(Closed) London and Paris Honeymoon suggestions

posted 4 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 20
Member
773 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015 - Carmen\'s Lakeview

I’ve been to both places and the suggestions the previous people have suggested are fantastic! Also, there’s a free walking tour in Paris you can do. They just work off of tips. It’s usually a 2 hour one but it ended up taking us closer to 4 hours! 

Oh! And make sure you have some decent running shoes! You’ll wear them out pretty quickly!

Post # 22
Member
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Darling Husband and I went to London a couple of years ago and stayed at The Nadler Kensington. It’s just a few blocks from a Tube stop, so it was very easy to get to all the places we wanted to go, and while the room was small compared to U.S. hotels, it was big enough for the small amount of time we spent there. It had a mini-fridge and microwave, too. We took a day tour of Windsor Castle, Bath, and Stonehenge, which was great, and we loved Westminster Abbey. We also took the Tube to a few neighborhoods and parks and just walked around. We’re really looking forward to going back someday!

Post # 23
Member
3307 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

For a little day trip outside Paris I recommend visiting Reims (car trip). The Mumm winery has an excellent tour if you’re interested in champagne. Go see Versailles and the Louvre of course.I don’t know if you’re interested in hotels but when I took my kids to France solo we stayed in a suite at the Marriott Champs-Elysées. TDF. Prior to tgat we had always stayed in a townhouse just outside the city (marriott again) and took the metro in. I loved feeding the ducks – they came right up to me for treats lol. In London there’s the Imperial War Museum if you’re into history, the Victoria and Albert museum and the National Portrait gallery. Eat some Indian food – the best I ever had was in London. Walk around Kensington, there’s Kensington Palace where princess Diana lived. And check out all the gardens – they’re so manicured lol. (I’m really into flowers) and don’t forget the tower. Stonehenge is a good trip. There’s so much more but I’ve gone on too long as it is. Enjoy!

  • This reply was modified 4 years ago by Profile Photo doberman.
Post # 24
Member
24 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 2015

I live in London. 

 

I would prioritise a few things:

– Tower of London, definitely. Go at 9am  

– A ferry trip down the Thames from Waterloo pier to Greenwich to see the Meridien line & also the markets

– A West End theatre show 

– Walking through Hyde Park, Green Park, St James Park and onto Westminster to see Big Ben

– One daytrip out of London – Oxford is easily accessible and very pretty 

If you come in summer then it’s possible to tour the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. 

I recommend City Social for a bar (& restaurant) with a view. Level 52 at the Shard is nice but heinously expensive and I prefer the view at City Social. Sushi Samba or Duck & Waffle in Salesforce Tower are also good options. Don’t pay for The View from the Shard – either go to the bar at Level 52 or opposite St Paul’s Cathedral is a building called One New Change which has a free rooftop viewing platform. 

I recommend the Charlotte St Hotel, it’s not in a particularly touristy area (Bloomsbury, near the British Museum) but very close to the sights and surrounded by excellent restaurants. Hotels will have a minibar fridge but usually there won’t be room for lots of water bottles unless you empty out the merchandise. 

 

Post # 25
Member
24 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 2015

Also, Uber works in London. An Uber from Heathrow to the West End is around £30-35 which is about standard for a minicab. 

Post # 26
Member
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

robsbeach:  In London….go to the Sky Garden bar. Go to brindisa and vinopolis  (both near london bridge)

Go to ronny scotts in soho.

 

The tube is amazing BUT it stops at around 12.30 at night so you may need to get taxis home. If you aren’t late night people you can save a lot by staying outside central (think angel, clapham etc) as the tube is so easy and cheap

Post # 27
Member
884 posts
Busy bee

A lot of really great suggestions about what to see and do. To avoid the lines I highly recommend pre-purchasing tickets to museums, sites online.  The Paris Pass gets you into a lot of things without waiting and includes the Seine boat tour and some public transportation. There’s a back entrance to the louvre through the mall next door – no wait. We were in Paris in January and London in June.  Bought most tickets online with time slots and had little to no waits. If you take the metro in Paris be very careful about the doors closing, the doors on the trains do NOT re-open if you are in the way. My pre-teen son almost got his arm stuck.  There are many fantastic cafes in Paris that serve amazing food at very reasonable prices. Have a blast and best wishes!

Post # 28
Member
24 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Its been a long time since I’ve been to London– went there on a high school trip so my memory of what all we did is a little fuzzy. However, I just came back from paris (got engaged there!) so I am full of fresh Paris tips!

I echo everyone who says you do NOT need to rent a car in EITHER city. Public transportation in both of these cities is some of the best in the world. Take the tube/metro everywhere and save yourself the headache of renting a car.

Free tip about Versailles in France (which is def worth visiting!!): you do NOT have to stand in line for 2 hours like a previous poster said. You can buy your ticket online on their website, print it at home, and save yourself a ton of time waiting in line at Versailles. You’ll walk right in with your printed at home tickets. You can so the same with some of the major museums too, I don’t remember exactly which ones have online ticket sales but I think Louvre and Musee d’Orsay do.

Also check out the Picasso museum. Everyone goes to the Louvre… it is huge and overwhelming and in fact when I went, was full of large tour groups that made it very crowded and people were jostling and pushing people to see the major paintings which I found very unpleasant.  The Musee d’Orsay and Picasso Museum were my two favorites. I didn’t get to go to the Musee de l’Orangerie but I heard it’s amazing to go there and see Monet’s giant Water Lilies. 

We did Airbnb in Paris… we rented entire apartments so we could have a private space to ourselves and it was still sooo much cheaper for an apartment on airbnb than a hotel. I would highly recommend it.

We didn’t go to the top of the Eiffel Tower… it was very cool seeing the Eiffel Tower from the ground (go to Champ du Mars park to get some gorgeous shots) but I didn’t feel we needed to shell out to go all the way up. We did go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe which had amazing views and we also went to the top of Sacre Coeur which had pretty jawdropping views too. 

Get a drink at Georges, the restaurant on top of Centre Pompidou. Another spot with great rooftop views. 

 

Enjoy!!

Post # 29
Member
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I’ve never used a tour company, so can’t really give advice about that. I know for the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Versailles you can purchase advance tickets, but you still get stuck waiting in the security line. There’s also the Paris Museum Pass, which could be worthwhile if you plan to go to a couple of museums (both the Louvre and Versailles are included, I think).

Details for the Paris Museum Pass: http://en.parismuseumpass.com/

If I remember correctly, the Louvre also has night openings where it stays open a bit later one or two days out of the week. This may also be an option if you don’t plan to spend a lot of time there, since the longest lines will probably be in the morning. I think you might still have to pay full price for the ticket, though. Not sure about that anymore.

Post # 30
Member
6301 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

 

robsbeach:  Most do, and the better ones will provide bottled water free of charge (though it’s very cheap to buy from local shops/supermarkets). Do check before booking though as we stayed in one recently for a friend’s wedding (that, incidentally, was very expensive for what it was), assumed they would have a fridge and water, showed up to find neither, and water priced at £4.50 (!!!) per bottle. plus delivery (yes, seriously) charge of £1.50…

So I said I’d pop back re things to do, so, here goes. I’ve not mentioned many of the obvious things as my advice would be to get a few guide books (I really like the DK Eyewitness Top 10 ones as they’re concise: http://www.amazon.co.uk/DK-Eyewitness-Top-Travel-Guide/dp/1405348313) and then decide what interests you personally, as not everything will.
(Couple of general points: the vast majority of museums and galleries in London are free, though some charge entrance for some exhibitions; donations are often appreciated though and several have receptacles for them in the entrance halls. In Paris, pretty much everywhere charges admission, unless you are 25 and younger in which case you get free admission at a decent range of places. If you are over 25, then make sure to budget; I found Paris and also Italy (similar admission charges) pretty pricey and you can easily spend several hundred euros between the two of you depending on what you do).

LONDON:

FOOD: If you like food, check out one of the food markets. Borough market is a major one and real foodie heaven, with restaurants and eateries as well as stalls. I also love the food market at Camden; they have stalls selling food from all over the world, and most of it is to DIE for (there are also lots of other stalls in Camden, spread around over different areas, inc jewellery, clothing, antiques, etc). I also enjoy Portobello road; go on a Saturday if you want to see everything open, from fruit and veg stalls to antiques and brick-a-brack and vintage clothing. The setting is very pretty too with all the pastel-painted houses.

On the subject of markets, also check out Covent Garden; very touristy as with the others but again it’s pretty, and the street entertainment is fun.

VIEWS: PP has given some good suggestions. I actually liked the View at the Shard. They have a champagne bar at the top (no seating), or, if you head down a few floors to level 52, try a cocktail and sharing platter (or two) at the Gong Bar: http://www.shangri-la.com/london/shangrila/dining/bars-lounges/gong/ Minimum spend is £30 pp (easily done), but the views are fantastic, and the service, drinks and food very good IMPO. Get there late afternoon while it is still light to secure a window table, and stay to watch the sun set over London. Or try one of PPs suggestions 🙂

The London Eye is also very popular, though I wasn’t a huge fan myself, and the Emirates cable car is fun (albeit kind of in the middle of nowhere..).

 

BOATS: IMO a boat trip is a must, and there are several available, both on the Thames and on the canals. If you do one I would pair it with something else eg you can use one of the river boats/water taxis to get to places like the Tower of London and the Globe Theatre; or if you are going to the Zoo and Camden market, there is a canal boat service which connects them. It’s a nice way to see London from a different perspective:

Camden/Zoo company: http://londonwaterbus.co.uk/

TFL River buses/tours: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/river/

 

THEATRE: IMO a theatre visit is another must. There are a wealth of theatres in London showing a wide variety of performances, from West End musicals to ballet, Opera, and of course the Shakespeare productions at the Globe. Again, it really is a matter of personal taste, but I think it’s well worth catching a production at the Globe; the atmosphere is great (they’ve recreated the theatre as it would have been when Shakespeare was writing), and the productions are brilliant and reasonably priced (tickets start at £5 for a standing one). For ballet and Opera the Royal Opera House can’t be beaten, though tickets run at up to £200 each. The English National Opera/Ballet (based at the London Colisseum at present) is another good option and prices are much more reasonable at £125 max; just be aware that all their Operas are sung in English.

For musical tickets, http://www.lastminute.com is worth a look as they sometimes have good deals; you can also get good deals by buying on the day at the theatre on one of the numerous ticket booths scattered about.

 

MUSIC: again, it really depends on your personal tastes, but I would second PPs recommendation of Ronnie Scotts. They typically have two live shows per night, or you can just go to the club. Atmosphere is great though, and it’s a truly iconic London music venue.

MUSEUMS/GALLERIES: as I said above, I would do your research and choose based on your preferences. I would also be sensible about how much you aim to see, and try to focus on one or two areas in each museum/gallery. My personal favourites are the interactive level at the Science Museum; the mummies at the British Museum; and the Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum.

 

SHOPPING: things are pricey in London so I doubt you’ll want to do much (plus for me personally it’s a bit of a waste), but if you do I would stick with the markets I’ve mentioned above (good for gifts), or if you want more mainstream fashion/high street stores visit one of the Westfield shopping centres at White City or Stratford, which have hundreds of stores (inc high-end designers if that’s your thing) under one roof. Harrods is also worth a visit IMPO, particularly for the Food Halls, Egyptian Escalators, and Shoe Heaven up on Fifth. Libertys is also worth a visit; really beautiful old building and their Liberty print items are iconic and make great gifts or souvenirs. If you like jewellery, head to Hatton Garden which is chock-full of jewellery stores offering something for pretty much any budget; be prepared to haggle at most, though.

 

PUBS/BARS: Pubs are a major part of British culture and visiting a traditional pub is a must IMO. I tend to head down the back-streets to find the smaller, less touristy pubs; some are absolutely tiny and very quaint. I really like the Argyll Arms on Argyll Street (just off Oxford Street and round the corner from Oxford Circus tube station) as it has these really cool original partitions and is great for people watching.

One bar I really want to try but haven’t yet is Cahoots: http://cahoots-london.com/ It’s based in a disused underground station and looks like a lot of fun, with an unusual (and not IMPO overly pricey by London standards) cocktail list.

 

AFTERNOON TEA: quintessentially British, and another thing worth considering. There are the more obvious hotel like the Ritz, Claridges and the Dorchester, but most hotels offer it; I really enjoyed the one at the Goring (where Kate Middleton got ready for her wedding) as the setting is really cosy. Prices run at £20-50 pp depending on where you go and if you have champagne, and this website is quite good: http://www.afternoontea.co.uk/uk/london/ If you plan to visit on eof the ‘bigger’ hotels like the Ritz, book in plenty of time as they can get booked up months in advance.

 

That’s all I can think of for London right now, will pop back yet again with some Paris recs lol.

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