Author Topic: Daughter traveling to London and Paris ...advice?  (Read 1284 times)

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purplerainbow

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Re: Daughter traveling to London and Paris ...advice?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2014, 11:05:45 AM »
I don't know Paris, but I live in greater London (suburbs, not central), so I know parts of London OK.


http://ladydinahs.com/
is somewhere I want to go. (It's not specifically a "tourist" place, but hey.)

Definitely see a show in the West End, and/or The Globe.  Otherwise, The Old Vic is also a great theatre that puts on wonderful performances, and isn't too expensive - I highly recommend it.
The Royal Albert Hall usually has something good on, too. The very cheapest tickets are under 10 for some things, and you can buy standing tickets on the night.

I'm pretty sure St Paul's cathedral charges to get in.

If you want to see Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral (2 different buildings), exit London Victoria train station (overground) at the main exit out front, then turn right and walk along the main road. (Huge department stores etc along there, kind of hard to miss.) This road will also take you to the Houses of Parliament/Big Ben, and then across the bridge to the London Eye.  When you exit Victoria Station, there are usually specifically hired people standing outside to give directions/answer questions (or at least, they're always there when I go).

You can watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace for free. Just show up in front of the palace at the right time, and enjoy a free show of pomp and ceremony.  http://changing-guard.com/dates-times/buckingham-palace.html
If you encounter the guards standing outside the entrances/exits on guard duty, please don't poke/prod/hug/kiss/drape oneself all over them in an effort to get them to move! (Not that I think your daughter necessarily would - it's just something that not everyone seems to realise.)  :-[ They're supposed to be stood stone-statue-still on that duty, and not react to passers-by. 

If using London Underground (the Tube), you can find a Tube map on the internet; if possible, I'd recommend printing one out before going. (Colour is best!) Or you can buy one from loads of places. Every time I get the Tube in London, everyone is crowded around the Tube maps on the wall to try and figure out where they're going. If you have your own Tube map, you don't have to crowd there with them. (I've lived in greater London for most of my life, been into central countless times, and have still resorted to buying maps.)
Ditto poundcake's point about not stopping in the way on the Tube. My method if I think I'm going the wrong way, is to find a pillar or something to stand behind, or somewhere to the side out the way.
Also on the Tube - head to the end of the platform (especially the front end, in my experience, or whichever is furthest away from the platform entrance) for train carriages that aren't always as busy. (Note, this isn't fool-proof, and can depend which direction you are travelling, what time of day it is, etc etc.) Most people are rushing/can't be bothered, and it always amuses me when I get the tube from London Victoria to London Paddington, to walk down to the front end of the platform, get in the front carriage, sit down in the carriage where it's only half full, then look towards the middle of the train, where people are stood squashed together like sardines.  ;)

Public conveniences at major train stations (such as London Victoria) cost about 30 pence to use, although it can vary. (They usually have a turnstile.) Keep some change just in case you need it!

If your daughter is into punk/goth/alternative sort of stuff, Camden Market (and the surrounding area) can be a good place. I rather like it, although it can be a bit samey with a lot of the shops/stalls selling similar stuff, and can be expensive.
If she likes vintage, Brick Lane is the place to go.

Some people sell laughing gas/helium highs on the street; although this is *legal*, it's not really recommended. (IMO.) There have been problems with so-called "legal highs" (ie, drugs sold for recreational use that haven't been banned yet). I'm sure your daughter is sensible, but I thought it wise to mention just in case.


starry diadem

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Re: Daughter traveling to London and Paris ...advice?
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2014, 12:34:15 PM »
One little known delight in London is that you can book to go into the Tower of London after hours to see the Keys Ceremony (http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/WhatsOn/theceremonyofthekeys) This ritual, where the Tower is locked up and a bugler pays the Last Post, has been carried out every single night, unbroken, for more than 700 years.  It's free, but you have to book in advance by snail mail. The website explains how.

This may not be possible for your daughter, depending on when she's coming to London, since the ceremony is booked solid until October (I tried to book it in September for a New Zealand friend. No dice.), but it's the sort of thing to remember for future visits.  It's a wonderful thing to witness.


Edited to add - they have (finally!) introduced online booking, from January next year. Must book DH and I in for a new year treat.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 01:08:37 PM by starry diadem »
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scotcat60

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Re: Daughter traveling to London and Paris ...advice?
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2014, 06:42:14 AM »
It's some time since I've been, but the last time I went to St Paul's it was charging to get into the main part of the building. However, it was free to get into the part of the crypt where there was a cafe and gift shop. probably on the basis that you would be spending money anyway.

Sophia

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Re: Daughter traveling to London and Paris ...advice?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2014, 08:31:49 AM »
In Paris, for anything touristy go early in the morning.  The lines get unreasonably long mid-morning and stay that way.   

One slight amusement, do the Eiffel tower on the last day and try to spot everywhere you visited from above. 

If she plans to visit any museums, shop on half.com for the books that go with the museums she wants to visit.  I used to always buy the book on my way out.  Then I would read about this impressive widget with a fascinating history, but it wasn't sparkly and pretty, so I hadn't noticed it.  You can also spend more time looking at the nifty things rather than reading the info. 

Cherry91

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Re: Daughter traveling to London and Paris ...advice?
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2014, 10:44:32 AM »
In London, the tube maps make the stops look miles apart, whereas actually many are very close to each other. Consider getting off at a less touristy station and walking to avoid crowds.

z_squared82

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Re: Daughter traveling to London and Paris ...advice?
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2014, 03:48:37 PM »
How old in the daughter? Did I miss the age?

For funky shopping, go to Camden Lock/Camden Market, but not after dark. That's what the drug dealers start hanging around the tube stop (or at least that was the case a few years ago).

My friends like the Victoria and Albert Museum. Lots of pretty jewelry.

My favorite London museum is the Tate Britain, but I love the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

I second the Musee' d'Orsay (or however it's spelled, I don't know French). Love the Impressionists, less crowded than the Lourve.

Sacre Couer is a lovely place to just sit and people watch, just be aware, you have to walk through the red light district to get to the nearest Metro stop. Unless they've put in another Metro stop.

Margo

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Re: Daughter traveling to London and Paris ...advice?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2014, 05:17:42 AM »
In London, the tube maps make the stops look miles apart, whereas actually many are very close to each other. Consider getting off at a less touristy station and walking to avoid crowds.

Definitely true of some stations, but not all, so check first.

She may also find the TFL journey planner https://www.tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/ useful. There are leaflets with copies of the tube map available free at some underground stations - particularly those with a mainline rail station, such as Paddington or Kings Cross. Or she could pick up a pocket sized A-Z for about 5 from WHSmith. There are various free apps of the London tube but of course with data roaming charges she may prefer to go the old fashioned paper and ink route!

oz diva

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Re: Daughter traveling to London and Paris ...advice?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2014, 06:06:13 AM »
If she wants to use her cellphone over there, She should buy a SIM card over there. She will need a different one for each country. If she has an iPhone it will need to be 'broken' first. There are instructions online on how to do this.

Victoria