Post # 1
Hello everyone! My fiancé and I will be getting married on September 21st and we’ve decided to honeymoon in France. We’ll have 10 days (not counting travel time) and a pretty liberal budget.
I’d love to hear your opinions on some non-touristy “musts” in Paris! I’ve never been; FI has, but only for a weekend when he was a poor study-abroad student. We’re looking to go with a general idea of what we want to do, but no strict itinerary. Lots of wandering, delicious food–at least one fancy dinner!–and impromptu adventures!
We’d also love to explore outside of Paris. Maybe a couple of day trips (to Mont Saint-Michel or a tour of a vineyard/winery for example) or a couple of days in another city? Do you wonderful people recommend anywhere in particular?
Post # 3
@mrsfun: Bayonne and Versaille are my all time faves in france (other than Paris). Versaille is a pleasant day trip a lovely train ride away and I would take time to explore not just the palace but the actual town. In Paris there is a Monmarte walking tour that provides wine. mm!
Bayonne isn’t a day trip but a nice beach weekend there would work. You can even surf!
Another overnight idea is Luxembourg, the country to the north. I say you have ten days explore and make the most of it!
Post # 4
In Paris, I’d definitely recommend seeing a concert at Sainte-Chapelle (near Notre Dame). They are short-ish (only about an hour or so) and it’s such a great setting. I liked the Van Gogh museum because it was outside mostly, and L’Orangerie was nice because they only let a certain number of people in at a time. It made for a more relaxing experience. I really wasn’t a fan of the Louvre – too big and too many tourists running people over.
I recently stayed in Chinon with friends, and Tours and Angers are also cute towns to visit if you want to get a more local vibe. Chenonceau was an amazing chateau! Amboise also had a nice mix of activities with a chateau along with local shopping etc.
No matter what you choose, it will be amazing!
Post # 5
We loved Saint Emilion- so awesome! Wiki blurb: Saint-Émilion’s history goes back to prehistoric times and is a World Heritage site, with fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along steep and narrow streets.
Really was incredible and this hotel looked fantastic:
Post # 6
@mrsfun: A must do is a river boat ride on the Seine at night! You catch one under the Pont Neuf Bridge ( I believe). That was my favorite memory of Paris.
Not sure how much time you want to spend outside of Paris. I felt after 4 or 5 days I wanted to see the country side and it was beautiful. We drove around the Loire Valley area, visited castles etc. I remember a town called “barbizon” near Fountain Bleu and it was just so “french”. This area is about 40 miles outside of Paris.
Post # 7
You could rent a car and drive to Bougogne (Burgundy) for some wine tasting.
I don’t necessarily agree with the recommendation to go to Versailles. When I was there it was JAM PACKED with tourists and generally an unpleasant experience. If you do go, please prepare accordingly and make sure you reserve tix in advance to avoid the huge lines.
You could also take the TGV to Provence. It is LOVELY.
Post # 8
Thanks for the advice everyone! So many ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of. I’ve spent some time in Europe and I’ve found that I prefer small towns (or cities that don’t feel “typical”) so I’m really excited to plan this trip. I’m going to take a look at all your recommendations tonight with the FI and see what we come up with. Hopefully we’ll stumble on a few gems to share with you all!