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wilko154

Cologne, Amsterdam, Brussels & Paris

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Bit of a list but heading to these cities next week, 2 days each.

Any recommendations on what to see in each one and any bar/restaurants worth a visit?

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did a day trip to Cologne as part of a recent lads trip to Düsseldorf  ... there seemed to be a fair bit of interesting things to see but tbh we just went in the cathedral then made the mistake of getting a beer and , well that was the end of any pretence of sight seeing ..but it's very pleasant and you can walk about on the river front and old town ... If you like Pork , then try out SweinHaxe ( Pork Knuckle with crackling ...mmmmmm crackling  ) , most restaurants serve it , but there is one down by the river that specialises in it and has about 20 different variations 

Amsterdam -  everyone tends to do Heiniken museum , Ann Frank house , Canal trip , sex museum and red light district  ... Ajax stadium might be worth a look around ( i saw them play Corinthians when i was there) .. can hire a bike and cycle around if you want to go native  ..oh and if if you visit the Madame Tussauds that is there then we can never be friends :)

Brussels - if it's your thing then a  trip out to Waterloo , though tbh there isn't' a great deal there , main square is quite picturesque and delirium bar just off it does hundreds of different beers that will spoil your plans .. I became quite fond of the champagne beer they sold  , to the point I was on a work trip and came home the next day looking like I'd been on a stag do

Paris - probably the best one on your list , all the obvious places like Louvre , Eiffel tower , boat trip down the Seine , just buy a Paris card and travel everywhere on metro /trains etc ... Beer is a fortune here though  , think it was around €18 a pint in some areas  , the food street market by the Eifel tower was a bit more reasonable , but they just sold cans of beer so not really a long term plan

probably a bit vague on the specific bars  but I rarely take note of bar names tbh  , I struggle to remember my own name by the time I leave most of them :)

Edited by tonyh29
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if its touristy stuff and beer in cologne then head to the centre, see the dom, then head behind the dom take a right and walk up stream, there is a nice riverside area with bars etc and you can see the bridge covered in padlocks at the top end behind the dom, wouldn't say there is loads to see and do, most of the time I am there its just strolling round the neighbourhoods,  shopping and drinking

food wise, try the bakeries, they are everywhere, its mental how many bakeries there are, big chains but don't think gregs, they aren't peddling out cheap shit to the masses, the food is pretty awesome, local delicacy is Himmel und erde (heaven and earth) which is black pudding, mashed potatoes onions and apple sauce, schnitzel is obviously good, so is curry wurst and if you go to some of the more local lively areas like ehrenfeld you'll find loads of Turkish food (there are some areas of the city that are comparable to asianisation of brum)

you kind of have to try the kolsch too

don't bother with the right hand side of the river unless there's something specific you want to see

shopping is pretty good in the centre and then heading west (albeit expensive) and I hope you're not in germany on the sunday, the place shuts down still

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15 hours ago, villa4europe said:

shopping is pretty good in the centre and then heading west (albeit expensive) and I hope you're not in germany on the sunday, the place shuts down still

We are in Cologne on Sunday, leave for Amsterdam Monday morning.

Is it just the shops that shut down or is it bars/restaurants?

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just the shops but I think because everyone knows it then the number of people drops off, maybe a good thing! but it might also give a false impression of the place having no real buzz about it which would be a shame because cologne is really busy, its hard to explain its a good city with lots going on but not really a great deal to see, the main tourist attraction is the dom and the river, you could do that in about an hour

from the hbf walk along the river to heumarkt then from there walk towards neumarkt ands that's the centre done, the easy touristy bars are down near st martins church, I also like the area down from severinsbrucke, if the weather is good you can cross over the river and sit on the river banks with your own food and drink (but it will have to be from a kiosk because of the shops!)

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4 hours ago, villa4europe said:

just the shops but I think because everyone knows it then the number of people drops off, maybe a good thing! but it might also give a false impression of the place having no real buzz about it which would be a shame because cologne is really busy, its hard to explain its a good city with lots going on but not really a great deal to see, the main tourist attraction is the dom and the river, you could do that in about an hour

from the hbf walk along the river to heumarkt then from there walk towards neumarkt ands that's the centre done, the easy touristy bars are down near st martins church, I also like the area down from severinsbrucke, if the weather is good you can cross over the river and sit on the river banks with your own food and drink (but it will have to be from a kiosk because of the shops!)

Thanks! We will make sure we do the bulk of it on Saturday and have a chilled day on Sunday then 👍

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Cologne - Drink a lot of beer...i didnt do a huge amount else to be honest. the cathedral was impressive though

Dam - avoid heineken experience. i thought it was shite personally

Brussels - not been

Paris - getting around is dead easy, as metro system is on par with london underground. i tend get 10 ticket books for €14 or something but someone above mentioned a metro card so might be worth looking into. imagine you'll do the usual sightseeing stuff...tower, notre dame, arc de triomphe, sacre coeur. i'd avoid catacombs, not worth the queue. jardain du luxembourg is nice, and the tuleries garden is probably lovely this time of year. you're probably not there long enough to get over to verseilles because to see the palace and explore the gardens properly is most of a day...but give it some thought, i think it's wonderful. and i dont normally like that sort of thing

bars/restaurants - if it looks big and touristy, it's because it is. food will be crap and expensive. my favourite restaurants are le hide and la ferrandaise which are around 35 euros for a 3 course menu which is actually on the expensive side for paris...anything north of that and you've either found somewhere quite upmarket or you're getting ripped off. on the flip side if you see somewhere offering 15 euro or less for 3 courses (and you'll see many) they're generally terrible. look for places off the beaten track for around the 20-25 euro mark. alternatively, a boat cruise with dinner are apparently quite good (according to my dad whose not easily pleased) - https://www.bateauxparisiens.com/en/meal-cruise.html

it really is a beautiful city...but the pretty parts come at a price. if you want a glass of something on the champs elysees with view of the arc, yeah it'll cost you an arm and a leg. if you're just tired and want a pint somewhere, you can still get one for under 10 euros in a back street bar.

 

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I was in mannheim last month and it was quite refreshing that they didn't have sunday trading. The main street was like a ghost town and the day after too as it was a bank holiday. Only a couple of bars or bistros were open, in the daytime hours anyway. 

I imagine Cologne to be the same on a sunday. Never been to Amsterdam so can't comment. Paris....yeah, the other posters have pretty much covered it. Ten euros for a pint though.....even that is steep,  capital city or not.

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I wish we'd done more (any) research before rocking up at Brussels, it's the most dull place we've ever visited. It has a pretty square to stand in for ten minutes, a statue of a boy pissing, and that's about it. For a capital city of a European country, it's almost impressive how much of a culture vacuum it is. It's a good job the beer is good because there's **** all else to do. 

It's also a **** shithole, I've never seen so much litter floating around on the street. 

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Brussels is great...for beer. The square is impressive and you'll look at the pissing kid for 10 seconds. Luckily there is a great bar next to that too. In fact, you're probably never further than 5 metres from a great bar in Brussels.

If you liked the Belgium beer then you're in luck when you get to Paris. Avoid the ludicrously expensive beers in some bars (though happy hours can save you) and pop into a G20 Supermarché where you'll find all of your favourite bottles of Belgian beers for less than £2 each. Grab a couple and enjoy outside of each point of interest. Montmartre is my favourite area of Paris, so why not crack open a Triple Karmeliet for breakfast and enjoy that in the square Louise-Michel below Sacré-Cœur. Start your day the right way, with an 8% ABV.

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