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Early October 9-day honeymoon in Paris...need help!

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Cincinnati, OH
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Early October 9-day honeymoon in Paris...need help!

We've just decided on Paris for our Honeymoon on Oct 2 - Oct 11. A big part of the reason is that Paris is the only European city to offer a direct flight from our hometown of Cincinnati (I never underestimate the ease of travel as an important factor in a destination consideration). At first I was going to split the time between Paris and one other city, possibly Barcelona, but now I'm leaning on just doing all Paris...with some possible day trips to Normandy, wine country, etc. I have a couple questions that I'm hoping to get some help with:

1. I'm planning on reserving a nicer 4 or 5 star hotel, which run very expensive, and am hoping to keep within a budget on food...can we eat in Paris reasonably ($100 per day for both of us)?

2. Any good day trips for people who enjoy food, wine, history that are not too far away from Paris (hour and a half would be the most I'd like to travel)?

3. Is a day trip to London reasonable?

4. Does my plan sound reasonable or is this too much time in one city and perhaps I should reconsider my Barcelona plan?

thanks in advance!

Syosset, New York
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1. Re: Early October 9-day honeymoon in Paris...need help!

hi. I will be in Paris at the same time for my 30th annual honeymoon! LOL. We are spending Oct 4-9 in Paris at the Hotel de Buci (very good reviews) and then going by train to Bruge for an overnight, then on to Amsterdam for 3 nights. So, we are also going for 9 nights but 3 cities. The train is an easy trip to these cities. We will fly out of Amsterdam. To me, 9 nights is a long stay for one city but i hear that you can definitely keep busy the entire time. My feeling is that i don't know when i will get the chance again to go to Europe so i want to see more than one city. We plan on doing a day trip to Versailles during our stay in Paris. I don't know about the train to Barcelona but be sure to check the flights back from wherever you are thinking about going. You wouldn't want to double back. See you Paris! Good Luck!

Boston...
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2. Re: Early October 9-day honeymoon in Paris...need help!

First of all, congratulations on your upcoming marriage. Paris is a very romantic city for a honeymoon.

You should know that hotels in Europe do not correlate to our US star system of hotels. Stars in Europe only denote the amenities offered, not the level of luxury, as in the US. There are lots and lots of really nice 2 and 3 star hotels. If you stayed in one of them you could up your daily food budget quite a bit, which is important, as you say you enjoy good food and wine.

I'll leave the day trips to others, as I find quite enough in Paris to satisfy my food and drink requirements :)

London is easily doable in a day. You might even enjoy an overnight there, if your stay is for nine FULL days, and you're not including your travel days. You would take the Eurostar from the Gare du Nord to the center of London (St. Pancras station) and then take a later train back at night. You should purchase those tickets as soon as you can. The inexpensive ones go quickly. Look on Eurostar.com. It's the only place you should buy Eurostar tickets.

los angeles
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3. Re: Early October 9-day honeymoon in Paris...need help!

HappyGoin makes a good point--how many full days will you be in Paris--not counting travel days?

Also, you need to consider jet lag and the fact that after a wedding, you'll probably need some leisure time, not a rushed sightseeing tour of Europe.

If you actually have 9 full days, then you could consider another city if you want, but make that a second city accessible by train. You say you are open to about a one and a half hour train ride? Well, London is only about two and a half hours away by train. Amsterdam closer to four.

So you could easily do an overnight in London. Or, if you want to look into an open-jaw ticket (meaning arriving in one city and departing from another), then you could fly into Paris and home from London, thus saving yourself the return train fare and time.

i would not make Barcelona my 2nd city choice as it involves more of a hassle to get to. Either a very long train ride, too long, or another trip to the airport (which is costly in transportation and time, even if you find a cheap airfare).

New Hampshire
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4. Re: Early October 9-day honeymoon in Paris...need help!

October is a very popular month for visiting Paris, so you should find a hotel forthwith.

There's really no point in spending extra for "stars" when there are charming hotels for far less with all the amenities you'll need, especially if you plan to be out from early to late and using your hotel room just to shower and sleep.

$100/day is fine for two for food...if it were me, I'd book a budget hotel and splurge on food and wine here and there. It's a far more satisfying dining experience when you can order with abandon rather than obsess over prices.

If you want to visit London, well, there's only so much you can do in one day...agree with the recommendation to consider flying into London and home from Paris. (I'd do London first because it's a bit closer and an hour less time difference, so better for getting over jet lag.)

los angeles
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5. Re: Early October 9-day honeymoon in Paris...need help!

I think djk makes a very good point about seeing London first--just a little easier all the way around.

Shaker Heights, Ohio
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6. Re: Early October 9-day honeymoon in Paris...need help!

I think you are smart to stay in Paris. I lived there for a YEAR and did not see all there is to see. It is nice to take a city bus tour your first day or two...after you have gotten used to the time change. You will arrive there and be exhausted because your body time is 2am and you are arriving early morning. One suggestion I have is that you reserve the hotel room for the NIGHT BEFORE so you can go straight from CDG and get into your room. Otherwise you have to find something to do for the morning, when you are exhausted, and have to wait until check-in time. Be sure to tell the hotel you are doing this so they don't cancel when you don't show up the day before.

No, a day trip to London is impossible. You will no sooner get there than it will be time to go back, assuming you can even do that. You will be in CDG and one of the London airports and your bride will not be happy.

If you stay at a 4 or 5 star hotel the concierge should be able to help with day trips. We took the train to Versailles but I know the trains. Also there are bus trips to Giverney to see Monet's Garden. Leave all the driving to the bus driver. It is terrible to drive in AND around Paris.

But mostly you will want to walk. It is the most beautiful city in the world. You can check guide books for restaurants...like Rick Steves ... and you can eat in cafes and brasseries in any neighborhood. One thing we did was to eat the main meal of the day at lunch, which is what the French do. Then a light sandwich at dinner at a cafe. Lunch is much cheaper than dinner. I would spend time looking at blogs and guide books or on google looking for recommendations for simple meals. There is nothing better than a simple noon meal with some wine and baguette, a sweet at a patisserie on the way back to the hotel and an afternoon nap before setting out for a cafe for a light dinner. These places are all over the city.

Ride the Bateau Mouche on the Seine. Very romantic and it will give you your bearings. That and a city bus tour in the first few days, following along with a map to circle where you want to return, is good planning. Do NOT miss Musee d'Orsay or the Robin Museum.

I hope that helped. STAY in PARIS with day trips in and around the city. Spend your time and money exploring the best place in the world! Save the airports for only the beginning and end of the trip.

Boston...
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7. Re: Early October 9-day honeymoon in Paris...need help!

Louisa, a day trip to London is done hundreds of times each day. Far from impossible. Long day? Yes. Impossible? Not.

Cardiff, United...
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8. Re: Early October 9-day honeymoon in Paris...need help!

Louisa, a day trip to London is VERY possible. It's just over 2 hours on the train from city centre to city centre and you lose an hour going Paris-London as we are 1hour behind France. I have done many a day trip to Paris in my time for both work and pleasure.

Edited: 31 May 2013, 23:20
Cardiff, United...
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9. Re: Early October 9-day honeymoon in Paris...need help!

I meant you gain an hour!

Edmonton, Canada
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10. Re: Early October 9-day honeymoon in Paris...need help!

We took a day trip to London when we went to Paris for 4 days! lol. But I had been to Paris a couple of times before that, but I think it's possible.

Leave early in the morning, relax on the Eurostar, and take a HOHO. We saw all the sights (not indepth), but enough to get a feel for the city. We even managed to see the queen on a stop to Buckingham Palace. We joked that she was coming back from a beer run, because we saw her twice!