Is a daytrip to London worth it?

Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 04:49 PM
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Is a daytrip to London worth it?

We have 8 days in Paris this August. Is it worth it for us to take a day trip to London (we've never been anywhere in Europe) or should we save that for another trip?
Many thanks!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 05:54 PM
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Hi chawkins, there is so much to do in Paris that I think you would be better to save London for another trip. Hope you enjoy Paris!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 06:11 PM
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There are so many wonderful things to do in Paris and an equal number of excellent day trips to be done to various French cities and towns....I think you should definately save London for another trip. Absolutly.

Have fun!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 06:15 PM
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Paris is a fabulous city. London is a fabulous city. Either city will more than fill 8 days. Sure - a day trip to London is fun - but the small % of London you would see may not be worth the expense/hassle.

If you knew you would never have another chance to visit London - then go for it. But w/ London having some of the cheapest airfares of any major city - you'll probably have other opportunities.

If it was me, I'd save the $$/€€/££ for a whirlwind trip to London and use it for a later trip.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 06:26 PM
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Personally, I go the other way for someone visiting Europe for the first time and I would absolutely suggest you go to London for a day.

You can easily take the Eurostar from Paris Nord to London St-pancras for a 2:15 ride (but you gain an hour based on the time change going to London) and get a good day in London in. At the end of the day, catch the train back to Paris and sleep in your own hotel that night.

If you have specifics you want to see in London, itís an easy tube (subway) ride from St-pancras and if youíre not sure what you want to see, from St-pancras, you can walk across the street to the Kingís Cross station where you can catch one of the double deck, hop on & hop off tour buses and see a lot of London in a day.

As the others have said, they are both great cities but, in my opinion, far different than just the language. For a first time trip to Europe, my $.02 says see them both so you can know which you want to go back to at another time!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 06:40 PM
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If I were going to do this, I'd either do a 5/3 or 4/4 split, or not do it at all.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 07:02 PM
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I agree w/ WillTravel. If London is important this trip - spend 3, 4 or 5 days there - not 12 hours. Consider, what are you willing to give up in Paris for that day in London?

Don't get me wrong - LOVE London -- maybe even a bit more than Paris. But for your first trip, don't frazzle yourselves dashing back and forth. Slow down and enjoy Paris.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 07:15 PM
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I had about 5 days in London and I took the Eurostar to Paris one morning, spent the night and returned to London the next evening. It was really fun and I was able to see a bit of Paris. Enough to know I liked it and to plan a future trip there.

I usually don't like rushing around on vacation, but the London-Paris route was so easy that I'd do it again. Especially if I'd never been anywhere in Europe.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 07:51 PM
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Yes, when you are talking about an overnight trip - that would be 100% better IMO. Still short but better . . . . .
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 08:30 PM
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One of the advantages of Eurostar is that going from Paris to London or vice versa is no big deal anymore.

When you need or want a break from Paris, check the weather for London for the next day, go to the station, get your ticket, board the train - and off you go. This flexibility will cost you more than booking in advance. But it will save you from "having to" go to London on a day which you would rather spend in Paris. Maybe you decide to spend all your days in Paris. Maybe not. Not a matter of life and death.

I would check Eurostar's website in advance, though, to get an idea of the fare system.

IF you decide to make that day trip, one thing I would not do was to squeeze "all of London" into one day, i.e. British Museum and London Eye and and and..
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 03:25 AM
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well, I live in London and make a frequent day-trip to Paris, so my short answer would be "why not?".


I still think Eurostar is the best way to do it--travel time is considerably shorter if you include time to/from airports, waiting time, etc. (For Eurostar you'll need to check in 30min minimum, maybe a bit before during summer peak season).

Make sure you book the tickets WELL in advance--though I only see on-line reservation till July on Eurostar.com It will be a long, and tiresome day so take it easy the night before and the morning after. You'll also need to prioritise what you want to do in London--check the map and plan the itinerary carefully.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 03:31 AM
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I would do it. I have only been to Europe once 25 years ago. We are going this summer. My next trip will hopefully be a lot sooner than my last trip

But, I say a day in a different country is fun. It is easier to get between the two now and I see it as an adventure. Go for it!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 05:41 AM
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thanks everyone! Very helpful.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 07:20 AM
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I tend to think crossing the channel is time consuming and expensive. It will be a long day and you won't scratch the surface of London. The cheap flights have made it easier, but you still have to get into the city in time to make it worthwhile.

I'd vote for another trip. If you run out of things to do in Paris, look for a day trip on the continent (maybe Brugges, Belgium) where a day trip will give you a good taste of the destination and you can enjoy the ride.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 08:04 AM
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I think a day-trip from London to Paris makes more sense than a day-trip from Paris to London. Sights are more spread out in London, and, for my taste, there's more to see. Also transportation seems a bit choked in London these days.

Whereas in Paris, just walking the streets, checking out the boulangerie, the charcutiere, etc., is part of the enjoyment. Not so much in London.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 08:17 AM
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If you can get a cheap day return on Eurostar that would be the most cost effective way.
It would be worth it if there were one or two London sights that you wanted to see. Set off early, visit A, have lunch, visit B and take train back for dinner in Paris.
What's on your wishlist for London?
If you just want an overview of the city you could take a hop on hop off type bus tour in the morning, have lunch in maybe Covent Garden and browse then visit a museum in the afternoon for an hour or two or go on the Eye or a boat on the Thames.

No need to check out of hotel, carry luggage, etc.

I do agree with Mimar that a day trip to Paris is 'easier' but London works too if you choose carefully.

I wouldn't do this if you have other day trips from Paris planned.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 08:19 AM
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mimar makes a good point - a day trip to Paris (though just as expensive) is more realistic/doable, than at day trip to London. 80% of the main sites in Paris are in a very narrow band along the Seine between Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. In London, they spread from the Tower to Hyde Park and from the Eye to the British Museum - a VERY large area.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 05:15 PM
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We're in Paris for 9 days in Late April and early May and are doing the London day trip on the May 1 holiday. Not so much because we want to see London since we've already been there, but because taking the train through the channel tunnel is on my father's 'bucket list' of life experiences. Sometimes it's all about the journey...
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 04:47 AM
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Clio - sweet
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 04:53 AM
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I'm reading this and thinking the same thing as your dad, clio! It's on my list too. I haven't been to Paris. My daughter and I are looking at Munich and London this summer, but reading this makes me want to change that to Paris and London!
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