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Itinerary help – Paris & ? - April 2010

Itinerary help – Paris & ? - April 2010

Jan 7th, 2010, 07:16 AM
  #1  
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Itinerary help – Paris & ? - April 2010

Background - I’m planning a trip mid to late April with my husband. It will be his first trip to Europe, I’ve been several times. My first choice would have been Italy, which would have made this much easier for me, but he selected Paris. He now wants to go to Paris plus at least one other place, and I’m stumped! We are locked in to Paris as I have already purchased our tickets – travelling April 15 – 26, which gives us 10 full days, including the day we arrive (we arrive before 10 in the morning).

I know this is extremely general – but can anyone offer any suggestions of other places to visit in France that would be great for a first trip to Europe? He’s not interested in WWII sites. I’d rather take the train than rent a car. I don't mind changing cities at least once (keeping in mind that we have to be back in Paris for the 26th), and would have no problem with day trips from whichever (2?) base cities.

My travel style is to wander (I love Florence and Rome because they’re great cities to wander in), my husband’s perfect vacation is Carnival. We are on a budget, so can't do anything too extravagant. Technically, this is our delayed honeymoon. Help! I need him to fall in love with Europe like I did - I can't handle Carnival every year, I'd lose my mind!

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
Truffles is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 07:22 AM
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hi truffles,

I would go straight to Nice on the TGV and spend 5 nights, then get the TGV back to Paris and finish your stay there.

have a great trip,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 07:30 AM
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Lyon is another nice city that is on the TGV line. Culinary capital of France. A UNESCO listed Old Town, good museums, scenic rovers, roman ruins, Alps nearby. It could be visited in ~3 days.

It is to be noted that you could easily fill 10 days in Paris...remembering that your first day will be half taken getting/checking into hotel, and other half will be jet lagged. Similarly your last day will be spent gettign to ariport early....so those 10 days get used up fast.

Another alternative is doing day trips, so you don't need to check in/out of hotels. For example, many people go to Versailles for the day. You could even go to London for a day!
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 07:49 AM
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This is why I love Fodors!

Michel_Paris - I know we could easily fill 10 days, but I'm trying to accomodate my husband, who has no frame of reference for a trip to Europe.

I haven't included our last day in the 10 days, since we'll have to be at the airport early, although I have included our day of arrival in there, since I'm optimistic that there will be a useable portion of the day. Technically it's a 12 day trip, minus 2 travel days.

Time to start researching Nice/Lyon...

Keep 'em coming if you can...your suggestions are greatly appreciated...
Truffles is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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I agree with annhig - immediatly TGV from CDG to Provence (Avignon), or Nice , and then back to Paris. Rent a car to explore all the small villages & scenic sections in Provence. If you visit Nice instead, you can get around without a car - but getting to the popular small perched villages (St Paul, Vence), will involve a little more "doing".

For 10 days, I would only do Paris & 1 other location. Take a day-trip to Versailles from Paris.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 7th, 2010, 08:04 AM
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I'd second Lyon, great museums, the old town,silk weaver's tours and great food.
avalon is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 08:17 AM
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You could easily do 10 days in Paris with day trips to mix countryside with the city. The day trip possibilities are endless: Versailles, Giverny, Auvers-sur-Oise, Chantilly and Senlis, Chartres, Fontainebleau.....

Or you could spend 5 days in Paris and 4 in Lyon, or Strasbourg, or Provence, or La Rochelle, or Brussels and Bruges, or....

What are your husband's interests? Even if he has no frame of reference for Europe, he must have some frame of reference for vacations in general.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 08:26 AM
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An Open-Jaw (I know, too late now!) where you would fly into Paris and out of...London or Amsterdam would have been nice. I've done those combos.

I've also done a Paris/Loire Valley combo. In that case, a car rental would be the way to go. The Loire would fulfill any castle lover's fantasies. It's only a couple of hours from Paris.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 08:35 AM
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Some day trips from Paris... Chartres, Reims, Giverny, Rouen, Honfleur
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Jan 7th, 2010, 08:36 AM
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I'll disagree with a few posters here who suggest Lyon as the "other" location. Paris, Lyon, and Marseilles are the three largest cities in France. I love Lyon, but I would want a little quiet contryside & small villages "mixed in" to complement Paris. Paris/Lyon would be too much concrete & congestion for me - especially as a first-timer. That's why I suggested Provence. Burgundy, Brittany, and Alsace would also work & would be an easy access to/from Paris, but I would try to get as far south as possible in April to increase the chances of good weather. Also, in Provence you can get there directly from CDG (several trains a day to Avignon, Nimes, Aix)) - you don't have to go into Paris for a connection (I think Rennes (Brittany) has 1 train a day & Dijon (Burgundy) 2 trains.). IMO, Nice doesn't have the congestion that Paris & Lyon have, and you can easily get into the beautiful Nice Hinterland (better with a car).

Stu Dudley
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Jan 7th, 2010, 08:42 AM
  #11  
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StCirq - his idea of vacation is Carnival - which is literally back to back parties for 2 weeks! I've asked what he wants to see, and he has no idea! I've asked why he chose Paris, and his answer is because it seems like the place to go for a first time trip to Europe.
Truffles is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 08:45 AM
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Michel_Paris - I've been saying the same thing to him about open-jaw - as in why didn't you mention this sooner! #-o
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Jan 7th, 2010, 08:47 AM
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Carnival....wow. I'll have to think about that. No immediate associations with Paris come to mind, except that there are plenty of interesting clubs in Paris.

Do you have a couple of guidebooks he could look at to get some idea of what might appeal to him? Some websites you could point him to? Does he want to get involved in the planning process or just have you design the trip for him?
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Jan 7th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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Truffels..as with any good travel agents, we need to be consulted early in the process

Stu..I'm liking your idea. I've been to Cannes, wonder if that might be another possibility (and throw in Monaco)
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 09:00 AM
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Late April - Amsterdam - tulips and April 30th Koninginnedag/ Queens Birthday which should meet his carnival desires just about.
Fast trains now so quick and easy to get there too.
hetismij is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 09:23 AM
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StCirq - why would he make it easy for me? Of course all the pressure is on me to come up with a fabulous trip - he's just along for the ride! I love planning, but I want him to love Europe as much as I do, which is where the pressure comes in...
Truffles is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 09:29 AM
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There have been a few threads here on Jazz Clubs in Paris. A search might yield some good ideas.
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Jan 7th, 2010, 09:47 AM
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Did you consider Burgundy area? It's not too far from Paris, it has all that good "European" stuff: history (castles, cathedrals, etc.), scenery and food and wine. Consider training Paris to Dijon or Beaune, drive around a few days and then train back either from where you arrived or from another town.
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Jan 7th, 2010, 11:01 AM
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I would recommend Belgium. After a half dozen Trappist beers, your could convince your husband he's at Carnival.
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Jan 7th, 2010, 12:04 PM
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I guess I'll have to hunt for my Michelin guide and do some reading on the suggested locations, then go from there.

I think I have about 9 days before I can book a Prem fare on the TGV, so that gives me a couple of days to narrow things down!

Thanks for all the suggestions you've given me a jumping off point - I'll happily accept more....
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