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London /Paris Trip

Hi gang! I’m flying out of JFK on Wednesday night to London on British Airways and I’ve never been international before. Any tips for the flight from NY to London?

After a couple of days, I’m taking a day trip via train to Paris and then back to London before flying home.

Anybody have good experiences or tips to share for flying to London, sightseeing in London, Eurostar train trip to Paris, and then back?

Also…I’m flying economy and my train ticket is coach also.

Thank you!

by Anonymousreply 301September 23, 2023 11:49 PM

Take Melatonin after dinner. If you take Ambien or another prescription sleeping pill, take it after dinner.

by Anonymousreply 1September 18, 2023 12:38 AM

Ignore R1. The flight time is barely six hours—braking a drug is idiotic. You’ll doze off for a couple of hours after meal service…don’t expect more. BA sucks eggs.

Power through the first day and you’ll sleep well that evening.

You won’t see much of Paris in a half day…pick one or two things and allow yourself time to get back to Gare du Nord.

by Anonymousreply 2September 18, 2023 1:06 AM

Thank you R1

by Anonymousreply 3September 18, 2023 1:06 AM

Thank you R2

by Anonymousreply 4September 18, 2023 1:06 AM

And don’t thank every damn poster…I smell a troll.

by Anonymousreply 5September 18, 2023 1:08 AM

Only 1 day (and not even 1 full day) in Paris OP? That's a big mistake which you'll regret once you see it. You need at least 3 days at a minimum in Paris. You haven't said how many days in total you will be spending in London but I would drop time from London and add it to Paris instead.

Basic tourist things to do in Paris are a Seine cruise and walk around the bridges and the city (1 full day), Louvre (1 full day), Montmartre and the Sacré Coeur (1 full day) and lunches, dinners and maybe a show. That's 3 days and you won't regret it. Paris is the most beautiful city in the world.

by Anonymousreply 6September 18, 2023 1:28 AM

Why are you giving him a three day tour for 1/2 a day? That’s not what he’s doing nor what he asked for. Troll in’

by Anonymousreply 7September 18, 2023 1:29 AM

A full day in the Louvre is insane for most people much less a first timer.

Mm and SC fo not a day make….a few hours is sufficient

by Anonymousreply 8September 18, 2023 1:31 AM

I do hear the crowds at the Louvre are insane these days, making it an unpleasant experience. It seems that the administration just wants to make as much money as possible. Maybe things have calmed down a bit by late September compared to peak vacation times.

by Anonymousreply 9September 18, 2023 1:36 AM

When you get there, spend as much time outside as you can to reset your circadian rhythm. Even better if it is sunny out. If you must take a nap don’t sleep more than 90 minutes. Go to bed early and you should be fine the next day.

If I only had 1 day in Paris I would spend 2 hours at Musee d’Orsay over the Louvre

by Anonymousreply 10September 18, 2023 1:42 AM

OP here. The bulk of my trip is in London because I’m seeing shows.

Im seeing La Cage Aux Folles Thursday matinee

Cabaret Thursday evening

Old Friends on Friday evening

And Sunset Blvd on Saturday evening.

I plan to hopefully do Buckingham Palace and Tower of London and definitely Eiffel Tower on Saturday during the day trip to Paris

by Anonymousreply 11September 18, 2023 1:52 AM

You can and should do both because the Musee d’Orsay is almost directly across the Seine from the Louvre on the Pont Royal bridge R10. The whole area is stunning and not to be missed.

I obviously should have been much more specific.

When I say spend a whole day at the Louve, Montmartre etc. - I mean in the general area. Walk around, go into interesting buildings, have a coffee and cake, lunch, dinner, visit little shops, buy some art posters or real art etc. Spending the day around the Seine should include the cruise, bridge walking, site seeing, visits to landmarks like the Notre Dame and the gardens, palaces and cafes, lunch and dinner and a show...

For the day in the Louvre area it should include the Eiffel Tower, Musee d’Orsay, walking around, experiencing the amazing gardens and food and cafes and anything else you can pack in.

Is that clear enough? Good.

by Anonymousreply 12September 18, 2023 1:57 AM

[quote]I plan to hopefully do Buckingham Palace and Tower of London

Make sure you visit Sheffield and Leeds OP. They sound much more your kind of thing.

by Anonymousreply 13September 18, 2023 2:01 AM

Why in God's name didn't you book an open jaw flight and come home from Paris?

by Anonymousreply 14September 18, 2023 2:04 AM

R14, I'm not OP, but Charles de Gaulle Airport sucks donkey dick.

by Anonymousreply 15September 18, 2023 2:07 AM

And Heathrow eats ass.

by Anonymousreply 16September 18, 2023 2:13 AM

R6 he has 1/2 day in Paris. Is that clear enough? Pay attention

by Anonymousreply 17September 18, 2023 2:14 AM

What "sucks donkey dick" even more is flying to London and two days later hoppjng on the train, as OP calls it, round-trip (approx 5-6 hpurs) to Paris.

by Anonymousreply 18September 18, 2023 2:15 AM

OP - Tower of London is interesting especially if you’re a history buff - I only saw the outside of Buckingham

If you like museums you should definitely go to the British Museum and the National Gallery. They both have mind blowing collections. I also loved Sir John Soan’s House Museum.

by Anonymousreply 19September 18, 2023 2:15 AM

Do many drugs and see where it goes! You may even find a husband in a dog dirty orgy in the sex clubs @ Paris!

by Anonymousreply 20September 18, 2023 2:15 AM

I would rather fly out of Gatwick than either CDG or Heathrow. I've never used Orly.

by Anonymousreply 21September 18, 2023 2:15 AM

You skipped Munich, OP? I traveled New York, London, Paris, Munich..everybody was talking about pop music…

by Anonymousreply 22September 18, 2023 2:50 AM

OP, I have spent a lot of time in London and have flown over so many times I've lost count. Here is some advice based on experience:

1. On your first day you need to exercise and get out into the open air as much as possible in order to sync with the new time zone. I recommend taking a London Walk (guided walking tours, always very interesting, and very cheap). A tour of Mayfair or Soho would be just the ticket for a first-timer.

2. If you're arriving via Heathrow, take the Heathrow Express train into the city. It will drop you at Paddington where you can get a bus, taxi, or tube. It is much faster than any other way into town, so you can maximize your first day in London.

3. Buckingham Palace isn't really worth the time on a limited stay, whereas the Tower of London is better than you expect it to be. You might do the hop-on-hop-off bus tour -it takes you through all the famous sites. Best places to get off and explore are Westminster and Leicester Square.

4; If you can, take time out to have a formal afternoon tea at one of the posh hotels or Fortnum and Mason. Pricy, but plan on it as dinner. You'll be totally stuffed with sandwiches, scones, and cakes. You can do it before theatre one even in lieu of dinner.

5. I'm not much of a shopper, but three places worth a visit are Liberty, Fortnum and Mason, and Harrod's -especially the food halls.

6. Make sure you bring a credit or debit card that has a microchip and pin. You won't be able to use one without them! (at least not for tube/bus tickets, etc.) Ask your bank what its UK affiliate is, and then only use that bank's ATMs in London (no fees that way). Skip the exchange places -they charge a fortune. Just put your debit card into your bank's ATM for cash.

by Anonymousreply 23September 18, 2023 3:10 AM

In Paris go to Le Raidd and see the live shower show. The train to Paris is twice as expensive as flying. Not sure if it takes longer though. I wouldn’t bring a debit card anywhere. Get a credit card that can be used at an ATM if you really need it.

by Anonymousreply 24September 18, 2023 3:14 AM

If you like movies go to the BFI in London. They’re screening a film print of Barry Lyndon on Sunday. A while back they screened an original nitrate print of Mildred Pierce. Seeing movies has become my travel hobby now. Last year I went to Moma and saw a scratchy print of The Birds. The audience was so lively there compared to the people at the cinémathèque Française in Paris.

by Anonymousreply 25September 18, 2023 3:37 AM

London: agree with the National Gallery. If possible, go to the National Portrait Gallery. Free admission for both, IIRC.

Paris: disagree about the Seine cruise. If you only have 1/2 a day, I think it's a waste of time. If you go to the Louvre, skip the entire bottom floor (sculpture). I figured out what I wanted to see, beforehand, e.g., the Mona Lisa, and I think I took a map with me. Same strategy for the Nat'l Galleries in London.

Too bad the Notre Dame burned and is still under construction.

This sounds silly, but if you're in the mood to shop, I'd go to the Galleries Lafayette.

by Anonymousreply 26September 18, 2023 4:41 AM

Another London recommendation: Rules restaurant, featured in Downton Abbey. It really is a cool restaurant, IMO. I think it's reasonably close to the theaters.

by Anonymousreply 27September 18, 2023 4:50 AM

[quote] I think it's reasonably close to the theaters.

Foreign Broadway?

by Anonymousreply 28September 18, 2023 4:52 AM

WTF are you going to Paris at all (other than to get a stamp on your passport)? You can't accomplish shit during that extremely brief visit, whereas you could spend another wonderful day in London.

The National Gallery. The British Museum. The Tate. The Victoria & Albert. Westminster Abbey. Hampton Court. Covent Garden. Greenwich. Camden Town. etc. etc. etc.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 29September 18, 2023 5:04 AM

I don't have any tips, OP. Having never been anywhere, before. Have fun, though! Sounds exciting!

by Anonymousreply 30September 18, 2023 5:36 AM

Take a train out to Henley on Thames and take a hike from Hambleden to Turville. You can see some cute villages and the windmill from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

by Anonymousreply 31September 18, 2023 5:52 AM

R23 I’d make one small change. Use the new Elizabeth line from Heathrow instead. It’s barely slower than the express and is something like a quarter of the price. They use the same tracks as each other for most of the way to Paddington.

by Anonymousreply 32September 18, 2023 8:05 AM

R11 OP you are making the classic American mistake of "seeing Europe in a couple of days". Save Paris for another time. Both cities are BIG and dense, and there is so much to discover. Three days in either is barely enough to scratch the surface.

Do yourself a favour and spend all of your vacation days in London. I promise you'll thank yourself for that.

by Anonymousreply 33September 18, 2023 8:13 AM

Regarding mobile device. Turn off roaming so you don’t get charged by your US carrier as it continually searches for signals. I am not an expert but many DL here can provide additional info on sim cards and such

by Anonymousreply 34September 18, 2023 10:35 AM

R32 - Totally agree with this. The other big plus with the Elizabeth line is that it goes right through the centre of London and interchanges with several tube stops, such as Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road - ideal if your hotel is right in the centre of town.

The Heathrow Express terminates at Paddington, then you have to get where you are going by bus or taxi.

by Anonymousreply 35September 18, 2023 10:42 AM

Paris for half a day is insane. I lived there for a while. Its like saying you could do New York in half an hour. If you are determined to do it then definitely Musee d’Orsay BUT book a pre-entry time and even with pre-booked tickets you can be queuing for hours, so you may not actually make it in anywhere. I honestly wouldn't attempt it. Cancel your tickets and go to Hampton Court Palace instead. Day trip from London. Or Windsor. But for goodness sake pre-book!!

by Anonymousreply 36September 18, 2023 10:44 AM

If you're only in Paris 1/2 day, try one of those city tour busses. They're totally touristy and tacky, but you cover a lot of ground in a short time.

I've used these types of services in several cities. If you're staying longer than a day, it gives you a great start to find places to return to; if you're only in town a limited town, you get to see a lot more than if you try to figure out the public transport systems (most of them are really very good).

PS: I've never been to Paris.

by Anonymousreply 37September 18, 2023 11:09 AM

Airport to central city transit in Europe is SO much better than anyplace in the crappy old USA.

Eurostar to Paris is approximately 2 1/2 hours each way. You’ll also have to factor in getting to St Pancras early for checking in and same for Gare du Nord at least an hour prior. So you’re in transit 7 hours station to station out of the day. Doable but exhausting. The train is very nice and you can see some of the countryside whizzing by at 200 mph. We were tempted to do a similar day trip to Barcelona from Madrid when in Spain, but decided it wasn’t feasible and to save it for a future trip. You’re going to have a great trip, I’m sure.

by Anonymousreply 38September 18, 2023 11:17 AM

Jesus Christ, why do assholes like R38 have to poison every thread with some xenophobic comment about the U.S.?


I’ve been to London and Paris several times. My advice:

If your flight is scheduled to arrive in the morning, sleep on the plane so you can hit the ground running. Don’t drink too much alcohol and don’t take any medication that will leave you groggy.

In both cities, there are free walking tours that will help you orient yourself. The guides will also have recommendations on activities and restaurants if you need them.

In London, I recommend visiting Kew Gardens, the Tower of London, and a museum or two (British Museum, Tate Modern). Keep in mind you should schedule a few hours for resting at the hotel since you plan on going to plays in the evening!

In Paris you really only have time for a walking tour, but if you go to a museum, I highly recommend Musée d’ Orsay over the Louvre.

by Anonymousreply 39September 18, 2023 11:30 AM

If you really want to fit in in London, rent Mary Poppins and study Dick Van Dykes accent carefully. Learn it. Use it.

by Anonymousreply 40September 18, 2023 11:31 AM

[quote]I'm not OP, but Charles de Gaulle Airport sucks donkey dick. And Heathrow eats ass.

Pics please.

by Anonymousreply 41September 18, 2023 11:36 AM

Also, OP, hope you enjoy your first international trip! May it lead to many more adventures.

by Anonymousreply 42September 18, 2023 11:38 AM

More likely it will lead to tears…based on his timetable.

by Anonymousreply 43September 18, 2023 11:47 AM

Can you imagine making your very first overseas trip …just to see Sunset Blvd?! Another Cabaret?!

What, no Evita?

by Anonymousreply 44September 18, 2023 11:50 AM

I know this is not the subject of the thread but a scratchy print of The Birds at MOMA is inexcusable. Their Technicolor festival was the worst film festival I have ever been to. The prints were garbage. I don't know who the head curator there is now but they should be at the bottom of the sea. Years ago they had great prints.

As to the OP you're not going for much time. Go to one city and stay there otherwise you'll be wasting too much time and money.

by Anonymousreply 45September 18, 2023 11:54 AM

Thanks for calling me an asshole at 7:30 on a Monday morning r39. What a way to start the week. I should have omitted the word crappy. That was rude, as the US has lots of magnificent things to recommend it. I was thinking of NY and LA I guess, and those airports don't connect by rail directly. DC has decent access by Metro, BART to SFO, and MARTA goes into to ATL, of the airports I'm familiar with. Chicago too. I'm actually from the US so xenophobia doesn't appear to apply. I meant no disrespect to OP. Thanks and have a good week.

by Anonymousreply 46September 18, 2023 12:05 PM

My favourite museums in London were the Imperial War Museum which I hadn’t wanted to visit but the found fascinating and the V&A. I found the British Museum boring as all can be and would honestly ship all the contents back. The Parthenon Marbles were the biggest let down of all time. The National Gallery is definitely worth a visit if you are interested in art. As for Paris, if the weather is on your side, I would try doing things like walking along the Seine to see the artists, appreciate some of the buildings and architecture around you from the outside, sit outside at one of the pavement cafes, view the Eiffel Tower from the ground. Your time is limited and you could spend half your time queuing for the touristy places. Save those for a longer visit.

by Anonymousreply 47September 18, 2023 12:13 PM

Hi OP - I have no specific sightseeing suggestions but want to say congratulations and I wish you a great time!

by Anonymousreply 48September 18, 2023 12:15 PM

NY to London isn't a bad flight, it's only a bit longer than flying NY to LA.

by Anonymousreply 49September 18, 2023 12:18 PM

PS, unless you are terminally ill and will never get a chance to see Paris again, I would suggest you stay at least one night, or skip the trip and go to Paris another year.

by Anonymousreply 50September 18, 2023 12:20 PM

R47 Penn Station to Air Train to any JFK terminal is less than hour. E train from 34th street to Air Train to any terminal takes one hour.

What are you smoking?

by Anonymousreply 51September 18, 2023 12:46 PM

Which is way worse than London and other cities with good airport transit r51. From Heathrow you can hop on the express train from any terminal and go directly to Paddington station in Central London in 15 mins. Or you can catch the underground from any terminal.

From JFK you first have to take an Airtrain, which requires buying a MetroCard as it doesn't take a credit card tap like the subway does. Those machines often have long lines. Then after waiting for one train and riding 10 minutes, you arrive at Jaimaica station still way out in Queens when you can finally catch a train to try to start moving towards where you want to go.

By the time you arrive at Jaimaica you would already be in Central London coming from Heathrow.

by Anonymousreply 52September 18, 2023 1:18 PM

You don’t plan well—do you. And yes Omni is being installed.

Your timing to Jamaica is bullshit. The end.

by Anonymousreply 53September 18, 2023 1:21 PM

Even just half a day in Paris without seeing La Tour Eiffel is nonsense. It’s the most iconic Parisian structure and one can see the entire city from the “top”. A Seine bateaux mouche and the Eiffel Tower would be a lovely day for a first time visitor.

by Anonymousreply 54September 18, 2023 1:24 PM

Two weeks ago, on Labor Day, I landed at JFK T4 from Europe. I took the air train to the E train. It took me 1 hour 10 minutes from Global Entry to 23rd&8th.

by Anonymousreply 55September 18, 2023 1:26 PM

It takes an hour from DeGaulle to 1 Metro Line.

It takes 45 minutes from Malpensa to Cadorna.

Lazy, lazy thinking to bitch that getting to/from JFK is untenable.

by Anonymousreply 56September 18, 2023 1:35 PM

OP, can I just say, if you're not particularly an art museum kind of guy, go to The National Portrait Gallery. Not nearly as dry as it sounds and it's just gone through a 2 year renovation. Easy to see everything there in 2 hours - great art as seen through the portraits of England's biggest celebs from Henry IV to Prince William and every writer, actor and artist in between. And its right there in Trafalgar Square near everything else.

by Anonymousreply 57September 18, 2023 1:51 PM

Is the Underground now accepting credit card chips as well as Oyster Cards for admittance?

by Anonymousreply 58September 18, 2023 1:52 PM

If I'm arriving in London around 8:30 PM is the underground Elizabeth line still fast and expedient or is it better to just splurge on a taxi? I want to get to my hotel in Whitehall by 10 pm if not earlier.

by Anonymousreply 59September 18, 2023 1:54 PM

I see London, I see France, I see OP in his underpants!

by Anonymousreply 60September 18, 2023 2:15 PM

R58 yes. R59 Elizabeth line will be much faster than taxi. Traffic is horrendous.

by Anonymousreply 61September 18, 2023 2:48 PM

Thank you all for all of your input! Please keep ‘em coming, this has been extremely helpful.

I’m a show queen so the trip was booked around shows…I agree I am going to to be pressed for time..so all of these tips has been extremely helpful!

by Anonymousreply 62September 18, 2023 3:12 PM

If you're a show queen, OP, why are you missing the sensational Guys & Dolls revival at The Bridge Theatre? It's the most fun I've had at a musical in 30 years. NOT TO BE MISSED if you still have a slot open and can score tix. You can stand and move with the young crowds on stage (it's in the round) or sit in the tiers. We sat on a lower tier last March and LOVED it. Andrew Richardson, who plays Sky, is so HOT and worth the price of admission alone.

by Anonymousreply 63September 18, 2023 3:20 PM

Have a pre or post theater dinner at J. Sheekey which has great food and has been attracting a lively crowd of theatergoers, actors, and other West End theatre folk since 1896.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 64September 18, 2023 3:32 PM

Shakey’s? Pizza?!

by Anonymousreply 65September 18, 2023 3:43 PM

Why do so many Americans who've never left the country before imagine it's possible to pop over to Europe for 4-5 days and stuff two weeks worth of things into that brief time?

by Anonymousreply 66September 18, 2023 3:47 PM

In London, take the Big Bus or the other bus company (one's red buses, the other browns.) It drives you past all the iconic sights. You can hop on or off as you like but at a minimum you will see all the icons with your own eyes. Then you can pick and choose what to invest time in. The Tower of London is good value for the expense. The Crown Jewels are pretty amazing.

The Tube now taps with credit cards. Don't forget on the Tube you tap in and out.

by Anonymousreply 67September 18, 2023 3:59 PM

I haven't seen it but an actor friend in London also raves about Guys and Dolls, per R63.

by Anonymousreply 68September 18, 2023 3:59 PM

OP, I always take the Heathrow Express into central. It's most expensive (or is it compared to cars?) but you're there in fifteen minutes, arriving Paddington for 37 pounds.

I just find the Tube so unforgiving to a tired traveller with at least one big, unwieldy suitcase. I won't do it.

Also, if you need to store luggage for any reason to maximise your time on arrival day or departure day, there's safe Left Luggage facilities at most major train stations.

Uber is usually cheaper in town than a taxi.

by Anonymousreply 69September 18, 2023 4:04 PM

r66 not every American can afford to take 2 weeks of time to travel around Europe. It is what it is. OP didn't say he was stuffing 2 weeks of activities into his trip.

by Anonymousreply 70September 18, 2023 4:10 PM

[quote] Why do so many Americans who've never left the country before imagine it's possible to pop over to Europe for 4-5 days and stuff two weeks worth of things into that brief time?

Because it's fucking expensive (lodging) and a long trip. Also, like R70 says, you need time off from your job. Hopefully, paid time off.

Many years ago, I went to London and Paris for a very short trip. We'd all like to think we'll go back, someday, and spend more time. I haven't been back and, frankly, I don't know if I'll ever go back to London & Paris.

OP is just trying to do as much as possible with whatever time & resources he / she has.

by Anonymousreply 71September 18, 2023 4:14 PM

Several shows and a trip to Paris sound like trying to stuff two weeks into 5 days.

Sorry, I forgot that Americans don't have the legal right to paid leave.

by Anonymousreply 72September 18, 2023 4:14 PM

OP, depending on your nearest tube stop, you can also take the Piccadilly line from Heathrow.

by Anonymousreply 73September 18, 2023 4:15 PM

Remember, most of the museums in London are free. The British Museum is amazing... the quintessential museum. The National Gallery is great too but I'd suggest a guided tour so you learn something unless you know your art (I don't.) If you're alone, in the evenings, some of the London Walks tours are fun (in the day too.) Many of the churches have daytime concerts, often free. Westminster Abbey is fascinating, for so much history. How they built that all those hundreds of years ago...? Don't buy two big meals a day, it'll break the bank. The sandwiches etc. at Sainsbury's Local or Tesco Metro are decent for lunch. You can sit in a park and have a peaceful lunch.

by Anonymousreply 74September 18, 2023 4:19 PM

Don't miss a nighttime wander in Soho. It's jumping... thriving... fun. Really just about five or six blocks but God I love Soho.

by Anonymousreply 75September 18, 2023 4:19 PM

Another note on the Paddington Express... booked far enough in advance you can save... you don't want to buy it on the ground that day, it's most expensive and the 37 pounds is return, within a month of departure.

by Anonymousreply 76September 18, 2023 4:23 PM

[quote] Don't buy two big meals a day, it'll break the bank. The sandwiches etc. at Sainsbury's Local or Tesco Metro are decent for lunch.

Some people, like me, are into food. So, I would allocate my resources towards food. A "big meal" doesn't necessarily have to break the bank. Food is part of culture, esp. in France. So, I don't think I'd want to be eating supermarket sandwiches. That said, I find supermarkets in foreign places interesting.

by Anonymousreply 77September 18, 2023 4:27 PM

If you're into a Changing of the Guards scene, it's better (in being much more intimate) at Horse Guards than at Buckingham Palace.

by Anonymousreply 78September 18, 2023 4:29 PM

R77, fair enough. I'm the same way. I guess I was thinking about lunch time and the "pub".... the clientele are usually tourists, the food's usually microwaved and not worth 16 pounds. I returned to London after three years for the first time in May. I was stunned by the expense for everything, insult added to injury when you figure out the exchange rate. So that drove my post about lunch from Sainsbury. It's still not bad stuff whether you're a foodie or not. I agree, though, I always like to check out supermarkets to spot the differences.

by Anonymousreply 79September 18, 2023 4:30 PM

I loved the smaller museums in London. Someone already mentioned the John Soane House--it is fabulously quirky in the best sense.

The Wallace collection is an oasis of serene beauty just off High street in Marylebone. I took this picture in 2019. We had the place to ourselves.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 80September 18, 2023 4:30 PM

The Buckingham Palace tour is not worth it unless you really want to see it for reasons beyond general tourist curiosity. It's expensive for what you get.

by Anonymousreply 81September 18, 2023 4:31 PM

One thing I have enjoyed and everybody seems to enjoy is the tour of the (underground) Cabinet War rooms.

Also, I'd skip touring Parliament if tours are on. The security is enormous and slows things down and inside there are docents and you're watched like a hawk. I think the only thrill they get is pouncing. And the House of Commons (like so many things in life) is smaller to the naked eye than you'd expect, so somewhat disappointing. It just feels like an over managed experience and your time is better spent, imo.

by Anonymousreply 82September 18, 2023 4:33 PM

If you are going to London you have to accept it's going to be expensive, not as expensive as NY, but close enough. Nothing is going to be cheap.

Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Rome etc are all more affordable.

by Anonymousreply 83September 18, 2023 4:35 PM

R83 Yes it's expensive but we were there for 2 weeks and most of our destinations were FREE except for the tube. I'm from San Francisco and museums cost $$$$, and transportation is not as good or convenient as London.

If you don't splurge on eating out London is cheaper for the tourist than many large cities.

by Anonymousreply 84September 18, 2023 4:44 PM

R84 is that grim pillage dude y’all write about. Egg sandwiches from Pret…

by Anonymousreply 85September 18, 2023 4:52 PM

In fact this whole thread might be a stealth Bavor move

by Anonymousreply 86September 18, 2023 4:57 PM

Go to Windmill pub in Mayfair for their award winning meat pie. Then you can walk down Bond street and look at all the designer shops. Or go to Dishoom for some good Indian food. Princelet street in has some nice Georgian architecture, it brings to mind Jack the Ripper. There’s a bar called the Three Bells where his victims hung out. There’s also ye olde Cheshire cheese where Dickens would write. Several floors of drinking rooms. Take a walk around Chelsea and see the colorful houses, walk down one of the crescent shaped streets.

by Anonymousreply 87September 18, 2023 5:04 PM

[quote] is that grim pillage dude y’all write about. Egg sandwiches from Pret…

No. Waitrose was just around the corner and I don't eat eggs.

'Grim pillage dude' is pretty funny though.

by Anonymousreply 88September 18, 2023 5:05 PM

Londoner here.

That half day in Paris is a waste of money and time. It's like being given a five star meal but you can only eat the bread and butter.

London has so many things to do and a lot of it can be done on foot: - John Soanes house on Lincoln's Inn Fields and the Hunterian Medical Museum on the other side of the green. Both free both really interesting. Tube Stop: Holborn - British Museum about ten minutes walk from John Soanes so Holborn tube again. It is a colossal building so maybe think ahead about what you'd like to see there. It is free. - National and National Portrait Galleries - amazing and again Free. Tube : Charing Cross - The Museum road in South Kensington (Tube Stop) - Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Victoria and Albert museum and again...all free! You could really spend a whole day in South Kensington in those museums then either walk up to Knightsbridge where Harrods and Harvey Nichols are or walk up to Albertopolis and Hyde Park - St Pauls Cathedral (£20)- if you're not scared of heights then you can climb up into both the inner and outer domes for a great aerial view of London. - if the weather is nice (it currently isn't) then have a picnic lunch in either St James Park or Hyde Park, you'll have already seen Regents Park from your visit to La Cage - Soho has good vibes, it's not as hip as it used to be but you'll find lots of gay venues there particularly on Old Compton Street - Good restaurants that don't break the bank - Sarastros on Drury Lane, Cote Brasserie (of which there are many branches) or The Ivy Grill in Covent Garden. - don't bother with the London Eye. If you want a high rise view of the city try getting a booking at Duck and Waffle or Sushi Samba in Bishopsgate - The Palace and The Abbey are worth it. So much history. - Changing of the Guard is very touristy but very interesting to watch it happens three times a week outside the palace. Just don't get in the guards way as they will walk through you.

If I think of more I will let you know OP. Just those came to the top of my head.

by Anonymousreply 89September 18, 2023 5:07 PM

When I was living in London I took my father to France for what supposed to be a brief day trip.

Transit strike hit and both sides closed. We were stuck in Boulogne there for three days. My father nearly lost his mind.

by Anonymousreply 90September 18, 2023 5:09 PM

Stop by.

I'll let them know you're coming. Cammy is looking forward to it, too. Can you bring her a carton of Kents? They're hard to find here.

by Anonymousreply 91September 18, 2023 5:12 PM

Apologies I forgot the spacing rule on DL posts

by Anonymousreply 92September 18, 2023 5:15 PM

On my first European train travel trip, I made the error of taking the wrong seat. Unlike with Amtrak, your train reservation will show the precise car and seat where you are assigned. Be sure to look for the right car/seat and all should go well.

by Anonymousreply 93September 18, 2023 5:15 PM

Are you suggesting that OP and Charles meet up in Paris, r91? Because the King is going on a state visit to France on Wednesday, along with the Queen.

by Anonymousreply 94September 18, 2023 5:17 PM

Six actors from TKAM appeared in the original Star Trek series

by Anonymousreply 95September 18, 2023 5:18 PM

Lo siento—ignore that ^^

by Anonymousreply 96September 18, 2023 5:18 PM

I won't criticize the OP for managing a day or even a 1/2 day in Paris. If you've never been then half the fun is planning a return. For both cities just plan on walking. For Paris, I would recommend getting to Trocadero and then crossing to the Eiffel Tower. Cliche? Absolutely, but see it once and then move on. (NB: this area is notorious gangs of young people who want you to sign a petition, but are actually pickpockets. Just keep moving and don't give them the time of day.) Stay on the Left Bank and just keep walking to Notre Dame, stopping at as many cafes as you like to keep yourself going. Or criss-cross at your leisure. You'll sleep well that night when you return to London.

In London, which I've been to many times, my advice would be the same: organize your itineraries so that walking from place to place makes sense. Organize your itineraries around things that interest you. Royal London, museums, theater, pubs? I rarely shop at home, but I do love shopping in London.

by Anonymousreply 97September 18, 2023 5:39 PM

Keep your distance from Note Dame. So much is blocked off and the foot traffic is ridiculous. Take in the view from the safety of the Left Bank.

by Anonymousreply 98September 18, 2023 5:48 PM

If you're going to be in Paris near Notre Dame then visit Saint-Chapelle instead. It's glorious

by Anonymousreply 99September 18, 2023 5:54 PM

On the 22nd they're having an organ recital at St. Paul's.

by Anonymousreply 100September 18, 2023 5:58 PM

^ woops wrong month. I'll go flagellate myself now. But they do have a recital every Sunday at 4:30.

by Anonymousreply 101September 18, 2023 6:04 PM

regarding expenses, best piece of travel advice i have ever heard: Expect to spend on a daily basis about the same amount you spend on daily lodging. We found London to be very expensive (this was years ago) and found eating at 'ethnic' (Greek, Indian ,etc) restaurants and grocery store 'take away' to be a more affordable option.

by Anonymousreply 102September 18, 2023 6:07 PM

No offense intended, but I do wonder why many posters write about price or quality of food/lodging based on “my trip many years ago…” 🤷🏻‍♂️

by Anonymousreply 103September 18, 2023 6:14 PM

My trip to London was in May. Again, between inflation, London being London and the exchange rate, it was stratospheric. I paid $550 a night for this place in Soho, which is lovely, but not the Savoy.

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by Anonymousreply 104September 18, 2023 6:17 PM

If you’re American—the exchange rate is more than decent, on an historical basis. Inflation is inflation —everywhere.

by Anonymousreply 105September 18, 2023 6:22 PM

Hope you don’t get stuck sitting next to a farting baby.

by Anonymousreply 106September 18, 2023 6:22 PM

OP, the best advice I can give you is to save Paris for another trip of 4 or 5 days at a minimum, ideally at least a full week.

London grows on you as you learn its geography and come to have favorite places and neighborhoods. It takes many visits to get a good sense of London, and even then there will be enormous parts of it that you have never so much as heard of but have wonderful things.

Think twice before taking the Tube everywhere. It's fine to use, but avoid the mistake of many tourists who spend15 minutes navigating escalators and tunnels to wait for a train to venture only one or two stops that they might have done above ground in 10 minutes. In the center, check Google maps to see the walk time because one or two or three stops might be a very short and much more interesting walk. For longer distances a bus provide some sense of where you are and give you different parts of London (the lines and schedules are easily figured out.)

Buckingham Palace is not worth much time on a short trip. It's interiors are like a second-rate marginally Five Star hotel in some fifth-tier Eastern Europe watering hole. There are more impressive interiors (e.g., Spencer House, the Frederick Lord Leighton House, Soane House if you like architecture, or take a short train ride to Hampton Court which is genuinely interesting.)

by Anonymousreply 107September 18, 2023 6:28 PM

There are 100 flights from NYC to Paris every day. See Paris another time, but not in tandem with some other major city.

by Anonymousreply 108September 18, 2023 6:29 PM

OP recognizes he isn't going to be able to see much of Paris, but if wants to do a day trip to Paris while in London it is very feasible thanks to the Eurostar train.

You take the first train out and the last train back. Who knows the next time he will be in Europe considering this is his first time ever leaving the country.

by Anonymousreply 109September 18, 2023 6:37 PM

OP, I made that same trip about 25 years ago. Have fun.

by Anonymousreply 110September 18, 2023 6:43 PM

I’d rather fly to Paris for a week and do a day trip for lunch and a walkabout in London. If I wanted to see a show I’d be in NY. Practical realist troll

by Anonymousreply 111September 18, 2023 6:47 PM

Yeah, frankly, I'd rather spend more time in Paris with a day trip to London. However, OP is interested in the London plays / theater.

by Anonymousreply 112September 18, 2023 7:09 PM

R94, WE are Charles and we bloody well know where we shall be at any given time. We have throngs of serv... uh STAFF to do these things.

The main point is the damned Kents, you intrusive person.

And of COURSE we are talking about Paris. We do not want some stray American trampling the nap out of our carpets at home. We simply would have commanded that the cigarettes be left at the gate, in that case.

Now, if we can just keep Cammy's sticky fingers out of Macron's pockets. We do like Mme. Macron, though. Her skin leaves Cammy feeling fresh and dewy.

by Anonymousreply 113September 18, 2023 7:19 PM

Have a spot of Bolli at Harvey Nics

by Anonymousreply 114September 18, 2023 7:26 PM

R104 should have stayed in a Premier Inn or a Travelodge. They have no frills but are £150 a night, they're clean and comfortable and have loads of branches across Central London.

by Anonymousreply 115September 18, 2023 7:33 PM

Like the foodie who couldn't bear the idea of a Sainsbury sandwich, I couldn't stay anywhere other than Hazlitt's. Part of the experience for me. But, cost a boatload of fucking money.

by Anonymousreply 116September 18, 2023 7:46 PM

I always look for affordable accomodations when I travel to cities. I want to spend money on doing things, not where I sleep, my goal is always to spend as little time at my accomodations as possible.

by Anonymousreply 117September 18, 2023 7:52 PM

If he’d wanted a Travelodge, he could have stayed home in Flyoverstan.

by Anonymousreply 118September 18, 2023 7:54 PM

I'm jealous. I wish I was going to Paris for the first time again.

by Anonymousreply 119September 18, 2023 7:58 PM

I wanna stay in this Airbnb when I go. It looks like it was once a sweatshop, the bathroom is outside in a shed and there’s a cat.

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by Anonymousreply 120September 18, 2023 8:07 PM

Ok Bav—anything you say

by Anonymousreply 121September 18, 2023 8:21 PM

I have nothing of substance to add, but I hope you have a great time OP.

by Anonymousreply 122September 18, 2023 8:32 PM

[quote]OP recognizes he isn't going to be able to see much of Paris, but if wants to do a day trip to Paris while in London it is very feasible thanks to the Eurostar train.

It's feasible to fly from London touching then taking off again in/from various European capitals and be back to London in time for last call in a pub, early as that hour is. But why? What is the point to visiting airports in Madrid, Lisbon, Rome, Amsterdam, a train to Brussels, then Copenhagen and back to London?

by Anonymousreply 123September 18, 2023 9:06 PM

Turns out OP has cancelled his trip because many wise, helpful posters told him London was expensive. He/she had no idea and decided to check it out for himself online and sure enough, London ain't Youngstown Ohio.

by Anonymousreply 124September 18, 2023 9:11 PM

r107, your advice about checking Google Maps in order to walk somewhere close instead of taking the tube is great....but does anyone else here have difficulty with the lack of street signs in London? I find Google Maps not very helpful there.

Street signs are rare and only occasionally are street names posted on buildings. With no uniformity to placement, font or color or anything. And then street names often change as one crosses the street.

Am I unreasonable or wrong? Don't mean to whine. London is my favorite city! And I have to say, London pedestrians are rarely helpful with directions. In the city, these days, most seem to be from eastern Europe. It's never been easy finding one's way around the winding streets.

by Anonymousreply 125September 18, 2023 9:47 PM

R125. We had the same issue. I wanted to put my phone away and follow the signs when we walked around but we missed several streets and turns that way. We stopped looking for signs and just tracked ourselves walking on the phone. On another note my partner doesn't drive and said London pedestrians are chaotic, weaving in and out with no 'rules'. Stopping them to ask for directions never occurred to me, it seemed like stopping a car to ask.

One distressed woman approached ME for directions and all I could do was pull out my phone and show here where we were.

by Anonymousreply 126September 18, 2023 9:59 PM

I don't find street signs on the side of buildings that rare. But if you're stuck, try CityMapper or any app that points you in the right direction. But don't get run over.

by Anonymousreply 127September 18, 2023 10:00 PM

OP here thank you all for your helpful hints. I so appreciate you guys.

I’m a big Bernadette Peters / Sondheim Queen so the whole trip was planned around that. I actually am not a fan of Guys and Dolls, though I do know it’s gotten raves. I picked Cabaret because I’ve seen a tour of it but really wanted to see a great production of it. Sunset Boulevard to complete my Andrew Lloyd Webber collection. La Cage was a bonus because they extended an extra week and I had never seen it. I agree I’m going to be SUPER pressed for time in Paris. I know it sounds stupid but I really wanted to see the Eiffel Tower. I’m a mostly broke gay…so I don’t think I’ll get the chance to go back to Europe soon. Thank u all for your well wishes and suggestions. Please keep ‘em coming!

by Anonymousreply 128September 18, 2023 10:08 PM

Good way to get around Paris fast is the Batobus - it's a river bus service, takes you to a lot of the major places, it's hop on hop off and it's relatively cheap

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by Anonymousreply 129September 18, 2023 10:24 PM

Download the CityMapper app. It is free and is a godsend of getting around. You simply put in where you want to go and it will tell you which tube line to take or if a bus is quicker where the bus stop is and the number you need etc.

All Londoners use it, and it's built in for other cities too. Such a great app.

by Anonymousreply 130September 18, 2023 10:43 PM

OP, if you're broke then definitely stick to Pret. Tesco and Sainsbury for breakfasts and lunches. It's pretty cheap and the packaged sandwiches are far better and fresher than those you find in the US. You usually even find them in the larger Underground terminals.

That CABARET revival is spectacular. Also saw it last March. Not joyous like the G&D at The Bridge but lots of fun.

by Anonymousreply 131September 18, 2023 10:43 PM

Go for the egg sandwiches…stay for the flatulence

by Anonymousreply 132September 18, 2023 10:45 PM

R120 'Nissa' sounds like a nutter.

by Anonymousreply 133September 18, 2023 10:50 PM

Having seen both Cabaret and Guys and Dolls in London (Cabaret in 2022 with Eddie Redmayne and Jesse Buckley), you're in for a real treat. The Kit Kat Club that they have composed for the Cabaret feel is really cool and once you go in the labyrinthine entrance you are made to feel like you're in early 30s Berlin with performers and decor reliving the time and the show is truly brilliant. And you get a free drink on entry - choice of beer, water or peach schnapps!

Guys and Dolls is very immersive and it is in one of the most beautiful new theatres in London, the Bridge theatre by Tower Bridge. It's not a favourite musical of mine either but it was great fun. Daniel Mays really steals the show. Have heard great things about La Cage too but as it's outdoor maybe bring a rain poncho as weather is set to be poor here for the next few days.

I'm a big theatre buff and love living in London. Even though ticket prices are getting harder and harder to afford, they're still a fraction of what they are on Broadway. There's also a cool Theatre Cafe on St.Martins Lane that is very charming for a coffee and sandwich.

Most of all just enjoy the place and don't hesitate to ask people directions if you're lost. Most people will help you out if they are true Londoners.

My final bit of advice is don't try and do everything in one go. Do maybe one or two big things a day like museums etc, space it out so that you're not rushing through things to get to the next thing etc. Enjoy what you can of the city. I really hope you have a great time. I moved here as a 20 year old fresh thing from Ireland 15 years ago to do my Masters degree and I am still here and love the city more and more, even though it also gets more and more expensive.

Bon voyage

by Anonymousreply 134September 18, 2023 10:54 PM

As a NYC theatre geek who used to visit London about 10 times a year for work, I have one piece of advice: While you do want to maximize your time, if you feel tired on the first day, go to your hotel and take a nap before the theatre. Nothing worse than sleeping through that show you've been dying to see on your very first night. Prioritize the theatre - that's why you're going. You should be fine after that.

by Anonymousreply 135September 18, 2023 11:17 PM

Ditto the sentiment about the crooked streets that start and stop and change names...I get lost sometimes coming up out of the underground. And Paris too, it"s a lifelong pursuit trying to conquer these two cities. I predict this won't be your only trip there OP. You must at least go back to Paris for a week or 10 days. Have a blast!

by Anonymousreply 136September 19, 2023 3:14 AM

IF you're looking for a place to stay in London I highly recommend the Mr. B & B app/website. It's like AirBnB, but strictly for gays and lesbians. I have stayed at two different places and the hosts were fantastic and the locations outstanding -for less than a fourth of a hotel.

I'm a foodie, and I always eat well in London. Someone above suggested going "ethnic" which is a great idea. London has magnificent Indian and east Asian food, and it can be had for very reasonable prices. Stay away from eateries directly on major squares or opposite famous venues.

by Anonymousreply 137September 19, 2023 3:22 AM

OP, ignore everyone telling you that you shouldn't go to Paris for one day. This is exactly what we did for our first trip to Paris about 15 years ago. We were staying in London for a week, followed by a long itinerary that included Athens and the Greek islands. While in London, we picked one day during which we took the first Eurostar train of the day from London and the last one home from Paris at night. I brought this up to my husband tonight and we reminisced about it. That one day in Paris was one of the most magical days we've ever had. We picked out a couple of stores we wanted to go to (Colette and Astier de Villatte) went to the Louvre, and out for an amazing lunch at Cafe Marly.

I mean, of course you are not going to see everything in Paris in one day. But who knows whether you'll ever get a chance to go there again, so go ahead and live it up for a day there! One suggestion I would make is go ahead and book first class tickets on the Eurostar. It's not terribly expensive, and you can get breakfast and dinner taken care of.

by Anonymousreply 138September 19, 2023 6:46 AM

Difference is, r138, you weren't travelling to Europe for a total of about 5 days.

by Anonymousreply 139September 19, 2023 7:38 AM

I would recommend the Musee d'Orsay rather than the Louvre. It's smaller and has the beautiful Impressionist paintings that you would associate with the highest degree of French artistic culture. (Unless you're dying to wait in line for 2 hours to see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre).

by Anonymousreply 140September 19, 2023 8:38 AM

I don't think a day trip to Paris is a bad idea. I live in the UK, but I'm a couple of hours away from London. I've regularly gone on day trips there; usually arriving at about 10am and leaving around 8pm.

I've always managed to pack a lot in, as I spent a bit of time planning in advance. I see a day trip from London to Paris as similar.

by Anonymousreply 141September 19, 2023 9:20 AM

Everyone ragging on OP for his short trip to Paris needs to chill. A good friend had a short trip to Europe and decided to take the train through Paris, but only had a day. He raved about walking around the city twice, but his first stop especially - which was Notre Dame. It burned less than a year later.

by Anonymousreply 142September 19, 2023 9:22 AM

R138 's Helena Rubensteinesque fabulous whirlwind afternoon in Paris drips with money and pretension. Collete! Café Marly! 1st Class Eurostar travel! Read that OP is a "poor gay" and didn't give a fuck. Or didn't bother to read at all.

by Anonymousreply 143September 19, 2023 9:39 AM

If you can spare an extra day in Paris, hop on private jet to Sion Switzerland from where you can access heli-skiing on the Kleine Matterhorn in Zermatt. There have been significant snow dumps in recent weeks.

by Anonymousreply 144September 19, 2023 9:48 AM

Why don't you... have a silk suit in poppy with lime pinstripes tailored for you at Gieves & Hawkes?

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by Anonymousreply 145September 19, 2023 10:35 AM

Why not take a half day trip to Amsterdam as well? Travel by Eurostar to Paris from London in the morning, spend the morning in Paris, then take the train to Amsterdam for the afternoon and return to London by Eurostar in the evening. If OP times it right, he could fit in a West End show in London in the evening.

by Anonymousreply 146September 19, 2023 10:40 AM

R143 yeesh who shat in your cornflakes?

by Anonymousreply 147September 19, 2023 11:41 AM

R146 you can get a Eurostar train directly to Amsterdam too

by Anonymousreply 148September 19, 2023 12:42 PM

Tips for the FLIGHT??

by Anonymousreply 149September 19, 2023 12:45 PM

R145, please tell me the DL has a DV 'Why don't you...' troll?

It's exactly the thing the placed needs.

by Anonymousreply 150September 19, 2023 12:59 PM

I'm in the Paris for a day club. The first time I went to the Paris the first thrill of it was stepping out of the metro and seeing... it's just like the movies! Some iconic places disappoint. Paris is one of the ones that delivers. It is what you expect. So go, OP! You're going to see Paris! Enjoy. Life is short. Take what you can get.

by Anonymousreply 151September 19, 2023 1:08 PM

I'll never forget my first day in Paris. We were sitting outside one of those quaint sidewalk cafes on the Champs -Elysees having our morning croissants and cafe au laits, when who should walk by but Leslie Caron in a gorgeous couture ensemble, swinging her bag and stole as the taxi cabs blared their iconic horns.

by Anonymousreply 152September 19, 2023 1:16 PM

Tip for the flight. Sit in your seat.

by Anonymousreply 153September 19, 2023 3:56 PM

Tip for trip: Don't start out tired. If you're still working (not retired), don't run yourself ragged trying to "clear your desk" before your trip.

Tip for the flight: Be comfortable. Bring water (they never come by often enough unless you're in bus./first class). Bring a snack. Bring a carry-on, only. It's a short trip, so you should be able to do this.

by Anonymousreply 154September 19, 2023 4:49 PM

R58, the London Underground is now - and has been for years - accepting contactless cards, both debit and credit.

by Anonymousreply 155September 19, 2023 5:30 PM

Indeed r148, that was my point - take the Eurostar from London to Paris and then return by Eurostar from Amsterdam to London. It's all doable!

by Anonymousreply 156September 19, 2023 5:31 PM

My advice to anyone who travels anywhere is use Wise or Revolut, either on their own or via Google Pay or Apple Pay.

by Anonymousreply 157September 19, 2023 5:34 PM

[quote] [R138] 's Helena Rubensteinesque fabulous whirlwind afternoon in Paris drips with money and pretension. Collete! Café Marly! 1st Class Eurostar travel! Read that OP is a "poor gay" and didn't give a fuck.

Ouch! But fabulously bitchy.

by Anonymousreply 158September 19, 2023 5:36 PM

If you're broke, pack power bars so you don't have to stop for meals. Indulge in one fabulous meal a day.

My first time in Paris was for work and I only had a couple of hours to myself. I flew in overnight and got into the city at sunrise. I walked along the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, and then on my walk back to my hotel I stopped at a cafe for a coffee and pain au chocolat and sat outside and watched the bustle of the weekday morning. It was very memorable. You can make your limited time in Paris count and can absolutely cram in as much as you want.

Tip for London: Look left first before you cross the street.

by Anonymousreply 159September 19, 2023 5:57 PM

Better tip for London: just look in every direction before you cross the street, because good odds you're gonna forget to look in London's direction.

by Anonymousreply 160September 19, 2023 6:23 PM

Bav is gone!

by Anonymousreply 161September 19, 2023 6:29 PM

Clearly this is a stealth game of "Tell me you're an American without telling me you're an American":

[quote]If you're still working (not retired), don't run yourself ragged trying to "clear your desk" before your trip.

[quote]My advice to anyone who travels anywhere is use Wise or Revolut

Pre-paid cards in the currency of the country you are visiting? What dark magic is this? Something wrong with good old American Express Traveller's Cheques? Everyone uses them! So convenient and safe!

[quote] Why not take a half day trip to Amsterdam as well? Travel by Eurostar to Paris from London in the morning, spend the morning in Paris, then take the train to Amsterdam for the afternoon and return to London by Eurostar in the evening.

[quote] take the Eurostar from London to Paris and then return by Eurostar from Amsterdam to London. It's all doable!

And why not? Do Paris in the morning and Amersterdam in the afternoon. The train ride through the Netherlands is gorgeous countryside, and it's a small city, you can see everything worth seeing in about 35-minutes.

[quote]Bring water (they never come by often enough unless you're in bus./first class)

And remember to carry a giant plastic bottle of water because the plastic water bottles in England are wee, tiny things. Maybe find a 5-liter bottle that collapses into something very compact. Extra points for a completely unnecessary U.S. flag decal.

[quote]My trip to London was in May. Again, between inflation, London being London and the exchange rate, it was stratospheric. I paid $550 a night for this place [Hazlitt's] in Soho, which is lovely, but not the Savoy.

The Savoy is aware, evidently. Their lowest rate off-season is twice that per night.

[quote]Take a train out to Henley on Thames and take a hike from Hambleden to Turville. You can see some cute villages and the windmill from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Yes, you remember the film, right? From 55 fucking years ago.

by Anonymousreply 162September 19, 2023 6:40 PM

The pound is in the shitter. What's this about exchange rates? UK is a bargain.

by Anonymousreply 163September 19, 2023 6:46 PM

I hope that made you feel better, R162. Not really a triumph of cutting remarks, but as an expose of somebody with a bucket of hurt inside, a masterpiece.

by Anonymousreply 164September 19, 2023 6:46 PM

Wise/Revolut aren't prepaid cards, r162.

by Anonymousreply 165September 19, 2023 6:48 PM

It's September. Isn't everyone in Port Saint Florent, or Bodrum, or Marbella?

by Anonymousreply 166September 19, 2023 6:52 PM

"Tips for the FLIGHT??"

Sleep on the plane if/as much as you can. When you get close to landing, do a quick wash in the bathroom and put on clean underwear and shirt. Shave, comb your hair, etc. It will make you feel a lot better as you hit the ground running.

Avoid alcohol and drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration.

From the moment you board, consider yourself on European time. Most airlines schedule their meals and snacks to coincide with the destination. Continue this on your arrival and eat according to the clock.

If you have noise-canceling headphones, bring them. It can help you withdraw from the hubbub of the flight and maybe get some sleep. On arrival you'll be tempting to do a lot of coffee or other caffeinated drinks, but beware -the lack of sleep and dehydration from the flight will make you very jittery.

I always buy two pounds of See's chocolates for my flight. Not for me -for the flight attendants. A little bribe -er... token of appreciation can really alter your flight experience, whatever class you're flying in. Most American airports have either a See's kiosk or carry the one-pound assortment in a shop. On my last trip every single attendant stopped by my seat to say thanks -and see if I needed or wanted anything...

by Anonymousreply 167September 20, 2023 5:28 AM

Yes, all 11 flight crew traipsed through the cabin to your seat to thank You for a piece of candy. 🥴

by Anonymousreply 168September 20, 2023 10:31 AM

I'm sure they would prefer ribbon candy.

by Anonymousreply 169September 20, 2023 11:12 AM

Make your way to Burberry Street—the place to be seen in London.

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by Anonymousreply 170September 20, 2023 12:00 PM

We have been taking the morning flight to London on our last 3 trips, and though we lose a day in traveling, we find it much easier to catch up with the time change. We try not to sleep on the flight, arrive at our hotel around 9:30 pm London time, take a lovely brisk walk and maybe a drink around the West End, unpack back and are then ready for bed by 11 pm.

Much prefer it to those hideous red eyes.

by Anonymousreply 171September 20, 2023 1:24 PM

"Yes, all 11 flight crew traipsed through the cabin to your seat to thank You for a piece of candy. 🥴"

No, all four of them did. I'm sorry you find it so incredible, but most people respond positively to friendly treatment and will say thank you. I was seated near the galley, and I saw all four of them dipping into the box several times as the went in and out with drink and food orders. During dinner all four made a point of coming by and saying hello/thank you. They also made sure I had headphones, pillows, blankets, snacks, and plenty to drink. Excellent service, x4. Everyone else appeared to receive excellent service x1 or 2 (there were two attendants for each side of the cabin).

On another flight (west coast to NYC) I recall being seated next to a real bitch who kept insisting the Business/First cabin wasn't up to her usual standards, and complained about everything. The attendants were handing out Godiva chocolates from a large basket, and this woman asked for more candy. The attendant said she'd check to see if they had any left. When the woman went to the bathroom, the attendant brought double handfuls of chocolate bars to me and said, "Quick, put them in your bag. It's the last of them. You've been so nice I thought you should enjoy them." Flight attendants are people, and they don't like rudeness any more than the rest of us do. And these days so many passengers are rude and insufferable, so they go out of their way to be nice to those who are nice to them. And even if they didn't, what's the harm in being nice to people??

by Anonymousreply 172September 20, 2023 2:34 PM

"Quick, put them in your bag. It's the last of them. You've been so nice I thought you should enjoy them."

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by Anonymousreply 173September 20, 2023 3:08 PM

OP, with limited time in Paris forget the Louvre. Unless you just want to walk around the outside of it to see the distinctive architecture. Go to the Musee d'Orsay. Period. If you do nothing else, go there. And walk along the Seine and look at the bridges.. It is a beautiful city. I'm a history buff so I had to see Napoleon's tomb, and Go to the Champs Elysee and see the Arch de Triumph. In fact you can even go inside and go to the top. And of course the Eiffel Tower. It lights up at night and sparkles. Look. If you can swing it, at least do an overnight in Paris. You won't regret it. I was pleasantly surprised at how clean and comfortable the trains are. As for London, walk around Picadilly, definitely go to Westminster Abbey, watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, go to the Tower of London and see the Jewel collections and walk around, maybe the British Museum if you have time. You might want to get yourself a museums pass. It's worth it. And yes, you can take the tube (subway) but riding the bus is so much better. You can see everything. You'd need a transportation card too.

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by Anonymousreply 174September 20, 2023 4:14 PM

I used the London Pass and it was worth every penny. I think you can get them at the airport. When you arrive in London get your transportation pass too. And take the express train from Heathrow to London. It's fast and cheap. Go to Southwark to the Borough Market. Fascinating place and try to go to Greenwich if you can. Victoria and Albert Museum, and Kensington Palace, too. Kensington is partly open to the public. Go online and check. If you have a pass you can take the train to Windsor. It's about a 30 minute ride, and you can spend a half day wandering around the town, the castle and go to the chapel to see the royal tombs. Some are very impressive.

by Anonymousreply 175September 20, 2023 4:20 PM

[quote]I was pleasantly surprised at how clean and comfortable the trains are.

Dirt, dinginess, and discomfort are more an American train thing.

by Anonymousreply 176September 20, 2023 4:40 PM

OP, try to avoid the obvious tourist restaurants in London and instead look for smaller shops and pubs in neighborhoods like Like Notting Hill, Maida Vale, etc. I found a ton of intersting neighborhoods on Instagram. VisitLondon is one account and thereare others.

by Anonymousreply 177September 20, 2023 4:44 PM

[quote]You might want to get yourself a museums pass. It's worth it.

I thought most museums in London were free, R174.

by Anonymousreply 178September 20, 2023 5:19 PM

Special exhibits are not free, Cabinet War Rooms have a charge, etc.

You don't need a "transportation card" in London, Just tap in and out with your bank card.

by Anonymousreply 179September 20, 2023 5:47 PM

Is there any bargain to be gotten trough an Oyster card? Like one ride for free if you buy a dozen?

by Anonymousreply 180September 20, 2023 5:54 PM

No, r180. Best thing is to use Google Pay or Apple Pay with a Wise account, or just use a Wise account on its own.

by Anonymousreply 181September 20, 2023 6:00 PM

R180 yes for oyster there is a weekly cap for Zones 1 and 2 I think it's about £25. But you can take tube/bus/boat for them.

by Anonymousreply 182September 20, 2023 7:10 PM

OP an Oyster card is a must for public transportation. Some sites cost money. Tower of London is 37 pounds, or 50 American. British Museum is free. The London Pass is legit and it will tell you what it can be used for.

by Anonymousreply 183September 20, 2023 7:11 PM

OP, let us know how things work out. Safe travels!

by Anonymousreply 184September 20, 2023 7:50 PM

R167, unless you’re on a private jet, washing your face, shaving and changing your underwear in the bathroom on the plan before you land is really not doable and would be disgusting. By the end of the flight the lavatory floor is covered in piss.

by Anonymousreply 185September 20, 2023 10:19 PM

Miss Gifted See's Chocolates exists in a quaint dreamland of imaginary international travels of the hoi polloi. The petit bourgeois semiotics is overdetermined.

by Anonymousreply 186September 20, 2023 10:25 PM

You MUST skip up the Champs-Élysées whilst chanting.

"I was in London, now I'm in France. Soon I'll be in someone's underpants."

by Anonymousreply 187September 20, 2023 10:32 PM

I don’t know if OP has the time to get the most out of a London Pass; their free time sounds limited.

As for Paris, I’m with the folks saying to stick to the Seine for sightseeing. The Batobus sounds like an excellent idea.

Thanks to all the terrorism, you really can’t get close to the Eiffel Tower unless you commit to a long line for security checks, then more lines to buy tickets and go up. It’s always been best enjoyed from a distance, anyhow.

If you go to a museum, I’d recommend Rodin. MUCH smaller crowds and you can see everything in one short visit. It’s a more intimate experience with the works right in front of you. It’s surrounded by a lovely garden with more of his sculptures.

by Anonymousreply 188September 20, 2023 10:39 PM

The Gates of Hell in the garden is memorable.

by Anonymousreply 189September 20, 2023 10:41 PM

If you want a interesting museum in Paris—try the Marie and Pierre Curie ..you’ll be one of five people there.

Or go see the National Biblioteque—the rotunda in the main room is swoon-worthy.

The run back to catch your train 🫨

by Anonymousreply 190September 20, 2023 11:04 PM

The Museum passes can be for two days or three or a week. It varies and IMO it's worth it. Look at the website to see what they cover and then make your move. OP Go to the food court at Harrods.You'll love it

by Anonymousreply 191September 20, 2023 11:16 PM

Thank you all! I take off this evening for London! Thank you to everyone for your suggestions and tips. I appreciate you all!!

by Anonymousreply 192September 20, 2023 11:21 PM

OP, bon voyage and safe travels! You realize that we’re invested now, right? A daily travelogue would be appreciated.

by Anonymousreply 193September 20, 2023 11:24 PM

god no. don't waste your precious vacation time posting on DL.

by Anonymousreply 194September 20, 2023 11:29 PM

One last thing. Use the airport bathroom to freshen up, OP. At least they're cleaned regularly...unlike the germ and filth infested airplane toilets.

by Anonymousreply 195September 20, 2023 11:37 PM

OP while you're waiting at the airport, research the Oyster card and the London Museum pass. When you arrive at Heathrow, freshen up, then go get your Oyster and if you decide to get a Museum pass you can get one there too. Then find the Express train from Heathrow to London and take it. Once you arrive in the City, take acab to your destination and if you're lucky the cab driver is chatty and helpful. I found this to be true.

by Anonymousreply 196September 20, 2023 11:44 PM

Oh, and get your money changed at the airport. Using credit cards is fine, but you need to have some cash on you. Not a fortune, but some.

by Anonymousreply 197September 20, 2023 11:45 PM

We look forward to the sad tale of “Is Paris Burning?—Or Did I Just Fuck It Up.”

by Anonymousreply 198September 21, 2023 12:04 AM

R197 are you 89 years old? Who would ever echa he currency at a bureau at DeGaulle? You go to the nearest bank cash machine and you do not accept the immediate exchange rate. You take your cash in euros. The rate you see on your home account will be better than any other option.

by Anonymousreply 199September 21, 2023 12:07 AM

Don't forget your money belt and phrase book and if you have any issues in Paris you can drop in at the American Express at 11 Rue Scribe and they'll be sure to help. It's almost like an embassy!

by Anonymousreply 200September 21, 2023 12:11 AM

^ Brava

by Anonymousreply 201September 21, 2023 12:13 AM

Or Heathrow—

Or Gatwick—

And so on…

by Anonymousreply 202September 21, 2023 12:16 AM

Pick up some instant cold packs to chill the See's candy boxes before you present them to the airline hostesses. They will surely upgrade you to first class.

by Anonymousreply 203September 21, 2023 12:18 AM

^^ Does poster still try to buy traveler's checks? You don't need to waste £7 to buy a plastic Oyster card. Do not exchange cash at tbe airport, use atm to withdraw cash. Your debit card will be accepted everywhere anyway.

by Anonymousreply 204September 21, 2023 12:18 AM

R293 and don’t forget a starched B&W top like all of the nice lady salespeople at See’s

by Anonymousreply 205September 21, 2023 12:23 AM

Yes debit cards are accepted everywhere but most US banks charge an international fee on debit card transactions.. Some credit cards, too.

by Anonymousreply 206September 21, 2023 12:24 AM

If OP has not had the opportunity to go to the bank to get money exchanged he can get it at Heathrow. I did and got a good rate. Since the UK is not in the European Union anymore, he needs British pounds sterling. And I am not elderly. I am also well traveled having been to London many times, including in February . Ditto the train to Paris. Fucker.

by Anonymousreply 207September 21, 2023 12:24 AM


by Anonymousreply 208September 21, 2023 12:25 AM

Anyone using a bureau instead of a cash machine is the feckin’ idiot. Are you daft? Or just another ugly American? Your loss, but the exchange bureau thanks you for your stupidity.

by Anonymousreply 209September 21, 2023 12:27 AM

“Since the UK is not in the European Union anymore, he needs British pounds.” —Oh, dear Oh, dear

by Anonymousreply 210September 21, 2023 12:29 AM

Get a big supply of £5 notes and £2 coins to offer baksheesh to all the museum attendants and all staff of your hotel.

Oh, wait, that's Cairo. It all blends together in my moveable feast.

by Anonymousreply 211September 21, 2023 12:33 AM

He'll be f ine! Stop nitpicking. Sometimes we have to just let go and hope the kids do the right thing. We did our best to raise them right.

by Anonymousreply 212September 21, 2023 12:44 AM

R209 if you order on line from one of the many exchange bureau counters at Heathrow you can get a competitive rate. I've done it.

by Anonymousreply 213September 21, 2023 4:03 AM

“Where to Get the Worst Rate: The Airport..”

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by Anonymousreply 214September 21, 2023 4:07 AM

OP, would love to hear about your trip - after you return home.

by Anonymousreply 215September 21, 2023 4:30 AM

OP, no one who actually lives in London uses an Oyster card. Use a debit/credit card, or Wise/Revolut or, Google/Apple Pay.

Don't exchange currency at an exchange bureau. Best place to do it is via Wise/Revolut.

R207 obviously has no fucking idea what he is on about, so don't listen to him.

by Anonymousreply 216September 21, 2023 7:00 AM

Oyster cards became pretty much obsolete around 5 years or so ago. Not sure you can even buy them any more. All you need is a contactless card. Remember to tap IN and OUT on busses and trains but just IN on a bus. TFL ap is great for route planning. 9 and 11 buses are good for sight seeing

by Anonymousreply 217September 21, 2023 2:02 PM

Sorry should be underground and trains IN and OUT, busses just IN!!!

by Anonymousreply 218September 21, 2023 2:03 PM

R216 I have family in London and they use their Oyster cards every damned day. Stop the bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 219September 21, 2023 2:48 PM

You know this is typical of the infestation plaguing DL lately. People post good information based on their experience, and eventually the trolls show up to confuse and misinform. This inspires arguments and name calling, and we're off to the races. The original OP who was excited for their trip has faded and the pissing contest is all that matters. As to exchanging money, yes airports might not be the best place but they are convenient. If you go to an atm and use a debit card you will pay fees. If you go to a bank, you will pay fees. If you use the airport you pay fees. What I have always done is alert my local bank that I will need a specific amount and it usually takes them about 3 to 5 days to have my currency ready.But I have used airports and it wasn't too bad at all. Asfor Oyster cards anyone telling you not to use them to get around London is either crazy or deceitful. It's a pass that allows you to use public transportation and can be used either on the tube or the buses. Buses are slower, but interesting if you're a tourist.

by Anonymousreply 220September 21, 2023 2:59 PM

I'm going to get an Oystercard when I go next month because I don't want to pull my debit card out all the time and I don't want to fuss around with my cellphone trying to use Apple Pay with a bunch of people in a rush standing behind me.

by Anonymousreply 221September 21, 2023 3:19 PM

R220 is an hysteric.

by Anonymousreply 222September 21, 2023 3:38 PM

My bank waives foreign fees. So did my prior bank. So does my partner’s bank. Your post is ill-informed.

by Anonymousreply 223September 21, 2023 3:39 PM

My credit card has no international transaction fees, and yes if I want cash while abroad I go to an an ATM because you that's less fees than exchanging it at the airport.

And the London tube and bus both take credit card tap payment r220. You can buy an Oyster card but it isn't really necessary if you have a card with no foreign transaction fees.

I think maybe you should listen to some other posters sharing their knowledge, might learn a thing or two.

by Anonymousreply 224September 21, 2023 4:26 PM

Wow, Oyster cards for tourist do still exist - who knew? I think the reason they stopped being used by us locals is that you had to preload them so if you lost them you'd lose anything you had on them and you had to keep topping them up. It just became a lot easier to use contactless when it came in. But I suppose for tourists they probably still make sense.

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by Anonymousreply 225September 21, 2023 4:28 PM

My Oyster card always has money left on it so I bring it back with me and use it again on the next bi-yearly visit. Though I originally purchased it a couple of years pre-pandemic it still works perfectly. Easier to just add 20-30 lbs on each visit instead of purchasing a new one every time.

And I also always try to return to the US with some 1 and 2 lb coins so I return to my London hotel ready to tip the bell hop or whoever.

by Anonymousreply 226September 21, 2023 4:55 PM

Every member of your family in London travels on public transport every day, r219? I doubt it. People who regularly take public transport in London overwhelmingly use their contactless bank cards (often via Google Pay).

by Anonymousreply 227September 21, 2023 4:58 PM

I can remember the first Oyster cards were cardboard and were beige, specifically the color of oysters. I wonder why they don't make the plastic Oyster cards in that color? It would probably save a lot of dumb questions about the origin of the name.

by Anonymousreply 228September 21, 2023 4:58 PM

"The original OP who was excited for their trip has faded" - Or perhaps he flew out yesterday and is spending his time seeing London rather than wasting it on DL.

by Anonymousreply 229September 21, 2023 4:59 PM

"20-30 lbs" - Lol, r226. And how much do you get around on 20-30 lbs?

by Anonymousreply 230September 21, 2023 5:01 PM

So....if anyone's still reading this, I'm off to London tomorrow morning, arriving at Heathrow at 8:45 pm.

Does the Elizabeth line run fairly frequently at the hour of night? Looks like I can take it to Paddington and then switch to either the Circle or District line to Embankment where my hotel is.

Is that a good plan?

by Anonymousreply 231September 21, 2023 10:45 PM

No the underground shops rumio he 2100 hours sharp. Taxis are not scalable after 2130. Be prepared to hoof it.

by Anonymousreply 232September 21, 2023 10:48 PM

Google translation:

No, the underground stops running at 2100 hours sharp. Taxis are not available after 2130. Be prepared to hoof it.

by Anonymousreply 233September 21, 2023 10:50 PM

Hi gang! OP here first day in the books. Huge bummer was it poured today in London so they cancelled my performance of La Cage Aux Folles after I was seated. Tomorrow is Old Friends with Bernadette Peters. So far I have found London pretty easy to navigate. I love the Heathrow express. I wish JFK had a 20 minute express train that took you from the airport to Times Square

by Anonymousreply 234September 21, 2023 10:52 PM

If wishes were ponies. Get real.

by Anonymousreply 235September 21, 2023 10:53 PM

Is this the only twat in the world who abbreviates British Pounds as "lbs"? ££££££££ is on the fucking keyboard, in any civilized country.

by Anonymousreply 236September 21, 2023 10:57 PM

R231, if you're OP then you were supposedly going to London on Wednesday. Now you're going on Friday?

by Anonymousreply 237September 21, 2023 11:47 PM

I'm not the OP. Why would you think that, r237?

Elizabeth line or Heathrow Express - which is the better option to get to the Embankment station around 9 pm on a Friday night?

by Anonymousreply 238September 22, 2023 12:44 AM

It's possible there are more people going to London and they might see the thread title and stop bye.

Hi, OP! Glad you arrived safely and you're having a decent time. I've seen that the weather is a bit of a mess. There were high winds yesterday and the day before too.

by Anonymousreply 239September 22, 2023 12:45 AM

Just ask the directions on google r238 it’ll tell you how long it takes, how much walking is involved with the different routes.

by Anonymousreply 240September 22, 2023 12:46 AM

Because, r238, you started off with "So....if anyone's still reading this", as if you had been active on the thread, like an OP would be, and were returning to it.

by Anonymousreply 241September 22, 2023 1:17 AM

OP sounds like an absolute fuckwit trolling DL.

by Anonymousreply 242September 22, 2023 1:20 AM

The Elizabeth Line from Heathrow costs more than the Piccadilly Line, so if you want to save a few pounds consider taking the Piccadilly Line instead.

by Anonymousreply 243September 22, 2023 1:22 AM

R238 google says to take heath row express to paddington then bakerloo towards elephant and castle. Get off at embankment. You’re welcome.

by Anonymousreply 244September 22, 2023 2:53 AM

What kind of British accent does Google have?

by Anonymousreply 245September 22, 2023 3:00 AM

I’m also going to the UK (next month). Americans are travelling heavily this year, with the UK being a favorite destination due to a more favorable exchange rate. Don’t blame OP for all the idiot posts when there’s a whole tribe of us.

by Anonymousreply 246September 22, 2023 5:07 AM

The collective we decide who’s to blame and who’s an idiot. 👀 over towards you at the moment…watch out.

by Anonymousreply 247September 22, 2023 5:12 AM

Are you also visiting Paris for half an hour R247?

by Anonymousreply 248September 22, 2023 5:13 AM

Are you also visiting Paris for half an hour R246? (I meant).

by Anonymousreply 249September 22, 2023 5:14 AM

A horde of eldergay flyoverstanis who can’t use simple navigation apps to work out how best to get around are going to descend upon us here in London.

by Anonymousreply 250September 22, 2023 5:25 AM

No, r248, I would not put myself under the stress to do that Paris day trip, even if I thought that was my only chance to see the city. OP might be younger and/or more unflappable. I do Paris in 2-3 week stays so I can decompress.

R250, I downloaded Citymapper like you told me. Maybe you can give me your phone number so I can text you when I inevitably get lost?

by Anonymousreply 251September 22, 2023 5:36 AM

Oh I remember Denny R251! Good times. Gee that was years ago.

by Anonymousreply 252September 22, 2023 5:38 AM

Would it help right now if I mentioned oyster cards? Oyster cards.

by Anonymousreply 253September 22, 2023 7:48 AM

[quote]Or go see the National Biblioteque—the rotunda in the main room is swoon-worthy.

I don’t know if we’re talking about the same thing. Years ago, I tried to see the Salle Labrouste in the Bibliotheque Nationale Richelieu. I believe this is the grand space with columns shown in many architecture books. I was only allowed to see the hall from a window, not actually walk around in it. I checked online and found an explanation in French that the Salle Labrouste is an active research library and not open to the general public. If you can prove you’re a university student, they may let you in.

by Anonymousreply 254September 22, 2023 1:40 PM

OP here. Today was Buckingham Palace—-so much of it was closed off because of changing of the guard and tower or London. The jewels were amazing!!

by Anonymousreply 255September 22, 2023 2:04 PM

[quote]WTF are you going to Paris at all

Miss OP is going to Paris so she can say she went to Paris.

She should do just two things that are close to each other and enjoy them, instead of trying to cram more in.

My reco: go to either the louvre or musee d’orsay depending on what kind of art she prefers. Sashay about for maybe 2.5 hours, hitting the highlights.

Then our Miss OP can enjoy the Tuileries and environs. Then she also gets to walk across the Seine.

If she has time she could take a taxi back but ask the driver to swing past the arc — because does Miss OP really need to get out and stand next to it? No she does not!

People over plan vacations. You’re supposed to enjoy the things you do. So do a few things and enjoy them already. Don’t do twice as much as you can enjoy just because you have a list to tick off. How silly.

Miss OP will be back in Paris one day. A half day is fine.

by Anonymousreply 256September 22, 2023 2:20 PM

Hey OP, thanks for sharing your adventure. I hope you have a great time in Paris! The experience of being there is wonderful, and the beauty of the city is almost overwhelming. I was there for a day, but stayed overnight. Musee d'Orsay was my choice, and a lovely walk along the Seine. We went to Notre Dame cathedral too, back then. That was all done in a day. The Louvre was just so crowded hard to see anything , on the morning of our second day. It was disappointing, so after an early lunch we went back to London that afternoon. In London, I did enjoy the British Museum. We walked around the grounds of Kensington Palace, saw changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Back then it wasn't open to the public while we were there. Kensington Palace was open with a special exhibit honoring Queen Victoria.

by Anonymousreply 257September 22, 2023 2:32 PM

Next time, you should just stop here for the depth of experience you’re getting.

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by Anonymousreply 258September 22, 2023 2:37 PM

There is the minimalist Grand Foyer of the Palais Garnier.

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by Anonymousreply 259September 22, 2023 2:46 PM

Oops. The link worked in the preview. Maybe this will work.

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by Anonymousreply 260September 22, 2023 2:51 PM

OMG, yes! Opera Garnier!

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by Anonymousreply 261September 22, 2023 2:55 PM

The OP's understanding of taking the "heath row express to embankment" will keep him in good stead.

by Anonymousreply 262September 22, 2023 3:01 PM

Opera Garnier is not cheap. 15 euros for a self-guided tour and tickets should be booked ahead. This is probably not practical for OP because of time constraints.

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by Anonymousreply 263September 22, 2023 3:11 PM

R263, you may be right. If I were in OP's situation I'd limit it to visiting Musee d'Orsay, then get to the Champs Elysee to walk around, stop for a meal and to see the Arc de Triomphe. As for the Eiffel Tower, you can't miss it. So you'll see three important things, and you can't go to Paris without a museum visit, IMO, so that is the one I chose. The thing I love about Musee d'Orsay is that there is so much to see, you can spend two hours or less, and still see a lot, and remember, OP, you will go back. This is just your first adventure.

by Anonymousreply 264September 22, 2023 3:23 PM

For R254. I was in the room just a few weeks ago; a bonus wa the amazing Degas exhibit focused on his side gig as a photographer and printmaker.

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by Anonymousreply 265September 22, 2023 4:00 PM

R256 if hailed a taxi from the Tuileries back to Gare du Nord, you’d get a funny look asking the driver to swing by the Arch!

by Anonymousreply 266September 22, 2023 4:04 PM

Oh okay, R265. That’s a different part of the Bibliotheque Nationale Richelieu that’s freely accessible. Thanks for the clarification.

by Anonymousreply 267September 22, 2023 9:34 PM

^^ the poor Op shouldn’t read the latest Broadway thread…he is gonna freak out when he sees that production of Sunset Blvd…giving up a chance to see more of Paris for that shite?

by Anonymousreply 268September 23, 2023 12:50 AM

The Salle Ovale also has a comfy section.

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by Anonymousreply 269September 23, 2023 8:10 AM

I'm NOT the OP but I just arrived in London last night.

Plane landed at Heathrow at 8:15. Took almost a half hour to deboard. I had already made a reservation on the Heathrow Express. What you should all know is that it's about a 2 mile walk (no exaggeration!) from the United gate to the Express platform so that took at least another 1/2 hour. Waited about 15 minutes for the Express. The ride to Paddington was about 15 minutes. Immaculate train, not crowded. Then another 15 minutes and much up and down Paddington staircases finding the Bakerloo Underground platform and another 15 minutes waiting for that train. And the ride to Embankment station was about 15 minutes on a very crowded Friday night train. 10 minute walk to our hotel.

Arrived at our hotel at about 10:15. So while the Heathrow Express was efficient, the cost was about 42 pounds for 2 of us, I might have been happier at our advanced ages taking a taxi door to door even though the fare would have been much more.

by Anonymousreply 270September 23, 2023 9:53 AM

R270 indeed that sounds like an adventure for a young person on a budget. I'd go for the taxi as well.

by Anonymousreply 271September 23, 2023 9:58 AM

R270, I took a cab from the very edge of North London to Heathrow last Sunday for £62 (around the London Orbital). You may have paid less from Heathrow to your hotel in Embankment.

by Anonymousreply 272September 23, 2023 10:13 AM

R271, £42 to get to central London from Heathrow is not budget! R270 should have just got the Piccadilly line from Heathrow and changed for the Bakerloo line for Embankment at Piccadilly Circus.

by Anonymousreply 273September 23, 2023 10:17 AM

I like this: [bold]£[/bold]

I don't have one on my keyboard.

by Anonymousreply 274September 23, 2023 10:29 AM

Hi gang! OP here. Old Friends last night was amazing. Even though it was just a glorified concert, everyone was top notch. Clare Burt got a strong hand.

Paris today. My feet are covered in blisters so it’s actually okay I’m only here for today. I don’t think I could handle walking everywhere

by Anonymousreply 275September 23, 2023 10:51 AM

Wait a minute R270 upthread we were told over and over again how Americans should only dream of speedy service into the city center from their airport. We we informed that you could sail into central London in 15 minutes and that the JFK air train and subway link was hideous—not tourist friendly.

Now you’re telling us those savvy travelers were just full of shit? Knock me over with a feather!

by Anonymousreply 276September 23, 2023 11:27 AM

R270 had to wait 30 to deboard the plane; change from Heathrow Express to the subway at Paddington; stumble around for 15 minutes to change to the Bakerloo Tube; ride another 15 minutes; then walk 10 minutes from Tube station to his hotel. All of which took 2 hours.

The advice to take Heathrow Express remains good - depending on where you are going. It's fantastic if you're staying anywhere near Paddington or much of West London (depending on day of the week and hour.) Though it took OP 15 minutes if walking to reach Heathrow Express, and though he just missed the train and had to wait 15 minutes for the next, the ride is very pleasant and takes just 15 minutes to plant you at Paddington. Take a taxi for most of West/Central London and the ride pleasant and cheap enough except at rush hours for some destinations. It's a nice orientation to be on the ground, seeing London streets and architecture as you head to your hotel, and a pleasure not to have to drag your wheelie bin luggage across 10nminutes to a hotel.

Heathrow Express + taxi is an expense but a reasonable one, unless Paddington is not an easy reach to your hotel and/or you somehow enjoy changing to the tube (and why not change lines for a couple times just for the sport of it?). And don't forget to hoof it many blocks and Tube station stairs to your hotel.

"Knock me over with a feather!" as you say, that Heathrow Express doesn't magically reach every destination and front door in London in 15 minutes. Or that it doesn't erase half-hour deboarding times or time walking at the airport to reach the Heathrow Express trains, or getting lost at Paddington, or time spent changing to the Tube and time spent walking from Tube to hotel.

It sounds fucking primitive, no?

by Anonymousreply 277September 23, 2023 2:27 PM

(R277 in reply to R276)

by Anonymousreply 278September 23, 2023 2:28 PM

"I don’t think I could handle walking everywhere."

OP at r275, here's a top travel tip for you: in Paris they have public transport, so you don't have to walk everywhere.

by Anonymousreply 279September 23, 2023 2:38 PM

When I first went to the Eiffel Tower in the 90s you just walked up bought your ticket and entered like you see in the movie Funny Face. I hear now the line can take hours. I can't even imagine.

by Anonymousreply 280September 23, 2023 3:21 PM

R277 thanks for both missing the gist and proving my very point. Next time read the whole thread for context. 😘

by Anonymousreply 281September 23, 2023 3:27 PM

Good review of the Buckingham Palace tour:

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by Anonymousreply 282September 23, 2023 3:33 PM

Hold on - so OP is flying into London and then, after a couple of days, taking a day trip to Paris, then going back to London and flying home.

Is this just a long weekend and you expect to see 2 of the biggest international cities in the world?

Save yourself some time - book a Big Red Bus tour of London - there are several routes and it's well worth the money to get the narration and to see so much without having to travel by Tube all over the city and not know where you're going.

Same goes for Paris - a day trip? You won't have any time for museums - so book a day tour.

by Anonymousreply 283September 23, 2023 3:39 PM

r282 After seeing Versailles, any other palace pales in comparison. In England I'd rather see something Tudorish, like Hatfield House.

by Anonymousreply 284September 23, 2023 3:42 PM

R283 you are waay too late to this game. There’s a reason this thread made it to at least 283 replies. Where the fuck have you been?

by Anonymousreply 285September 23, 2023 3:55 PM

Years ago I enjoyed wandering around Kensington Palace when they had the Victoria exhibit. And the Gardens are very nice. This was about 12 yrs ago. B'ham Palace wasn't open to the public when we were there. If you want to see a castle straight out of Disney, go to Windsor. Now that was exactly what I hoped a castle would be. And the town is charming. It's 30 minutes by train. Another pleasant thing to do if you have time is train to Oxford. Lovely town, walk around see the University, go to the museum if you are into that stuff. I think next time we go I we are undecided about whether to take a train to Scotland, or to go to Cornwall to the shore. We went to Stonehenge. It's rocks. We were not impressed. We did get some nice wool scarves at the gift shop. Bath is interesting. touring the Cotswolds was fun. Very picturesque. But the charm was leavened by the fact that our guide said those clever thatched roofs were infested with mice, especially in the Winter months.

by Anonymousreply 286September 23, 2023 3:57 PM

You know what? I love our OP! He seems so excited and enthusiastic and he reports back to let us know how things are going and he seems like a sweetheart. He manages to rise about the petty bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 287September 23, 2023 4:15 PM

Why do people say "Loove" ? Shouldn't people say "Loover?"

by Anonymousreply 288September 23, 2023 4:28 PM

[quote]I hear now the line can take hours. I can't even imagine.

With a little planning, it doesn't have to. I was there 5 years ago and bought my ticket online in advance. On the day of, I arrived at the esplanade a half hour or so before my timed entry and, other than the lines to go through security, there was no significant wait.

by Anonymousreply 289September 23, 2023 4:40 PM

It’s never to late to learn a good lesson, so it bears repeating;

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by Anonymousreply 290September 23, 2023 4:52 PM

It’s TOO late! —Mrs. Robinson

Not for me! —Elaine Robinson

by Anonymousreply 291September 23, 2023 4:59 PM

R289 I imagine you have to make reservations everywhere now. Back in the 90s you just went where you wanted to go when the mood struck you and there was no wait. In Padua you even have to make a reservation for La Capella degli Scrivegni. When I went you just showed up and stayed as long as you wanted. A must if you spend any time in Venice. But 15 minutes?!! That's got to be a mistake. A few years ago it was 45 minutes and I thought that was absurd.

by Anonymousreply 292September 23, 2023 5:04 PM

R9 My friend went to the Louvre about three weeks ago.

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by Anonymousreply 293September 23, 2023 5:12 PM

Tap on the photo. It’s even worse. ^

by Anonymousreply 294September 23, 2023 5:12 PM

Actually, the Louvre recently limited visitors to 30,000 a day. Before the pandemic, it could welcome as many as 45,000 a day.

by Anonymousreply 295September 23, 2023 5:22 PM

yep bring your binoculars to see Mona Lisa. I hate how you have to book a reservation to go to the Louvre. I did that and on my way there I saw a lovely Saturday market going on but I couldn't check it out because I had to get to the damn Louvre.

by Anonymousreply 296September 23, 2023 5:27 PM

We went to the Louvre about 12 years ago and the crowds standing around the Mona Lisa were similar to that photo. We had some guide with a "Top ten" must see" works of art in the Louvre and we made it through the first five and gave up. Mona was disappointing. I was shocked at how small it was. The Rodin Museum and the Musee d'Orsay were worth every moment. I really enjoyed them both. The one thing I wanted to do in Paris and we didn't get around to it was going to the famous cemetery, and the famous Flea Market. Midnight in Paris had just come out and we wanted to find the flea market but ran out of time.

by Anonymousreply 297September 23, 2023 6:07 PM

[quote] The one thing I wanted to do in Paris and we didn't get around to it was going to the famous cemetery,

A friend lives down the street from that cemetery. When someone mentions a famous person he likes to brag "ah Claude Chabrol, he moved to my neighborhood you know.."

by Anonymousreply 298September 23, 2023 6:40 PM

My random Paris story from ~1991:

My retired dad pursued an erstwhile, ill-fated 2nd career with a ‘consolidator’ travel agency—as their schmoozer sales rep. Don’t ask. Anyway, at one point he snagged two-round trip seats to Paris. My job was to get him there and back in one piece.

It was his one and only trip to Paris—it was a few years before he died in his sleep from pulmonary edema. Our deal was that he would tell me what he wanted to see and I would get him there.

Notre Dame: that was cool Da, do you want to see the gargoyles? Nah, you go up the steps and take a picture for me.

Arc: is there an elevator? Yea. Ok—let’s go!

Louvre: I want to see the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and Winged Victory. We did that in 45 minutes…he said that was awesome and bought me a beer and lunch.

Sacre Coeur: you take the steps, I’ll take the funicular —see you at Mass ;)

He seemed to survive off early morning visits to the tabac (Marlboro Reds), croque monsieur and Kronenbourg 1664.

by Anonymousreply 299September 23, 2023 6:42 PM

r277, not to beat a dead horse but the biggest problem (for me) with Heathrow Express is the walking it takes to get the platform. Of course, at Heathrow, just getting to customs takes 15 minutes, even with the walking sidewalks, but then there's another 15 minute walk to get to the Express (and the Elizabeth line).

I hate the NY and Newark airports but at least the trains to Manhattan are very conveniently near the gate exits.

by Anonymousreply 300September 23, 2023 11:03 PM

R300 I don't think Americans are used to walking as much as Europeans are. People in Europe and in the UK walking almost everywhere. They think nothing of it. The walk from your gate to the Heathrow Express is far. I agree. But I've done it and honestly if you just take your time you're fine.

by Anonymousreply 301September 23, 2023 11:49 PM
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