- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2012
Any advice Bees? What website do I book through, where to stay, best times to book? Any tips would be helpful. Thanks Bees!
Any advice Bees? What website do I book through, where to stay, best times to book? Any tips would be helpful. Thanks Bees!
When are you planning on going? That will affect when you book… It gets expensive in the last couple months before you fly.
There’s a ton of other threads about honeymooning in Paris and London, here are a few:
My favorite places in Paris are Versailles (it’s a train ride outside of Paris but totally gorge, and the grounds are perfect for a picnic lunch), the Musee D’Orsay (amazing art museum in an old train station! Much less crowded and less stressful than the Louvre and has tons of beautiful impressionist art!), Sacre Coeur (best view of the city, and the nearby outdoor market is the best place to buy a crepe; a lot of the movie Amelie was filmed in Montmartre, which is that neighborhood), Notre Dame (you must go inside, it’s beautiful!), shopping along the Champs Elysees, seeing the Eiffel Tower, macarons from Lauduree, doing a cruise down the Seine on the Bateaux Mouches (river boat), take a day trip to the Loire Valley to see the castles, etc.
I honestly love Paris much more than London, but London definitely has a different appeal… The Tower of London is cool, and so is Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, the science museum, and Kings Cross Station (are you a Harry Potter fan? ) Some of the threads I posted links to have many more tips for London. Good luck!
@Bellagiobride: I just got back from Paris, and OMG, I am in love with the city. We stayed at the L’Empire which is down the street from the Lourve. The hotel staff was amazing and hotel was convienently close to all the sight seeing stuff. You must got to Versailles. BEAUTIFUL!! The euro is hurting now and all the designer brands are much cheaper there. We went crazy shopping hahah. One thing we didn’t get to do much (because I was always on the go and wanted to see everything) was sit in a cafe and people watch or buy a bottle of wine, cheese and baguette and have picnic in the park (we did that once).
Marais (I didn’t get a chance to go here but I heard it’s the oldest part of Paris)
Hope this helps.
I got back from mine and not sure where you are BUT transat holidays offers a London/Paris package that includes all your transfers, touring etc.
I went to Paris on a dime budget and we spend 3200 total for hotel, plane, passes, train, etc and 1,000 euro in spending money for 8 days.
Lots of advice, I did a lot of homework so here is what I can think of off the top of my head:
1. Bring excellent walking shoes and plan on walking 8 hours a day pretty much
2. get a paris pass-it covers all your transportation, etc 🙂 including 2 day hop on/off tour bus–soooo awesome!
3. I love the 2nd arrondissment…gorgeous, trendy, close to everything. YES, you can get cheaper hotels farther away (we stayed in the 15th) but what is your time worth? It takes time to scoot around the metro 🙂
4. Go to montparnasse and visit a great creperie.
5. Do visit Versailles.
6. Buy a rick steves book and study it.
7. download translaters or bring a translation book. In Paris, most speak English but outside (like in Versailles) a lot dont.
8. Go to versailles and pack a picnic lunch-sooooo romantic. Take the train that tours around..worth it.
9. a lot of stuff is closed Monday, so make that your shopping day. (ie: museums, etc)
10. See the eiffel tower light up at night. Super romantic.
11. Watch for peddlers and theives! Seriously-its VERY bad…lots of people selling you keychains, scams, the ring scam, this is all covered in the Rick steves book but honestly, we saw them all and you have to be prepared for this big time!
12. Research your restaurants and book in advance-they book up quick (the good ones)
12 a). you MUST order a croque monsier, the clams and fries or steak and fries at least once.
13. DO NOT GO TO O CHATEAU wine tasting on your free Paris pass. waste of time. DO book a good day trip if you can through them, but man, I had a horriffic experience that I am still fighting with Oliver the owner about.
14. Drink a bottle of a different french wine each night. Its your honeymoon. Just pack lots of advil and drink lots of water.
15. Skip through the Louvre unless you are a huge art fanatic.
16. Be prepared to wait in a huge line for Notre Dame.
If I think of anything else, I will add.
I can’t give London tips, and a lot of Paris tips have been covered, but here are a couple more-
The Paris Museum Pass (link below because I am not sure how to enbed nicely?) is a WONDERFUL value, gets you in most of the places you will want to see for free or reduced prices, but the REAL benefit of this pass is that most of the major tourist attractions have a separate line that lets you skip to the front with this pass. When we went to the Louvre, we thought we must be doing something wrong because the line was SO LONG and we just strolled right in 🙂
Also, one of my favorite places we went (recommended by people that had lived in Paris) was Parc Buttes Chaumont- it is somewhat out of the way if you are staying in central Paris, but it is so worth the trek. Absolutely beautiful, full of Parisians not just tourists, a great place to spend an afternoon, picinic, and get some vacation pictures that most other visitors to Paris won’t. (Theres a waterfall! and a Greek style temple! and wonderful views of Sacre Coeur!)
Also- bring a padlock and a key. Write or engrave your names and wedding date on it. Go to Pont des Arts, lock your lock onto the bridge along with all the other couples that have done it before, and throw your key into the Seine. Make sure you take a picture! You’ll have a memrial of your wedding in Paris forever (or as long as that lock remains )
Have SO MUCH fun!
We just came back from Europe so I can highly recommend the following:
– Fat Tyre Bike Tours. Do them in London and Paris. We did one in Berlin and it was the best tour of the trip!
– airbnb.com – if you havent booked your accommodation I recommend this site. We did 5 weeks of accommodation with them and they were all amazing apartments. If you are interested, PM me and I will email you the places we stayed at
– Versailles is beautiful and just take the train there – its more enjoyable
– London – Paris – take the train. So quick and easy!
– Pre book the Eiffel tower – one of the lifts is broken so the line is HUGE. Like 3 hours long without pre booking
– Bring a picnic and eat it at sunset in front of the Eiffel tower to watch the lights. They go off on the hour, and it is touristy but beautiful.
– Watch your bag! Paris more than anywhere else in Europe I felt had more people trying to pick pocket and scam you. Dont buy anything from anyone on the street, dont talk to them, even if you feel rude. We had no issues there but we are quite aware of these. I saw tourists who werent.
– Locks of love! Someone else mentioned this. There is a bridge near Notre Dame that has padlocks all over it. Write your names on the padlock, throw the lock in the Siene.
– Paris Pass – really good value as it lets you skip lines
– Rue Mouffetard out in the Latin Corner. We stayed near there and had some great meals along there.
London is great too – Tower of London is very recommended. As is Windsor – we loved it there!
I can tip you for London (being a British girl and just recently visited there myself!)
– The Ritz and The Bloomsbury Hotel are two are the most fabulous hotels in London. The Ritz is amazing, even if you can only afford one night, you will be treated like an absolute princess. The people that work there can’t do enough for you, and the rooms are out of this world. The Bloomsbury is a good hotel right in the middle of the city with connections to the underground. You can stay here and visit almost anywhere. The food is amazing, too. If you’re on a budget try and stay with a chain hotel like the Hilton or even the Travelodge. Don’t go to a cheaper, independant hotel if you can avoid it, they tend to be a little on the dodgy side.
– Restaurants – for lunch, try Harrods/Selfridges. Harrods is ridiculously expensive but offers so much choice and it’s great to try it just once. Selfridges topfloor cafe has everything you could ask for: curries, soups, crepes, chinese food, pastries, cakes! For dinner, Cicconi’s, Claridges, and the Ritz, do great evening meals. The restaurant at the Bloomsbury Hotel is also great. There are literally hundreds of restaurants in London, wherever you stay, ask your concierge for advice on where to eat and they’ll book for you. They are usually a wealth of information!
– Shopping – there are some places in London you HAVE to go to! Harrods is the first, ‘the world’s most beautiful department store’ – it sells everything and is such a tourist attraction! They have an amazing toy kingdom and pet department. Selfridges is another favourite! Topshop Oxford Circus is the world’s biggest fashion store, they sell everything and you can even get your eyebrows and makeup done and they have a cafe to leave your new husband to rest his feet! Also go to Covent Garden for beautiful little British shops and lots of market stalls, street performers, street vendors selling amazing waffles! Oxford Circus (and Street) is full of shops. Hamley’s is on here, a famous toy shop. Bond Street has all the designer shops if you wanted to visit them.
– The underground is the best way to travel. Cramped, hot, sticky, unpleasant, but by far the cheapest and quickest. You can get anywhere you want in minutes. Depending on how long you’re there, try and get a 2 or 3 day pass or whatever, it works out a hell of a lot cheaper. Work out where you want to visit in advance and tell the information desk there. It’s pointless paying for lines if you aren’t going to use them. Do not get taxis. Expensive and you’ll sit in traffic for hours!
– Try a bus tour, they show you all the sights and you can stop off and do your own thing too.
– Tourist attractions – Kings Cross, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, the Museum, Madame Tussauds (do not go in there Chamber of Horrors Live or whatever it’s called. Scared the HELL out of me!!), Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Kensington Palace.
I hope this helps!
Now, for Paris tips..
I also stayed at the Hotel Terrass in Paris, which is in Montmartre, where the Moulin Rouge is set many years ago. It’s very romantic, full of beautiful little shops and cafes, street artists, very ‘vintage Paris’. I wouldn’t stay anywhere else because it’s quiet enough to be romantic, you’ll have views of the Eiffel Tower from here, and you can easily catch a cheap bus to wherever you want to go. The Sacre Coeur is well worth a visit, try and go during the week if you can, it’ll be a lot quieter. You must see Notre Dame. Yes, you’ll queue for hours, but it’s one of the most gorgeous buildings in the world. Try and go up to the bells and top of the cathedral if you can, you’ll have the most stunning views over Paris. It’s actually breathtaking, and if I went back to Paris again, it’d be the first place I’d want to visit again.
There are lots of cute shops in Paris, obviously Dior, Chanel etc etc are all along the Champs Elysees, you’ll also get lots of nice pictures around here. There are some specialist vintage shops but you’ll need to really hunt for them. There are dozens of bakeries and cute little places to eat. The Moulin Rouge is well worth a visit, but don’t be shocked by the sex shops! For getting around try the buses. The underground is notorious for criminals, and taxi drivers in Paris are insane and think nothing of driving on the wrong side of the road, lol. The Eiffel Tower is great but try and prebook tickets. It’s higher than you think but well worth a trip to the top for views over Paris! The Louvre is a little bit of a let down for me. Try and eat in your hotel if you can, Paris restaurants are extortionate. Maybe go out for lunch and eat in at night. The river tour is fascinating too, you’ll see a lot of Paris on here! You can just pay when you get there. I’d really reccomend our hotel too. Great views of the Eiffel Tower, the staff are so attentive and it’s a truly beautiful hotel close to everything.
It’s much more romantic than London and I’m incredibly jealous that you get to go! If you need any more tips or anything, please PM me. I’d be glad to help!
Thanks for all of the advice peeps. I would love any other tips!
I am a Londoner so can give you loads of tips about my home city.
First get an Oyster card – you can use it on busses, trams, underground, overground, metro services etc. It will save you loads of money.
If you have long enough, get out of the city centre. Where I live you can see the ruins of the Crystal Palace – home of the great exhibition of 1861. In Crystal Palace Park they also have some victorian dinosaurs – well worth a visit.
If you can avoid the tube in rush hour as it is really cramped with grumpy commuters 🙂 London is much easier to find your way around on foot than people think. In central London you will find posts that direct you to various land marks.
Walk along the south bank and if it is open when you are there go to the Globe Theatre. You can experience Shakespere the way it was meant to be watched. Pay extra to get a seat.
@Twizbe: I second the Oyster card for London!
I’ve only spent a couple of days in Paris, but one thing I will say is that it’s pretty expensive – if you want to eat near a tourist attraction, go at least one block away from it before chosing a restaurant, because the prices then drop. We found a great little place a few streets down from the Eiffel Tower that was half the price of the ones around the actual tower.
As for London – try to get and see a show, because they’re great fun! Also check out the British Museum and the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum – they’re all amazing and have such good stuff in. You’ll never make it around all of them, but the bits you do see will be worth it.
Also try to get to Liberty London too – it’s this amazing department store in this beautiful old Tudor Style building: http://www.thestyleking.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/liberty-london-store.jpg
It’s just down the road from Hamley’s too, which is amazing if you can get there, even for an adult! http://www.hamleys.com/
Depending on the time of year, you can also get tours of Buckingham Palace and Clarence House (official residence of Charles and Camilla, and Harry), and in the Palace they tend to have exhibitions on. Last year they had a display of royal wedding dresses, including Kate Middleton’s, I believe.
Tower of London is supposed to be really good, but is usually very busy – that and Madam Tussaud’s tend to be pretty busy on weekends, but you can book ahead for Madam Tussauds. Ooh and try the London Dungeons! I went to the York ones and they were great, so the London ones can only be better.
If you walk along the Thames across from Westminster and the Houses of Parliament, there tend to be a lot of street artists and mimes, as well as the BFI which does food and drink (for a pretty high price!) and sometimes does classic film events.
If you check out Applause Store or something similar, you can sometimes get free tickets to see TV shows being recorded which is always something a bit different. I’ve been to a couple, and once get sat in with the celebrities near the front! Get in! 😀
If you’re able to get slightly out of the city centre, try going to Regents Park – it’s beautiful, and full of deer, and for bonus nerd points, where the infamous Fenton became a youtube sensation.
Hi, I just saw your post. I am going to be in London soon for my pre-wedding shoot. I go to Europe frequently. Will be happy to give you some advice 🙂 Drop me a few line