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Travelers I need your opinion!!!! Paris or London

Travelers I need your opinion!!!! Paris or London

Old Jul 16th, 2001, 09:54 PM
  #1  
sherri
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Travelers I need your opinion!!!! Paris or London

I will be planning a trip to europe and cannot decide between London or Paris and would like your opinion which you would rather return to and why? I am 30 like cafes,shopping, sight seeing, galleries, antique shops and some fun night life. Please this is my vacation I have saved for along time and want to make the right choice. I will be going this October 1 week. Thank you very much.
 
Old Jul 16th, 2001, 11:14 PM
  #2  
Carla
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Sherri,

You're going to love it, either place, as long as you read up a lot before you get there, have a nice central place to stay -- the usual advice. I've found Eyewitness Guides are particularly useful in this, because they have these little street-overview-picture maps that can help you get oriented. (Along with Fodors, of course!)

My immediate first choice would be London, but that's because I lived there for years, know my way around, and adore English history. It may be different for you.

Paris is a little more compact, I think -- perhaps slightly easier to navigate.

Galleries and sight-seeing are great in both places; theatre is unsurpassed in London (and of course it's in English.) Night life -- someone else will have to advise you.

When you mention cafes, that sounds like Paris. Shopping is great both places -- but having just got back, I can tell you that right now, Paris is cheaper.

You could also ask yourself whether you want the extra frisson of a foreign language vacation, or the convenience of English.

The more you read up on the two cities, the more one or the other will appeal to you, and you can follow your instincts about what excites you.

Either place you go, you'll have a wonderful time -- they're both fabulous cities! Enjoy!
 
Old Jul 16th, 2001, 11:14 PM
  #3  
Carla
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Sherri,

You're going to love it, either place, as long as you read up a lot before you get there, have a nice central place to stay -- the usual advice. I've found Eyewitness Guides are particularly useful in this, because they have these little street-overview-picture maps that can help you get oriented. (Along with Fodors, of course!)

My immediate first choice would be London, but that's because I lived there for years, know my way around, and adore English history. It may be different for you.

Paris is a little more compact, I think -- perhaps slightly easier to navigate.

Galleries and sight-seeing are great in both places; theatre is unsurpassed in London (and of course it's in English.) Night life -- someone else will have to advise you.

When you mention cafes, that sounds like Paris. Shopping is great both places -- but having just got back, I can tell you that right now, Paris is cheaper.

You could also ask yourself whether you want the extra frisson of a foreign language vacation, or the convenience of English.

The more you read up on the two cities, the more one or the other will appeal to you, and you can follow your instincts about what excites you.

Either place you go, you'll have a wonderful time -- they're both fabulous cities! Enjoy!
 
Old Jul 16th, 2001, 11:55 PM
  #4  
Nyet
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If you really have to choose between the two, I would go for PAris. Reason being that you can do all those things you mentioned. SEcondly, it's cheaper, easier to navigate and horribly romantic. HAve fun....
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 05:23 AM
  #5  
Fred
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Since you asked I would say Paris. London is great but it's more of a big city like you find here. The beauty of Paris is that it's at the same time a big city and a medieval village. Turn a corner and except for the dress it's very much the same as it was way back when. The small winding streets, the shops, cafes, the Seine, the bridges - you can be back in time. For more Paris information e-mail me [email protected]
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 05:32 AM
  #6  
elaine
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sherri
They are both wonderful places, you can't make a wrong decision, but I have to give Paris the edge myself for a first trip, and your money will go farther.
If you are going in Oct don't wait any longer to book a hotel--many of the popular small places will already be fully booked.
I have a file on either city; if you'd like to see them, email me
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 05:48 AM
  #7  
David White
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Sherri,

J'adore Paris and I love London. But for a first time trip overseas, I'd give a slight nod to London. My reason: the logistics are a little easier for an American tourist (assume you are from the US). There is no language barrier, customs are somewhat similar, etc.

But based solely on your criteria, and ignoring the question of logistical simplicity, Paris probably wins.

Both cities have extraordinary sights, musuems, shopping opportunities, and nightlife. London is somewhat more expensive for lodging and meals, although there are some great bargains this summer due to the slowdown in tourism in Britain.

Bottom line: I don't think you can really make a "wrong" choice between these two cities....enjoy your trip.
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 06:01 AM
  #8  
Ursula
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sherri:

For Europeans, London and Paris are in first and second place for visits (statistically). So, you see, either choice ist good. I do prefer Paris un petit peu... but still, I'd love to go back to London for a longer weekend.
Enjoy wherever you decide to go!
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 06:31 AM
  #9  
Bob Brown
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I would select both. Now, you need to decide which one comes first!!
That way it is not an either-or decision but a question of arranging priorities. The one you don't go to becomes a promise to be kept!!

I think some of it depends on how good you are at getting around using buses and subway systems. I find that I can get around in Paris quite well. London is navigable, too, but I felt that Paris was a little easier.

Also, I think your available time and willingness to prepare ahead is a factor. Because I don't speak French, I felt the need to prepare much more extensively before I got to Paris. Although I studied the maps and guide books for both places, I felt that in London I could always augment my knowledge by asking questions of just about anyone. I did not feel that I had that option in Paris. Being able to ask for help at any time can be a very vital factor.

I think my preference would be slightly toward Paris. The reasons given above for selecting it are all excellent. I have had two great trips recently to Paris. On neither one did I feel like I was about to break the bank. We stayed in a nice 3 star hotel and took day trips to places like Giverny, Versailles and Vaux le Vicomte.
Other than the air fare to get to the destination, I can visit Paris more economically than I can any other major city that I know of in the USA, Canada, or Western Europe. In terms of return on the tourist dollar spent, I think Paris is your best choice.

As you can see it is like selecting between two fine new cars.
Do you want a Toyota Avalon or a BMW 528i??
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 06:31 AM
  #10  
Patricia Bonaguro
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Sherri,

I went to London and Paris two years ago and honestly I loved both, but Paris was my favorite.
It is beautiful and romantic. The sight seeing and the art galleries are great. I loved the cafes and I think you will find the nightlife you want. If you go make sure you take the boat ride on the Seine, the late one. Paris at night is amazing. The problem is the language. I personally didn't mind it, but other people I know did.
London is very hip and cosmopolitan. New York doesn't have much on London. The sight seeing and history were very good, there is a pub on practically every corner and I know there is an abundance of clubs, so you will definately have no problem with nightlife. Read up on both and Enjoy!
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 06:52 AM
  #11  
Jane
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Another vote for Paris! I think London is too similar to America in terms of language, culture, etc. Going to Paris will make you feel like, well, you are in a whole other country! You'll love walking along the Seine, sitting at the cafes, and just absorbing the fact that you are in one of the world's most beautiful cities.

I wouldn't let the language barrier stop you either. I speak no French but both times I've been, Parisians have been beyond friendly. A few key phrases such as "Bonjour" and "Merci" were enough to get any sort of help you need. Have a great trip and keep us posted about what you decide!
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 07:15 AM
  #12  
Laura
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Hi Sherri,

You have asked which city we would rather return to and why. London, hands down...much larger city, so much more to do,plenty of art galleries and other museums, lots of antiques AND you can understand the antique dealer, much more welcoming to Americans (French are friendly but not nearly so as the English)...gorgeous countryside and so much easier to understand how to get out there (I do not speak French!)

However, I would not spend the entire seven days in London. I would stay three days in London, then for the next two or three days take day trips..Bath, St. Albans, York, Stratford..then back to London for the final day or two.

Visiting Europe is absorbing, intimidating, confusing, exhausting, exhilarating, and very, very satisfying......but(assuming you are not fluent in French)I think it is better for the first time if you can communicate easily and understand the menus, the street signs and the underground, the actors in the plays, the guides in the museums, the people you ask for help or directions, those at the reception desk at your hotel, in the pubs and the wine bars, the salesclerks, etc.

Once you have been to England, then visiting the other European countries is so much easier and satisfying. And I think you will appreciate Paris more then because you will be more relaxed.

I have two daughters....one 24 and one 27 and each has been to London several times and three times to Paris...and they both think you will enjoy London more than Paris if this is your first time in Europe. "Tell her first London, THEN Paris" they said. In fact, one suggested you stay the first four days in London, then go to Paris for the last three. Very easy to do.

By the way, British Air has a division that sets up packages such as 4 days in London and 3 in Paris including air, transfers, hotels, a dinner, and a play for around a thousand dollars. My 27-year old went on one for a week with a friend to London, and another year on one to Paris for a week (that one also had a voucher for a day tour to the Loire Valley and one for Giverney) and she thoroughly enjoyed both trips!
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 07:34 AM
  #13  
Mr. Go
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I think Laura makes a good point. For a seasoned European traveller, I would give the nod to Paris in a heartbeat...but for a first-timer, you're probably better off going to London. Unless you can speak some French already.
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 07:52 AM
  #14  
lisa
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I enjoy Paris MUCH more than London, although I like London too. To me, the best thing about London is theatre. For everything else (cafes, shopping, sights, art, etc.), I like Paris better. However, if you are truly torn between them, you could easily split your week between London and Paris and see both (3 nights London, 4 nights Paris).
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 12:14 PM
  #15  
clairoobscur
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Just to say that contrarily to the two last posters, I would advise you not to split your week between the two cities. Stay the whole week in one or the other.

You'll have more time to prepare your incoming trip and so have a better understanding of the place you're about to visit, you'll be less rushed while there, you'll be able to visit places other than the mandatory "must-see", and also by the end of the week you'll have develloped a little familiarity with your surroundings, which is quite pleasant.

(and of course, though travelling between London and paris is quick and convenient, even half a day is a lot of time in a short week of vacations)
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 12:36 PM
  #16  
Scott McDonald
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Choose Paris

Scott
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 12:41 PM
  #17  
Ursula
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sherri:

please let us know about your final decision, will you?
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 12:54 PM
  #18  
Diane
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If this is your first trip to Europe and you've been saving for a long time, I think it's safe to say you won't be getting back there for a long while. So my vote is to go to both. Fly into one city and fly out of the other. Spend four nights in one and three nights in the other, starting the trip in London. London because it is easier to adjust to the culture shock more easily as people/signs are in English. Both locations are wonderful -- you can't go wrong.
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 01:07 PM
  #19  
Gigi
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Hi, Sherri!
Without question, Paris, Paris, Paris, for all the reasons stated above. I wouldn't split the trip, however. One week in either city is just a start.

Their are many daytrips out of each city. I would try to arrange to go to the Loire Valley and stay overnight. You will have a sense of the country and see some beautiful chateaus.
Good Luck, let us know what you decide.
Gigi
 
Old Jul 17th, 2001, 01:37 PM
  #20  
Judy
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Which would I choose, hhmmmmm? My mind(London) or my heart(Paris)? Still a toss up for me......
My husband says Paris......and the(to me)winner is BOTH. I am sorry, no help from me....Solomon I would have to be <g>. Judy
 

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