Vacations in Amsterdam & Italy too?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2014 5:35 PM GMT
    Hey guys,
    I haven't try to see if there's a topic with this same info, but I was wondering if someone has advises, past experiences on traveling to Amsterdam and to Italy. I am thinking maybe 15 days, first go to Italy and then Amsterdam around the 26th of April. My buddy told me there's a day called King's Day and it's pretty cool.

    I've been looking up hostels and trying to build an itinerary. For Italy I wanna do Rome, Pompeii, Naples and maybe Venice icon_smile.gif

    Anyone with crazy stories about these places, or advises or anything, please icon_smile.gif help a brother icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2014 8:34 PM GMT
    Netherlands is only alive on king's day (earlier it was Queen's day). So yeah, it's a good time to visit Amsterdam. Get yourself something orange. You won't need more than 3-4 days in Amsterdam. It isn't a very big city. So spend most of your time in Italy.

    I haven't travelled around Italy. So I can't advise much in that regard. For 10-11 days, don't visit more than 2-3 cities. I have heard good things about Florence also.
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    Dec 24, 2014 7:43 AM GMT
  • Olympus1991

    Posts: 71

    Dec 24, 2014 9:28 PM GMT
    I absolutly LOVE amsterdam!

    I Kingsday is absolutly amazing icon_smile.gif

    If you want to party make sure to see if you can go to a Rapido or a Funhouse party.
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    Dec 24, 2014 10:46 PM GMT
    I can recommend them Both; especially, Amsterdam. You will make some friends for life, there. To avoid sounding too much like a tourist, Pronounce it like :

    Ahm' stur dahm'

    w/ the accent on the last syllable!

    Italy is a gr8 place 2b a red wine-snob (much less expensive 4 good red wines, than other countries).
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 3866

    Dec 24, 2014 11:41 PM GMT
    A tip on Amsterdam:

    You'll probably want to see the redlight district some evening. It's quite fascinating.

    You can walk around gawking at all the hookers in their little picture windows, displaying their wares for the customers. But it's even more fun to watch them bartering with the johns. Problem is, it's a bit awkward to stand there and stare. Here's the solution:

    In the center of the redlight district, at a prominent public square, there's a pub called the Old Sailor. The sign has a weatherbeaten painting of Popeye. Go in and get a table by the window, and from there you can sit down, relax, have a couple beers, and watch all the commerce going on outside. It's a good evening's entertainment!
  • JamesItaly

    Posts: 26

    Dec 25, 2014 12:46 AM GMT
    Naples is a tourist trap,,, if you don't speak fluent (Southern) Italian you will be ripped off/fleeced (I don't know the American expression for being tricked out of money!). I would avoid the place.
    If you are travelling North to Venice anyway, Milan is definately worth a visit.
    Pm me if you have any questions.
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    Dec 25, 2014 1:38 AM GMT
    Awesome!, Thank you guys!

    I have a very good friend in Amsterdam so there with him will be a bit easier. Italy is the one I'm in a combination between excited/scared.

    For me, it's much cheaper to fly first to Italy using my aircrew benefits then buy to Amsterdam using a local airline. My friend advise me a few. Also its better If I fly first to Italy as later I can hit King's Day.

    Gotta start going over my italian classes on Duolingo. Maybe with my spanish I can try not to sound too foreign lol

    Thanks for all the advises. I'll pm you for sure JamesItaly. Thanks!
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    Dec 25, 2014 3:42 AM GMT
    Don't be reticent about de Nederland! Everyone there is abnormally polite as-well-as abnormally friendly. Everyone, from little toddlers to shriveled-up old grandmas' speaks English!

    If you explore by train in de Nederland, pay an extra 2 bucks for a train-taxi ticket @ the train station. When you get to your train's destination, any taxi will drive you to your ultimate destination; a great system, and the Dutch do not expect to be tipped!
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    Dec 25, 2014 5:31 AM GMT
    Amsterdam on Kingsday is the best. Make sure to be here early on 26st. So you can party on Kingsnight!

    Try and visit the more underground scene, and dont stay in the tourist centrum. Thats when you really get to know Amsterdam.
    Best thing about Amsterdam, its safe. You can walk to everywhere doesnt matter the time and normally less than nothing happens.

    Just dont buy your drugs from the streetdealers. They will sell you heroine for coke and that can kill you!
    Such a shame those idiots are givinĀ“ this city a bad name!
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    Dec 25, 2014 7:11 AM GMT
    Thank you Rocco! Thank you everyone!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 25, 2014 8:16 AM GMT
    Firstly, awesome! You're going to love it! Just had my first opportunity to visit this last summer and it was amazing.

    As far as time goes though, I will say we tried to visit a lot of different places and only stayed for about two weeks total. At the end of the trip I definitely wished we had more time to enjoy each place. So cutting down the number of places you stay and picking places with a lot of things to see and experience I think will help maximize enjoyability. LOVED Venice. Didn't get to see Rome though, maybe next time. :-P Amsterdam was cool too!

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is make sure you allot a couple of days for each location so you get a chance to experience it a little more. Don't rush yourself! And have fun! :-D
  • CyclingRi

    Posts: 271

    Dec 25, 2014 12:39 PM GMT
    Don't go to Venice, it is really not that special. My sugestion is to go to Milan, and to Lecco. Lecco is 45 minutes from Milan and it is an awesome place.

    You can try to book rooms over Airbnb or CouchSurfing.

    Have fun!

  • builtnycguy

    Posts: 256

    Dec 25, 2014 5:58 PM GMT
    I spent 20 days in Italy this past summer. I'm one of those tourists who enjoys himself anywhere he goes, so I don't have much bad to say about anyplace. But I'll try to give you the good and bad about each place.

    I'd advise four full days for Rome.
    The good: For me the Colosseum and Vatican and food were the highlights. I also enjoyed Sunday in the Villa Borghese. Best pizza was at Pizzarium and best gelato came from Fatamorgane -- both on the north side of Vatican City. The Roma Pass was useful for reduced admissions, avoiding long lines at the Colosseum, and using the subway.
    The bad: The Forum and Spanish Steps were a bit disappointing. A lot of the tourist areas are overrun with street hawkers from Bangladesh and Africa, and this may deviate from your perception of the Rome of your dreams. Hotels are expensive here.

    I took three days for the Campania area: one for Naples; one for Pompeii; and one for the Amalfi Coast.
    The good: I was apprehensive about Naples because of it's reputation for grit and unsavory characters, but I was glad I spent a day there. The National Archaeology Museum has one of the world's great sculpture collections. The town seems to get a bit better as one moves away from the train station. I'm not a shopper, but some women who are shoppers advised me that if you want to buy something in Italy, buy it in Naples: it's cheaper. And this seemed true. Pompeii is a much more impressive ruin than the Roman Forum and gives a better idea of everyday life at that time. I advise staying in pretty Sorrento rather than gritty Naples and spending some time to explore the Amalfi Coast. The best gelato I had in Italy came from Raki's in Sorrento. If you're a hiker, walk the Path of the Gods from above Amalfi to Positano. The Unico Campania card lets you ride trains and buses in the area and the Naples subway system.
    The bad: Naples is rather unattractive around the train station. Beware of pickpockets and other ripoff artists: you'll notice the same oily people working the trains and stations, especially between Naples and Pompeii. Although the transportation system isn't bad, you'll need to allow time to move between Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Amalfi -- and travel light because there isn't much space for luggage. Even though Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi are considered seaside resorts, you won't find much in the way of beaches there.

    Three days will give you a good enough dose of Venice.
    The good: Some places call themselves the Venice of the North, the Venice of America, the Venice of Asia, but there's really no place like Venice in the world. It really hasn't changed much in appearance from the old cityscape paintings you'll see in the museums. I loved walking around. (It was easier than I imagined because of frequent signage pointing to the major sites.) The city and waterways were cleaner than I anticipated. Fresh fruit from the Rialto market tasted great.
    The bad: It's expensive, especially the hotels and the transportation, though a vaporetto pass eases the cost some. Moving with luggage is a hassle here. In Venice, I always had the sense that I was in a living museum rather than a real, contemporary city. As such, the amount of tourism might get to you (even as you contribute to it). Venice offers much in the way of the art and history and novelty, but outside of those elements, the city is pretty limited. Not a lot of nightlife here, especially gay nightlife. (You have to travel to mainland Mestre for that.) Overall, outside of Milan, the gay nightlife in Italy was disappointing. Too much Catholic repression. But you've got Amsterdam for that.

    So then spend four days in Amsterdam. I haven't been in over 20 years, but I'll always remember it as city in Europe where I had the most fun. I like the Dutch people a lot. Outside of the Indonesian restaurants, the food's not great, but the beer is. Enjoy the beer, the museums, and the Dutch men!
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    Dec 25, 2014 7:58 PM GMT
    Amsterdam is one of my favourite cities! It's just such a nice city to wander without any goal. I was doing it all day. I had made up a stupid rule : each time I see a Febo fast-food, I have to get in and buy one kroket from the vending machine. I miss those so much.
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    Dec 26, 2014 9:25 AM GMT
    Builtnycguy had a lot of good points. Naples is definitely worth visiting - but I would stay in Sorrento, on the Amalfi coast. Naples, Pompei, and Herculaneum are a short train ride away on the Circumvesuviana-Railway. Beware of pickpockets. The museum in Naples is a must see - it has all the treasures (including the mind-numbing erotic art) removed from Pompei and Herculaneum. Take the bus up to Ravello, enjoy, and then hike down the canyon trail to Amalfi. RJ member Tanooki89 is constantly posting messages on the travel forum about visiting the Amalfi coast - You might want to pm him.

    Venice is a lot more interesting than Milan. Get a hotel far away from the train station, in a quieter part of town.

    In Rome, besides the Museum in the Villa Borghese (reservations are a must), investigate which churches have great paintings and sculpture inside, which you can visit for free. On going to the Vatican - get whatever reservations you can to get in it as soon as they open - Lines are incredibly long, and the place is always mobbed. If you are going to the Sistine Chapel, race through the museum on the way there, to beat the crowds. Climb the stairs to the roof viewing area, if open.

    Get a good guidebook - like Rick Steves - which includes opening hours of places you want to go, and how to get advance reservations.
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    Dec 26, 2014 1:33 PM GMT
    yeah Florence is much better than Naples or Venice. Sienna is cool too. Rome ia a big city if you're into that.
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 2573

    Dec 27, 2014 9:33 AM GMT
    If you're a city person, by all means visit Rome and its art and museums. Venice is very charming out of season. If you want to experience the real Italy, try driving through the Tuscan countryside, and visiting wineries and the ancient hill towns.
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    Dec 29, 2014 1:17 AM GMT
    It really depends on what you're into. As someone stated above, best bet is to get a good guide book, like a Rick Steves', or use the web to get a good plan of action.

    Amsterdam: Anne Frank House, Red Light District, the Riijks museum...all great. Also search for any special, temporary art exhibits that might be going on too. Also, Google "Homomonument" and check that out...really, really awesome!!!

    Italy: So many great things about this country! Rome, Venice, Florence, Siena, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Pisa & Lucca, San Gimignano...all definitely worth a visit, in my opinion.

    Generally speaking, I remember getting around town in Amsterdam was easy, whereas Italy was more challenging. So pick your hotels wisely in Italy and plan for long lines and travel times.

    As far as gay nightlife in both countries, I just hit the first gay bar I could, then grabbed a few local gay rags and went from there. Also, always ask the locals what they recommend...EVERYONE in these countries are so nice!!!

    Have fun!!!