Post # 1
FH and I want to go to London, Paris, and Berlin for our honeymoon. Ok, I want the first two and he wants Berlin. But we agreed on all three. How can we fit all three cities into one week and enjoy ourselves?
Also, what are some of the best hotels and restaurants in each city that won’t make our wallets scream in agony?
Post # 2
laschai: I presume this is a week excluding the time for flying to and from Europe? If not, I can’t imagine a way to do these three cities in a week without feeling incredibly rushed, to the point where you all may not have fun. Even if you are excluding international travel days, are you sure there isn’t any way you can reconsider the itinerary? How do you plan to travel between cities? Travel’s not too onerous between cities, assuming you’re willing to pay for direct flights or the EuroStar, but that travel can be tiring, especially if you’re keeping up a fast pace otherwise. I’d consider whether or not two cities might be better, honestly.
Still, I’m happy to provide some specifics, at least about Paris (I’m too poor for London and too lame for Berlin): what type of food do you like, what do you define as making your wallet scream in agony, and what type of sites did you want to see? Also, what time of year will you be going? With that info, I can make a better judgment about whether it would be possible to create a 2-2.5 day Paris itinerary that you could be happy with!
Post # 3
MarriedToMyWork: I can consider Paris and Berlin. I refuse to eat foie gras and I don’t like mediterranean food, other than that, I’m open to food types. By making my wallet scream in agony I mean no more than 50 bucks per person for food and no more than $600 a night for a hotel. I want to see the eiffel tower and the arc de triumph in Paris. Not sure about Berlin, that’s FH’s area of expertise. He’s a history guy. We’ll be going mid November.
Post # 4
You should consider using easy-jet if you do not have too much luggage. I did most of Paris’ major attractions in less than 3 days. I’d give myself 4 days in Paris and 3 in Berlin. I think it would be very difficult to see London as well.
Post # 5
I don’t think you’d be able to do 3 cities in a week. We spent a week in Paris last year but we could have done everything that we wanted to do in 3-4 days if we really prioritized our time. Never been to Berlin so I don’t know what it’s like there but I think that you could experience most cities in a few days if you’re realistic about what you want to do and see.
Post # 6
laschai: Going in November has a lot of advantages–prices and crowds will be comparatively better than in June.
Are you seeking some sort of extraordinary luxury hotel accomodations, like a special honeymoon suite? I ask because for this November there are a number of very pleasant and charming hotels, some of which I have personally stayed in and some of which I only know by reputation, available for well under $300/night in arrondissements like the 14th (I confess a particular fondness and bias for this arrondissement). In terms of food, the 14th has, among other options, most of Paris’s best-known creperies, like Josselin, where you will eat very, very well, if not in a fancy setting for €25-30/person. The 14th also has two of my favorite Bib Gourmand establishments (Michelin’s list of more affordable alternatives to the famous starred restaurants), Kigawa and Le Cornichon. However, both of these will run you, in total, closer to €60-80/person, but if you are spending only half of what you want to spend on a hotel, then I think that going over your ideal dinner budget for one meal would be reasonable.
I hope other people will chip in with descriptions of other arrondissments–I know this one well because it is close to Gare Montparnasse, which I usually need access to while I am in Paris, and in the process of getting to know it well, it has become dear to me, but there are delightful places all over the city. One of my favorite meals I’ve ever had in Paris was in a vegetarian Indian restaurant in the 10th (whose name I cannot remember, alas–but I know there are a number of Indian places in the 10th…near La Chapelle station is all I call recall). Other Bees know Paris and I hope they chip in.
For the Eiffel Tower, make sure you take the Métro to Trocadéro (hopefully they’re done working on the 6, but if not, the 9 will get you there too) for the best viewing point. I’ve never felt the need to go up the Tower itself, as the ticket is expensive and the view from Trocadéro and the subsequent walk across the Seine is so lovely in and of itself, but the lines will be much better in November (same goes for the Arc de Triomphe).
Post # 7
- Wedding: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
I agree with the ladies. My husband and I went to 3 different cities in Europe after our engagement, one of them being Paris. We spent 4 days in Paris and really enjoyed it. We took two weeks and a half for the whole vacation. I think you’ll need more than a week to really enjoy it. Also as of last summer hotels in Paris were around $240, €170 And food was like $84, €60per person. A can of soda was $7, 5€.
Post # 8
MarriedToMyWork: I second Trocadéro. The view was amazing. But I couldn’t have left Paris without going up the Tower. It was one of the highlights of our trip. I also didn’t think the ticket was expensive at all, but I found most of the touristy stuff to be rather affordable.
OP, since you know you want to experience the Eiffel Tower, I HIGHLY suggest ordering your tickets before you leave for your trip. The downside is that you have to be there on the exact date and time that you book so you’ll have to plan around your reservation but it’s so worth it to not have to wait in those crazy lines. We were only able to get a reservation for like 10pm but it was SO GORGEOUS. The next time we go back we definitely want to go up during the day but I’m so happy I got to expereince it at night with all of the city lights.
Post # 9
MarriedToMyWork: I don’t need a honeymoon suite. All I need is a room with a bed for two people with good services, basically, your stuff isn’t stolen and your room gets cleaned while you’re gone, not in a super loud environment during the night… If food is really that expensive I’ll have to deal I guess.
Post # 10
SilaC: $7 for a can of soda?! Holy $#!+ um wow okay breeeathe. I’m used to getting $20/person meals in the US… of course I eat at Applebee’s so that explains that…
Post # 11
laschai: If you aren’t demanding any particular luxury, then you should be able to find a very welcoming hotel for under $300/night.
One can easily avoid the infamous €5 can of soda or the €7 coffee or the €50 breakfast if one is careful and plans ahead. If you don’t stay in one of the ultra-expensive arrondissements like the 7th (where the Eiffel Tower is) you should have access to grocery stores that will let you buy 2 L bottles of water or green tea for under €1, a 6 pack of Coke products for about €4, a bag of crackers for €2, etc. Grocery stores in more expensive arrondissements will have slightly higher prices. Another benefit of staying in a comparatively less expensive arrondissement is bakeries and cafés will be less expensive than those in, say the Latin Quarter.
If you’re going to be doing tourist stuff in an expensive area, you can stock up at a less expensive grocery store near your hotel and then pack what you think you’ll need in terms of snacks and drinks to take with you throughout the day.
The key thing to remember with respect to prices: if you don’t see the price, ask! If you’re not sure if the price you see listed for “juice” is the price for the specific juice you want, ask! That’s how unscrupulous businesses get to overcharge–they take advantage of tourists’ general shyness in terms of asking and tourists’ general willingness to pay the assigned price, no matter how high. Anyone who is rude or huffy or offended by this is not someone who should earn your business.
And at a restaurant like the ones I’ve suggested, the estimated price is for three courses of well-prepared food as well as wine, and it’s a generous estimate. It will be a lovely meal, you will be treated with professionalism and discretion by the waitstaff, and you will not be rushed–if you spend 2-3 hours enjoying yourself in your newly-wedded bliss, no one will be offended or attempt to hurry you out (assuming you’re not being utter boors, which I don’t imagine would be the case).
Post # 12
- Wedding: September 2014 - lotusresidence.com
I think MarriedToMyWork gave really good advice. I actually think $600 per day should be enough for your hotel and all meals for the two of you. Unless you are looking for super lavish dinners etc, you really should be fine. Just don’t have coffee at the Champs Elysees, those places are the typical tourist traps and will charge you excessively for everything.
Post # 13
If it helps, I have many times done both Berlin & Paris from London on day trips (for pleasure & work!).
The Eurostar train means London > Paris is quick and pretty cheap, and goes from central London to central Paris in just a couple of hours.
I think 3 cities would be a push in a week (especially if you have flying time from the US to consider as well).
There are little money-saving tips, for example a lift ticket up the Eiffle Tower is (or at least was!) around 3 times the cost of a ticket to take the stairs. Yes, there’s a lot of stairs, but it’s well worth the walk, and you can take your time 🙂
In London you would be very very lucky to get a nice 3 course meal for $50 (including drinks) anywhere central. My usual lunch here (as I live and work in London) from a chain, can cost me around $9-10 easily (for a sandwich & crisps!).
Let me know if you want any specific London tips – there’s a lot of good places outside of central which do have slightly lower costs!
Post # 14
laschai: It’s definitely doable if you just want to see a few major things and get a feel for the place, in my gap year I spent a month interrailing around continental Europe and we saw loads of cites in that time frame. You just need to do your research and be reasonable about your expectations of how much you can see in each place.
Post # 15
- Wedding: May 2015 - The Fairmont, SF
In a week? Truthfully, you should expect to be very rushed.
My FI and I live in London and what people often forget is how many things there really are to do – and how long it can take to travel from Point A to Point B. For instance, to get from Tower Bridge to Oxford Street takes around 30 minutes on the tube. I suggest that you make a list of the major things you want to see and then map out how long it’ll take you to travel from site to site. That way you can concentrate on things in one area of the city one day and then see the next bit the next day, etc. Perhaps the best way to simply “see” the most is by buying tickets for a hop on-hop off tour bus. You’ll get a good overview of the cities even if you don’t really have the time to visit each place in-depth.
Now, I went to Paris for my birthday in July and ended up spending over £800 in 3 days, not including travel (we took the Eurostar; £202/per person!). I think you’ll probably save by taking EasyJet or RyanAir flights, to be honest. The other thing is that even if you go to less expensive places, you’re still going to be paying a lot – plus the exchange rate. We went to Paul for lunch once or twice and came out with a £16+ bill each time! We felt like we were doing stuff from the time that we got up to the time we got back to the hotel and we still missed a lot. 🙁 The Eiffel Tower dinner actually isn’t that expensive and the view is so worth it so definitely go there! The worst part for how much we spent that weekend is that we weren’t even getting ripped off as I speak French…
Other tips/tricks: if you’ll have a working phone with internet, download CityMapper. It’s a life-saving app and it’ll give you tube/bus times and the best routes to get places.
Other things… The Shard in London has HORRENDOUS service and is, in my opinion, way over-priced. If you’re looking to splurge on a meal, go to Sushi Samba. Also, pub food is often quite nice and the Sunday roasts they serve are usually cheap and tasty. Bars and restaurants in the west end are often quite expensive. Covent Garden has pretty reasonable places to eat and the open markets (especially Borough Market) have great food stalls for good prices. 🙂