Landing in London early in the morning on 1 July. Have a few questions:
1. Planning to stay at Bayswater area. Is this a good idea? I don't want somewhere too noisy because we don't like rowdy pubs and stuff like that. Has anyone stayed at the Royal Hotel B&B before? Any comments?
2. Will spend 2 whole days touring London. Planning to take the BIG BUS TOUR (2 days). Is this too much? Or just enough?
Any recommendations as to the order of the routes that we should go by?
3. Flying out to Paris on the afternoon of 3 July. Need to go to Luton Airport. So far, the best way I know is to take the Tube: Circle Line from Bayswater to Baker Street, then take the Metropolitan Line to Finchley Road. At Finchley, we're going to take the Terravision/Greenline 757 Bus to Luton Airport.
This sounds so confusing. Is there another way that is not too expensive?
At Paris - 3 July to 6 July
1. Planning to stay at Stadium Hotel near Montmartre. Any comments on this place? Is this generally a good place to stay? We are more concerned about convenience and accessability!
2. Is there something in Paris that is similar to London's BIG BUS tours? Please give me the name / website of the company, or any other information regarding this.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Not sure on the BIG BUS thing, but there are both bus and boat tours of Paris. Lots leave from the Notre Dame / Ile de Cite area. The Seine River cruise is supposed to be nice: Bateaux Mouches or the Bato Bus.
Thanks GregW. Those sound great, and affordable!
Check out this for Luton airport, £2 single from Central London, 7 Jun 07
I guess a bus tour is ok is you like to be guided. If you are more independent minded you may want to consider taking a tube pass and visiting both cities independently. Just walking in the streets is also a great way to discover these cities.
In London staying in Paddington / Bayswater is a good option. It is central, lively and there are a lot of unexpensive hotels there.
In Paris, check carefully where your hotel is located in Montmartre. Some streets are nice and picturesque, but others may be noisy at night as nearby "Place Pigalle" is the main red light district in town.
I strongly recommand taking a boat tour in Paris. You can take the boat at "Pont de l'Alma" tube station, where it is less expensive than at "Notre Dame / Ile de la Cité"
Thanks Lilylla! I've booked an Easybus ticket for each of us, and it costs £4 only. It's so convenient! Wonderful! Thanks again for the tip!
Juju76: We've decided to stay at the Saint-Sebastien-Froissart area instead. Hope this is a good place. The hotel seems alright. Heh. Thanks for the tip regarding Paris boat tours. I will definitely go read more into it.
Does anyone also know how to get from Stansted Airport to Heathrow Airport without going by National Express Coaches? They are a rip-off! GBP 21.50 for a one way ticket?!
Argh! Too costly!
I saw online that there is a Jetlink 797 express bus, but I'm not sure if it's still in operation now. I can't find enough info. Hope someone can help!
Not sure if you need the BIg Bus in London two days. I went there for the first time last year and did the bi=us the first day, saw ALOT even with getting on and off. The second day you may want to target specific things you didn't have time to do on the bus and take the metro. It was sooo easy to understand. I knopw they do have a bus in Paris like this but not sure of the name.
Here's my advice.
1. Bayswater is okay and is quite central, has lots of accommodation and food options. However it's quite touristy and is quite a busy/hectic area. Most of the cheap hotels/B&Bs in London are very, very average at best. If you haven't been there before, you might be quite surprised. If you do decide on Bayswater, I would spend an hour and view the rooms of one or two places. Also, a bit of haggling doesn't go astray.
Personally, I much prefer Earls Court. Yes, it's also touristy but it's also central and has a better feel to the place (I lived a few suburbs away for a number of years and know the area well).
2. The bus tour is a good idea. Forget the tube and trying to do things "independently" - you don't have the time. Plus, the tube is underground so you don't see anything! I would do the bus for about half a day and no more than that. You can see a lot of things on foot, and here is my suggested walking itinary. Start at Green Park tube station and walk actually through Green Park. This will take you to Buckingham Palace. From there, head up Pall Mall and towards Trafalgar Square. From there head down Birdcage Walk to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Then walk up Whitehall, past 10 Downing street to Trafalgar Square. From there, you are 5 mins walk to Leicester Square and Covent Garden. All up, this will take an hour or so but you would have seen a lot.
- for cheap eats, try the sandwhich selection in "Boots" (a chain of chemist stores).
I stayed at the Bayswater area, near the Kensington Palace at a hotel called The Central Park Hotel.
It was really nice and highly recommend it.