First Trip to Europe. Need Advice!

Travel Forums Europe First Trip to Europe. Need Advice!

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1. Posted by cwhalin (Budding Member 4 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

My wife and I are taking our first trip to Europe for our honeymoon in May. We fly into London and are staying there for 4 nights.

We fly home from Dublin and are thinking of doing 4 nights.

Our entire trip is 14 days including travel days from the US.

We would also like to fit Paris and chamonix into our trip. How many days in each should we stay? I was thinking 2 nights in chamonix and 3 nights in Paris then fly to Dublin for 4 nights. Is this do-able? Will we get to see a lot or is it too much travel? Should we not do Chamonix and just go straight to Paris after London?

We wanted to do chamonix because it’s beautiful and we love Mountains and small mountain towns.

Thanks for your advice!

2. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2623 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Sounds perfectly doable to me. Is this your sequence?

1- fly to London (if you are flying from the US, most of the time you take off at night and get to London the next morning - so if you do that I would count the first day as the day you get to London - you will usually leave late enough that you don't have to take off work on that day) So you land in London on Day one and spend days 2, 3 and 4 in London. Leave late on day 4 and take the train to Paris. Spend 5, 6 and 7 in Paris and go to Chamonix on day 8 (It looks a little bit difficult to get there). Spend day 9 and 10 in Chamonix. Fly to Dublin on day 11, and spend day 12, and 13 in Dublin. Usually flights home are during the day so you may need to fly home on day 14.

3. Posted by cwhalin (Budding Member 4 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Thank you!
I am trying to figure out the best sequence.
I know we will be flying into London and home from Dublin because we have already purchased those tickets.
I am trying to figure out if we should fly to Genva from London and take a train to Chamonix, stay two days and then take a train to Paris, stay 3 days, and then fly to Dublin.
Take a train to Paris from London and stay three days, and then take a train to Chamonix and stay two days, and then take the train from Chamonix to Genva to catch a flight to Dublin.

4. Posted by UliS (Travel Guru 154 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I would take a train to Paris from London..., London and Paris airports can be annoying (long security waiting lines etc.).

5. Posted by Skandinavisk (Full Member 42 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Sounds doable, but you'll spend a lot of your time traveling.

Personally, I'd skip Chamonix (and that has nothing to do with Chamonix, the area is beautifull). Buy a plane ticket from Paris to Dublin.

If you stick to your initiary I'd fly in to London, spend a few days there.

Take the train to Paris, where you can spend f few days. The train will take you about 2h30min in train. To that add time to get to and from the stations and a bit of buffertime. Let's say you'll spend 5 hours traveling this day.

Spend days in Paris.

Take the train to Chamonix. Again you'll have to plan buffertime and traveltime to get to the station. The train will take about 7 hours+, which means most of your day, and you'll have to change trains a few times.

After a few days take a plane from Chamonix to Dublin. There's a bus from Chamonix to the Geneva Airport. The trip from Chamonix to Dublin wil take you about 6 hours.


6. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1388 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

For a first trip to Europe I would also recommend skipping Chamonix. Yes, that area is beautiful (I too love mountains) but I think when the time comes you may regret not allocating more time to Paris and London. And definitely use the train from London to Paris, don't fly. By the time you factor in extra time for checking in at the airport (for Eurostar you only need to be at the station 30 minutes before departure, though I'd allow a bit more) and the fact that the stations are in the centre of the cities rather than on the fringes, you will probably find it quicker. I live in London and we always opt for the train to Paris rather than flying.

By skipping Chamonix you'll have time for trips out of London (maybe Oxford or Cambridge, or Windsor Castle) and from Paris (Versailles). And you'll spend more time seeing the sights rather than travelling between them. Hopefully in the future you'll be able to make a second trip over here and focus on a different area, such as the Alps, which would combine well with Italy, for instance.

7. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

You could easily spend 14 days in and around London (if you can afford it, because it's really expensive). You can easily spend a week in and around Paris (also expensive, and others here would suggest 14 days there).
Dublin is well worth a 3 or 4 days as well (and wasn't cheap last time I was there).
Doing the '2 days here and 3 days there' tour will result in you leaving everywhere thinking how little you've seen of the place.
Bear in mind that travel takes longer in Europe (whether it's about little roads/heavy traffic or bureaucratic airport security) so even a short flight like London to Dublin takes most of a half day usually (it can be quicker but normally isn't).
You can turn a holiday into an endurance event where the rush to get to the next location sucks all the joy of arriving...
So I'd say you don't have enough time to visit Chamonix as well.

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1627 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Suggest sticking to London, Paris, Dublin and environs. Save Chamonix for another trip.

This Web site can help with your planning:

It's a good idea to take the Eurostar from London to Paris. I did it last year with a friend. See this link for information and to book:

For flights within Europe, consult Be sure you know what airports you plan to use. London and Paris, for example, are served by multiple airports.

Please be aware of air and rail strikes in Europe. There are several Web sites that help monitor strikes and other travel disruptions, including this: It's wise to have backup plans.

9. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2623 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I was thinking that while Chamonix is difficult to get to and it would be incredibly more convenient to leave it out, cwhalin might not want to spend the whole trip in big cities. I was trying to think of a relatively scenic mountain area that they could get to from Paris. I thought of the Pyrenees (my parents did a trip there by car), but there is the same difficulty with those locations as with Chamonix. I thought of perhaps Inverness, but that's a long train trip too. I thought of Wales but I was not sure how to get there. So I'm thinking that you might go from Paris to Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland, and explore the area around there (Bunratty, the Cliffs of Mohr) before you end up in Dublin and fly home. Someone with more European experience than I have can probably suggest a small town in a scenic area to decompress from the big city experience.

So I was thinking of this schedule:
Day 1 start in London. Day 2, 3, 4 in London. At the end of day 4 take the train to Paris arriving late.
Day 5, 6, and 7 in Paris.
Day 8 fly to western Ireland.
Day 9, 10, and 11 explore western Ireland - ending up in Dublin
Day 12, 13 and 14 Dublin

10. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Unless you're a mountain junkie, there's lots of nice countryside around London, Paris and Dublin.
Hire a car for a day and drive from London in any direction for an hour (+/-) and there are lovely villages and countryside.
The biggest problem is the traffic to get out of / into London, so it's probably wiser to get a train to a more picturesque place like Canterbury, Cambridge, Oxford etc etc (which aren't 'countryside' places but equally they aren't busy metropolises either, and the train journey does go through some nice countryside).
Alternatively if you just want a stroll through some greenery then take a tube down Richmond and have a walk around the Deer Park or along the river (or Kew Gardens).
The same is true of Paris and Dublin (less than an hour for Dublin).