10 days including flight days.. Please help plan detailed itinerary for London/Paris in late March/Early April.
Fly into London
Stay 5 nights https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/england/london-itinerary
Train to Paris
Stay 4 nights https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/paris-itinerary
Fly out of Paris
There are endless possibilities for your 10 days. It really boils down to your personal interests. What interests me may or may not interest you. Check out some guidebooks to start piecing together an itinerary with things that appeal to you and come back to get advice for any questions you may have.
We are first time visitors of London and want to see the main sights. My husband has never been to Paris so would also like to see the main sights in including the Louvre. There are 4 of us traveling and I'm thinking of book air bnb's like we did in Italy, but I am not sure where to stay (i.e. central location). I am also not sure if we should book private tours or do bus tours etc. I was in Paris many many years ago and visited sites on my own. We just want the main highlights etc.
Again, get guidebooks for each of the cities and look at the links provided above. Each city has too many "main sights" to see in the short time you will be there. So you will have to choose the ones that interest you most.
As for accommodations, yes, it's a good idea to look for one that is fairly central. Just as important ( and sometimes more important), is being close to an Underground or Metro station. The main tourist attractions are quite spread out in both cities, so using their excellent (when running) transportation systems will save you time.
By bus tours, if you mean the HOHO type, I think they're a huge time waste in both cities due to heavy vehicular traffic. Local buses (or Underground/Metro) will get you from place to place faster due to their frequency. But do consider a Seine cruise in Paris.
10 days including flight days
So that means 8 days on the ground? If so really 7 days as you’ll be jet lagged on day 1. And a day to travel between the cities means 6 days. Consider narrowing this to either London or Paris. If you want to do both get Ricks books on both cities, read cover to cover, know you cannot see everything and choose what is most important. Really narrow your choices or you’ll run around trying to see too much and your memories will be a blur and your dogs will be barking.
hey hey tdsrn2001
are your flights multi-city or roundtrip from london? are you flying from the USA? your 10 days turns in to 8 days, first day there you may have jetlag and last day is your flight home, which leaves you 6 days on the ground. i would stay in one city, you will be rushing, slowing down is best to enjoy. if you are doing round trip london, you need to back track to london which takes up another day, down to 5. check your arrival and departure times, can you check in early or late, is their luggage hold until check in. be careful renting airbnb's in paris. they need to have a 13 digit license number to be legal. search on the forum here for the crackdown of short term apartments. if there is not a number, illegal, and you may possibly lose your deposit and not have an apartment for you.
i know this is not what you want to hear but it's facts. rooms are small in europe, look for family rooms with 2beds (doubles) or 1 double and 2 twins. some places are for only 2 or 3, you have to inform of all people sleeping in room, if not they don't have to accept you.
if you're taking eurostar to paris book it early for budget friendly prices, the later you book the more expensive, your budget in euros, dates. the folks here on the forum will give you the best advice including good bad and ugly. hope this gives you more information what you are looking for.
Book the train early to find the best prices. For Airbnb, no need to stay central, as long as the place is close to a metro station. If you book in the centre the prices are accordingly. We stayed in an Airbnb in the 18 th Arr. and the metro made it the perfect spot for connecting to all the sights.
Having spent a fair bit of time in both cities here are my thoughts for what they are worth..
With 7 full days I would lean towards choosing one city - both have more than enough things to interest everyone for 7 days. However, if your heart is set on both, do 3 days in London and 3 in Paris with a day in between to get from London to Paris and fly home out of Paris. If you choose this option, bear in mind that you will only get a "taste" and, to be honest, won't really have a "feel" for either city. However, sometimes that is all you need to decide whether or not it is a place you'd like to return to.
So, if you choose to split your time between the two cities, I would recommend staying at hotels in both - the key to doing both cities successfully is to minimize mechanics as much as possible.
Mayfair, Bloomsbury, Westminster and Covent Garden would all be good choices for accommodation in London. When researching hotels, being close to a tube stop (on the circle line if possible) will be an advantage.
As to what to see, as others have said, it really comes down to personal preference. I'd have each member of your party come up with a list and then you can prioritize from there. With 4 of you, if two wish to see one thing and two wish to see another, you can easily split up. As for planning, I generally go with one major site in the morning and one in the afternoon. I typically list other things of interest by each one to visit if time/energy allow.
Two things I'd recommend in London - London walks (www.londonwalks.com) has a large number of walking tours - no reservations required. Just show up at the appointed time and place. They have a number of evening tours which might suit so you can make the most of your time. Second suggestion - if you enjoy live theatre, London has quite a bit. Tickets can be purchased in Leceister Square - there are 3 or 4 ticket sellers and in my experience, they are all about the same.
As for Paris, the 1st, 4th, 5th or 6th arrondissements would be good areas for a hotel location. As for seeing the Louvre, purchase your tickets in advance and use the Passage Richelieu entrance. Good luck and happy travels!!!
Add more time if you want to visit both cities. If you only have eight days, visit one city.
With such a short time on the ground, I’d be inclined to just pick one country and maybe see a second city in that country. At least for London, I’d be prepared to dismiss the Air BNB idea. Perhaps it’ll work, but a long commute daily can get annoying,
especially since you can’t stop by to drop things off or allow someone to take a break.
Hopefully you’ll have good weather, but be prepared for endless cold rain as well in London.
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ok thanks and I was thinking of just going to London for a week instead. I am concerned of endless cold rain in March though. I guess I'll just get the guide book and see. Thanks for the tips of Air bnb's. They worked so well in Italy but I guess its not the same.
You would be unlucky to get "endless cold rain" even in March.
The main features of British weather are its unpredictability and its changability. It's not often particularly extreme. So if you don't like what you have now wait a couple of hours and you probably have something different.
The weather can be quite pleasant in March but be prepared for bit of rain, with a decent waterproof coat and layers, and you will be fine.
I agree with Jazz (1st post). London and Paris are very easy to do in a week. I've done this easily and comfortably. I would recommend getting your hotels nearish to the outgoing and incoming train stations for ease. These cities are quite different from each other as well so it will change up your vacation a little. You don't have to see everything in each city on your first visit. You will get enough of each to know if you want to return and for how long. This is exactly what I did with my daughter when she was a teenager and she ended up living in both these cities for an extended period as an adult, so just a taste can be good.
I'm not a "tour" guy. And every time I do take a "tour" (typically in conjunction with a cruise company ... ), I find that the "overhead" and delays for slow members and repeated questions from inattentive customers greatly limit the actual content-yield of a tour. So I think that having so little time for the two major cities of Europe (... Opinion) works against buying tours to save your planning work. I'm concerned about the fact that you are asking for a "detailed itinerary" to be prepared for you. If you leave the quality of your trip to others, you won't get the best possible trip for YOU TWO. (You didn't even say how many or what ages.)
On the first joint trip to Europe, my wife and I spent a week in London and a week in Paris, which was not remotely enough time in either city. The weather could be dreary in March/April, but I think it rained part of every day on our first trip to Paris, in June!
f just going to London for a week instead. I am concerned of endless cold rain in March though.
It rains more in Paris.
I’ll add to the pile on of picking just one city. Assuming an overnight flight from the USA, arrival day is likely to be a jet lagged haze. Departure day is a throwaway day as well, maybe you’ll have time for some last minute souvenirs.
You could consider bookending London with another U.K. city for a couple of days if you wanted to. Start off in London for a couple of days, travel to another city for a couple of days, then return to London to finish out the trip. I did something similar with this two years ago, 4 days (including arrival) London, two days in Liverpool, then back to London. 3 hour train ride each way from London to Liverpool plus the time packing up and getting to and from both train stations. I’m not as familiar with France so I’ll let others handle that.
Have you booked flights? In the U.K. you could fly into London and out of Manchester or Edinburgh. Birmingham might be another option as well.
I’d probably plan for a mostly indoor trip. Both France and the U.K. will likely be too cold for a lot of neighborhood strolls or walks by the river.
. I am concerned of endless cold rain in March though
The long term historic averages are 8-9 rainy days per month ( March/April). Having endless rainy days is unlikely, but .....
To do both cities, the only way to make it feasible is to fly IN to one and OUT the other.
I'm unsure what the one poster is referring to when he talks about long commutes when using AirBnB. Plenty of options in London available. However I would recommend https://londonconnection.com/ if looking for an apartment. It's a company based out of Seattle with plenty of locations in London. We stayed in Covent Garden which has very good access to the Underground to get to any sites you want to see and plenty of restaurants within a short walk of wherever you stay once your back from a tiring day of exploring.
As for sites, I too, recommend some research on your own using a guidebook. My favourites were the Tower Of London, Westminster Abbey and Hampton Court Palace. Secondary sites that I loved were the London Museum and if you're travelling with any James Bond fans check out the London Film Museum which has a great exhibition on actual Bond vehicles used in the movies. It's a fun couple of hours. We went there our first day on our way to eat and get groceries as we kept ourselves moving to battle jet lag. Across the street is our favourite restaurant in London, San Carlo Cicchetti.
One poster above mentioned London Walks. Highly recommend you check them out. Especially loved their tour of Westminster Abbey.
It depends on if you are looking for a "whistle stop" type of tour or if you want to really see as much as you can in one city to get it know it better. We did both in about a week, on a very last-minute spontaneous trip. Started in Paris and stayed for 3 nights. Toured the Louvre, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triumphe, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Trocadero area. We also went to an aviation museum outside of the city. We did the hop-on/hop-off bus tour and got really annoyed that it took so long to get around in traffic and we sat and waited at each stop for about 10 or 15 minutes. We stayed at a Holiday Inn not too far from the Place de Concorde, and it was pretty easy to get around from there.
We took the Eurostar up to London and stayed 3 or 4 nights there. We went to the British Museum, Science Museum, Buckingham Palace, Tate Modern and the Tower of London. We saw the Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, and went up in the London Eye. We also saw a production at the Globe Theater, which was pretty cool. We stayed at a Doubletree hotel in Islington. It was a little bit outside of city center, but we could commute in on the tube or bus fairly quickly.
It's completely possible to do both in the time that you have, if you prioritize what you want to see.
We're actually planning another trip to both cities next fall to see some of the things that we didn't get to see on the last trip, and add in a few day trips. For example, we're looking to visit Stonehenge, Canterbury and Dover on day trips from London. And Versailles and Normandy from Paris. We'll be there for nearly two weeks this time. I agree with the others that have posted to get a good guide book and start prioritizing what you want to see. I also use viator.com just to get an idea of the different activities and tours available in each city as a starting place. Once I have an idea of the tours that interest us, I'll shop around for different agencies online to find itinerary and price options. Or, if that's too intimidating to self-plan (judging by your original post that may be the case), look for an agency that can help piece together an itinerary for you.
London, London, London.
Been going since the 70’s. Always changing, always the same.
Do note that the iconic Elizabeth’s Tower ( always incorrectly referenced as Big Ben which is the bell) is in scaffolding and will be for another year if not longer. You can see the clock face though.
It’s a great city to explore. Yes the main sites but also places like:
Spitafields, Mercado Mayfair, the parks, Coal Drop yards, Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Thames path, Greenwich, Alexander Fleming Museum, etc., etc, etc.