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A week in Paris/London - What's worth doing?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by QuarterWit, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Hey Guys,

    I'm off to Europe!

    I've managed to get free accomodation in the centre of Paris for a month, and -hopefully- a free flight. I'll be going with my girlfriend in late June through to July this year. I've cleared the time with work and I'm ready to book the flights this week...

    And now - what should I do? We also have some accomodation in London, and we are going to stay there for a week or so. The only other place we have to visit is Berlin.

    But I'm up for Ideas - I'd love to as far east as St Petersburg for the "White Nights" festival and Amsterdam for everything, but all else is up for grabs. What's worth seeing? What gets boring? Will we be able to kill a week or two in Paris itself, or should I look at hiring a car/bike and go exploring?

    Your suggestions and personal experiences would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers in Advance!

  2. paris - Pere Lachaise, to see jimbo's grave. also oscar wilde.

    london - camden markets.

    then just get heaps drunk. its what i did.
  3. In the UK it would be Duxford for their restored WWI/WWI aircraft. Imperial War Museum. Also Ace Café in Londaon.. http://www.ace-cafe-london.com/default.aspx

    France would be Normandy coastline to see what is left of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall.
  4. If you've got time, go down the bottom of France to Nice, I thought it was better than Paris. Try and squeeze in Monaco while you're there!!!
  5. Monaco is a definite (take TGV to Nice and commuter train to Monaco)
    I have even managed a weekend there will the GP was on :cool:

    but Nice...nicer than Paris?
    imho..no just different
    Nice is just a very upmarket seaside resort (great place to holiday)
    along with Antibes, Villefrance Cannes or Juan-Le-Pins
    ...in fact anywhere on the Cote d'Azur , walk around it is the go
    where as with Paris..Paris is rightly a touristy place
    and you take the Metro to get anywhere

    one tip on Paris though
    LOTS of things are closed on public holidays
    like the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower etc

  6. I suppose it depends on what kind of traveller you are - are you a "history buff"? A "culture vulture" or a "relaxo efficionado?" London is choc full of all sorts of entertainment (from Soho nightlife to Roman ruins and the Tower of London), so if you really have no idea then maybe you might want to invest $25 in a Lonely Planet guide. My only suggestion? rent a car.
  7. :rofl:

    Er, yes you will. Been a long time since I've been to either Paris or London, but you will NOT run out of things to do. Day trips can be easily added, too (Versailles, for instance).

    I personally wouldn't bother to try and cover too many places. It's tempting to try and fit it all in, but you're young and you'll go back to Europe again no doubt. Cities like London and Paris are complicated, many-layered places and well used to shuffling tourists in and out. It takes a little while to get under their skin and get a feel for the REAL character of the place. I wouldn't try and move around too much.

    For the same reason, I wouldn't bother with renting car/bike. You can see a lot and meet a lot of people on the local transport systems.
  8. Visit the Heathrow departure terminal :LOL:
  9. Dunno about Paris, but if you only do one thing in London, make it the Science Museum (if you like things technical). The London Transport Museum (used to be in Covent Garden but might have moved) was always worth a look too.
  10. London and Paris both hold a lot of amazing history, architecture and culture, but I hate big cities - they're so impersonal. My tip would be to get around and see some of the city sights on a tour or something, then f*ck off into the countryside in a rental car. Go to small pubs and B&Bs and try to meet as many locals as you can.
  11. If you're looking at getting out of London and like fast things, there's the National Motorcycle Museum (obviously), the National Motor Museum and (and I know this is excessively vague) Birmingham used to have an excellent industrial/technology museum which housed John Cobb's Railton Mobil Special which had a powerful effect on me as a kid. One small aluminium lawn chair strapped to four wheels and 48 litres of blown W12 Napier Lion aero engine.

    Come to think of it, the Brooklands museum in Surrey might be worth a go too. Closer to London and will include bikes.

    Can't help with more general interests. During most of my time in the UK I've had noone to please but myself and I like noisy, mechanical things :grin: .
  12. that would be one of my suggestions not to do
    if you are visiting either London or Paris

    London...even after you pay the daily congestion tax of £8
    (£10 if paid next day) to drive there is as slow as
    ...av speeds are now around 8-10kmh at certain times
    and there is no guarantees of getting a park
    ....take the 'tube or a cab

    and in Paris?
    ...apart from the maniacal traffic on the ring road (good luck)
    and strange roads rules (like you give way to someone entering
    a roundabout...even if you are on it) most of it is very slow
    the sane and sensible take the 'Metro


  13. A lot of blokes have spent a night in Paris but who is London? :LOL:
  14. Don't rent a car dude. Traffic SUCKS ASS in London & Paris.
    Especially as in Paris you'll be mostly in the centre of town.

    Their public transport over there is well developed and will get you most places - you will also be involved a lot more in the culture.
  15. I know everyone's going "don't rent a car" - but PT wasn't exactly a factor in the location of places like Stonehenge. (Could you imagnine those Druids thousands of years ago? "Er I think in a few millenia someone's going to want to get here more conveniently.") Or what if you want to go up North and visit Hadrian's Wall? All of those historic places are much harder to get to. I'll concede that in the city itself PT is better but if you want to visit any of the villages, castles (The ones in Wales are AWESOME!) or go to the New Forest, you'll need a car.
  16. I agree re the castles and lil' villages in Wales, you need transport

    however try not to go there often
    my mother - in- law lives in Wales :shock:
    in a place called ....gawd its a tongue twister (as is most Welsh)
    Lon Y Felin Garnswllt (yes that is spelt correct) :p
  17. Public transport definitely in the cities but you need a car or bike to get the feel of the countryside. From Paris get up to the WWI battlefields and the Australian War Graves at Villiers Bretonneaux - it will totally choke you up. Go into the local bars and tell them you're Australian and even 90 years later you will get a very warm welcome from the locals.

    Don't avoid the standard "tourist" sights like the Tower of London, Versailles, Hampton Court etc. They are popular for a reason - they are worth seeing. If you are even vaguely into Art then the Louvre is a must see, so is the Orangerie where Monet's "Water Lilies" are on display in rooms specially built for them - they are stunning.

    In either city you could happily spend months just wandering around - and if you really get bored in Paris, there's always Euro Disney :LOL:
  18. Thanks for your replies everyone!

    Future, you pinned me in one with the RAF Museum. I'll check out the website for that. I also planned on visiting the Atlantic wall. On the military side of things, I was planning on visiting the war graves at Villiers - my Great-Grandfather was wounded and Invalided home from there.

    I suppose I'm a bit of a modern history nut, WW2, the cold war etc, which is why I'd like to check out Berlin for the DDR museum and so forth.

    Sounds like car hire (As i guessed) is pretty much out of the question for the cities themselves, and unnecesary. I would like to go for a drive in these places, so I'll try and organise a car trip up to stonehenge and the atlantic wall etc. Motorcycle hire is stupidly expensive in both places - so I'll probably get my fix in England.

    Speaking of which, I remember a place that offered classic bike hire in the UK. I can't think of anything better to do than put around on an AJS through the English countryside. I'm going to have to dig up the link at some stage.

    Keep posting your suggestions, please!
  19. If you're a WWII buff, see if you can get a tour of the underground bunkers built in disused Tube tunnels, where various government functions and personnel were housed. I don't know if it's a routine thing but I once found details on the web and it looked fascinating.

    Something else you might find interesting, as a contrast to the well prepared and resourced Atlantic Wall, are the surprisingly numerous remains of Britains hastily erected defences from 1939-40. Google the Taunton Stop Line for more details.