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London to Paris (Please Help)

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Miami, Florida
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London to Paris (Please Help)

Hello,

My husband and I are planning to travel to London and Paris (and surrounding areas) in late April / early May of 2014. We are planning on about 10-12 days. How would you divide the time?

I would love to open the discussion to suggestions, day trips, restaurants, sites, opinions on weather during that time, etc... that you all recommend for first timers.

We are also considering a day trip to Brussels. Do you think that's worth a day trip by train?

Some facts about us:

- We Love Food AND Wine

- We like history

- Age Group: 25 - 30

- We will be celebrating our anniversary

- We are from Miami, FL

Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions!

- Christy

California
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1. Re: London to Paris (Please Help)

Hi Christy!

I'm actually headed to London and Paris this December/Jan. My boyfriend and I will be spending one week in London and two weeks in France, mostly just because I love Paris so very much. Brussels is an easy train ride from Paris and we plan on doing that as well. It really depends on what you like to do. You could easily spend half the time in London and half in Paris. I know I'll enjoy doing more in France than England, so that's why we set ourselves up for 15 full days in Paris and only 7 in London.

London has a ton of great history (so does Paris), and I'm sure you would enjoy seeing the British Museum, Tower of London, etc. I thought Paris was amazing for all the art museums (I'm an avid art lover).

No matter what you choose I think you'll have an amazing time!

Cheers,

Cathy

Paris, France
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2. Re: London to Paris (Please Help)

Do fly open-jaws, into one city and home from the other. This way you save money and time by not needing to backtrack to your arrival city. I'd probably start in London (well actually, I'd skip London and spend some time outside of Paris instead) and then take the Eurostar and fly home from Paris.

In the days before the internet and TA I used to go to the library and load up on travel books to decide what I wanted to see. I'd suggest you do some of that research on your own and then post here for more or similar suggestions.

los angeles
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3. Re: London to Paris (Please Help)

When you book your airfare, make sure to purchase an "open jaw" (multiple destination) ticket. Fly into London and home from Paris (of course you could reverse that order), and take the Eurostar in-between cities. That saves you time (no need to get back to the 1st city in order to do the round trip flight).

I think it's easier to make London the first stop. Get over your jet lag in an English speaking coutry--it just makes things a little bit easier, a tad more accessible. Plus (my opinion), you could be a tiny bit "disappointed" by London if you've seen Paris first. *tiny*

Do you mean you plan of being gone a total of 10 to 12 days, or that you will actually spend 10 to 12 nights divided between London and Paris? If you are thinking that you will have less than 5 nights in Paris, I wouldn't plan on day trips. IMO Brussels is ok, but I wouldn't give up a "needed" day in either London or Paris to see Brussels. Unless there is something in Brussels that is a special draw for you, I think you will appreciate your time in either of the other cities more. This becomes especially true if 10 to 12 days means 8 to 10 days of actually being in your destinations (subtracting 2 days for travel time).

Washington DC...
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4. Re: London to Paris (Please Help)

It is very easy to go one-way from London to Paris on the Eurostar--we did that last month, flying to LHR and home from CDG. We have been to Brussels a couple of times; it is OK but in my mind, the extra time in London/Paris is better spent in London or Paris. If you have extra time, Oxford is a nice day trip from London on the train, not expensive and you can be back to your hotel by bedtime. From Paris, there are day trips by bus (or on your own by train) to Champagne, or trips to Versailles and even Giverney. Or you can fill quite a lot of time in Paris itself! Have a great trip. Skip Euro-Disney unless you are a real Disney fan and want to compare it :)

London, UK
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5. Re: London to Paris (Please Help)

Another practical reason for going to London first and returning from Paris is that the UK airport departure tax, which s included in ticket prices, is quite high. One possibility would be to take the Eurostar train from London to Brussels and from there get the Thalys train from there to Paris, each leg would take about 2 hours. Eurostar booking opens about 4 months before departure and this is when the lowest prices are posted.

The weather at that time of year could be very pleasant, on the other had in two weeks you should expect at least some rain at some time.

Little Rock
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6. Re: London to Paris (Please Help)

We flew an Open jaw flight this summer. We flew into London and out of Paris. During our time in Paris, we took a Thalys train to Brussels.

Be mindful of the following: When you travel from London to Paris by Eurostar, it's not the same as traveling by plane. You are responsible for your luggage. You must load your luggage onto the train and off the train. If you have a lot of luggage, it can become worrisome. Otherwise, the trip is quick and easy.

There is a LOT to see and do in Paris without ever leaving. We wanted to see the Brussels Grand Place light show so we traveled to Brussels. we took a walking tour and visited a museum. However, by the end of the next day,we were ready to get back to Paris.

Personally, we had LOTS more fun in Amsterdam. Hmmm, something to consider. ;-)

Paris
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7. Re: London to Paris (Please Help)

I would skip Brussels and take the Eurostar from London to Paris (2 hours 20 minutes).

Denver, Colorado
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8. Re: London to Paris (Please Help)

Oh!!! Two of my favorite cities!!!

I personally would split it evenly. London has GREAT art, if you like modern art, it blows Paris out of the water! (Tate Modern - I could live inside that place. Saatchi Gallery - a MUST even if you just *like* modern art..Virginia & Albret...Somerset...)...Unlike the Paris art museums, many of the London ones are free.

artlyst.com/resource-articles/top-15-art-gal…

timeout.com/london/…free-museums-in-london

One thing I would say about London vs. Paris is London is bigger so it's harder to "stumble" onto amazing stuff - so really do your research and plan your days. I think London beats Paris on: shopping, art, and DEFINITELY nightlife, and more youthful/vibrant atmosphere! (And how fun to take a picture with the royal family at the Tussaud Musem :-))

Paris is more quaint, with well-preserved lavish architecture and much more compact so walking around is more awe-inspiring. Also good shopping, with a more bohemian style, I would say....Paris is just eye candy ;-)

If you are interested in wine, instead of Brussels or Amsterdam, I would plan a day-or-two to visit the wine country in Paris. I really wanted to go to Burgundy on our last trip, but will have to go next time...Or, visit Reims (easy day trip) and drink champagne! Versailles is a *must* visit for Paris - amazing beauty, great historic significance for all of Europe really...

So maybe I would break it like this:

4-5 days - London (tons of options for side trips there too!)

5-6 days - Paris (including a day in Versailles)

2 days - side trip to Burgundy

Edited: 7:01 pm, August 01, 2013
Texas
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9. Re: London to Paris (Please Help)

What a great informative thread!

I too am researching a trip to London & Paris for the Mr and I for 14 days in June 2014. The only difference is we want to take a side trip to Normandy. Right now I am 'haunting' TA, reading guidebooks, studying maps, and taking LOTS of notes! There is SO much that we want to see and do we are going to have to prioritize!

Good luck with your planning!

Denver, Colorado
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10. Re: London to Paris (Please Help)

I got too excited earlier. The V&A museum in London is of course Victoria & Albert (post #8) Sorry for my ignorance!

teacher91, if you go to Normandy, visit Mont St Michel too!