Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

One Week: France, Luxembourg, or Switzerland

One Week: France, Luxembourg, or Switzerland

Old Mar 28th, 2021, 05:15 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One Week: France, Luxembourg, and/or Switzerland

Hello! I just booked a fully-refundable ticket to Paris for this September with the recognition that I may have to cancel depending on the COVID situation. With that said, I'm excited about the process of planning, even if I have to reschedule, so I wanted to get started. I've never used this forum before so apologies if this is too much/too little information and of course, I appreciate any/all advice/input!

I've visited Paris a few times, so I'm planning to mainly use it as a starting point. For the bulk of my trip (I'll have 9 days total including the day I land in Paris during the mid-afternoon and the day I depart in the evening), I'm trying to decide where to spend my time: I'm considering Luxembourg, French-speaking Switzerland, and other parts of France (outside of Paris/Normandy).

A few things about my travel preferences:
-I'm hoping to base myself in mid-sized cities, but ideally they are scenic/walkable with interesting history/architecture and nice green spaces.
-I'm a big foodie, so if there are any places that people recommend for their culinary scene, that's appreciated.
-I'm okay with a degree of travel, but I ideally want to base myself out of no more than 3 total places, including Paris (meaning I'd likely be looking to either base out of one city for 6-7 days or base out of two cities for ~3 days each).
-I specify French-speaking Switzerland as I've been learning/practicing French and want to try to put it to use!

My current plan probably looks like this:
Day 1: Arrive in Paris --> train/plane to Destination 1
Days 2-4: Destination 1
Day 5: Travel to Destination 2 (or just stay in Destination 1)
Days 5-7: Destination 2 (or just stay in Destination 1)
Day 8: Return to Paris (if just one destination, I would return to Paris a day earlier)
Day 9: Paris --> NYC (home)

Thank you all for any advice and hope everyone is taking care/staying well!

Last edited by Russmor94; Mar 28th, 2021 at 05:23 PM.
Russmor94 is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2021, 06:26 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,112
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Russ, IMO there isn't enough to keep you just in Luxembourg for a whole week but if you made Luxembourg City your base you could also do Trier and the Mosel region. They are a nice part of the world.

Good luck!

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2021, 06:32 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,112
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh, in Luxembourg can recommend Ma Langue Sourit (I think that's what it's called, Léa Linster is the chef). You will find good food in Luxembourg, it's like Belgium, a high standard of dining.

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2021, 09:48 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 225
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Luxembourg is nice, for a day trip. It is rather tiny.

You might consider a trip to Lyon (for the food) and an extension to Annecy. You could even reach Geneva or Chamonix. (The real purpose benefit, though, to going to Switzerland is for the mountains and villages). If you are also into wine, you could drop in Beaune and Bourgogne instead

An alternative would be head further south, to Avignon and into western Provence. It sounds as if cities are more to your liking, and thus perhaps the Cote d'Azur would fit (Nice and environs). The advantage of further south is that there is more widespread outdoor dining, which may be more practical/permitted during these times, in September (it exists elsewhere, of course, but in the north the weather doesn't always cooperate).

gooster is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2021, 04:41 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by gooster View Post
Luxembourg is nice, for a day trip. It is rather tiny.

You might consider a trip to Lyon (for the food) and an extension to Annecy. You could even reach Geneva or Chamonix. (The real purpose benefit, though, to going to Switzerland is for the mountains and villages). If you are also into wine, you could drop in Beaune and Bourgogne instead

An alternative would be head further south, to Avignon and into western Provence. It sounds as if cities are more to your liking, and thus perhaps the Cote d'Azur would fit (Nice and environs). The advantage of further south is that there is more widespread outdoor dining, which may be more practical/permitted during these times, in September (it exists elsewhere, of course, but in the north the weather doesn't always cooperate).
Thank you for your advice! It looks like it is a bit difficult to get from Annecy to Avignon, which look like they may be the two places that best fit what I'm looking for. Would you recommend doing either Lyon/Avignon or Lyon/Annecy or do you think it's worth trying to do Annecy and Avignon on one trip? I don't want to try to pack too much in.

I think it sounds like based on this comment and Lavandula's, it might be best to either just do a day trip to Luxembourg from Paris or to save it for another time.
Russmor94 is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2021, 06:31 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,112
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Russmor,
I think Luxembourg is just fine for a short trip but I would definitely combine it with the Mosel hinterland, which is all German-speaking. It would be a shame to be in that part of the world and not see it. But if the purpose is to speak French then what about Luxembourg and Brussels / Wallonia? That would work too.

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2021, 12:41 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 19,567
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love Mosel and Trier but they mainly speak German though you will find great wines.
Luxembourg is more of a day tour
More interesting would be either Champagne or Alsace. Of the two Alsace offers you access to Switzerland (if you must visit). Alsatians speak French without the weird southern pronunciations "vin"-"vinghe" being a good example and while they also have a dialect will not use it with you as a visitor.

Alsatian food is a whole unique thing, if not for the faint-hearted while their wines are some of the treasures of the world. I'd base in Strasbourg, a melting pot of nationalities in more ways than one. Easy access by train from Paris, you can visit the wine areas to the south, you can visit the gems of Mulhouse, Nancy and Metz by train (clean, fast) or even cross the border into Germany and see Worms.
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2021, 06:25 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 25,116
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are a foodie, I second gooster's Lyon suggestion.
TDudette is online now  
Old Mar 31st, 2021, 07:19 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,646
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Too bad you bought that ticket to and from Paris, even though you aren't spending time there. You could have set up a multi-destination route through that or other international gateways which would save lots of time. For example, fly into Nice/Marseille/Toulouse, explore the south and Avignon by train, then head home from Lyon or Paris. Yes, you may need to change planes through the gateways, but the prices are comparable to a simple round trip (if you use a multi-destination search function). The time saving would be substantial, especially on your very brief trip. I'd be happy to spend five full days in Marseille and the neighbouring Aix-en-Provence and Avignon, or even Arles. Maybe you can cancel the existing ticket without penalty and rearrange the itinerary.
Your best friend for checking out French rail is:
https://www.sncf.com/en
Always a source of good train advice in Europe:
www.seat1.com
Southam is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2021, 08:27 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are a foodie, agree with others you cannot miss Lyon. Best food anywhere in France IMO.
ChrisC101 is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2021, 05:51 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 101
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In Switzerland, presumably you mean Geneva, which is a wonderful city. But I highly recommend Interlaken and a boat ride amidst the mountains. It's the real Swiss experience. Good luck getting anyone to speak French with you- their English is a lot better than our French, generally. I travel tp Paris frequently with someone married to a Frenchman and fluent in French, and even with her, people generally respond in English! But i think they appreciate it when we make an effort to speak French.
ethrush is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2021, 01:02 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 113
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lyons is definitely a foodie-city, and fits what you describe. And Avignon is great.

However, I have never eaten so well in France as I have in Quercy (or what used to be Quercy; currently it's Lot, Aveyron, and Tarn-et-Garonne) in southwest France. It's hearty and basic country food - but "country food" in Quercy means lots of duck and potatoes and truffles and walnuts and black wine (really, a very very dark red; but they call it vin noir ). And of course cheese. Lots of cheese. It's a foodie paradise ... without foodies. And without the high prices; I ate like a gourmand on a modest budget there.

Also, it doesn't have many American or British visitors, and thus English is not widely spoken. You want to practice your French? I spent a couple weeks in the region and I don't recall anyone switching to English with me. In fact, shopkeepers would correct my French until I got it right, which I thought was awesome.

The only drawback in your case is the lack of large towns. Figeac and Cahors are beautiful, but Figeac has les than 10,000 population and Cahors less than 20,000. The true wonders of the area are the gorgeous medieval villages and prehistoric caves hidden in the forests and hills. You'd definitely want to do day trips from each of the towns. I was hiking through the area, so don't know how well transportation is between the villages.

Check out the sites: https://www.tourisme-lot.com/en/prat...-du-lot-658024. If not for this trip, maybe the next. It's not for everyone, but I would be happy to with a week-plus in Cahors and Figeac!

The area would also be more accessible from Toulouse, if you are allowed to change your ticket.

michael_cain_77398 is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2021, 04:53 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 91
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lausanne and Montreux are beautiful but IMO Switzerland is all about mountains. And yes, most people there will speak to you in English anyway. With only nine days, and wanting to practice your French, I think you should plan to spend all your time in France.
MichGuy is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2021, 06:50 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 25,116
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have you read about Montpellier? Not as foodie a choice but very interesting as a base. I believe there is TGV service from Paris. We trained to Arles from there. Nimes and beaches also easily reached. We missed it, but Collioure was on our list with its relationship with Fauvism.
TDudette is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
lesboy
Europe
12
Oct 28th, 2005 06:13 PM
Gaia
Europe
6
Aug 8th, 2002 11:59 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:38 PM.