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Where to travel too?!

Old Apr 13th, 2020, 12:04 PM
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Where to travel too?!

Hi all! In May 2021 as a graduation gift (bachelors) I will be traveling with my mom! We have picked London and Paris so far but do not know what to do next. We will be going for 10 days, planning on 3 days in London, 3 in Paris, and then 3 extra days. We have no idea where to go from Paris. I really want to go somewhere in Italy or maybe Spain, my mom would love to go to Amsterdam or Ireland.

I did not include flying days as we would be in airport, dates are leave Thursday night arrive Friday , then leave Sunday night get home Monday..

Any recommendations would be awesome!

We love shopping and wine, so maybe somewhere that has good wine tasting tours? Never been anywhere besides Islands for vacations so I am very excited!

Thanks in advance
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Old Apr 13th, 2020, 12:24 PM
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Congratulations!

"dates are leave Thursday night arrive Friday , then leave Sunday night get home Monday.."

So you actually have Sat-Sat for actual usable time. At very most you'd have half a day on the Friday arrival but with jet lag, transfer, logistics Friday will be pretty much a 'non-day'. And your departure day on Sunday will be mostly taken up with packing, checking out, transfer, and airport security. Depending on the time of your flight out you might be able to squeeze in something but don't plan on it. And you lose half a day traveling from London to Paris.

To get 3 full day in London requires 4 nights and the same for Paris . . . you do the math. Stick to just London and Paris

Be sure to book open jaw flights (in to London and home from Paris) - otherwise you'll lose another day getting back to LHR.
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Old Apr 13th, 2020, 12:24 PM
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well, that is exciting for a first trip. I know it is natural to want to see a lot of places when you haven't been to any yet. However, your timr frame is not really that big, so I really really think you should keep the 3rd place an easy train trip from the others. That is not possible with Spain or Italy. Save them for another trip, they are too far away from London and Paris with only 9 days. Even Dublin involves a flight, I believe, from London, rather than some other method. I flew into Dublin once from the US which is easy, and then took a flight to Edinburgh. I don't think there is any quick trip between Dublin and London.

So that leaves Amsterdam which is really easy by train from Paris. London-Paris-Amsterdam is a real classic combo.

Of course Amsterdam isn't known for wine or shopping as far as I know, but has some other attractions of interest. If you don't go to another country, you could conceivably do some wine tasting thing in France as an alternate. One way would be to take the train from Paris to maybe Dijon and there are some day tours from there to wineries. The problem is that isn't a great point for departure, no big airport. I don't know about this winery thing, maybe just doesn't work with the other cities. If you have to do that (I"m sure you don't really), I'd go to Dijon right from London -- I think you have to transfer trains in Paris, though, but the train is so quick to Paris, the entire trip would only be about 5 hrs by train. DO the winery thing THEN take the train to end up in Paris as a good place to fly home.
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Old Apr 13th, 2020, 12:33 PM
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Thank you!
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Old Apr 13th, 2020, 01:27 PM
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For wine tasting I would choose a different wine bar at each end of your days in Paris. This will give you a greater choice of wines and regions than what is offered in a single winery or even several in the same region.

I would choose Amsterdam as the "filler",

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Old Apr 13th, 2020, 01:48 PM
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With 8+ days, I would just visit London and Paris. Four days in each for first visits isn't really much time for all that there is to see/do.

IMO, wine tasting tours are another trip to different places. You're young. You will travel to Europe again.
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Old Apr 13th, 2020, 02:00 PM
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nice photos, I personally agree that I'd rather do Amsterdam than go to some place just for winery reasons. I really like wine a lot, but have zero interest in visiting a winery, actually, don't get that thing people do. I don't see the point unless you are buying in bulk or something. I agree with the wine bar idea, there are lots of good wine bars in Paris. It might be more fun, also, and there is a company that does a special wine tasting thing.

here's an article with some ideas
https://www.foodandwine.com/travel/e...ine-bars-paris

another good list
Wine Bars ? Paris by Mouth

this is the company that does a special wine tasting deal
https://o-chateau.com/en/

I think that would be a lot of fun to do, and your mother shouold enhjoy it also. I think it would actually be more fun than visiting a real winery, but I guess I'm biased on that point as it doesn't interest me. And yes, I have done it in Napa Valley.
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Old Apr 13th, 2020, 02:23 PM
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" . . . there are lots of good wine bars in Paris. " . . . and in London for that matter.

With just over one week total on the ground, I simply don't see trying to squeeze in Amsterdam or any other city. You picked London and Paris first so do London and Paris - and even that would be a pretty hectic trip.
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Old Apr 13th, 2020, 05:10 PM
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Friday, arrive London, jet lagged, get settled into hotel by noon. Do some orientation walking.
Sat, Sun, Mon - London
Tuesday, Day trip to Hampton Court or Long day trip to Bath.
Wed. Travel to Paris, settle in, visit one Museum or walking orientation
Thur, Day trip to. Versailles
Fri, Sat, 1/2 day Sunday - Paris

or give Paris a bit more time.

Friday, arrive London, jet lagged, get settled, do walking tour, self guided
Sat., Sun., Mon. - London
Tue. travel to Paris
Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat. - Paris (one day trip)
depart Sunday.

Either way, no time really for another place.
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Old Apr 13th, 2020, 08:33 PM
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The problem isn't the distance it's the time factor. With only eight days trying to add anything when you already have two large cities isn't going to work.

But the flight from Paris to Madrid,Barcelona or Rome isn't much worse than the train from London to Paris.
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Old Apr 13th, 2020, 10:09 PM
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"But the flight from Paris to Madrid,Barcelona or Rome isn't much worse than the train from London to Paris. "

Big (very big) difference is the Eurostar train is less than 2.5 hours city centre to city centre where as a flight requires an hour out to the airport, 2 hours advance check in/security, the 2 - 2.5 hour flight, Immigration/passport control, and hour from the airport to your hotel -- so essentially 2 to 3X longer
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Old Apr 13th, 2020, 10:25 PM
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No immigration or passport control normally. BCN airport even by bus is maybe 30 minutes to the centre. Time to/from the hotel assumes you're staying near the station. Not everybody will be.

Total time you're looking at a morning either way. If I catch an early flight from Rome to Barcelona my big problem is arriving before check in time.
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Old Apr 14th, 2020, 04:03 AM
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Try to get a flight that arrives very early morning. You can actually got a lot done in the first day. That has been my mode of operation, and it's worked very well for me. Drop off your bags at the hotel and go. Get out of the hotel before check-in. You may have to push yourself, but if you can get on a regular sleep pattern, sooner is better. As a young first-timer, you will be very excitied. Don't plan on getting off to a slow start or lounging around.
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Old Apr 14th, 2020, 04:17 AM
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Yes we would like to get a flight that lands 6:30am the day we get there, my mom always books flights for her boss to London so she knows the area pretty well! Still have a few weeks to figure everything out but buying plane tickets soon as we can! Thank you everyone!
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Old Apr 14th, 2020, 05:24 AM
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MMC25,
Congratulations on completing your degree! We took our daughter to Rome when she graduated.

I agree with Jean.

Stick to London and Paris. If you begin with that premise, and do some researching with that in mind, you will find a world of sights in the cities themselves, and in the surrounding areas. You won't run out of interesting things to see and do. If you find you want to leave the city, there are plenty of options. Why stress yourself out trying to cram in as much as humanly possibly? You will want to return and explore more of Europe after this trip.

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Old Apr 14th, 2020, 06:51 AM
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Congratulations on your upcoming graduation!

I’m also in the camp that says to stick to London and Paris! There is so much to see in each of those places that you won’t be bored. And it’s easy enough to take day trips from either of the cities, if you want to get a feel for another place.

I do understand the desire to see as much as possible, but you truly don’t have a long time in either place, so I encourage you to consider flying into one city and leaving from the other. And taking the Eurostar between the 2 is easy and doesn’t require another schlep out to the airport.
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Old Apr 14th, 2020, 07:05 AM
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I would set most planning aside for at least 3-6 months. I assume that you are not European, and Europe -- at least the EU -- is completely closed to non Europeans until further notice.
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Old Apr 14th, 2020, 07:14 AM
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I would feel rushed just visiting London and Paris in that timeframe, but if you absolutely have to fit something else in (why???), then Amsterdam is the obvious choice. You absolutely don't have time for Italy or Spain.

I also don't get the allure of a wine tour. With only 8 days I really can't see faffing around for a half a day or so looking at vines and sipping and spitting. Just pop into a nice wine bar in either city.

Definitely purchase open-jaw tickets (probably best into London and out of Paris). And get advance tickets for those things you absolutely have to see in each city.

Congratulations on graduation and have a wonderful trip.
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Old Apr 14th, 2020, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mmc25 View Post
Yes we would like to get a flight that lands 6:30am the day we get there, my mom always books flights for her boss to London so she knows the area pretty well! Still have a few weeks to figure everything out but buying plane tickets soon as we can! Thank you everyone!

A 6:30 AM flight doesn't help or add much/any usable time really on your arrival day. Your hotel won't likely let you check in til early/mid afternoon at the very earliest. So you have to schlep in to town, leave your bags at the hotel, wander around in a fog for several hours, return to the hotel to check in and refresh in the afternoon. And if staying in an apartment its even harder since you usually can't leave your luggage until the afternoon check in time. So you'd have to head to one of the major train stations in central London and pay (quite a lot) to leave your luggage, go back to the train station to retrieve the bags, then travel to the flat to check in. Just sayin' arrival day after a overnight flight is a pain . . . a walk through a park (assuming it isn't pouring down with rain) and such is about it. And early-ish dinner, and to bed by 9 or 10 and you'll be ready to hit the ground running the next morning. Or at least be able to function
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Old Apr 14th, 2020, 01:59 PM
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Even though you are planning a year in advance (May 2021) I would not purchase anything at this time that is not fully refundable. Everyone needs to wait and see when and how travel restrictions ease up to allow safe international travel again.

But for planning purposes, and with 7-8 days on the ground London and Paris are perfect. Squeeze in Amsterdam if you really want to add a third place. Save Italy and Spain for their own separate trip(s) in the future.

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