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First Paris, then where??

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San Francisco...
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First Paris, then where??

My husband and I will be visiting Paris (first time for me) this November. We have 9 days and want to spend half in Paris and half somewhere else - yet to be determined. Any suggestions? Could be another part of France or even Germany or Switzerland. We'd like the location to be relaxing and beautiful.

Thank you!

Mill Valley...
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1. Re: First Paris, then where??

Are you thinking you'd like to visit another city or the countryside? Here are some of my favorites:

1. the Dordogne or the Lot Valley

2. Venice

3. Lake Como

4. Munich and Bavaria

5. Rome

6. Provence, particularly western Provence, especially St-Remy and Arles

7. Vienna, Prague, or Budapest

Penticton, Canada
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2. Re: First Paris, then where??

on the list:

TGV to Bruxelles/Ghent/Brugge and back to US via Amsterdam

or

The Alsace: TGV to Strasbourg then drive down to Colmar along the wine route then a train to Nice for a flight back to the US.

for open jaw tickets I found that travel agents got me a better routing and price then the online sites.

if going by train you need to book train tickets 90 day ahead to get the best pricing. see www.seat61.com for best info on trains.

Paris, France
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3. Re: First Paris, then where??

Also if you haven't bought your plane tickets yet consider flying open-jaws - into one city and out of another - to avoid backtracking.

In addition to the suggestions above you could also head to Spain. Maybe Barcelona?

Provence would be an easy connection by TGV. And you may be able to find cheap flights to other destinations.

San Diego
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4. Re: First Paris, then where??

9 days? With 1/2 in Paris? That's 4 days in Paris and a day for transport, unless you stay close to Paris.

The Loire is an easy trip from Paris, 2-3 days at a leisurely pace, beautiful countryside, good food, beautiful chateaux...... You could fly into and out of Paris. You could do the same trip Paris/Normandy - fly in and out of Paris.

Amsterdam is an easy trip from Paris, beautiful city, friendly people, beautiful canals and the Van Gogh Museum - you could fly open-jaws into Paris and out of Amsterdam, but that would be two cities, not much in the way of countryside....

Provence is easily accessible from Paris via TGV, Arles, Avignon, etc.... but I think it will mean heading back to Paris to fly home to San Francisco.

Barcelona is also easily accessible by TGV, you could fly open jaws, but again, it's two cities....... no real countryside experience.

Prague is "freakin" AWESOME........ and well worth 2-4 days, but to get there from Paris is the better part of a day, and another very LONG day to make connections to get you back to San Francisco. I did it in 2007, but it was a 3 week trip that went L.A., London, Paris, Loire, Burgundy, Prague (Lyon to Prague via Brussels to get a cheap airfare!) and back to L.A. (at the crack of dawn, via Heathrow - an incredibly long day!, but I did meet Victoria Beckham!)

It all depends on what you want. Do you want to see great cities or do you want to mix city experiences with the countryside? City to City can be hectic and not relaxing, because you're always in a city, and you're already from San Francisco! If you want to mix cities and countryside, I'd recommend staying in France for convenience. If you want to experience great cities, then Paris/Amsterdam, Paris/Barcelona, Paris/Rome or Paris/London are all achievable by air, as long as you fly open jaws, but you'll be very busy for 12 days including transport to/from.....

Jakarta, Indonesia
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5. Re: First Paris, then where??

Beautiful and relaxing? Then head to the Bernese Oberland, the most beautiful part of the Swiss Alps. You can stay in either Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen or Wengen

Paris
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6. Re: First Paris, then where??

9 days, with airport transfers, jet lag recovery, etc = one week, as a matter of fact. I think the majority of experienced travellers to Paris will advise you to stay put and start exploring the 20% of the capital's resources that you'll be able to "exhaust" in such a short time.

If you insist on going somewhere else, out of France, you might at least consider an open jaw, with a return ex AMS, BCN, FCO, FRA.

BTW, something I don't get: are you focussing on Germany/Switzerland because you are interested in these countries, or do you think they are particularly "relaxing and beautiful"?! Because plenty of other places in France and Europe qualify for that, which might otherwise be more interesting. Plus, it's November so, drab autumn and too early for snow. If I were you, I'd head South instead.

Edited: 24 August 2012, 05:27
Hong Kong, China
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7. Re: First Paris, then where??

Everyone travels at a different pace. With 9 days, you can certainly make it out of Paris. My recommendation is you need 3 days to see the sights, but if you want to know more about the city and why people like Paris, you need more time.

On the other hand, some people like to see a bit more than just stay put at one place. The possibilities have been mentioned already. I personally would opt for other areas in France. If you like scenery and vineyards, Burgundy isn't far away. If you like chateaus and scenery, Loire Valley. If you like coastal views, World War II memorials, Normandy. Possibilities are endless.

Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: First Paris, then where??

There are also dozens of daytrips done easily from Paris.

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: First Paris, then where??

Is that nine days including day of arrival and departure, which brings it down to seven?

USA
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10. Re: First Paris, then where??

Rent a car, see Normandy, then Bruges,.