Should I go to London or Paris in Oct?

Old Mar 24th, 2005, 05:23 AM
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Should I go to London or Paris in Oct?

It's a difficult decision - I am trying to surprise my mother with a short trip to Europe for her birthday. We'll only have from Fri - Tue (taking the red-eye from Buffalo or Toronto on a Thu) and I've narrowed down the choice to London or Paris. Which city would you choose? We have both been to Paris, but that was 10 years ago. I was in London for one night, also 10 years ago, and she has never been.

We both like art museums, boutique shopping, scenic views and good food. I am leaning towards Paris, but thought London might be nice since we've never really been. If we went to London, I'd love to take a day trip to Bath.

Price isn't necessarily a factor because I will have one free airline ticket and possibly a free hotel (I have many Starwood points I could use). The hotel I was thinking of in Paris is actually in Versailles - the Trianon Palace. Is this too far out to get into the city every day? I was thinking of the Park Lane in London.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 05:40 AM
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Kcapuani - Based on the number of days you have, I'd go to London. Paris is only a couple hours further by plane or train, but those few hours make a difference in a short trip. I've been both places a couple of times and loved them both. We went to England in Oct last year, stayed in a house in Henley-on-Thames for a week and took day trips. We went to Bath one day. Fascinating place. The baths were great but the city is also really neat. Another day trip was to Canterbury - my favorite on this trip. Having seen many cathedrals, I found Canterbury still exciting. Since I had been to London before (and my kids and husband had not) I was not so enthusiastic about London but it was great. No language barrier (even though I speak French - don't know if you do). It was just easier to have a great time right away. Hope this helps. Happy travels.
 
Old Mar 24th, 2005, 05:53 AM
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OK - firs, London is my very favorite city so you know this isn't a "Paris Bias" thing.

But you have a very short time and your learning curve about where things are and how to get around will be less in Paris. Friday will be a very tiring jet-lagged day and Tue will be spent packing and getting to the airport. So in effect you will only have 3+ full days where you are likely to feel chipper and be able to do major sightseeing. Plus Paris is more compact and it takes less time to get around and many of the major sites are walking distance from each other.

London would certainly work - but it is huge and there is soooooo much to see/do you would really only barely scratch the surface. Whereas in Paris you already know what places you like and can go back or explore new things.

If you do choose London you won't have time to do Bath too. If you were there a week that is one thing, but on such a short trip stick to one city.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 06:38 AM
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I have a Paris bias. That said, London is a wonderful and fun city and, if you have both been to Paris, you might want to try London this time.
It is wonderful to surprise your mother for her birthday but too bad you can't get an idea of which she might prefer.
Since your trip is so short, I have one suggestion no matter which you choose. I would stay in the city itself and I would not lock yourself in to extensive day trips considering the short amount of time you have. You can always visit Bath if really want to get out of London.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 06:51 AM
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Hi kc,

Sinceyou have both been to Paris, I suggest London.

If you do decide to go to Paris, I suggest that you stay in the city.

It's about 40 min from Versailles to Paris.

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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 06:58 AM
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Just because you've been to Paris before, I'll say London, but no day trip, that's too much diluting of your time to see London. It's a short trip you are taking, don't try to include too much.

janis makes very good points about Paris being smaller and more centralized, but to mangle an old quote from Dr Johnson, to miss out on London is to miss out on Life.

If you click on the top of this screen on Destinations, fodors has good suggestions for short visits to London.
So does Frommers.com

If you make a priority list of the sights you most want to see, people here can help you organize them into a 3.5 day trip
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 06:59 AM
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Starwood also lists the Hotel Price de Galles in the 8th... For a short blast, should you choose Paris... that would be nice. The one at Versaille tho is a spa...hmmmm...

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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 07:13 AM
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"to miss out on London is to miss out on Life."

love the paraphrase Elaine!
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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I would choose Paris, but I have to add that even though I loved London, I love Paris more!

I agree: If you go to London, you won't have time for a daytrip, and if you go to Paris, don't stay at Versailles. Stay right in Paris.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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Thanks everyone for raising such great points - I think I am now leaning towards London. As Ira pointed out, the Trianon in Versailles is too far from the city. I looked up the Hotel Prince de Galles and it would take double the number of points as the Sheraton Park Lane in London. I also think that I need to add another night on somehow. Most flights returning to Buffalo (via NYC or Philly) leave around 1pm. I was hoping I could catch a later flight and have more time in whatever city I choose.
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