London/Paris in January

Oct 23rd, 1998, 06:12 PM
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London/Paris in January

My husband and I have free airline tickets anywhere in the world, but we have to go in mid-January. We've never been to Europe and thought we should try London and Paris. How bad will the weather be there in January. Will it make sight-seeing miserable? How do we find prices on hotels and make reservations?
Oct 23rd, 1998, 08:14 PM
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As a London resident, I would say that the likelihood of the weather being cold and/or wet is high, but that doesn't mean it has to be miserable. The weather is so changeable here that one day it can be crisp and cold and the next mild and wet. There are rarely extremes, so if you do come, bring a telescopic umbrella and dress in layers.
As for the sights, all the usual suspects will be open. Life goes on: the Tower, the museums, the galleries, the cinemas and theatres, the restaurants and pubs will all be open and keen to make a living in the post-Christmas lull. There are always tourists here, but the figures peak to uncomfortable levels in the summer. There will also be sales, so a bargain might be found.
I do not know where you are from, but I suspect it is North America. You might be living in Ontario and would think our chilly snaps a breeze, or you might be Floridians who fear the thought of temperatures below 65 degrees!
As for hotels, I would search the net for websites or grab a Rough Guide or Fodor's and make a few calls.
If you do come to London, you can get the train to Paris. Better than flying, and you will be able to tell your friends you travelled in a train travelling over 100 m p h beneath the sea, one which will then pick up speed to cruise at over 180 m p h. Eurostar runs the service, and it too has a site. Prices at the moment are 79 return, per person, though that is an Apex fare and has restrictions. It might be better for you to book it over here once you arrive, so use that figure above as a guide if you are thinking of reserving seats from home. Sometimes they push up the prices over there.
Have a nice trip, wherever you would go.
Oct 24th, 1998, 04:44 AM
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My husband and I went to London last February and it was almost 70 degrees. You never know! It was nice because we didn't encounter crowds anywhere. We were free to ramble through the Tower of London and didn't have to wait at all to see the crown jewels.
Oct 24th, 1998, 04:45 AM
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My husband and I went to London last February and it was almost 70 degrees. You never know! It was nice because we didn't encounter crowds anywhere. We were free to ramble through the Tower of London and didn't have to wait at all to see the crown jewels.
Oct 26th, 1998, 09:14 AM
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I have gone to Paris in January for the past 4 years, and except for one really bitter winter(remember 2 yrs ago when there wer pictures in the paper of fountains being frozen in Paris), winters are generally ok (like 35-40 degrees during the day). The key to success is dressing in layers, and as it warms up, just start peeling them off and putting them in your pocketbook! Check weather on line one week before you leave, and you should be totally fine. I enjoy being there off season- no tourists and all the French clothes are on sale!!
Oct 27th, 1998, 06:57 AM
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For a first trip to London you might find the "Access London" guide
very helpful.The city is organized by neighborhoods and each chapter has a subset of hotels,restaurants,important tourist spots,shops.The underground is well marked so even if the weather is bad you can get around eveywhere easily.You can always take refuge in the food hall at Harrods-a visual and gastronomic
triumph.!Have fun!
Oct 27th, 1998, 05:34 PM
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Be prepared to find London quite pricey. Paris was actually a better value, especially for hotels. A great site for Paris hotel accommodations is

(i'm not sure about tht final slash; if you have trouble, try it w/o the slash). Hotels are organized by location and price and include four photos of each hotel - very reassuring. We had two very pleasant hotels there for $80 and $108 (with private baths).

I was told here, and observed, to be extra attentive to my manners in Paris. Use your Bon jour monsieur (or Madame) whenever you enter a place of business, and Merci, s'vous plait, etc. and you'll find the Parisians to be almost uniformly pleasant. Bon voyage!
Oct 28th, 1998, 09:54 AM
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I've been to both places in January. Down coats and waterproof boots/shoes work very well, as the weather can change. It's usually overcast in both places. However,
everything is open and somewhat less filled
with tourists. A pancho or collapsible umbrella is not a bad idea.

Have fun.
Nov 8th, 1998, 05:55 PM
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I visited London in Jan 97. The weather was very pleasant. Had a lined raincoat that I wore most of the time for warmth. It never rained in the 4 days I was there. Sun shine everyday. Go!!! It's wonderful!!!
Nov 9th, 1998, 10:05 AM
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Well, I think you've gotten enough European
Jan weather advice, so I'll throw out
something else for thought. If you
truly can pick anywhere in the world in
January, I think it is foolish to waste
such an opportunity on a ticket to
London. This is assuming you live in
the U.S. - you didn't say. From the US,
London is almost always the cheapest
city in Europe to fly to and you can
get very cheap RT tickets to London
almost all year long. You would probably
enjoy London and Paris more at some
other time of the year. If it were me,
I'd take that ticket and go to either
Egypt (quite pleasant in January, prob
about mid-60s and virtually no rain) or
maybe Italy (temps about mid-50s and
less rain than N. Europe), or at
least the French Riviera, S. Spain or
Greece. Maybe even Australia if that
appeals to you. I'd do Egypt (I've been
there) myself because I love that terrain and
the history there; it is truly unique.
Anyway, I sure wouldn't waste such an
opportunity on a free ticket to London.

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