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Paris Vacation, what should I add?

Fingolfin269

Lifer
Feb 28, 2003
17,952
31
91
We're toying with a few different vacation ideas for next summer. One of those ideas is to go to Paris and we have enough Hyatt points banked up to get 4 nights there. I've been before so already know how to get around so I think 4 nights will be sufficient. Right now I'm trying to think of what to add. We could go to Versailles for a couple of nights and then head up to Normandy to explore. Or we could head over to London for a few nights. Any thoughts on Amsterdam as an option? Belgium? Basically anywhere we could get to from Paris/Versailles by train would work, though I believe if we do Normandy I'll need to get a car. Right now I'm just looking for ideas on how to spend an extra few days.

Current Plan:
Sat - Depart USA
Sun - Paris
Mon - Paris
Tue - Paris
Wed - Paris
Thu - Versailles
Fri - Versailles/Other
Sat - Other
Sun - Other
Mon - Other
Tue - Other
Wed - Return to USA
 

maddogchen

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2004
8,909
2
76
Carcassonne, France
Nice, should be cheap now
Monaco

if you go to Normandy, see Mont Saint-Michel

hope you dodge the terrorists while you are there
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,538
582
126
I've been to Paris many times (I was just there this past December) and went to Normandy in 2013. We took a train from Paris to Bayeux and saw the Bayeux tapestry and then took day tours to the D-Day beaches and Mont St. Michel from Bayeux. Bayeux is a cool, medieval-looking town and has some great food. Be aware, though, that I'd highly recommend avoiding Paris in the summer if possible and if you do go, make sure all your hotels have AC. The hotel we stayed at in Bayeux (http://www.liondor-bayeux.fr/en/) did not have AC but it was in the spring so it was fine for us. It had a fabulous restaurant and has hosted many famous people, including Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg when they scouted for Saving Private Ryan.

Another option - I actually just got back from two weeks in Ireland. I avoid Europe in the summer, but we had to go in July due to my wife's school schedule. We had a fabulous time and I'd highly recommend it to anyone. The crowds were far less than places like Paris or Rome, the weather was cool (in the 60s and 70s for the most part), and the scenery is some of the most beautiful in the world.
 
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Drako

Lifer
Jun 9, 2007
10,706
161
106
Mont Saint-Michel is always fun if you want to spend some time outside of Paris.
 

bigrash

Lifer
Feb 20, 2001
17,653
28
91
We went to London when we went to Paris last year. I found London very boring though. Few people from our group went to Nice. Pictures looked beautiful.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,538
582
126
Mont Saint-Michel is always fun if you want to spend some time outside of Paris.
IMO, Mont St. Michel is something you have to do once, but it isn't something I'd want to return to. Too touristy and packed.

The wife and I just did the American beaches when we toured the D-Day beaches but we hope to go back one day and do the British and Canadian beaches and the American ones again.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
22,741
990
126
I'd spend a day/night in Avignon if at all possible. Pretty amazing town and not very big.
Carcassonne, France
I would say about the same thing. The entire south of France is fantastic (except Nice I just found nothing of interest there).

One could easily spend a day or two in each of Carcassonne, Le Baux, Narbonne, Montpellier, Nimes, Arles, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, and Marseille. All but Le Baux are on the main train line (Aix-en-Provence needs a short taxi ride).
 
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Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
25,227
1,059
126
There's a fast train to Nice that takes fewer than 6 hours for $100-200/ticket if you book in advance. From there, you can get on a cab to Monaco and there's plenty to see everywhere. Both are touristy enough that dining and sightseeing options are plenty.

I actually travelled from Italy to Nice....then took the TGV on to Paris.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
25,227
1,059
126
I would say about the same thing. The entire south of France is fantastic (except Nice I just found nothing of interest there).
You're on the coast....seafood is fresh. There are plenty of spots to drink wine overlooking the Sea and the streets are lined with those huge royal palms. They have a lot of cool shops in town, plenty of wine bars, music bars, chocolate shops... I enjoyed the town...but was only there 2 days. Maybe it would be boring if got stuck there for longer.
 

flexy

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
8,464
154
106
I have no idea why you want to see Belgium?

If I were in Paris and had 4 extra days, I'd possibly go to posh, super-luxurious SE France (Nice, Cannes, St. Tropez)...or better...make a trip to Barcelona, Spain. Amsterdam might be cool too tho.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
22,741
990
126
You're on the coast....seafood is fresh. There are plenty of spots to drink wine overlooking the Sea and the streets are lined with those huge royal palms. They have a lot of cool shops in town, plenty of wine bars, music bars, chocolate shops... I enjoyed the town...but was only there 2 days. Maybe it would be boring if got stuck there for longer.
You are pretty much describing any random city on the Mediterranean coast. Compared to most of the rest of southern France, Nice just seemed to lack any charm. I need something more than average to really recommend a vacation destination.

To me the best part of Nice was taking side trips out of Nice. Which really says something. It was crowded, but even worse: crowded with tourists rather than locals. It had a park, but it had nothing special. I didn't find the history or museums particularly interesting there. I didn't find pedestrian-only picturesque and romantic narrow alleys where you can get lost feeling like you are living 500 years earlier. Maybe I only found sub-par restaurants, but none of the food there seemed special (not bad, but not so great that I had to rush home and copy the recipes either). I guess I don't like Nicoise salads though.

I was there in late September when the beach was almost deserted, but I'm not really a beach guy myself. Maybe that had something to do with it. I really enjoy other beachside cities though.



Would I rather be in Nice than at home right now? Sure. But I'd much rather be in any other southern France village, town, or city.
 
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Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
19,203
2,048
126
I've always had a soft spot for the German\Austrian Alps area but that would likely involve an overnight train or flight so there is that. Lots of great sites like Neuschwanstein Castle, Hallstadt and Herrenchiemsee but those tend to be spread out as well

SE France is very nice as others mentioned. Haven't been to Normandy

I have no idea why you want to see Belgium?
YMMV but we enjoyed Belgium quite a bit
 

Drako

Lifer
Jun 9, 2007
10,706
161
106
IMO, Mont St. Michel is something you have to do once, but it isn't something I'd want to return to. Too touristy and packed.
You just have to go the right time of year.

Last time my wife and I were there was the end of November, and there was tons of parking and not many people there. If you go in the summer then expect big crowds and no parking.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,538
582
126
You just have to go the right time of year.

Last time my wife and I were there was the end of November, and there was tons of parking and not many people there. If you go in the summer then expect big crowds and no parking.
Still too touristy IMO, even without the crowds. I can't see myself going back to it. Of course, I've been to France so much the past few years that I'm pretty much over France to begin with. :)
 

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