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Paris and London or Paris and Rome? (7 nights trip)

Paris and London or Paris and Rome? (7 nights trip)

Old Apr 1st, 2016, 01:46 PM
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Paris and London or Paris and Rome? (7 nights trip)

I am planning a trip to Europe and we have narrowed down our preferred destination to either Paris-London or Paris-Rome.

The trip will be from Dec 23 to Dec 31. Arriving in Europe on Dec 24th and 7 nights.

I am a bit torn between the second city being London or Rome so I have a few pros and cons

Pros for London:
1. Flight will be cheaper. I see that round trips to London (LAX-LHR) is around $1200 while round trips to Paris is around $1700 (LAX-CDG) and there is no one way option for LAX-CDG without going into ridiculous pricing. So even if we do Paris-Rome we still have to make it back to Paris for the return leg of the round trip.

2. Distance is shorter, we should be able to take Eurostars between London and Paris as opposed to a flight between Paris and Rome. This will help on with getting back to London for the return leg of the round trip back to LA.

3. Rome would be saved for years down the line when we do something like Rome Florence and Venice trip (SO does want to see Venice a lot)

4. Maybe catch a premier league fixture on boxing day as I am a Liverpool fan or at least experience watching a match in a pub with a crowd as I am often watching it alone at 6AM in west coast USA.

Pros for Rome:
1. We are more interested in the sights in Rome compare to London.

2. We would like the experience Italian cuisine.


So I am stuck between the better budget and shorter travel distance of London-Paris and more interest in the sights of Rome and Paris. Which one would you suggest?
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 02:05 PM
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Rather than one-way, did you look at multi-citi or multi-destination tickets?

Did you also consider the cost of flight plus time lost backtracking to your arrival city?

If you must do RT from one city, then as soon as you arrive, head on to the second city, so you don't waste time doing a second hotel stay in the same city. If you must see two, then Paris & London, dividing time depending on what you want to do/see.

Personally, since it will be dark early, likely chilly, etc? I would stay the whole time in London where there are tons of museums to visit during the day and shows you could see every night, but we love theater. Might not be your interest.

You could also spend the whole week in Rome or Paris. Toss up.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 02:12 PM
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I was about to suggest that you do Paris and Venice --- and it still might be a fun way to go -- but Venice is a bit notorious for not having outstanding restaurants. If you do some research and make reservations in advance you can have excellent Venetian food -- but if your dream of Italian cuisine is pasta, pizza, cheese dishes, then the food of Venice (fish, rice, polenta) is not that.

One nice thing about Venice is that if you want to see a Roman arena, there is one in Verona that's easy to see as half a day trip from Venice.

But are you sure you can't find affordable open jaw flights that would take you into Rome and out of Paris (or vice versa?) Or maybe LAX>Venice, then overnight train to Paris, fly home from Paris?
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 02:14 PM
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Just as a note, both Paris and Rome (and Venice) are beautiful at night, so the shorter hours might not matter to you. And museums/churches/shops in Rome stay open until 7.30pm.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 02:16 PM
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@Sassafrass Thanks for the response, I will try to look at other sites, I only did the basic search through priceline to get an general idea of the cost and the one way option was very expensive ($2700 for one).

That was why I thought London would be better as Eurostars is a lot shorter distance than Paris-Rome and more frequent to fit the schedule. I was planning on something like fly into London and on the way back do Eurostars back to London and to airport straight away, no second hotel stay in the same city.

Paris is a must for SO and we are not the type that spend a ton of time in museums so I think 3 days a city is plenty for us.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 02:25 PM
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@sandralist That is another option for me for sure, I will definitely look into the open jaw options on other sites.

Would you suggest Venice over Rome for someone's first time in Italy and unlikely to return for years after (other locations are also in our interest such as Japan, Germany, England, etc)

I think I'd prefer Rome for the historical buildings while SO is more interested in the Venician scenery and gondola rides. So either place would be great for us!
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 03:30 PM
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London and Paris go together well
You can also do Paris and Amsterdam.

From what you write I'd save Rome for another trip.
Boxing Day would be a con for me not a pro.

Fwiw I ate at some delicious Italian restaurants in Paris. I made a re of one of those.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 04:00 PM
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kick53v3,

I'm not much of a believer in selecting destinations within a country based on "first time" ideas, but in particular for Italy, because it is not a centralized place, and there is no one way you can go to Italy for the "first time" and think you are "beginning at the beginning" with Italy, and you will understand it better by starting here, rather than there.

The history of Venetian Empire is different from the history of the Roman Empire, and the influences upon architecture, and food, and social organization come from different places. Venice was never a Roman city, and it relates to the east rather than the West, so --- just two very different places. Apart from everybody speaking Italian, you could almost think they were different countries. Attitudes within Italy about Rome sometimes bear a resemblance to attitudes in the US about Washington DC.

One hour away from Venice there is much evidence of the Roman Empire (and the Florentine Renaissance) in Verona. But Rome has things Venice never will -- the Vatican, the crux of the imperial "footprint" -- hey, it's the Eternal City. It is likely to be warmer in Rome than in Venice (or London, or Paris) and if you like cheesy food, Rome's got an abundance (and other dishes too). You also skip the risk of tidal flooding that you have in Venice (although you can work around it).

You just need to sort it out with your SO. But if someday you want to explore the various cuisines of Italy, it can really only be done in Italy. Eat local, wherever you go, but Italian cooking is quintessenitally local.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 04:10 PM
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<SO does want to see Venice a lot>

I also wondered then why not Paris & Venice?
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 04:23 PM
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London is quiet . . . too quiet . . . on Xmas and Boxing Day.

On Xmas it's barely operational (all attractions closed, no Tube service, some restos here or there); on Boxing Day (December 26) it's quieter than a Sunday. It's a fine pair of days to walk around if the weather doesn't suck (total dice roll here).

As for Italy, that's easier (three words: Paris, London, Eurostar) and better as a separate trip. It may be old world, but Italy has been a country for anything between 95 and 142 years LESS than the United States (depending upon when the various regions consider themselves, or are considered by the faction, historian, etc., to have reunited as Italy - 1871 or 1918 or somewhere in between; no, there was no "Italy" between the Fall of the Roman Empire and around 1871).

Seeking the quintessence of a country? London IS England, Paris IS France. Neither Rome, Milan, Napoli, Florence, Venice, Genoa, Turin, etc. is Italy. Each is a part of a disparate whole.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 06:23 PM
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With only 6 full days on the ground, I suggest picking either London or Paris. London has the advantage of a non-stop flight, however I don't recall Rick saying "We'll always have London."
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 07:25 PM
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You do not want to look at one way fares or round trip fares.. You want to look at open jaw fares, which are listed as multiple destinations instead of round trip. It should be approximately the same price to fly into Paris and out of London as it would be to fly round trip to Paris. With only a week altogether, you really will be wasting time if you have a round trip ticket and have to make your way back to Paris.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 09:13 PM
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I think you should just pick one destination. You only have 6 full days and one of them is Christmas when almost everything is closed. Add short days and possible poor weather and you do not have as much time as you think to lose another half day changing cities. The destinations you are considering are also places with a lot to see and do. I disagree that London is England or Paris is France in the same way New York is not the US. Rome is also not Italy. There is much more than museums to your above choices of cities although you may want to say the British museum or the Louvre or the Orsay or the Vatican.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2016, 12:14 AM
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I like Sandralist's suggestion of the Paris-Venice combo - if you can get multi-citi or multi-destination tickets, into Venice and out of Paris. 3 nights Venice, 4 nights Paris.
Venice is wonderful no matter the weather and mysterious and magical in darkness. In sunlight, it glitters like a jewel, but in rain or fog it is ethereal and hauntingly beautiful.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2016, 01:13 AM
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There used to be a great night train from Paris to Rome...hop on and wake up in Rome. No time wasted. Looked up weather averages in December... and London shows 17 days rainfall, to Rome's 7. Always just the luck of the draw.... but i would consider weather if you're on the fence. (But I do vote for Rome here...)
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Old Apr 14th, 2016, 10:43 AM
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7 nights for 2 cities is not much normally, and over Christmas your sightseeing options will be more limited than usual.

You'll lose more time flying to Italy, but literally nothing in London is open on Christmas or Boxing Day, so it's kind of a toss-up.

I personally think there's more to see and enjoy in Rome than in London - and for that reason, I'd hate to have only 2-3 days to spend there. Besides which, figuring your way around 2 brand new cities, in 2 different unfamiliar languages, is a bit stressful for such a short trip.

So I guess I'd vote for London, with the STRONG suggestion that you arrange to be in Paris first.
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Old Apr 14th, 2016, 12:49 PM
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Someone upthread suggested flying into one city and out of the other. That is the best way to visit two cities. But you don't book it as two one-way trips (nor do you book on Priceline), you book it as multi-destination tickets or "open jaw."

But I think that is moot in this case, as you should choose just one city s you actually have enough time to see/do experience a bit of the remarkable city you have chosen.

Before you choose spend some time with good guidebooks so you know what you are choosing. Or, to start, look at the top of this webpage and choose "Destinations." You will find lots of good information there.
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Old Apr 14th, 2016, 05:35 PM
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Another consideration is the UK government tacks on fees for flying out of the UK. So flying into Paris and out of London will be more expensive than vice versa.
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