London to Paris Trip

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by macswitcha2, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. macswitcha2 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    #1
    Hi community,

    My wife and I will be in London and Paris. We plan to see the popular sites of course. But, what else should we think about?

    I plan to do something romantic for my wife in Paris, what would you recommend? I hear dinner at the sand river?
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #2
    Any answer I can give will really depend on your own interests and those of your wife.

    Can't really help you on the romantic dinner front, but check out good French restaurants (perhaps on TripAdvisor) that are highly praised by the French themselves, and you probably won't go far wrong, as the French take their food culture very seriously.

    Personally, my interests are mainly cultural/historical, so the places in Paris that I love tend to be historical and, of course, I love the small cafes and pubs. If you are interested in history or art, (apart from the obvious spots) I suggest that you try to take a look at the Cluny Museum, a fantastic museum depicting Roman and Medieval Paris; it has some terrific tapestries. Visit the Gare d'Orsay, for, if you like 19th century art, above all, Impressionist painting, this is an amazing place in which to lose yourself for an afternoon. One of my favourite spots is the 17th century square, the Place des Vosges, which also has some rather nice coffee shops and pubs (Victor Hugo used to have a house there). Really, Paris is a wonderful city to explore and savour on foot, and there are a great many charming spots where one can rest, sipping coffee and watching life go by.

    If you only intend to stay for a few days, I would strongly recommend that you stay somewhere in the city centre, even if that may cost a bit more, so that all of the sights and interesting spots are within easy reach, rather than spending a good while travelling to and from the suburbs.

    It is a city I love, and I hope you have a great trip. Enjoy.
     
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #3
    For London I would suggest Covent Garden (if you have the weather) for some nice cafe culture with street entertainers. Easiest my favourite spot in the capital.
    Take in a show if you can get tickets and thats your bag.
    Otherwise there are lots of good museums and parks. Also the Royal connection is worth exploring if you like that sort of thing.
    Of course if I wanted to please the wife I would just take her shopping! Oxford Street and Tottenham Court road.
    My other favourite spot is Upton Park, but unfortunately our Football season is on a break, and not exactly romantic!
     
  4. twietee macrumors 603

    twietee

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    #4
    Has been a while since the last time in Paris, and scepticalscribe mentioned plenty of good advises, so I just might add Palais du Tokyo and the Rodin museum. Will be mentioned in every tourist guide as well but visiting the cemetery Pere La Chaise is wonderful as well as Sacre Coeur, both with unique vistas onto Paris. Make sure you go down by feet, loved the quarter. Is Maré as interesting as it was ten years ago?
     
  5. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    London tips:

    Most of London's transport uses a card payment system called Oyster. You can buy a card in advance and load them with some money which get deducted as you swipe. I think currently a one day off peak travel card on an Oyster is about £8. Using one will make travelling around much simpler. I think you can buy them in advance and have them posted to you. (It will save a lot of time queuing for paper tickets - particularly if you only here for a couple of days..)

    I'd include a visit to: the British Museum - free, and you can loose yourself for hours; The South Bank Centre - directly on the river - decent bar in there and normally lots going on and also how about Foyles the book shop?

    If you're feeling flush (or the wife declares she can't take any more pubs!) the OXO tower has a very nice bar...
     
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #6
    The restaurant is pretty good too :)
     
  7. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #7
    Yes, I loved the Marais quarter (the old Jewish quarter, and it is just beside the Place des Vosges), and I revisited it just over two months ago when I paid my most recent visit to Paris (my first time there in a quarter of a century).

    Another museum which I really liked was the 'Crypt of Notre Dame' - a small museum below ground in the square in front of Notre Dame Cathedral. This museum describes - with the street pattern in front of you, laid out - Roman and Medieval Paris - it is fascinating, and you can walk the actual streets. The maps on the walls are really interesting, too.

    Also in the Marais area is a really interesting 'City of Paris' museum, which is incredible. And of course the Pompidou Centre (for fantastic exhibitions of modern art) and the justly famous Louvre are also stunning but are very well known.
     
  8. twietee macrumors 603

    twietee

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    #8
    Did I really write Maré ? :confused: :rolleyes: :D

    Yes, Marais was what I meant, not far from the Centre Pompidou and Les Halles, too (what happened there - have you been there by any chance, scepticalscribe? They were doing a major urban 'renewal' there). It's worth discovering it by foot and probably without a pre-planned route (that's how I experience (foreign) cities whenever I can).

    If you want to go romantic, take a boat trip on the Seine where you visit the nine (?) brigdes of Paris after dinner. It's sth. called with Pont Neuf if I remember correctly.
     
  9. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #9
    I saw The Book of Mormon in London last week and it was the funniest goddamn thing I've ever seen in my life. I strongly recommend it. The London production of it was superb (not that I have anything to compare it to). Hasa Dega Eebowai!
     
  10. twietee macrumors 603

    twietee

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    #10
    Oh, and preparations involving Balzac and Proust are highly recommended as well. :)
     
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #11
    Yes, I stayed in a small hotel just behind the Pompidou Centre, so I walked the entire area, (slowly), as that is how I, too, like to experience foreign cities, especially cities with ancient, compelling, historic centres. Usually, I take a good map with me, but I don't always follow it (unless I have a specific destination in mind). The map is usually to orientate myself subsequently when I wander off in a different direction.

    So, yes, I did a lot of walking (and stopping for coffee when flagging). Actually, I rather liked it, the 'urban renewal' you mentioned, the French usually manage to incorporate a degree of modernity without offering outrageous insults to the past. Thus, you have this extraordinary city, quite beautiful in parts, where the ancient and the modern co-exist quite happily.

    One other thing struck me, though, as I hadn't been in Paris for a quarter of a century (it is shocking to write such a thing - a quarter of a century!), and it is this. When I first visited Paris as a school kid (learning French) and later, on a few occasions as a student, and when I first started teaching, I remember it as a working capital, a bureaucratic, business, and cultural capital - with an amazing historic and artistic centre - of a major European power. Now, it has become a heritage centre; Paris makes its living out of its history, culture and gastronomy - I did not get the sense of a thriving, bustling, powerful commercial and political urban centre (the way you do in, say, London, or Brussels or Frankfurt and Berlin.)

    This is also reflected in the decline in the use of the French language; once, they revelled in their culture, and French used to be the main working language of the EU, and of diplomacy. Not any longer; even in Paris, most of the staff in cafes, and restaurants speak perfectly good English - and, while they are delighted if you try to speak French to them - you do not get glared at (as you would have years ago) when speaking English. In other words, from what I could see, they have lost the cultural war, and the language war, and are content to live off their heritage rather than add to it, and expend energy on trying to persuade Europe of the merits (which are many) of their way of life.
     
  12. twietee, Jun 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013

    twietee macrumors 603

    twietee

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    #12
    Not really going to comment upon your language review - as interesting as it is - only want to add this: I've met lots of Italians, French and Spaniards in my shortish life. All of them quite proud of their language, well, some eager youngsters could speak English somehow and they all were perfectly fine. On the other side, I was the handsome tall hun with his barbaric language. ;)

    But fancy that: now they all learn German! :eek:



    Funny that you've mentioned Berlin, which I experienced as one of the slowest cities I've ever been to (was born there). :D On the contrary, Paris was always quite speedy, like London (back on topic, yea), what I prefer since I'm not looking like I'm doing slaloms for fun. Also generally well dressed, like in London.
     

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