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London, Paris, Antibes, Florence - 3 weeks with 4 and 7 year old?

London, Paris, Antibes, Florence - 3 weeks with 4 and 7 year old?

Old Mar 24th, 2023, 01:40 PM
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London, Paris, Antibes, Florence - 3 weeks with 4 and 7 year old?

Hi Everyone, I am starting to plan a trip from Australia with my husband, 4 and 7 year old for September. We are thinking of landing in London, staying for three nights before heading to Paris for four nights and then catching the train down to Nice and on to Antibes where we will spend a week before heading to Florence for a week. Is this doable? Does anyone have any advice on how best to travel between places? I am currently thinking we should fly from Nice to Rome and then get the train to Florence? This is our first time in Europe as a family and the girls first time overseas. Any advice or input is very welcome!
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Old Mar 24th, 2023, 02:19 PM
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London to Paris is likely simpler by train than by plane and skips the transfers to and from airports and the security delays, Train from Paris to Nice is probably similarly described. There may be an easy further train connection to Antibes, too. Also, kids can move around on a train and a picnic lunch aboard is easy.

You might want increased time in London both from the point of view of recovery from your long trip from home and also for availability of things to do in the your native language.
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Old Mar 24th, 2023, 03:14 PM
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There is a saying that just because something “can” be done, does not mean it “should” be done. That is how I see your trip, logistically. I know you are going a long ways, but IMHO, it is too much with two young ones in tow.
First question. Does your three weeks include travel? Exactly how many nights (or full days, not counting arrival or departure day) will you have on the ground?

First, three nights gives you only two full days in London, hardly enough to get over jet lag.
Second, of all of your stops, London is probably the best for kiddies. Castles, boat rides, towers, parks, The London Eye, Hampton Court, great shops, just fun and magical.
Stay in London at least 5 nights (that is only 4 whole days, arrival day 1, does not count for anything.)

Travel to Paris. It is only a half day train ride, but with getting from the hotel to the train in London, then from train to hotel in Paris, it is really a travel day, not a sightseeing day, so chalk that day as used.

Kids that age also find a lot to like in Paris: sailing a boat in Luxembourg gardens, picnics in parks, etc. there are some trip reports that cover Paris with little ones. My kids eons ago even loved Versailles (rowing a boat on the lake) and the Louvre (looking for art they had seen in books). So, 5 nights (4 days in Paris).

At that point, you have used 10 nights, 8 full days for sights seeing, 1 day for arrival, 1 day for travel.

One (1) day of travel getting to Antibes.
A week in Antibes. (7 days? Do you want a whole week there?)
That is now 18 days.
One (1) day to travel to Florence via Rome.
It really does not work, Even if you cut London to 4 nights (three days), you still do not have time for all four places.

Misc.
Consider Rome instead of Florence or fly into Florence.
Can’t tell you what to cut, but I would definitely keep London and Paris. However, if you have no interest in London, can you fly into Rome or Paris? Consider Amsterdam as a replacement for one. You can see more in a shorter time, lots for kids, great art, easy by train. A week near Florence at an agriturismo might be good with the kids. Visit smaller towns like Luca where they could walk and ride carousels.
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Old Mar 24th, 2023, 04:24 PM
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Auto correct keeps doing this. Lucca, not Luca.
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Old Mar 24th, 2023, 05:56 PM
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How many nights it total do you have? Am a bit curious why you have a full week in both Antibes and in Florence. By any chance are you staying at a timeshare property in either place - so requiring a week???

I agree with Sassafrass that London is about the best city anywhere for little ones, and Paris is good as well. Florence maybe not so much.

Maybe give us more of the details what you hope to see/do in these places and we can give more useful advice . . .
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Old Mar 24th, 2023, 06:11 PM
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Thank you so much for the great feedback! I will definitely rethink our length of time in London and steal some nights from Antibes and Florence to extend our stay there. I had planned a week in Antibes and Florence as I thought they would be good bases for some day trips while also allowing for some quiet time to just potter and explore. My husband in particular, is very keen to see Italy but I have really just chosen those places as they looked like lovely spots that would allow us to see some sights and have some down time. I’m very happy to rethink them. The main priorities of the trip are to see London and Paris and explore some other areas of France and visit Italy. If there are better spots you’d recommend, I’m very open to suggestions. So grateful to have everyone’s input!
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Old Mar 24th, 2023, 06:47 PM
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For a base for trips, Nice is much better than Antibes. As for seeing Italy, Rome is far better than Florence. As for traveling with kids (and a husband), fewer base changes is better. You are planning 4 bases. Maybe consider 3? Remember, lots of things close on Sunday, and often on Monday.
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Old Mar 24th, 2023, 07:07 PM
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With the new info -- maybe 6 or 7 nights in London. I'd want a bit longer in London at the beginning because not only are there sooooo many things for families but also because some or all of you may be very jet lagged after your long trip from OZ. You may be moving about a little slower than normal One day you could take a day trip to Windsor and visit Legoland. Another half day to Hampton Court Palace. Look up the London Transport Museum, the Princess Diana Playground, and the Natural History museum . . . all great for kids the ages of yours.

Then maybe 5 nights in Paris, 2 or 3 nights in Nice, and finishing up with the rest of your time in Rome -- better for young kids IME than Florence.

This would be a great 3-ish week holiday.

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