Posted: 2011-05-16 11:12:00
If you can save some money, I would highly recommend that you hire a car in Scotland. The country is not that big, and you will have more chance to see a lot more landscape. I would highly recommend you visiting Stirling, a wonderful place amongst the hills, steeped with history - Stirling has a magnificent castle, the seat of the Scot Monarchs prior to the English occupation ;) and in general is a lovely place. You will also be able to see the Wallace Monument, a very large monument to the Scot hero, whose story was depicted beautifully by Mel Gibson's film 'Braveheart'. Stirling is only about 45 minutes drive west from Edinburgh.
London has so much to offer that a week is just about enough to skim through the major sights. So, you really need to make a good selection. If you like history, then Tower of London, Westminster Palace, and the Royal Greenwich are all not to be missed. Also, if you have a half a day spare, you should also go to see Windsor - World's largest castle, which has been continually occupied. It is 30 minutes train ride west from central London. Windsor is the Queen's favourite home. Large parts of the castle can be visited. Note that most museums in the UK are free, exceptions are temporary exhibits or exhibits on loan from foreign museums. Exceptions are castles, which are not free to visit.
Do not miss Potsdam when in Berlin. It is practically a suburb of the capital and has a fascinating history - some glamorous, some rather dark. Very easy to get to using Berlin's vast public transport network.
I am not sure how you are fitting your Edinburgh - Amsterdam - Paris - Berlin trip, as Amsterdam lies between Paris and Berlin... Anyway, Amsterdam is rather small, so I would not spend there too much time. Paris has a lot more to offer and a couple of days in Paris would only cover the main bits in the centre. If you are planning to see museums, and Paris has a couple very famous and large ones, then three days is absolute minimum.
With regard to accommodation, there are number of good hostel websites, like this one - just navigate through the yellow menu at the top of the page. Hostelworld.com; hotels.com; booking.com; and many more - HotelPal, LateRooms. Leaving it to the last minute does not always mean that you can get a good deal though.
If you are still flexible with your itinerary, I would highly recommend visiting Venice in Italy. It is amongst the most beautiful and unusual cities in the world and makes an incredible impact on visitors. There should be trains to/from Venice if you want to use your railpass, but Venice is also served by cheap airline Ryanair, which has often good offers. I once flew from London to Venice and back for £20 including all taxes and charges!
I hope you have a good trip.
Open your eyes. Free your mind. Touch lives. Sink into the different. Travel and belong.
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