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deladane

Detailed Photo Review of Paris and London Trip in June 2019

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Posted (edited)

Hi Cruise Critics!  Some of you may “know” me from reading the very long and detailed photo reviews I have written about my cruises for the last 9 years.  In fact, every major vacation I have taken in that time has been on a cruise ship, and I have written a review for every one of those trips.  It made me kind of sad when I realized that my big vacation for the summer of 2019 would not be on a cruise!  As much as I love cruises, I wanted the opportunity to explore two of Europe’s greatest cities, and that was better suited for a land trip to give us the most time possible in those cities.  One of the reasons this made me so sad was because it meant I would not have a reason to write a review on Cruise Critic.  I know this is meant to be a forum about cruising, and while I did plan to take a one-hour “cruise” along the Seine and Thames Rivers, I did not think that really qualified me to write a lengthy review on this forum.  I do have a blog and I could have posted a review of my land trip on that blog, but it has very limited traffic.  One of the reasons I take the time to write my reviews is because I want to help people plan their own vacations and experience different parts of the world that they might not otherwise get to see.  What would be the point of writing a review if only a handful of people would read it?  When I post reviews on Cruise Critic, hundreds of people read it and post comments and questions, and that really helps motivate me to keep writing. 

 

It occurred to me that there is a forum on this site geared towards cruises in Europe.  Southampton is a very popular cruise port, and many people who sail from there also tack on a few days to visit London before or after their cruise.  Similarly, the port of Le Harve in France is featured on many Northern Europe cruises, and is located about 3 hours from Paris so many people opt to make that journey at that port of call.  Both London and Paris are big hubs for the airlines, so many people taking cruises in Europe fly through those cities and may even extend their layover to stay in those cities for a few days enroute to/from their cruises.  With that in mind, maybe me writing a review of a land-based trip to these cities isn’t so inappropriate after all!  I considered just posting this review on Trip Advisor since they do have a forum specific to both Paris and London, but you cannot include photos in those reviews and we all know that photos are my favorite part of my reviews!  In the end, I decided to take the risk and post my review on Cruise Critic in the Europe ports of call forum.  I sincerely hope that my planning, research, and experiences will be helpful to anyone reading this who may want to spend some time in these incredible cities, either before/after a cruise or just as a land-based trip like I did.  Please feel free to ask questions and post comments along the way... I welcome your feedback 🙂

 

Paris and London have been at the top of my travel to-do list for decades.  When my parents told me a year in advance that they wanted me to visit them in New York for their 40th wedding anniversary, the wheels started turning.  Coming from California, Paris and London are not exactly “on the way” to New York, but if we are already traveling cross-country in that direction, it made perfect sense to tack on a few days in Europe too.  Or at least that’s how I sold the idea to DH haha  The first thing I needed to do was find out if this was even a possibility in terms of flights.  My plan was that we would be away for 2.5 weeks, flying to either Paris or London first, then take the train to the other city, then fly to New York in time for my parents’ anniversary, and then fly back to California.  Unfortunately, when this idea originally occurred to me, the airlines had not released their June/July 2019 schedules yet.  The schedules were finally released in October for most of the airlines.  After checking the options from every airline and at every airport in the Bay Area, I discovered Norwegian Airlines.  They are a budget airline offering a direct flight from Oakland to Paris, and they also offer direct flights from Gatwick airport in London to JFK airport near my parents in New York.  I loved the idea of a direct flight and not needing to change planes, even if that meant an extremely long 10 hours on the plane for the first leg of our journey!  The one downside was that we would be flying out of Oakland, which is a one hour drive from our house on a good day.  That flight was scheduled to leave at 8pm so we needed to drive in rush hour, potentially doubling the time to get there.  Another logistical issue was that our flight back at the end of the vacation was going to land in San Jose, so we would not be able to drive to the airport in Oakland because there was no way to retrieve our car two weeks later.  Hopefully an Uber ride from San Jose to Oakland in rush hour, plus an Uber ride from the San Jose airport back home at the end of the trip, would cost less than paying for two weeks of parking at an off-site lot near the airport!

 

Norwegian Air has 3 seating options with different price levels.  The cheapest option is very bare bones.  They guarantee you will have a seat on the airplane and you can bring one carry on item weighing less than 10kg (22 pounds), but that’s about it!  The ticket does not include picking your seat, a checked bag, or any food or drink during the flight (including water!).  The flight attendants won’t even collect your trash as they pass through the cabin!  That was not going to be an option for us for two long-haul flights, so I looked into the middle tier options.  These tickets cost about $90 more, and included picking our seats on the plane, a checked bag in addition to our carry on bag, and a meal during the flight.  Since Norwegian is a budget airline, the price for the 10-hour flight from Oakland to Paris for the middle tier tickets came to $329 per person!  I did check back on the pricing as the trip dates came closer and the prices went up by $200 per person, so it pays to buy tickets way in advance.  Norwegian uses the 787 Dreamliner planes, with a 3-4-3 seat configuration in the coach section.  The idea of sitting in a middle seat for a long haul flight didn’t thrill either of us, so we investigated alternate possibilities.  At first we seriously considered buying 3 tickets so the 2 of us could have our own row.  The seats were cheap enough that it wasn’t such a crazy idea, and if we divided out the price equally, paying less than $500 per person for a 10 hour direct flight was still a great deal! 

 

Our third option was to purchase seats in the premium section of the plane.  Norwegian does not have a first class section, but they do have a premium section which is similar to business class on other airlines.  The seats don’t go fully flat, but they do recline significantly more than the seats in coach, and the rows are in a 2-3-2 configuration so we could get 2 seats together with one of us at the window and the other on the aisle, and no extra middle seat between us.  The premium section also includes 2 free checked bags per person, which is helpful when they only let you bring one 10kg bag as a carry on so we could check the rolling carry on bags we usually put in the overhead bin on the plane and just use a backpack for our carry on bag.  Finally, the premium section includes 2 meals on the flight that are supposed to be better than the meals served in coach, free wine and beer during meal service times, access to the priority lounge at both Oakland and Gatwick airports, and fast track access for security at the airport (which is great for us because we don’t have TSA pre-check or Global Entry).  When I priced out the tickets for the London to New York leg of our trip, it was only $180 difference between the middle and premium tiered tickets, so it was a no-brainer and we immediately booked those tickets before the price difference went up!  The seats in coach were $500 per person, and we were able to book our premium seats for $680 each.  We thought that was an amazing deal for business class on an 8-hour international flight!  We needed to think through the costs versus benefits for booking the premium seats on the Paris flight because the price difference was $500 per ticket more than the middle tier tickets.  Since we were not going to want to risk being stuck in the middle seat with a stranger on the aisle, had we bought the middle tier tickets we would have purchased the third seat, bringing the price difference down to $336 per person.  This flight was going to be a red eye, leaving Oakland at 8pm and landing in Paris at 3:30pm the next day, and this was how we were kicking off a 2-week vacation.  To us, paying $336 per person was well worth it at the slight chance of being able to sleep on the plane (neither one of us sleeps well on planes in coach, but maybe we had a chance at falling asleep if we could recline our seats and have a bit more space around us?), and it seemed like a more relaxing way to start our vacation.  Before we had a chance to second guess our decision, we purchased the non-refundable tickets leaving on Thursday, June 20 and arriving in Paris on Friday, June 21.  We were officially going to Europe!

 

Let’s break up this text-heavy post with some pretty photos from Paris…

 

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zfedHlEl.jpg

 

OTkdf3Ll.jpg

Edited by Host Bonjour
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Posted (edited)

Our flight to New York was on July 2, so we needed to decide how to split up our 12 days in Europe between Paris and London.  We wanted to keep things pretty even, but since it seemed like there was more to do in Paris than London, we picked Thursday, June 27 as our travel day between the two cities.  That gave us 5 full days in Paris, plus the evening of the night our plane arrived, and 4 full days in London, plus the afternoon after the train ride from Paris, and the morning on our last day because our flight to New York didn’t leave until 5pm. 

 

There are 2 main ways to travel from Paris to London.  If we chose to fly there, the flight itself is not very long, but we would need to get from central Paris to either CDG or Orly airport, and we would need to arrive early enough to allow time to check our bags and go through security.  When the plane landed in London, we would need time to wait for our bags to arrive, and then we would need to travel from Gatwick or Heathrow into central London, so the door to door time would probably be much longer and it would definitely cost more money than our second option. 

 

The second option was to take the Eurostar train through the Chunnel (although apparently only Americans call it the Chunnel haha).  The Eurostar train leaves from Gare du Nord train station, towards the northern side of central Paris, and arrives into St. Pancras station, towards the northern side of central London, saving us a lot of travel time and avoiding the logistics of going through the airport.  The train ride itself is 2 and a half hours long, but thanks to the time zone difference, it would only feel like 1 and a half hours!  Eurostar has several tiers for their seats, but we would be fine with the cheapest option, which allows you to pick your seat and includes 2 checked bags plus one carry on bag.  They do recommend that you arrive at the station one hour prior to departure, but overall it would still be way faster than flying.  The ticket prices fluctuate just like airline tickets, and they go on sale 6 months in advance.  We were in Puerto Vallarta the day our train tickets went on sale, so the night we returned home, I immediately logged onto the website to book our tickets.  The Paris to London route operates about once an hour, so we opted for the 10am train, which arrived in London at 11:30am.  That seemed like a perfect train time because it wasn’t too early in the morning, knowing we would need to finish packing and eat breakfast before going to the train, and it arrived before lunchtime in London, giving us most of the day left for touring.  The nonrefundable tickets cost $68 each, and I made sure to pick seats facing forwards on the train.

 

With our dates in each city finalized, the next step was to find hotels.  At that point, I knew absolutely nothing about how either city was laid out and it felt very overwhelming to pick which part of town would be best for us to stay in, let alone picking a specific hotel!  I decided to slow things down and tackle one city at a time.  For each city, I created a map on Google Maps and plotted out all of the touristy landmarks that I wanted to visit.  That gave me a good idea of where we’d be spending most of our time, so I tried to look at hotels in those neighborhoods.  Of course, hotels located very close to the major attractions also tend to be the most expensive, so I looked at options slightly further away, but with good access to public transportation.  When we travel domestically, especially for just two or three days over a long weekend, we often book vacation rentals on AirBNB and VRBO.  When we travel internationally, I prefer to book real hotels because they are more reliable (ie: less likely to cancel our booking at the last minute, leaving us without a place to stay in a foreign country!).  I have had a lot of success using Booking.com as they tend to offer good rates on a huge number of hotels in any given city, with a convenient way to search that inventory to select the amenities that matter most to me.  We did have one major problem with a hotel in Mexico that cancelled our Christmas/New Years week hotel just 2 months in advance (even though we booked a year ahead!), and all of the other hotels in our budget were sold out.  Booking.com totally took care of us and found us a new hotel in the same area where we wanted to stay, and they paid for the difference in price!  After that experience, I was happy to try their site for hotels for this trip.

 

In the end, I selected a boutique hotel called Hotel Chopin in Paris’ 9th arrondissement, located close to a metro station, and around a mile walk to the Louvre going south, and Gare du Nord going north.  For London, I knew we would have an unlimited ride pass for the metro, so being close to a transit hub was very important.  I also wanted to be close to St. Pancras station as that’s where we would arrive via the Eurostar, and we could get a direct ride from there to Gatwick at the end of our stay, so it would mean convenient access when schlepping our luggage.  I decided to book our reservation at Central Hotel, located on a quiet side street directly across from St. Pancras Station (for the Eurostar) and Kings Cross Station (for the Tube).  Central Hotel included a daily free breakfast, but Hotel Chopin did not.  Upon further thought, I realized that was a good thing because it would allow us to sample different French pastries and baked goods from different shops and markets each day!  Both hotels offered free cancellation until a week before the trip, free wifi, a non-smoking room with a private bathroom, and a hair dryer (a must for me, so I could save on precious space and weight in my luggage and to avoid the voltage change possibly destroying my hair dryer from the States!).  The only slight problem was that neither hotel had air conditioning.  Both said they have fans for the rooms, and I just kept my fingers crossed that it would be cool enough at night that we could sleep comfortably because the hotels with air conditioning were much more expensive.

 

This seems like a good place to break up the text with a few pretty photos from London…

 

32dd4Esl.jpg

 

F5U7vBol.jpg

 

YtNDqCil.jpg

Edited by Host Bonjour
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Thanks for posting. I'm looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip, especially the London part since we're headed there in September. 

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definitely following along. You know I love all of your reviews :)Glad you posted here. I too struggle with wanting to share my land based trips (and not a lot of traffic on my blog)

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5 hours ago, geoherb said:

Thanks for posting. I'm looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip, especially the London part since we're headed there in September. 

 

Thanks for reading!  It will take me a while before I get to London, since we have to get through 6 days in Paris first 😉  Let me know if you have any questions.

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5 hours ago, singinalot said:

definitely following along. You know I love all of your reviews :)Glad you posted here. I too struggle with wanting to share my land based trips (and not a lot of traffic on my blog)

 

Hiya!  So glad you found my post 🙂  I love your reviews too!  How's the wedding planning going?  I hope you are planning a honeymoon cruise so I can read your review haha

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1 hour ago, deladane said:

 

Hiya!  So glad you found my post 🙂  I love your reviews too!  How's the wedding planning going?  I hope you are planning a honeymoon cruise so I can read your review haha

 

hahaha we’ve actually got 3 cruises booked right now and a land trip to switzerland in 2021. Wedding planning is almost complete minus the seating chart...who knew that would be the hardest part?! we’re doing the greek isles again in October and getting married in November..definitely out of order and not planned that way but oh well. official honeymoon will be in January on the Allure of the Seas 

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10 hours ago, deladane said:

Our flight to New York was on July 2, so we needed to decide how to split up our 12 days in Europe between Paris and London.  We wanted to keep things pretty even, but since it seemed like there was more to do in Paris than London, we picked Thursday, June 27 as our travel day between the two cities.  That gave us 5 full days in Paris, plus the evening of the night our plane arrived, and 4 full days in London, plus the afternoon after the train ride from Paris, and the morning on our last day because our flight to New York didn’t leave until 5pm. 

 

There are 2 main ways to travel from Paris to London.  If we chose to fly there, the flight itself is not very long, but we would need to get from central Paris to either CDG or Orly airport, and we would need to arrive early enough to allow time to check our bags and go through security.  When the plane landed in London, we would need time to wait for our bags to arrive, and then we would need to travel from Gatwick or Heathrow into central London, so the door to door time would probably be much longer and it would definitely cost more money than our second option. 

 

The second option was to take the Eurostar train through the Chunnel (although apparently only Americans call it the Chunnel haha).  The Eurostar train leaves from Gare du Nord train station, towards the northern side of central Paris, and arrives into St. Pancras station, towards the northern side of central London, saving us a lot of travel time and avoiding the logistics of going through the airport.  The train ride itself is 2 and a half hours long, but thanks to the time zone difference, it would only feel like 1 and a half hours!  Eurostar has several tiers for their seats, but we would be fine with the cheapest option, which allows you to pick your seat and includes 2 checked bags plus one carry on bag.  They do recommend that you arrive at the station one hour prior to departure, but overall it would still be way faster than flying.  The ticket prices fluctuate just like airline tickets, and they go on sale 6 months in advance.  We were in Puerto Vallarta the day our train tickets went on sale, so the night we returned home, I immediately logged onto the website to book our tickets.  The Paris to London route operates about once an hour, so we opted for the 10am train, which arrived in London at 11:30am.  That seemed like a perfect train time because it wasn’t too early in the morning, knowing we would need to finish packing and eat breakfast before going to the train, and it arrived before lunchtime in London, giving us most of the day left for touring.  The nonrefundable tickets cost $68 each, and I made sure to pick seats facing forwards on the train.

 

With our dates in each city finalized, the next step was to find hotels.  At that point, I knew absolutely nothing about how either city was laid out and it felt very overwhelming to pick which part of town would be best for us to stay in, let alone picking a specific hotel!  I decided to slow things down and tackle one city at a time.  For each city, I created a map on Google Maps and plotted out all of the touristy landmarks that I wanted to visit.  That gave me a good idea of where we’d be spending most of our time, so I tried to look at hotels in those neighborhoods.  Of course, hotels located very close to the major attractions also tend to be the most expensive, so I looked at options slightly further away, but with good access to public transportation.  When we travel domestically, especially for just two or three days over a long weekend, we often book vacation rentals on AirBNB and VRBO.  When we travel internationally, I prefer to book real hotels because they are more reliable (ie: less likely to cancel our booking at the last minute, leaving us without a place to stay in a foreign country!).  I have had a lot of success using Booking.com as they tend to offer good rates on a huge number of hotels in any given city, with a convenient way to search that inventory to select the amenities that matter most to me.  We did have one major problem with a hotel in Mexico that cancelled our Christmas/New Years week hotel just 2 months in advance (even though we booked a year ahead!), and all of the other hotels in our budget were sold out.  Booking.com totally took care of us and found us a new hotel in the same area where we wanted to stay, and they paid for the difference in price!  After that experience, I was happy to try their site for hotels for this trip.

 

In the end, I selected a boutique hotel called Hotel Chopin in Paris’ 9th arrondissement, located close to a metro station, and around a mile walk to the Louvre going south, and Gare du Nord going north.  For London, I knew we would have an unlimited ride pass for the metro, so being close to a transit hub was very important.  I also wanted to be close to St. Pancras station as that’s where we would arrive via the Eurostar, and we could get a direct ride from there to Gatwick at the end of our stay, so it would mean convenient access when schlepping our luggage.  I decided to book our reservation at Central Hotel, located on a quiet side street directly across from St. Pancras Station (for the Eurostar) and Kings Cross Station (for the Tube).  Central Hotel included a daily free breakfast, but Hotel Chopin did not.  Upon further thought, I realized that was a good thing because it would allow us to sample different French pastries and baked goods from different shops and markets each day!  Both hotels offered free cancellation until a week before the trip, free wifi, a non-smoking room with a private bathroom, and a hair dryer (a must for me, so I could save on precious space and weight in my luggage and to avoid the voltage change possibly destroying my hair dryer from the States!).  The only slight problem was that neither hotel had air conditioning.  Both said they have fans for the rooms, and I just kept my fingers crossed that it would be cool enough at night that we could sleep comfortably because the hotels with air conditioning were much more expensive.

 

This seems like a good place to break up the text with a few pretty photos from London…

 

32dd4Esl.jpg

 

F5U7vBol.jpg

 

YtNDqCil.jpg

Your review is bringing back memories of my year working in London!  The Churchill Arms (middle picture with all of the flowers) was our 'local' on Kensington Church street -- one of the prettiest pubs you will find in London...and great Thai food as well!

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I love your photo of all the colorful umbrellas. Whee was this taken?

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Have been waiting for you to start this review!  I will be taking notes for when my daughter and I travel there in a couple of years. 

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13 hours ago, singinalot said:

 

hahaha we’ve actually got 3 cruises booked right now and a land trip to switzerland in 2021. Wedding planning is almost complete minus the seating chart...who knew that would be the hardest part?! we’re doing the greek isles again in October and getting married in November..definitely out of order and not planned that way but oh well. official honeymoon will be in January on the Allure of the Seas 

 

Oh wow!  You guys have a lot on your upcoming travel schedule!!  Congrats on getting married in November... just a few months to go!  Don't stress about the seating chart- if people don't like where you put them, they'll spend more time on the dance floor!  I hope you will have time to write your Greek Isles review in the last few weeks before the wedding... maybe it will help you keep your mind off the other stresses! 😉

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12 hours ago, argyllsock said:

Your review is bringing back memories of my year working in London!  The Churchill Arms (middle picture with all of the flowers) was our 'local' on Kensington Church street -- one of the prettiest pubs you will find in London...and great Thai food as well!

 

Yup!  That's Churchill Arms!  I was obsessed with how pretty the facades were on so many pubs around the city, but that one was my favorite.  We did TRY to eat dinner there, but it was super crowded... there was a 30 minute wait to be seated at 8:30pm on a Monday night.  Crazy!  Oh well, guess we'll have to go back to London someday and try again 🙂

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11 hours ago, pizzalady1 said:

I love your photo of all the colorful umbrellas. Whee was this taken?

 

Thank you!  That was taken in Paris in a pedestrian walkway off Rue Royale, 2 or 3 blocks north of Place de la Concorde.

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9 hours ago, Lovetotraveltami said:

Flying to London in4 weeks!  Can’t wait to read about your experience.  Then cruising the British Isles.

 

Oh wow! You must be getting so excited for your trip!  Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

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2 hours ago, Charm2018 said:

Have been waiting for you to start this review!  I will be taking notes for when my daughter and I travel there in a couple of years. 

 

Thanks!  Luckily the major monuments and museums in both cities don't change too often so most of the info from my trip will still be relevant in a couple of years 🙂  Happy planning!

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Posted (edited)

I spent the next few months learning as much as possible about things to do, tours to take, places to eat, how public transit works, and what passes/attractions need to be purchased/reserved in advance.  I will talk about all of that in more detail as we get to each day of the trip, but as a general overview, I decided that we would benefit from purchasing a Museum Pass for Paris, but doing our touring in London a la carte.  For Paris, they offer something called a Paris Passlib, which includes a museum pass for 2, 4, or 6 days, an unlimited ride transit pass for 1-5 days, and a card for a 1 hour Seine River cruise and a 1-day Hop On Hop Off sightseeing bus, plus the option to add access to the Eiffel Tower for €20 more.  We will have 5 full days in Paris, so I was seriously considering the 5-day Paris Passlib for €155 per person, but as time went on, I started second guessing that decision.  I broke down the value of each item included in the pass and realized it was not such a great deal for us.  While the HOHO bus can be a great way to get an overview of a new city, traffic in Paris makes this bus impractical.  I found a walking tour which would cover many of the same sites in the same time frame, and it seemed like a better option for us.  Paris is known to be a wonderful city for walking, so while we did plan to use public transit to travel longer distances across the city, I was able to arrange our days such that we will tour sites close together on the same day and not need as many metro rides.  It seemed unlikely that we would get the full value out of the unlimited ride transit pass, and would probably save some money by buying the discounted 10-packs of transit tickets called a carnet, at €1.49 per ride.  We can share those 10-packs between the two of us, so we are less likely to buy more than we can use.  There are multiple companies who offer cruises along the Seine River, all costing between €10 and €15 per person.  While we might end up riding with the one company included with the Paris Passlib, it is better to just buy this tour on our own when we can pick whichever company is convenient for the day we want to do it, especially since it is a relatively inexpensive attraction.  The added option of spending €20 per person for 2nd floor access to the Eiffel Tower still baffles me… you can buy that same thing directly from the Eiffel Tower website for €16.30!  Why would you ever spend more than that??  On top of that, we wanted to go all the way up to the top of the Tower, so we wouldn’t have purchased that option anyway.  In the end, it seemed that the only features of the Passlib which we would take advantage of were the Seine River cruise and the museum pass.  The 4-day museum pass costs €62 per person and can be purchased at the tourism desk in the airport, at the tourism office in Central Paris, and at many of the museums included with the pass.  There is no advantage or reason to pre-purchase the pass, and it can actually be inconvenient to pre-purchase it because you can only pick it up at the airport or their tourism offices.  Their offices are located at Gare du Norde and Hotel de Ville, so that would require going out of our way to retrieve them, and I wouldn’t have selected to pick it up at the airport in case our flight was delayed and we didn’t arrive until after they closed, forcing us to return to the airport the following day to get the passes.  They do have an option where they will mail the pass to your home or deliver it to your hotel, but that comes with a hefty €24 or €12 shipping fee, respectively.  No thanks!  With all of that in mind, I decided that we would buy our 4-day museum pass after arriving in Paris.  If our flight landed on time, then we could get it at the airport, and if not, we could get it at a museum.

 

For Paris, I added up the admission charges to all of the museums and attractions that we planned to visit, and the museum pass easily paid for itself, so it made sense to get it.  For London, all of the museums we planned to visit (or even slightly considered visiting just as a rainy-day option) were FREE!  How great is that?!  We had no interest in the pricier attractions like the London Eye and Harry Potter World, and we were happy to see all of the palaces and castles from the outside (both to save time and money because we have fewer days to tour London).  There were a few tours we wanted to take which would cost extra money, but none of them are included in any of the tourism passes, so in the end, it just made more sense to book each thing individually.  Funny enough, our approach to London is exactly the opposite of Paris in that although we bought a museum pass but no transit pass in Paris, for London, we did buy the transit pass and skipped the tourism pass! 

 

There are many different transit pass options in London.  By far the cheapest option is the Navigo which costs about 22 Pounds for 7 days of unlimited pubic transit.  The problem is, those 7 days must specifically fall from a Monday until the following Sunday.  We arrive in London on a Thursday and leave on a Tuesday, so that pass was not an option for us.  Instead, we purchased the 7-day Travelcard, which can be used over any 7 consecutive days.  The Travelcard costs £35.10 per person, and can be added to their contactless transit card called an Oyster Card.  The Oyster Card must be bought first for £5, but that money is refundable when you return the card at the end of your trip.  If we didn’t buy the Travelcard, London’s public transit has a daily cap of about £7, meaning if we paid per ride, we would not be charged for any rides after we reached that £7 cap.  Because we have 4 full days in London, plus most of the day on the day we arrive and all morning on the day we depart, I went back and forth on if it made sense to get the unlimited ride pass since we would probably just break even in the end, but we had the chance to save a little money if we didn’t use public transit as much on one day.  It was going to be very close whichever way we did it, so it made more sense to get the unlimited and not have to worry about topping up extra money on our Oyster Cards throughout the week. 

 

That concludes the planning section of this trip report, so now it’s time for the fun part… a detailed account of each day of our action-packed trip to Paris and London!  I took over two thousand photos on this trip, so it will take me some time to organize everything and write up my posts.  In the meantime, I will leave you with more pretty photos from Paris and London…

 

gPH2OUnl.jpg

 

so4IU4al.jpg

 

0DosjJ7l.jpg

 

YAEv0FPl.jpg

 

Edited by Host Bonjour
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55 minutes ago, deladane said:

 

Oh wow!  You guys have a lot on your upcoming travel schedule!!  Congrats on getting married in November... just a few months to go!  Don't stress about the seating chart- if people don't like where you put them, they'll spend more time on the dance floor!  I hope you will have time to write your Greek Isles review in the last few weeks before the wedding... maybe it will help you keep your mind off the other stresses! 😉

 

hahaha that's my plan! I already started drafting my opening paragraphs 🙂

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1 hour ago, deladane said:

There are many different transit pass options in London.  By far the cheapest option is the Navigo which costs about 22 Pounds for 7 days of unlimited pubic transit. 

 

I am afraid you have got a little muddled here. The Navigo card is a Paris (and Île-de-France) scheme. 

 

They have very recently launched Navigo Easy, which is more equivalent to an Oyster Card and will eventually replace those iconic Metro paper tickets. 

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enjoying your report

 

however could you break your report into more paragraphs

 

its hard to read a solid block of text-don't know whether you were aware of way it appears 

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2 hours ago, fabnfortysomething said:

enjoying your report

 

however could you break your report into more paragraphs

 

its hard to read a solid block of text-don't know whether you were aware of way it appears 

 

BLACK PRINT would also add to enjoyment.  😁

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Perfect can't wait for more info. We are doing 4 days Paris/3 days London before we hop on our British Isles cruise. 🙂

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7 hours ago, Cotswold Eagle said:

 

I am afraid you have got a little muddled here. The Navigo card is a Paris (and Île-de-France) scheme. 

 

They have very recently launched Navigo Easy, which is more equivalent to an Oyster Card and will eventually replace those iconic Metro paper tickets. 

 

Oh no!  You're right!  And it's too late to go back and edit the post 😞  Sorry everyone!  I knew the Navigo fell into place somewhere and I guess I mixed it up in my head since as soon as I learned it only works Monday through Sunday and that it wouldn't work for us, I wrote it off and moved on to other options.  I think the two options I was considering in London were actually if I should buy an Oyster Card or just use the paper travelcard, but we did get the Oyster Cards and loved the convenience of using them.  We have cards just like that called Clipper cards that we use at home in the Bay Area so it was nice to have familiar technology 🙂  Thanks for pointing out my mistake!

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5 hours ago, fabnfortysomething said:

enjoying your report

 

however could you break your report into more paragraphs

 

its hard to read a solid block of text-don't know whether you were aware of way it appears 

 

It's funny you say that because as I was writing up those posts, I did realize that it was a big block of text all at once.  I try to split my paragraphs in logical places, not in the middle of a thought, but in the planning part of my review, there is just a lot to say on each topic.  Once I get into the rest of the review, I will break up the text with photos so hopefully you will find it easier to read! 🙂

 

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2 hours ago, orchestrapal said:

 

BLACK PRINT would also add to enjoyment.  😁

 

Thank you for your suggestion, but I actually use the purple print on purpose.  Some people don't like reading all the comments and replies and just want to read the text of my review, so having it in a different color makes it easy for people to scroll to just the posts I have written.  Over the years, I have experimented with other colors, and I found that the dark purple works the best 🙂 

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