Post # 1
With my mom… LOL! Leaving the DH behind, but my mom promised me in high school that if I took French instead of Spanish, she would take me to France. 15 years later, she’s finally cashing in.
Since it’s just the two of us we can easily hop from place to place and I think that in my time there I’d like to see more than just Paris. We have about 7-10 days, flying standby so we are flexible. And the plan is to leave on Sept 21st at this time.
I’m having a hard time narrowing down what esactly to see, where to go, and for how long. My brother suggested we go to Normandy. I am also seeing to take a day trip to Versailles, a trip to the Loire, etc… I’d love to see maybe some french wineries, or at least do some wine tasting. We like to window shop, see culture, see the country, we are pretty much up for everything except spending day after day in a museum. In fact I’m pretty much only down for one museum visit which will probably be The Louvre.
Any suggestions from French bee’s, or bee’s who have traveled there would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Post # 3
That sounds like SO much fun! I’m sorry I don’t have any tips, but I can’t wait to hear about it!!!
Post # 4
If you like relaxing/wine, go to the South of France too 🙂 Paris is great, but it is really really busy!
Normandy is lovely. I would definitely also go and see the Bayeaux Tapestry as it is a great piece of European history.
If you felt like it as well, you could take a day trip to London! The train that leaves from the centre of Paris is only a couple of hours from London, and not too expensive. Very regular service too!
Post # 5
@MsJ2theZ: Paris is great but I’d do 3-4 days and take the high speed TGV to the south of France- ESP if you want relaxing and wine tasting! Provence was my absolute favorite. Loved Avignon and Arles in particular. Wish I was going back to France!
Post # 6
Yes, go to Normandy! Normandy is lovely, and the people are very nice. Versailles is…beautiful, but boring, like the Louvre (and you get moved along very quickly). I really enjoyed Mont Saint-Michel and Saint Malo (although everything closes really early there), as well as Amboise (where da Vinci lived) and Chenonceau. Bayeux was really pretty, but kinda boring. Tours was great (can you tell I like the Loire Valley?)!
I know a lot of people hate Paris for whatever reason, but I really enjoyed it. Lots to see and do, Montmartre is great (if you go, go up the road next to the Sacre Coeur–on the left when facing the basilica–and have your portrait drawn!), the Catacombes are fun, etc.
Post # 7
Thanks girls! This definitely gives me a start.
I went to London for a week when I was 18 and explored when my Aunt was living there. Right after Diana died actually. So we won’t make a trip over there. My mom is also a pilot so she travels a lot and has gone there twice in the last 3 months. That is also why she’s making me choose where to go, she’s already been to Paris lol. She did ask if I wanted to see Italy, Belgium, Amsterdam, Germany etc, and I do, I want to see ALL of them! But I think maybe this trip we should just stick to France. DH and I decided he wouldn’t come on this trip and we’d do a long trip later on in life so I can do all of that with him.
I am loving the idea of checking out the south, like Provence and/or Normandy. My mom thinks we should do Paris in about 2 days and then move on.
@vorpalette: I will have to look up some of the places you mentioned. Everything I read said to do Versailles as a day trip and that’s it. I’ll have to look into it and see if there is anything there I’d realy like to do/see. Looking at the map it looks like Normandy would be a short trip from Paris, and the Loire valley.
@SeaTurtle88: How long was the high spreed train? Provence looks really far, esp if we want to try to fit in Normandy, and then trying to get back to Paris to fly out. Although we’re flexible and could probably fly back out of almost anywhere.
Post # 8
@MsJ2theZ: Ooh Belgium is lovely! I definitely recommend it. I had the pleasure of working in northern France & Belgium for a few months a few years back, and it is really lovely over there.
For trains, I’ve used the high speed lines a bit and they are good. Look up Voyages SNCF as they have the routes etc on there.
Post # 9
I’ve suggested this to everyone who’s ever posted about France/Paris – http://www.bikeabouttours.com/
We did the Parisian Day Bike Tour, and it was the highlight of our trip. Please squeeze this in on the first day or two, for you’ll see tons of things you’ll want to visit later, and they do give you a list at the end of their favorite places to eat, drink, and visit.
The guides are awesome (we actually had the owner of the company), and the stops are so well thought out – great variety and tons of in depth information that I never would have known otherwise!
And I mean, riding your bike through the courtyard of the Louvre (and totally ignoring the no bikes sign) is seriously awesome.
They have loads of great reviews on Trip Advisor!
Post # 10
So jealous! I love France.
Be aware that traveling to Normandy can be time consuming.
Take TGV trains whenever you can.
Be aware that Sundays are super slow/quiet in France, even in Paris. many stores and museums will be closed. Sundays are good days to spend traveling, if you can.
You will need to rent a car if you want to visit chateaux in the Loire Valley.
Don’t be suprised when people switch to English when they hear your accent.
Eat as many macarons as you can hold.
Watch your purse near any touristy area, but particularly near any train stations and Sacre Coeur in Paris.
Wear lots of black and comfortable shoes!!!!
This is what I would stress the most : Wherever you go, leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy being there. As in leisurely lunches and hitting many pattisseries, particularly in the morning. I would much rather and would suggest that you enjoy 3-4 places at a slow pace and soak it all up than feel rushed dashing from place to place.
Have the best time!
Post # 11
@MsJ2theZ: Aix-en-Provence is around 3 hours from Paris by TGV ( as per th TGV website) – not too bad, and it’s sort if cool to see the French countryside whizzing by your window!
Post # 12
@Stiletto13: LOL wear black!? Nice avatar 😉
Post # 13
@bowsergirl: The bikes seem like a great option. My husbands dad’s fam is from Chicago and they’ve been there many times but last time they went, I went with and we did the Segueway tour down the Magnificient Mile and there were a LOT of things we got to see and learn about that we never would have had we just walked. Plus Segueway’s are AWESOME!
Post # 14
Make sure you get cash before leaving Paris!!
A few years ago my husband and I went camping in the south of France (my one and only attempt at doing a holiday like the dutch who invade and colonize every summer). Since he’s VERY spoiled in the Netherlands with about everyone taking the dutch debit card, he didn’t think of drawing cash from the ATM on our camp site before we took off on a day trip one day…
It started with us stopping in this ancient little walled village for lunch. It turned out the brasserie DID NOT take credit card. Cash only. On top of that, the ONLY atm in the village was broken.
While he left me as ransom at the brasserie (story of my life as this happens more often than not since “there’s no reason to ever have cash”) he finally found a store that let him buy something and get extra back.
After that he thought it would be a great idea to get cash. However, I think we drove a good 60km before we found any village, town, or city that had an ATM…then we came across one that had 8 ATMs all on the same intersection. o_O
Moral of the story? Don’t think that once you’re out of Paris that everyone takes credit card and there IS a reason to carry cash.
To this day he won’t admit that there’s still reason to carry cash, but more often than not that 20 euro note I grabbed is missing when I need it. Marital bliss. 😉
Post # 15
Bumping this for more suggestions because I’m still really stumped! I can’t narrow down where I want to go! Also we arrive on a Sunday which may be good because because we can spend time exploring and adjusting, or may be bad because as a pp said Sundays are extremely slow, any thoughts? We are flying standby so day of arrival can be changed. Thanks!