Trip planning to Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg

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Oct 16th, 2017, 01:24 PM
  #1
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Trip planning to Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg

Hello Fodorites,
We are a couple from Los Angeles and in our early 50's planning an itinerary to Europe. We have 10 days off and we'd like to go to Paris, Lyon and Strasbourg. We love good food, wine, sights and countryside. We're debating on what month to go when there's not much crowds. Probably Oct or November 2018. Any suggestions will be much appreciated.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 01:32 PM
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Car or train?

With only 10 days and three large cities fairly far apart take the train - book tickets well in advance at www.voyages-sncf.com - check www.seat61.com for sage advice on this - for general info on French trains also www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

I'd say earlier the better in fall weatherwise and Lyon and Strasbourg just two days at most - maybe do day trips from either. Colmar and Alsace wine towns a natural from Strasbourg - may want to stay in Colmar a night.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 01:58 PM
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10 FULL days in France or 10 days starting and ending in LA = 8 nights = 7 full days? If latter, 3 destinations would be tough.

Is crowd the only factor you are considering?

If foliage is a part of your fall country side experience, for Alsace it is usually the beginning of October and the end for Paris. Are you ruling out end of November-December? You can hit the Christmas market in Strasbourg.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 02:15 PM
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If you're really into a special dining experience, a highlight of our trip to Lyon was a visit to Paul Bocuse...3 Michelin stars.

https://www.bocuse.fr/en/paul-bocuse-restaurant.html

The whole area around the Rhone valley is very beautiful. Also north of Lyon towns like Beaune are well worth a visit.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 05:35 PM
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10 days in France, We are taking the train. So it’s ok to spend 5days in Paris, day trip to Lyon? How many days in Strasbourg or colmar?? Really appreciate your inputs
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Oct 16th, 2017, 09:11 PM
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You can do a day trip to Lyon in about 2 hours. If you can afford it, go to Paul Bocuse. If not, go to any good "bouchon". Frankly, I'd combine it with a trip to Dijon and stay overnight.

Strasbourg - if you want to go to the Christmas markets you can go from 24 November through 24 December 2017.
Colmar's is 24 November through 30 December 2017.

It depends on what you want to see in Strasbourg or Colmar.
If you're into cathedrals, Strasbourg is a good choice.
Colmar has a lot of little rivers and hills to explore, if you enjoy hiking.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 09:13 PM
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If you are thinking about renting a vacation apartment, look for the 13-digit number on the website.
If it's there, it's legal.
If it isn't there, it is not.
That's really all you need to know.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 10:34 PM
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>>> So it’s ok to spend 5days in Paris, day trip to Lyon?

I think what you need is a tool to do a simple travel time arithmetic rather than coming up with an itinerary and waiting for someone else to do a sanity check when you can do this on your own to explore what ifs.

How you distribute days, e.g. 5 days in Paris, depends on what you want to do there. This is France. Every city has great food, wine, and sites so these are not good differentiation factors. If this is your first time, think about how many times you might come to France in the future. If you are taking LAX-CDG-LAX direct flights, any of your future flights would land and depart in Paris requiring stay in Paris at least at the end of EVERY one of your trip.

You can do a sanity check regarding a day trip to Lyon on your own. When can you leave Paris by train? Then consider trip time to Lyon. You can look up in www.bahn.com, www.voyages-sncf.com, etc. If you are interested in a high end restaurant like Paul Bocuse for dinner, a simple arithmetic will show you an issue with a day trip plan.
The last TGV train from Lyon departs around 9pm.
Paul Bocuse level of restaurants don't open for dinner until 7:30pm.
How much time do you need at this level of restaurant?
How long does it take you to get to the train station after dinner?
Is 7:30pm + (time to eat) + (time to get to the station) earlier than 9pm?
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Oct 16th, 2017, 11:17 PM
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I've been twice to Paul Bocuse for lunch. It was wonderful.

Your information is incorrect - the restaurant is open at 12h00 and you can reserve using TheFork.
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Oct 16th, 2017, 11:27 PM
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A wonderful surprise in Lyon was Restaurant Vatel, which is part of a renowned culinary school. Wonderful food and service. Surprising value. Be sure to make reservations.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 06:10 AM
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THANK YOU ALL!! I am taking down notes on all your ideas/inputs. @greg this is our 2nd time in Paris the 1st time was in May 2016 but only stayed for 2 days we were with a tour group. I really don't know what to expect in Lyon & Strasbourg/Colmar, I've read Colmar is a charming fairy tale-like village(and that's what interest me too)!I am relying on all your expertise/experiences because I know you all are seasoned travelers. Please let me know if I should cancel Lyon from my itinerary and spend more days in Strasbourg and Colmar.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 06:27 AM
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Paul Bauclouse's Lyon area place is well outside Lyon, right -meaning hard to do on a day trip there from Paris. Or am I wrong? My son went there and said it was well into the suburbs.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 06:30 AM
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I wouldn't drop Lyon; in fact I'd choose it over Colmar, which I'd do as a daytrip from Strasbourg. And yes, if going in mid- to late fall, I'd take trains. My experiences in Alsace at that time of year were lots of heavy, heavy fogs. I thought I was at death's door on the roads a few times.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 06:44 AM
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@StCirq Thank you! Appreciate your advise.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 06:52 AM
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@StCirq Can you recommend any hotel to stay in Lyon and Strasbourg. We are on a budget. Thanks.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 07:04 AM
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gemini, when I stay in Lyon, I stay at Hôtel La Résidence. The last few times I've been in Alsace I've stayed in Obernai, and once at some business hotel outside Strasbourg, so can't be much help there. Good luck!
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Oct 17th, 2017, 07:06 AM
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@His_Dudeness I've seen about Paul Bocuse restaurant in Youtube. Is it really expensive? How much will do you think will we spend for a dinner for 2? just a ballpark
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Oct 17th, 2017, 07:29 AM
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It isn't hard to visit Lyon by a day trip, I've done it, it's only a couple hours by train. I didn't go to Bocuse's restaurant and it is north of the city but it's only about a 10 km taxi ride away from Gare Part Dieu or place Bellecour.
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Oct 17th, 2017, 07:37 AM
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You can see the menus here, gemini 21: https://www.bocuse.fr/media/original...printemps-.pdf
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Oct 17th, 2017, 10:30 AM
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Hi @Christina, where were you base when you went on a daytrip to Lyon and what restaurant can you recommend?

@StCirq Thank you! I love this site. You are all very HELPFUL!!
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