canal view

How to train from Paris to Brussels or Paris to Amsterdam

Thalys trains connect Paris and Brussels directly in less than 90 minutes. The fastest direct train from Paris to Amsterdam takes three hours.

Train tickets can be bought in advance through Trainline or directly through the national train services. Though I always recommend checking Seat 61 first for the best train advice in Europe!

It’s very easy to take the train from Paris to Brussels or Paris to Amsterdam. That’s how we got from city to city and it was easy and affordable.

Can you bus from Paris to Brussels?

Yes, you can bus from Paris to Brussels in about four hours. While the bus takes longer than the train (4 hours vs 90 minutes), it is usually cheaper, especially if you’re booking last minute.

How to train from Amsterdam to Brussels

The fastest direct train from Amsterdam to Brussels takes two hours on the Eurostar. Like the Paris routes, tickets can be bought through Trainline or directly with the train service. I always recommend booking in advance to get the lowest fare!

Colin and Riana selfie in front of Royal Palace of Brussels

3 European itinerary alternatives

1) more time how to spend 10 days in paris, brussels & amsterdam.

If you have 10 days in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, that’s the perfect opportunity to add a few more things to your itinerary!

Many people will argue that just two days in Paris is not enough time, so you can definitely add another day to the City of Lights. Spend it shopping, visiting more museums or just people watching in fashionable Paris.

You may also want to add on a popular Paris side trip, such as a day trip to Versailles or day trip to Mont Saint Michel .

Your extra days could also be spent on a day trip from Brussels. I’d highly recommend going on a day trip to Ghent and/or Bruges (there’s so much to do in Ghent! ) or to Antwerp .

view from Belfry of Ghent, Belfort van Gent

2) Only have time for two? Check out my Paris and Amsterdam itinerary

If you have less time, or want to travel a little slower through these cities, you can definitely just visit Amsterdam and Paris during your week in Europe.

These two cities pair well together, are connected in three hours by direct train, and both offer lots to see and do to fill a vacation.

Check out my Paris and Amsterdam itinerary for more inspiration! 

Pont Alexandre III in Paris

3) Want to add London? Plan a London, Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam itinerary

If you have even more time, why not add another of Europe’s big cities (and my favourite city in the world ) to your itinerary? London is a convenient add-on to this itinerary since it is also well connected to these cities by train.

In fact, I took the Eurostar from London to Amsterdam in January 2023 and highly recommend it – it beats flying! Book your train from London here.

From London you can train directly to Brussels (2 hrs), Paris (2.5 hrs) or Amsterdam (4 hrs). Because the UK is no longer part of the EU, you’ll need to arrive at the train station early to go through passport control.

If you plan to visit London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, I’d recommend at least 10 days for your trip.

If you’re visiting London, don’t miss my 3 day London itinerary!

tower bridge in london, england

Wrapping up: 7 days in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam

selfie on the canal in Amsterdam

There you have it, a whirlwind 7 days through Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam! While all of these cities deserve more time, you can get a great taste of them on a week-long trip. Plus, it’s just an excuse to come back and explore more on your next trip!

I’ve visited each of these cities a few times – even living in Amsterdam for six months – and have never gotten bored of revisiting. There’s always something new to do, a new sight to see and many new restaurants to try.

Plus, I love the feeling of coming back to a familiar place and introducing a favourite spot to a loved one. My trips to Amsterdam with my dad and my husband have been some of my most special adventures.

I’d love to know: Have you been to Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam? What do you think of this 7 day itinerary? 

Plan your Amsterdam, Brussels & Paris trip with these posts:

  • The Essential Amsterdam and Paris Itinerary
  • One Day in Amsterdam Itinerary
  • 3 Day Amsterdam Itinerary
  • 12 Things to Know Before Visiting Amsterdam
  • Where to Stay in Amsterdam: SWEETS Hotel Review
  • A Manneken Pis Brussels Day Trip Itinerary
  • How to Explore All of Europe While Visiting Brussels
  • The 16 Best Rainy Day Activities in Brussels, Belgium
  • 2 Days in Paris – Your Perfect Itinerary
  • How to Visit Paris with a Dog
  • Where to Stay in Paris on a Budget

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Riana Ang-Canning is a travel writer who has been sharing her global adventures as the founder of Teaspoon of Adventure since 2012. In that time, Riana has travelled to almost 50 countries on 6 continents, including interning in Eswatini, working in Tokyo, road tripping New Zealand and living abroad in Prague. Riana helps everyday travellers discover the world on a mid-budget, proving that you don't have to be athletic, wealthy or nomadic to have an adventure!

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Great post! I’m saving these itineraries in case we ever get to make this trip. I enjoyed seeing your photos, too.

Thanks so much, Kellye! Hope you get to make the trip one day!

All the photographs are very attractive. I enjoyed reading this 7-day itinerary.

Thanks so much!

I love following your blog! We spent the day in Amsterdam yesterday and took in the Anne Frank museum & a canal boat tour. Very good recommendations.

Thank you so much, Kellie! Love to hear that you’re enjoying Amsterdam!

How much is your 7 days package Paris,Brussels,Armsterdam for 6 pax ?Leaving July 10 or 11 fr Geneva

Hi Maria, thanks for checking out the post! This isn’t a package holiday, just some itinerary suggestions, so there isn’t a price. However, if you see this and want to send me an email, I’d be happy to see if there’s anything I can help with (rianaac [at] gmail [dot] com). It seems like you’re leaving quite soon so I hope it’s a great trip either way!

I assume we can do this itinerary in reverse? My husband, adult daughter and I are taking a last minute trip flying into Amsterdam (to meet briefly with another adult daughter) and out of Paris in early November. We were hoping to go to Brussels too. First time trip to Europe for our daughter so want her to see several places.

Absolutely! You can definitely do this itinerary in reverse – all the same trains, just in the other direction. Have an amazing time in Europe with your daughters!

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A perfect 10-day itinerary for Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris

June 26, 2019 by Karen Turner 2 Comments

As an American who has lived in Paris, briefly Brussels, and Amsterdam, I know that one of the popular routes for first-time travelers (as well as experienced travelers) is to spend a week (or 10 days) traveling from Amsterdam to Brussels to Paris. This is a great route as there are great train and bus connections between all of these cities. I’ll be doing an overview of what to do in each city along with some helpful tips for planning your itinerary!

  • Helpful tips for planning your 10-day trip to Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris
  • Day 1: Paris

Day 2: Paris

Day 3: versailles/paris.

  • Day 4: Thalys to Brussels; Brussels

Day 5: Antwerpen

Day 6: ghent.

  • Day 7: Amsterdam
  • Day 8: Amsterdam
  • Day 9: Another city in Holland (Leiden, Alkmaar, the Hague)
  • Day 10: Amsterdam / travel day
  • 1 Helpful tips for planning your 10 day trip to Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris
  • 2 Day 1: Arrive/Paris
  • 3 Day 2: Paris
  • 4 Day 3: Versailles/Paris
  • 5 Day 4: Brussels
  • 6 Day 5: Antwerpen
  • 7 Day 6: Ghent
  • 8 Day 7-8: Amsterdam
  • 9 Day 9: Day trip to another city in Holland
  • 10 Day 10: Amsterdam/Leave
  • 11 Any questions about this itinerary for Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam?

Helpful tips for planning your 10 day trip to Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris

visit paris or amsterdam

Something that many people don’t do is book an open-jaw flight. This means that you fly into one city and fly out of another city. The advantage here is that you often save money, as that you don’t need to backtrack to where you began, leaving you time to enjoy your last destination more! Paris and Amsterdam are both serviced by KLM as well as Air Frances, so if you book a flight with one, it should be possible to fly out of Paris instead of Amsterdam for not much more.

The trains in this region are generally quite good. The best (and most expensive train) is the Thalys, which runs between Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris. If you want to take the Thalys, you should book as far in advance as possible as it can be expensive last minute. This also makes it easy to take day trips.

A cheaper alternative is the reliable network of buses that run between various European cities. You can check Ouibus as well as Flixbus for affordable bus fares that drop you off in the cities that you’ll be visiting. It’s not as fancy, but it’s usually fine!

Be sure to book your hotels in advance. Peak season (e.g. summer) is when hotel prices in all of these cities increase. Amsterdam as well as Paris have been cutting down on Airbnbs, which is putting more strain on the hotels to accommodate tourists, which is driving up prices.

You should be able to use your card pretty reliably, so there’s no need to take out large sums of cash. You can check out this article about saving money on taking out money in Europe for more information.

Day 1: Arrive/Paris

One of my tricks for avoiding the worst of the jetlag (if you have to deal with this) is to ensure that you sleep on the plane, especially if you land in the morning. You still might be a bit tired, but there’s nothing like a delicious French pastry from a local bakery, a good coffee, and a power nap to get you on your way! With only three days in Paris, you’ll need to choose carefully to decide what you want to prioritize.

Personally, I’d recommend your first day to get off to a slower start within the true center of Paris. See Notre Dame (once it reopens), Île de la Cité, eat some macarons, maybe step into Museum D’Orsay or the Louvre (the Louvre is open late on certain days). Maybe end the day with a nice sunset at a cafe close to the Seine or somewhere where you can people watch! For a more detailed itinerary, including restaurant recommendations, you can head over to my Paris itinerary .

In general, I recommend finding a hotel in Le Marais  or in  Saint-Germain-des-Prés , which will make most of the major attractions easy to walk to or take a metro to. For those on a budget, my friend stayed at Hotel Rivoli, which is in the heart of Le Marais in a historic townhouse.

Photo of Passage des Panoramas, one of the most beautiful passages of Paris. Discover this passage on a self guided walking tour of Secret Paris! #Travel #France #Paris

There’s nothing like waking up early on the second day refreshed and ready to go. I love the cafe culture in France that often involves lingering over a coffee and pastry to start off the morning. The Paris Metro is the cheapest and often the best way to get around Paris.

After some coffee, get up early and head to Montmartre, one of the most charming neighborhoods of Paris. It’s best coming here in the mornings as the crowds that descend upon the Sacre Coeur tend to be minimal in the mornings! You can click for my free self-guided walking tour of Montmartre .

After visiting Montmartre, I recommend walking down or taking the Metro down towards the 1st arrondissement to experience the covered passages! These covered shopping malls from the turn of the century are absolutely beautiful to walk through and 100% free.

There are quite a few great places to eat lunch along the way in the 9th arrondissement close to Rue Notre Dame de Lorette. It should take maybe 1-2 hours to explore the covered passages on foot. You’ll end close to the Seine and the Louvre. You can click here for my self-guided walking tour of the covered passages in Paris .

I always love going to Le Marais for dinner. Whether it’s a quick and delicious dinner at L’As du Falafel (a famous cash-only joint) or a great sit-down restaurant, you’ll find plenty of great options for dinner in this cozy neighborhood. If you’re not too tired, you can always take the Metro to sit next to the Eiffel Tower or the chic Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood to cafe hop!

For your last day in Paris, you’ll need to choose carefully what is of interest to you. Versailles is a whole day in itself and you can visit Versailles pretty easily from Paris on your own. Click for my day trip guide to Versailles with tips for saving money !

Versailles is massive, way bigger than I even imagined in my mind. My feet were killing me by the end of the day and I’d recommend bringing extra cash to pay for the tram that passes through the property to bring you back to the start. Afterward, you might be pretty tired, so besides a quick dinner and a good night to the Eiffel Tower (at night), you might have had enough.

I hope that this is enough to get a brief taste of Paris. I lived in Paris and I can tell you honestly that every neighborhood has its charms. Just like many big cities, you’ll need many trips to really get to know Paris, but these are my personal recommendations.

Day 4: Brussels

Beautiful buildings in Grote Markt (Grand Place) in Brussels. Read why you should visit this beautiful UNESCO recognized square in Brussels! #travel #brussels #belgium #europe

Say adieu to Paris and bonjour to Brussels! I recommend taking the Thalys, which is the easiest way to travel between Paris and Brussels. The ride should take just one hour and thirty minutes! See if you can drop your items off at your hotel until you can check-in.

I’ve visited Brussels many times (and even lived in Brussels). It’s often easier to stay within the city center if you’re only briefly in Brussels as most things will be walking distance from your hotel. The Dominican  is a good option for an affordable boutique hotel although Sleep Well is a steal with clean, basic rooms and a good location.

Once you’re settled in, start off your day indulgently. (You’re in Brussels!) My personal favorite way to start off a day in Brussels is with a delicious Liege style waffle and a good coffee. After a waffle and a coffee, enjoy Brussels on foot by seeing the Manneken Pis (who is often in costume as a warning) as well as the stunning Grote Markt/Grand Place .

Once you’re done with seeing Grote Markt, you need to taste the chocolate in Brussels! You don’t need a chocolate tour if you have the addresses of the best chocolatiers in Brussels. You can follow my self-guided chocolate tour of Brussels here , which will work out considerably cheaper than a chocolate tour. Also, you can pick your favorites and just pay for them.

You’ll want to decide whether you want to move with your luggage or stay in Brussels for the next two nights with doing day trips. Hotels in Brussels tend to be surprisingly affordable although I always find rates in Antwerp and Ghent to be reasonable. I find one day in Brussels to be just about right although you can easily swap Antwerp and Ghent out for two days in Brussels if you’re intrigued by the off the beaten path neighborhoods!

Belgium has surprisingly decent and affordable trains, making day trips to Antwerpen and Ghent very easy. Personally, I’m biased and vote that you experience nighttime on the canals in Ghent–and stay overnight. It’s also quite affordable.

Beautiful view of Grote Markt in Antwerpen, which you should include in your Belgian itinerary! #travel #belgium #antwerpen

I love Antwerp. It’s such a beautiful Belgian city and although the crowds often flock to Bruges and Brussels, Antwerpen has remained mostly unscathed by the selfie sticks.

The historic city center of Antwerp is very walkable and it is filled with history. You’ll need to choose carefully whether you want to visit the UNESCO-recognized Platin-Moretus Museum to learn about the history of printing at one of the oldest printing houses in the world or visit the Reubens House to learn more about Reuben’s paintings.

The center with its stunning Grote Markt is a delight to visit, especially if you stop into the wonderful quirky Elfde Gebod bar, which is full of religious statues and great beer. I always love to find the hidden entrance one of Antwerp’s prettiest streets, Vlaaikensgang, while wondering around the city. You can find my one-day itinerary for Antwerp here .

Beautiful view of Ghent at night, one of the best places to visit during a week in Belgium! #travel #ghent #gent #belgium

I recently spent a whole weekend in Ghent and I have to say that it’s the most underrated city in Belgium! If you’re looking for the awe factor of Bruges (with the stunning canals) and none of the crowds, you’ll love Ghent.

If you only have a day in Ghent, be sure to visit  Gravensteen , Ghent’s grand medieval castle that dates back to 1180. It’s truly a castle straight out of a movie and some parts of the castle have a fascinating history. It’s easy to spend at least two hours here exploring the high and low parts of the castle.

Beyond the castle, you’ll want to explore the picturesque Patershol with its many crooked medieval alleys to discover some of the best food in Belgium as well as numerous small boutiques. For something truly unique, head to Confiserie Temmerman for sweets. You can also enjoy street art in other parts of Ghent!

After a great meal, consider sitting out along the canals on a lovely day to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere in the city along with the rest of the city. You won’t be alone in soaking up the atmosphere and many bring drinks with them.

If you want to stay overnight in Gent, consider booking early as there aren’t that many hotels in the city center for Ghent. I recommend staying at  Hotel Onderbergen ,  an affordable and cozy boutique hotel walking distance from the river.

Day 7-8: Amsterdam

Beautiful Amsterdam canal houses. Looking for the perfect itinerary for two days in Amsterdam? Read this itinerary for the perfect weekend in Amsterdam written by a former resident! #travel #amsterdam #holland #netherlands #nederland #canals

Of course, you want to visit Amsterdam. The Dutch capital is incredibly charming although often quite busy! The picturesque canals make for great photos. I personally always love to enjoy a drink at one of Amsterdam’s historic brown bars .

As someone who lived in Amsterdam until recently, I have to write that there’s far more to Amsterdam than just the tourist attractions in the Red Light District . You’ll find many neighborhoods outside of the city center from the modern yet cool De Pijp to the picturesque Oude Zuid neighborhood bordering Vondelpark. You can click for my perfect itinerary for three days in Amsterdam.

In Amsterdam, I recommend staying at  Max Brown ,  a boutique hotel in Amsterdam.  This stunning hotel is made of various canal houses sewn together along one of Amsterdam’s most scenic canals.  For something more basic yet still a hotel,  the Student Hotel   is a great choice and  StayOkay Vondelpark   is a cozy hostel that friends of mine have stayed at. It’s a great location!

Day 9: Day trip to another city in Holland

 Photo of the (Oude Kerk) Old Church in Delft, a must-see in Delft. Follow this perfect one day Delft itinerary for the best things to do in Delft and the best places to eat in Delft. #Delft #Travel #Netherlands

It is a lot cheaper to stay outside of Amsterdam, so it might be better to spend three days and two nights in Amsterdam prior to moving with your suitcase to the other cities mentioned here.  You’ll save a lot of money and have more time to enjoy these stunning cities without having to worry about heading back early! I include hotel picks for a few of the cities (with more recommendations within the dedicated city guides).

A lot of people spend most of their trip in Amsterdam when visiting the Netherlands, which I think is a bit of a shame. There are many other charming places in the Netherlands to visit, including day trips less than thirty minutes away!

You’ll need to choose where you want to visit, but I always recommend visiting Leiden (mini Amsterdam without the crowds!), Hoorn for a quieter day trip full of V.O.C. history, Delft for art and pottery, Rotterdam for modern architecture, and the Hague for culture and politics. You can read my full overview of the best day trips from Amsterdam here.

Day 10: Amsterdam/Leave

Schiphol is a great airport to fly in and out of! I always recommend arriving at least three hours early, but one big advantage of Schiphol (compared to CDG) is that it’s pretty close to Amsterdam, which leaves you more time to enjoy the day if you’re leaving in the evening!

If your flight is in the afternoon or evening, I’d recommend having a lazy day along the canals just enjoying Amsterdam’s beauty after a good breakfast. Perhaps a Dutch pancake? You can read my guide to Schiphol Airport here and a step-by- step guide for getting from Amsterdam to Schiphol airport here .

Any questions about this itinerary for Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam?

  • Four days in Paris
  • Three days in Amsterdam
  • A self-guided chocolate tour of Brussels
  • Two days in Brussels
  • The best day trips from Amsterdam
  • Your perfect Netherlands itinerary
  • First time tips for visiting Amsterdam
  • Two weeks in Europe packing list

Planning your trip to Amsterdam, Paris, and Brussels? Read this handy ten day itinerary for visiting the best of Holland, Belgium, and France written by a blogger who has lived in all three cities!

About Karen Turner

New Yorker–born and raised. Currently living in the Hague, the Netherlands after stints in Paris and Amsterdam. Lover of travel, adventure, nature, city, dresses, and cats.

Reader Interactions

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September 26, 2023 at 5:39 pm

Very helpful! What are your thoughts on Bruges? We were thinking of staying in Paris > Bruges > Amsterdam.

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November 24, 2023 at 9:57 am

Hi Sarah, we are happy to read that you found the article helpful! Your travel plan from Paris to Bruges and then Amsterdam sounds fantastic. Bruges is a charming and picturesque city with its medieval architecture and winding canals. It offers a different yet equally enchanting experience compared to the bustling cities of Paris and Amsterdam. Consider exploring Bruges’ historic center, taking a boat tour along its canals, and enjoying some delicious Belgian chocolate and waffles. Each city has its unique charm, and I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time on your journey.

Happy holidays, safe travels your Wanderlustingk Team

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Where Tiana Travels

How to travel from Paris to Amsterdam (4 options)

By: Author Tiana Thompson

Posted on Last updated: January 2, 2024

Categories Day trips from Paris , Paris , Travel Guides

Home » How to travel from Paris to Amsterdam (4 options)

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Ready to swap your croissants for stroopwafels?

amsterdam the netherlands

I’m here to guide you through all the options for traveling from Paris to Amsterdam and help you choose which is most efficient for you.

Think of me as your travel buddy who’s been there, done that, and is eager to share all the insider tips. No need for a Ph.D. in map-reading or a crash course in Dutch – I’ve got you covered with straightforward, savvy advice.

We’ll explore options ranging from the classic train ride, to flying high in the sky. For the road warriors among us, I’ll dive into the scenic road trip routes or how to get to Amsterdam by bus.

Let’s dive into the 4 best ways to journey from the City of Lights to the Venice of the North.

Choosing Your Mode of Transportation

First things first: let’s talk about the different ways to get from Paris to Amsterdam.

The journey between these two cities is approximately 316 miles (509 km), and there are four main modes of transportation: train , bus , plane , and car .

Each option has its own pros and cons, so let’s break it down.

train from paris to amsterdam

The best way (and the most popular choice for this route) is taking a  high-speed train  like the Thalys or Eurostar, and both companies offer direct trains from Paris to Amsterdam.

The train journey usually takes around 3h 24m and costs between €115 – €227.

When catching the train, think of it as hopping on a cozy mobile office. You get to enjoy the scenery, free WiFi on-board, and the overall train experience. You can even choose seats near a power outlet for easy charging of your devices.

However, be prepared for higher costs and a fixed schedule.

  • Pros :  Comfortable, scenic, fast
  • Cons :  More expensive, fixed schedule

If you’re all about speed, direct flights from Orly or Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport might be your jam. The flight time averages around 1h 20m.

plane window

However, keep in mind that you will have to account for check-in times and airport transfers!

Getting to and from the airport can take up to an hour or more, depending on the time of day and traffic. And while this might be the fastest way, it’s not the most eco-friendly choice considering the carbon footprint.

Prices also vary greatly, so you’ll need to hunt for the best deals. And with some airlines, you’ll have to factor in the potential extra fee for baggage or seat selections.

  • Pros :  Fastest option, time-saving
  • Cons :  Often expensive, environmental impact, airport hassles

Channeling those inner budget vibes, traveling by bus is hands-down the cheapest way to journey between Paris and Amsterdam. Consider this the ideal choice for both your wallet and the environment!


Flixbus is a popular bus company that often does routes from Paris to Amsterdam and all over Europe. Bus fares range from €32 – €58, and the travel time is about 6h 55m.

Just note, it may not be the most comfortable option for everyone.

  • Pros :  Budget-friendly, eco-conscious
  • Cons :  Longer travel time, less comfortable

If you enjoy a good road trip, put the pedal to the metal and drive from Paris to Amsterdam.


Traveling to Amsterdam from Paris will take you, on average, 6.5 hours.

However, factor in the potential costs of gas, tolls, and car rentals, as well as navigating a foreign country.

This option allows for spontaneity and flexibility, but it can be more expensive and complicated depending on your driving experience.

  • Pros :  Flexible schedule, scenic road trip
  • Cons :  Potentially expensive, navigation challenges

Train Travel Options: Thalys & Eurostar

When it comes to zipping from the city of love to the land of canals, the  Thalys high-speed train  is definitely your best pal!

With travel times just over 3 hours, you’ll be swapping baguettes for Dutch stroopwafels in no time. Rumor has it that the  Eurostar train services  have heard our commuting prayers.

Now that Thalys has become Eurostar, traveling from Paris to Amsterdam is as easy as pie. The train takes 3 hours and 20 minutes to go direct from city center to city center.

On-Board Amenities and Services

When you’re traveling from Paris to Amsterdam, there’s no need to compromise on comfort or convenience.

In this section, I’ll walk you through all the on-board amenities and services you can expect during your trip.

Hungry? You’re in luck! Most trains and buses offering this route provide catering services, so you can indulge in a gourmet meal or simply grab a cold drink and a snack.

visit paris or amsterdam

Your journey shouldn’t feel like a chore, and that’s why on-board amenities are designed to make your travel as relaxing as possible. The comfortable seats really make a difference when you’re on a long trip, giving you the chance to stretch out and get cozy.

Need to stay connected or charge your devices? Most means of transport offer free Wi-Fi and power outlets. Just imagine all the Instagram stories you can upload without worrying about battery life!

For Eurostar passengers wanting a little extra luxury, you can access the Eurostar lounges in both Paris and Amsterdam. Here, you’ll find even more comfortable seating, additional power sockets, and a selection of complimentary drinks and snacks.

Paris to Amsterdam Train Ticket Types and Prices

Now, let’s talk comfort. Paris to Amsterdam trains offer a variety of classes to suit your style – and budget.

  • Standard Class : Simple, yet elegant – like a perfectly brewed café au lait. It offers all the basics you need for a cozy ride. More of a Euro-budget traveler? This is the one for you.
  • Second Class : The middle sibling of train classes – not too extravagant, but keeps you feeling relaxed.
  • Business Class : The crème de la crème of train travel. Recline in your luxurious seat and enjoy top-notch service. Go ahead, you deserve it!
  • First & Premium Class : The VIP of train classes. Some may call it “traveling in style”.  Chef’s kiss.

Finding Cheap Train Tickets

Want a good deal on your train tickets? Just like scoring that perfect vintage dress, it takes a little bit of digging to find the best rate.

visit paris or amsterdam

But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips for you:

  • Book early : Daily departures usually have more availability the earlier you book, which means better chances for you to find the cheapest fares.
  • Flexible departure date : If you can play around with your travel dates, you might find that the best prices are just a day or two away from your initial choice. A little flexibility can go a long way in saving you some bucks.
  • Compare ticket platforms : Don’t put all your money on one platform. Instead, shop around to find the best prices for your route. Remember, a penny saved is a penny for that fancy Dutch stroopwafel!

For example, you can find cheap train tickets from  Rail Europe  or  Trainline . Both offer services to help you find the best deals for your journey. 

Planning Your Departure

Let’s get to the heart of planning your journey from Paris to Amsterdam and dive into the essential departure stations in Paris and arrival stations in Amsterdam.

Paris Departure Stations

visit paris or amsterdam

There are two main stations in Paris where you can hop on a train to whisk you towards Amsterdam:

  • Gare du Nord : This station is not only a beauty but also the  crème de la crème  for train departures to Amsterdam. Located near the city center, it’s easily accessible by public transport, so you can take a selfie with the Eiffel Tower beforehand. Trains from Paris Gare du Nord station take approximately 3h 21m to reach Amsterdam.
  • Marne-la-Vallée Chessy : If you happen to be exploring Disneyland Paris and want to make a quick exit, this station offers departures to Amsterdam as well. However, expect a bit of a longer journey compared to Gare du Nord.

Remember to check the departure time and book your tickets in advance to avoid any last-minute  faux pas .

Amsterdam Arrival Stations

visit paris or amsterdam

As you say  au revoir  to Paris and  hallo  to Amsterdam, there are two main stations to look out for as your train rolls into the Dutch capital:

  • Amsterdam Centraal Station : This is your go-to spot for arriving right in the heart of the city. Amsterdam Central Station is a buzzing hub that connects you to the city centers and beyond. As soon as you step out, you’ll be greeted with the charm of canals and bicycles waiting to be explored.
  • Amsterdam City Center – Sloterdijk : While not as central as its sibling, Sloterdijk still offers a fantastic connection for those eager to explore without getting caught up in the hustle and bustle.  Bus trips from Paris  will generally arrive at Sloterdijk, taking around 6h 40m.

Now that you’re equipped with the essential knowledge of Parisian and Amsterdam stations, you’re all set to embark on a smooth, picturesque journey between these two captivating cities.

À bientôt!

tiana thompson in paris

Hi, I’m Tiana – founder of and author here at Where Tiana Travels. I’m a 20-something with a love for all things travel, photography, and food. I have been living abroad for the past 5 years and solo traveling the globe in my free time. I created this blog to share my travel stories and inspire other women to go out and see the world. Read more about me here!

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11 Best first-time Europe itineraries for 1, 2, or 3 weeks

Europe is going to be very busy in the summer of 2024 as the world is back to normal and travel demand is higher than ever. One other key factor is that most European currencies are still hovering at lower levels historically compared to the US dollar, which means that Europe will feel somewhat cheap again this year. In fact, according to our World Backpacker Index , European cities like Lisbon, Madrid, and Munich are about 30% cheaper to visit than Boston, Chicago, and New York City. In other words, flying to Europe might seem expensive, but most things will be cheaper once you get there compared to the costs of visiting a large US city.

Below you’ll find 11 of the most popular and best itineraries for a first visit to Europe. Your first visit is not really the time to be different or creative, and the famous destinations tend to be popular for a reason. In other words, it’s kind of silly to visit, say, Bulgaria, if you’ve not yet been to France or Italy. I lay out the best options along with how long to stay in each place as a general guide. I also discuss Mediterranean cruises, which can actually be an amazing way to see a lot of Europe on your first visit, especially if you don’t like going back and forth to train stations and airports every 2 or 3 days.

For a bit of fun you might be interested in the cheapest 5-star hotels in Europe , which start at US$80 per night for really nice hotels. It helps show that if you choose some of the cheaper cities, you can treat yourself to some luxury that you can’t afford in most other places.

This article was last updated in March, 2024.

There are 11 starter itineraries described in detail below

  • Classic London and Paris
  • England and Scotland
  • Paris and Italy
  • Mediterranean cruise
  • France, Belgium, and Netherlands
  • Paris and elsewhere in France
  • Switzerland
  • Best of cheap eastern Europe

For each itinerary there are suggestions of other destinations that are easy to add on to the main cities.

Note: This article was most recently updated in March, 2024

Building the best itinerary for your first trip to Europe

Below there are 11 popular itineraries for one week in Europe. If you’ve only got a week then choose one of them and assume you’ll return again to conquer more of this amazing part of the world. If you’ve got more time then you can choose from some of the top add-on suggestions for each one.

Start in the most famous cities

Your first visit to Europe is no time to try to be different or edgy. I recommend that you  focus on these 5 great cities  before you start branching out into cheaper or more obscure places.

Keep your travel days to a minimum

visit paris or amsterdam

Spend 3 (or 4) nights in almost every major city

visit paris or amsterdam

So many first-time visitors are initially planning on spending only 1 or 2 nights in major cities that I wrote a detailed explanation of why  3 nights is ideal for almost all European cities , even if you want to see as much as possible.

3 (or 4) nights will be enough for any city on your first trip

Most first-time visitors are tempted to move too quickly, but it can also be a mistake to move too slowly. It’s really amazing how much you can see in two full sightseeing days. If you spend too long in one city you’ll end up seeing things that are way down your list, while you could be in another city seeing things at the top of your list there.

Choose cities that are easy to reach from each other

visit paris or amsterdam

For your first trip it’s best to visit cities that are no more than a 5-hour train ride apart.

Choose cities that are connected by reasonable train rides rather than flights

To build on the point above, finding cheap flights within Europe is easy, but train travel is about a million times more enjoyable and less stressful. You’ll enjoy the train rides almost as much as the cities, so focus on places that are within 5 hours of each other by train.

Start with one of the classic itineraries below, and then add to it if you have more time

If you only have 7 days then you’ll find a list below of classic itineraries that are well-suited to a first visit to Europe. Hopefully you have more than 7 days though, and if you do you can add in one or more of the suggested add-on cities to build an itinerary that appeals most to you.

Price of travel

Best 1-week itineraries for the first time in Europe

Itinerary 1: classic london and paris.

  • London  (3 or 4 nights)
  • Paris  (3 or 4 nights)

Fly into either city and take the 2-hour Eurostar train between them

visit paris or amsterdam

London highlights

  • Big Ben and Parliament
  • Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Tower of London and Tower Bridge
  • West End shows (Broadway equivalent) and classic pubs
  • Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle

Paris is actually far more beautiful than London and the food is famously much better as well. Since Paris gets so many tourists from non-French speaking countries, it’s easy to get by on just English, and the Metro system makes it fast and easy to get around. The architecture of both cities is amazing from the Tower of London, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. These cities each pack a huge punch and they are very different from each other as well. Actually, England is arguably the best choice for your first trip to Europe .

Paris highlights

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre Museum and Museum de Orsay
  • Arc de Triomphe and other monuments
  • Montmartre neighborhood and Sacré Coeur Cathedral
  • Probably the world’s best affordable restaurants and wine

Best add-ons to London and Paris

  • Edinburgh  (2 or 3 nights, from London)
  • Amsterdam  (2 or 3 nights, from Paris)
  • Bruges  and  Brussels  (2 nights, from Paris)

visit paris or amsterdam

>>> Best one-week London and Paris itinerary in detail >>> Check London hotel deals >>> Check Paris hotel deals

Itinerary 2: England and Scotland

  • York (1 night)
  • Edinburgh, Scotland  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Inverness, Scotland (2 or 3 nights)

visit paris or amsterdam

York is a small Roman city with intact city walls and one of the most famous cathedrals in Europe. Edinburgh is not only the capital of Scotland, but it’s easily the second most interesting city in all of Britain. If your time is short, skip York and spend more time in Edinburgh.

If you prefer to focus on the south of England on your first trip then the best option is to go to Bath or nearby Bristol after London. Bath is another of England’s top destinations and it’s a gorgeous city that has been a spa resort for many centuries. It’s also reasonably close to Stonehenge. You can also easily get to Cornwall in England’s southwest corner from Bath, and that’s a whole different and fascinating experience (with nicer weather than up north).

If you’ve got more than a week and want to spend more time in Scotland, especially in the summer months, the place to head to is Inverness. It’s a small town that is considered the gateway to the Scottish Highlands, but it’s an interesting and charming place on its own. You can take day-trips by bus to the highlights of the Highlands including the Isle of Skye and Loch Ness. Between you and me, it’s better to minimize time in Loch Ness or skip it altogether because it’s not one of the more photogenic parts of Scotland and the monster has always been a hoax.

Travel times between the recommended places

  • London to York by train: 2 hours
  • York to Edinburgh by train: 2.5 hours
  • London to Edinburgh by train: 4 hours
  • Edinburgh to Inverness by train: 3.5 hours
  • London to Bath by train: 85 minutes

Best add-ons to England and Scotland

  • Paris  (3 or 4 nights from London)
  • Amsterdam  (3 nights from Paris)

If you think you want to spend your whole trip in Britain you should have a look at our article on the  best itineraries in England, Scotland, and Wales .

>>> Check London hotel deals >>> Check Edinburgh hotel deals

Itinerary 3: Paris and Italy

  • Paris (3 or 4 nights)
  • Venice (1 night)
  • Florence (2 or 3 nights)
  • Rome (3 nights)

visit paris or amsterdam

From Paris you can easily fly to Venice (or nearby Treviso) where you should try to spend about 24 hours. Venice is small enough to see in a full day, and so crowded that most people are satisfied to leave after that day. The key is to stay in the main part of the main island so you can enjoy Venice before the cruise passengers and day-trippers arrive, and also after they leave for the day. Two nights in Venice would not be wasted time, and it’s possibly the most gorgeous city in the entire world, but you can see the best of it in a bit over 24 hours.

visit paris or amsterdam

Rome also lives up to the hype and spending a day in the Vatican City will be a highlight even for non-Catholics, but it’s also a crowded and busy city so three days is usually enough for most people. Similar to Paris, Rome is an unusually beautiful city from almost any angle when you are in the historical center. You’ll walk through a stunning piazza (town square) and then turn a corner and you’ll see gorgeous buildings or public statues that are as nice as anything in the museums. Seriously, it’s worth a visit.

Paris to Venice flight: 1 hour 35 minutes Venice to Florence by train: 1 hour 53 minutes Florence to Rome by train: 1 hour 16 minutes

You can of course instead fly from Paris to Rome and then go north to Florence and then to Venice and fly home (or back to Paris) from there, and it would be just as enjoyable.

Best add-ons to Paris and Italy

  • Nice/Cannes/Monaco  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Avignon (2 nights)
  • Bourges (2 nights)
  • Bordeaux (2 nights)
  • Aix-en-Provence (2 nights)
  • Reims (2 nights)
  • Dijon/Burgundy (2 nights)
  • Milan  (1 or 2 nights)
  • Lake Como (2 nights)
  • Siena (2 nights)
  • Cinque Terre (1 night)
  • Naples / Sorrento /Amalfi Coast/Pompeii/Capri (3 to 5 nights)
  • Sicily (3 to 4 nights)

>>>Much more information in this article about the best France and Italy itineraries >>> Check Paris hotel deals >>> Check Venice hotel deals >>> Check Florence hotel deals >>> Check Rome hotel deals

Itinerary 4: Mediterranean cruise

visit paris or amsterdam

In spite of the reputation of cruises to be floating buffets, they can actually be an excellent way to visit a great number of amazing European cities in a short time. The ship typically is in port from the early morning until mid evening, often giving you the opportunity to have dinner in the city (unlike Caribbean cruises). Better still, the cruise ports are often near the center of town, so you can just walk off the ship and do sightseeing on foot or by public transportation.

Mediterranean cruises usually start at 7 nights but can go up to 3 weeks, which can provide an amazing tour of the entire region without having to pack and repack your bags more than once. They also can provide excellent value, especially compared to the price of taking trains or flights and finding new hotels in every destination.

Most popular Mediterranean departure ports

Barcelona, Spain – It’s an easy port to reach. Ships generally go from Barcelona with stops in France and then Italy.

Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy – The port isn’t very close to Rome, but it’s easy to get back and forth. Ships go west to France and Spain as well as south around the tip of Italy and then on to Croatia, Venice, and to Greece.

Venice, Italy – The cruise ships no longer dock close to the best tourist areas, but it’s easy enough to visit Venice for a day or two before boarding a ship. Ships starting in Venice go south and then head west and to Rome and then to France, or they go south to Croatia and then head east to Greece.

Athens, Greece – The cruise port of Piraeus is just south of Athens and easy to reach. Ships from Athens usually head west towards Croatia, Italy, France, and Spain, but there are also ships that visit Greek islands and Turkey.

>>> Check for deals on Mediterranean cruises

Alternative to consider: a river cruise

visit paris or amsterdam

Amsterdam ,  Budapest , and  Prague  are some of the most popular river cruise ports, but there are dozens of others including many smaller towns in France where few other tourists will be when you stroll off the ship. There is little or no entertainment on the river cruise ships, but passengers don’t miss it because the entire day and into the evening is spent just steps from local cultural offerings and restaurants.

>>> Check for Europe and river cruise deals

Itinerary 5: France, Belgium, and Netherlands

  • Paris  (3 nights)
  • Brussels  and  Bruges  (1 or 2 nights)
  • Amsterdam  (2 or 3 nights)

Paris to Brussels: 1 hour 22 minutes Brussels to Bruge: 58 minutes Bruges to Amsterdam: 2 hours 45 minutes Amsterdam to Paris: 3 hours 17 minutes

visit paris or amsterdam

Spending 4 nights in Paris and 3 nights in Amsterdam would be a great trip, but if you want to see something else you’ve got a couple options in between. My advice is to spend an afternoon looking around the Grand Place (main square) in Brussels and then hop a 58-minute train ride to Bruges for a night or two. Brussels isn’t a great tourist city, but Bruges really is so it’s a better option for most people. Whatever you choose out of this group, you can be back in Paris on another high-speed train for your flight home.

Best add-ons to France, Belgium, and Netherlands

  • Luxembourg City  (1 or 2 nights)
  • Cologne, Germany (1 or 2 nights)
  • Interlaken, Switzerland  (2 or 3 nights)

>>> Check Paris hotel deals >>> Check Bruges hotel deals >>> Check Amsterdam hotel deals

Itinerary 6: Paris and elsewhere in France

And a choice of:

  • Normandy (2 nights)

visit paris or amsterdam

While Nice is a wonderful tourist city for a look at the French Riviera, the other larger cities of Lyon and Marseilles are probably better saved for a future trip because they are light on key sights compared to many smaller towns. Wine lovers can rent a car or take trains into Bordeaux or Burgundy. Since you can get between most of these towns by train in 2 hours or less, spending only 2 nights in each one is a reasonable option if you want to see a lot in a short time.

Normandy is an interesting choice and easy to reach in only about two hours by train from Paris. Some visitors like to see the famous WWII beaches and memorials, while others (especially in summer) like to check out one or more of the beach-resort towns. Deauville is one of the more famous of those, and it’s also famous for its horse race track and as one of the epicenters of the industry in Europe.

Best add-ons to Paris and elsewhere

  • More France, of course

>>> Check Paris hotel deals >>> Check Nice hotel deals

Itinerary 7: Italy

  • Rome  (3 nights)
  • Florence  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Venice  (1 or 2 nights)

Rome to Florence: 1 hour 16 minutes Florence to Venice: 1 hour 53 minutes

visit paris or amsterdam

Venice is small enough that you can see the main sights in about 24 hours, and it’s so insanely crowded that many people tire of it after about a day as well. It’s better to pay more for a hotel to be on the main island and visit quickly than to save money with a hotel on the mainland where you’ll be in crowds going back and forth as well. Florence is the most relaxing of the 3, and also a great base for side trips to Pisa, Siena, and Cinque Terre, just to name a few.

Going to Italy? Here are the  best first-time Italy itineraries for 3 days to 2 weeks  (in much greater detail)

Best add-ons to Italy

>>> Check Rome hotel deals >>> Check Florence hotel deals >>> Check Venice hotel deals

Itinerary 8: Spain

  • Madrid  (4 nights) (including day trip to Toledo)
  • Barcelona  (3 nights)

Madrid to Barcelona: 2 hours 30 minutes

visit paris or amsterdam

A huge part of Spain’s tourism industry is built around its southern beaches and islands such as Ibiza, Mallorca, and Tenerife (in the Canary Islands). For most people it’s best to ignore those places on your first trip because none of the beaches are special enough to spend days on them compared to the culture of the cities.

Best add-ons to Spain

  • Valencia  (2 nights)
  • Seville  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Granada  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Lisbon  (3 nights)

By popular demand, I’ve added a full article on where to go in Spain with itineraries from 7 to 10 days up to two weeks .

>>> Check Madrid hotel deals >>> Check Barcelona hotel deals >>> Check Lisbon hotel deals

Itinerary 9: Germany

  • Berlin  (3 nights)
  • Munich  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber (1 night)
  • Füssen (1 night)

Berlin to Munich: 6 hours 2 minutes Munich to Rothenburg ob der Tauber: 2 hours 56 minutes Munich to Füssen: 2 hours 4 minutes

visit paris or amsterdam

Those two cities are the keys to a Germany visit, and after that you’ve got a wide variety of choices. I cover most of the popular choices in my article on  where to go in Germany , which covers several smaller towns that are major highlights.

Best add-ons to Germany

  • Cologne (1 or 2 nights)
  • Hamburg  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Amsterdam  (3 nights)
  • Prague  (3 nights)
  • Salzburg  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Vienna  (3 nights)
  • Interlaken, Switzerland  (3 nights)
  • Lucerne, Switzerland  (2 or 3 nights)

>>> Check Berlin hotel deals >>> Check Munich hotel deals

Itinerary 10: Switzerland

  • Interlaken  (3 nights)
  • Bern (1 night)
  • Lucerne  (3 nights)

Zurich Airport to Interlaken: 2 hours 10 minutes Interlaken to Bern: 53 minutes Bern to Lucerne: 1 hour 50 minutes Lucerne to Zurich Airport: 1 hour 3 minutes

visit paris or amsterdam

Interlaken is the best hub for the most dramatic Alps views and experiences. The one-hour cable car ride up to the Schilthorn observation deck is something you’ll never forget, and the only thing that might be more dramatic is the train ride up to the Jungfraujoch station, which is the highest in Europe. Lucerne is almost as beautiful with a scenic lake at its heart and also great mountaintop views nearby. If you do want to see a Swiss city then the capital of Bern is the most interesting and photogenic on a short visit. Read more about  where to go in Switzerland  for even more ideas.

Best add-ons to Switzerland

  • Munich  (3 nights)
  • Italy (as long as you’ve got)

>>> Check Interlaken hotel deals >>> Check Lucerne hotel deals

Itinerary 11: Eastern Europe’s best cheap cities

  • Budapest  (3 nights) and/or
  • Krakow  (3 nights)

visit paris or amsterdam

Each of these cities is beautiful and historic, but English is less widely spoken so they can also be quite a bit more challenging for a first-time visitor. Another difficulty is that the trains between them are still quite slow compared to the high-speed rail in the West, so it takes most of a day from one to another, and a bus is often a better choice. I cover this best cheap Europe itinerary more fully in the linked article.

Prague to Budapest: 6 hours 41 minutes Budapest to Krakow: 9 hours 54 minutes (flying might be better)

Best add-ons to cheap Eastern Europe

  • Cesky Krumlov, Czechia  (2 nights)
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Split, Croatia  (3 nights)
  • Belgrade, Serbia  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina  (2 or 3 nights)
  • Sofia, Bulgaria  (2 or 3 nights)

>>> Check Prague hotel deals >>> Check Budapest hotel deals >>> Check Krakow hotel deals


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11 Best first-time Europe itineraries for 1, 2, or 3 weeks " --> All Comments

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Hi Roger, was reading your article and reply to various questions and its actually too good and kind from you. if you pls,help me out a route plan for 15days. but my catch is, i have to start from Stockholm.i like to end in rome to head back home. in between what should be my plan?thanks

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I’m happy to help. Stockholm to Rome could be done in 15 days, but it would require skipping quite a few great places along the way. My recommendation would be to choose 5 or maybe 6 cities total and spend 3 days in each. If Stockholm is one of your cities you’d only have 12 days left but even if Stockholm didn’t count on the 15 days I think it’s probably best to fly from Stockholm to a city closer to Italy and then do the rest of it on shorter train rides. You could do Stockholm to Copenhagen by train, but those are pretty long train rides and honestly those two cities are pretty similar to each other.

So maybe Stockholm and then a flight to Paris and then trains to Venice, Florence and Rome? That sort of thing. Stockholm is just so remote that it would require at least 3 or 4 longer train journeys but if you flew from Stockholm to Paris (or Berlin or Prague or Budapest or wherever) the remaining train rides would be relatively short. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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Firstly, I would like to thank you for the article and itineraries; they are very helpful.

My wife and I are planning a 3 to 4-month trip around the EU (Western Europe). Before I delve into the specifics of our itinerary, I am wondering if the same 3 to 5-day in each-city principle applies for cases where travellers will spend more time travelling around?

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks Raf

Wow. That sounds amazing! Even when traveling for longer periods like that I’d recommend a minimum of 3 nights in almost any place you go. The main reason is your travel days tend to be kind of long when you factor in everything from checking out of one hotel to getting to the train station and waiting and then the journey time and then getting to your next hotel and getting situated. All of that usually takes 4 to 6 hours even when the train journey is only an hour or two, so you just don’t get much sightseeing done on those days. So if you only stay 2 nights in each city it means every other day is a travel day and that just takes up too much time.

That said, I think 3 or 4 days is enough time in most places as well. If you really want to get to know Paris, for example, you might stay a week there. But for most cities there are diminishing marginal returns starting on day 3 or 4. In other words, you’ll be able to see the 10 things that most interest you in 3 days or so, and at that point you might be ready to see the Top 10 things in the next city instead of the #11 through #20 things in the first city.

Another thing that is important with longer trips like that is to plan some down time at least every few weeks. If you try to do sightseeing 7 days per week for weeks at a time it starts to feel like a job. What I like to do is every two or three weeks find a smaller town or cheaper place where I can rent a little apartment or some place larger and more comfortable than a typical small European hotel room. And I like to stop in places without many sights otherwise it’s too tempting to keep sightseeing every day.

I’ve actually done quite a few long trips like this and I’m happy to help with any other advice if you like. -Roger

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Comment*We are planning on Athens to Amsterdam from June 4, 2024 to Amsterdam June 24th.

We are thinking trains to major cities inbetween Athens and Amsterdam. We are open to anything and everything.

Priorities: Parthenon in Athens, Art Museums in Amsterdam (3-5 days in Amsterdam) Can you help us?

That is a tricky one. Both Athens and Amsterdam are great and very worthwhile, but once you go north of Athens to Thessaloniki in northern Greece, the train service is spotty and very slow all the way until you reach Budapest. Strangely enough, buses tend to be faster and much more frequent in those “eastern” countries like Bulgaria and Romania. Also, being perfectly honest, most of those in-between cities such as Sofia and Belgrade are kind of dull by European standards, although they are quite cheap.

If you really want to visit Athens I’d definitely start there and then after a few days fly to Budapest or some other city in that area that interests you and then carry on from there by train. In fact, Athens to Budapest and then trains to Prague then Berlin and then Amsterdam could be perfect. You could even add in a couple of days in Cesky Krumlov near Prague if you want to include a gorgeous smaller town among the big cities.

Those are all first-class cities and several of them are quite affordable as well. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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Hi, my wife and I would like to visit Rome, Florence, Italy, Venice, Prague, Berlin and maybe Switzerland. This will be the first time travelling to Europe and I would appreciate your help in planning where to start, where to stay, how to get there and where to go. We will be coming from Trinidad and Tobago for 2 weeks. If possible, i would like a day-to-day plan.

Unfortunately I don’t have time to do a day-by-day plan for you, but I can help get you started. If you’ve got 14 nights I would keep the list to 5 total cities. If you tried to include Switzerland on this trip it would mean spending only 1 or 2 days in some cities and that means spending every other day on trains.

I think the best thing to do would be to fly into Berlin or Prague and then spend 3 days there and then take a train to the other one and spend 3 days there and then fly to Venice. Spend 1 or 2 days in Venice and then take a short train ride to Florence for 2 days or so and then a train ride down to Rome for your final 3 days and then a flight home or back to your starting city if that is cheaper. I’m happy to help if you have any other questions. -Roger

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Hi, Roger. My wife and I (56 and 63) want to do our first trip to Europe from Canada and would like to start by visiting Portugal (Lisbon and Porto) and Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada y Sevilla with day trips to close small cities in between). What it would be your suggestion for: 1. Stay in each city for a 15/17 days trip? 2. any additions/modifications? 3. Train over flights internally? 4. If we travel with one suitcase of 50 Lbs would it work to take public transit when required? 5. Instead of this plan, would it be better to visit 1/2 famous city in different countries? Would appreciate your inputs. Than you Roger

If you’ve only got about 16 days I’d recommend choosing 5 or maybe 6 cities in total. I strongly believe that 3 nights is the best amount of time to stay in each city so you have two full sightseeing days in each one, although some smaller cities can be done a bit quicker. I go over the reasons in detail on this other article about how long to stay in each European city , but the main point is that if you stay only two nights it means literally spending every other day on trains or in airports and such and you just don’t get much sightseeing done on those travel days with all of the packing and unpacking and checking in and out of hotels.

I’d definitely include Lisbon, Madrid, and Barcelona. You could add a 2-day visit to Porto and 2 or 3 days each in Sevilla and Granada. I’d save Valencia for a future trip. It’s nice, but aside from the new buildings clustered in one area, it’s more generic than any of the others on your list.

The only train between Portugal and Madrid goes over night and I’m not a fan of those so I’d fly on that leg. But from there I’d definitely take the high-speed trains, which are fast and comfortable. Buy your tickets at least a couple months in advance for the best fares.

There will be room for a 50 lb suitcase on the flights (of course) and on the trains as well. On older trains they have you put them on racks above the seats, but on most of the more modern ones (like the high-speed trains) they also have room for larger bags at each end of the carriage. If you can lift them, there will definitely be room for them.

I think your plan sounds really good and those are all great cities. That said, for most first-time visitors to Europe I’d recommend Paris and Italy as those are really more dramatic and interesting, although also more crowded and somewhat more expensive as well. I think once you do the Iberia trip you’ll be hooked and you’ll start planning a trip to France and Italy for the coming years. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Hi, Roger. Thank you for your comments and recommendations and also for your prompt response. I have modified my plan as I have now 22 days. My Itinerary is Porto(3), Lisbon(3), Seville(2), Malaga(2), Madrid(3),Barcelona(3), Zaragoza(2) and Bilbao(3). What do you think? is this a good plan? Any suggestions? I am still debating between Malaga and Granada though. I included Bilbao to visit friends. The question on the luggage was more related to the comfort to pull a large back in public transit than the allowance in the planes or trains. I will appreciate your inputs. Thank you again, Roger

Those six more days will help a lot. I think your new plan looks really good. You can probably enjoy Porto in 2 days and add an extra day somewhere else, but you might also be dealing with jet-lag so 3 days might be better. Your itinerary looks efficient and logical.

I really like Granada and Malaga, but I think if I were to choose between the two I would go with Granada. Malaga is (in my opinion) an underrated city that is close to some extremely popular beach towns and it’s got a lot going for it, but if you aren’t also going to be staying by the beach I think I’d save it for another trip. Granada has got the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens and those are unlike anything else in Spain or the world for that matter. Granada is small enough to enjoy in two days and I think seeing the Alhambra will be more memorable than anything in Malaga.

Buy your train tickets as early as possible for the best times and fares, and the flight for Lisbon to Seville (or you could take a bus).

And again, your 50 lb suitcase will fit on city to city trains (although not as well on buses or trams within a city), but still (as the saying goes) no one ever went on a trip around Europe like this and swore they would pack more stuff the next time. In other words, 40 lbs is much easier than 50 lbs and getting laundry done cheaply in a country like Spain is quite easy. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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Comment*Hi travelling first time to europe next year we are 55 years age group any suggestions for 10-12 days itenary with guided tour would be nice if any suggestion are there also april or may better time to visit there anil

Actually, all of my best suggestions for first-time visits to Europe are in the article above. If you specifically want a guided tour you’ll obviously just be choosing from the ones that are available from the companies you look it, although many of those should resemble the itineraries in my article. Planning your own trip to Europe is actually quite easy, and especially if you are going to the classic and most popular cities. I’ve got lots of articles that could help you.

I’m not sure how many guided tours you’ve done, but one thing to consider is that they always move at the speed of the slowest person in the group. If YOU are the slowest person in the group then it’s fine, but if you are 55 then you should be much faster than most other people on a guided tour. For example, if you have a coach/bus tour for a day with 5 or 6 stops, you always have to wait for the slowest people to get on an off the bus. I’ve done countless day tours this way and it can be frustrating waiting 10 extra minutes many times each day as slow people are trying their best.

I think my top two best suggestions are London and maybe another stop or two in England and then Paris and other stop or two in France, OR, Paris then another stop in France and then Venice, Florence, and Rome. It obviously depends whether England or Italy sounds more interesting. Let me know if I can be of any other help. -Roger

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Planning a family trip with a adult and nearly adult children. Hoping to be able to do 18 to 20 days. Must sees are Paris, Venice, England, and Prague but would adore seeing more! What route would you suggest and should we rent a car, fly, train, river cruise? There are so many options and I’m completely overwhelmed! A suggested itinerary would be amazing!! Thank you!

That sounds like a great start to a plan. As far as “England” is concerned it’s probably best to just think of it as 3 or probably 4 nights in London. With 4 nights you’d have enough time for a good day trip to Bath/Stonehenge and Windsor or to Oxford or even York, but London is big enough to keep you busy and it’s probably best to just stay there and then take the Eurostar train to Paris for 3 or 4 nights.

Prague is a bit out of the way, but you can fly there cheaply enough if you want and then after 3 nights fly to Venice. After 2 nights in Venice I’d take a train down to Florence for 2 nights and then another train to Rome for 3 nights. That would be just about a perfect 18 to 20 day trip including Prague. I definitely wouldn’t rent a car as they tend to be counter productive when visiting a string of large cities that have bad traffic and expensive parking. Your itinerary doesn’t really work with a river cruise at all, but hopefully you can plan one in the future.

It would probably be cheapest to fly from Rome back to London for your flight home (being careful of which of London’s 5 airports you fly into because your flight home will almost certainly go out of Heathrow), but if you can get a flight home straight from Rome for a good price, that would be even better. Getting around by train in Europe is by far the best way wherever it’s close and fast enough, so I’d focus on trains in the places I mentioned. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Yes, I meant London. Thank you for picking up on that. After reading though your site and many, many of these informative comments, I think I have figured out a basic itinerary and would love your feedback and suggestions!

-Fly into London London(3 days) -Eurostar Train to Paris Paris (3 days) -Train to Switzerland – unsure which train company Switzerland (3 days) -Train to Venice?? Venice (2 days) -Train to Florence – which train company? Is there a pass? Florence (2 days) -Train to Rome Rome (2 days) -Fly to Prague Prague (3 days) -Fly home out of Prague

Very interested to hear your feedback. I know you suggest 3 nights but I am ok with missing out on some things in Rome/Florence if needed. Would love train suggestions and if passes are best. NO idea on how the trains operate in Europe.

Thank you so much for your time!

This itinerary looks amazing. My only real suggestion would be to spend only one day in Venice and three days in Rome, or at least a day and a half in Venice rather than two, but you’ll enjoy it no matter what. The thing is that Venice is about the size of a theme park like Disneyland and from 9 AM until 5 PM it feels even more crowded than Disneyland. It’s absolutely amazing, but also easy to get tired of the crowds and you’ll do your best sightseeing in the mornings before the day-trippers come and in the evenings after they’ve left. And Rome is huge with a long list of really cool sights so with only one full sightseeing day you’ll miss quite a few of them. But again, you’ll enjoy it no matter how you divide your time.

In most of Europe including between France and Switzerland and Italy, there is just one rail company per country so just book whatever comes up. From Paris to Basel, Switzerland you’ll take the France national service and then change trains to a Swiss train for your ride to Interlaken or Lucern. Then from Switzerland you’ll take (probably) a Swiss train to Spiez or Brig and then change there for an Italian train to Venice. You’ll buy it just as one ticket and it’ll include all the legs required to get from one city to your final city, and usually come with seat reservations as well (except in Switzerland).

My favorite site for checking schedules all over Europe is the Trainline . But you can also check the official rail sites of each country involved and I’d definitely check those prices before booking anything. My article on buying European train tickets in advance is still pretty much up to date and it has links to the various national train companies.

It will be cheapest if you lock in your dates and buy all of your train tickets as early as possible, which will be around 3 months out in most cases. The tickets start off really cheap and go up in price as more seats are sold on each train, so earlier is always better. There are no rail passes that would be helpful on a trip like this, but that’s mostly because the tickets will be pretty cheap already, especially the ones within Italy.

Trains in Europe are really fun and shockingly easy once you get started. All the important signs will be in English as well as a local language. For most of them you can literally walk aboard just before it leaves and you are fine as long as you have a reserved seat, but the Eurostar works more like a flight with security and such so you have to be checked in at least 30 minutes in advance. Let me know if you have any other questions.

I won’t have time to update that other older article about trains vs planes vs buses, partly because these days there is a clear choice depending on which two cities you are going between. There are places in eastern Europe where there are advantages to each mode, but for the cities you’ll be doing the train is going to be the fastest, by far the most enjoyable, and probably the cheapest as well, at least once you factor in airport transportation costs. It’s going to be a great trip! -Roger

Thank you SO much for all of your help. Your in-depth website is an amazing resource! I get so lost in it and spend hours scouring your resources and links – it has everything anyone could need! And, the fact that you are also personally answering comments and offering personalized advice is mind blowing! Thank you for all that you do to inform us!

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If you could suggest on a 14-15 day iterinary covering Athens, rome Milan paris London and Finland from New Delhi / Mumbai.

If you have 14 to 15 days I’d suggest choosing about 5 cities in total to visit. So your list should work out fairly well, although it depends on how much of Finland you’d hope to see. I’m guessing you must have a specific reason for wanting to go there? Finland normally isn’t very popular and honestly there isn’t much to see. Helsinki is, in my opinion, the least interesting of the Nordic capitals, although it’s pleasant enough and the country has some nice forests. If you are visiting relatives or something, that requires different planning of course.

It might be easiest to fly from Mumbai to London and then use that as a base. You could spend a few nights there and then fly to Helsinki and back after that or Helsinki to Paris for a few days. After Paris you could fly to Milan or Rome and then take a train to the other and then fly to Athens to finish your trip.

Milan actually isn’t a popular tourist city. It’s the home of most of Italy’s big banks and fashion brands, but neither of those are accessible to most tourists. Italy has amazing fashion shopping in Rome as well as Florence. Venice is also more popular. I hope this helps and I’m happy to help more if you have questions. -Roger

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Comment* Planning first trip to Europe Want to do tour of England, Scotland, Wales and then to Paris for sites and Monet Gardens. Might take train to Brussels and Bruge. Then to Switzerland and home. Any suggestions what tour group to contact. Want slower pace trip…at least 3 weeks. Thank you.

I enjoy helping people plan independent trips, and I honestly don’t know much about booking all-inclusive tours like you are after. I’d imagine you’d have to do at least a few different tours to cover all the places you have in mind. The one outfit that I am familiar with is Rick Steves, who I am a huge fan of for his Europe travel guides and I know he has a big tour organization. I’d start with them and see if they have anything that fits what you are looking for. Best of luck. -Roger

$999—Amsterdam & Paris spring vacation

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Why We Love This Deal

Visit Paris and Amsterdam when the weather is mild and the crowds are few but the croissants and stroopwafels remain plentiful. In Paris, make the obligatory Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral stops before taking a romantic walk on the banks of the Seine. In uber-bikeable Amsterdam, push pedal power to the limit, braking along the way to smell the tulips (which are in peak season in April and May) and to gawk at art at the Van Gogh Museum (sans bike, of course). Experience both charming cities for 6 nights in one trip—all for under a grand.

What's included in this  $999-per-person offer :

  • International roundtrip airfare to Amsterdam, return from Paris
  • 3 nights in Amsterdam
  • 3 nights in Paris
  • Flight transfer between cities
  • Air and hotel taxes

When to go:  Depart   on select dates April-May; October-December 2024 and January 2024 from Boston; Chicago; Newark; New York City (JFK); and Washington, D.C. Departures in June-August 2024 and February-March 2025 are also on sale, starting at +$100 per person.

For more information and a full calendar of dates,   see offer website .  Call 1-800-590-6588 to book.

Additional departures:   Atlanta,   Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia and San Francisco departures are available, starting at +$100 per person (dates and prices vary by city).

Customize your trip: This offer is part of a larger sale on European packages, including trips that add time in London or Dublin , Lisbon or Barcelona or Prague or Budapest  to your Amsterdam and Paris itinerary, from +$100 per person.

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Select dates April-May, Sept.-Dec. 2024; Jan. 2025

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Paris, Amsterdam, Venice holiday warning issued to UK tourists visiting in 2024

A France, Amsterdam and Venice travel warning has been issued to UK tourists. Brits who have holidays booked in the France capital, or Netherlands capital, have been warned over a new tourist tax - with popular go-to romantic hotspot Venice also included.

Paris has tripled its tourist tax ahead of the Summer Olympic. Visitors will now need to pay £4.46 a night per person for three star hotels and £6.97 for four star hotels, as well as furnished holiday rentals. Those planning to stay in holiday villages, hostels or B&Bs will face a £2.23 charge.

France has different levies in place in its bigger cities, and the rate depends on the kind of accommodation you're staying in. Typically this can range from 17p to £3.43 - get in touch with your accommodation directly as they should be able to advise on any extra charges.

READ MORE UK tourists in Spain warned after 79,000 people receive £514 fine

Amsterdam's daily fee for cruise ship day visitors rises from from 8 to 11 euros, or £6.94 to £9.54. Meanwhile if you are staying in a hotel, Airbnb or another type of guest house, then you'll have to fork out 12.5 per cent of the room rate on top of the sticker price.

That means a £1,000 hotel bill over the course of a week will end up costing visitors £125 more. Venice is set to test a new tourist tax for 20 days in 2024 with test days coming up in May, June and July. It will start charging day visitors to its 'old city' €5 (£4.30) per person, per day.

he Venezia Unica website says: “The City Administration may use the tools provided by the regulation for the recovery of evasion and avoidance and in particular carry out audits, inspections and site inspections through authorised personnel at the main entry points to the City.”

And if you don't pay, you will face a fine. The penalty ranges from €50 (£43) to €300 (£258), plus an additional €10 (£8.60) for the entry fee. In exceptional circumstances visitors will be able to pay the entry fee at a kiosk on arrival.

Paris, Amsterdam, Venice holiday warning issued to UK tourists visiting in 2024


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    Well, then rejoice, because both cities offer fantastic culinary scenes. Paris, known for its mouthwatering croissants, escargots, and crème brûlée. On the other side of the map, Amsterdam offers delicious cuisine too, like bitterballen, stroopwafels, and poffertjes.

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    Amsterdam is easier to wander and explore. Amsterdam is much more bike-friendly than Paris. You can very easily ride your bike around and park it on a bridge, making the city easier to get around in a pleasant way. Cycling an important aspect of Amsterdam's character. Most people in Amsterdam speak English fluently.

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    The Paris to Amsterdam train only takes between 3-4 hours one way and prices start around €25 per person. If you're really on a time crunch, book a flight between the two. Flight times average around 1 hour and 15 minutes and you can sometimes find flights as low as €35 per person one way.

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    How far is Paris from Amsterdam. The average journey time by train between Paris and Amsterdam is 4 hours and 15 minutes, with around 26 trains per day. Make use of the Metro in Paris. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays, so you should be booking a specific travel date in advance.

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  7. Your 7 Day Amsterdam and Paris Itinerary

    The cheapest way to get from Amsterdam to Paris is by bus. Flixbus and BlaBla Car Bus drive this route with buses leaving many times throughout the day. The journey takes from 6.5 hours to 9 hours, depending on departure time, stops en route and traffic. Tickets are currently as low as $31 CAD ($23 USD, €21) one-way.

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    Paris and Amsterdam are two of Europe's most popular city breaks. Both capital cities offer world-class art and museums, top-notch cuisine and thrilling retail therapy opportunities. Both are also now on the Eurostar, so it's easier to get there than ever before. But each city has its own character, quirks and charms, guaranteeing a city ...

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    Organising something to see in Amsterdam during a weekend is much easier than in Paris. Travelling with kids: both cities are children friendly, although I would suggest Amsterdam. Both cities have good deals of free entrance for most museums when it comes to children. For instance, both the Rijksmuseum and the Louvre are free for children.

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    Score: +1⭐️ for Paris (even though the cost of living is similar in France and Holland, Paris is still a bit cheaper than Amsterdam).. For further information on prices in Amsterdam and Paris, check out this site which will help you make a comparison or learn more about each city.. Public transportation Metro and bus in Paris. There are 14 metro lines in Paris and 302 stations.

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    From €16.50. Let's say you plan to visit all of the attractions on these lists. In Paris, you'll spend €201.17, while in Amsterdam, you'll spend €203.40. Now, that's a pretty similar cost, so again, it's not particularly helpful when you're trying to decide between the two cities.

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    By Train. The best way (and the most popular choice for this route) is taking a high-speed train like the Thalys or Eurostar, and both companies offer direct trains from Paris to Amsterdam. The train journey usually takes around 3h 24m and costs between €115 - €227. When catching the train, think of it as hopping on a cozy mobile office.

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    Visit Paris and Amsterdam when the weather is mild and the crowds are few but the croissants and stroopwafels remain plentiful. In Paris, make the obligatory Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral stops before taking a romantic walk on the banks of the Seine. In uber-bikeable Amsterdam, push pedal power to the limit, braking along ...

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