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Old 18th June 2015, 16:02   #76
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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I would suggest to try and get yourself a hotel in the centre. Of course, it is not going to be cheap, but it will get you close to all the interesting places, its nice to be walking around any part of Amsterdam city, be it strolling along the canals, the little lanes, shopping streets etc. So it just saves time.
If its going to save on the taxi/bus fare then it makes sense. By what area name should I be shortlisting my hotels then?

EDIT: I mean is it Amsterdam City Center or someplace else?

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Old 18th June 2015, 20:42   #77
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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If its going to save on the taxi/bus fare then it makes sense. By what area name should I be shortlisting my hotels then?

EDIT: I mean is it Amsterdam City Center or someplace else?
Not sure how you search, but anything within a few kilometres of the canals belts will be fine. Most hotels will list how close they are to the centre.

Enjoy,

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Old 19th June 2015, 17:51   #78
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I had stayed in Volendam for 4 days when I went this May. Its about 25 min from Amsterdam Centraal (I think the round trip ticket on the RNET bus was 15 ). A 4 star Hotel Volendam costed me 450 , it was 700+ when I was looking around the city center. This was for a 3 bedded room. Since you are 2 it might work out cheaper around city center too.

Daylight wouldn't be a problem in Amsterdam, we returned back close to 11pm on all days
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Old 22nd June 2015, 13:35   #79
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

Amsterdam is not working out for my wife. Give me some inputs guys, she's wanting to go to Rome, Venice or Santorini Islands now. I need to finalize this last leg of journey because I can't book air tickets unless I do it.

EDIT: I looked at Crotia and the National Park there but would 3 days cut it?

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Old 22nd June 2015, 19:56   #80
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Amsterdam is not working out for my wife. Give me some inputs guys, she's wanting to go to Rome, Venice or Santorini Islands now. I need to finalize this last leg of journey because I can't book air tickets unless I do it.

EDIT: I looked at Crotia and the National Park there but would 3 days cut it?

3 days is absolutely perfect for Venice. It will bite your budget though as Venice is a really expensive place to visit. The airport is on the mainland (Mestre), but you have to stay on Venice island. Do not stay in Mestre even though it will be a fraction of the price, it's just not Venice. You should be staying near San Marco or Rialto. My personal experience is that even half decent accommodation in these areas of Venice is at least EUR 200 per night, especially considering you are visiting in summer. But the place is like no other.

Haven't been to santorini so can't comment on that.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 12:37   #81
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3 days is absolutely perfect for Venice. It will bite your budget though as Venice is a really expensive place to visit.
Santorini is out because 3 days is not going to cut it. Now what's this stuff that I've read about Venice canals being too polluted now and smelly also at places. I've also read that its way too crowded to really enjoy the walks etc. Need some more details from someone who might have visited recently.

Also, does anybody have any clue about Croatia? The country has some incredible scenery from what I've seen on the net so far.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 12:43   #82
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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Santorini is out because 3 days is not going to cut it.
Santorini is a lovely place and 3 days is quite enough to cover it. If it fits your plans, please do visit this place, you will not regret it. You can hire a car there as well
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Old 23rd June 2015, 12:48   #83
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Santorini is a lovely place and 3 days is quite enough to cover it. If it fits your plans, please do visit this place, you will not regret it. You can hire a car there as well
Actually it being an island is going to eat a lot of transit time. Also, flights timings are not working out so we'd be left with 1.5 days instead of 3 complete days due to transfers.
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Old 23rd June 2015, 15:59   #84
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Santorini is out because 3 days is not going to cut it. Now what's this stuff that I've read about Venice canals being too polluted now and smelly also at places. I've also read that its way too crowded to really enjoy the walks etc. Need some more details from someone who might have visited recently.

Also, does anybody have any clue about Croatia? The country has some incredible scenery from what I've seen on the net so far.

Venice is not a sanitised city and that is part of the experience. I was there last May. Is it crowded? Yes. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it filthy in places? Yes. My first reaction when I landed up there was that the place was overrated. It's also terribly inconvenient. You have to carry your bags and walk from the vaporetto stop to the hotel; you may have to lug suitcases up stairs; the place can be erratically rainy and misty; the walking streets are so narrow that you will have the fragrance of a 100 other bodies rubbing you by day's end; touts abound.

But for all its faults, it is one really unique city which grows on you. It's one city that is still living life in the 15th century. A photo-op on a Venetian gondola will ensure that your kids grow up thinking of you as movie stars. And there are tons of things to do apart from floating on boats. San Marco, the Doge's palace and the Accademia gallery have some spectacular medieval and Renaissance art work (if you are into that sort of thing). There are lots of out of the way noblemen's houses and churches which do not attract the crowds of San Marco. You could take a detour to Murano or Lido.

I may be biased. But I think, rather than worry about the flaws, Venice can be enjoyed as a package experience.
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Old 29th June 2015, 17:17   #85
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Tickets have been booked! Delhi to Prague and return from Amsterdam.

I contacted my office travel vendor to help me with the Schengen Visa requirements.

Once I get the visa I'd start with the IDP process. What other critical arrangements I should make apart from these? I've tentatively booked a couple of places in Prague, Amsterdam and Munich, will finalize place of stay in Switzerland also.

I chanced upon airbnb.com and the prices are extremely lucrative. Any particular reason why booking.com should be preferred over airbnb even if airbnb is cheaper?
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Old 30th June 2015, 10:25   #86
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I chanced upon airbnb.com and the prices are extremely lucrative. Any particular reason why booking.com should be preferred over airbnb even if airbnb is cheaper?
Are you saying that the same property is posted for rent on both airbnb and booking.com and the posting on airbnb is cheaper?

Usually, airbnb caters to private individuals who want to put their spare apartment or spare room on rent. Booking mostly deals with hotel chains and organised service apartments.
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Old 30th June 2015, 15:25   #87
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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Are you saying that the same property is posted for rent on both airbnb and booking.com and the posting on airbnb is cheaper?

Usually, airbnb caters to private individuals who want to put their spare apartment or spare room on rent. Booking mostly deals with hotel chains and organised service apartments.
No, I meant different properties. I understand the airbnb concept but for stay in Amsterdam its turning out to be a whole lot cheaper than any hotel that's available.

For Prague & Munich hotels aren't that expensive.

Now coming to Switzerland. I'm planning to spend 4 complete days exploring Switzerland, does it sound adequate to cover the likes of Interlaken, Thun, Jungfrau, Matterhorn, Lugano & Lake Lucerne. I did a distance calculation and it did not seem too much for 4 days but I'm not sure how much time I'd spend on train or taxi to reach the top points of mountains or other scenic spots.
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Old 30th June 2015, 16:05   #88
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Now coming to Switzerland. I'm planning to spend 4 complete days exploring Switzerland, does it sound adequate to cover the likes of Interlaken, Thun, Jungfrau, Matterhorn, Lugano & Lake Lucerne. I did a distance calculation and it did not seem too much for 4 days but I'm not sure how much time I'd spend on train or taxi to reach the top points of mountains or other scenic spots.
Really depends on what all you plan to do in these places. Going up to Jungfrau and back is like half a day. I am not sure about Matterhorn, but you should get the information from their tourist site. Lugano, Lucerne, and Thun are all lakeside towns which can be driven up to and it really is up to you how much time you want to spend on the lake (or walk around the towns).
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Old 10th August 2015, 16:45   #89
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Ok so Visa is in place, so are the air/train tickets and car rental.

Need help with a whole lot of stuff and with just 20 days to go I'm getting a little nervous.

1. Reflective Jackets - Where could I get the cheapest ones?
2. Swiss Pass - Which pass makes most sense? Or do I have finalize my places of visit before one can recommend.
3. I read something about the vignette for using Swiss roads? Would I be able to get it from the Sixt counter or I should purchase it online?
4. What's a good place to start working on my knowledge/awareness of Swiss/German road signs etc.
5. Any agent in Delhi/NCR who deals with IDP? I tried a lot of folks through justdial but couldn't find one.
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Old 10th August 2015, 16:59   #90
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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Once I get the visa I'd start with the IDP process.
Sorry if you've answered this before but is your current driving license smart card based ? If not, you'll have to get that converted before you can apply for IDP. Please factor in additional time accordingly.

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Any agent in Delhi/NCR who deals with IDP? I tried a lot of folks through justdial but couldn't find one.
I got one (from Janak Puri authority) last year myself without an agent. Seamless process actually. If you have a smart card based license, it's only a half day job.

Last edited by Eddy : 10th August 2015 at 17:00.
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