Advice on Paris & London

Feb 18th, 2004, 08:10 AM
  #1  
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Advice on Paris & London

Well, after viewing lots of web sites, we settled on the following for our family of 2 adults and 2 teenage girls to visit London and Paris in late December and would like some advice on whether or not our choices are good (then we can work on choosing attractions!):

We arrive in Paris at CDG on Saturday December 18 - metro or private car?

Hoping to stay at La Cigalle - in 5th arron./Latin Quarter 81 Blvd. Saint Marcel in 2 bedroom, 1 bath apt for 8 nights. Is anyone familiar with this property? http://www.LaCigaleParis.com. We are looking for central location, good public transportation, not touristy, but lively area.

Going to London on December 26 - planning to do EasyJet to Luton airport. Train or private car hire? Will things be open in London day after Xmas? (Boxing Day).

Planning to stay in London at Scala House, lots of good reviews here.
http://www.scala-house.co.uk/brochure.html

Returning to States on Sunday January 2 from Gatwick, again train or private car hire?

Any comments or advice would be very helpful. Thanks so much, this is a great forum!
lauralue9 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 08:19 AM
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Hi
I was just in London over the New Year's holiday, and to me relief I found before I went that several major museums were open on New Year's Day. Most of course were not.
Whether the same ones, or others,are open on Boxing Day, I don't know, but I suggest that you check the individual websites for popular attractions a month or two before you go, when they will have set their holiday schedules.

Wit four of you and at least one bag each, I'd arrange for a car service pick up at the Paris airport, or take a taxi. It's cost effective per person, and certainly easier than dealing with luggage on the metro.

If Scala House is quite close to Victoria Station (?) you could use the Gatwick Express from V station to go to the airport, but I don't know the current price for four people vis a vis a taxi.

I have long files on London and Paris; if you'd like to see them, email me at
[email protected]
elaine is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 08:43 AM
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Thanks Elaine! I will e-mail you for the files. The Scala House in London is at 21 Tottenham St. off Tottenham Court Rd. Is that a good location? Here is what they say on their site: Scala House is centrally located, just two minutes away from Goodge Street Tube station on the Northern Line. Tottenham Court Road and Warren Street tube stations are no more than six minutes walk away and are on the Central and Victoria Lines respectively How about the Latin Quarter in Paris? I believe the metro stop is Saint Marcel. Any other suggestions on places to stay?
lauralue9 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 08:50 AM
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I normally recommend using the RER from CDG to the Quartier Latin. However, the Blvd. St. Marcel has two metro stops, neither of which is convenient to the RER stops in the Quartier Latin. Take a taxi or shuttle. But if you are adventurous, you could take the RER to St. Michel and then the 47 bus to Les Gobelins.
Michael is online now  
Feb 18th, 2004, 09:19 AM
  #5  
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Thanks Michael - any idea how much a taxi should cost or how to reserve a car?
lauralue9 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

If you search this, and the Lonely Planet/UK, site you'll find a lot of stuff about this. And if you google now, you'll still find a lot of references on all sorts of people's websites to what they wre proposing doing in 2003/4.

In essence:
- Boxing Day starts later in London than a normal day. It's a public holiday, most city-centre attractions are closed, transport pretty much runs like a Sunday, big shops are closed, but most restaurants and pubs open normally. The centre's pretty empty: some out-of -town shopping starts its Sale then. A great day for hiring a car and driving out, as roads are empty.

- New Year's Eve. Don't expect too much. Things close early, long-distance public transport winds down early (though normally the tube ruins all night, free). Most attractions open normally. Limited public celebration. But a major London tradition is whining about why we don't celebrate New Year (as fatuous as whining about why Americans don't celebrate Guy Fawkes). Followed, some years, by an attempt to create a public celebration. This year: who knows?
- New Year's Day. Everything starts late. Otherwise Sunday-like, though I think most public-sector attractions are closed.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 11:00 AM
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hi a couple of more comments
On New Year's Day, as I said, some public attractions were open, but I had a heckuva time finding a place to have dinner. Lots of places that are normally open on Sundays, for example,were not open on that holiday.
I ended up having an unsatisfactory meal in a chain kind of place. So, think ahead about meals out on Boxing Day.

I stayed at the Arosfa hotel recently, same tube stop as the Scala House, Goodge St. Location is fine, I think of it now as outer Bloomsbury. It's only a 12-15 minute walk to the British Museum and Russell Square. Area is safe, Goodge St is a main drag, as is Tott. Court Road. MANY restaurants around those streets, just maybe not open on holidays.

Latin Quarter in Paris is great, lots of things to see and do. The metro stop must be St Michel.
elaine is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 11:05 AM
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LauraLue,

Scala House can arrange a car to pick you & luggage up at the airport. I would not rent a car in London.

Have fun!
escholtzia is offline  

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