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18 November 2012

London and Paris on Your First Holiday in Europe

Horseguards Parade in the snow, near St. James' Park. Photo is the property of EuroStar. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Horseguards Parade in the snow, near St. James' Park. Photo is the property of EuroStar. Unauthorized use is prohibited.  

It's indisputable that Europe makes for a fantastic vacation. With its magical combination of old-world charm and 21st-century style, Europe truly is a place that everyone must experience at least once in their lives. Here, you can explore cathedrals that have been standing for more than a 1000 years, be inspired by the captivating collections of art and museums, stand in awe of futuristic architecture, stroll through charming avenues lined with quaint shops and bistros serving only the most scrumptious of cuisines. Undoubtedly, a holiday in Europe makes for the trip of a lifetime!


La Petite Venise in Alsace, France, is one of many storybook villages that can be found throughout Europe. Photo copyright: Estelle Tschan. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
La Petite Venise in Alsace, France, is one of many storybook villages that can be found throughout Europe. Photo copyright: Estelle Tschan. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

But Europe is a big place, so where do you start? Of course, you’d need a lifetime to experience everything Europe has to offer, but you have to start somewhere and why not in London and Paris. These capital cities offer excellent opportunities for iconic site-seeing, cultural immersion and fascinating historic exploration, so why not see them both? Thanks to the Chunnel, you can combine Paris and London into the same travel itinerary and discover these landmark European cities in one trip.

London


The unmistakable Big Ben and London Eye in the background. Photo is the property of EuroStar. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
The unmistakable Big Ben and London Eye in the background. Photo is the property of EuroStar. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

London, the largest city in the European Union, offers countless opportunities for holiday fun. Steeped in  two millennia of history, the British capital is home to some of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. There’s Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, all of which have historical significance that history buffs will love. And why not soar above them on for breathtaking views from atop the London Eye?


Aerial shot of the London Eye and the River Thames. Photo: WikiMedia.org.
Aerial shot of the London Eye and the River Thames. Photo: WikiMedia.org. 

At the same time, London also has a vibrant arts community. You can experience this either at the world-class museums and galleries, such as Tate Modern or the British Museum, or catch a show at the Apollo Theatre. There is always something new happening, so do some online research before you go to find the events that most interest you.


Tate Modern museum in London as seen from the River Thames. Photo is the property of EuroStar. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Tate Modern museum in London as seen from the River Thames. Photo is the property of EuroStar. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Finally, at the end of a long day, settle in for a quintessentially British experience: a drink at a London pub. While you’re at it, indulge in authentic pub food with a gourmet twist at one of London’s many gastropubs. Afterwards, if you’re up for it, head over to one of London’s many nightclubs and join the party.

Paris


Quintessentially Paris. Photo is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Quintessentially Paris. Photo is the property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited. 

There's something for everyone in the 'City of Light,' from its historic architecture and iconic sights to exhilarating museums and those quintessentially Parisian streets lined with cozy sidewalk cafés! No trip to Europe would be complete without a visit to Paris. Among its famous landmarks and magnificent monuments including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Musée du Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe, there's an off-the-beaten path as well. Seek out a walk a long the River Seine or perhaps a visit to Saint-Denis—steeped in the history of the French Monarchy. Lastly, a great way to spend the morning is with a visit to the Palace of Versailles, where Marie Antoinette supposedly uttered her famous words, “Let them eat cake!”


France Paris Champs-Élysées. Photo is the property of EuroStar. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
France Paris Champs-Élysées. Photo is the property of EuroStar. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

And speaking of cake, how about a stop at an outdoor café for a delectable confection, and later on, plan on indulging in the savory French haute cuisine at local bistro for a scrumptious meal and a romantic evening under the Parisian light!

Why Not See Them Both?


Eurostar train in St. Pancras International Station in London. Photo is the property of EuroStar. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
Eurostar train in St. Pancras International Station in London. Photo is the property of EuroStar. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

If you want to include both of these cities on your next holiday, after you've completed your whirlwind tour of London, climb aboard the train from St. Pancras terminal and travel to France. The entire journey lasts approximately two to three hours and don't worry about amenities, you'll find full meal service, restrooms, and most importantly, a comfortable seat for your railway adventure.


Gare Du Nord station in Paris. This photo was captured from the upper floor of the station. Photo: WikiMedia.org.
Gare Du Nord station in Paris. This photo was captured from the upper floor of the station. Photo: WikiMedia.org.

This guest post was brought to you by EuroStar. 

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12 comments:

  1. I love Paris and London, two of my favorite cities :-) Living in Belgium Eurostar/Thalys made it very easy for me to visit both. Great post.

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    1. My first comment...Thank you my dear friend Freya for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I truly appreciate it!

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  2. Superb to start in London and then cross over to Paris then heads off to anywhere Europe can take me. I will definitely take on this suggestion Jeff.

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    1. Hi there Wends and thanks so much for stopping by to share your thoughts. I totally agree with you...cross into Paris and you're on the threshold to all of Europe! Sublime.

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  3. I love these two cities but unfortunately I was only in London. I hope that soon I will go in Paris. Thanks for sharing, nice photos

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    1. Funny...Been to Paris few times but never in London. Let's go on a journey to both of these capital cities!! Thx so much for stopping to share your experiences!

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  4. London and Paris are a perfect holiday duo! A few years ago at the beginning of the Christmas holiday, we went to London to enjoy the festivities there, then hopped on the Eurostar to Paris for a couple of days. It was a magical time.

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    1. Hi there Cathy and thank you so much for sharing your experiences! I am glad you were able to do both and so conveniently too! Hope to see the Chunnel some day soon!

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  5. I've only been to Paris so far. Hope to visit London soon!

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    1. Hi there Lilian and thank you so much for stopping by! I too hope to visit London soon!!

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  6. Great post!

    I loved living in Paris and having a friend in London. We made great use of the Eurostar, which also gave us discounts for being under 26 years old.

    I'll never forget bringing a whole bag of Champagne and foie gras to London for new years eve. I was so nervous they were going to stop me, but it's nothing like flying! Truly an easy, quick trip back and forth. The two cities are meant to be seen together!

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    1. Hi there Emily and thank you so much for sharing your experiences and NYE memory. I bet it was so much fun despite the anxiety you felt about traveling with food. Glad it all turned out splendid!!!

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!