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Briana
Seattle

Western Europe, Paris, Barcelona, London, Edinburgh

June in Europe

My husband and I are planning our first trip to Europe this coming June. We’re planning on flying into Paris on June 19/20, stay there until the 23 or 24th. Fly to Barcelona, stay there until the 27th or 28th. Fly to London, stay there until the 30th. Fly to Edinburgh on the 30th to stay with a friend until the 3rd or 4th of July and fly home.  

 

Questions are: With 4/5 days in Paris & Barcelona, where do you suggest we stay, what are the sights we must see, & where to eat? We love museums, history & cultural experiences. We prefer a mix of activities & relaxation. Love good food & would like to eat the local specialties as much as possible.  

 

In London, we plan to spend at least a day with friends who live there & a day or two sightseeing. Would love hotel & activity recommendations here too. (I’ve been to London before, but it’s been able 13 years and was only there for a day.) 

 

Husband will require A/C in any place we stay, we like boutique feel, but SPG or Marriott brands are great too, since we can get a discount. Would love a great view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  

 

Finally, we have a decent amount of Amex, Chase Sapphire Reserve & Alaska Airline points, as well as a friend who works in SPG & can get us good rates. Would like to make use of as many of these points as we can, to bring down the total cost of the trip.


9 Answers

answered first by
Courtney from Los Angeles

Hmm, it's hard to know without knowing what you're into but here are a few of my favorite random spots in London and Paris if it helps. 

London:

The British Museum - I could spend months here but if you do nothing else, stop in to see the Rosetta Stone. It'll leave you speechless. 

Kensington Palace - they always have one or two great exhibits here no matter what interests you. 

Tower Of London - if you're into British history even a little bit you will love this place. If you're not, I would skip it as the admission is steep. 

Hyde Park - it'll be stunning at that time of year. 

Harrods Food Halls - I usually don't tell people to spend their valuable travel time in a department store but this is well worth it. 

Piccadilly Arcade - if you like shopping you will love this little covered arcade. So, so cute with some really classic brands. I'd try to see it before Starbuck's moves in. 

Natural History Museum - this is generally not my thing but I love this place. 

Victoria and Albert Museum (Stop N) - worth going if only for the cafe. If you have any interest in design whatsoever you must go. 

Design Museum - same reason. And TONS of great restaurants around this area. 

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese - oldest pub in London and it feels like it. Don't miss it. 

Have a drink at the The Savoy Hotel. Not cheap but what an experience. 

Paris:

Luxembourg Garden - it will beyond magical that time of year. Be sure to check out the Medici Fountain when you're there. 

Musée d'Orsay - so much more engaging and manageable than the The Louvre, although if you're determined to see the Mona Lisa, then go. 

Jardin des Plantes - beautiful gardens that for some reason very few people outside Parisians seem to know about. 

Coulée verte René-Dumont - this is a little garden walkway near the Viaduc des arts that is such a lovely place for a stroll. And again, something most tourists don't know about. The Viaduct is a series of little shops that are mostly hand craftspeople or artists--very unique little place to spend a few hours. 

Rue Montorgueil - lively market street with tons of restaurants and stores to stroll through. 

Rue Mouffetard - the more bohemian market street version of Montorgueil. 

Bateaux Mouches - this is the boat that goes down the Seine. Well, well worth it as it gives you a great sense of the city. If you want to do the land version of this, I would try the #69 bus. 

Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre - one of my favorite spots in all Paris. It's a shopping arcade with vintage stores and those iconic green chairs you can sit it to watch the world go by. 

Jardin des Tuileries - so beautiful I don't have words for it. Just be sure to wear shoes you don't care about here because the whole thing is covered in white gravel and you'll end up with it all over your shoes. 

Les Bouquinistes - these are the book and print vendors who sell from those iconic green boxes on the banks of the Seine. Some just sell tourist junk but many sell really unique prints and posters that make great souvenirs. 

With so little time I would avoid the Eiffel Tower (although it's my favorite building in the world), the L'Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile and the Champs-Élysées in general, Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (no reason--just not my thing) and the The Louvre

I'd be happy to send more specific advice once I know what you like to do but I hope that's a start!
C


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Paris (city)
  3. The British Museum (attraction)
  4. Kensington Palace (attraction)
  5. Tower Of London (attraction)
  6. Hyde Park (city)
  7. Harrods Food Halls (restaurant)
  8. Piccadilly Arcade (attraction)
  9. Natural History Museum (attraction)
  10. Victoria and Albert Museum (Stop N) (attraction)
  11. Design Museum (attraction)
  12. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (restaurant)
  13. The Savoy Hotel (hotel)
  14. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  15. Medici Fountain (attraction)
  16. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  17. The Louvre (attraction)
  18. Jardin des Plantes (attraction)
  19. Coulée verte René-Dumont (attraction)
  20. Viaduc des arts (attraction)
  21. Rue Montorgueil (attraction)
  22. Rue Mouffetard (attraction)
  23. Bateaux Mouches (attraction)
  24. Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre (attraction)
  25. Jardin des Tuileries (attraction)
  26. Les Bouquinistes (restaurant)
  27. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  28. L'Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile (attraction)
  29. Champs-Élysées (attraction)
  30. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Joakim

Hi Briana, Europe is awesome in June.

I could really recommend looking at Triple. They are active in all the cities you listed (even though i've just tested them in Paris and London). In London they have a Street art activity that I've tried that was very interesting. The activities are in different price classes but there are some really good priced activities if you are on a budget.

It's not professional guides but instead local people who this because they love to meet people and has a very nice feel to it.


1 thanks


answered by
Maureen

Definitely get the museum pass for Paris.  It saves a ton of time not waiting in line and you get almost all the museums.  Musée d'Orsay is great as is the Musee de l'Orangerie.  The water lily murals are amazing.  


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  3. Musee de l'Orangerie (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Lynda from San Francisco

You're doing a lot of flying so I would suggest a night train between London and Edinburgh https://www.sleeper.scot/. I've always enjoyed the train trip and it will save you the hassle of getting to the airport. You could also look into a train from Paris to Barcelona


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Edinburgh (city)
  3. Paris (city)
  4. Barcelona (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Teresa

I would try to spend more time in Paris. I have traveled all over the world and go somewhere in Europe every summer. There is nowhere that compares to this magnificent city. We've been 3 times. I promise you when you are getting on the plane to Spain you will regret not spending more time there. Also, I would recommend buying The Paris Pass. It looks a bit pricey but it gets you in everywhere free with no lines except the Eiffel Tower. Enjoy!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Eiffel Tower (attraction)


answered by
Alan

We stayed in the Le Marais district at this time last year. It is probably the most interesting area of Paris to stay. It is close to the city, is full of great restaurants and cute little galleries and has a fantastic, friendly, vibrant atmosphere. I would also recommend having dinner in the restaurant located within the Eiffel Tower, the view is tremendous and the food is remarkably good for a touristy type restaurant. We went to both the Lido de Paris and the Moulin Rouge, both shows were fantastic, but the service and food at the Moulin Rouge were outstanding. The Lido is in a better location, though. Have a dinner cruise on the La Seine. We went on the Don Juan 2. It was fairly small, only about 30 passengers and, according to our French hosts, the chef had been named as the best chef in the country by his peers. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Le Marais (neighborhood)
  2. Paris (city)
  3. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  4. Lido de Paris (attraction)
  5. Moulin Rouge (attraction)
  6. La Seine (attraction)


answered by
Roger

These are the must in Barcelona

Palau de la Música Catalana

Gaudí House Museum

Tibidabo mountain-from here will open up extremely beautiful views !!! Allow yourself enough time-until you get there, time to enjoy the scenery.  approximately 520-meter-high :) Once you get there there are activities and entertainment

Did you know that Barcelona is a place, where Picaso spent his early years, was beautiful and vibrant. So you have a chance to follow the footsteps of the artistic genius-visit Picaso museum.

Try see food there-it's gorgeous and take a cable car- you''ll never forget this journey.

In London i'd recommend these places:

Number one is ,of course, London Eye-you' better don;t miss it. Everybody loves it. The best view you could ever get in London. You'll love it! 30 mins ride

Emirates Royal Docks

Buckingham Palace-everybody visit this place, even though the Royal family and quinn never comes out :) ha

*Climb the dome of  St Paul's Cathedral (Stop SK)& enjoy spectacular views across London.

 *Be dazzled by the largest diamond in the world, on display at the Tower Of London

Madame Tussauds London

*See Egyptian mummies and the world-famous Rosetta Stone at the British Museum (Stop W)

in Dublin visit *Dublin Castle* Old Library- this is the most beautiful book in THE WORLD !!!

Paris is a lovely city. We had camel in a restaurant.first time in life, but it was gorgeous!

Hotels are very expensive in Paris, but you can stay a bit further from centre- that will save you a lot, plus transport system in Paris is absolutely impressive ! 

Must visit in Paris:

*Eiffel Tower (you knew this, haven't you.Who doesn't know Eiffell...

here is more must do:

*the The Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral

* Sacred heart Montmartre(amazing and FREE !!! attraction)

*Luxembourg Garden(they are soooooo beautoful) 

* Musée d'Orsay-its a former rail station. Awesome !!!

In Paris is very popular opera- attending. Make sure it's in English... :) just in case

And there are also soooo much plenty much more to do

If you planning to visit lots of attractions, then maybe get a city pass-you will save enough for your dinner !!! every little helps... :)


Hope it helps.

ENJOY your trip  :)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Barcelona (city)
  2. Palau de la Música Catalana (attraction)
  3. Gaudí House Museum (attraction)
  4. Tibidabo (attraction)
  5. London (city)
  6. London Eye (attraction)
  7. Emirates Royal Docks (attraction)
  8. Buckingham Palace (attraction)
  9. St Paul's Cathedral (Stop SK) (attraction)
  10. Tower Of London (attraction)
  11. Madame Tussauds London (attraction)
  12. British Museum (Stop W) (attraction)
  13. Dublin Castle (attraction)
  14. Old Library (attraction)
  15. Paris (city)
  16. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  17. The Louvre (attraction)
  18. Notre Dame Cathedral (attraction)
  19. Montmartre (attraction)
  20. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  21. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)


answered by
Melissa

I had a similar itinerary last July. In Paris, we found the Eiffel Tower area to be more residential and quiet, which if you're into that, it's the place to stay. We stayed in an air bnb (with AC) a block from the The Louvre which allowed us to go to the Louvre early in the morning before the crowds arrived and at night to see the pyramids lit up with absolutely no one around. If you're into it, I recommend renting a scooter. It allowed to go to every single quarter w/ the limited time we had (3 days). The Mona Lisa at the louvre is a must, Notre DameEiffel TowerL'Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile and Champs-Élysées for shopping, and the Catacombes de Paris.  

Have a nice trip!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  3. The Louvre (attraction)
  4. Notre Dame (neighborhood)
  5. L'Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile (attraction)
  6. Champs-Élysées (attraction)
  7. Catacombes de Paris (attraction)


answered by
Shaima from Oman

Hello!

 Sounds like a great visit! In Barcelona I would suggest staying in the old town if possible. Ideally to the south of Plaça de Catalunya and on the east side of the Rambla de Catalunya (if Placa Catalunya is north and the sea is south). I hope that's not confusing. Last time we went we stayed at Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Família  which was perfect for our purposes, the area was great - close enough to the rambla without being on it.

Favourites in Barcelona are  Parc GüellBasílica de la Sagrada FamíliaCASA BATLLÓ and other Gaudi sites. The covered food market at the top of the Rambla (west side) is fun, as is strolling through the streets of the old town.

 Hope this helps!

 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Barcelona (city)
  2. Plaça de Catalunya (attraction)
  3. Rambla de Catalunya (attraction)
  4. Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Família (hotel)
  5. Parc Güell (attraction)
  6. Basílica de la Sagrada Família (attraction)
  7. CASA BATLLÓ (attraction)




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