Hotels are booked!
After booking our Spring trip to Prague, Paris & Amsterdam, I took some time yesterday to actually book our hotels for our stay! I have never been to any of these places, so I had to do a little reconnaissance work to figure out which area would be the best for our little family fiesta. My dad and sister both put a lot of faith in me to make these kind of decisions (not sure if that’s the wisest, but we’ll soon find out), so I took the liberty of picking areas that I thought provided the best bang for our buck… err.. euro. Typically, when I’m booking a hotel, I try to find a place that’s relatively close to public transport (preferably the Metro, but bus & tram can suffice). It’s usually much more expensive to stay in the touristy spots, plus the restaurants in those areas are pretty hit or miss… I’m sure a lot of them realize that they’re getting one-time tourist customers and can charge ridiculous prices and not deliver. So, for all of the places that I booked, I chose accommodations within 5 minutes walking from the town’s subway system — thank God for public transportation (America, listen up)!
So, in Prague, we (read: I) decided to stay in this awesome hotel near the Old Town Square. And– get this– two nights in this four-star hotel, free Wi-fi and breakfast for a mere £98. For both nights. For all three of us! Needless to say, we were pretty stoked (perhaps it was an error on expedia’s part?) and are all really pumped to explore.
In Paris, there were so many areas, I had to really investigate. Luckily, with the help of the internet and with my handy Let’s Go Europe! book, I managed to find a pretty great hotel that was reasonably priced (which seems to be a feat in the City of Lights). Though we looked at places in 1eme/2eme (near the Louvre) and 5eme/6eme (the Latin Quarter), we actually settled on a place that borders 9eme (L’Opera) and 18eme (Montmartre). The place is darling and it’s down the street from the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. Plus it’s well connected by transport links (metro & train station are nearby). Considering it was about £200 pounds (total) cheaper than staying near the Louvre or Eiffel Tower, I think we’re happy with our decision.
Amsterdam… ugggh… Amsterdam was rough. I’ve never been there before and I haven’t really investigated it because it’s not much of my scene. When I was looking, however, I was surprised at how expensive the majority of the hotels are! I thought Amsterdam was going to be the least of my worries, but it ended up being the most challenging. After reading a few helpful hints on Expedia, we decided to stay in the Jordaan area (pronounced yor-darn). It’s supposed to be a pretty area – lots of canals, art and markets nearby.
Now that everything’s booked, I’m so excited to get some sightseeing in and explore! I’m actually very happy with our (much-debated) itinerary. My dad and sister will both get a pretty good taste of Western Europe (London + Paris), a bit of Eastern Europe (Prague) and then a touch of something unique in Amsterdam!
53 days and counting! Now, off to the Tate Modern to soak in some art on my day off!