Guest post by bventura
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.
Day 1: Earls Court, London
We arrived into London around 9 PM so we just went to our hotel near Earls Court, grabbed dinner and went to bed.
Day 2: London
- Tower of London
- London Eye
- Big Ben
- Westminster Abbey
- Buckingham Palace
This was an exhausting but awesome day. We were gone for about 12 hours and walked everywhere, but all of these places are close so it was nice to do them all in the same day.
London Eye was worth it but really expensive, wish we would have done it at night instead of the day.
Westminster Abbey was disappointing because scaffolding obstructed the view.
We didn’t go in Buckingham Palace, just looked at it from the outside.
Day 3: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
This was phenomenal. It is expensive but includes transportation to/from London on a Harry Potter themed-bus that played the movie on the way. I’ve been to Harry Potter world in Orlando and this was way better. Amazing experience from start to finish, every aspect was fantastic. Even if you’re not a HP fan it’s still cool because there are 10 years worth of costumes, sets, props, how they did CGI and the flying car, etc. Favorite day.
Day 4: London
- British Museum
- Fortnum & Mason
The museum is free which was nice because everything else is so expensive, but overwhelming b/c it’s so big.
High Tea at Fortnum & Mason was really awesome, classy, lovely. They have a baby grand piano, men w/ white gloves, and all you can eat food. Very unique, one of those things you can’t experience anywhere else.
Day 5: Paris
- Eiffel Tower
- Au Petit Riche
We took the Eurostar train through the Chunnel that connects the Great Britain to France – really nice, easy and quick. You get dropped off in a great location that’s actually within Paris, as opposed to an hour away if you flew into de Gaulle.
It took us a little to get our bearings, but after checking in to our hotel we went to the Eiffel Tower. Paid to go all the way up to the summit and it was totally worth it. Of course there was a considerable line but it wasn’t too bad. We went up during day – the elevator all the could be scary if you’re afraid of heights. One thing we noticed about Paris is that there were warnings everywhere about pickpockets. The full course dinner was pricey but great. We had an offer for free champagne from our hotel if we ate there.
Day 6: Paris
- Notre Dame
- Île Saint-Louis
- Louvre Museum
I’ve always wanted to go to Notre Dame and this was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. My favorite part of Paris and we didn’t even go up the tower. You could see it from so many different vantage points and it’s just a spectacular setting.
Ile Saint Louis is a cool island, just walked around and did some shopping.
One of our friends lives in Paris and gives tours of the Louvre. She’s doing her Masters on art and we got a private tour w/ her which was awesome. Get tickets ahead of time.
Day 7: Versailles
An easy day trip from Paris. I was burnt out a little on this day but still loved Versailles. We did the gardens first, then the house. Everything was gorgeous and the Hall of Mirrors was great to see. We also did a boat ride in the canal which was really fun and inexpensive.
Day 8: Paris
- Arc de Triomphe
- Sacre Coeur Cathedral
- Moulin Rouge
- Canal Saint-Martin
Champs Elysees – overrated
Arc de Triomphe – nice to look at from a distance
We did a tour of Montmartre
Sacre Coeur – was raining so we didn’t go up to the top
Moulin Rouge from the outside
Canal Saint Martin – walked around it, beautiful
Eiffel Tower at night – just went near it to see it lit up
Seine River boat tour – excellent way to see the city lit up at night, one of my favorite things we did. Guided audio in several languages. Reasonably priced too, around 10 Euros.
We flew home the next day.
I had a lot of recommendations and took a lot of time to plan this trip. Looking back, I would have spent one more day in Paris, one less in London. Really wanted to go to Musee d’Orsay but didn’t have time. Public transportation is easy and convenient in both cities. Helps to speak/read a little French. Bring a lot of money! I knew it was going to be expensive but was still surprised at how much stuff cost.
Traveled in September 2015