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louise1928 Sep 16th, 2005 06:36 PM

First time trip to Paris, in November???
My husband has been nagging me for years about visiting Paris, and since we just returned from our first resort vacation in Mexico, I told him that I would go to Paris. My main reason for not wanting to go was the flight time. I do not like flying as it is, but flying more than 4 hours, is a bit much, however, I am willing to sacrifice. Since our time is restricted (he works for the School District), the best times for us to travel are July-August, November and December. I noticed that the airfare is much better around November and December. My only concern is nasty weather.

Is November a good month, and where should I begin with planning?? I am undecided with booking a package deal, or purchasing airline tickets and hotel seperately.
We may also just purchase the hop on/hop off bus pass, and wing our way through Paris. It could make the trip more interesting, this way, and maybe do a one day citytour by bus.

All suggestions welcome.

louise1928 Sep 16th, 2005 06:37 PM

I forgot to mention, the trip will be November 2006.

SUNSHINE1223 Sep 16th, 2005 08:52 PM

I have been to Paris in the beg of Nov. It was a beautiful time. I wore a leather jacket and a must for Paris a scarf.
I love going to Paris for long weekends. THe flight is great since you sleep on the plane and when you wake up you are there. I lost my heart in Paris on my first trip in 2003. I have been back 3 times since. I have not booked a package deal after my first time. I got a great deal on United the first time but when I went in Nov I had to be in NY on business so I left from there and then back to Chicago. I have never paid more than $400 for airfare. As for hotel I always stay in the 1st arr. Most people like the 6th. Its to each his own. I usually will walk allover Paris but the hop on hop off bus is good to get your bearings. I usually walk anywhere from 5-15 miles a day when there.

I have made a chart of Paris by arr. If you would like I am always willing to share it with the folks on Fodor's since they have helped me many times.

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virginiafish Sep 16th, 2005 11:54 PM

We went to Paris the first time in December, 2001 for 4 days. We used a package (air and hotel only) with France Vacations and although the price was right and they helped us add on 3 days in London first, the hotel in Paris was well-located, but in poor condition. I would check the hotel carefully if you go with them. I've since learned that TripAdvisor is a good source for checking hotels. Being there in the winter was fine with the proper clothing. After returning from 3 weeks there this summer, the biggest difference was the unseasonability of walking through the beautiful gardens or sitting out at cafes. A museum pass is essential for a short stay, avoiding long lines.

Barbara_in_CT Sep 17th, 2005 06:08 AM

I've visited Paris in February and the weather was pleasant with a rainjacket and a polartec in various combinations. I can't imagine that November would be all that bad.

I like Rick Steves' guide for Paris for first time visitors. Fodor's has lots of information on this website.

Paris has an excellent Metro so you will want to investigate that. Almost any of the inner arrondisements has something to recommend it (as do the outer ones but you want to minimize travel time).

Check any potential hotel on Trip Advisor for personal reviews.

Paris is definitely worth the flight.

Kristinelaine Sep 17th, 2005 06:26 AM

I went to Paris once in January and found a great hotel/air deal through Expedia. I tried to match the hotel price by calling the hotel itself and they said it was only available through Expedia, so I bought it that way. We ended up with a really classy hotel at about 2* or 3* prices. I strongly second the above advice to check the hotels on TripAdvisor.

The weather in January was cold, but not as cold as home (southern Michigan) and the gardens usually had some kind of surviving plants -- pretty purple kale, for example -- so it was more beautiful that I expected. Also restaurants often had outdoor eating areas with heat lamps, so even that was possible. I would think November would be even better than January. If you like museums, it doesn't matter so much if it is cold outside.

Randy Sep 17th, 2005 06:50 AM

My first trip to Paris was in November a number of years ago. I had a great time, the weather was cool and a little wet. I would go again. I felt the best time was mid two weeks of September. One other thing about November is that the day light hours are shorter.

TC Sep 17th, 2005 07:32 AM

Louise1928, Just topped my anniversary in Paris report. Our anniversary is November 22 and it was my first trip to Paris. Maybe this will give you some ideas.

As for the flight, two suggestions:
(1) upgrade with miles or points to business class if at all possible (2)if in coach, take two or three Tylenol PM and sleep all the way to Paris (3) or sit in aisle seats for more legroom and less claustrophoia - we try to do aisles across from each other when in coach.


Luisah Sep 17th, 2005 12:21 PM

November in Paris is fine. In fact, I prefer it because I know it will be chilly so I dress for it.

Air fares are lower, fewer people on planes, so quieter and more chance of having an extra seat or two. Most flights are at night with the lights dimmed and are pretty quiet so you will very likely sleep a good part of the way. I've flown on Thanksgiving day and there were lots of empty seats and opportunity to spread out. The end of Nov. beginning of Dec. is when the Chrismas decorations appear, another bonus.

Fewer tourists, so shorter lines. Hotel fares are lower so more choice in accommodations.

Days are shorter but Paris at night is beautiful. It is the City of Light and golden lights reflecting on the Seine are a lovely sight.

You have plenty of time to plan so can look at lots of guide books, web sites and ask questions on travel sites. When you have decided on your location and hotel in Paris reserve early; you can always cancel up to a few days before. Most hotels are very small, apprx. 30 rooms and do book up early. I got caught one Nov. when the hotels that I wanted were booked with people attending seminars or exhibitions.

Planning is fun and it's not too early to start. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

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