My husband and I are planning a trip to Europe in late May into the first of June for 10 days not including travel days. We are going into Paris for 3-4 days for business/pleasure and 1 session at the French Open, We would like to go to 1 or two other cities during our trip, what do you recommend and why? Never been to Europe before and a bit naive on what to do...
It would be very easy to take the Eurostar to London. Lots to see and do there, as well as LOTS of day trips you can do by train. Windsor, Bath, York, Stratford-upon-Avon, Cardiff, Brighton, Winchester, Canterburry, Dover, Oxford, Cambridge, etc. In late May, early June, the gardens should be lovely and the weather, too. And USAir sometimes has excellent fares back to Charlotte. If you are interested, I'll gladly send you a copy of an aritcle I wrote for AAA Carolina's "Go!" magazine a few years ago about basing in London and doing day trips by train. Just Private Message me with your email.
London is 2.5 hours away by Eurostar, downtown to downtown. Cheap if you book well in advance too!
Amsterdam is 3.5 hours away by train, can be cheap, once again, IF you book early enough. Second class is great on both. Personally with total of 10 days you could do 5 in Paris, or 6 if you wish to daytrip out to Versailles or Riems etc, and then 4-5 days somewhere else. I personally am not into two day visits, but many are so would choose a more amibitious touring schedule. Its all up to you . And if you can, book airline ticket open jaw,, saves you backtracking, you could fly into Paris ,, and say out of Rome,, 5 days in Paris and Rome, now that sounds nice. Paris to Rome take Vueling or Easyjet. Its only a 1.5 hour flight but travel will encompass about 5-6 hours when you count in commuting to airports and waiting for flight, still not bad.
Bruges is about 2.5 - 3 hours by train from Paris. It will leave you with a very favorable impression of Belgium. Trier is about 3 hours away. It's Germany's oldest city with some old Roman structures and artifacts on Germany's Mosel River, the most bucolic of places as you proceed downstream between Trier and Koblenz. Cochem, half way to Koblenz, is the picture-perfect old-world village: http://www.staedte-fotos.de/bilder/cochem-15691.jpg See Reichsburg Castle and Falconry show - photos: http://www.falknerei-reichsburg-cochem.de/fotobuch.htm Burg Eltz Castle is great: http://wwww.burg-eltz.de
Do you already have your plane tickets?
let me say I am very jealous about the French Open, I'm a big tennis fan. Go Nadal and Stosur! You could easily spend the whole 10 days in France or I like the idea of going to London too. If you wanted to you could tour the Wimbledon grounds and really make it a tennis vacation. (I did the tour a couple of years ago)
London itself is fantastic, lots to see and do.
Thanks for all the comments, there are very helpful and definitely given me a place to start my planning. We are flying out of Charlotte, NC
Another vote for London! So much to see and do. I would definitely recommend the Eurostar instead of flying, that's what I did and it was such a rookie mistake because although the flight itself was short, the time we spent getting to Luton early for the flight, then negotiating our way from DuGaul to our hotel turned out to be an 8 hour ordeal because our flight was delayed 3 hours. P.S. Toni, my maiden name is Nadal! So happy that now people can pronounce it properly. Although I'm not related to Rafa, I do have an aunt named Rafaela!