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22 Day Trip London/Paris/Alps/Florence/Rome

22 Day Trip London/Paris/Alps/Florence/Rome

Old May 25th, 2024, 07:22 AM
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Stu,, of course there are many more interesting things to see/do in London -- as I said "plus a ton of other great galleries and museums, great dining, lots of shopping, pubs, afternoon tea etc etc etc" I suppose I could post a 100 page guide but I only listed a handful to get them started in their research.

The Museum of London . . . closed a couple of years ago and isn't reopening until late 2026 in Smithfield. I do know about Kew . . . I'm a member

And a list of every neighborhood hat has interesting architecture would be as long as one's arm.

Not sure when you last visited the Royal Exchange? The bldg does have many interesting features but is predominantly a very high end shopping center with Fortnum & Mason, Boodles, Hermès, Tiffany, etc. Probably wouldn't be on most people's 'must list'.

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Old May 25th, 2024, 08:07 AM
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The OP asked for the top 2 or 3 things to do in London. I don't consider that to be a reasonable question to ask if he didn't provide 2 or 3 of his top interests. Thus the suggestion of getting a Rick Steves or Michelin Green Guide & do his own research. The Tower of London was your #1 choice - but perhaps not ours.

I think we were in the Royal Exchange in pre-Christmas 2018. We have little or no interest in shopping, we just admired the interior & exterior architecture and had a panini for lunch. We did purchase some tea at Fortnum & Mason for Christmas presents - but not from the store at the Royal Exchange.

The St Pancras station of one of our favorites. Dozens of photographs of the exterior & interior. Had dinner there also in 2018. During "Open London" about 15 years ago, we had a guided tour of the interior of the hotel at the station, before it was refurbished.

Stu Dudley
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Old May 29th, 2024, 01:45 AM
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Looks fine to me

It looks fine to me. Why? Because no one can realistically expect anyone to see all of the sites of any of these cities. You go for 3-4 nights and you get a feel for the place and get to see a few places. Heck, I even did a day trip to London from Paris. I am pretty sure I would have been raked over the coals if I had asked for recommendations here in the forum. However, I managed to see several major sites, plus go shopping and have dinner. I find more than 3 full days in any given city enough to say, okay, on to the next. Am I missing a lot of the "must sees"? Sure, but I kind of get my fill of museums and churches and parks or whatever after seeing a few. Sensory overload? Maybe. Plus, it's nice to leave something for the next visit.
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Old May 29th, 2024, 07:10 PM
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Thank you for all of the great suggestions! I totally know that we will not be seeing everything that each of these places have to offer. I like what Ez73 said - looking to get a good feel for each of these places, experience them, and try to maximize what we see in terms of different places without going crazy with too many travel days and not enough time to get any real experience in each of the places. It's always a balancing act when you aren't able to go over there all the time and stay as long as you want at all the places you want to see...

In terms of things to do - you guys have provided a very nice balance. Of course we can (and will) use travel guides, but I was thinking who better to ask than the people on this forum who have lived and done these places - and you guys have come through!

Thanks much!
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Old May 30th, 2024, 03:45 AM
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For a three-day trip, my priorities would be:

For the first day, I would spend at least several hours in one of London's wonderful parks. I particularly like St. James Park. You can combine it with a walk along the riverside. Being outdoors helps to recover from jetlag.

I think the Tower of London would be my top priority after that. It's expensive, but worth the price. You should buy timed entry tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line. I would go as early as possible, when it will be less crowded.

Westminster Abbey is also very expensive. You can buy timed entry tickets. Lunchtime seems to be the least in demand.

You can attend a service free, but if you do, you have to stay in the pews and can't wander around the Abbey. The choral Evensong service is very beautiful and not as long as other services. It's usually at 5 PM on weekdays and 3 PM on Sundays. Don't take photos or chat during the service. There may be no choir in August, but my daughter once sang there in August as part of a visiting choir. At that time, long ago, the Abbey choir was on holiday.

After spending all this money, you'll be happy to know that most museums are free. I highly recommend both the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert. These museums have something for everyone. If you are passionate art lovers, the National Gallery might be a must. All are free. With such a short time you might want to choose just one.

I think you won't have time for an all-day trip. In less than a full day, you should be able to visit either Hampton Court Palace or Greenwich. I myself have a slight preference for Hampton Court. You can get there by train or by boat. The boat ride is scenic, but it takes about 3 hours. If you go by boat, you might want to take the train back, which takes a little over an hour.

These things would pretty much fill your time, allowing a little time for wandering or browsing, which are almost never a waste of time.

Whatever you do, don't waste time on the Changing of the Guard. I've done this twice because I was with people who wanted to see it. Even if you get there early, you'll be shoved every which way, so you won't see anything unless you climb up the monument or trample some elderly people.
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