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Need help planning London/Paris Fall trip

Need help planning London/Paris Fall trip

Feb 4th, 2006, 08:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 67
Need help planning London/Paris Fall trip

My husband and I are trying to plan a 10 day trip (add on 2 days for travel) to London and/or Paris for Sept. '06. We want to see the sights, relax some and enjoy the people. Should we include both cities or just go for one city with side trips? We don't want to continually pack our bags and be on the move... Itinerary suggestions would be appreciated. Also, is this a good time of year (climate) to visit? Any "hotel favorities" suggestions that put us more in the heart of the cities or where more tourist attractions are located (clean, not too small, moderately priced)?
twint31 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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I would split ten days equally between the two cities. Five days apiece with perhaps day trips from each is easily possible without overdoing it.

Spring and fall are the best times to visit Europe IMO: nice weather and less crowding. (Paris closes for the month of August.)

Both cities have extensive subway and bus networks, so where you sleep isn't nearly as important as what you get for your money. If I can't find a bargain in town on priceline.com, I stay outside of town and get more hotel for less money.

The highest price:accommodation ratios are "where more tourist attractions are located" - and not really necessary.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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September is a great time to visit. Try to fly into one, and out of the other city, and take the Eurostar between the two. Don't know if you would call this moderately priced, but the Millenium hotels in London are usually quite a good deal; I've stayed in the one in Sloane Street a few times. The Rembrandt and Rubens hotels always get good reviews here, and are in good locations (London).
Tulips is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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Agree with the above that splitting 5 days in each is a good idea. You'll get a feel for each without being rushed.

But I don't agree about staying out of the center of town - especially for Paris. I like the 5th and 6th (Latin Quarter, St Germain) and probably the majority of posters on this forum also do, and for good reason. You can easily get a delightful hotel in that area for under €100 for a double and you'll be in a nice neighborhood plus within walking distance to many sights.I can recommend the Hotel St Jacques, Minerve, St Andres des Arts - all in that area. And there are plenty more.

London is more spread out. A lot of people seem to do well with Priceline for London but I always book on my own. I've had less good luck with London hotels in the $100 price range but the Craven Gardens in Bayswater is pretty good.
isabel is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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One thought: you might consider renting an apartment in each city. We're going to London and Paris this summer, and I found some very nice places that will rent for a minimum of three or five nights. I don't plan to do much--if any--cooking but I always think it's nice to be able to have breakfast/snacks available in the apartment.
rosebud is offline  
Feb 9th, 2006, 12:42 PM
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Thanks to all of you who responded to our message. We are getting ready to make our flight reservations this week (AA miles). We live in St. Louis, which is unfortunately no longer a hub, so does anyone know if it would make a difference to fly into Paris and then back out of London or vice versa? I will begin checking on hotels. Rosebud, how did you find the apartments? We do want to be as much as possible in the heart of the cities. I wear a prosthesis and even though I walk well, long distances are tough on me. Alternate ways of getting around...subways, buses, trains etc. are always important to our plans. The more thoughts and ideas you have for us, the better. Thanks again. I'll keep checking for responses.
twint31 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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The bus systems in both Paris and London and Paris are fantastic. We prefer them to the metros for avoiding stairs, hallways, long, long walks for connections. In both cities, the hop on/hop off buses are also terrific for getting off as close as possible to the major sights and attractions.

We've had fabulous luck with Priceline for London. In Paris, it's much easier to find moderately priced, well located, lodging on your own. Venere.com is a good resource for hotels, but double check prices - sometimes their weirdly way higher here and there.
djkbooks is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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There are many reputable agencies that you can find--many through people's reports on this site. We're using Vacation in Paris www.vacationinparis.com and London Connection www.londonconnection.com. Both are headquartered here in the U.S., so you can call their toll-free number and speak with them. They have representatives that will meet you at the apartment and a phone number to call if you have any troubles during your stay.

Of course, we aren't going until this summer, so I can't give my personal experiences yet. But, I can tell you that I checked them out thoroughly and got good references. I would check out other agencies too to see if they might meet your needs. It's amazing how much information, photos, etc. you can get these days on the Internet.
rosebud is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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I agree to split the time between the two, or maybe spend 4 in London and 6 in Paris. Both cities are fantastic though, so you can't go wrong.

I've been to London twice in the Fall, once in September and once in October. I've been very lucky to have very little rain (one evening) and blue skies and nice temperatures the rest of the time.

Paris was cooler -- "crisp" I would say, and again, excellent weather. This past September seeing the leaves change on the Champs Elysees is one of my favorite memories of a stroll my husband and I took.

We stayed at the Grand Hotel Leveque http://www.hotel-leveque.com/
in the 7th in Paris -- less than $100/night, and another time at the Hotel du Champ de Mars http://www.hotel-du-champ-de-mars.com/ (also in the 7th off of Rue Cler). Both are Rick Steves favorites so book now if you can because they will be full by March or April for that time frame.

London is spendier -- we got a lot less hotel room for the money, but enjoyed our stay for $55 British Pounds in the Victoria Station area at the Cherry Court Hotel. The rooms are small but clean, with a friendly staff and excellent location. http://www.hotel-du-champ-de-mars.com/

Have a great trip!

jules4je7 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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Sorry, this is the link to the Cherry Court in London.

jules4je7 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 02:26 PM
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I'm looking at a two-week stay. Already have award tickets for July 2 to July 15 I believe to and from LHR.

Yes, I'm leaning towards spending some time in Paris or some other city. Been to Paris more times than any other.

So leaning towards spending all but a couple of days in London and then maybe going to Paris.

I know the advice about Eurostar. But I'm thinking of trying to book a flight on BA or AF because there seems to be some early flights from CDG to LHR so I was thinking of catching an early flight to LHR and then connect to my Virgin Atlantic flight to SFO at about 10 or 11 AM.

Does that sound do-able?
wco81 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 02:30 PM
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You may wish to consider spending the night before your flight home someplace where you can get to Heathrow by alternate means should the need arise. Such as London.

If CDG shuts down for something like morning fog, terrorist alert, or an accident, you may be SOL.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 03:49 PM
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We did London and Paris last June. 5 days in each would be great. I highly recommend the Rubens Hotel in London.
The location cannot be beat and the hotel itself is very charming and welcoming.
Jenn is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I'm planning a trip to London/Paris this spring, but I haven't discovered how one makes an "open jaws" reservation online (e.g. with Travelocity). We want to fly to Paris, take the Eurostar to London, and return from London. Any suggestions how to do this online?
Thanks for any help!
bibiras is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 05:17 PM
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We were going to do a similar route. Were planning to fly into LHR, take the Eurostar to Paris and back. Then fly from London to Lisbon and back. Lastly from London back home. Way too much needless flying and travel time. Ended up booking SFO to CDG with the return flight originating at LHR to SFO. I then booked a o/w from Paris to Lisbon and another o/w from Lisbon to London on Easyjet. The 2 o/ways were less than 100usd per person and with less travel time. Got the tip from someone I am possibly renting a home from in Lisbon. Thanks Sarah!
namaka is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 05:31 AM
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Try Coach House Rentals. They’ve been in business in London for 5 years and have a great reputation there - www.rentals.chslondon.com. They’ve just started up an operation in Paris see: www.rentals.chsparis.com.
harley_nott is offline  
Apr 27th, 2006, 05:56 AM
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I like the Open Jaw idea of fly into one, leave from the other, Eurostar between the two. I don't think you should consider any side trips, 5 days in each city will easily be 'not enough'.

Another alternative for London and one I find better value proposition is the B&B route. I have stayed several times in the Bloomsbury area (Cartwright Gardens has several I like). There are many B&Bs in that area. You are easy walking distance to Tube (Russell Square), Tube on direct line to Heathrow, Airport Bus a block away, British Museum 5 mins away..I've also walked to Covent Garden,though longer. There are restaurants, laundrymat, pubs,corner store, etc..And you get to stay in a place where you will get breakfast and meet other people. You can get deals (Priceline), I have found when I looked on my own for hotels in my price range, they ended up being large "tourist" hotels like the Royal National..that's when I looked for another solution.

Some places (B&Bs, even though name is Hotel):

Harlingford Hotel
Crescent Hotel
Mentone Hotel

Also Brook Hotel in South Kensington was recommended to me.

Hope this helps.

Michel_Paris is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 07:57 AM
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I appreciate the B&B suggestions...one problem I may have with them is I wear an above knee prosthesis. I walk very well, but I avoid steps when I can and many B&B's have them. Since Mike was pretty specific about certain B&B's in London, I was hoping you might know which, if any, would work for my condition. We already have a reservation in Paris at the Hotel de Fleurie, which has a lift. So any London suggestions would be appreciated. I love transportation that is ground level and close to where we stay. I conserve my energy for walking around looking at sights. Thanks.
twint31 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 08:07 AM
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bibiras: In small print under the search on Travelocity, you will see Multi-destinations. Click on it. A new search window will pop up allowing many destinations.
cchottel is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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If this is your first trip to Paris and London, I guess I'm in the minority here, but for me 10 days is just enough to spend in just one city with day trips from there. But, I normally don't like to jam pack my trips.

Both cities have so much to see and offer. I like exploring markets, wandering streets, and relaxing along the way. I hate to have to run between the Arc d'Triomphe and the Louvre when I would rather relax and drink a kir in the Tuilleries along the way. Or rushing around London without taking in a show or two or a flea market.

It is how I travel though. I just don't like to take my precious vacation time to come back without having relaxed. I travel to rejuvenate as much as for the experience. Maybe that is why when I think of Europe, my memories provoke a wistful sigh rather than a WOW!
cchottel is offline  

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