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England, Ireland, and France. What can I see in two weeks?


Feb 5th, 2016, 06:47 PM
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England, Ireland, and France. What can I see in two weeks?

I have 10 days in Europe this September. I have never traveled outside of the United States and could use some help. I would like to see the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland and a bit of Irelands countryside. Stonehenge in England, a castle and an English garden, as well as London. Then Paris for a museum and the Eiffel tower. Is this possible in 10 days (14 including getting to and from Europe)? What is the best way to get around? Train? Rental Car? Ferry? Plane? I wouldn't mind seeing a bit of Scotland as well if there is time. This might be my only opportunity to see these places, is there anything I should add to my itinerary that I wouldn't want to miss seeing?
KBerg is offline  
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Feb 5th, 2016, 07:32 PM
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Giants Causeway (Northern Ireland), Irish countryside, Stonehenge (southwest England), London, Paris, . . . and Scotland . . . in 10 days is really REALLY difficult. (but it does seem you actually have 11.5 days 'on the ground')

With just 10 or 11 days, you could do Paris, London, and a couple of days in the English countryside to tick off Stonehenge/castles/gardens. (Though there are castles and gardens IN London). It would be rushed but doable.

Or you could do London, a couple of days in the English countryside, and a few days in Edinburgh/Scotland.

Or London and a little of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Or just Paris and London w/ a couple of day trips to garden(s)/stonehenge/castle(s). This one would be by far the easiest.
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Feb 5th, 2016, 08:07 PM
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You need more than "some help." You need a lot of skill you have to acquire on your own to turn the current heap of mush into something achievable within your constraints. If you only listen to someone else with different priorities and constraints, you will forever spinning your head going from one recommendation to another.

A quick tool to grasp how two destinations are connected and how long it takes is www.rome2rio.com as well as www.google.com. Once you get raw travel times, you have to look at when in the day they fit considering that you cannot just any part of the day and most attractions have open hours and close days. Using up prime visiting hours/days to travel to destinations just in time to see them closed until two days later would further cut into your limited time. How do you find hours? Either look up in a guide book for general idea or do google search, for example, "Louvre museum, Paris, hours."
greg is offline  
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Feb 6th, 2016, 04:04 AM
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You could base in London,
do a train day trip to Paris, eat supper there and take a late train back
do a day flight to Belfast, hire a car, visit the causeway and get back that night
Train to Salisbury and bus to stonehenge
Take train up to Edinburgh and fly back from there

Expensive but it would be box ticking
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Feb 6th, 2016, 05:17 AM
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"What can I see in two weeks?" not a lot to be honest.
Flights, No idea where you are starting from so where you can fly to/from? but open jaw. Into London or Ireland or Paris and return from another?
Time breakdown Ireland 4 days, London 4 days, Paris 3 days but remember you will have 1/2 days in there which will be just travel.
If you have flights inter island then these local flights will determine your baggage allowance for the whole trip.

Yes it can be done but you will have to decide just what you do want to see and do.
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Feb 6th, 2016, 05:34 AM
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If you only have 11.5 days on the ground and the first half is jet lagged then that's how you have to start thinking - not 2 weeks - which would be 16 days if you include all 3 weekends.

Try to get more time by flying out Fri night and flying back Sun night - or Mon night if you can link onto a holiday weekend. It will give you a LOT more time to do/see things.

Otherwise I would do no more than 3 different hotels and limit your racing around to avoid wasting a lot of time just getting to and fro.

Agree that without knowing your specific dates, where you are coming from and your specific interests it's hard to make recos. (I know I want to see every museum, cathedral, castle and major sight I can - but others have completely different interests - from hiking to shopping to a drinking tour of wherever).
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Feb 6th, 2016, 07:56 AM
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It looks a bit as if you have fallen victim to travel websites like "The 20 Most Magical Places in Europe".

While Bilbo said it would be technically doable you won't enjoy this trip. It will be like ticking off the items on a bucket list. You will be tired the whole time through and you will spend most of your time in trains, train stations and airports. And if you miss a connection (which easily happens with a very tight schedule) you are in deep trouble.

If it is your first trip outside North America then plan more carefully than just putting together a few would-be main attractions.

Europe is a huge continent - with history, cities, nature, castles, cathedrals, museums, art, scenery, lifestyle and more.

London and Paris are cities which require at least three days (each) just to scratch the surface. Ireland is a whole country (in fact, one and a half) and also Scotland.

And do not underestimate time and effort of travelling within Europe. From the other side of the pond, distances may look shorter than they are. In addition to net travelling time on a plane or a train, you must add the times of getting to the airport or station, getting information and orientation etc. You will be in unfamiliar surroundings and things may take longer than at home. And there may be unpleasant surprises like delays, cancellations, invalid tickets etc.

This all said, I would strongly suggest to focus your trip on just two, maximum three destinations and some countryside around them and between them. Three destinations are only advisable if you have open-jaw flights.

So, what you can do:

Flying into Dublin, spending three days in Ireland. Flying to London, spending five days in England. Train to Paris, spending three days in Paris and flying out of Paris.
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Feb 6th, 2016, 09:58 AM
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Not a whole lot. Traveller1959 outlines a decent plan, but even that will be rushed.

And FWIW, I think Rome2Rio is a really poor travel site, but at least it's a start.
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Feb 7th, 2016, 11:58 AM
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Thank-you for all the helpful advise. How do I look up openjaw plane tickets? Are they shown on the popular flight apps or do I need to go straight to the airline's website?

Also, it's looking like our trip will be Sept. 16-Oct.2. I noticed that London is having a fashion week the first week we are in Europe, is that going to make London crowded or make it harder to find hotel rooms at a decent price?
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Feb 7th, 2016, 12:04 PM
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They are usually called 'multi-city' on most sites

>>s that going to make London crowded or make it harder to find hotel rooms at a decent price?<<

No, London isn't a small city like San Francisco where a single convention can book up every hotel. London is ENORMOUS and major events (Wimbledon, the Olympics, etc.) will cause some localized congestion but in most of the city it won't even be a blip on the radar.
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Feb 7th, 2016, 12:55 PM
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Plan to book your tickets on the airline's own website - fewer chances for problems. Choose multi-city, your town to London; Paris to your town.

If it were me - and it isn't - for a first trip I would choose 5 nights in London, 5 nights in Paris. This will give you enough time to see some major attractions and to wander a bit - often the most rewarding thing to do.

Get yourself some guidebooks to look at - your local library likely has some - and think about what attracts you most. My top 5 things in London are likely different from yours.
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Feb 7th, 2016, 01:33 PM
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I am with Kathie. My second trip to Europe was to London and then the Eurostar to Paris...it's a good combo. Both cities are amazing in their own ways.

You want to be sure you are seeing as much as you can and not changing hotels for most of your trip. You might look at a day trip from each city during your stay. There are tons to see in both London and Paris but both are easy to make a day trip out of. Stonehenge would be a good day trip. I loved Canturbury.

From Paris, if you wanted a day trip the options are endless. Depends on what time of year. Giverny would be a great day trip (open Mar-Nov1). Vaux le Vicomte or Versailles might also be good options.
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Feb 8th, 2016, 04:09 AM
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10 days is too short.
You can try arrive to Belfast, see Giants Causeaway, then take a ferry to Glasgow and drive around Scotland (landscapes are truly amazing) to Edinburgh or to London (but a flight from Edinburgh to London would be much faster, driving would take a day). But you need at least 4 days for London, so do the maths. No time for Paris at all.
If you want a proper trip on destination you`ve mentioned, you need at least 3 weeks.
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Feb 8th, 2016, 10:11 AM
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Agree that you seem to have - or have not thought about - the distances and times between these places.

Strongly suggest you lay out you trip day by day - for each day listing where you will start, what travel you will do (and how long it will take) and where you will sleep. Use actual times for trains (bahn.de has all the info) and check skyscanner or kayak for flights - being sure to add the time needed to get from hotel to and fro the train stations, waiting time, time for security processing, etc.

Also you need to check on the closing days of sights that are must sees and not waste the prime sightseeing time in travel, which means either very early am trains or flights or one later in the evening. If you start your travel at 10 am you will blow a whole day on something that could be completed by 11 am or noon if you start early (take first flight or train).
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