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Dad and Daughter Europe itinerary need help please :)

Dad and Daughter Europe itinerary need help please :)

Old Oct 8th, 2022, 02:07 PM
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Dad and Daughter Europe itinerary need help please :)

I am meeting my adult daughter in Paris on 10/29 for a long week holiday and trying to develop travel itinerary - this will our first time in Europe. We have bother traveled a fair amount - so am comfortable moving around and taking different types of transportation, etc.. So arriving in Paris on Saturday 10/29 and then we fly back out of Paris on Sunday 11/6. Need suggestions on itinerary for us to have a nice trip and low stress. We like to walk and sight see, cafe, museum and historic buildings. We are good with local tours to get us oriented where we are visiting to get lay of the land. Other than that I am not sure on countries and cities, # nights in each, etc. for our trip. Any suggestions for us would be graciously appreciated.
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Old Oct 8th, 2022, 03:03 PM
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If by a long week you mean 10 days (and I hope you do), you have only just scratched the surface of Paris, it deserves at least 4-5 days on its own. If you want low stress I would pick one or two side trips to local destinations. There is a lot to absorb your attention in Paris, and not a lot of time for visiting other countries in any serious way (certainly not all the ones you list), unless you took a flight. Perhaps you could split it 5 days for Paris and 5 days for Berlin and Potsdam (with a flight to Berlin), which would be your France and Germany, or 5 days Paris, and perhaps side trips for Rouen, Amiens and/or Reims (train). Or Paris - Brussels - Bruges (which you could do easily in 10 days, also by train); I know you didn't mention Belgium but it's an easy trip from Paris by rail. Europe is quite large and it's hard to cover all the distances you specify in the time frame you have; for that you would need several weeks. Also remember that you lose half a day to a day every time you change destinations. Hopefully someone else will come aboard and make some more suggestions.

Lavandula
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Old Oct 8th, 2022, 03:16 PM
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Welcome to Fodors. Assuming you arrive at CDG on 29 Oct (and that isn't the date you depart the US - another assumption) you only have 7.5 days total free on the ground. You can't see or do anything on the 6th other than hopefully get to CDG on time and make your flight.

Certainly not enough time to see anything in the other five countries you tagged. Especially since you are flying in/out of Paris and transport to/from other destinations will eat up another full day and you'd want to be back in Paris by the evening of the 5th.

So my suggestion is to either do Paris . . . JUST Paris with maybe day trips to Versailles and/or Chartres . . . or . . . immediately upon landing at CDG, take the train or fly to one other 'wish list' city, stay a couple of nights, return to Paris and stay the last 5 days there

You have left things a bit late so I'd book my hotel(s) ASAP.
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Old Oct 8th, 2022, 03:36 PM
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Focus on Paris and leave other countries for another time. You can fill seven days easily. I recommend putting together a list of things you want to do and tag them somehow for location and weather. Paris is a wonderful place for walking but you'll want to be flexible about the weather that time of year.
In addition to the museums and sights of Paris you could consider day trips out of the city: Versailles, the Loire valley and its chateaux, Normandy.
Hard to go wrong. Have a good trip.
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Old Oct 8th, 2022, 06:57 PM
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Sorry, coming back I realised I misread how long you had on the ground - you really don't have much time at all. Spend most in Paris and if you have any time, then day trips within France like the ones I suggested or the ones janisj and MichGuy suggest, something close in to Paris so you don't lose travelling time. Unless you can magic some days from somewhere if you are serious about any of the other destinations

At this point I would also do some reading about what interests you in Paris so you get an idea of how much time activities take, and a map of Paris so you can plot them out and follow them in logical order. Usually figure on two activities a day that are close together; if you do Versailles, give it a whole day (but it's closed Mondays). If you are new to Europe some reading is a must. I am assuming by the way you write your dates that you must be North American, so you probably know Rick Steves (he is not a phenomenon in my country, but I know who he is). His books or videos might be a good place to start.

Lavandula
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Old Oct 9th, 2022, 01:12 AM
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If you want to visit more than just Paris, then I'd consider:
Amsterdam and Paris; or
Ghent/Bruge and Paris; or
Alsace (maybe Strasbourg or Colmar) and Paris.

Try to stay in Paris last before your flight home.

But there are obviously a million other choices.
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Old Oct 9th, 2022, 01:49 AM
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I'd start by deciding what I wanted to do in Paris
I'd find a weather forecast app for France
I'd then read seat61.com about French trains
Download the metro RER app and the SNCF app.
Trains give you very easy access to a bunch of places of which Strasbourg, Epernay/Reims, Rouen, Auxerre plus many more all pop up within an hour or 2 on the train

I'd then look at a map of Paris and choose where to stay based on easy access to the metro and bus system and likley train stations that you will use. Then during the week plan where to go about 3 days out so ensuring you have plenty of places to visit in close proximity if the rains hit and more time in the open on glorious days
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Old Oct 9th, 2022, 06:45 PM
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We recently got back from a week in Avignon with two adult daughters, and all enjoyed it very much.

I wonder whether the south of France,, likely warmer and drier that time of year, might fit the bill for half your time, and Paris the other. It's an entirely different experience, for one thing, can be reached in a few low stress hours by TGV. Roman ruins, wineries.
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Old Oct 10th, 2022, 07:14 AM
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I don't really understand why this post has been tagged "France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland" since, as mentioned earlier, you're "just" spending 10 days in Paris so I wouldn't consider any other countries as you'd be wasting too much time moving up and down and besides, at the end of the day, you wouldn't really see much of anything. As mentioned, I concur that you should plan for at least 5 full days in Paris and the surrounding areas. The rest is wide open... if you must, you could fly for the day on a low-cost to Brussels or Amsterdam, make an overnight escapade by train to Alsace (ie Colmar) or Bretagne (ie Britanny) ... etc.
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Old Oct 10th, 2022, 12:13 PM
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Hi Glenn!

As one that has taken 15 lovely European trips with my father I agree there is way too much to see in Paris and spending time getting to and from other places would be limiting the amount of quality dad/daughter time. Each destination with trains, cabs, delayed flights and new hotels to settle into can be stressful and detracts from the fun.

It really depends on both of your preferences but we had a great time flying into Paris and jumping on the train to Reims in the Champagne region (2 hour max train ride). We stayed one night in the city center soaking up the cathedral and eating a fabulous meal to soothe our jet lag. The next morning after a pastry and latte we rented a car and visited Epernay (30 minute drive on easy roads).

We had a marvelous time tasting Champagnes and touring the famous caves, had a hearty lunch on the Boulevard and late in the afternoon drove 30 minutes to the beautiful Chateau Etoges and spent 2 nights. The Chateau had an amazing restaurant on site, a hearty breakfast and free private parking. The cheese cart is OMG fabulous! (Fodors wont let me post a direct link to the Chateau website, so sorry but I googled it and the Chateau still has great reviews even a decade later and they have added a Spa! Bonus!) We took a day trip drive and found a small village restaurant for lunch, took a ton of pictures and dreamed of living in the French countryside.

We dropped off the car back in Reims and took the train back to Paris for 5 nights. Easy peasy.

I do agree that being in Paris the night before your flight is a really important decision.

Whatever you do choose, I hope you and your daughter have as wonderful a time as my father and I did. This itinerary in the first year or two of our trips gave us an immense amount of confidence in driving overseas and the thirst for more adventures together. Our last trip prior to covid was an amazing 3 week exploration around Sicily! I now consider myself a true professional driver. I kissed the Fiat 500 in the airport parking lot for getting us safely around the island! lol.

Have fun!!

Last edited by Half_Step; Oct 10th, 2022 at 12:43 PM.
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Old Oct 11th, 2022, 04:53 AM
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Thank you !
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Old Oct 11th, 2022, 04:53 AM
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Thank you
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Old Nov 17th, 2022, 06:57 AM
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Hi Glenn!

I hope you and your daughter had a fabulous time! Let us know sometime how the trip went.

(I'm exploring vicariously through other Fodorites, lol)
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Old Nov 17th, 2022, 01:46 PM
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Hi Glenn, yes, I too am curious about your trip. Did it work out?

Lavandula
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