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Need help with combining trip to Paris with trip to...????

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Baltimore, Maryland
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Need help with combining trip to Paris with trip to...????

Hello all Paris lovers,

Well, one and one half month back and I am in major return trip planning/daydreaming already! We spent a week in Paris this past Easter, followed by a weekend at a b&b ouside of Epernay, so that we could have the champagne experience.

I have off every year for spring break, so I'm looking at 10 days in April 2006. My boyfriend, while he loves Paris and is on board for a return visit, really wants to visit some other place during the trip. Now, I could spend the entire time in Paris with no problem, but I can see his point also. So I'm trying to compromise. We both love good food and wine. I'm a city girl at heart...while he loves the city, he could also be very content in the country. We don't want to spend each night in a different place...we're more of the slow travel type of tourists (we really enjoy the offbeat non-touristy kind of places, so Disneyland Paris is not on the radar - no offense to those of you who like that, it's just not for us)

OK...finally my question!! Could you suggest an itinerary that is doable in 10 days that would be fun but not exhausting? I'm thinking that I need at least 5 days in Paris...I could be flexible, but that's MY ideal. So that leaves 5 days for...?? We were thinking Burgandy...any comments on that? What about Belgium?? Normandy?? Ahhhh...There are just so many possibilties, and my head is swimming enough just with thinking about where I want to stay in Paris this time!

Thanks...I love this forum

Irish in Paris
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1. Re: Need help with combining trip to Paris with trip to...????

If you budget was flexible then there's nothing stopping you from going to Italy or Spain, either by plane or a more romantic night train !

Sunnyvale...
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2. Re: Need help with combining trip to Paris with trip to...????

Staying with the city theme, how about 3-5 days in Amsterdam, London, Munich or Vienna? I spent months working in Brussels, and IMO, you can skip Belgium altogether. Pick-up some chocolate on your way through but otherwise don't bother. Normandy's not much of a city scene if that's what you're looking for.

You could consider an open-jaw flight itinerary with your airfare arrangement to maximize your quality time. [eg depart flight BWI-Paris, return flight London-BWI]

Alexandria, Virginia
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3. Re: Need help with combining trip to Paris with trip to...????

Dont rule out Belgium. There is a lot of nice places to go here, other than just Brussels. Brugge is nice, Antwerp is nice and I personally love Spa and Liege.

you canc heck out www.visitbelgium.com if you want.

Baltimore, Maryland
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4. Re: Need help with combining trip to Paris with trip to...????

Thanks. I had thought about combining two cities. I have a friend who lives in Venice and a sister who lives in Hamburg, and my boyfriend has a friend who lives in Warsaw. We debated visiting one or the other (how to chose!!), but decided that we might be better off doing that in a few years (after our kids are gone!) - taking several weeks and really doing it right!

Anyway, do you know if it costs a lot more to split the flights? That might be the only way that it would work...

Even though I'm a city girl, my boyfriend likes small towns - I wouldn't be averse to visiting the countryside for a few days. We rented a car when we went to Epernay, so we don't mind that either.

I feel so indecisive!

Alexandria, Virginia
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5. Re: Need help with combining trip to Paris with trip to...????

oh! One place you might consider which is actually really cheap is Bratislava, Slovakia. I spent a week there for a conference and it was great! Its a "ciry" but is still small enough to make me feel like I was in the country. I did a nice river cruise on the Danube. Lovely cafes and hotels. Really nice. Easy Jet flys there, so you might get a cheap flight from Paris to there.

Williamsburg...
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6. Re: Need help with combining trip to Paris with trip to...????

Dear Sistereurope,

Since your boyfriend likes small towns, and you only have 5 days extra, why not go to Provence? You can take the TGV to Avignon and pick up a car there to explore the beautiful villages and small towns of Provence. The ride only takes 3 hours. An alternative is to take the TGV to Arles, which is absolutely delightful. Van Gogh was most productive there. Lots to see and do. I used it as a home base and then took the train to Avignon, Aix en Provence, etc.

I've also been to Burgandy. Dijon, the principal city, is also wonderful. Don't know how long it takes to get there by train, but shouldn't be too long.

For something still French but quite different, I'd suggest Strasbourg in the Alsace-Lorraine district. Again, much to see and do. From Strasbourg you can easily visit Colmar, which is 1/2 hour away. You can pick up a car at either city and explore the Route de Vin, with its colorful, flower-filled villages. I believe that Strasbourg is about a 4 hour train ride from Paris.

Bon chance and bon voyage!

Ohio, USA
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7. Re: Need help with combining trip to Paris with trip to...????

If April is the month, I'd be very inclined to head south. Staying in France, perhaps Provence. A central location, perhaps around the Fontvieille area would allow you to experience some lovely scenery in spring. (Fontvieille is a nice village and there are several others close by. Plenty of pleasant hotels and good places to eat all around too. St-Remy or Maussane would be other possibilities. Or you could base yourself in Arles or Avignon, though that would not be my choice.) ) You could visit Avignon, Arles, the Camargue and other places within easy reach by car. And you'd get a different picture of France away from the big cities. Good walking country all around, lots of lesser-known gems to discover, even beaches within reach. And far fewer tourists than later in the year...

Other choices would be perhaps Rome or Barcelona, but even flying you'd spend more time travelling and you'd still be dealing with a big city.

I think Provence would be more relaxing and just as fascinating. And the weather _should_ be better than Burgundy or Normandy...

Ohio, USA
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8. Re: Need help with combining trip to Paris with trip to...????

If you want to do two major cities, say Paris and Rome, you should be be to do an "open jaw" ticket, flying into one and home from the other, for not much more than a RT ticket.

I see we have two votes for Provence...

Baltimore, Maryland
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9. Re: Need help with combining trip to Paris with trip to...????

Thanks - this is exactly what I was looking for! I often wonder why I can never make up my mind!!

Anyway...two votes for Provence - I like that

Then we have the votes for two cities/different flight option...

Any other thoughts would be appreciated. We do like just wandering around, deciding what to eat and drink - we're winos

(although we like to think of ourselves as wine connoisseurs :)

Sunnyvale...
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10. Re: Need help with combining trip to Paris with trip to...????

An open jaw ticket will usally cost no more than the most expensive of the corresponding round-trip tickets.

For example, if you do open jaw BWI-London and then return Paris-BWI, it might get priced the same as a roundtrip BWI-Paris rather than the cheaper BWI-London ticket, or somewhere halfway between those costs, depending on which airline you fly.