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traveling alone Europe in March-tour or solo and where

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I would love to go to Europe & have some questions. I will probably be traveling alone and am fairly adventurous - have traveled a lot in US but only intl travel was trip to London with son last March. I still can remember some of my high school German but unfortunately cannot speak any other language. Also trip will probably have to be in March

I would love to see Paris or Austria and/or Germany. I don't think I like the idea of a tour group but then again the idea of being in a country and not speaking the language or being with someone who does intimidates me slightly. I know mid March is probably not a great time to go to above - can anyone tell me what the weather most likely would be like in Paris or Vienna that time of year? Also would love to hear from other solo travelers with any cautions or advice.

BTW, I love to go to museums, listen to classical music, and shop in quirky places. I am generally comfortable finding my way around mass transit systems. I will probably only be gone for nine days - would it make sense to stay in one place and take side trips? I also cannot afford to spend much more than $125 for hotel. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Pam

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    Pam,

    I think you would be fine to travel alone. You described some of the things you like to do and I think Paris would be perfect for you. March is actually a great time, no the weather is not fantastic, but the crowds are not there, and to me that makes a big difference. I'm sure you could have alot of fun in Paris on your own. I know of several hotels that are around $85.00 a night, and are located in very convenient areas. Let me know if you need any further information.

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    Fodor's ate my first response to you-I'll try to recreate it.

    I also think Paris would be perfect for you as a solo traveler. There is an amzing amount of things to do and see in Paris itself that you could easily spend your 9 days there so I would recommend basing yourself in Paris and if you feel like getting out of the city you can day trip to Versailles or Fountainbleu. I believe you can also do day trips to the Loire Valley and Normandy, but I haven't personally tried it.

    The Paris metro is as easy to negotiate as the London subway. I think you can get daily/multiple day passes but personally we found the carnets of 10 tickets to be better for us as we enjoy walking.

    The Carte de Musee museum pass is also a good value if you want to see several places in one day (80FF for 1 day, 160FF for 3, also a 5 day pass). It also lets you bypass the admission lines although that probably won't be as big of a factor in March. It includes Versailles and Fountainbleu and several other sites outside of Paris.

    Language in big cities like Paris is rarely a barrier. Many Parisians are quite fluent in english and most know at least enough to help you. Arm yourself with a french phrase book or electronic translator and you should be fine.

    We were in Paris in December a few years ago and although I prefer Paris in the warmer months, we still enjoyed the first trip immensely. If you enjoy museums, you will be indoors for a good portion of the trip anyway.

    There are many hotels in Paris under $125. Recently we stayed at the Hotel Muguet, a lovely 2 star hotel, for 540FF for a double(around $85USD). I don't know that I would recommend this particular hotel for a single female traveler as it was located in a very quiet residential neighborhood without a lot of traffic but you should be able to get a hotel in the more lively sections of town for a comparable rate.

    Paris has several flea markets on the weekends. We tried Marche aux Puces, near the Porte de Cligancourt metro station on a Saturday morning. There was all kinds of different things, from old to new, junk to antiques.

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    You will have no trouble traveling alone; lots of English is spoken, and when you can't find an English-speaker, pantomime and a good dictionary will work just fine.
    I've traveled a lot on my own, and it has advantages (people are easier to approach - such as asking for directions; you're on your own time schedule; you can indulge in guilty pleasures).
    If you want 2-3 star hotels, you'll pay up to $125 or more; there are a lot of 1* hotels for $50 for a single.

    March is a great time; NO BUSLOADS OF TOURISTS! Weather can be iffy - chilly, rainy - but if you're into the museum, concert, shopping thing - who cares what the weather's like?

    Paris is a great place to make as your homebase - day trips to Chartres, Versailles, Fontainebleu, DDay beaches, Brussels, Champagne region, Lyon, Bordeaux, etc. (don't do ALL of them!) - plus the city can keep you enthralled for years, let alone nine days.

    Go for it, dudette!

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    Pam, I've traveled solo in Europe a couple of times. Both times I visited Paris for a week, because it is the most fantastic city in the world. If you like museums, historical sites and monuments, then you'll love Paris. I've been in Paris in March and June. In June the weather was warmer and sunnier than in March, but it was also more crowded. As Elvira says, language is not an issue. Just learn the few French phrases you'll need to exchange pleasantries with the locals and you'll be fine. I also recommend traveling on your own, and taking any tours that interest you at the sights you go to. This way you will have more fun, and learn a lot more because you will have to read and research before you go.

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    Pam,
    Go for it -- Paris is a great choice and as for not speaking the language, almost everyone in Paris these days speaks some English so it's not going to be a big problem. As for March - it's going to be chilly (maybe a bit cold) and or rainy (or maybe mild -- who knows, it's weather) but be prepared for chilly & possibly rainy. Paris is a great city no matter what the weather is doing and if it gets too cool you can always spend time in a museum or shopping. Since you have an edu address I suspect you work in a university/school -- Is this your Spring Break? Just curious, I'm employed at a University.

    The Metro in Paris is simple and you should have no trouble finding hotels in your price range. I mentioned once before on this forum to someone traveling alone that you should make the effort to go down to the hotel breakfast room in the a.m. as it's frequently easy to chat with people over coffee and some tour brochures. We've befriended some "solo" travelers that way ourselves.

    You can take day trips outside of Paris very easily, to Chartes, Versailles, Fountainbleu, Chantilly, etc. These can provide you with the opportunity to be with other people as well if you get tired of touring by yourself.

    Nothing is crowded with tourists in March so that's a blessing. We've been to Paris about 14 times but never in the summer (spring or fall or Christmas)

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    Pam,
    Go for it -- Paris is a great choice and as for not speaking the language, almost everyone in Paris these days speaks some English so it's not going to be a big problem. As for March - it's going to be chilly (maybe a bit cold) and/or rainy (or maybe mild -- who knows, it's weather) but be prepared for chilly & possibly rainy. Paris is a great city no matter what the weather is doing and if it gets too cool you can always spend time in a museum or shopping. Since you have an edu address I suspect you work in a university/school -- Is March your Spring Break? Just curious, I'm employed at a University.

    The Metro in Paris is simple to navigate around in, and you should have no trouble finding hotels in your price range. I mentioned once before on this forum to someone traveling alone that you should make the effort to go down to the hotel breakfast room in the a.m. (instead of grabbing abite in your room) as it's frequently easy to chat with people over coffee and some tour brochures. We've befriended some "solo" travelers that way ourselves.

    You can take day trips outside of Paris very easily, to Chartes, Versailles, Fountainbleu, Chantilly, etc. These can provide you with the opportunity to be with other people as well, if you get tired of being by yourself.

    Nothing is crowded with tourists in March so that's a blessing. We've been to Paris about 14 times but never in the summer (spring or fall or Christmas), simply because Paris is so much more enjoyable without zillions of tourists, so while March is probably not the ideal weather month it's an ideal "no tourists" month. Just make your reservations and go and enjoy yourself. I don't think you will regret it.

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    I went to Paris in February one year. I spent all week in Paris with a day excursion to Versailles and never ran out of places to go. The museums are great: Louvre, Musee D'Orsay, Rodin, etc.

    Although the weather is not great in the winter (overcast and rainy), I highly recommend going then because the museums are not crowded and the museum workers are not as likely to strike since it is the low season. One of my girlfriends went in May this year and missed the Louvre & the D'Orsay because the workers decided to strike at that time (beginning of tourist season).

    I am learning as I travel more that I enjoy a full week in one place at times. I usually travel to a chosen city in the winter when the weather is not good and spending time indoors is fine. This November I am going to London for a week.


    Enjoy!!!

    Deb

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