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Visit London but to France or not?

Travel Forums Europe Visit London but to France or not?

1. Posted by ELIZ_L (Budding Member 35 posts) 5y

Hi all,

I will be travel with my friend to London next year on May 13 – May 21, 2 girls only.

This is our first time to London (also Europe), I am not sure does the time enough to go France.
And, I checked the Eurostar is not cheap… even we are entitle the youth tickets. (We are now 25 & 24.)

I did search some B&B / cheap accommodation but no idea which area would be more convenience to sightseeing place.

Could you please advise me some idea to make our first long haul trip more unforgettable?

Many thanks for your help in advance =)

Eliza

Post 2 was removed by a moderator
3. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 5y

Definately worth a visit and plenty of time.
Just bear in mind that there are no direct routes on budget airlines to Paris, from London. There are cheap fares, but the trip involves a change. If you just want to see Calais, then that's easy. Get a train to Dover and the ferry over as a foot passenger.... Very cheap.
If it's Paris you're after, then the Eurostar will work out at about the same price as a budget air ticket - and get you there much quicker.

4. Posted by blazemark (Budding Member 3 posts) 5y

We usually dont pay ferry, just go along as we pretend we are with some car :-)

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 5y

In London there are many areas that are good. It is generally a good idea to stay within Zone 1 of the Tube map/ close to or within the circle the Circle Line forms and within easy walking distance to a tube stop.

With your age and with a low budget I can strongly recommend staying at hostels, especially those with a kitchen where you can cook your own food.

6. Posted by darker (Budding Member 4 posts) 5y

Quoting t_maia

In London there are many areas that are good. It is generally a good idea to stay within Zone 1 of the Tube map/ close to or within the circle the Circle Line forms and within easy walking distance to a tube stop.

With your age and with a low budget I can strongly recommend staying at hostels, especially those with a kitchen where you can cook your own food.

id agree with that, sounds like a good plan!

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 5y

Depends on how much time you have in London. If you've got plenty of time then Eurostar it to Paris. If you don't have much time, simply stay in London. There's more than enough to do there.

9. Posted by dc484153 (Budding Member 16 posts) 5y

I recently traveled to London and Paris--I was in London from November 20-24, and in Paris from November 25-27 (8 days total). I thought 5 days in London was plenty of time to see everything to see, and that I was able to see PLENTY over 3 days in Paris. One more day in Paris would have been nice, as I would have loved to go to Versailles and go to Les Invalides. But those were the only two Paris attractions that I was not able to experience in my 3 short days there. It looks like you'll have just the right amount of time to see both cities, and I think that it is definitely worth going to Paris while you're there...who knows when you'll be able to again?!

How much are you finding Eurostar tickets for?? I got mine for a total of $106 round trip (youth price), about 6 weeks before I left for my trip...so I can't imagine them being too much money if it's over 4 months before YOUR trip. I guess expensive depends on your budget...I was lucky to have a free place to stay in London, so it didn't hurt me to spend the $106 for the train to Paris. But keep checking...discuss whether your friends would definitely be up for going and then keep checking train prices. That way, if you come across a great deal, you will have already decided that you want to go and you can purchase the tickets.

I stayed with a friend who was spending the semester in London, and because of that, i decided to "splurge" and got a regular hotel room for around $200 total for my 2 nights in Paris. I believe most of the student hostels in Paris are located in Montmartre, which I found to be a great, hip neighborhood with lots of nice architecture, little shops and food stands, and things to see and do. It is not as close to the main sights, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. It's more in the area of Sacre Coeur church and Moulin rouge. I walked from the Paris opera house (quite close to the Eiffel tower) to Sacre Coeur, so the walk is realistic, but at least a metro ride from your accommodation to your first sight of the day, and then a metro ride from your last sight of the day back to your accommodation, would be sufficient.

The metro in both cities is very easy to navigate. You can buy a Paris metro pass at the St.Pancras train station in the waiting area after you go through security. I believe my 3 day Paris metro pass was around $20-$25, which was worth it because it was quite cold, but Paris is a great city to walk around in. As for London, I purchased a day pass each day for about 5 pounds. London is a bit more spread out and a pass will be necessary, but Paris is manageable on foot, depending where you're staying. Just know where your hotel/hostel is and what subway stop/subway line goes there, and if worse comes to worst you can go to the first train you find, look and see if you need to switch trains, and head back to your room.

In London, what I found to be highlights that charged admission were the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral (climb 600 steps to the top! loved the view!), and the London Eye. I also paid to get into Westminster Abbey, but I was a bit underwhelmed and didn't think it was worth the steep admission charge of 12 pounds. I'd recommend looking up mass times and going for a service if you REALLY want to see it--then you won't have to pay to get in. In terms of what didn't charge admission--all museums in London are free. I went to the British Museum, the Tate Modern, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. There are so many museums, and there isn't one that I liked more than the other. What I'd recommend is just if you're near one, just take an hour to explore it if you have the time, seeing as you don't have to pay to get in. You can look them up before you go if you feel like you need to plan it out, or to at least find out where they are. Other highlights included walking across Tower Bridge and walking around Hyde Park, and of course pictures of Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. One fun thing that I did in London was go out to a pub, and then take the tube to "Embankment" station. Right down from the ticketbooth for the London Eye is a fun arcade that is open until at least midnight, that has a bar and arcade games. They have a self-service bowling alley where you just insert coins and get to play 10 frames of bowling, which was quite fun.

In Paris, Notre Dame was definitely worth looking around, and I really enjoyed the climb to the top with the bell tower and gargoyles (8 euros). Eiffel tower is a must--you can book a lift ticket in advance on the website which i recommend, as lines get long. You can also book your ticket to the Louvre in advance on its website. You pay an extra 2 bucks, I believe, but it's worth it since the lines get very long. Most people say you need to reserve a whole day there, and that isn't even enough. However, with such a limited time, and depending on whether or not you truly are art lovers, you won't need a whole day. I spent 4 hours there and was able to see the highlights; however, I knew i wouldn't see EVERYTHING in the museum even if I did spend the whole day there, so I left after a few hours and I'll just have to go back another time. The musee d'orsay was nice, but go on Thursday night when admission is free, if you're in Paris on a Thursday. Otherwise, it wasn't particularly noteworthy in my opinion. Take a stroll down the Champs-Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. You can eat pretty cheap in Paris...there are a ton of stands for crepes and panini sandwiches, which is basically what I lived on while I was there. If it's not too hot...the "chocolat chaud viennois" from the eiffel tower is TO DIE FOR. it is the best hot chocolate i've ever had in my life, and the one thing that I miss from my travels in London and Paris. It's just hot chocolate with delicious whipped cream, which they serve with a little plastic spoon. I got one from the cafeteria inside the eiffel tower on the second floor, and it was so delicious that i got a second cup when I got to the bottom at the food stands under the tower. make sure you say chocolat chaud viennois...if you don't say viennois, it doesn't come with the whipped cream, and probably isn't as good :)

No matter what you do, you'll have a great time. But Paris is so easily accessible from London and was SO worth the trip, in my opinion. I'm sorry to bombard you with all of this information, but I love sharing about my trip with others who are planning a similar trip, and hope that this could have been of help :)