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Need suggestions for mother and son (7 years old) trip to France

Need suggestions for mother and son (7 years old) trip to France

Oct 10th, 2019, 07:06 AM
  #1  
yk
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Need suggestions for mother and son (7 years old) trip to France

Planning a trip with my son to France for April 2020. I already bought our tickets (was on sale) to/from Paris and we will have 7 days/6 nights. I have been to Paris many times but this will be first trip for my son. (We went to Lisbon for a week last winter and Dublin for a week this past summer.) In terms of other parts of France, I have been to Loire valley 3x before, but the rest of France is all new to me.

Originally I planned for us to stay in Paris for the entire duration, but given the lack of Airbnb and other affordable apartments, I'm reconsidering my plan. I still would consider staying in Paris the whole time IF i can find affordable accommodation (say, $200/n for 1BR apartment; suggestions welcome).

So another possibility is for us to head directly from CDG to a different French city by train on our arrival day and stay there for 4 days/4 nights at an apartment. I would prefer the train trip to be under 2 hours. I won't be driving so it will have to be a city with enough to do for that duration (we can do day trips too). Then we would return to Paris for the last 3 days/2 nights and stay at a hotel before we fly home.

Which French city would you recommend? I am considering Lyon but would be open to other suggestions so I can do more research. My son's interests are castles, ruins, parks.

I also was considering going to Belgium (I have been many times before) but if we want to visit Bruges, Ghent, Brussels etc that would be lots of traveling/day trips.

Finally, availability of white asparagus in season would be a huge plus!!!

Thanks in advance.
yk is online now  
Oct 10th, 2019, 07:26 AM
  #2  
 
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Perhaps Lyon would be your best bet for a trip that starts at CDG. There is enough stuff in Lyon to occupy your time for 2-4 nights. If Lyon doesn't fit - try Dijon (not good options for getting there from CDG), or Bordeaux. I would recommend Rennes - but we were there this past July and there was so much construction going on that we really didn't enjoy it that much ( it had been in my "top 5" list of large French cities).

Attached is my Lyon itinerary
Attached Files
File Type: doc
Lyon.doc (26.0 KB, 7 views)

Last edited by StuDudley; Oct 10th, 2019 at 08:24 AM.
StuDudley is online now  
Oct 10th, 2019, 08:26 AM
  #3  
 
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April is the prime month for white asparagus all over Europe.
StCirq is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 08:30 AM
  #4  
 
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I was going to suggest Nice, but that's further than you asked for. I would put in a strong recommendation for Strasbourg, with a stopover in Nancy.

This is from way back, but should still be relevant: Nice to Paris: on not taking it easy in Eastern France
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 09:20 AM
  #5  
 
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ykóhere is a link to the terrific Paris flat I shared recently with my daughter and 6-year-old granddaughter. The location on rue des Rosiers was perfect for our needs, and the rate was <200Ä per night in July. I wholeheartedly recommend the apartment and the owner, Pascal.
https://parisnicehome.com/en/eleganc...-marais-75004/
The only caveat is that itís a 4th (US 5th) floor walk-up. It wasnít an issue for us, apart from making sure to keep the little one quiet on the stairs.

For only a 6-night stay, I wouldnít bother with an apartment rental, but thatís me. You have clearly traveled enough to know what you want and need in terms of accommodations.

In that same spirit, with only 6 nights, I would advise against moving around once youíre in Paris. Your son should find plenty of parks and historical sites to keep him interested. Maybe save castles and ruins for a longer trip ? OTOH, if you both already know that Paris is not of interest to him, other posters have offered some good alternatives.

Wishing you both a memorable, fun-filled adventure !









lifes2short is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 10:15 AM
  #6  
yk
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Originally Posted by lifes2short View Post
ykóhere is a link to the terrific Paris flat I shared recently with my daughter and 6-year-old granddaughter. The location on rue des Rosiers was perfect for our needs, and the rate was <200Ä per night in July. I wholeheartedly recommend the apartment and the owner, Pascal.
https://parisnicehome.com/en/eleganc...-marais-75004/
The only caveat is that itís a 4th (US 5th) floor walk-up. It wasnít an issue for us, apart from making sure to keep the little one quiet on the stairs.

For only a 6-night stay, I wouldnít bother with an apartment rental, but thatís me. You have clearly traveled enough to know what you want and need in terms of accommodations.
lifes2short - thank you! That looks like a really lovely apartment. My main concern is making sure the apartment is legal - and it does look like it has a registration number? I will send a request to the owner. Stairs should still be okay for me, lol, definitely not a problem for my super energetic son. So the living space has a convertible sofa? I like apartments because it gives us a little extra room, the freedom to cook/eat-in, and the use of washer dryer so we can pack light.

I have been looking through the forum posts and found a different apartment on airbnb that was recommended by a poster. I wrote to the owner and he reassured me that the apartment is legally registered. What do people think of these 2 apartments?

https://parisnicehome.com/en/eleganc...-marais-75004/
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16082179

It appears that with my budget, we can also stay in Citadines or Adagio aparthotels, but the reviews are really quite mediocre and they do not have washer in the apartments.

I think ultimately I would prefer to stay IN Paris for our whole trip (given it is my son's first time) just to minimize the amount of moving around, at least until he's a bit older.
yk is online now  
Oct 10th, 2019, 11:40 AM
  #7  
 
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ykóyes, there is a super comfy convertible sofa. And I loved that the shower had an actual door, rather than the popular half-wall screen. No post-shower mop-up needed!

You are correct about the convenience of in-unit laundry; we ended up not using it during our recent stay, opting for hand-washing instead. Since you stay in apartments frequently, Iím sure youíre aware of the rules prohibiting washer/dryer use after 8pm. Thatís a small inconvenience for us travelers, in exchange for being allowed to share these lovely spaces with their full time residents.

I canít say enough positive things about the location. Hope you can work out the scheduling.

Glad you are considering staying in Paris the whole timeóI donít think youíll regret it.
lifes2short is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 12:15 PM
  #8  
 
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I would suggest that you take a look at the apparent hotel line Citadines especially for only 6 nights because that way you won't have to worry about the legality issues etc. I have stayed in 2 of them for a couple of months each and they were actually pretty nice if somewhat "vanilla". The only one I wouldn't recommend is the one at Les Halles only because I don't like that immediate neighborhood because of all the fast food places etc. Some of them exceed $200/night but there are a number of them that fit that budget. Citadines Bastille Marais Paris is a nice property and it is showing at a flexible rate of under $200/night in April.

https://www.citadines.com

As far as another destination-I think Strasbourg would be lovely in April and an easy trip from CDG. We stayed at an Appart Hotel property there that was convenient because it was right at a tram stop Appart'City Strasbourg Centre - Appart HŰtel We stayed there primarily because we needed parking but it is only a short walk to the canal area or just one stop.
jpie is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 04:58 PM
  #9  
 
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Legal apartments always have a registration number on the posting. I don't see one on the Airbnb. Two years ago I stayed with a friend at the Citadines Bastille/Marias. We had a studio apartment with 2 twin beds and a small kitchen. Nothing fancy, but clean. Small but enough room to move around. Since most of the time we were gone, it worked well for us. We bought food and ate breakfast there every morning and dinner one evening. The #69 bus is literally across the street. It takes you up Rue St Antoine/Rue de Rivoli and crosses over the river to the left bank near the Louvre. It is a good line to get around the city. You can also walk easily to the Marias. On Sundays and Thursdays, the Bastille Market is right down the block. Lots of food, cheese, fruit, some clothing and small thing s you could buy for souvenirs. A must if you are there one of those days.
Debbielynn is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 06:42 PM
  #10  
yk
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The Airbnb one does have a registration number if you click on "read more about the space"

Thanks for the reviews about the Citadines. I will look through them again ... I tend to comb through the
reviews slowly (I am a very light sleeper, very sensitive to noise. I wear ear plugs when i travel but the ear plugs wake me up due to their discomfort)
yk is online now  
Oct 10th, 2019, 06:44 PM
  #11  
 
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I tried Citadines once and found it horribly lacking. Cramped, uncomfortable.
I am surprised you are having a problem finding an AirBnB under 200/night. what are your actual dates in April? I just did a random search for 8-15 April (which includes Easter on 4/12/20) and found scads of places for well under $200/night. .
Seamus is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 08:19 PM
  #12  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by yk View Post
I am considering Lyon but would be open to other suggestions so I can do more research. My son's interests are castles, ruins, parks.
I really liked Lyon -- but if your son's interests are castles, ruins, and parks, I'm not sure that it would be a particularly good fit. Maybe I missed them, but I didn't see any castles there, only some mildly interesting ruins (though the Gallo-Roman Museum holds some wonderful mosaics and other items), and only small rather uninteresting parks. It does have a museum that was quite obviously of great interest to many young people -- the Museum of the Confluence; would that be of interest to your son? But I'm no expert and trust that others will continue offering their advice!

How firm is your goal to find something that is within 2 hours from Paris?
Are you willing to consider driving?
kja is offline  
Oct 11th, 2019, 03:27 AM
  #13  
 
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Best of luck and have a safe trip.
DaisySimpson is offline  
Oct 11th, 2019, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
I really liked Lyon -- but if your son's interests are castles, ruins, and parks, I'm not sure that it would be a particularly good fit. Maybe I missed them, but I didn't see any castles there, only some mildly interesting ruins (though the Gallo-Roman Museum holds some wonderful mosaics and other items), and only small rather uninteresting parks.
You call Parc de la TÍte d'Or small?
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Oct 11th, 2019, 04:17 AM
  #15  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by Hnh6 View Post
You call Parc de la TÍte d'Or small?
Not at all!* but I wouldn't think it among Europe's -- or France's -- best gardens, nor would I make it a specific destination with only a few days in Lyon.* JMO.*
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Oct 11th, 2019, 08:01 AM
  #16  
yk
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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
I tried Citadines once and found it horribly lacking. Cramped, uncomfortable.
I am surprised you are having a problem finding an AirBnB under 200/night. what are your actual dates in April? I just did a random search for 8-15 April (which includes Easter on 4/12/20) and found scads of places for well under $200/night. .
Hi Seamus, I was avoiding AirBnb as I don't know whether I should trust the properties are legally registered. Therefore i was mostly looking at aparthotels and sites like ParisPerfect.
yk is online now  
Oct 11th, 2019, 08:46 AM
  #17  
 
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Hi again, yk. I noticed your mention of Paris Perfect as a lodging option that youíre now considering. (Does this mean you are rethinking your nightly budget?)

The concerns you have expressed about registration prompt me to caution you about PP: it appears that not all their apartments are registered, so please be forewarned.

Best of luck as you continue making plans !
lifes2short is offline  
Oct 11th, 2019, 11:19 AM
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You might consider staying in the Loire Valley, which affords quite a few glorious ch teaux and even an actual castle or two.
Underhill is offline  
Oct 11th, 2019, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by yk View Post
Hi Seamus, I was avoiding AirBnb as I don't know whether I should trust the properties are legally registered. Therefore i was mostly looking at aparthotels and sites like ParisPerfect.
If an AirBnB has the registration number, it's probably legit. Other than that, I can't for the life of me figure out why you would have trouble finding a suitable place? Maybe rethink the apartment bit? I visited Paris numerous times (for work) with my son, who was then 8.

I filtered around a bit on Booking, and there are loads of places that are within your budget, or just over, especially because you're looking for next year April.

For instance: http://www.booking.com/Share-xHLb20
menachem is offline  
Oct 11th, 2019, 06:18 PM
  #20  
 
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yk, sorry, I didn't notice the registration number.
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