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Really Need Help with France - trying to Go this April

Really Need Help with France - trying to Go this April

Old Mar 4th, 2020, 07:43 PM
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Really Need Help with France - trying to Go this April

Hello
My friend and I have Birthdays this coming April, it's her 50th. We are finally able to do a girls trip and have chosen France. We have 6 days total. We were supposed to do 2 nights in Paris and the rest we wanted to go to the French country side, but with the Corona Virus, we are thinking we can avoid Paris or maybe just fly in/ out and stay the last night prior to flight. We've heard of Province, Lyons etc... but no idea how to go about planning it. We are looking for a place that has wineries, country side, good resturaunts, some iconic sites/ cultural sites to see, some nice window shopping. It can't be too far from Paris... or we need to fly to that location.
I would really appreciate it any location suggestions, how far it is from Paris. If it' has an aiport / best transportation. (we wouldn't be comfortable driving).
Any lodging / resturant/ tours/ things to do recommendations.

Thank you so much.
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Old Mar 4th, 2020, 08:45 PM
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The first place that comes to mind for me is Bordeaux. You can take a fast train (tgv) directly from the airport in Paris at CDG or go into Paris for a day or two and then take the train to Bordeaux from there from Paris Montparnasse station.

Alternatively you could go to Strasbourg which is more famous for white wines than red but also a lovely city for 4-5 days visit.

Both are easy cities to get around by tram and other public transport.
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Old Mar 4th, 2020, 08:51 PM
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Covid-19 is much more of a problem in the provinces in France. We have practically no cases in Paris.
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Old Mar 5th, 2020, 07:04 AM
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I'd just stay in Paris, Lilly2016. There is so much to do there. You can take day trips by train to Giverny and Versailles. DH and I took day guided tours of chateaux, dinner at Eiffel Tower, and to Bruges out of Paris.
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Old Mar 5th, 2020, 09:41 AM
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Not sure if you've seen it but there is this really excellent recent thread about a week in Paris last September.

Paris, Chartres, Champagne Country and Giverny 2019

Should give you some ideas for what to do in Paris plus some day trips too.
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Old Mar 5th, 2020, 03:16 PM
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I also wondered about whether the idea made sense in terms of where the virus has been noted, but it is true there are a lot more people and crowds in Paris. But you want a city obviously if you talk about "window shopping", so then it may not matter. Avignon seems obvious as it is real easy to get to by TGV from Paris, it has city sights and an interesting museum and palace, and you can easily do some trips in the countryside also and there are wineries around there.

I might forget the window shopping, but I am not sure what you mean about that. There are no luxury shopping streets, but I don't know what that means about window shopping, although you stress "nice" window shopping. What do you need to buy? There are souvenir shops in some real touristy towns, of course, like Gordes. I'm sure Avignon has some of those also. Sounds like you want expensive designer shops and I don't think you'll get that outside Paris, and even there, I don't think those exclusive shops have great window displays, a lot is private and inside. There are some on fbg St Honore, ave Montaigne, place de Vendome etc. Some of the windows are very humdrum if you ask me. There are a lot of expensive shops in St Germain.

Avignon does have an airport but the TGV is easy and quick from Paris or even from CDG. They have a tourist office that probalby has brochures for some day tour companies to towns like Gordes, maybe the wine route, not sure if you'd get a tour for that but might. There are some good wineries around there, Gigondas, Chateauneuf, etc. IF you really want countrysid eyou'd best rent a car which is also fairly easy to do at the Avignon TGV station which is on a major roadway outside the city center.
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Old Mar 5th, 2020, 06:21 PM
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really ???? we have only heard about Paris sites closing. Has there been any cases in the provences ? Please let me know thanks so much
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Old Mar 5th, 2020, 06:22 PM
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JPIE thank you - will there be enough to do and see 5 days in either of those locations ?
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Old Mar 5th, 2020, 06:23 PM
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Wow thank you - no I had not seen it. Ill check it out thank so much
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Old Mar 5th, 2020, 06:27 PM
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Christina - thanks so much for this info- by window shopping I meant looking at designer shops , going inside the shops and looking around and wishful thinking. LOL We both Love designer purses, cloths, jewelry, may splurge on something small... but basically window shopping is looking and not buying. LOL

So Avignon is close to Paris, has wineries and sites and easy to get to from paris ... how many days would you recommend there... if our total trip is 6 days in France. Do you have any recommendations for accommodations or resturants / cafes/ Wineries? Please LMK thanks so much
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Old Mar 5th, 2020, 09:59 PM
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I think I agree with TDudette and I would stay in Paris too. Somewhere in Marais or the Left Bank. Between the cafes and shops and museums and Luxembourg Gardens, Petite Palais, the two day trips TDudette mentions to see Monet’s Garden and Versailles, six days in Paris would be lovely!
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Old Mar 6th, 2020, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Lilly2016 View Post
really ???? we have only heard about Paris sites closing. Has there been any cases in the provences ? Please let me know thanks so much
The two main zones of infection in France are Oise and Haut-Rhin. Schools are closed in both departments, which is not at all the case in Paris. However, within a week you won't have to worry about such details because the virus will have spread uniformly everywhere in the country.
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Old Mar 6th, 2020, 03:50 AM
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I wonder what information you've been reading about closures in Paris. The Louvre is the only place I've heard about that closed, for two days, and it's open again.

Here is some recent news about the virus in France: https://www.thelocal.fr/20200305/lat...e-rises-to-130

Yes, at present it's primarily in the provinces, but as noted within a week or so it will be upgraded to a level-3 alert throughout the country, so in theory you won't be any "safer" in Avignon than anywhere else in the country. And you'd have to hang out in a probably crowded train station and take a possibly crowded TGV to get there (Avignon isn't "close to Paris," but it's on a high-speed train line that will get you there reasonably quickly). I wouldn't expect much from visiting a winery in April, either except muddy fields with vines with a few buds on them. There are opportunities to sample wines from all over France around practically every corner of the country.

I would stay in Paris and make a couple of day trips. Leaving the city isn't going to alter your chances of infection, which are slim, and it's true you'll never run out of things to do in Paris. There's even a vineyard in Montmartre.
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Old Mar 6th, 2020, 11:58 AM
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When I initially suggest Bordeaux or Strasbourg that was before the latest Covid 19 updates. I would probably avoid Strasbourg since it is pretty close to the Haute Rhin area which has a number of cases.

I think I agree with others to stay in Paris at this point. Avignon and Provence will be lovely in the spring but harder to see without driving and is a 3 hour train ride each way.
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 01:30 AM
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I would avoid traveling to Europe for the time being, especially airports are hubs for Coronavirus, which also spreads because of elective travel.
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Old Mar 7th, 2020, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jpie View Post
When I initially suggest Bordeaux or Strasbourg that was before the latest Covid 19 updates. I would probably avoid Strasbourg since it is pretty close to the Haut Rhin area which has a number of cases..
Now that Germany has even more cases than France, whether or not Mulhouse is a virus hub no longer makes much difference.
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Old Mar 8th, 2020, 08:49 AM
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According to worldometers.info, Germany today, at this minute, has 2 more cases than France, 949/951.

They've been leapfrogging each other all week. Last Saturday France had 95 cases.

I can’t tell you how much I do not want to cancel our Paris trip next month, but it’s moved from a possibility to a probability.

Last edited by sugarmaple; Mar 8th, 2020 at 08:52 AM.
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Old Mar 8th, 2020, 09:56 AM
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We've postponed our April trip to September. Our fear was being unable to get home and actually not enjoying ourselves as much by having to be on guard all the time. I'm aware that we could face the same thing in the fall but willing to risk it.
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Old Mar 8th, 2020, 10:03 AM
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I like Avignon too. Fly into Marseille Provence airport (probably with a flight connection), take a local train from the airport to Avignon for two nights, then fast train to Paris. Or do it in reverse. Set the itinerary with a multi-destination search function and it will cost about the same as a simple round trip and save the time spent on going both ways to Avignon by train.
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Old Mar 8th, 2020, 05:26 PM
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If you are interested in haute couture at all, then you may want to consider visiting Leclaireur Sévigné, a shop that features some of the most advanced designers on the runway. Visiting the interior of this shop is an only-in-Paris moment. Friendly staff, so don't be deterred.. Right near the Musee Carnavalet, which is also a tremendous amount of fun.

Also there are consignment shops (depots-vente) that feature designers and clothing you will not see at a consignment shop at home. At affordable prices. I visited Reciproque in the 16th, but there are others.
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