One week in France - Paris or Provence ?

Aug 20th, 2010, 01:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2010
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One week in France - Paris or Provence ?

If it was your first time in France and you only had one week, would you choose to spend that time in Paris (with possible day trips) or Provence ?

I prefer outdoor scenery to big cities and museums so I'm leaning towards Provence.

I was intending to visit both Paris and Provence as I originally had about 12 days to spend in France, but I've had to shorten the duration of my trip. I realize that even a week in either of these places will only allow you to see a few highlights. Also I realize that the answer will depend on the person, nevertheless I am interested in the perspective of others as it may help me finalize my decision.
Samurai_Kiwi is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 02:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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My vote would be Paris with a side trip but first it all depends on when you are going. Paris may be a big city but there is so much to see beyond museums etc. Small surprises are found around every corner. We have been to Paris 4 times and have always included a few days away. Eurostar and London are not far Loire Valley,Normandy, etc. We are going in a few weeks and are taking 3 days to go to Burgundy.Staying in Beaune and going to the Beaune Jazz Festival one day. TGV is 1hr 37min or you can drive. Consider an open jaw ticket fly into Paris use a european discount airline like Easyjet etc and fly to Venice, Rome, wherever. You can also take the Thalys to Amsterdam. Anyway you do it the trip will be great. have fun!
Cliff09 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 02:26 AM
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Do you like to drive? That would be the deciding factor for me, because I think Provence is best by car. If you don't mind driving, it sounds like you'd like Provence more. So much variety! Countryside, villages, and markets, plus astounding Roman ruins and a smattering of museums. A compromise could be the Cote d'Azur - smaller cities and towns, and I think more accessible by public transit.
abbydog is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 02:40 AM
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I admit I am biased because I like cities and I love Paris, but a first time visit to France without Paris seems like you would really be missing something important. However, if it's countryside you are seeking, there is much to explore within close reach of Paris. You could even spend a few days in Paris and then take the TGV to Avignon, which is only a few hours away. You could either rent a car in Avignon and pick it up right at the TGV station or if you prefer, you can base yourself in Avignon and take a bus and/or train to nearby towns and sights. I have done a Paris/Avignon trip in the past and think it's a great combination.
genio67 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 03:02 AM
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If you have decided to go to only one of the two choices, then I think Provence makes more sense, given your stated preferences.
Nikki is online now  
Aug 20th, 2010, 03:56 AM
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Either way you will be a winner so that's good. I wish you had the 12 because you could do both and have an even better time.
But driving really is key to Provence I think, although it can be done.
I might lean to Genie's advice and at least spend a couple of days in Paris and then go to Provence on the TGV. It would really be too bad to not at least have a taste of Paris!
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 04:12 AM
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I love Provence and would love to vacation there again, but everyone should see Paris. Seriously - it should be a law. Arguably the most beautiful city in the world.
tejana is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 06:40 AM
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If your trip is in very late Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, or March - I would go to Paris. If not - Provence with a car.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Aug 20th, 2010, 06:43 AM
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Based on your interests...I would choose Provence. I love France, have been to both Paris and Provence several times, but am not a big city person either. I would choose Provence over Paris every time. But as others have said, you do need to have a car to really enjoy the region. (Also, kudos to you for not trying to fit both into one week.)
hausfrau is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I think your second sentence states pretty clearly exactly which destination is best for you however, I agree with Stu. If you're planning to travel Nov-March, Paris would definitely be a better choice. Driving in Provence is very easy, much like it is here in the USA. You will absolutely need a car. I can't imagine seeing Provence without one.

Bon Journee!
ILUVPARIS is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 306
What time of year are you traveling? I admit that I have been to Paris now 3 times and have never cared for it even though I love big cities. On the other hand, I would go back to Provence in a heartbeat given the chance!
SuzChicago is offline  

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