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Old 01-07-2019, 02:19 PM
 
3,472 posts, read 4,903,360 times
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London and actually England as a whole is awesome! We just had this exact same debate a year ago. We were going to London and trying to decide whether to stay the entire week there and visit more of London and England or travel to Paris for a day or two. We decided to not waste time travelling between the two and spend the entire time in England. We were so glad we did. There ended up being so much to see and we enjoyed every minute of it. We actually discovered more we would like to see and do while were were there and didn't get to do all of it and now want to go back. Definitely without a doubt go to Windsor while you are there and see the town as well as the castle. That is where the royal weddings took place and you will get to see all of the sites they kept showing on tv such as the long walk. We wanted to go see Stonehenge but didn't have time to work it in since it is a bit of a bus trip from London.



Take the advice from someone who just debated the exact same thing and took the exact same trip, stay in London and pack in all the sites you can including trips to Windsor and also Stonehenge if you have time. Save Paris for later because it is an entire trip on it's own. If you are relatively young, you can plan a trip to Paris a few years down the road and when you plan that trip, you may find yourself wanting to do the opposite of what you thinking about now and leave Paris to go to revisit London for a couple of days.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:25 PM
 
Location: plano
7,904 posts, read 11,528,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapshotbob99 View Post
Hello,

Would you recommend 7 full days in London OR: 4 full days in London, 1 travel day, then 2 full days in Paris? Going this winter.

I'm really torn on this.

We're still relatively young, but this might be our last major vacation for several years (guess why....) so I want to make it count.

On the one hand, my wife is a major English history buff so maybe we should really maximize London & surrounding areas. She can start naming castles and queens, etc. Also, we keep hearing how London is this magnificent city.

On the other hand, Paris is "Paris." It has all these iconic landmarks and we'll finally get to use that French we learned in school . Although I've heard the city isn't as nice as London and has gone very much downhill in the past several years. Can I live without possibly ever seeing Paris? Maybe yes, maybe no.

Any advice is appreciated.

(BTW, we're originally from New York and have been to Barcelona and Rome if that helps in describing the cities....)
Easy call, spend the time in London. The French are not fans of Americans, they will take your money but will know you are American whether you speak French or not. London is a great city do it in depth rather than spread yourself and burning a day traveling.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:52 PM
 
1,584 posts, read 997,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnhw2 View Post
Easy call, spend the time in London. The French are not fans of Americans, they will take your money but will know you are American whether you speak French or not. London is a great city do it in depth rather than spread yourself and burning a day traveling.
Some folks say this about Parisians, but I’ve been to the city twice (US citizen) and didn’t have a problem. It helps that I have a bit of French under my belt, and even if you don’t, just a few basic phrases make a big difference. I think folks in France appreciate it very much if you at least try a little French. In fact, not long after trying to start off speaking French, nearly everyone figured I was probably either American or British and switched immediately to English and persisted in it. Everyone I encountered was as nice as could be.

A smattering of French goes a long way in Quebec City as well.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
24,201 posts, read 19,465,564 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
Some folks say this about Parisians, but I’ve been to the city twice (US citizen) and didn’t have a problem. It helps that I have a bit of French under my belt, and even if you don’t, just a few basic phrases make a big difference. I think folks in France appreciate it very much if you at least try a little French. In fact, not long after trying to start off speaking French, nearly everyone figured I was probably either American or British and switched immediately to English and persisted in it. Everyone I encountered was as nice as could be.

A smattering of French goes a long way in Quebec City as well.
agree completely. A smile and a simple Bon Jour, s'il vous plait and merci go a very long way to getting a pleasant reaction.
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
13,257 posts, read 23,067,077 times
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The French still put a big value on manners. If you only go as far as seeming like you're trying to use the one page of common French courtesies you'll find in any decent travel guidebook or web site, then that effort will typically be returned with kindness and politeness because you're making an honest effort to get along in the country.

I'd go for both cities to get a sampler of sorts. And then plan a way of putting a steady, if small, trickle of money or credit card points or frequent flyer miles away for a time when the (currently theoretical) small human can be bribed with a few days in Disneyland Paris or Legoland Copenhagen as part of a longer return trip.
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:13 PM
 
3,569 posts, read 2,548,789 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapshotbob99 View Post
Hello,

Would you recommend 7 full days in London OR: 4 full days in London, 1 travel day, then 2 full days in Paris? Going this winter.

I'm really torn on this.

We're still relatively young, but this might be our last major vacation for several years (guess why....) so I want to make it count.

On the one hand, my wife is a major English history buff so maybe we should really maximize London & surrounding areas. She can start naming castles and queens, etc. Also, we keep hearing how London is this magnificent city.

On the other hand, Paris is "Paris." It has all these iconic landmarks and we'll finally get to use that French we learned in school . Although I've heard the city isn't as nice as London and has gone very much downhill in the past several years. Can I live without possibly ever seeing Paris? Maybe yes, maybe no.

Any advice is appreciated.

(BTW, we're originally from New York and have been to Barcelona and Rome if that helps in describing the cities....)

Any way you can add just a couple more days to your trip? Paris and London are both great cities and a ton of fun, but I think the added travel day in a quick visit is probably not worthwhile. Four days in each would be much better.


You indicate an interest British history, but there's not much to go on here for recommendations. What are your interests and how do you like to travel? London is one of my favorite major European cities for food, and Paris is one of my favorite European capitals for day trips.



Quote:
Originally Posted by slapshotbob99 View Post
Going to make a decision possibly in a few days. At the very latest this weekend.....

Leaning 60-40 in favor of doing both cities.

Any thoughts on the Paris riots going on? Is that just a small side-show that looks much bigger because of TV, or should I be concerned about it for our trip?

Demonstrations are common in France. Danger is rare and doesn't last a long time. I don't see any reason to be concerned about visiting Paris right now.



Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
Can you extend the trip at all? A week isn't really enough time to do both IMO, but if you could push it up to even 9 days, you'd be able to see a bit more of both. Honestly, I feel like 2 days in Paris would almost be more frustrating than not going at all because you'd have to skip so much of even the top must-see stuff with that short of a time.

They are both wonderful and amazing places, so it is very tough to say to skip one completely when your chances of getting back soon are limited but for 7 days, I'd stick with 1. Personally, I'd probably do Paris now as a couple and save London because you could still bring along young kiddo(s) for that and have a blast. Not that Paris isn't great for kids too, but I think there is more there I'd want to do that is less family friendly than in London and vicinity.

I agree that 2 days in Paris is probably too short in an already limited visit. There's so much to do in either city that you have to skip almost everything and just try to enjoy the time that you do spend.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnhw2 View Post
Easy call, spend the time in London. The French are not fans of Americans, they will take your money but will know you are American whether you speak French or not. London is a great city do it in depth rather than spread yourself and burning a day traveling.

I read this occasionally here and once in a while hear people mention something similar. I have visited Paris several times, and been to several regions of France. I have never experienced anything like this. My experience is that French people are a little more formal and polite with strangers than most other cultures.
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:19 PM
 
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Do both. Paris is only about 45 minutes by plane leaving from London Gatwick airport. Look into Easy Jet for low fares.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:18 PM
 
7,235 posts, read 7,093,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnhw2 View Post
Easy call, spend the time in London. The French are not fans of Americans, they will take your money but will know you are American whether you speak French or not. London is a great city do it in depth rather than spread yourself and burning a day traveling.

Do you mean the French weren't fans of you when you were there? What happened, exactly?

For every "French people are rude" comment I hear, I've witnessed even more non-French tourists not adhering to French social customs.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:48 PM
 
1,067 posts, read 823,504 times
Reputation: 1868
Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
Some folks say this about Parisians, but I’ve been to the city twice (US citizen) and didn’t have a problem. It helps that I have a bit of French under my belt, and even if you don’t, just a few basic phrases make a big difference. I think folks in France appreciate it very much if you at least try a little French. In fact, not long after trying to start off speaking French, nearly everyone figured I was probably either American or British and switched immediately to English and persisted in it. Everyone I encountered was as nice as could be.

A smattering of French goes a long way in Quebec City as well.
Agree! I've been to Paris many times and always found people as a whole to be pleasant and friendly. A little French helps too.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:57 PM
 
1,067 posts, read 823,504 times
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Looks like you're getting advice on both sides. I love both cities and have spent quite a bit of time in both. My advice would be to spend 7 days in London. I feel that trying to do both cities would be too rushed. Assuming that you're travelling from the US it will take a couple of days to overcome jet lag so the first couple days in London will be 'sub-optimal'. And you'd lose an additional day taking the train to Paris, which is an all day affair when you include packing, travel to station, Eurostar, etc. You might consider taking a couple day trips from London to either Oxford or Cambridge. Maybe Brighton. Many others possible.

Good luck whatever you choose!
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