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Old 11th April 2015, 17:41   #211
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Default Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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I was under the impression that I should be applying to the French embassy (since that's my point of entry) but my agent says I should be applying to the Netherlands embassy. Logically, if I clear immigration in Paris, shouldn't I be having a schengen visa issued by France?
Straight from the Schengen Visa page:

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If I am travelling to more than one Schengen country, at which embassy do I apply for a Schengen Visa?

If the applicant is planning to visit two or more Schengen countries, it is highly recommended to be applying for the visa in the embassy/consulate of the country you will be residing in for most of the traveling days, referred to as the main destination.
or

http://www.schengenvisainfo.com/freq...schengen-visa/

So technically it is highly recommended. As pointed out, in practice it doesn't matter. Once you are inside Schengen terrotoriy there are no border or immigration controls. So nobody will know which border you will pass when and how long you are anywhere until you actually leave Schengen area again.

However, when dealing with officialdom in any country I would always try and stick to the rules as much as I can, just to avoid unnecessary confusion.

If you need any tips on what to see and do in the Netherlands let me know. I might be able to help.

Jeroen

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 11th May 2015 at 13:27. Reason: Removing unnecessary spacing. Affects mobile users. Thanks!
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Old 23rd April 2015, 15:56   #212
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

Thanks a ton guys. That was helpful.

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If you need any tips on what to see and do in the Netherlands let me know. I might be able to help.

Jeroen
Ofcourse. I tried sending you a pm but could not.
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Old 23rd April 2015, 16:26   #213
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Thanks a ton guys. That was helpful.







Ofcourse. I tried sending you a pm but could not.

Strange. Ive had lots of PMs before?
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Old 11th May 2015, 12:36   #214
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

I will be travelling to the Hague from the 21st to the 26th of June. So my flights would be Mumbai - Amsterdam and Amsterdam - Mumbai.

Since this year we did not have any vacation, I am thinking of calling my wife and kid(7 yr old) into Amsterdam on the 24th. They can do local sight seeing on my conference days. Then I am thinking of doing a 10 day tour around Europe. Paris and Switzerland needs to be covered. I was thinking that I will end this tour at Paris, take a bullet train to Amsterdam and board my flight back together with my family.

So my vacation will be from the 25-June to 5th of July. What are my options and how do I plan my trip. My main intetntion is to stay and relax and do a bit of sight seeing as well. I do not want to be running from place to place just for the heck of being there.

I have suggestions of covering Netherlands, France, Italy and Switzerland. Would greatly appreciate if I can get help in planning this. Since I will be travelling with my kid, I do not want to take too many risks as well.

I havent yet booked any tickets. But I need to apply for the Visa and then book the same ASAP.
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Old 11th May 2015, 13:25   #215
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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I will be travelling to the Hague from the 21st to the 26th of June. So my flights would be Mumbai - Amsterdam and Amsterdam - Mumbai.

Since this year we did not have any vacation, I am thinking of calling my wife and kid(7 yr old) into Amsterdam on the 24th. They can do local sight seeing on my conference days. Then I am thinking of doing a 10 day tour around Europe. Paris and Switzerland needs to be covered. I was thinking that I will end this tour at Paris, take a bullet train to Amsterdam and board my flight back together with my family.

So my vacation will be from the 25-June to 5th of July. What are my options and how do I plan my trip. My main intetntion is to stay and relax and do a bit of sight seeing as well. I do not want to be running from place to place just for the heck of being there.

I have suggestions of covering Netherlands, France, Italy and Switzerland. Would greatly appreciate if I can get help in planning this. Since I will be travelling with my kid, I do not want to take too many risks as well.

I havent yet booked any tickets. But I need to apply for the Visa and then book the same ASAP.
Sounds like a great plan. Europe is relatively small and travel by car or by train is easy and very comfortable. But even so if you want to see 4-5 different countries in the space of about 10 days, you will find yourself mainly travelling, rather then exploring. Maybe you should narrow it down a bit to a few countries and or cities. Depends a lot on what you and the family would enjoy. You could easily spend 4-5 days in the Netherlands, then a few days Paris, maybe do Euro-Disneyl and take the train back to Amsterdam. If you let me know what you are lookinf for, I might be able to suggest some places to go and see.


BR Jeroen
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Old 11th May 2015, 13:43   #216
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I agree with Jeroen. 4 countries in the space of 10 days may be too tiring. I would suggest you leave out at least Italy since it is the farthest from Amsterdam.

EuroDisney in Paris is a good suggestion, it would take up one full day. But how big is your kid? Most of the good rides at EuroDisney are for kids above 130 or 140cm in height. If your kid is smaller than that, then it means you and your wife can't go on those rides together. That wasn't much fun when we visited.
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Old 11th May 2015, 14:39   #217
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I would suggest you leave out at least Italy since it is the farthest from Amsterdam.
If I had to visit just one place in the World, it would be Rome (along with the Vatican). There is nothing in the world which comes close to Rome and the Vatican.
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Old 11th May 2015, 14:58   #218
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If I had to visit just one place in the World, it would be Rome (along with the Vatican). There is nothing in the world which comes close to Rome and the Vatican.
It depends on what one is looking for during the vacation. If one is more interested in nature/landscapes, one is far better off in Switzerland than in Rome.

Since member an_and is planning to start and end his trip in Amsterdam, it would take the best part of 2 days to get to Rome (by train or car). Same for the return as well. I would say Rome needs atleast 3 full days. That leaves him with little time for anything else.
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Old 11th May 2015, 15:49   #219
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Thankyou for all the advice. I agree with Jeroen that four five countries would be too taxing. Maybe my wife and kid travel into the Hague on the 25th. We spend 25th to 27th exploring the Hague and Amsterdam. Will look forward to your advice on what to do here.

27th I travel into Paris, either taking the bullet train or a flight (I have been told that flights are way more economical than the train). Park myself close to the Disneyland, cover the Disneyland in two-three days (Mon - Wed) keep two days for seeing around Paris and then travel to Switzerland.

My son is seven years old and may be 1.2-1.3 mtrs tall. so I do not know if that would be a problem.

As suggested by StarrySky, since travel to Rome is gonna eat into my time a lot, I should plan to travel back to Amsterdam from Switzerland and take the flight back to Mumbai.

Now I have no idea of where to go and what to do in Switzerland, and also no idea on the time required for the same.

While I can get an international license, how viable would it be for me to book a car given that I have no prior experience driving in any foreign land. I am thinking more of walking or taking public transport.

25 - Arrive in the Hague - roam around
26 - Explore the Hague (museum, etc) -
27 - Travel to Amsterdam / Explore
28 - Check out of the hotel, travel to Paris (need suggestions on mode of transport) - Check in, explore a little bit
29 - Disney?
30 - Disney?
1 - Disney?
2 - Local sight seeing in Paris
3 - Check out of paris - travel to switzerland
7 - travel to Amsterdam or travel back to India from Zurich.

Last edited by an_and : 11th May 2015 at 16:02. Reason: Adding some more details
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Old 11th May 2015, 17:59   #220
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While I can get an international license, how viable would it be for me to book a car given that I have no prior experience driving in any foreign land. I am thinking more of walking or taking public transport.
.
I know people who hired cars in Europe on the basis of an Indian license. IDP was not required. Rentals are cheap, starting from eur 60 a day. Do your calculation and see what works out best for you
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Old 11th May 2015, 18:10   #221
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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27th I travel into Paris, either taking the bullet train or a flight (I have been told that flights are way more economical than the train).
Is this for the low-cost flights like Ryan Air? Some of the low-cost carriers do not fly to the main airports. For eg: Ryan Air flies to Paris Beauvais, which is about an hour's train ride outside the city. Do factor this in your time and cost calculations.

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Originally Posted by an_and View Post
Park myself close to the Disneyland, cover the Disneyland in two-three days (Mon - Wed)
I think 3 days is too much for Disneyland You can do with 1 day if you are planning to visit only the amusement park and not the Disney Studios. Of course, if you would like to take certain rides more than once, then this is not enough. Within the amusement park, you can save a lot of waiting time by booking your slots for the rides in advance. You must go to the ride once to book your slot and then just turn up at the given time. This way you can see other attractions and take the less popular rides during the time you would otherwise spend standing in the queue for the busier rides.

Do note that I last visited EuroDisney in 2008, so things might have changed since then.

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My son is seven years old and may be 1.2-1.3 mtrs tall. so I do not know if that would be a problem.
I think 1.3m should be enough for most rides. But if I remember correctly, one or two rides need 1.4m height.

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Now I have no idea of where to go and what to do in Switzerland, and also no idea on the time required for the same.
All you need to do in Switzerland is to look completely lost and someone will come to help you out

If you are not planning to drive, maybe you can take the Glacier Express or take a trip to Jungfrau.
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Old 11th May 2015, 18:14   #222
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Thankyou for all the advice.
==========
7 - travel to Amsterdam or travel back to India from Zurich.
Hi Anand

Paris and Switzerland cannot be covered comfortably in 10 days. You may have to forgo few attractions. Let me give some tips from the experience I had in visiting these places.

Paris
If you are planning to Visit Disney you start your trip with Disney. You don't need 3 days to cover Disney (unless your focus is to get the child to have some quality time) - 2 full days should be enough. One day for park and one day for Studio
- Buy a 2 day hopper ticket - you can access both studio and park on both days. You can club this with your hotel booking and Disney Express booking.
- There are many hotels inside Disney try to reach Disney on the previous day evening and stay in one of these hotels. There is one hour exclusive time for residents of Disney Hotel early in the park. Only few attractions will be open at this time. So Find out those and cover those attractions during these hours. Spend happy hours ideally in Disney Park. The Attractions in Disney Studio is less busy and most times there are no long queues.
- You have to read a bit about major attractions in Disney - some are very busy. There is a reservation system, its called Fast Pass and it would appear a bit complex at first. You MUST read about it and make best use of it, or else you will end up spending more than half your time in queues. With Fast pass and the extra morning hours combined you should be able to finish most of the Park in 2 days. Covering all the attractions is pointless. But enjoy the attractions that you cover.
Further points on Disney
- If you are reaching on the morning hours in Disney - make use of the Disney Express Service that is available in the Railway station ( Its called -Marne la vallee chessy). You can save time to check in at the hotel and its great.
Do not go for any major meals from inside Disney restaurants. The ambiance of those places are great but it will take too long to get service and its very expensive. Try to live the day on fast food and night you could go for a leisure supper. (I suggest try to live the whole trip on Fast food, the restaurants are very expensive in Paris and Zurich)
-
- There is a leaflet (guide) you will get at Disney, that details the attractions the map etc. They have marked few attractions as must see. Those are really must see. Use the fast pass and morning hours for those. You may download this map online also.
- Even the cheapest hotels inside the Disneyland is very good, so avoid expensive hotels.
Unlike many theme parks we have in India - there aren't many water rides or activities in Disney. You need not carry swimming costumes here
If you have any further quires both on Disney park and studio I am more than happy to explain.

Back to Paris
The must see in Paris for me are only two places
1. The Eiffel
2. The Louvre
For Eiffel you have to buy tickets online and its important that you reach there in time as each ticket is valid only for few hours. You will need two tickets for each person. The first one goes till top of 2nd Floor and the 2nd ticket will take you all the way to top. The second ticket need not be reserved on-line if its not available. The queue for this is not very long. but the first ticket you must have in advance or else be ready to stand on queue for couple of hours
Eiffel is spectacular in the night also - so please find time to visit it past 10 pm- by the way days are very long in Paris at this time. For night view you need not go to Eiffel. You could see it from any nearby places
The Louvre
If you want to cover this place- dedicate a full day and be ready to walk miles and miles. Most people who visit Louvre would quickly pass by Monalisa and Venus De Milo to take some snaps for bragging and leave the place. I suggest if that's the plan drop Louvre. You need a full day and nothing less. If you plan to visit Louvre buy Museum pass from the airport. Its expensive if you want to see only Louvre, but gain time is precious and you don't want to spend hours waiting to get inside
Other nice things to do in Paris
-
Mouline Rouge- Its not a nude dance show as some people think. Its a great show and try not to miss this. It would cost about 100 Euro and worth every penny spent. Here again book tickets in advance almost everyday this show is sold out (at times even a month early)
- Notre Dam Church and River Cruise - A walk around this busy central area of Paris is great. The church and the river cruise will get you closer to history and culture of this great city.
For the days you are in Paris City take the day tickets for train. It will help you save time - do not buy Paris pass. But a bunch of 10 Tickets. Paris pass is a big scam
Do not plan to move with luggage in Paris city - particular on subways. Though it might sound strange - there are no escalators or lifts in 90% of the train stations. You will have to carry your baggage and its a painful process. The lockers are available only in few stations and most of them are difficult to get
Print the Paris Train system Map - the train connectivities and different lines are bit confusing but a bit of reference its will be very easy. Please travel very very light

To Zurich
-The afternoon bullet train is the best option to go to Zurich. Mostly getting seats is not an issue in Europe, but this route is busy. If you can afford to have a confirmed time and date, then reserve your ticket using rail Europe website
Titlis, Rigi, Interlaken, Jungfrau and Zurich itself is the major places to see in Swiss
More than the places what I enjoyed most was the travel through this country. There are few scenic train journeys in Swiss. They are all awesome. Bernina Express and Glacier Express are the best mountain trains. Try either of them for Swiss Mountains. The Golden Pass Train is to enjoy village beauty of the country. People usually reserve tickets on this trains. For Golden pass I also recommend booking advance - but the others need not be booked in advance
Rigi and mount Titlis are relatively easier rides but Jungfrau is expensive and tiring. Lot of online info available on these small trips.
The First day morning itself buy a Swiss Pass. It will appear expensive initially but you will recover more than what you have paid for plus a lot of time will be saved
4 days are too little to cover Swiss - so what I would suggest is
reach Zurich late night stay and rest for night,
The first morning start with buying Swiss Pass- Proceed to Titlis and come back.

The next day go for Bernina Express come back (Glacier Express is a longer journey and you may not see much snow in July).

Next day go to Rigi - leave luggage at Lucern (there are lockers available)on the way to Rigi. The Rigi trip follow the Moutian Train way up, rope way on way down and Ferry to cross the lake and Reach Lucern. Collect luggage from Lucern proceed to Interlaken.

Next day take Golden Pass train to Geneva and proceed to Amsterdam from Geneva.

Please feel free to contact me for any further info on Paris and Swiss. Unfortunately I am yet to visit Amsterdam. probably at that time you could help me plan. If you need to see any pictures of our trip - please let me know. I could post a few. But I suggest keep the suspense. Its going to be a treat for your eyes.

Cheers

Last edited by Renjith_Mani : 11th May 2015 at 18:29.
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Old 11th May 2015, 18:54   #223
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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Originally Posted by an_and View Post
While I can get an international license, how viable would it be for me to book a car given that I have no prior experience driving in any foreign land. I am thinking more of walking or taking public transport.

25 - Arrive in the Hague - roam around
26 - Explore the Hague (museum, etc) -
27 - Travel to Amsterdam / Explore
28 - Check out of the hotel, travel to Paris (need suggestions on mode of transport) - Check in, explore a little bit
29 - Disney?
30 - Disney?
1 - Disney?
2 - Local sight seeing in Paris
3 - Check out of paris - travel to switzerland
7 - travel to Amsterdam or travel back to India from Zurich.
Hi Anand, Firstly you do not need an IDP to drive in Europe. Your Indian DL if its in English is good enough for you to drive. I have driven a lot in Europe and all with just my Indian DL.

Coming to your Itinerary, in case you are keen on driving, how does below look like:

25: Start with exploring Amsterdam. Can visit Rijksmuseum, Canal cruise, Oude Krek, Zaanse Schans etc. Should be done in 2 days (coming up in my thread).

27: Start early morning and drive to The Hague. As per what I know out of my research, apart form the Museum, there is nothing major to see if not for the place itself. So you can reach there by 9am, finish it all by 2 or 3 and drive onwards to Paris to reach there by dinner time.

28~1: Paris which can include The Eifel tower, The Louvre Museum, Disney Land etc.

2~7: Start early morning and drive towards Berne, have lunch in Berne or Geneva and reach Interlaken by evening. Take a day up to jungfraujoch, around Grindelwald etc You can include Zurich, Matterhorn, Titlis etc too and Fly out of Zurich.

You can also visit my Thread:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...road-trip.html (My European Sojourns: The making of a dream road trip!)

And even better, Tanveer's Thread:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...s-15-days.html (Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days)

You will get a lot of ideas.

Last edited by vinayrathore : 11th May 2015 at 19:08.
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Old 11th May 2015, 21:38   #224
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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The queue for this is not very long. but the first ticket you must have in advance or else be ready to stand on queue for couple of hours
Tickets sold on the Eiffel Tower website have to be booked around 3 months in advance because it gets sold out rather fast. If you aren't buying from there, then your other option is to go with tour guides which again has to be booked in advance but are available easily - but they cost 3-4 times of what you would pay if you book from the Tower website.
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Old 11th May 2015, 22:17   #225
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Tickets sold on the Eiffel Tower website have to be booked around 3 months in advance because it gets sold out rather fast. If you aren't buying from there, then your other option is to go with tour guides which again has to be booked in advance but are available easily - but they cost 3-4 times of what you would pay if you book from the Tower website.
You are right. There are no tickets available to the summit till August. On the dates I will be there, there are tickets available to the 2nd floor, but only at 11:00 p.m. :-(
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