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London/Paris 1st time-theatre,$, sites-HELP

London/Paris 1st time-theatre,$, sites-HELP

Jun 5th, 2000, 06:50 PM
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London/Paris 1st time-theatre,$, sites-HELP

On, my way next week. 4 nights in each place with my best friend. Two NYC girls on the loose.

Should we bring cash? I'm comfortable in NYC with quite a bit of cash in my pocket, but I live here all of my life and I know where not to go. I hear that it's not uncommon to get ripped of in Paris on a tour bus if your jewelry looks to good. Debit card, credit card, cash, travelers checks, which one?

I'm also trying to figure out the seating structure at the London theatres. Stall seats, royal circle, WHO KNOWS? I'm used to orch, mezz, and so on.

We would also like to stick with the bigger theatres and shows, the equivalent of Broadway as opposed to off Broadway. I figure that will be better for a 1st time trip.

I already have tickets to see The Lion King (can't get them in NYC to save my life). We are also considering An Inspector Calls, Art at the Wyndams Theatre, and Blood Brothers or Fosse. We have 3 nights left out of four because we have Lion King for 1 night of our stay. Maybe we only have 2 to pick from because Sunday seems to be dart in London Theatre.

What about the sights. We have a voucher for a 3 hour tour for one day (Just as long as we don't have a Gilligan's Island #2) 3 hours should be a half a day. Can we make the guards laugh? I hear no.

What about Paris for 4 nigths and 3 full days. We have 4 full days in London. Maybe it's a mistake but I'm figuring Paris will be unbelieveably beautifull at night, but what about during the day. Maybe we need to do something at night too.

Lots of questions. I appreciate that you even read all of this. Nevermin answer it. Thanks for all of your help. This is a great site.

Jun 5th, 2000, 07:09 PM
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You're going to have a great time. See any of those shows. Hop a city double decker and have a blast seeing any or all of the popular sites.
Jun 5th, 2000, 07:45 PM
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stalls = orchestra
dress circle = mezzanine
upper circle = balcony

You can get seating plans for London theatres at:http://www.albemarle-london.com/news.html

I would suggest a guided evening pub walk instead of theatre for at least one of your nights, especially given that you come from New York where you can get all the theater you want.

Have fun

Jun 5th, 2000, 08:12 PM
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Personally, I'd skip Blood Brothers and maybe Inspector Calls. Art is really good, but isn't that in NYC now? The hottest tickets now are for Mamma Mia, a musical based on Abba music -- I'd go if you can get them. Also, The Graduate (yes, like the movie) with Kathleen Turner as Mrs. Robinson has gotten good reviews -- and not just for her nude scene! If you're a Shakespeare buff, don't miss Hamlet at the Globe with Mark Rylance: he's WONDERFUL and it's a great experience. I like londontheatre.co.uk for show info and seating plans. Also, the night walks are a good idea: check out london.walks.com -- they do the best ones, and their best is the Along the Thames Pub Crawl (or something like that). Sunday would be a good day for it.

You won't have any problems taking cash. As a tourist, you truly won't be going anywhere that would pose a threat to you, especially for two big city gals. I only travel with a credit and debit card now, but take some travelers checks if you want to be extra careful.

As for Paris at night, you could do a concert at St. Chapelle church -- beautiful! Also a Seine boat cruise is a good choice, and of course the Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysee. The best, though, is just having a good dinner, taking a lovely walk, and enjoying a drink at a sidewalk cafe.

Have fun!
Jun 6th, 2000, 04:24 AM
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If you want any sightseeing and other notes on either city, email me.
In Paris, I would suggest a Seine tourist boat at night, not the overpriced mediocre dinner, just the evening cruise. All the monuments are lit, and you won't forget it.
As wonderful as theater is, as a fellow New Yorker, I'd also suggest not going every night. Some of the productions will come this way anyway, and there's a lot to be said for a leisurely dinner and a stroll.
Bring credit card, use as much as possible for good rate, pay it off when you get home. Use atm/debit card to get cash from atms (4-digit pin, not starting with zero) and as suggested, you can take just a couple of hundred dollars in travelers' checks if you want an emergency back up.
have fun
Jun 6th, 2000, 04:56 AM
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I thought Blood Brothers was wonderful. It is very thought provoking and not something you would see in the U.S.
Jun 6th, 2000, 05:04 AM
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Actually, Blood Brothers played for quite a while in New York, starting off with a British cast, some years back. I didn't care for it at all, but
that's just another opinion.
Jun 6th, 2000, 09:39 AM
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My sister and I just returned from London and Paris. We got along fine with ATM machines and a credit card. We bought tickets to plays three times at the half-price ticket booth at Leicester Square. It's the free-standing booth IN the square, not the little hole-in-the-wall places that don't give such a good deal.

Our favorite was Fosse--we LOVED it!!! It's all dancing (some singing), no plot.
We got tickets for the 7th row (on the side, which was fine) in stalls, which
means orchestra, for about 20BP--about
$32. They had tickets available for Fosse every time we went to the booth. We also enjoyed Whistle Down the Wind. I believe most theatres are dark on Sundays; some have matinees.

We skipped the Eiffel tower climb--it's expensive and requires a long wait in line. You can get views of the city from
the Samaritaine store right by the bridge from Ile de la Cite (where Notre Dame is) or from the Sacre Coeur or from the Arc de Triomphe, from which you proceed to saunter down the Champs Elysees.

You should see at least one art gallery while in Paris. I would recommend the Musee d'Orsay, where you can see the wonderful impressionist paintings by Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and Gaugin,etc. on the third floor. The Louvre and the
Rodin museums were also great.

Bon voyage!

Jun 6th, 2000, 12:54 PM
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We are going to London next week. We have tickets to go see The King and I at the Palladium Theater. Got tickets through www.londontheatre.com.uk. Ticket Master had 3rd balcony. These guys had 8th row main floor.
Have a good trip
Jun 6th, 2000, 06:29 PM
Dave Hutchinson
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You might also be interested in "Buddy" which is the Buddy Holly story. The show has been playing in London for 11 years. We saw it in April and totally enjoyed it. We also saw "Starlight Express" on this trip, but you probably saw this on Broadway. In addition to the normal tourist stops..Tower of London, Big Ben, The London Eye (ferris wheel) I would recommend a walk in at least one of the parks near Buckingham Palace..Hyde, St. James and Green Park. I also enjoyed the Cabinet War Rooms where Churchill planned WWII. London is a place where you will never run out of things to do. For some more London ideas check out my site at www.CrazyAboutTravel.com.
Jun 6th, 2000, 11:29 PM
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I just got back from London and saw Les Miserables, Art, and The Graduate. I thought that Art was great, as was Les Miserables. I would skip The Graduate. It was okay but I found the show a bit boring and the acting less than wonderful.

Take one of the bus tours on your first day. You will get a glimpse of everything and get your bearings.

I did the London Walks-Jack the Ripper tour which was fun. They have a variety of 2-3hour tours that are interesting. I wish I had done the pub walk--everyone seems to enjoy that one.

Go to the British Museum. I went on the tour which was quite informative. The museum is so big that it was nice to be led around a bit. Our tour guide was great--he would have the group stand in specific places to get the "best perspective".

I could not get the guards to smile--good luck and have a wonderful vacation.

Jun 7th, 2000, 02:12 PM
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Thanks for all of your responses. The only thing I forgot to ask was about phone calls from both places back to the states. Also, I haven't read anything from anyone about the different currency. If I need cash for anything, which I'm sure I will, does it have to be pounds or french francs? How many francs to the dollar these days? Will I need a calculator like when I was in Mexico when the peso was what felt like 12,856,000 to the dollar?
Go figure what $57.00 is then. Well thanks again to all of you.
Jun 7th, 2000, 02:43 PM
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Yes, of course you will need pounds for London and francs for Paris; it's best to get 450-100 worth of each before you leave NY, so when you first land in each place you have enough for incidentals like food and getting to you hotel. Then use your ATM card in each city (note Elaine's advice above and remember that you'll able to draw from your checking acct. only, not savings). ATMs get you the best exchange rate, they're everywhere, and they keep you from having to carry a lot of cash. In most restaurants and shops, you can use a credit card. Go to www.oanda.com to calculate wholesale exchange rates, and know that you'll get a bit less. Don't fret, it's about 7 FF/$, so you don't need a calculator.

I suggest you start using the search function above to get the most out of your trip. You'll gety a wealth of advice on sights, personal safety, currency, tipping (service is included in restaurant checks in France), dining, etc.
Jun 7th, 2000, 02:45 PM
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That's $50-100, not 450-100...
Jun 7th, 2000, 05:48 PM
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I was there five months ago so I'm not sure how current I am but I saw The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged in London twice. It's a really cute, well done comedy. It's better than it sounds! Whatever you do, avoid "A Saint She Ain't" I still wish I had left at intermission. That's two hours of my life I'll never get back! I've never been to a musical that had such forgetable songs!
Jun 7th, 2000, 11:56 PM
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Hi hillary,

Don't worry about where to go and what to do. It will all become obvious. London and Paris for the first time should be a great timee had by all.

Sorry, I dont know anything about what the best way is to make calls from there back to NY. Maybe somebody else will write.
Jun 8th, 2000, 08:19 AM
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I read somewhere--probably on this forum that your ATM must have a pin number of 4 digits or fewer. I changed mine easily at my bank before I left and had no problems.
Jun 8th, 2000, 11:21 AM
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In Paris, you can buy a 50-unit phone card for the payphones (which don't take coins) for 49FF (about $7); they're sold everywhere. I didn't use it to call the US, but the post office clerk who sold it to me said it would last about 12 minutes if you call the US after 7 PM Paris time. (They're 6 hours ahead of NY there.)
Jun 8th, 2000, 05:23 PM
Posts: n/a
Thanks everyone. All of the input has been great.
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