2 Week Adventure in Amsterdam, Croatia and Paris

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Advisor - Sara Nixon
Curated By

Sara Nixon

  • Amsterdam

  • Croatia

  • Paris

  • Adventure Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • Sightseeing

  • Multi-City

  • Architecture

White And Brown Wooden Boat On Body Of Water
Curator’s statement

Multi-destination trips are my specialty; I absolutely love planning them (and doing them)! Regarding Europe, I find it difficult to only visit one country; there is so much history and culture to experience! Of course, the planning and logistics are much more complex. I begin by looking at international round trip flights; I typically book flights based on the shortest duration to and from my international destinations and “fill in” the rest of my trip afterwards. Since I’m usually departing Seattle, Amsterdam is a great starting point because it’s a 10-hour direct flight. Similarly, the return from Paris is an 11-hour direct flight; this type of approach simplifies the logistics of multi-destination trips.

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Day 1: Arrive in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Central Station under color stained glass roof.

Arrive at the Schiphol Airport. This is a beautiful airport, if you desire, take time to explore the shops but be mindful of goods expiration (cheese, for example). If you purchase gifts to bring home, ensure that your hotel has adequate refrigeration and storage. For a short stay here, a rental car really isn’t necessary. Take public transportation to your hotel or a shared ride service.

Day 2: Explore the city and learn the history

City district with modern buildings and streaming canal on sunny day.

Amsterdam is a beautiful city with endless canals and steep staircases inside buildings. Start your visit by exploring the city. A visit to the Anne Frank House is a must and book tickets in advance as this is a popular attraction. Stop at a coffee shop for coffee or…something else!

Day 3: Van Gough Museum & Red Light District

Old city street near canal on overcast day in Amsterdam

If you are a fan of the arts, the Van Gough Museum is not to be missed. You can fit this into day two if you are pressed for time, but if you enjoy exploring at a slower pace, take the extra day in Amsterdam to enjoy this experience and continue exploring the city. If you desire, visit the Red Light District. I recommend a guided tour to learn the history; I found it fascinating. If you are feeling especially adventurous, check out an adult show in the Red Light District in the later evening hours….you only live once right?

Day 4: Fly to Dubrovnik

Aerial view of buildings with orange roofs and a water body in between.

The flight from Amsterdam to Dubrovnik is less than two and a half hours. Upon arrival in Dubrovnik, pick up your rental car and head to your hotel for check in. Car rental in Croatia is easy as the roads are well maintained and easy to navigate. With that said, it is still recommended that you purchase the GPS with the car rental as cell phone service/GPS reliability may be inconsistent.

Day 5: Explore Dubrovnik

Old city port with motor boats on sea.

Make your way to the walled old town city of Dubrovnik. Spend the day here, walk the walls, enjoy ice cream, lunch and dinner inside the walled city. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, hit the gift shops for some cool merchandise. Hail Kings Landing!

Day 6: Relax in Dubrovnik

A large body of water with a city in the background

Dubrovnik was the highlight of my time in Croatia. If you desire, you can spend an extra day here exploring. We found a spot to rent a paddle boat with a water slide for a few hours and spent the day on the emerald, green Adriatic Sea. It was amazing! If you want to move on to explore new ventures, that’s ok too!

Day 7: Adventure to Hvar

A boy jumping into the sea in Hvar.

Drive and ferry to Hvar. Expect the trip to take four-five hours depending on traffic and ferry times. I absolutely loved Hvar! It was like the Dubai of Costa Rica, but a little less pretentious.

Day 8: Enjoy Hvar’s day and nightlife

Plitvice national park in a forest with a waterfall.

Hvar is beautiful by day and night. You will see luxurious yachts during the day and can experience excellent nightlight if you desire. Start your day with some coffee from Kava37; they have a good, strong pour. Carpe Diem Beach/Nightclub is very popular; it’s only reachable by water taxi and the party lasts until about 5am.

Drive/ferry north up to the area close to Plitvice Lakes National Park. We stayed at a mid-range budget bed and breakfast for one night at it was a great experience, but there are many options to choose from depending on your desires/budget.

Day 9: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park blue water.

If you love nature, definitely check out Plitvice Lakes National Park, it’s a world heritage site and absolutely breathtaking. Expect to spend five to seven hours in the national park. It does require a lot of walking, but it’s not extremely strenuous.

Day 10: Drive to and explore Zagreb

Town square in Zagreb.

Drive to Croatia’s capital and explore. Spend the night here, relax and enjoy your time as you prepare for your next stop-Paris!

Day 11: Arrive in Paris

Parisian street.

The flight to Paris from Zagreb is just over two hours. Depending upon your arrival time, you may have some time to explore Paris upon arrival. Take it easy, check into your hotel and enjoy dinner at a local brasserie.

Day 12: Eiffel Tower and Sacre Coeur

Eiffel Tower at night.

Take the subway or uber to see Sacre Coeur; it’s beautiful.

I loved the Eiffel Tower. There are options to take the stairs up the tower or take the elevator. We opted for lunch on the middle floor because it was more affordable, but you can also make dinner reservations at Jules Verne at the top of the Eiffel Tower for approximately $600 USD for two people.

Day 13: Louvre and Seine River dinner cruise

The Louvre glass pyramid.

Visit the Louvre Museum, depending on your tastes and desires, you may spend a half of the entire day here. If museums do not interest you, a chocolate/pastry walking tour may be more appealing. End your day with a wonderful Seine River dinner cruise.

Day 14-15: Versailles and departure

The palace of Versailles.

Day 14: Day Trip to Versailles

If you love history then it may be unthinkable to visit Paris without a trip to Versailles, the former residence of King Louis XIV. Visit the gardens, see the sculptures, and the great stables. Depending upon your interest, you may spend a half day or full day here.

Day 15: Departure

Make your way back to Charles de Gaulle to venture back home.

Advisor - Sara Nixon

Travel Advisor

Sara Nixon

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This itinerary is part of our ongoing series on city travel. Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, 8 Days in Costa Rica.