10 Days Free and Easy Europe Tour from Vienna to Amsterdam (2017)

We just came back from a 10 Days Europe Tour last week. When Swiss Air launched a promotional fare to Europe in July last year, the offer was too attractive to forgo. We managed to book a flight to Vienna via Zurich and return from Amsterdam via Zurich for only $668. This was a too good to miss trip with such low airfares. In fact, in 2013, we likewise visited Europe flying Swiss Air at around $700. So our flight itinerary for last month was as follows:

Flight LX 179 Singapore to Zurich 23.35 pm6.10 am
Flight LX 1574 Zurich to Vienna 7.10 am8.30 am

Flight LX 735 Amsterdam to Zurich 20.05 pm21.30 pm
Flight LX 178 Zurich to Singapore 22.45 pm5.20 pm

This time we brought our elder boy along for this Europe trip before he begins studying in university in a few months’ time. So we had to decide which cities to visit from Vienna to Amsterdam and where to stay that could accommodate three persons in a room. We had to look for accommodations that are strategically located to minimize travel time and cut down unnecessary transportation cost.

We had visited Vienna with other children a few years back, so we would stay the first night in Vienna for our elder son to enjoy attractions in this city. From Vienna, we would travel to Prague to stay two nights. Next would be onward journey to spend another two nights in Berlin. From there, we would visit Holland before flying home. But the journey from Berlin to Amsterdam would be quite long. So we broke the trip down to stay a night in Cologne before heading to Holland.

Unfortunately, the cost for accommodation in Amsterdam for the three of us for three nights was insanely expensive. It cost over $1000 for three nights’ accommodation somewhere not even very near the heart of Amsterdam. This wasn’t really justifiable considering our airfares were so cheap and accommodation cost was too costly for this city alone.

So our next best option was to stay outside of Amsterdam. We found staying in Rotterdam for two nights was a better option leaving the last night for Amsterdam before flying out of Amsterdam via Zurich to come home. In fact, the cost for staying two nights at Holiday Inn Express in Rotterdam was less than one night stay in Amsterdam. Anyway, we would not be staying in Amsterdam and simply spend time in that city alone for four days. Staying in Rotterdam allowed us easy access to Utrecht and Leiden. In addition, we would be visiting Rotterdam as well.

With accommodations and cities to visit settled, we looked out for opportunity to book train and bus tickets between cities early to enjoy substantial savings. We were eyeing for bus tickets from Student Agency Bus for bus transfer from Vienna to Prague and from Prague to Berlin. Travelling by bus would be cheaper and would not take much longer to arrive. Moreover, this bus company offers beverages onboard as well as onboard entertainment like flying in a plane.

We also booked train tickets from Bahn for transfer from Berlin to Cologne and from Cologne to Rotterdam. Train tickets booked early were pretty affordable. So we booked our bus and train tickets as soon as they were available for booking online. We just needed to print out the itineraries and it was that simple. With accommodations and transfers all booked, it was just waiting to activate our plans for this Europe Tour.

Hence, our itinerary for this 10 Days Free and Easy Europe Tour is as follow:

Day 1 Vienna

Fly to Vienna via Zurich arriving in the morning.

Flight LX 179 Singapore to Zurich 23.35 pm6.10 am
Flight LX 1574 Zurich to Vienna 7.10 am8.30 am

Hotel: Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront

The reason we chose this hotel besides allowing three to a room was the proximity of this hotel to public transportation. It is just few minutes walk from Stadion Station and few minutes walk to the bus terminal for us to take the bus to Prague the next day. Direction from the airport to the hotel from the hotel’s website is as follows:

By suburban railway from Vienna International Airport, take the S-Bahn to Praterstern. Change to the U2 line, heading in the direction of Aspernstrasse/Seestadt, to Stadion. From here, Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront is within six minutes’ walk. Take the Stadion exit (direction ‘Stella-Klein-Löw-Weg’) and follow the signs.

From the airport, we could get a 24 hour VOR day ticket travelling to the city to check in to the hotel and then enjoy public transport to visit attractions in the city. The cost for this day ticket was 7.60 Euro + another 1.70 Euro for outside city zone from the airport.

Places to visit are Schonbrunn Palace and Schonbrunner Gardens after checking in to hotel and spend time at Historic City Centre for shopping and dining.

Day 2 Prague

From Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront Hotel, walk to bus station at Busterminal Wien Stadion Centre just a few minutes away.

Bus from Vienna to Prague schedule as follows:

Vienna, U2 Stadion 0855 to 1300 Prague UAN Florenc
Bus location is Platform 3.

Upon arriving at Prague, take metro just 2 stations away from Florenc to Muzeum.

Walk 6 min 500 m to Jindrisska 908/12, Prague 01, Prague, 110 00, Czech Republic to our apartment.

Apartment: Beautiful Downtown Apartments

Places to visit are Old Town Square, Stare Mesto and Jewish Quarter nearby and maybe Charles Bridge without crossing over to the other side.

Shop and dine in the city before returning to apartment for the night.

Day 3 Prague

Cross over Charles Bridge to visit Castle District, Palace Gardens and Prague Castle in the morning.

Come down from Castle through Nerudova Street for shopping and dining.

Return to Old Town across the river mid or late afternoon and visit New Town nearby for shopping and dining.

New Town is near our apartment, very convenient to do last minute shopping before leaving Prague for Berlin.

Day 4 Berlin

From our apartment, take metro 2 stations away to bus terminal.

Bus schedule from Prague to Berlin as follows:

Prague UAN Florenc 0830 to 1310 Berlin ZOB am Funkturm

From Berlin Bus Terminal, take public transport to hotel.

Berlin Public Transport

Hotel: Novotel Suites Berlin City Potsdamer Platz

The reason for choosing this hotel apart from accommodating three persons was its proximity to main train station where we could take a train to Cologne. The Anhalter Metro Station is just across the traffic junction from the hotel. In addition, this hotel is also very close to Mall of Berlin and Potsdamer Platz, very convenient for shopping and dining.

Attractions to visit near hotel after check in are, Topography of Terror and Check Point Charlie. Shops and restaurants available there.

Continue to visit Gendarmen Market and then Grand Berlin Gate and Gardens.

Return to Potsdamer Platz and Mall of Berlin for shopping and dining.

Day 5 Berlin

Purchase Day Ticket for AB zone 7 Euro per person or up to 5 persons for 19.90 Euro.

Berlin Local Transport

With day ticket, we can travel to many places to visit different attractions the whole day.

Visit Holocaust Memorial, Berlin Gate and Berlin Wall.

Visit Cathedral Area and Arts Market by Riverbank.

Have lunch at Hackersher Market

Visit Berlin Cathedral Church and Historical Museum.

Visit the Memorial Church and Kursfurstendamm shopping area to shop and dine.

Return to Novotel Suite Berlin Hotel retire for the night.

Day 6 Cologne

Explore Berlin near hotel in the morning and have lunch.

Check out from Novotel Suites Berlin Hotel.
Proceed to Berlin Main Train Station.

Train schedule from Berlin to Cologne as follows:

Berlin Hbf 13:34 to Köln Hbf 18:09 Train: ICE 858

Hotel: Hotel Domstern Cologne

Walk 6 min 500 m to hotel.
Check in to hotel.
Go out for dinner.
Roam and shop in the city.

The stay here was just to break the journey to the Netherlands, so there would not be much time to spend exploring the city.

Anyway, we had visited this city during a driving trip around Christmas to enjoy the Christmas Markets a few years back. So spending just a night in Cologne would be fine.

Day 7 Rotterdam

Hotel: HolidayInn Express Rotterdam

Have early breakfast and check out from Hotel Domstern Cologne.
Proceed to train station, just a few minutes’ walk away.

Train schedule from Cologne to Rotterdam as follows:

Köln Hbf 10:39 to Utrecht Centraal 13:26 Train: ICE 158

Utrecht Centraal 13:33 to Rotterdam Centraal 14:10 Train: IC 2842

Walk 6 min to hotel near train station.
Check in at hotel.

Have late lunch.
Explore and shop in the city centre.
Go for a walk around the Old Harbour and the Maritime Museum.
Have a walk a long the riverfront and see the Erasmus Bridge.

Visit the Markthal.
Have dinner before returning to hotel.
Explore and shop near the hotel.

Day 8 Rotterdam

Have breakfast in hotel.

Websites to check for information travelling in Netherlands as follows:



Day trip to Utrecht and Leiden or The Hague.

Train travel time and cost to different cities near Rotterdam.

Station Rotterdam Centraal to Station Utrecht Centraal
40 min 11.30 Euro

Station Utrecht Centraal to Station Leiden Centraal
1 h 10.30 Euro

Station Leiden Centraal to Station Rotterdam Centraal
under 40 min 8.40 Euro

Station Leiden Centraal to The Hague under 20 min 4.50 Euro

The Hague to Rotterdam Centraal around 30 min 7.14 Euro

Visit these cities before returning to Rotterdam for the night.

Day 9 Amsterdam

Hotel: Hotel CC

Have early breakfast.
Check out and take train to Amsterdam around 1 h travel time and cost 16.20 Euro.
Walk 6 min to hotel.
Leave bags with Hotel CC.

Explore Amsterdam in the morning around the hotel.
Visit the Dam and Royal Palace area.
Shop and have lunch before returning to check in to hotel.

Explore and shop in Amsterdam.
Visit Old Town area.
Visit Flowers Market and Vondel Park.
Visit Van Gogh Museum Quarter.
Roam and shop in the city and have dinner before returning to the hotel.

Day 10 Amsterdam to Singapore

Go out for breakfast.
Explore the city again in the morning.
Return to check out from hotel.
Leave bags with hotel.

Go out for lunch and shop again.
Visit Flea Market.
Visit Opera House and Portuguese Synagogue.
Visit Rembrandt–Plein.
Visit Flowers Market again to buy tulips home.
Visit Magna Plaza.
Shop again near Royal Palace.
Have early dinner before returning to hotel to collect our bags.

Get our bags and proceed to airport.
Travel from Amsterdam Centraal to Schiphol Station under 20 min cost 5.20 Euro

Take flight back to Singapore.

Flight LX 735 Amsterdam to Zurich 20.05 pm21.30 pm
Flight LX 178 Zurich to Singapore 22.45 pm5.20 pm

Home sweet home.

Continue to Day 1

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