Post # 1
SO and I are planning on travelling to Europe from North America this winter. We’ve got two weeks, we’re planning on taking trains from city to city (because I am lightly obsessed with them, lol) and we’re definitely visiting Prague and Krakow. If we can squeeze it in, there are one or two small towns in the Czech Republic/Poland we’d like to visit… which means we don’t have time to go to BOTH London and Paris. We can arrange to get to Prague via the night train from Cologne from either London (taking the ferry to Brussels) or Paris, so I’m not worried about the difference in travel time.
We’ve been to both those cities before (Paris separately, London together) and since he lived in London for a few months we have a few friends we *could* go catch up with. We wouldn’t be heartbroken if that didn’t happen, though. There’s a wedding dress exhibition at the V&A when we would conceivably be there which would be really nice to see, plus we could maybe see a West End play, and visit all our old favourite places. There are a bunch of things I didn’t get to see and do in Paris the first time (like make it all the way up the Eiffel Tower and go to Versailles), and I’d like to make some new memories with SO.
So – which would you do, bees? London the old favourite, or Paris, the romantic City of Lights? Why?
Post # 2
I’d fly into London and out of Paris, because the UK has a significantly higher tax on departing flights than anywhere else in Europe does. It is distance based so if you’re flying from the UK direct to the US, you’ll pay about $75/person more than if you depart from France and fly in economy. It’s about $200 more in business class.
Post # 3
We’re planning to fly out of Krakow either way, but that is definitely good information to have, thanks!
Post # 4
babeba: I lived in Paris for about 4 months in college, so I’m biased (but I’ve visited London too), but I’d choose Paris every time! The FOOD alone makes it worth it, but especially if you haven’t seen sites like Versailles (which is SO worth it, I think). I don’t know, Paris just seems so much more romantic and European than London. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to London twice and really enjoyed it both times, but in my opinion, Paris is just in a league of its own.
Post # 5
annb9: Food is definitely a compelling argument! 😀 Any reccomendations for places to eat there?
Post # 6
babeba: if you do want to go to the dress exhibition at the v and A make sure you book tickets well in advance. Me and Future Mother-In-Law were going to go but tickets were already sold out for the weekend we wanted to go
Post # 7
babeba: since you haven’t don’t Paris together, I vote for the city of lights:-)
I’m biased because it’s my favorite city anywhere, but the gorgeous architecture, murals, the great food and excellent coffee invite romance. I’m not big on checking sites off of a list, I like to absorb the culture in a more relaxed way, but either way you’re set in Paris. have a great trip!
Post # 8
I’m in a similar boat in that my Fiance and I have both been to both, but to London together and to Paris separately… and I am just dying to go back to Paris with him. So Paris gets my vote!
Post # 9
haha food for the win – paris! ❤️
Post # 10
Tinatiny1: I am kind of leaning that way… hello, little boulangeries! Hello, beautiful lighted evening walks! Hello, amazing artwork! Hello, good chance to do street photography! Hello, amazing French food! <br /><br />On the other hand – old friends, old favourites, old wedding dresses, revisiting a couple of favourite stores to spend lots of money on SHOES… I’m glad my problems are first world ones.
Post # 11
Paris is fabulous and enchanting. Went this past September, I was IMPRESSED. Fell in love with the place and I was with friends missing my SO! It was SOOOOO romantic that I completely regretted not being there with him but life! The eiffel and the palace of versaille were my absolute favorite. And then just hanging out at the cafes at night, magical.
Post # 12
Paris, definitely. Live near London, been to Paris twice, and I just love Paris. London is great, but very different. I find Paris much more romantic.
I’d also be sensible about how many places you visit; I’d probably pick just 3 as you’ll lose a lot of time travelling.
Post # 13
barbie86: We’re using the night trains, so we’ll lose as little time as possible to travel. 🙂
Post # 14
babeba: Did you ever take this trip? How did you find Kraków? Did you visit Auschwitz? Did you make it to any other towns in Poland? We are wondering if we should make time for Worclaw. Were you able to sleep on that overnight train? We’re taking the night train to Budapest. Unless there’s snow on the ground, we’d like to break up the Kraków-Budapest travel with a short stay in the mountains in Slovakia in that case. But it’ll be a bit early for snow when we’re there so not counting on it.
And of course – which did you choose? Paris or London? Seemed like you were leaning towards Paris.
Sorry so many questions!
Post # 15
We did take the trip! We ended up starting in London, and I’m glad we did – I much preferred it to Paris this trip. (There always seemed to be a smell of urine in that city.) Next time I travel in Europe in winter though, I’m bringing along a thin blanket with me. We could never get the rooms cool enough for the duvets every place we stayed seemed to have!
we went to Kraków, and very much enjoyed staying in Kazimierz. The central square in Kraków was really excellent, there are a couple good museums right there which helped give a sense of the city. We also really enjoyed the tour we took of the university. It is shocking, though, how much the city feels kind of… Tainted? by the history of the Second World War. So many of the grand old streets and the old sites like the castle and the university were irrevocably changed. We didn’t go to any other cities in Poland, but I know other people who really enjoy the country.
Auschwitz was… Really tough. I knew it would be, but it was so much worse than I could have imagined to go through it. You have no idea of the scope of it until you’re there, and in Birkenau… Since it was winter, we were bundled up and cold… And I felt incredibly guilty standing there with my gloves, scarf and wool coat to even contemplate thinking that I felt chilly knowing exactly how the victims who were forced there were dressed. I imagine it would be similarly difficult in the heat of summer, when the buildings are stifling. I took lots of photos of the outsides of buildings, but I haven’t been able to really look at them yet; it’s too terrible.
We both really enjoyed the night trains, I would travel like that again in a heartbeat! I slept really well, and so did my FI; we brought sleeping pills and earplugs just in case but didn’t need the pills. We did a four person couchette from Cologne to Prague, then a private compartment from Prague to Kraków. I would maybe splurge on a private compartment for the Cologne to Prague if I ever did it again but it was fine sharing with two other people. It felt very luxurious to have the attendant bring us tea and chocolate pastries for breakfast on the way in to Kraków!
Budapest is a city I would love to visit, and honestly – even if there is snow, Slovakia would be awesome! It sounds like you guys have a great trip planned! (If you haven’t heard of him already, you should look up the story of Janosik if you go to the Slovakian mountains – he was kind of like a Slovak Robin Hood, with a band of mountain men, and was an actual historical person!)