Europe [June 29 - August 27] ... Shopping & General Travel Tips Appreciated ;-)

  1. Hello ... It's been a while since I last posted and to be honest, I've missed reading all your posts quite a bit!

    I'm going to be traveling to Europe this year and taking a short course in Milan somewhat related to my major ... My itinerary is as follows:

    29/06 - 01/07 -- PARIS [To make the beginning of the sale!]
    01/07 - 31/07 -- MILAN [Any recommendations for things to do, places to go, and general designer bargain hunting?]
    31/07 - 01/07 -- VENICE
    01/07 - 04/07 -- ROME
    04/07 - 06/07 -- MADRID
    06/07 - 10/07 -- BARCELONA
    10/07 - 18/07 -- LONDON
    18/07 - 27/07 -- AMSTERDAM [Might be taking short trips around Amsterdam on the Eurail though ...]

    This will be my first trip alone ... I'm very nervous! Any suggestions or tips from fellow fashionistas would be appreciated ...
  2. My friend lives in Venice and she has said it is VERY expensive so beware. She also says it is beautiful and every evening she falls in love with the city all over again.

    Spain: Mango and Zara are good. Spain also has really good leather goods - shoes and bags. Definitely worth picking a few of these things up while you are there. I also bought gucci sunglasses there for cheaper than UK.

    London: Obviously Topshop for fashion bargains. Warehouse, Miss Selfridges and Morgan are great. Actually Morgan will probably be cheaper in Paris! Debenhams have good sales. Go to Harrods simply for the experience and have lunch there too.

    Amsterdam: dunno about clothes but i have been told to order cake in the cafes! ;)
  3. I *love* Mango and Zara both ... I think the two make up 75% of my closet ... You and I seem to like the same things ... Wonderful :smile:

    As for the cakes in Amsterdam ... I've been recommended the same by a few friends. Sadly I'll be staying with my Grandma there and because of that I may have to adhere to a strict low-calorie diet.
  4. i hope you have a great trip. while you are in london try to head to portabello market for cool trinkets and vintage stuff. you have to get there super early though. you can not miss out topshop. and you will be there in time for the sales, in the last topshop sale i got an entire outfit for £40 including shoes!!
  5. For Paris:Galleries La Fayette & Avenue Montaigne for shopping. Disneyland Paris, Eiffeltower, Notre Dam & Louvre.
    ROme: Sixteenth Chappel & ST Pietro...don't forget the Trevi fountain. Take the bus from Termini and just enjoy the breathtaking view by night.
    Madrid: Not so many touristic things to do. Summers are very hot there... Visit the Gran Via, Puerta del Sol and some tapas with cerveza con limon.
    Barcelona: One word: Beautifull!!! I love this city!!!
    Go salsa dancing. Visit the Sagrada Famila, Parc Guël and don't forget Paseo Gracia and the Rambla+ the olympic Mountain!
    For Amsterdam....I'll summon them up for you! Let me think of all the great places you can visit
    I'll be back with more! :smile:
  6. I visited Printemps in Paris. It's a department store. I WAS IN HEAVEN.
  7. :huh:OOooooo....Amsterdam!

    OK, well there's the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum which are fantastic (and right next door to PC Hooftstraat with all the Designer shopping!). A Hop-on Hop-off Canal tour is very interesting and will take you around all the major tourist points as well as fill your noggin with lots of fascinating information about a wonderful city. Also, there are bike tours which are great - both a city and country one (with a beer stop along the way).

    If you're into beer then you can tour the Heineken factory. The Red Light District is a real eye-opener, it's mostly filled with men though so I suggest that you wander through there mid-late afternoon just to be on the safe side. There's a Pot Museum, a Sex Museum, Anne Franks House and a plethora of Coffee Shops which will sell you many different "laced" baked goods. If you do go that route then Frites (Fries) with Mayonnaise will take care of any munchies you get and is delicious. Manneken Piss (don't ask) is a very popular Frites joint (near Red Light District) and IMO serves fantastic fries. The big glob of mayonnaise they put on top is perfect.

    The dutch are extremely helpful and speaking english is no problem for them. Taxi's are expensive but the city is well served with trams and buses (and it isn't enormous, so very easy to walk around). Bikes are a fab way to get around too..........and a good way to walk off all the "brownies" and frites that were consumed the day before lol.

    You won't find a Starbucks here, only in Schipol airport but finding a coffee is easy enough - take away is starting to take-off, normally it's a sit-down thing. The milk they serve with it is like a condensed milk (you can get fresh milk if you ask) and you'll always get a little cookie. Smoking is still pretty popular here but there are more and more non-smoking areas in restaurants/cafes.

    I live in The Hague (Den Haag) which is about 3/4 hour from Amsterdam on the train. GREAT restaurants, a freakishly odd beach (it's the North Sea but the locals love it), average shopping, but has some great galleries (Mauritshaus has Girl with a Pearl Earring) and is full of expats. It's only a short tram ride to Delft (famous for Delft Blue Pottery and Vemeer's birthplace), which is a nice place to spend a few hours.

    Unfortunately I really haven't explored Holland too much. Maastricht is stunning (been there but it's right near the border of Germany....I think....and has great shopping) and Utrecht is supposed to be nice.

    I've just typed all of this and realised that I haven't talk about fashion. Shopping in Holland is ok, has pretty much the same as other European cities (no Gap or Topshop, but has Zara, Mango, Esprit, Benneton, H & M, Sisley, Morgan) and has some great local talent like Mexx and Turnover.

    Have a wonderful trip! :flowers:
  8. I couldn't have said it any better, Cal:lol:

    Please, do visit the Bijenkorf. It's like a luxe department store! I love it!!! Go have a coffee and some TDF cake overthere!!:drool:
    Also Visit Leidse Plein, It's a square with lots of shops & restaurants surrounding it.
    You can also go to Amstelveen, which is not in the city but is very nice to shop! You can reach it with tram 5.
    BTW I wouldn't recommend the bike trips...but than again, you should go and see for yourself...
    Well it seems like you have enough to do for now :smile:
    Please let us know how your trip was! Enjoy!
  9. oh fabulous thread! i leave a week from monday for my euro trip!
  10. I love you guys! Thanks for all the tips ... very very helpful! Added most to my "places to visit" list for each city ... Will reply in sporadic increments ... Too much to say!!!

    I heard about Portabello market ... what kind of trinkets and vintage stuff? And do you happen to know when the TopShop sale starts? *excited*

    I'm staying in the Champs Elysees area for 2 nights next week, and then going back in August to stay at the Hilton near the Eiffel tower for 3 nights ... Probably will make the first trip my shopping one and the second would be the sightseeing ... I heard Disneyland's way overrated ... is that true? No other recommendations for Madrid? I actually am going for the bullfight ... not pro the violence but it's more about witnessing something that's a part of the culture over there ... Barcelona - well yea sounds like there's a lot of things I could do there ... I'm glad I planned to be there on my birthday, then! Of course most of these things might be more fun to do with some company ... since I'll be completely on my own, hmm ...

    Btw, just out of curiosity ... where are you originally from? I have a cousin named Farah ... Beautiful name!

    Oo so many places to shop at in Paris ... I wish I'd prepared more money to spend! Where's the Printemps located???

    What a thorough review! Thank you SO much ... very very helpful! I probably won't be doing much shopping in Amsterdam, actually [although the Hooftstraat sounds like a place I should visit at least once] ... I'd rather explore the city itself, the museums as you mentioned ... the Red Light District [definitely will go in the afternoon, thanks for the tip], and the Pot/Sex Museum. I'm on a tight budget with all I want to fit into this trip, so I doubt I'd be using taxis too much ... and I have heard that biking's the thing to do there, but I'm just not so physically fit I don't think ... :-/

    The Frites sound good ... another Dutch favorite of mine - pofertjes! [sp?]

    Thank you SO much!!!! *mwah*

    Hello, again. :smile:

    Okay then the Bijenkorf and Hoofstraat are must-visits! TDF cake ... *tempted*

    I'll try to get to Amstelveen, too ... and yea, I don't think I'll be going on the bike trips, actually ...

    Oo awesome! Where will you be going? Will this be a family trip? We should swap tips ...
  11. Oh, btw ... quick question, I'm planning on booking a hotel in Amsterdam for two nights since a friend of mine might be flying in from London while I'm there but we're both on a tight budget so we're not sure where to stay that's still a place of comfort and quality ... I was looking up hotels online, and we've found something in the "Amsterdam South" area ... not sure what that's like. Is that a good idea? Also, my Holland experts, which part of Amsterdam would·Leidseplein be in?
  12. Paris - Montemarte, Galleries LaFayette (they have a kicking cafeteria upstairs) to add to those that have been mentioned. How about Versailles? I loved it there :yes:

    Madrid was just shopping for me, I hunted down all the Zaras and Mangos I could fit in my schedule! I know there is a Mango outlet but I wasn't able to make it there, a gf of mine said that the prices were dirt cheap!!! On another note, the Prado museum is free on Sundays.

    I absolutely adored Amsterdam too. But I was there for only a couple of days and my aunt showed me around the Red light district :roflmfao: and some windmills near her house. We took a day trip to Brussels and ate some waffles too.

    Venice I will never tire of. I find it just beautiful there. Try to go to the Murano glass factory, I'm not sure if you could squeeze it in. There are boats to the island twice a day, if I remember right.

    Have fun!!!
  13. Originally I'm from South America- Surinam. :yes: In my country we have a diversity of cultures. And people from Indonesia are one of the big 5... so there you have it. Thnx Btw ;) I'll give the complements to my dad..hahaha

    I would recommend visiting PC Hooft!! They don't only have all the International designerstores (No dior), but they also have nice other shops overthere..
    Amsterdam South is near the city. And Leidse Plein is in the city. (tram 1,2 and 5) It's not bad at all in the area of south amsterdam, as long as there is a tramstop nearby. But I would recommend finding a hotel in the city area.
    Maybe this is something for you...

    Albus Grand Hotel
    Contemporary hotel close to Rembrandt Square
    Vijzelstraat 49
    1017 HE Amsterdam

    Rembrandt Square – 50 metres
    Floating Flower Market – 75 metres
    Kalverstraat (pedestrian shopping street) – 75 metres
    Opera house – 300 metres
    Hermitage Museum – 400 metres
    Amsterdam Historical Museum – 400 metres
    Begijnhof – 400 metres
    Rembrandt House – 500 metres
    Dam Square / Royal Palace – 1 kilometre (0.5 miles)
    Rijksmuseum – 1.5 kilometres (1 mile)
    Artis (zoo) – 1.5 kilometres (1 mile)
    Central railway station – 2 kilometres (1 mile)
    Anne Frank House – 2 kilometres (1 mile)
    Van Gogh Museum – 2 kilometres (1 mile)
    Vondelpark – 2 kilometres (1 mile)[/SIZE][/FONT]

    The tramline is nearby, so if you don't want to walk, just take the tram line.
    EVerything is in walking distance, even LeidsePlein (which is nearby the Pc hooft and all the Museums):smile:
    Have fun girl!
  14. Madrid: Go the the Prado Mueseum, Visit the Palace, Go see Picasso's famous painting "Guernica" in the Museum "El Museso de Reina Sofia." Hang out at the Plaza Mayor.

    Barcelona: Check out all of Gaudi's Buildings, esp. La Sagrada Familia, visit Las Ramblas.

    Have some tapas (tortilla espanola was my favorite) and have some Kas de Limon con Liquor de Melocoton.

    Have fun, I love Spain!!
  15. Wow, sounds like a great trip you're going to make!

    Cal and Farah beat me to it, but you should definitely try the poffertjes, I love them!
    You can eat them at Le Soleil, Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 56, near Leidseplein.
    And get this, even Brad Pitt came to Le Soleil when he was shooting Ocean's 12 in Amsterdam. :nuts:

    Have a fun and save trip!