Hello, everyone, I'm a student taking a 10-day trip abroad over Christmas to London and then Paris. Not being familiar at all with either of these cities, I was wondering if anyone knew any great things to see while I'm there that are sort of "off the beaten path" of the typical tourist spots. I would very much appreciate any advice; I'm quite excited about finally being able to travel overseas!
I've advertised Stoke Newington, in north London before on this forum. Take bus 73 from Oxford Street to Church Street, Stoke Newington, wander the streets with lots of cafes, restaurants and one-of-a- kind shops, stroll around in Clissold Park.
Another very nice stroll is South Bank, from Royal Festival Hall to Tate Modern, and possibly beyond.
Bring some warm clotes and an umbrella - just in case
I'm going to start sounding like a broken record soon, but I loved Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Jim Morrison's grave is there, and so is Oscar Wilde's and a whole bunch more. There's something unique about a European cemetery - so different from what I've ever seen in North America.
Plus I loved, loved, loved the catacombs - a huge, underground maze lined with sculls and bones from Paris' overflowing cemeteries. It was creepy but fascinating.
LONDON: I would recommend a trip to Camden Markets (on a Saturday or Sunday). These markets are amazingly interesting; a hotbed of new fashion and music. They are extremely large but are also extremely crowded. Catch the tube to Camden from Liecester Square on the Northern Line.
I also highly recommend a trip to Richmond. It's a riverside suburb of London where many famous people live, and it has an almost country like feel to it. There are riverside walks, riverside pubs and bars, and also a few boat trips you can take from there. You can walk along the river for a while and take in some countryside. It's on the District (green) Line and is about a 20 minute trip. Exit Richmond station, cross the road, veer to the left and after about 5 mins you will come to some streets/lanes on the right hand side of the road that lead to the river.
PARIS: tway may sound like a broken record, but she (he?) mentioned the two places that I was going to recommend. The catacombs are like nothing you will ever see. Also, the cemetery is like a big park, and you can buy a map and walk around to the graves of many famous people, including Oscar Wilde.
One more place I forgot to mention. When in London you must go to the seaside town of Brighton. It's a large town on the English Channel with a huhge fun pier, plenty of bars, cafes, etc, and you get a great taste of English seaside life. There's lots of promenade walks, etc and the town itself has some attraction apart form the beach.
Catch the train direct to Brighton from Victoria Station. It takes an hour, you travel through some English countryside, and is a top day out.
Yes, definatelly check out some of London's funky markets. Camden has lost a lot of its magic over the years (I think). It's become way to "touristy". Although, the nightlife in Camden is still okay. Also, believe it or not, the local Sainsbury's in Camden is the best place for celebrity spotting For some reason, there are always popstars doing their shopping there Anyway, other cool markets are Portobello market (try and find the bangers and mash store there, it's incredible!) & Greenwich market. Greenwich is a very fun place to visit anyway. If you go into Greenwich park and walk up to the observatory (which is actually on the Meridean line and the starting point of all the time zones), you can see the whole of London beneath you. It's breathtaking! On your way back, check out the Cutty Sark, the old palace & the naval college. Oh, and don't forget to go to any Indian restaurant and to eat "Chicken Tika Masala" (if you're not a veggie).
Have a great time! Simone
P.S. Talking about London makes me miss it soooo much....
Oh, and one more thing....
When you're in Paris, ask around for a golf course that's on top of roofs somewhere in the center of town (I forgot the name). There is a restaurant there, I believe it was a Marocan restaurant, and the views from there will blow your head off. You can see all the big monuments from there. Incredible! Don't be put off by how you enter the golf course & restaurant. It's this horrible old lift/elevator and you will think that you're at the wrong place...but keep going! It is so worth it. Enjoy! Simone
Thank you all so much for your great suggestions! I can't wait to get there and see all the things you describe. Two months can be a long time to wait, but it will be worth it...
A walk along the Thames path is intersting in London. I would suggest perhaps the section between Tower Bridge and about Westminster (depending on how energetic you feel you could extend it).
There are a few quirky museums in London - the Museum of Childhood on Cambridge Heath Road is interesting. You could easily combine this with applegirls Stoke Newington trip, it's very close. In fact, if you decide to walk from one to the other there are some superb Vietnamese restaurants along that road, it's very much a Vietnamese area.
Sim Angel mentioned going to Greenwich - good call. I would suggest if you go there to go by the Docklands Light Railway which is a computer operated sort of monorail affair which you can get from Bank station or tower Gateway. It takes you right through the Docklands area with Canary Wharf and so on, and is a pleasant ride.
Hope you enjoy it.
Yeah, I have to agree with the earlier post for Paris, deffo go to the Pere-Lachaise cemetery. It sounds weird but its really interesting. We went on the first day of our trip and it was beautiful. It was a lovely spring day and it was very serene and peaceful, not depressing at all. Get a Paris Visite pass (available from most metro stations) they are resonable and last between 1-5 days. you can use them on the buses and trains/metro and go anywhere. Go and see all the usual things it's got to be done... I really liked the Sacre-Couer and we climbed to the top but again it is very touristy and you tend to get mithered alot. We stayed out just out of the city in Bagnolet where they had a rather large market which was quite interesting. My advice for Paris would be try to blend in rather than stand out in your choice of clothes (if you are a girl you know what i mean) otherwise you can get hassled alot but i guess thats the same for most places you visit. Have fun in Paris! Can't help with London, how shameful is that?am English and have only visited the capital once when i was 10 (don't remeber it much) we spent more time on the coach down there than we did in London itself!