London/Paris for the first time.

Sep 1st, 2011, 08:24 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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London/Paris for the first time.

Greetings,

I'm planning a 10 day vacation to London/Paris in April 2012. My best friend and I will both be turning 30 and always talked about being in Paris for the big 3-0.

The plan is 5 nights in London and 5 nights in Paris. We'll be staying with family in London so no worries about lodging there but would love some feedback on attractions.

My focus is primarily on Paris as we wont have family to lean on for expertise. In Paris, we're interested in staying in an apartment rental as opposed to hotel; preferably in a safe, trendy location that's easily accessible to markets, public transportation, etc. Any suggestions?

This will be a budgeted vakay but with the money saved on lodging in London, we can splurge a little on the Paris rental. We're looking to spend $75 - $100 US per night.

I'm a lover of music, art and food so any assistance on the three would be awesome. Our preferences are sightseeing, nightlife, dining, and maybe a little shopping (if we can afford it). A colleague said it's necessary to get a tour guide in Paris; is that true? I'd like to visit a neighboring country in France; a visit to a winery is a MUST. Ideally, one we can make a day trip of. Any suggestions there? Would train or a car rental be best (fyi, I suck at reading maps)?

ANY feedback at all is greatly appreciated....thanks!
Melle is offline  
Sep 1st, 2011, 08:36 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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First of all, I hope you are doing an Open Jaw flight? Fly into London, fly home from Paris. Take Eurostar from Ldn to Par.

No need for tour guide. In five days, you can see a lot. If you want to blend in tours, Paris Walks has a good selection of organized ~2 hr long tours of different areas. There are also overview coach tours of the city (Cityrama, Parisvision).
Paris is a great walking city. Pick a neighbourhood each day, go there (walk or Metro), wander, visit sites/museums, lunch, dinner, Metro back to hotel.

You could do a day trip to Champagne country (Reims)and visit cellar and/or vineyard.

Caveat: with the time you have, you can easily fill it with Paris, so try not to overbook being outside of the city. I would NOT visit another country.

Do not rent a car. Not recommended in cities, train system is very good for any day trips.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Sep 1st, 2011, 08:36 AM
  #3  
 
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"we can splurge a little on the Paris rental. We're looking to spend $75 - $100 US per night. "

Do you mean total or per person? If that is total -- then sorry, but $75-$100 a night is not a 'splurge' in any major city, let alone Paris. That is €50-€70 which isn't very much for accommodations. Maybe go to Paris for fewer nights and up the budget per night. Since you can stay for free in London, how about 3 nights in Paris @ $150-$175 (€105-€125) a night?

"A colleague said it's necessary to get a tour guide in Paris; is that true?"

Nope
janisj is offline  
Sep 1st, 2011, 08:44 AM
  #4  
 
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You can hire me as a tour guide

Have a start by looking at VRBO.com for apt. rentals. There are loads of agencies. You won't get too much of a hotel for that price.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Sep 1st, 2011, 09:05 AM
  #5  
 
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A tour guide in Paris is completely unnecesssary.

A car in Paris is a complete nonsense - a big expense and nowhere to park it. To see Paris you use feet (as much as possible) and then the Metro for longer distances.

As for your lodging I assume you mean $75-$100 per person per night - which would stil be very modest. Ifyou mean for two people - I haven;t a clue where you might stay except a hostel.

Not sure if you hae put together a budget yet - but do have a loook at the cost of sights, meals, etc - and make surr you've allocated enough.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 1st, 2011, 09:11 AM
  #6  
 
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I am with the others wanting to know if the Paris budget is each or total.

I love the 6th, but it will be a little hard to stay in the 6th unless you will be spending at least 300 euro/night.

The 6th is close to all the great sites and there are terrific cafes and boutiques close by. I would hit Le Bon Marche in the 7th for shopping, as well.

You don't need a tour guide for Paris...more fun to do it on your own.

For wineries, I would take the TGV to Reims...the cathedral there is amazing and I would visit Veuve Cliquot to sample champagne.
denisea is offline  
Sep 1st, 2011, 10:24 AM
  #7  
 
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You might find slightly cheaper accommodation (still with access to good public transport options and markets) in the 10th and 11th, around République - and the nightlife there has a younger vibe: or even up into the 19th.

I'm afraid you're going to have to get used to reading maps and plans to find your way around the public transport system in Paris:
http://www.ratp.fr/plan-interactif/
PatrickLondon is offline  
Sep 1st, 2011, 10:29 AM
  #8  
 
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I forgot to add:
http://www.parislogue.com/paris-neighborhoods
PatrickLondon is offline  
Sep 1st, 2011, 10:37 AM
  #9  
yk
 
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I second the suggestion of Paris Walks. We did a walk with them a few years ago and it was lovely to see a particular neighborhood in detail (we did the 6th arr).

When you said you love music - which type of music? Jazz? Pop? Blues? Classical?

I like the BLUE GUIDES guidebook a lot as they focus heavily on art & architecture. I have the BLUE GUIDES for London's Museums & Galleries which I find invaluable.
yk is offline  
Sep 1st, 2011, 10:41 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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first time in paris also but with wife. more interested in hotel. Want to find nice hotel centrally located (attractions, restaurants, metro, shopping) in range of $450 per night. 8th seems to be best spot. Suggestions?
dcoglianese is offline  
Sep 1st, 2011, 10:48 AM
  #11  
 
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"dcoglianese : Welcome to Fodors dcoglianese. You have tacked your question onto Melle's, but your situation is entirely different than hers.

You would do much better to start a new thread of your own -- that way you'll get answers/advice that fit your criteria and not hijack melle's.
janisj is offline  
Sep 1st, 2011, 11:02 AM
  #12  
 
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At $450.00 a night you might try ther Madison right across fron St Germain de Pres. or any hotel alon=g Rue Jscob..millesime, du Danube, Deux Continents des Marroniers. I have stayed in alland would recommend any of them I now rent apts
avalon is offline  
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