Guest post by melissa
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
I spent 7 days in London (capital in Great Britain and the United Kingdom/UK) and Paris, France with 2 friends. We planned the trip ourselves, and it was very easy–and relatively inexpensive, considering. We focused on sightseeing and doing as many free things as possible, while spending our money on a few experiences that helped make the trip overall very wonderful.
Day 1: Trafalgar Square, London
We arrived in London midday on our first day, and couldn’t yet check into our hotel room. After dropping off our luggage, we headed out to the city and visited Trafalgar Square, a must-see spot in London. I recommend, if possible, timing your flight to arrive at a better time, however, as we were tired, grimy, and had to spend the rest of the afternoon/evening wandering the streets of London in search of food.
Day 2: London
- Tower of London
- Tower Bridge
- Millennium Bridge
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- Dominion Theatre
We spent the day sightseeing and visiting the Tower of London, plus a few of the famous bridges. Going inside the Tower is pricey, but worth seeing the crown jewels, history, and beautiful architecture. We ended the evening as you should in London, by seeing a show at the Dominion Theatre.
Day 3: London
- Big Ben
- London Eye
- Buckingham Palace
- King’s Cross Station
We spent our final day in London sightseeing again, and visited other can’t miss places to see, like Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and of course, for Harry Potter fans, King’s Cross Station. I regret not going on the London Eye (terribly afraid of heights), but, again, it was expensive, but I can imagine worth the view. There were many parks around Buckingham Palace that we walked through–very beautiful, and again, we had great weather. We rounded out our last night in London by taking the Tube back to our hotel. Getting around the city was very easy by using public transportation.
Day 4: Paris
- Notre Dame
- Place des Vosges
In the morning, we boarded a Eurostar train to Paris (about 2.5 hour ride) and arrived at the train station. We took the Metro to our hotel, and then set off to see the sights. Of course, we started with Notre Dame. The cathedral is beautiful inside and out. We walked around the area and the river, and ended up taking a river boat cruise down the Seine. Again, somewhat pricey, but worth the view of the beautiful bridges and Paris. And, we had great views of the Eiffel Tower. After the river cruise, we visited one of my favorite parks in Paris, Place des Vosges–it’s a little off the beaten path, but a beautiful park to sit in and relax for a few moments.
Day 5: Paris
- Arc de Triomphe
- Père Lachaise Cemetery
Starting off our fifth day, we headed to the famous Champs-Élysée and took in the various shops and tourist traps. Worth a walk, but very crowded. The Arc de Triomphe was impressive, especially if you’ve seen the same one in Rome. After spending a few hours there, we went to the Père Lachaise Cemetery–a very large cemetery filled with famous people, beautiful grave sites, and many photographic moments. We spent several hours there finding the famous people (such as Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison).
Day 6: The Louvre Museum, Paris
We spent pretty much this whole day in and out of the Louvre, as you can. You could actually spend a few days exploring every area of the Louvre, plus the outside gardens and other sights to see. Of course, despite the crowds, the Mona Lisa is necessary. Otherwise, there are many areas inside and out of the Louvre that are less crowded, but filled with beautiful art and architecture.
Day 7: Eiffel Tower, Paris
On our last half-day before leaving, we braved the lines for the Eiffel Tower. Expect to spend hours in line, but it’s well worth it. We went up during the day, and had beautiful views of the city. We did not go all the way up to the top–but to the half-way point. I also recommend going up the tower at night sometime if you can, as I’ve done that on another trip and it was just as amazing.
Traveled in May 2005