One week in France - what to do?

Apr 8th, 2018, 12:48 PM
  #1  
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One week in France - what to do?

We are going to France next month for a week and looking at suggestions for things to do. We are planning on going to Paris for 3 nights and the South of France for the rest. Right now we have booked 2 nights in Nice and 2 nights in Avignon. After doing some research, we are now wondering if we should spend all 4 nights in Nice since there are so many places to explore around there. We have heard that Avignon is beautiful, but best to travel around by car, which is what our main concern is. We would prefer to use public transportation our whole time there (yes, we are aware of the strikes) but if Avignon is worth it, we will consider renting a car and staying there. Wanted to get everyone's thoughts, as this is our first time traveling to France. Also, if you have any "must-sees" in Paris, please share. Thank you!
olivia1216 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2018, 01:34 PM
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If this is really your first trip to France, your plan is insane. For a one week trip to France, you should stay in just one place with perhaps a grand total of one day trip out of the city.
kerouac is offline  
Apr 8th, 2018, 01:47 PM
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Try to wrangle a few more days for your trip but if really want to see two different parts fly into Paris and spend 4 nights and take TGV train to Nice (about 5 hrs- seeing lovely French countryside en route) and spend three nights in Nice where yes a day in Nice and some easy day trips by train or bus. Book train tickets early at www.oui.sncf for discounted fares - www.seat61.com has loads on that - general train info alsonwww.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

I rather agree however with Parisian kerouac - spend the whole time in Paris and maybe do a day trip or two like to Reims for Champagne tours or Chartres for famous Gothic cathedral. Again book own trains at www.oui.sncf or just buy at station as little if any discounts on those type of lines.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 8th, 2018, 01:50 PM
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Where are you entering and leaving the country? If answer to both is Paris, then just stay in Paris and as kerouac says, do a day trip (or two if you really want to). There is way more than enough for a week in Paris and if you do want to see some of the 'countryside' there are numerous day trips you can take that will let you see this. If you can fly home from Nice, then 3 -4 nights Paris and the rest in Nice would work as long as you know you'll waste most of one day in transit. Totally forget about Avignon, you just don't have time. I really think staying in Paris makes much more sense.
isabel is offline  
Apr 8th, 2018, 02:38 PM
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>>Paris for 3 nights and the South of France for the rest. Right now we have booked 2 nights in Nice and 2 nights in Avignon. <<

That works out to 2.5 days in Paris, 1day in Nice, and 1.5 days in Avignon. Where are you flying in and out of? If Paris that will eat up a whole day getting back to CDG.

It appears you will be in country 7 nights - right? If so you will have just 6 usable days. Your arrival day will be at most half a day and you'll likely be tired and/or jet lagged. So 6 days to work with. Cancel Nice and Avignon and stick to Paris . . . UNLESS you are flying home from Nice. If so, stay 4 nights in Paris, fly to Nice and stay there until you fly home.
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Apr 8th, 2018, 05:55 PM
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Yes if flying return to Paris you would waste a day going each way to say Nice. Avignon however is just about 3 hours and has direct trains to and from CDG Airport. So you could upon landing blast down to Avignon from CDG - spend about 3 days there - renting a car perhaps on arrival in Avignon and heading to a smaller town like St-Remy de Provence, a smaller town that nearly everyone else seems to like. Use that base to drive to so many nearby neat places.

Then return car and TGV to Paris for last 4 nights.

If flying out of Nice then 3-4 nights in Nice woudl be nice.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 8th, 2018, 06:06 PM
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>>renting a car perhaps on arrival in Avignon<<

After an over night flight and probably 6 hours on the ground, driving would be a terrible idea.
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Apr 8th, 2018, 06:30 PM
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kja
 
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I would spend the time in Paris, with perhaps a day trip or two. That said, it's your trip -- just be sure you can actually see and do what you want with the time you have. As janisj noted, you really have only 2.5 days in Paris, 1day in Nice, and 1.5 days in Avignon -- which is not much at all.

And whatever you do, do not pick up a rental car until you've been in the country long enough to get over jet lag completely. Driving any early poses an incredible risk to yourself AND anyone else on the road.
kja is offline  
Apr 8th, 2018, 07:40 PM
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Stay in Paris! So much to see and do - even with a full week, you will not be able to do it all.

The rest of France isn't going anywhere - save it for another trip, and enjoy this one to the fullest by not having to deal with the tiresome logistics of moving from one place to another. Fly into Paris - check into your hotel or apartment, unpack, walk around and find a nice place for dinner. Then sleep and catch up to the local time. Enjoy the city!
scdreamer is online now  
Apr 8th, 2018, 09:21 PM
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So you bought tickets to France, a huge and varied country, with no idea of what in particular drew you there and now have no idea what to so? I never fail to understand how people do things like this.

Spend it all in Paris and take a couple of day trips. "Must-Sees" for whatever they are worth, are covered on about 1000 websites. Pick what appeals to you.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 9th, 2018, 06:00 AM
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Stay in Paris.

You will not run out of fabulous things to do in a week...not even in a year!

Take a couple of day-trips. In May, Giverny (Monet's Gardens) is a great one. Versailles, of course, another possibility...but there are many. As stated before...we'd need to know your interests before making serious recommendations.

Great advice already given: If you must rent a car (which I do not recommend) do NOT do so until jet lag is over. I made that mistake when I was in a college student in Europe for the summer and within an hour outside of Paris I had rammed it into a signpost. No injuries and only minor damage...but it wasted four days getting the repairs done and could have been a lot worse. When jet-lagged, your reflexes are impaired without you realizing it.

ssander
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Apr 9th, 2018, 07:26 AM
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don't forget that to go between Nice and Paris takes most of a day - leaving on 3 days there and 3 in Paris. Consensus here seems to be stay in Paris and do day tris.

Anyway - what do you think - if still wanting to split time say so so we can advise on doing that.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 9th, 2018, 07:52 AM
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Nothing wrong with using the train to get to Avignon, I spent a good week there using the train to get to Nimes/Arles etc. Car only really useful if you want to go see some lovely small villages, but in the small amount of time you will be there, you don't need a car
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 9th, 2018, 09:11 AM
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One problem with planning a train trip in France next month is the rolling strikes that have many trains cancelled - a strike that shows no signs of ending. Flying to Nice and staying there and flying home from there would be a safe bet.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 9th, 2018, 09:48 AM
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Stay in Paris the whole time with day trips such as Giverney, Chartres, Reims.
Your proposed would be a blur of train rides.
Or, stay in Nice the whole time.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Apr 9th, 2018, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
One problem with planning a train trip in France next month is the rolling strikes that have many trains cancelled - a strike that shows no signs of ending. Flying to Nice and staying there and flying home from there would be a safe bet.
Actually, it does show signs of ending since we have now had four strike days with fewer strikers each day. But the train drivers are still holding out, and they are of course the people who hold the most power in this strike. The president is giving two major interviews to the media this week, and it might influence the outcome. Everybody just needs to keep monitoring the situation.
kerouac is offline  
Apr 9th, 2018, 10:38 AM
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Just off phone with French friend and she says public opposition is growing to the strike? Would assume so as it drags on. Drivers who retire at 52 also seem to have the most to lose in this strike. Now for some Tesla self-driving trains! Should be easier technology than with cars in traffic? Especially TGV trains.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 9th, 2018, 10:50 AM
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Well, Lille and Paris -- as well as quite a few foreign cities -- already have driverless subway lines, so It is a distinct possibility.
kerouac is offline  
Apr 10th, 2018, 11:41 AM
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Driverless SNCF trains will come over the bodies of today's drivers!
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 13th, 2018, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Driverless SNCF trains will come over the bodies of today's drivers!
Lol, it'll be a bloodbath!!!
geetika is offline  

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