I just got back from London and Iceland with Colin but I’m already gearing up for my next Europe trip! In just a few days, I’m headed back to Europe, this time with my dad. Here’s everything we have on our Amsterdam and Paris itinerary.
I am so excited to be returning to Amsterdam and Paris. Amsterdam was my home for the first half of 2014 when I studied abroad at the University of Amsterdam. I fell in love with the canals, the skinny houses and the delicious pancakes. I can’t believe I haven’t been back yet!
I visited Paris for a few days in 2012 and thought it was so charming and cute. While it’s not my favourite city in Europe, I am really excited to revisit it.
Best of all, this is my dad’s first trip to Europe ever! I am so excited that I get to experience Europe with him for the first time and introduce him to these awesome cities. Because this is his first trip, we’ve packed all of the essentials into our Amsterdam and Paris itinerary.
Amsterdam – Day 1
I leave for Amsterdam on October 22nd. After a layover in Iceland, I arrive in Amsterdam around noon on the 23rd. I’m actually getting in a day before my dad, as the flight was much cheaper. My only plan for the day? Visiting De Bakkerswinkel in Westerpark! Westerpark was the park by my old home when I lived in Amsterdam. And De Bakkerswinkel was the bakery in the park that made THE BEST scones. They were seriously so good! So I’m planning to spend the afternoon of the 23rd revisiting my old neighbourhood and enjoying a delicious scone (or two or three!).
Amsterdam – Day 2
Our Amsterdam and Paris itinerary really kicks off the next day! My dad arrives on the 24th and I’m planning to meet him at the airport. We’ll drop off bags at the hotel and then head out to one of the tourist hot spots: Dam Square. We’ll check out the shops, the monuments and tour the Royal Palace. Last time I visited the Royal Palace, I opted out of the audio guide and was pretty lost. So I’m thinking it might be a good idea to get the audio guide this time.
For dinner, I’m planning to take my dad out for rijstaffel, which is an Indonesian rice table. Basically, it’s a bunch of small Indonesian dishes, kind of like tapas. I went for this meal with my mom when she visited me in Amsterdam and it was so yummy! Amsterdam is actually known for Indonesian food so I’m really looking forward to this.
And if we’re not too tired after dinner, we’ll have to pay a visit to Amsterdam’s red light district, since we’re in the neighbourhood. It’s not as seedy as people think and is worth a walk through.
Amsterdam – Day 3
The next morning we’ll be touring the Anne Frank House at 9:30 AM, hopefully before it’s too busy. I toured the Anne Frank House a number of times while I lived in Amsterdam and every time it was impactful. I know my dad is really going to get a lot out of the experience.
After that, we’ll head a few doors down to my favourite pancake house in Amsterdam, The Pancake Bakery. My friends and I used to go here and all order a different pancake. Then we’d pass all the pancakes around so everyone could try all of the different flavours. My dad and I probably won’t be as successful with this since there’s only two of us but I’m sure we’ll manage.
Next on the Amsterdam and Paris itinerary is exploring the Nine Streets. This is one of my favourite parts of Amsterdam. I love the canals and all of the little shops. I think the best part of Amsterdam is just walking around and soaking in the city. We’ll also jump on a canal boat ride if the weather is good.
Amsterdam – Day 4
For our final day in Amsterdam, we’re heading to the east side of the city. We’ll start our day at the Albert Cuyp Market where we can eat stroopwaffel, sample cheese and buy some souvenirs. Outdoor markets are always my go-to every time I am in Europe.
After the market, we’ll head to the nearby Museumplein. Of course, we’ll take photos with the Iamsterdam sign. And if we’re feeling like taking in a museum, or the weather sucks, we can visit the Rijksmuseum and/or the Van Gogh museum. If the weather happens to be nice, we can also take a walk or have a picnic lunch in Vondel Park.
Around dinner time, we’ll make our way to Amsterdam Centraal where we’re catching our train to Paris. Instead of spending the night in Amsterdam, I figured we could take the last train to Paris, sleep there and wake up ready to see the city of lights!
Paris – Day 1
We’ll arrive in Paris around 10:30 PM and the only plan is for us to walk over to our hotel (located conveniently right next to the train station), check in and go to sleep. The Paris part of our Amsterdam and Paris itinerary really starts the next day.
Paris – Day 2
Our first stop in Paris is the Arc du Triomphe. I’m not a huge fan of heights (or stairs, or paying to walk up stairs), so I’ll probably be happy to admire the Arc from the ground. From there, we’re walking down the famed Champs D’Elysees towards the Eiffel Tower. Of course, we may have to pick up a macaron or pain au chocolat along the way – mais, oui!
And then, it’s the big one: the Eiffel Tower! I’m really excited to see my dad take in this famous site. Actually, I’m really excited just to see my dad’s reaction to everything on this Amsterdam and Paris itinerary. But something as iconic as the Eiffel Tower is a total bucket list item – I can’t wait to be there when he checks it off!
Like the Arc du Triomphe, I’m unlikely to want to climb the Eiffel Tower. The lines are long, the tickets are pricey and the view of Paris is missing the most iconic building in Paris – because you’re standing in it! Instead, I’m planning for us to gather some picnic supplies from the nearby Rue Cler and have ourselves a little Parisian picnic on the grass in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Paris – Day 2 or 3
I’m not exactly sure when we’ll squeeze this in, but the awesome artist community of Montmartre is less than a 20 minute walk from our hotel, so I’m thinking we’ve got to visit. We’ll walk the streets, check out Sacre Coeur and snap a picture in front of the Moulin Rouge.
My dad was also hoping to visit the Palace of Versailles on this trip but unfortunately, there just wasn’t space in our Amsterdam and Paris itinerary. Next time! It’s definitely worth a visit and I’d love to go back and see the gardens.
Paris – Day 3
On our third (and final) day in Paris, we’re heading straight to the Louvre. Unfortunately, we’re not in Paris on one of the days when the Louvre is free or discounted. So we’ll have to go first thing in the morning and hope the crowds aren’t too awful. Even though I found Mona Lisa to be pretty disappointing, I get that she’s still a must-see in Paris. And I did enjoy the rest of the Louvre.
If we’re not too museum-ed out, I’d also love to check out the Musee D’Orsay. I haven’t been before but have heard great things. And I love the architecture of it – what a cool building!
We then want to head to Notre Dame and explore the Latin Quarter. This will actually only be the second church on our Amsterdam and Paris itinerary (which is odd for Europe) and I’m sure it will impress.
Unfortunately, we have to leave Paris bright and early the next morning. Au revoir, Paris!
After Amsterdam & Paris
After our days together in Amsterdam and Paris, my dad is off to Iceland for a few solo days. I think his plan is to soak in the Blue Lagoon and do a Golden Circle day tour. I’m off to Antwerp in Belgium for a few days before my flight back home from Amsterdam. I chose Antwerp because it’s cute, close to the Schipol Airport, and cheaper than staying in Amsterdam.
And then on October 31st, we both fly back home through Iceland – me to Vancouver and my dad back to Toronto. We may cross paths again at the Keflavik Airport to mark the official end of our daddy-daughter trip.
What do you think of our Amsterdam and Paris itinerary?
Would you add, remove or change anything? Let me know!