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6 days to see London and Paris on our first trip to Eurpoe

6 days to see London and Paris on our first trip to Eurpoe

Old Feb 20th, 2015, 03:14 PM
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6 days to see London and Paris on our first trip to Eurpoe

Traveling with my husband and 14 year old daughter next month to London. Visiting my oldest daughter who is attending City University. Staying in Islington. Would like to get itinerary that includes Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, Double Decker bus tour, river trip on Thames and Brittish Museum. Also would like to get to Paris to see Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Versailles. looking for a nice but not crazy itinerary and any recommendations on getting to Paris. Euro rail was pretty $$. Flights.? Time for another train or bus?
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 03:37 PM
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Before anyone goes into detail--6 WHOLE days? not counting arrival and departure which would never be whole days?

What do you mean "time for another train or bus?" The only ways I know of between the British Isles and the continent are either flights, the Eurostar, or a ferry.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 03:44 PM
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I would pick up a Rick Steves book to get an idea of how to see all the places you have listed in London. He also has a Paris book.

Do your 6 days include travel to and from London? Are you flying out of Paris or doing a round trip out of London?

I would recommend saving Paris for another trip as it would eat up quite a bit of your visit to travel there. Eurostar would be your best option as it is quickest route going from mid-city to mid-city.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 03:51 PM
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I meant to say, if you must include Paris on this busy trip, Eurostar would be your best option. A fight would take most of a day as you'd need to travel to and from an airport, arrive early to check in, etc.

How many days were you planning for London and Paris? Do you have a reservation in Paris?
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 04:48 PM
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You can get a quick glimpse of both cities - but I would tend to stay in London.

For getting from one to another The Eurostar is the best option. Look at different dates and times and you may bet some better prices - but the lowest are usually sold out 3 months in advance.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 05:02 PM
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Thanks for the info. 6 whole days- I did not count travel days. Looked at flights and Eurostar to go to Paris. Both had availability but we're pricey. I will rethink adding that to our trip- although I really wanted to go. Was not sure if another train/ ferry might be an option - still seeing sights while traveling.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 05:05 PM
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6 whole days available to clear things up. Flying round trip from London.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 05:14 PM
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If you are flying round trip though London you need to factor in a day to get back to London to fly out.

If you MUST go to Paris, then fly directly on to Paris the same morning you land at LHR. Then after 2 days in Paris take the Eurostar to London and stay there til you fly home.

But really, you should just stick to London if you only have 6 days on the ground (which is probably 5.5 days if you are counting your arrival day. And the first couple of days will be jet lagged)
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 05:14 PM
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With only 6 days the most you could really do is an overnight or long day trip to Paris. I know some people think it's worth while to to at least get a taste, and the Eurostar makes that possible. I would certainly not waste the amount of time it would take to fly there, even if it were cheaper. Six days is barely enough time to see London, and if you really feel the need to get out of London there are numerous day trips in England that work great. If you do choose to go to Paris you won't have time for Versailles though.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 05:16 PM
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You are not doing multi-city, into London and out of Paris, so you would have to back track to London. Is there any way you can change that? If not, then IMHO, just save Paris for another trip. Plenty to keep you busy in London for six days. It is a fabulous city. You could do some short day trips to places near London.
Busses around London can be boring and you can be stuck in traffic breathing a lot of fumes. Easier to walk and use metro.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 05:18 PM
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As with any travel, the price of the train or flight depends on how busy it is on the particular days you choose to travel. I see on the Eurostar website that Eurostar trains in March from London to Paris are as cheap as $54 USD per person mid-week and as expensive as $383. Obviously, if you have any flexibility, try to travel mid-week. You could also train one way and fly the other if for some reason that works out better.

I agree that the train might be easier and certainly less stressful.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 05:41 PM
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There is so much to see and do in London that I think you will be very happy to concentrate your visit there. You can take a day trip from London if you want a change of scenery.

Besides what you have already listed in London, you might consider visiting Westminster Abbey, Churchill's War Rooms, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Victoria and Albert museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery, one of the Tate museums, and the British Library just to name a few highlights. Going to tea, shopping at Harrods, seeing a few plays and eating at a pub might be great fun. You'll find plenty to do!
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 06:32 PM
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If you have never been to either city, there is certainly the temptation to try to get a little taste of both. In six days you don't have time to see it all, but you could see something.

If you are visiting with your daughter, I'm doubting that you will go straight from your London airport to Paris, then work your way back, even if that is the most efficient way to see both cities if you have to go in and out through London. You'll want to see your daughter first, won't you?

If you really want to see Paris, just plan to spend most of your time in London, then head over by Eurostar to Paris. As others have said, it is quick and goes from city center to city center. Be sure you do your research so that you can make your way around the highlights of Paris.

You might do four nights in London, then leave as early as possible on the fifth day for Paris. Spend the day exploring the city and seeing the sights. Stay overnight, spend another half day there, then take Eurostar back to London for your last night. This will give you a glimpse of Paris. Plan to go back again when you have more time.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 06:55 PM
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But that plan has you packing and unpacking an extra time and having less than a full day in Paris ( yes, even though the train 'only' takes 2+ hours, the total time door to door lis more like 4+ hours). Plus you lose an hour w/ the time change. So do you REALLY want to go though all that hassle for maybe 10 useable hours in Paris?
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 07:13 PM
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I would think your daughter will also want to show you some of her London -- places she has discovered or go with you to new sites she has been wanting to visit.

OK, I think you've heard enough from me.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 07:29 PM
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I think the advice to remain in London is sage. We and our 13 year-old daughter just returned yesterday from four full days in London (our third visit), and last night over dinner bemoaned that we had not taken a longer holiday. Whenever possible I accompany DH on work trips to Paris for a couple of days, as well, and either wander aimlessly or tackle a specific agenda of a couple of activities. We can take shorter trips because we're just a two hour flight away from each city and thus have no jet lag issues; and we also have transit passes and are familiar with each network. Trying to fit both of these large cities into six days would be an heroic feat, I think.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 08:44 PM
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Dividing your time between London and Paris, within 6 days, and you're not a teenager or backpacker, would be a total waste of your time. Stick with enjoying London and visit Paris on another trip.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 10:47 PM
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No-one advising here has the foggiest idea about the pressures on your time.

If this is likely to be the only chance you'll ever have of seeing Paris (unlikely, frankly) and it's essential for you to see the place (can't begin for a second to see why, but it takes all sorts) then you'd be nuts not to go and see it.

With limited time, the ONLY options that make sense are:
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 11:12 PM
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No-one advising here has the foggiest idea about the pressures on your time.

If this is likely to be the only chance you'll ever have of seeing Paris (unlikely, frankly) and it's essential for you to see the place (can't begin for a second to see why, but it takes all sorts) then you'd be nuts not to go and see it.

With limited time, the ONLY options that make sense are:
- Fly. Preferably as part of an existing flight: flying direct to/from Paris on the transatlantic leg, or transferring at a London airport straight onto a flight to/from Paris. From Central London onto a Paris-bound plane will almost ALWAYS take substantially longer than the entire train journey to Paris. The one exception is to use London City Airport (tens of miles from the equally misleadingly described City University, but still a far faster way of getting to Paris than any other strategy apart from the plane. OR
- train. To all intents and purposes it's impossible without a car to get to Paris from central London via a ferry within an average lifetime. Buses average 10-12 hours each way.

Ignore all the blather about Paris being a waste of your time. Personally I think Paris is a waste of good agricultural land: but it's YOUR time, and only you know how important seeing the theme park is. As long as you're not the kind of idle wastrel who can't get up in the morning, going to Paris for a day is a painless day out, and if a day's all you've got, you'll still see a great deal (though NOT Versailles). It IS just possible to see Versailles in a day from London: but there'll be no time for the Louvre or Notre Dame. I've never seen the point of going out of anyone's way for the Eiffel Tower, or encountered a single human being able to explain how doing so contributed to their life.

Only the hopelessly innumerate believe you "lose an hour" doing it, and thousands of us regularly - and serially - do so.

Otherwise: the wisest words on this thread are "your daughter will also want to show you some of her London"

London's not some cruise-ship destination, defined entirely by the gushings of travel writers (though Paris is). It hasn't had more influence on creating today's world than any city on the planet (except Rome), and become the world's soft power capital through "Buckingham Palace (why?), Tower of London, Double Decker bus tour, river trip on Thames and British Museum".

Start off getting your daughter to tell you what she likes and dislikes, and see as much of that as you can. Then walk from Tower Bridge along the river to the embankment opposite Parliament - an infinitely better use of anyone's time than being cooped up in a noisy boat listening to the dubious anecdotes of a professional tip-touter.
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Old Feb 21st, 2015, 05:35 PM
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I think it would be a crime to NOT bring your 14-year-old to Paris. I second the advice someone gave to connect to CDG directly from LHR, spend your first 2 days in Paris, and Eurostar over to London.

Or you could turn it around. Fly into London, stay 4 days (recovering from jet lag somewhat), take train to Paris for 2 days, then fly CDG-LHR-home.

In Paris, skip Versailles. Sure, the Louvre (just 2 hours though) and the Eiffel Tower if you must, but mostly walk around. One of the great walking cities. Oh, and research a couple of good restaurants (not fancy, just well reviewed) - the eating in Paris is generally memorable.

In London, the must-sees are the British Museum and Nat'l Gallery. Catch a show if you can. I am not a guided-tour person myself... your daughter there will take care of you - trust her.

Don't try to cram everything in - you can't, on this trip - keep a human pace. It will be fabulous!
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