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Dublin->London->Paris family vacation -- any guidance?

Burlington, Vermont
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83 posts
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Dublin->London->Paris family vacation -- any guidance?

Hello!

I am just starting to plan a family vacation for late July 2014. I'm hoping that the TA community will have suggestions/recommendations/ideas/warnings/etc. for me -- as you have in the past!

Here are some pertinent details:

Our family is myself, my partner (we're both women, early 40s) and our (by then) 10 yr old daughter. We live in the US. I traveled a lot in Europe and elsewhere when I was growing up, but haven't been to Europe in 20ish years. My partner and daughter have never been out of North America. We'll have about 14 days and have settled on Dublin (or possibly elsewhere in Ireland), London and Paris as destinations.

What I'm looking for is input on the best way to divvy up our time and get from one point to another, as well as "must do/see" things. I'm planning to fly into Dublin and out of Paris, but what do you all think of travel in between? Ferry, train, or plane? A combo? (We really don't want to deal with renting a car.) Would you suggest staying in Dublin, or elsewhere in Ireland? I'm thinking we will have 3-4 nights there. Ireland is the part of the trip that is foggiest in my mind -- London and Paris are so loaded with palaces and towers and museums and gardens that the problem will be ruling things out. So any suggestions about what to focus on there would be especially welcome. We love good food and drink, history, beautiful countryside/seaside.... my daughter would be thrilled if we could go inside a castle.

Thank you in advance for any feedback you care to offer!

Best,

GGMM

Dublin, Ireland
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for Sligo, Dublin
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1. Re: Dublin->London->Paris family vacation -- any guidance?

Hi GGMM

I had a big long answer typed to you and was adding some links and it has all disappeared!!! I'm heading out at the mo so I'll have to brief.

With your limited time scale you should base yourselves in Dublin - so much to see and do that will easily fill your time, you can take a daytrip to Kilkenny which is a medieval city complete with a castle and is only about a 90 minute train ride away from Dublin, so easy to organise a self styled day trip to. In Dublin you can take e local DART train to visit the seaside towns of Malahide (has a lovely castle) and Howth to the north of the city and to Dun Laoghaire or Dalkey on the Southside. In Dublin itself the hop on hop off tour bus visits all the major sights - your daughter might enjoy The Viking Splash tour (my kids loved it) and a visit to Dublin Zoo. There are lots and lots of things for her to enjoy in Dublin - if you take a look at e Dublin forum there are some handy questions on the right hand side of the page that will give you ideas.

In terms of travel to London or Paris from Dublin there are direct flights to both which again given your timescales would be the best way to go.

Sorry to be so brief - off to carol singing now, but do take a look on the Dublin forums and if you have any q's just post.

Have fun planning!

Burlington, Vermont
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83 posts
16 reviews
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2. Re: Dublin->London->Paris family vacation -- any guidance?

Thank you so much, dubfam -- this is exactly the kind of guidance I was hoping for! Yes, time will be a bit tight -- we are torn between allowing ourselves enough time enjoy each destination, and the desire to fit in as much as reasonable since we don't know when/if we'll be able to get back to the area (flights from the states are EXPENSIVE!). I really appreciate your time and input -- happy caroling!

GGMM

Western Ireland...
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for Loughrea, Southport, Clifden, Connemara
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3. Re: Dublin->London->Paris family vacation -- any guidance?

It might be worth looking into Open Jaw flights with London and Dublin as either in or out airports. London Paris is a simple train ride these days and Paris connects with Dublin, Cork and from next year Shannon.

That gives the mixes London-Paris-Ireland,,, Dublin- (any Irish airport) to London or one of the listed to Paris, Paris as a 3 day side trip fly home from London. etc etc.

Paris 3 day city break, London 3 day city break plus any extra Ireland 7 days or if only Dublin which isn't really Ireland apart from location 3 day city break, For me and I am not you it would be fly into London, have a look around maybe 5 days total, Overnight to Paris for 3 days, Fly into Cork or Shannon for 5/6 days Ireland then out from Dublin..

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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4. Re: Dublin->London->Paris family vacation -- any guidance?

I don't think 3 days is enough for Paris.

If your daughter wants to see a fairytale type of castle then Chateau Chantilly, North East of Paris is fab. And if she is into horses then all the better as the French National Stud is in the grounds of the chateau

http://www.domainedechantilly.com/en

For a real chateau overload, then the Loire Valley is incredible. BUT you would need a car. Perhaps consider it on your next trip.

Rather than flying from London to Paris, you might consider taking the Eurostar train. We've done the car shuttle and its great fun. The Eurostar goes from London into the centre of Paris. So it means you don't have to get out to one of the airports in London and you don't have to get back in again in Paris.

My attitude regarding Ireland is that if you are spending two elements of your holiday in cities, a countryside break would balance things. If you fly into Cork or Shannon as Tony has suggested OR if you fly into Dublin and get the train to Galway then you could spend some time in spectacular scenery by the sea.

5. Re: Dublin->London->Paris family vacation -- any guidance?

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