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Is Paris & London enough for a single trip?

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Is Paris & London enough for a single trip?

hey all,

I've posted in this thread and in the Italy forum about my plans for Italy / Switzerland / France / England- covering mostly cities such as Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Zurich, Paris & London as well as St. Moritz.

Whilst I didn't have a time frame then, I do now. I can only be out of Australia for 28 days (including flight days). So I'm thinking that I can't go everywhere I wanted to. I'll be turning 24 at the end of the year, so there's always the future for me to travel in.

I'm kind of tempted to just do Paris and London, and spend more time there (like 8-12 days in each city). Take it slow as well- I have a disability (bipolar & asperger's) which mean lower energy. Whilst it would be nice to buzz around Europe, I need to consider what's best for me and my safety.

However, this feels wasteful. Airfares from Australia... for 2 cities? Are Paris & London that great to merit such a trip? I think they look fantastic. I was thinking of taking day trips to places such as Bath and Versailles. But let's not pretend Australia is next door to those cities.

I really want to go overseas at the end of the year. I don't want to 'hold it off' or anything like that. I like Europe, I like winter. I just worry that if I do too much- it will take a toll on my mental health, and the whole trip will be a 'blur' where I don't remember much in the future.

24 replies to this topic
India
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1. Re: Is Paris & London enough for a single trip?

Hello, Paris is awesome for even 6 months but that's me. Yes, flying all the way from Australia you look at "just" two cities, it might feel like a highly underutilized journey. Its not just you but the people who "do" Paris, London or Rome or any big city in 2 days will find it a blur.

What I'd suggest is to keep your plans a bit flexible. If you find that after 5-7 days in Paris you want to see something else, it might not be a bad idea to spend a couple of days in Normandy or even an overnight stay in Bruges. I haven't been to London yet but I guess you could do something similar there. There are lots of day trips that can be planned as well. I always think that taking things slow is the best way to travel. What is slow to me may be fast paced for you though.

Have a good trip.

Melbourne
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2. Re: Is Paris & London enough for a single trip?

Don’t think of it as airfares for just two cities, think of it as airfares for a 28 day trip. If you’re more comfortable with a slower pace then you do what suits you best. I’m sure you will find plenty to fill your days in both cities and will be able to have some rest days if it’s all getting too much for you.

Enjoy your trip whatever you decide.

Italy
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3. Re: Is Paris & London enough for a single trip?

Depending on your interests the two cities can keep you occupied but adding a third wouldn't hurt that much. Rome for example. You're still at 9+ days per city. Hardly rushing around.

Honestly with four weeks four cities isn't rushing. London and Paris are connected by rail. Fly into Venice. Spend the week. Train to Rome. Fly home.

Venice off season during the winter is better IMHO. Lower crowds. Lower costs. Weather isn't a big issue.

r c
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4. Re: Is Paris & London enough for a single trip?

welcome,

only you know how you will like or not your time there. Having low energy isnt new for many people. Just wait till you hit 50.

You can do the London/Paris trip, but you DONT have to stay in those cities either.

i saw your questions on the other posts and you got alot of comments. It appears you are going from MANY places down to 2 ???

again, you can always do DAY trips from those places or even spend time overnight(s), from those places too.

Heres a website for you.

www.seat61.com

there is ALOT of train info there and you may want to readup where you want to go and see how to get around.

also, i think i mentioned getting OPEN JAW tickets. That is where you fly into one city and out of another. Its still possible to do that on the Paris/London choice.

There is no reason you cant do several/many places, its just that you had more than what was probably possible and you had alot of DISTANCE to cover. Even with your 1 month trip, TRAVEL TIME is still a consideration and should be researched.

If you want to spend your time around the Paris/London area, theres no reason you cant do so. You can even add a few? countries/cities to your list too.

something to consider....

- London <> Edinburgh by train ~ 4.5 hours.

- London <> Paris by Eurostar ~ 2.5 hours

- Paris <> Amsterdam by train ~ 3 hours

- Paris <> Bayeux (Normandy area) by train ~ 2.5 hours

- Amsterdam <> Brussels via train ~ 1.5 hours

- Luxembourg <> Paris by train ~ 2 hours

these are the trains that i have used on my trips and some i havent listed since they were out of the area. But if you spend some time looking at nearby places, you may find that you can do alot of travel within your 28 days. Note that i spend 1 month on my trips and i usually visit 4+ country/citys but that will vary to.

this was my first trip to Europe many years ago, and i had made some mistake than, but i learn from them.

Dublin (fly to) > Edinburgh (train to) > London (train to) > Paris > Normandy > Paris (fly to) > Amsterdam. This was about a 3 week trip too. i should have taken the train from Paris > Amsterdam, but i didnt know better and ASSUMED it took too long. So now instead of ASSUMING something takes a long time, i look it up and get an better idea on the real time.

one last comment. Its YOUR TRIP, YOUR TIME, YOUR MONEY. You can do what you want, when you want, for as long as you want. If you want to run around helter skelter, go ahead. If you want to stop and smell the roses, you can do that too. If you want to not do anything and be a couch potato, you can also do that. In the end, YOU are the only one that is putting the pressure on yourself.

good luck.

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5. Re: Is Paris & London enough for a single trip?

Thanks everyone for the replies!

If I went to Italy I would really want to go to Florence, Venice, Rome, Milan, etc. I could never pick 'two cities' from there. Doing Italy proper may take time. Maybe I could do Zurich, that has direct trains into France. There's also Amsterdam and Brussels, but idk.

ie: Amsterdam - Brussels - Paris - London (or the reverse).

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6. Re: Is Paris & London enough for a single trip?

@ rc - thanks! I needed that reminder. It is up to me and I'll admit to getting concerned about what others think. Thanks for wishing me luck- I'm used to things taking a while in Australia, and it's hard to forget that in Europe, things are a bit closer together.

kent
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7. Re: Is Paris & London enough for a single trip?

Hello again Madeleine...I've just re read the advice and suggestions given in your previous posts. I'm not going to repeat that advice, but will add some new thoughts.

Given that it will be winter, and that jet lag may take you more than a day to recover from, I think that it's sensible at this stage to opt for 2 major cities and build in flexible side trips to either second smaller towns/cities, or just one other smaller iconic city that can be reached by train, rather than flying. I say this mainly because the winter weather may cause flight delays. So perhaps Amsterdam, Edinburgh or Bruges could be added.

Much of what you plan will depend on your energy and stress levels! So it makes sense to build in rest days, where you plan to do very little except catch up on sleep, a leisurely stroll in the parks, laundry, and maybe a bit of shopping etc.

There's more than enough to see and do in both London and Paris to keep you occupied, and during December as extra events & exhibitions are laid on, including Christmas markets (which I admit aren't a patch on the ones in Germany... but hey ho, you can't have everything!)

These cities also have outstanding transport hubs for both reaching the surrounding countryside & smaller but less explored towns and villages. So you can still visit Lyon and Reims while in Paris, or Canterbury, Oxford, Windsor or Brighton while in London. If time and money were not an issue, I'd suggest a night or 2 in a countryside hotel in the Cotswolds or Normandy.

The Eurostar connects directly into the heart of London and Paris, & the journey itself is relatively short & comfortable. Tickets can be booked directly at www.eurostar.com Prices are their lowest booked in advance, which is usually about 90 days or so before the departure date.

For company... as 28 days is a long trip, you may want some occasional company.. so I'd suggest......

1.The London forum arranges monthly meet ups for visitors and locals alike and are very welcoming & sociable affairs! The dates & venues are usually fixed about 8 to 6 weeks in advance.

I'm not sure if the Paris forum has the same, but you could always ask.

2. Tours...... each destination has a "things to do" button, and this will list all the attractions, including locally bookable tours. These tours offer a huge variety of options, including city centre night tours, wine tasting, pub crawls, behind the scenes of opera/theatres,cooking, photography ..etc. Some are even free!

But... since Viator has been bought by trip advisor, theirs get flagged up to the top of the page, & may not always be the best value. So while it's a nice change to be in company for the occasional day, I'd suggest picking any locally bookable tour to reflect both your energy levels, what's included in the itinerary, & whether the tour includes transport to and from your hotel.

3. There are also "Greeter" options in both London and Paris. As these are individually tailored, you may find the pace more comfortable.

Lastly.... prices in December/January... These months are mainly an off peak time for visits, except for immediately before Christmas Day, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day itself. If your visit coincides with these dates, please note that prices are at their absolute peaks. Some of the major hotel chains may offer special packages in advance & they could be very good value for money, especially if breakfast & dinner are included. The Hilton group include many different styles, with prices to match. In London, I'd suggest looking at the Grange group too.

You still have plenty of time to book hotels and train tickets, but air fares may be another matter. I agree with r-c to look at open jaw flights, as this will save you from backtracking to just one hub airport.

Hope this helps.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Is Paris & London enough for a single trip?

I would like to suggest considering keeping Switzerland for when you travel to Italy. There is a beautiful train route from Zurich, over the mountains into Italy. Separate train then takes to Milan. Slightly more complicated route takes you to Venice.the route is the Bernina Express and covered in Sest61.

As others have said, the flight is for 28 days of travel, and you don't need to book all accommodation in advance. Be flexible, accept you may pay a bit more for non-advance trainfares, and do what your energy allows.

If you have certain hobbies or interests, perhaps there are local Meetups for that. I am a bird watcher, so can usually find a group to join for a day, or hire a private guide for a trip. I find there very genuine and grounding where away from my familiarity for long periods of time.

Seattle
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9. Re: Is Paris & London enough for a single trip?

I don't understand why you can't add a city in Italy. That's a funny way you are looking at it, that it has to be all or nothing.

Adding Florence or Venice to a London/Paris trip would be lovely a fit nicely. Or add Amsterdam if you are feeling two cities isn't enough and don't want to step into Italy.

The first sentence in post #2 said exactly what I was thinking. The plane ticket isn't "buying" you one city or twelve cities, it's buying you the experience of almost a month in Europe. Remember you do not necessarily get more bang for you buck or have a better experience overall just because your list of cities is longer! :)

r c
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10. Re: Is Paris & London enough for a single trip?

welcome back,

if you plan to come back, you may not feel like you need to do it all in a short amount of time.

also, if this is your first trip, many people fall into the trap of "i must do and see everything in the world in 2 days" after that there nothing else.

something else to keep in mind is that get a map of the world or area. Or if you are google savvy, create your own google maps. Plot those places you want to visit and then look how to group them. I try to group things so that i do less moving about. I probably wont eliminate it, but is a known drawback. Some poeple just have ideas in their head and act on them not knowing the +/- of doing so. My time & money is limited so i PLAN my trips to try and maximize my time there and minimize my costs.

If you find a nearby country where you dont have any push pins, then see if there isnt anything for you or if there is. There is so much to do and see in the world, its just that you dont know whats there until you do. Reserach or someone telling you whats there will help. Or if you have a desktop, you can look at the top of each destination for the "things to do and see".

but things like Italy has so much to offer. You can spend your whole month easily. when i was in that area, i only went to Rome and Pompeii. That was my choice. I choose to spend that trip on Rome and anything south of Rome. I wanted to see Venice, Florence, Milan..ect on that trip, but i didnt have enough time so i decided to just see those 2 places. Its not like i wont come back and i will. Also, on that trip i wanted to see Greece from Rome. But the cost of the short flight was so expensive i decided to hold off until later and do more research into other ways to get there.

My way of travel is like a "tapas" type of travel where i get a sample of each place. Usually its 1 city per country and move on. But sometimes i will break (MY) rule and do more. I spend 2,3 or 4 days in a place and move on. ITs probably too fast for many on TA, but i like to get a taste of a place and have more variety than not. I know how i am and how i like things. Many people feel its THIS OR THAT. Why not both or a different way???? WHOs calling the shots where its ONLY THIS OR THAT???? For example, if you are a soccer fan, someone will ask, whats your FAVORITE TEAM? why just 1 team????

Back to travel. Also, there is no reason i cant spend all of my time in one place too. ITs MY TRIP, MY TIME and MY MONEY !!! i can choose to do what i want, when i want, for how long i want. I can mix it up to, and you know why.

good luck,.

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