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Need Advice for London and Paris in September

Need Advice for London and Paris in September

Mar 24th, 2006, 03:31 PM
  #1  
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Need Advice for London and Paris in September

Hi,

My wife and I are flying to London September 1st and are scheduled to return September 16th. I was thinking London for 5 days and Paris for 5 days with maybe a trip or day trips also.

Need ideas on where to stay, what to see, where to go etc.

It will be our 1st trip to Europe. We are a youthful couple in our early 50's. We like exploring on our own, good food, interesting sites, etc.

I do not speak French but my wife took French in high school and has some knowledge of the language.

We were thinking of trying to fit Ireland, the french countryside, or some other nice place in to our itinerary, but don't want to feel crammed and waste too much time traveling.

Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, John
MarchMadness is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 03:46 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi John,

It sounds like a nice trip. You should have time for either a bit of the French countryside, or the English countryside. Ireland would take a bit more time. Are you flying in and out of London? If so, have you considered taking the train to Paris (and back)?
enzian is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 03:52 PM
  #3  
ira
 
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Hi MM,

Five days in London and five days in Paris is an excellent idea for a first visit.

I don't think that you will become so bored with either city that you will need to worry about daytrips.

I suggest flying into one and out the other. See www.kayak.com

The best way to get between the two cities is on a one-day Roundtrip ticket from www.eurostar.com. About $90 pp.

See <Paris> and <London> under "Destinations".

Have a nice visit.

ira is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 04:00 PM
  #4  
 
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Hi, John.

You're going at a lovely time of year.
For your first trip, I would suggest at least six nights in Paris (you'll wish for more!). As for London, I'll have to leave it to others...it's been 20 years since my last visit there.

Here's a suggestion to get things started (I'm assuming you arrive in London on 9/2):

--London 5 nights
--ferry to Normandy, 2 or 3 nights (perhaps rent a car)
--train or drive to Paris, 6 or 7 nights
JeanneB is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 04:06 PM
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I meant to add a recommendation for Hotel Bonaparte, Paris (Can't believe Ira didn't beat me to it!).

I think you'll find doubles to be in the 140 euro range. The location is perfect. If you type BONAPARTE in the search box above, you'll find tons of information on it.

If your wife wants to brush up on her French, Michel Thomas has an excellent set of 8 CD's (my library has it).
JeanneB is offline  
Mar 25th, 2006, 04:07 AM
  #6  
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Thank you. We are arriving in London at 5:15 AM on September 1st and leaving from London at around 7:00 PM on September 16th.

Will probably take Eurostar to Paris and then back to London for our return trip back to the US.

Maybe we should do 4 days in London, go to Paris for 6, and then where?

Should we try to rent a car and explore the countryside in France?

Any ideas?

Thanks, John
MarchMadness is offline  
Mar 25th, 2006, 04:52 AM
  #7  
 
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I am really reluctant to give people advice about where to go. Everybody loves different things. But since you have twice mentioned the French countryside, I will say that that is what I would do in a heartbeat. I would rent a car and pick a direction. So many wonderful areas to explore, so little time.
Nikki is offline  
Mar 25th, 2006, 05:03 AM
  #8  
ira
 
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Hi John,

If your flights aren't already booked, it is much better to fly into one and out of the other city. Prices for an open jaw are about the same as a RT.

With a week in London, you could take daytrips to Cardiff, Bath, Oxford.

OR

You might want to do 5 days in London and a few days in Edinburgh. From there you can fly cheaply to Paris via LHR on BMI.

See www.flybmi.com

You could also fly BMI to Brussels, spend 2 nights and train to Paris.

See www.voyages-sncf.com

With a week in Paris, should you get bored, you could visit Chartres, Versailles and Giverny.

Enjoy your trip.

ira is offline  
Mar 25th, 2006, 05:40 AM
  #9  
 
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Since this is your first trip I'd stick to London & Paris. There is so much to see in both you won't have time to fit it all in anyway. To "get out of the city" I'd schedule a couple of day trips if it were me. There are many interesting places within 90 minutes of both London & Paris that are easily accessible by train and you can go at your own pace. The nice thing about day trips is that you are not constantly packing/unpacking and losing a good part of your day traveling between places.

I would not "over plan" if it were me, it's fun to actually enjoy where you are and not be looking at your schedule to see where you need to be next. Too many people on this board (and others) try and cram so much into a short trip that I really wonder if they can remember what they did see/do later on. Less sight-cramming and more enjoying is my motto.
Lori is offline  
Mar 25th, 2006, 05:46 AM
  #10  
 
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You actually have more time than I realized. Even though you leave late on the 16th (assuming you've already booked), I always like to be within reasonable access to the airport on the day of departure. Thus, you might consider ending in London rather than starting there.

You arrive very early on the 1st. You could take the Eurostar to Paris that morning, stay 6 nights. Then take the fast train to the south of France, rent a car and tour Provence---5 nights.
Fly to London from Nice. Spend 4 nights in London. Since you're already there, you'll have much of the last day to sightsee and enjoy London.

Of course, you could do the "country" part in any region of France...or the English countryside, for that matter.

JeanneB is offline  
Mar 25th, 2006, 05:58 AM
  #11  
 
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go-today.com has very good prices for trips like the one you have described. Typically, their trips include transport flights to London-to Paris-back from Paris and hotels.

As far as info, you need to do some homework first and that is to browse and copy/paste the info already posted(thousands of posts already on this topic). Select the info that appeals to you, then post with a draft. Otherwise, my best advice would be to take with you the proposed itinerary that Fodor's has already posted for both cities. As day trips in Paris, Versailles and Loire Vally would nice choices. Versailles you can do on your own, Loire Valley, let somebody take you.
Viajero2 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2006, 06:06 AM
  #12  
 
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The Eurostar is wonderful but remember if you are flying home from London the Eurostar arrives at Waterloo Station. You will need to arrange to get to the airport. There are several options transportation wise but if you are traveling with anything more then a small wheeled suitcase public transportation can be a real inconvenience in my opinion.

If it were me doing this trip and I was returning home from Paris via London I'd fly to Heathrow and make my connecting flight - it is just too much hassle any other way (just my thought)

Incidentally, you do not need to speak French (it's nice if you do and always appreciated) but really not necessary in any of the tourist areas.
Lori is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 04:27 AM
  #13  
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Thank you. We've decided to go direct to Paris for the 1st leg of our trip. We will be renting a flat in St Germain Des Pres on Mabillion across from the covered market. We decided on 8 days in Paris and then take the Eurostar back to London and stay there for 7 days. We are thinking of renting a flat in London too.

Now we've got to start planning our itinerary. Any ideas on things that should be booked far in advance? I think we will try to book a dinner at the eiffel tower one night, but they don't accept resevations until 90 days in advance.

Thanks again, John
MarchMadness is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 03:44 PM
  #14  
 
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In September you should be able to visit Buckingham Palace. Tickets can be ordered on line (just do a Google). In Paris, don't miss St. Chapelle!
Grandma is offline  

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