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BlackCoffeeKid
LSU Fan
Thibodaux/Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2016
4855 posts

re: Europe Trip
Assuming you're flying into London to save money, think about booking a train that same day for either Belgium or France.

We took the train to Brussels from London after landing at Heathrow and it wasn't bad at all. Maybe an hour and a half + time change.

May help you shrink your geographic size a bit.
I also really preferred Brussels over London.
This post was edited on 7/11 at 3:56 pm


tigers444
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jun 2009
2984 posts

re: Europe Trip
quote:

If you have no desire to go to Amsterdam and are really fired up about Barcelona, the extra few hours or travel are worth it.

I'm open to suggestions. I just chose the 3 original cities because I guess they are more well known/touristy but would like to visit more than 1 city though.

I've saved up for a big trip so splurging here and there won't be too bad...referring to Paris.


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tigers444
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jun 2009
2984 posts

re: Europe Trip
Love your passion for Paris. I think I'll definitely keep that on the list. I like your suggestions of the day trips too.

I'm leaning more towards 2 cities after all the responses.


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tigers444
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jun 2009
2984 posts

re: Europe Trip
quote:

Assuming you're flying into London to save money, think about booking a train that same day for either Belgium or France.

Not too worried about cost. Flying to/from DFW so cost isn't that much different from major Europe airports. Most likely will use some points too.

I think I need to research some more and decide! Brussels looks great too.


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337tigergirl
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jan 2012
6456 posts

re: Europe Trip
My first Europe trip was the same itinerary. It’s a lot but i enjoyed it.

3 days in London, 4 days in Paris, and 3 in Barcelona.

My favorite was Barcelona followed by Paris.

Take the earliest flights between the cities. Sucks waking up at 3:30 am but you will have the entire day at each place
This post was edited on 7/11 at 6:34 pm


kciDAtaE
Member since Apr 2017
4801 posts

re: Europe Trip
Up to your personality. Last summer I did 17 days in Europe and covered

London
Rome
Positano
Florence
Venice
Ericeria
Lisbon
Barcelona
Dublin

I was tired at the end but enjoyed every minute of it.


SpringBokCock
South Carolina Fan
Columbia, SC
Member since Oct 2003
2771 posts

re: Europe Trip
For travel between London-Paris-Barcelona-Amsterdam (whichever cities you choose), take the train. It’s so much less hassle and more comfortable than flying. And time wise, about the same when you realize railway stations are in the city and airports are 45 minutes outside.

Seat61 is the definitive guide to European train travel. Download the Loco2 app to buy tickets in advance. You can buy same day at the station (most Europeans do), but if you have a definitive itinerary you can score a good deal on first class tickets- which gives you assigned seats.

Train between Barcelona and Paris is about 5 and 1/2 hours, so Barcelona is the most difficult logistically.

I would do London first and then either Paris or Amsterdam. Amsterdam is small, so you can cover most of it in two full days.

I say London first because it is less stressful and intimidating. Makes for a good comfortable start for your first trip across the pond. Load up on 1 pound coins for the pay toilets. No gas stations or fast food places to dip into when you gotta go!

Plenty to see and do. Best taxis in the world, so don’t bother with Uber. For a quick cheap meal, go to Pret A Manger. They’re all over the place.

On European hotels, there are few chains in the cities - which is a good thing. I’m not an Airbnb type. Mrs Springbok likes her boutique hotels. You should too.

Read Lonely Planet to figure out the neighborhoods. If you like edgy, stay in Soho. Try the Soho Hotel (pricy but amazing) or the Nadler. You can walk to Hakkasan Hanway Place. Catch Book of Mormon or another show.

After London, you will be more ready for Paris. Paris was built to impress you with French wealth, power and art. You want to stay on a quiet walkable street in a neighborhood. But when you get out of the neighborhood, Paris is huge. The buildings are massive (not tall; broad and oversized); the streets super wide; the traffic insane. It makes London look old fashioned, quaint and a bit dowdy. That’s why I say go to London first (and London is so comfortable that it’s my favorite city).

Get a private tour of the Louvre. Expensive but so worth it!

Fly into LHR. Fly out of CDG (or Amsterdam if you go there instead of Paris).


geauxpurple
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2014
3769 posts

re: Europe Trip
Barcelona is one of my favorite cities. I have taken the 6 hour train ride from Barcelona to Paris and had a great vacation. But I don't like to spend too much of the trip moving from place to place. With 10 days I would fly in to London, spend 4 days there, then take the Eurostar to Paris for the rest of the time.


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tigers444
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jun 2009
2984 posts

re: Europe Trip
quote:

kciDAtaE


That's a lot. I definitely don't think we'll be doing that much.


tigers444
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jun 2009
2984 posts

re: Europe Trip
quote:

337tigergirl

Good to hear! The more I read these posts, the more I think it might be too much for my first trip to Europe though...


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tigers444
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jun 2009
2984 posts

re: Europe Trip
Thanks for the advice and recs. We will probably go the hotel route so appreciate those recs. Leaning more towards London and Paris. I'm sure I'll be back to check out the other cities in the future too after this trip.

ETA: This trip will be mid/late November. Would that change anyone's advice or recs?
This post was edited on 7/12 at 8:44 am


kage
Auburn Fan
ATL
Member since Feb 2010
3858 posts

re: Europe Trip
quote:

Leaning more towards London and Paris


Not sure if you want to rent a car, but if you go London to Paris, you could drive down from London to the coast, see Stonehenge on the way, take a ferry across and see Mont St Michel and drive north along the coast and see Normandy/Omaha Beach, etc and then over to Paris.

You wouldn't want to keep the car in Paris, but that could be an option for maybe 2-3 days of the trip.

Mont St Michel is amazing if you're not familiar with it. It has some of the largest tidal changes day to day in the world.

LINK

LINK


BamaGradinTn
Alabama Fan
Murfreesboro
Member since Dec 2008
16412 posts

re: Europe Trip
quote:

Not sure if you want to rent a car, but if you go London to Paris, you could drive down from London to the coast, see Stonehenge on the way, take a ferry across and see Mont St Michel and drive north along the coast and see Normandy/Omaha Beach, etc and then over to Paris.

You wouldn't want to keep the car in Paris, but that could be an option for maybe 2-3 days of the trip.

Mont St Michel is amazing if you're not familiar with it. It has some of the largest tidal changes day to day in the world.



If you rent the car and take it to Paris, the steering wheel on the right could be a challenge. I have rented cars many times in England, and also have lived in Asian countries with the reversed steering and driving on the left. You get used to it pretty quickly, and it's ok. But driving on the right side of the road with the steering also on the right I think would be really screwy.



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BamaGradinTn
Alabama Fan
Murfreesboro
Member since Dec 2008
16412 posts

re: Europe Trip
quote:

took a melatonin


Also helps me. Highly recommend. The degree to which you can sleep when sitting virtually upright crammed into a coach cabin will be a factor in how much sleep you get. Also, perhaps a flight that departs later at night might help.


kage
Auburn Fan
ATL
Member since Feb 2010
3858 posts

re: Europe Trip
quote:

If you rent the car and take it to Paris, the steering wheel on the right could be a challenge.


I was in France from June 21st to July 4th. Paris > TGV to Provence for 8 days > TGV back to Paris for 4. We were taking a taxi from the airport to our hotel after we flew in and we passed a Lexus suv and I looked over and no one was in the drivers seat and had to do a double take until I realized the driver was on the right side. I thought it was a self driving car with no one it for a few seconds.


quote:

The degree to which you can sleep when sitting virtually upright crammed into a coach cabin will be a factor in how much sleep you get. Also, perhaps a flight that departs later at night might help.


I'd definitely recommend an overnight flight. We flew out of Atlanta and were scheduled to take off at 8:30 pm. We taxied out to the runway and the pilot said there was an issue with the ac, so we had to wait for them to diagnose it. Long story short, we went back to the gate and didn't take off until 11:30, so an 8ish hour flight turned into an 11ish hour flight. They said after a certain time period that anyone could get off the plane, but you wouldn't be allowed back on.

Anyway, taking off at 11:30 was a blessing in disguise because it was my wife and our 7 and 2 year old with us(wouldn't recommend taking a 2 year old to France for 2 weeks, but that's another story). The kids actually slept for pretty much the whole flight and were more or less caught up on a normal schedule when we got to Paris at about noon. They were tired, but it helped them fall asleep at around 8 Paris time our first night, so it worked out in the end.

I forced myself to stay up and then slept about an hour or so before we landed, so I'd be exhausted by bedtime the first night and it worked. I was a little tired on day 2, but my sleep schedule was pretty much caught up. Might not work for everyone, but I didn't need a few days to adjust.

Also, the Air France Airbus 380's have about 10 rows of coach seats on the top level at the very back. There's no difference in terms of the room for the seats, but you have a little bit more room to get up and walk around into first class vs being down on the bottom level and you're right there at the bathrooms and flight attendant food prep areas. We booked via phone with Delta to make sure we could get our own middle row of 4 seats on the top level. When we booked, we looked at first class prices out of curiosity and they were around $20k for 4 tickets.
This post was edited on 7/12 at 2:24 pm


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hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
9051 posts

re: Europe Trip
Consider balancing your big city time with some smaller towns and/or side trips out of the cities. Out of Paris, you can easily add two nights in Bayeux to visit the DDay landing area. Monets gardens in Giverny will be closed by Nov, otherwise I’d suggest that.

Resist the urge to rush about....do your homework/reading in advance so you’ll appreciate what you see. Two or three books read in advance will often make you better prepared than a mediocre guide.

Fly into London, take the Eurostar, fly home from Paris. Or do the reverse.
I do not recommend taking a car from England into France. This is dumb, and expensive. If you need to rent in both places, do two separate rentals. But you may find that regional rail gets you where you need to go.



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hiltacular
Georgia Tech Fan
CHI
Member since Jan 2011
15010 posts

re: Europe Trip
As long as you are able to rally on travel days you can easily do those 3 cities in 10 days.


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kciDAtaE
Member since Apr 2017
4801 posts

re: Europe Trip
quote:

That's a lot. I definitely don't think we'll be doing that much.


Understood. It just developed into that. I was meeting some family in Rome for a week and the plane flights were so much cheaper into London. So I went to London for 48 hours to explore by myself.

Then I found out a friend was surfing in Portugal the day I was leaving Italy, so I added an extra week to vacation to meet him and we did Lisbon/Barcelona for a week.

Same deal flying out of Europe. Dublin was ridiculously cheap so I added a few days by myself. The solo parts were the best.


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337tigergirl
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jan 2012
6456 posts

re: Europe Trip
quote:

mid/late November

Id go to Barcelona bc it will be slightly warmer than the other 2


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