Paris remains to be one of the most popular European destinations among tourists, yes, but for those who wish to make the most out of their time vacationing in Europe, going on a cross-country road trip is usually a great plan. For instance, if you’ve been planning to personally see the Eiffel Tower, you might as well go to Amsterdam and cycle your way around the city like the locals do.
Traveling Between Amsterdam and Paris
The most common way of going from Amsterdam to Paris (and vice versa) is by Thalys train. The travel time usually lasts 3.5 hours.
Alternatively, you can go for a 6-hour drive if you’re interested in passing through Belgium and seeing more of the beautiful countryside. Many cheap flights have also become widely available nowadays, with each plane ride lasting around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Hence, you can ride a train, drive a car, or you can fly to Paris from Amsterdam. The option you choose will mostly depend on your budget and time constraints.
Why Make a Detour at Amsterdam?
You may be holding yourself back from adding destinations to your Parisian trip. After all, you’re not certain which other European cities are worth the extra money.
If you can only add one other city to your upcoming Euro trip, Amsterdam is definitely worth going for your backpacking experience. With its unique charms, rich culture and art, and interesting historical architecture, the Dutch capital stands to make your Paris vacation even more memorable.
Fortunately, there are ways to explore Amsterdam affordably and still get the full experience. If you’re currently looking for a push to include this liberal city in your Paris itinerary, listed below are some notable reasons why many tourists enjoy going there:
1. Tourist Safety
Whether you’re traveling with a group or you’re going solo, Amsterdam is a relatively safe city to be in. Solo female travelers usually don’t have much issues getting around. Understandably, it can be difficult to explore a foreign place on your own, but, fortunately, Amsterdam gives you the freedom to enjoy the place without fearing for your safety.
Additionally, Amsterdam is very friendly to pedestrians. You wouldn’t need to ride taxis so often because getting to places by foot isn’t a hassle.
2. Cyclist Heaven
For those who aren’t very fond of walking but would like to skip taxis, renting a bike is a great alternative. After all, Amsterdam is known as the world’s most bike-friendly city. With hundreds of miles worth of bicycle paths, biking is the easiest way to tour around.
3. Rich Culture and History
Amsterdam has a number of attractions that will surely be appreciated by culture and history enthusiasts. Examples include:
- Anne Frank House
- Dam Square
- Royal Palace
- Albert Cuyp Market
If art museums are your thing, listed below are some places that you should definitely not miss out:
- Van Gogh Museum
- Rembrandt House Museum
What you see above isn’t a complete list, but those are just some of the places that highlight the best of Dutch art and culture.
4. Canal Cruises
Known as the “Venice of the North”, Amsterdam features 165 canals that have a total distance of almost 100 kilometers. These were originally built in the 1600s when Amsterdam was recognized as a fishing town. In 2010, UNESCO declared Amsterdam’s canal ring to be a World Heritage Site.
5. Local Beer Experience
The Netherlands is among the biggest beer exporters in the world. That said, you can expect the Dutch to really know their stuff when it comes to beer.
Amsterdam has a sprawling café culture that can help you find your new favorite beer flavor. It is worth noting that the term “cafés” doesn’t refer to coffee shops in the Netherlands. They are more like pubs where you can get a beer and relax.
6. Natural Ambience
Amsterdam is famous for its city gardens. If you want to take a break from all the tours you’ve been taking, it isn’t hard to find a peaceful place in the middle of the city’s busy-ness. Some of the most popular parks and gardens in Amsterdam include:
- Hortus Botanicus
Keukenhof, which is regarded as the “Garden of Europe”, is the poster child of the Netherlands’ tourist destinations. It is, after all, the largest flower garden in the world where you get to see windmills and tulips.
Keukenhof is located in Lisse, a town that is 34 kilometers away from Amsterdam. It’s only open from March to May, so consider that when going for a visit.
Conclusion: From Worthy Detour to Actual Destination
Paris may be the city that you’ve always been thinking of touring, but many cities in Western Europe are also worth stopping by. If you’re looking for other places to make your Parisian vacation a lot more fulfilling, consider going to Amsterdam on your upcoming Euro trip.