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London & Paris Itinerary with some Questions

London & Paris Itinerary with some Questions

Apr 29th, 2019, 05:17 PM
  #1  
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London & Paris Itinerary with some Questions

I am traveling to London and Paris with my two daughters(16,13) for a short trip the first week of August. Their first time. Trying to catch all the main sites without running them ragged.

1. Too much? Missing anything glaring?
2. We arrive in London at 8am and need a place to store luggage until our apartment near Piccadilly Circus is ready. Any suggestions?
3. Seems like we need to get to Tower of London at 9:30am with tickets in hand, 30 minutes before it opens to avoid lines. true?
4. Any thoughts about the Shard or SkyGarden instead of London Eye
5. Day 3 Oxford or Bath

Sunday, January 1, London Day 1: Apartment, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, British Museum, Covent Garden, Picadilly Square, Trafalgar Square
Monday, January 2, London Day 2: Tower of London, St Pauls Catherdral, Westminster Abbey, House of Parliament , London Eye , Maybe Show
Tuesday, January 3, London Day 3: Windsor Castle, Stonehenge,
Oxford
Wednesday, January 4: London - Paris: TrainEurostar, ApartmentAirBnB, Pantheon, Luxemberg Gardens, Nodre Dam, Pont Neuf Bridge
Thursday, January 5, Paris Day 2: Versaille. Arc de triumph, Eiffel Tower
Friday, January 6, Paris Day 3: Royal Palace, Lourve Museum, Tuileries Gardens, Palais Garnier Opera House, Sacre Coeur Basilica, Place du Tertre

Last edited by vicftl; Apr 29th, 2019 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Formatting came out bad
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Apr 29th, 2019, 05:31 PM
  #2  
 
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I can't make any sense of your plans . . . you say a short trip in August, but all your dates are in January?

Why not try again with actual plans by date . . .(It does not look like you have enough time for your basic plans in either city but I'm not 100% sure)
janisj is online now  
Apr 29th, 2019, 06:49 PM
  #3  
 
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No matter when your trip is, you don't have enough time for the places you list (unless they are all drive-bys). You need to cut at least half of the items you have planned.

I notice you plan on staying in an Air B&B in Paris. Are you aware that most of the short-term apartment rentals in Paris are illegal? Check what your have booked and make sure it has a registration number. If it does not, cancel it while you can still get your money refunded.

Some of the things you have listed for Paris are truly drive-bys: Pont Neuf, Notre Dame (it will be a long time before anyone is allowed inside after the recent devastating fire); the Arc de Triumph and Tour Eiffel can be drive-bys or can take hours, depending on whether you want to go up in each or just "see" them.

Versailles is a full day trip - you'll need to decide whether you want to spend one of you few days in Paris outside of Paris.

Spend some more time with guidebooks or online reading abut the places you want to visit/see. You have very limited time. Your trip will be most successful if you also have very limited goals.
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Apr 30th, 2019, 12:49 AM
  #4  
 
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What a confusing post! Did you copy and paste this from some other poor misguided person? If your dates really are in January, the whole plan needs to be pretty much scrapped. If they are in August, it's a little better, but not much. There is no way you will manage any one of those days - Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Oxford in one day????? It's almost as if you're pulling our leg. This isn't a plan, it's a list.

I would toss this right out the window and start over, reading about and taking note of how much time it takes to see the various sights and how much time to get between them. And yes, make sure you're renting a legal apartment in Paris!
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Apr 30th, 2019, 01:10 AM
  #5  
 
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Way too much in too short a period of time, especially your London days. But this day is incredible =
"Thursday, January 5, Paris Day 2: Versaille. Arc de triumph, Eiffel Tower"
How do you expect that to work out? How are you going to Versailles? How much time have you allotted for just that one "sight" on that day?
Your Stonehenge day is equally incredible. How are you going to make that happen?

Here's my best suggestion -
There are three of you. You have 3 days in London and 3 days in Paris.
Have EACH of you choose the one thing you really want to do in each city. Create a plan around those things.
London Day 1 - see the one thing Mom really wants to see
London Day 2 - see the one thing D1 wants to see
London Day 3 - see the one thing D2 wants to see.
Have a list of "other things" that everyone would like to see IF there is "extra" time.
Repeat for Paris.
Add in experiences. Afternoon tea in London. Visit Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Explore and enjoy. Your plan sounds like a death march.

"Trying to catch all the main sites without running them ragged."
Do you have a private driver arranged? Otherwise, there's no physical way to do all you have listed.
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Apr 30th, 2019, 11:09 AM
  #6  
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Apologies to all for the confusing message. I pasted from excel and the formatting changed, including the dates.
Message received on the number of activities. I started with visitacity.com and actually removed many activities.Any ideas about where to store baggage near our apartment?



Updated Itinerary
London Day 1 Sunday, Aug 4 Buckingham Palace, British Museum, Covent Garden (Night)
London Day 2 Monday Aug. 5 Tower of London, House of Parliament, London Eye (Night) Should we do SkyGarden or Shard instead?
London Day 3, Tuesday Aug. 6 Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Oxford or Bath (What is the experience between the two?) This is a package tour
Paris Day 1 Wednesday Aug 7 Luxemburg Gardens, Pantheon, Notre Dam
Paris Day 2 Thursday Aug 8 Versailles, Arc de Triumph (Just walk around), Eiffel Tower (Night)
Paris Day 3 Friday Aug 9 Royal Palace, Louvre

Hopefully this is more realistic

Last edited by vicftl; Apr 30th, 2019 at 11:12 AM.
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Apr 30th, 2019, 04:41 PM
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by vicftl View Post
Apologies to all for the confusing message. I pasted from excel and the formatting changed, including the dates.
Message received on the number of activities. I started with visitacity.com and actually removed many activities.Any ideas about where to store baggage near our apartment?



Updated Itinerary
London Day 1 Sunday, Aug 4 Buckingham Palace, British Museum, Covent Garden (Night)
London Day 2 Monday Aug. 5 Tower of London, House of Parliament, London Eye (Night) Should we do SkyGarden or Shard instead?
London Day 3, Tuesday Aug. 6 Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Oxford or Bath (What is the experience between the two?) This is a package tour
Paris Day 1 Wednesday Aug 7 Luxemburg Gardens, Pantheon, Notre Dam
Paris Day 2 Thursday Aug 8 Versailles, Arc de Triumph (Just walk around), Eiffel Tower (Night)
Paris Day 3 Friday Aug 9 Royal Palace, Louvre

Hopefully this is more realistic
Oh wow. Still pretty jam-packed. Your time in both cities is just way too short! Does your itineraries have your arrival in London and departure (to home) from Paris separate or are they built into above? If the above also includes your arrival and departure days, you really won't have time for sightseeing on those two days and will definitely have to retool your entire plan.

Have you already booked flights? If not, you have options.

Honestly, with such a short trip, I would choose either of the two: London or Paris. I do not suppose you can extend this out at all?

Someone mentioned up thread and even with your revision it was not updated, you do realize that you will not be able to go IN to Notre Dame, correct? You may be able to walk by it (I would imagine at some distance, too) but going inside will just not be feasible for quite a long time (months, maybe years). I really suspect that come August there likely will not be a change to access but it's just too early to tell.

This is just my opinion , but if you don't want to run yourselves ragged - and even considering your revisions - you WILL run yourselves ragged with your current itinerary and the very, very limited amount of time you have!

Last edited by Travel_Nerd; Apr 30th, 2019 at 04:43 PM.
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Apr 30th, 2019, 05:57 PM
  #8  
 
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London Day 1 Sunday, Aug 4 Buckingham Palace, British Museum, Covent Garden (Night)

Is this your arrival day? If so that probably isn't doable. With an 0800 arrival, and not being able to get in your flat, you'll need to get to one of the train stations (closest would be Charing Cross) to leave your bags - probably by about 11AM. Then you'll be staggering around London without a chance to freshen up until the flat is ready. I would NOT try to book tickets to the Palace on arrival day and I wouldn't attempt the British Museum that day either (hot, stuffy, very very crowded -- when you'll need fresh air to get over the jet lag.

London Day 2 Monday Aug. 5 Tower of London, House of Parliament, London Eye (Night) Should we do SkyGarden or Shard instead?

Do you mean a tour of Parliament - or just a walk by? A tour must be pre-booked. For the Tower of London you want to get there just before opening time -- might be difficult to get an early start on your first morning in London.

London Day 3, Tuesday Aug. 6 Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Oxford or Bath (What is the experience between the two?) This is a package tour

I'm assuming a guided coach tour --- bad BAD idea IMO. You have almost no time at all IN London - You aren't seeing the V&A or Westminster Abbey (I'd say that is a must most trips but doubly so now with Notre Dame off limits), or Hampton Court, or the theatre, or any art galleries, or nice lunches or anything really.

That is just the London bits -- so back to the drawing board I'm afraid.
janisj is online now  
Apr 30th, 2019, 06:13 PM
  #9  
 
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I'd never heard of the website you mention, so went to take a look at visitacity.com Worst website for planning that I've seen. It looks like they sell bus tours, which is entirely different from visiting places on your own. On bus tours, many of the listed attractions are mere drive-bys. And I notice they encourage (require?) you to buy a London Pass for London, which is not an economical way to tour London. The Hop-On-Hop Off bus is a bad idea in general, but guarantees you won't see the inside of many places, and wastes a lot of time in traffic.
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Apr 30th, 2019, 11:11 PM
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Honestly, drop the bus tour! It's a very long day spend mostly on the bus. There is so much to see and do in London.
Are your teens going to be happy spending a day on a bus when they could be wandering around London?
Perhaps go to Kensington Palace and have tea at the Orangerie there. Or take the Thames clipper to Greenwich. Or do Hampton Court instead of Windsor/Oxford/Stonehenge. You can do that easily on your own.
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May 1st, 2019, 12:59 AM
  #11  
 
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No, sorry, this isn't much of an improvement.

The first thing that must be dropped is that horrid bus tour, especially as you don't seem to have an idea how Oxford would be different from Bath; but at any rate it's bound to be a miserable day with little illumination of what you're seeing.

Day 1 isn't going to work, either. About the worst thing you can do for yourself the day you arrive is head indoors, especially to someplace stultifying like the British Museum. Your body needs Vitamin D to keep going, so you need to keep moving outdoors (slowly is fine) and re-hydrating. Just plan to land, get oriented, find your accommodations, stroll around the neighborhood, have a cup of tea, grab a light supper, and retire early.

Honestly, is it too late to change your plans so that you just visit one city - London OR Paris? I can't see this turning out well at all if you are determined to try to cram so much into so little time.
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May 1st, 2019, 05:27 AM
  #12  
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I really do appreciate your advice but I think that an activity in the morning and an activity in the afternoon is not too much. Gives us about 3 hours for each. We are not ones to just sit at a cafe and have tea. I was not planning on getting the London Pass based on other threads in this forum, but will purchase timed tickets for all but the Tower which will be our first activity of that day. Parliament will be a scheduled ticket. Westminster Abbey will be a walk around. We are from Florida and very used to heat. Actually prefer to be indoors but I assume the British museum has Air conditioning. Notre Dame(Obviously) and the Arc de triumph are walk by's.
As for the day trip, I may try to find a trip that just goes to Stonehenge and Windsor for less of a bus ride. Stonehenge is kind of a must for myself.
I would think Piccadilly Circus station would be closest to our flat. Would there be a place there to store our luggage?
Any suggestions about SkyGarden or Shard vs London Eye?

Again I really appreciate your advice, so please do not consider my insistence on keeping the number of activities as brushing anyone off. I have traveled to other places and have done much less than this in a short span.
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May 1st, 2019, 05:58 AM
  #13  
 
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It's your trip. But, you asked if it would run you ragged and we're saying yes.

Advice has been provided, ball is now in your proverbial court.
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May 1st, 2019, 06:19 AM
  #14  
 
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<<I have traveled to other places and have done much less than this in a short span.>>

Righty-o. That's what we're all saying - do less.
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May 1st, 2019, 06:46 AM
  #15  
 
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Your responses indicate to me (not being snarky -- just my observation) that your mind is set and you aren't hearing us.

It is YOUR trip of course -- but it is a hot mess.

And it is obvious you don't know London which is the largest city by far in Western Europe with more things to see and do than one can imagine.

>>I would think Piccadilly Circus station would be closest to our flat. Would there be a place there to store our luggage?<<

Yes - Piccadilly Circus is the closest station but that is no help. It must be a TRAIN station. Tube stations do not have Left Luggage facilities. Piccadilly Circus is a Tube/Underground station. The nearest train station to where you are staying is a 15 minute walk away at Charing Cross (without luggage you might make in it 12-ish minutes). So you would have to take the tube from LHR (Piccadilly line to Hammersmith, change to District Line, on to Embankment station, walk up the hill a block to Charing Cross, leave your bags, explore (possibly in the rain), return later to Charing Cross and then either walk or take a taxi to your flat.

Hopefully you can use that advice . . .
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May 1st, 2019, 06:51 AM
  #16  
 
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. . . If you must visit Stonehenge - take a train to Salisbury, the local bus out to the stones, later take the train back to London - you'll save a boatload of , not be on a coach dragging you over, and actually have time at Stonehenge.
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May 1st, 2019, 06:51 AM
  #17  
 
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"I really do appreciate your advice but I think that an activity in the morning and an activity in the afternoon is not too much. Gives us about 3 hours for each."

We just returned two days ago from our third visit to London; this one was for three full days and change. We are not sit-in-the-cafe types, either. Honestly, even with no jet lag; having a good sense for the Underground; and knowing the specific activities we (thought we) wanted to see and do, we still ended up scrapping a good third of the itinerary because we found ourselves either wanting more time for something, or found ourselves diverted to something new.

Like so many other posters have commented, you really are trying to do too much. If you are absolutely certain you must visit both London and Paris in your time frame, then do that. Don't waste your precious time with numerous day trips; actually visit the cities themselves.
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May 1st, 2019, 07:04 AM
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The Oxford day is terrible. I would chill out and just do Oxford. Catch a train at a sensible time (or bus) to Oxford.

Print this off Trails-HarryPotter.pdf
Book a visit to the Bodlian library to tick off some of the above, https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson/visit/tours
Then walk the Ashmolean Museum with lunch in the basement
Then wander over to the Natural History Museum
https://www.ox.ac.uk/visitors/visiting-oxford/visiting-museums-libraries-places?wssl=1 just to see if there is anything else to see
After this drop down to Magdalen and walk around, followed by punting if you can hire a student to take you out. https://www.oxfordpunting.co.uk/
Or you could just visit the University botanic gardens or wander down to the river. https://www.obga.ox.ac.uk/

If you've survived that I suggest tea in the covered market and say evensong in Christchurch College. https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/cathedral-services other chapels are available.

Then either supper or catch the train home to "Bed"fordshire.

Now trust me that is a better day, frankly most of your days are too packed with things too far apart so you waste all your time travelling not enjoying your holiday.

Just read up a bit more.
1) do not spend your first day inside, get out in the air, get the kids running about, you have jet lag to kill.
2) you do know that Stonehenge was only reconstructed in the Victorian era....

Last edited by bilboburgler; May 1st, 2019 at 07:15 AM.
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May 1st, 2019, 07:11 AM
  #19  
 
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bilboburgler's idea for Oxford is good too (instead of Stonehenge) but honestly -- you do not have time for a day trip out if London. If you were spending all 6 days in London then you'd have time for one day trip.

And 'just in case' . . . Are you flying open jaw in to London and home from Paris? If not, you will have to return to London the evening before your flight home.
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May 1st, 2019, 01:01 PM
  #20  
 
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I think some of the comments are due to differences in traveling styles. When we travel, we seem to do and see and appreciate a lot, AND fit in sitting at a cafe resting our feet and people-watching, and don't feel rushed (Richoux is a good choice for a group that includes those who want tea and those who do not). (We don't spend much time in our hotel room.) We generally have a one big thing in the morning, one big thing in the afternoon plan, BUT then add to that during our day. That way, we get to the places we have decided are "must-sees," and are glad at the extra things we get to see and do. Also, we try to not commit to very much ahead of time, in case we change our minds or the weather isn't good. I don't think your revised schedule has too much on it.

On your arrival day, I would suggest trying to visit the Tower of London then, as it's mostly outside, which will help with jet lag. I would also suggest finding a train station with left luggage that's near where you plan to do things that day, instead of leaving your luggage a 15-min. walk from your hotel. Have you asked if you can leave your luggage at wherever you will pick up your apartment keys? Or, there are left luggage services (LuggageHero is one that I've seen) in various locations, I have never used them, but they may be an option.

Also, decide in advance how you will get from the airport to wherever you will leave your luggage. We've both used a transport service and taken the train / underground, and both options have worked (but for different reasons, mostly based on the traffic).

Keep in mind that it will take you a while to get from one place to another, which is not necessarily bad. If it's a nice day, enjoy the scenery. If you take the Tube or the Metro, enjoy being with the locals. For example, if you leave your bags at Charing Cross, then go to Buckingham Palace, that will take about 20 minutes whether you walk (through St. James' Park, would be nice) or take the Tube. From Buckingham Palace to the British Museum will take 1/2 hour by Tube. British Museum to Covent Garden is easy, a nice, scenic 15-minute walk.

You've included some things that you want to do that are not usually on a first-timer's list, but are definitely worth seeing. For example, the Pantheon. My son loved visiting there because that's where Victor Hugo is buried. Near there, the Rue Mouffetard Market is fun (every morning except Monday), you could walk through on your way to or from the Luxembourg Gardens and Notre Dame. In fact, it would be great to pick up picnic foods in the market, and then have a picnic lunch in the Gardens. And those three are pretty close to each other. Consider a visit to Sainte-Chappelle, as well, it's absolutely gorgeous.

On visiting Palais Royal, we've walked through it, but I've never focused on it, but it looks like it deserves some time. And it's close to the Louvre, so that will work well for you.

One of our favorite activities in Paris is to take the Vedettes du Pont Neuf, smaller boats that go up and down the Seine, leaving from the Pont Neuf. It's a magical ride in the evening.
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