A week in London / Paris

We are taking this tour - any tips, suggestions, i.e., clothing, sights to see on off time, etc. It's our first time in London and Paris. Also, any information on the theatre show we will be seeing? I check out the shows at the West End Theatre - I've see a few of them already. Thanks!!!

Comments

  • Never been to London but we have been to Paris a few times and we absolutely love it. Here are a few things we suggest:

    If you like a bohemian experience and artsy things go up to Montmartre. On a hill right above the Moulin Rouge. Dozens of artists around a town square painting and drawing in all sorts of styles and mediums. Read about it online. Lots of famous folks used to hang there in the day.

    We really enjoyed the Museu d’Orsay. Can see the whole place in 2-3 hours whereas the Louvre takes a full day.

    Finally, if you have a free night take a dinner cruise around the Seine. It is wonderful. It starts and ends across from the Eiffel Tower. When it finishes it will be dark and the tower is lit up and sparkling. That sight by itself is worth the cost of the boat ride. The Viking Cruises equivalent would be the Bateau Mouches. The Tauck equivalent is the Bateau Parisienne which we took. We had the up front premium table which ran about $185 PP and worth every dollar. The food and drink were actually very good. We highly recommend doing this. It is a lovely romantic evening.
  • The Week in London & Paris is a great trip. If you have any extra days in London, I recommend taking the train to Hampton Court Palace for the day. It's about a 45 minute train ride and the station is in easy walking distance to the palace. Tickets to Hampton Court Palace can be purchased in advance online.

    In Paris, during your free time, I recommend St. Chapelle and the Opera. If you are going in the colder months be sure to try the hot chocolate.

    My number one clothing suggestion is comfortable shoes, you will do a lot of walking and much of that will be on uneven surfaces.

    I did this trip in 2017.

  • There's so many things to do in London and Paris. Here's a couple of general suggestions first:
    - google top attractions in both cities - you'll get lots of suggestions and can whittle it down to things that interest you
    - buy or borrow from the library guide books for both cities - my favorites are Rick Steves pocket guides to take with me and the Eyewitness guides for reading ahead of time
    - google the two hotels on the tour and look at what's close to them e.g. a walk in Hyde Park is very close to the Hyatt Regency, the Opera House is right across the street from the Intercontinental in Paris
    - if you want to see attractions further away, read up on the public tranport - tube in London, metro in Paris, etc

    Specifics:

    In London, the Victory & Albert museum is great. We haven't been but have heard good reviews of the Churchill War rooms. If you like shopping there's plenty to choose from like Harrods or Selfridges. Prices at Harrod are high but they have some nice souvenirs that aren't too bad.

    In Paris, yes as someone said the Opera House. Near by there, if you want a free rooftop view of Paris, walk a block over to Blvd Haussmann and the Galeries Lafayette. Galeries Lafayette is a shopping mall with the most amazing ceiling, plus some inexpensive dining options and better quality souvenirs. I was a bit disappointed in Montmartre (the best view of the cathedral is from the bottom of the steps) plus we got cornered by some roving street artists that insisted on drawing a picture of me then guilt tripped us into buying. Just ignore or say no at the start and walk away. The D'Orsay is easier to see than the Louvre, but pay the extra and get the English audio guide. The signage there is very minimal.
  • I'll make one suggestion about the Paris Metro. You can purchase one day, or three day, passes for the Metro. But the best deal (I've found) is to buy a packet of 10 tickets. The tickets never expire so if you don't use them all, you can use them next time you come to Paris.

    Mike
  • I did this trip in 2011. The itinerary looks pretty much the same, and we stayed at the same hotels. You should review your daily itinerary, as some of these suggestions (Montmarte and the Seine dinner cruise) are a part of the tour. The farewell dinner is the cruise on the Seine.

    I arrived in London two days in advance, so I had time to take the train to Hampton Court one day and I went to the Royal Mews (where the Royal carriages are housed...including the gold coach from the coronation) and the Royal Collection art gallery the other day. I walked there from the hotel...they are both by Buckingham Palace. I also loved The Wallace Collection which is about a five-minute walk from the hotel. It's free!

    You don't really have much free time in Paris. This was my first time there and I didn't really go anywhere extra other than to Laduree for macarons and shopping at the Printemps department store. It is a very confusing layout...I got lost a lot. We had the option of walking from Notre Dame back to the hotel with a local guide, which I did. I saw things I wouldn't have seen on my own.

    I have been there twice since then and stayed at the same hotel each time so I know it a little better. I walked to the Museum d'Orsay from the hotel and it's great. The hotel is also right by the Opera Garnier, which is supposedly the setting for The Phantom of the Opera. I went to the ballet there one night, but they also have tours during the day. I also liked the Galleries Lafayette food hall. Again, it's only a block or so from the hotel.

    When I did this trip, I didn't care about going to Paris...I wanted to spend my time in London and I always wanted to go to Hampton Court. But when I got home, I couldn't get Paris out of my mind. I subsequently did two riverboat cruises that started in Paris just so I could go back.

    Hope you have a great time!

  • In addition to the above suggestions, consider going to the British Library. The exhibits there include the original Magna Carta, Shakespeare's Portfolio, early Bibles, etc. We have gone several times, never very crowded. Its a short walk from the both the Pancreas Underground station or the British Museum.
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