Paris and ??? for March 2005

Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 09:35 AM
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Paris and ??? for March 2005

We are in the process of planning a 9 day trip in March of 2005. We know that we want to spend half of our time in Paris, and are trying to decide where to spend the rest of our time.

We realize London/Paris is a popular combination, but we will have the opportunity to visit London in the summer of 2006 as part of a two week England/ Scotland trip. Our only other european experience was to Rome and Venice last November.

One of the things that made the Italy trip so enjoyable was the contrast between the two cities. Rome was fast paced and high energy, and we were actively engaged in sightseeing every day, with appointment times for tours and events to keep us moving. Venice was more laid back and we tended to just wander the streets and enjoy whatever sites we happend upon.

So what would you suggest as a complemetary city for our Paris trip?



newesttraveler is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 09:46 AM
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Nine day trip? Including travel days?
Paris is absolutely worth a 9 day trip on its own, and there are lots of opportunities for day trips.
If you definitely don't want to spend more than 5 days in Paris, then that leaves 3.5 days at best for the other place, allowing for travel time.
For 3.5 days, you could consider Amsterdam or Prague or Florence.
Try and do an open jaw ticket, so you can fly into one city and go home from the other, otherwise backtracking to Paris will waste more time.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 09:49 AM
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I meant to offer two things

the following is the Paris Superthread that has lots of good info
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34526248

and, I have a file on Paris; if you'd like to see it, email me at
[email protected]
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 10:00 AM
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As noted, there is plenty to do in Paris for 9 days if you include side trips to Chartres, Versailles, etc. It may be a little early for Giverny. If you really want to visit another big city and London is out, Amsterdam is an easy trip from Paris. If you do Paris and Amsterdam, I would spend 6-7 days in Paris and 2-3 in Amsterdam.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 10:02 AM
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My vote is also for Amsterdam, which offers that contrast you're talking about, and easy travel from one to the other, especially if you do an open-jaw flight and take the nice Thalys train between the two.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 11:33 AM
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I totally agree with Elaine--stay in Paris and take a day trip or two and really EXperience that wonderful city. I don't know how you count your nine days but it really may boil down to 8 nights--arrive in the morning of your first day, etc. That is not anywhere too long for Paris.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 11:38 AM
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Hi new,

I also recommend staying in Paris with 2-3 daytrips.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 11:50 AM
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How about a few days in the Loire Valley? You can stay in a chateau and visit wineries and wine caves. The country would be a nice contrast to the City.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 12:46 PM
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If you want TOTAL contrast in terms of cities then Amsterdam would be one good choice especially since it only takes a few hours to get there. But is that what you really want or do you just want to be in an area that "isn't Paris?"

Whatever you do, DON'T go on one of these Fodorite on steroids-prompted guilt trips thinking you aren't spending "enough time" in Paris.

The ONLY way to know if you spent enough, or not enough, time anywhere is to actually GO there. Always tough to decide in advance...hopefully whatever you do you won't end up disappointed.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 12:53 PM
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One of my coworkers did a Paris trip a few years ago and she combined Paris and Burgundy. She said that they really enjoyed it. This is a wine growing region, and I am not sure how it would look in March. We are planning a trip next May. We are allowing 2 weeks and we will be going to Swiss Alps-Paris-Amsterdam. Another option might be to head up to Bruges Belgium which is supposed to be a beautiful medevial city.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:12 PM
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My first trip to Paris I combined with Brugge. As a first time visitor to Paris My sightseeing was whirlwind Brugge was a more laid back experience.On subsequent visits to Paris I have slowed down and enjoyed just being in Paris but as a first timer I was to reved up to see all the sights . The medieval city of Brugge was a nice contrast. The train ride took a couple hours with a transfer in Brussels.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:37 PM
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If you want another city, Amsterdam is great for a few days and just a 4 hour Thalys ride from Paris. You can also get to Switzerland (5 hours on the TGV to Bern and then 45 minutes to the heart of the Bernese Oberland) but I am not sure what excursions are available in March. In the summer, it is fantastic. Brugge is a nice 2 night deal. It is very pretty but it is almost like a museum -- I would choose Amsterdam first. If you want to stay in France, my family did an overnight out to Normandy (Bayeux) for a D-Day sights tour. It was one of the most memorable days of our trip. You could combine something like that (if you are interested) with Mont St. Michel. The Loire Valley chateaux are also great and there are many bed and breakfast chateaux to stay at.

You have many great options, you almost cannot go wrong!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 02:29 PM
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Having just arrived back from Paris after being there for 5 days, I would just stay in Paris for your 9 day trip. We did not get to do/see as much as we would have liked. I really think you could spend 3 weeks straight in Paris and not see everything worth seeing. Best of luck on your trip!
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