Post # 47
@cali_cat: Which would you choose between Venice and Cinque Terre?
@Ms. Kitty: I’ve always wanted to go to Paris and Fiance is interested in Rome, so those 2 are a must. I guess we’re just looking for a 3rd city now…maybe just 2-3 days in the 3rd city and the remaining split between Paris and Rome.
Post # 48
@katievee: Probably Venice because it is easier to get to on the trains especially if you are short on time. If you rent a car then you might want to try and see both because Venice can be done in a day. At the time I was there I was traveling by train only and it was a hassle to get my connections right to get to Cinque Terre and back in the time that I had. BUT, I have never heard someone say they regretted that trip 😉
Post # 49
I stayed in Nice, France for 10 days and loved it. The first few days we went to Monaco and Cannes which were both a train ride away. Both were 20 minutes by train, give or take a few minutes. Then we took a little tram thing to the top of a nice mountain where we got AMAZING views of the city and water. Then the rest of the time, we chilled on the beach, which was with, like, boulders and not sand, lol. But it wasn’t a big deal. You can take the train and try different beautiful beaches as well! We went during Bastille Day(ummm, i think?) and they had a beautiful fireworks show over the water and closed off the promanade streets and had live bands and it was a great, big party. It was a great way to leave France!
Post # 50
I agree with the PP who said to take a cooking class or wine tour or both. I’ve lived in Italy (Florence) and I’ve travelled to France numerous times and my favorite places in both countries (other than Florence in Italy which will always be my favorite place in the world) are actually found in the countryside or small villages, in other words, not a city at all. If you can organize a wine tour guide and cooking class in both countries (or a cooking class in Italy and wine tour in France) this will get you into the countryside which is so beautiful in both countries.
Post # 51
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
Paris is GIGANTIC and a MUST-SEE!!!! You need a good 6-7 days there just to see everything though, and that’s if you have done all your research ahead of time, made an itinerary for each day, and run around like a crazy person! LOL! I’ve been several times, and I’ve got it down to a science. But it seriously takes a solid week to see everything. If you go for 2 days, you can do about 2 things: Eiffel Tower and 1 museum.
FYI, Le Louvre is so huge that you could spend a week inside it and still not see everything. Also, definitely pick up a museum map. We got lost at one point and ended up literally running through it trying to find our way out. It took a solid 20 minutes of running. That place is HUGE!
Nice is nice, but skippable in my opinion. You can definitely do London in 1 or 2 days. Ride the London Eye, go shopping at Harrods, and maybe do a double decker bus tour and you’re done.
Post # 52
@spicyrutabaga: Thanks for your suggestion! I’ll look both up. Is there any company you would suggest for the cooking class or wine tour?
@Christy42213: Thanks for you suggestions! Besides from the Eifel tower and the Louvre, what else would you suggest in Paris? Have you been to the Moulin Rouge? If so, what’s your opinion of seeing a show?
Post # 53
I haven’t been to France, but I did go to Italy, Rome and Venice are definitely must sees. I’d skip Pisa since people pretty much just go there to see the leaning tower. I didn’t find Florence to be all that exciting either. If you had all the time in the world of course they’re beautiful cities to explore but for your short time I wouldn’t bother.
I’d also recommend the Cinque Terra. So beautiful and some amazing views if you like to hike (depending which towns you go through, there are some steep hills my legs were jelly by the end but totally worth it). Honestly, for a honeymoon I could see staying just there for 2 weeks, it’d be so romantic and relaxing to just take in those quaint towns together.
Post # 54
Also recommend skipping Pisa. To me it just seemed like one big tourist trap.
If Paris and Rome are a must for you, I would recommend keeping it to those two cities. I spent a week in each and that wasn’t enough to see everything. You can take day trip into the countryside from either city if you want to see more.
My favorite museum in Paris is the Musee d’Orsay. Much more manageable than the Louvre, and has a kind of charm that the Louvre lacks, in my opinion (the Louvre is just grand and overwhelming). I loved Montmarte and the Sacre Coeur as well, despite having to dodge hordes of vendors trying to sell me friendship bracelets at every turn.
Post # 55
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
Okay, this is going to be a long list. I can’t remember everything I did, but here are the highlights that I can remember.
- Ride the elevator to the top of La Tour d’Eiffel
- Spend a day or two in Le Louvre & stroll the gardens (Jardins des Tuileries) & see the mini Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.
- Take a tour of Notre Dame (requires climbing really tiny spiral staircases, but it’s super fun and a great memory, especially if you can go on a day when they hold mass).
- Stand at Point Zero, the exact center of Paris. It’s a bronze medallion star set into the ground in front of Notre Dame. It’s easy to miss, so keep on the lookout!
- Check out Les Catacombes de Paris. This is the one thing I never got to do. They’re closed on Mondays I believe. Alternatively, you can do the smaller catacombs right outside Notre Dame on Ile de la Cite. I believe they’re called Crypte archeologique du Parvais.
- Sainte-Chapelle is considered a hidden jewel of Paris & one of the most beautiful chapels in France. It’s closed on weird days/times, so do your research before going. It’s a must see!
- Best ice cream place in Paris is on Ile de la Cite called Berthillon (closed in August).
- Two great tea shops in Paris are Mariage Freres and Dammann Freres.
- Go shopping on Les Champs Elysees and take pictures under l’Arc de Triomphe at Place de l’Etoile (don’t bother climbing it).
- Visit Musee de l’Orangerie to see tons of original Claude Monet masterpieces (beware you cannot take a camera inside and will be searched upon entering).
- Musee d’Orsay is also really great and can be done in one afternoon.
- Centre Pompidou is a modern art museum. It has some of the weirdest exhibits I’ve ever seen. You’ll love it or hate it. It looks really cool from the outside because the staircases are built on the outside of the building.
- Walk outside Place de la Concorde and see the giant Egyptian obelisk.
- Stoll through le Jardin du Luxembourg & see Palais du Luxembourg.
- Go to Montmartre and walk inside La Basilique du Sacre Coeur. On a clear day, you’ll have an amazing view of Paris from there. Moulin Rouge is near here; we never did that. Be wary of traveling around Montmartre at night though. It’s the city’s red light district and can be quite scary for the more conservative individuals.
- Other sightseeing pit stops as you go around the city: Place de l’Opera, L’Opera Garnier, Place de la Bastille, Place des Vosges, Hotel de Ville, Grand Palais & Petit Palais, Palais de Chaillot, Pont Alexandre III (Pont means bridge), Pont Neuf (oldest bridge in Paris; ironically the name means “new bridge”), mini Statue of Liberty (near Eiffel Tower), Les Bouqinistes (these are bookstalls set up right along La Seine), Place Vendome, & Palais de Justice.
- Notable churches: Chapelle Notre Dame de la Medaille Miraculeause, Eglise St-Sulpice, Eglise de la Madeleine (looks like the Parthenon), & St-Germain des Pres.
- Take a day trip from Paris out to Chateau de Versailles is also a must-see. This is AMAZING! Don’t just look around the main palace either. There are a bunch of smaller chateaus spread throughout the gardens. It’s a super fun day!
- Skip Paris’ Disneyland. It’s not worth it.
Post # 56
I’ve been on a tour of Italy before. I’d say 2 days is enough for Rome. Other MUSTs in Italy are Capri and Venice. Also, if you travel by car from France to italy you get to go through the swiss alps which are simply stunning. If you can find a way to drive from Paris to Italy and then through Italy Its worth it because you get to see a lot of beauty on the way. Just look into the different laws and insurance.
Post # 57
My fiance and I are going to Rome and then Paris for 4 nights each in August… any recommendations??
Post # 58
Update: we’ll be honeymooning 2 months after our wedding (DW in Aruba). I don’t want to jump from vacation to vacation within a 3 week span, plus we’ll be able to save more money for the honeymoon. With that said, I think we’ve decided on 12 days (14 days inc. travel)….5-6 days in Rome, 2 days in Venice, 4-5 days in Paris. Still have to research flights from US to Europe, within Europe, and train prices.