Thursday, September 18, 2014

Trip Itinerary Idea : Prague to London in 7 Days

7 Days, Prague to London

 

 

Visit 4 countries: Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium

Begin in medieval Prague in Czech Republic, tour Dresden and Berlin in Germany, party in Amsterdam in Netherlands and sip Belgian hot chocolate in Brugge.

Itinerary


  • Day 1: Prague

    Begin in Prague, the beautiful capital of Czech Republic. A walking tour can take you to the memorable Charles Bridge, Hradcany Castle, the Tyn Church and Wenceslas Square. Then, perhaps we can check out why Prague’s nightlife is so famous! 

  • Day 2: Prague

    Explore this Gothic city full of dramatic spires, cobbled alleys, rumbling trams, hand-made puppets and artists around Charles Bridge. Stroll through the Jewish Quarter, visit Old Town Square and the medieval Town Hall, and perhaps find an old traditional inn to try the excellent (and cheap) local beer. 
  • Day 3: Berlin

    Stop in 800 year old Dresden in Germany, a city which has heroically rebuilt itself following near-destruction during World War II. After seeing the symbolic Frauenkirche and other beautiful buildings, continue on to Berlin, Germany’s vibrant capital. A driving tour can take you to the remains of the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag building, Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and more impressive landmarks. 
  • Day 4: Berlin

    Berlin is yours to discover today. You can hear about the rise and fall of the Nazis on an optional ‘Third Reich’ walking tour in the morning, which takes in sites of historical significance including the spot where Hitler had his bunker. Other attractions include world class museums such as the German History Museum and the Pergamon Museum, the massive Berlin Zoo, and a myriad of cool shops, cafés and bars. At night you can take an optional Nightlife tour and check out some of Berlin’s coolest nightspots! 
  • Day 5: Amsterdam

    It's a fairly long drive to the Netherlands, which gives you a chance to conserve your energy for Amsterdam! The 'Dam is a city of contrasts where bicycles, clogs, tulips and the infamous Red Light District live side by side in harmony. Just outside the city, stop at a traditional farm to see how Dutch cheese and clogs (wooden shoes) are made. After checking in to your hotel, head into the heart of Amsterdam to see Dam Square or even investigate the Red Light District itself! 
  • Day 6: Amsterdam

    Take a full day to enjoy Amsterdam. A bike ride is the perfect way to tour the city, just like the locals. Wander the canals or visit attractions such as Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum and the Heineken Experience. In the evening, look forward to dinner in a local restaurant, followed by a canal cruise on a private boat along Amsterdam’s waterways. 
  • Day 7: London

    Make your way to the Belgian city of Brugge in the morning, where a walking tour will take in the city’s excellent Gothic architecture. We’ll have free time here to seek out some Belgian specialities – chocolate, waffles and beer! Afterwards, drive to Calais in France to catch a ferry across the English Channel. 
    Go HERE for train times and tickets in and around the cities. 

    While in Berlin:

    Grunewald is Berlin’s largest forested area, to the south-west of Charlottenburg and easily accessible via S-bahn. Pack a picnic and head down here for a day of tranquil respite from the bustle of the city. Venture through the woods by foot, bicycle or on horseback and, if weather permits, take a dip in the clean waters of Schlachtensee or Wannsee, the nearest of the forest’s several freshwater lakes. Look out for Teufelsberg, a man-made hill rising above the woodland, constructed by the Allies after World War II from the city’s rubble. Although there’s no general access to the hill, you can get to the top of the hill by going on a guided tour: English tours start at 1.30pm on Sundays.



    Posing for four shots in Berlin’s Photoautomaten is an almost obligatory activity. These black and white photo booths are open all hours and scattered across the city. The photos only take a few minutes to print and provide a brilliant souvenir of your time in the city. Draw back the curtain and pose for posterity or cram in your friends for a fun set of snaps.




    A shopping tour of Berlin covers a lot of ground. North Mitte has recently risen as a key shopping district, counting scores of boutiques and independent retailers around Torstraße and Mulackstraße (view our shopping guide: Berlin's 20 best stores). Those in search of vintage clothing should venture further north to Prenzlauer Berg, to the areas many small and well-selected shops. Alternatively you can pay for the contents of your basket according to weight in a number of outlets: head westwards to Garage at Nollendorf Platz, or to the vast and musty Colours Kleidermarkt on Bergmannstraße. For oodles of vintage at bargain prices, the Humana chain of second hand stores is one to note, of which a big outlet is in Alexanderplatz. Friedrichstraße is the street for big name designer stores as well as KaDeWe, Europe's largest department store, which offers a fantastic range for those with a larger budget.



    The Olympiastadion exemplifies fascist taste in architecture. This arcaded classical oval of pale Franconian stone is simple but grandiose and on an epic scale. Its greatest claim to fame however came during the 1936 Olympics, which had been intended by the National Socialist government to be a showcase for Aryan triumph. Instead the stadium was the spot where black American athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals, emphatically disproving Hitler’s ideas about racial superiority in front of the world’s media. The original design survived World War II bombs and demolition threats, before undergoing a major refit for the 2006 World Cup: now a hovering disc leaves the central structure open to the sky.


     While in Amsterdam:



    When you think of Amsterdam, images like clogs, tulips, cheese and windmills spring to mind. But beyond the clichés lie unique sights. Just outside the city, there's the Zaanse Schans museum, detailing the history and symbolism of the clog, and other tradtional crafts. The most famous place to buy tulips is the Bloemenmarkt, along the Singel, and you can find flavourful cheeses at the smart Reypenaer tasting room. Meanwhile, eight windmills remain in Amsterdam, the most famous of which is De Gooyer. It's a great place to sip a beer, as it's right next to the award-winning artisan brewery Brouwerij 't IJ.


    Criss-crossed by bridges, 165 canals encircle the city of Amsterdam and keep the sea at bay. The waterways provide an attractive border to the arty locales of the Museum Quarter, the Jordaan and the Pijp. Within the pockets of land that their eclectic network creates, you can find shops, galleries and authentic cafés. The most picturesque of canals is Prinsengracht, lined by shady trees and funky houseboats. As you wander up to this area, you'll find the tall spire of the Westerkerk and the modest Anne Frank Huis. Smaller canal areas that are worth visiting include the historic Brouwersgracht, one of the city's most desirable residential addresses.
    Herring stall, Herengracht, Amsterdam

    You simply must try raw herring. We don't want to hear any excuses. The best time to try one is between May and July when the new catch hits the stands, because this doesn't require any extra garnish such as onions and pickles, since the fish's flesh is at its sweetest. There's a quality fish stall or store around most corners. There are stalls all over town, but the best places to buy a herring include the family-run Stubbe's Haring on the Singel Haarlingersluis near Centraal Station. This fish is a bargain snack and makes for an authentic Dutch eating experience.


    Amsterdam's Red Light District has cultivated a notorious reputation on the international stage. But when you visit, you'll discover that the reality is a bit different. It's like a small, cutesy version of Las Vegas, with cheesy sex shops selling blow-ups, massive dildos and other outrageous toys. Situated in a rough triangle formed by the Central Station, it's the oldest part of the city. But its historical significance has been largely obscured by the popularity of window-shopping in the area. Along its streets, the multi-cultural community of prostitutes, junkies, clerics, carpenters and cops freely intermingle, exhibiting a strange kind of social cosiness. As a tourist, of course, you'll be a mere voyeur.



    At the Begijnhof, a secluded garden and courtyard offers a hidden sanctuary where traffic sounds dim and the bustle of the city fades into the distance. Established as a 14th-century convent, it formerly housed the religious and liberated sisterhood of the Beguines. In the centre of the courtyard stands the Engelse Kerk, the principal place of worship for the local English community. It's worth stepping inside to take a good look at the pulpit panels, designed by Mondrian. Although it's popular with tourists, noise levels never rise above a whisper.