Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

  1. #1

    Default Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Hi,

    I am planning to backpack alone in Paris and London from mid June this year. More or less plan the places to visit and take photos. Will be taking the Eurostar train from Paris to London and back (flying to and out from Paris).
    Will like to ask for suggestions and recommendations for budget accomodation in London and Paris, would be good if it is within walking distance to the tourist places or near to the metro (substation).
    Prefer a room on my own, single or double (if no choice).
    Appreciate if can provide me links as well.
    Also, any tips or warnings; and is it hassle to take the eurostar train from Paris to London?
    Thanks very much in advance!
    alpha5354

  2. #2

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Hi,

    Since you are backpacking, i would assume you are looking for hostel. You can try YHA St Pancras is located at opposite King's Cross Station and is very convenient coz is near the Eurostar station as well. The room I stayed was clean and there is a common in my room.

    Enjoy your trip.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Hi,

    Thanks very much.After much surfing, I found a few links to booking hostels in London. As I am taking the Eurostar train, yup, will be staying at St Pancras... and there are quite several hostels for single room (with attached bathroom) at about 60-70 Euro. Will surf around further and then book. Of course, there are dormitories (bunk with other people, strangers) even at about 20 Euro per bed per night. Will check on the YHA.

    Thanks once again

  4. #4

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    if you are going to pay 60-70E per night you might as well go for one of the budget 2** hotels that are actually closer to 3*** like the campanile chain. The one in Pantin is around 60E per night and its right next to the metro which links you everywhere. Pantin is just outside the metro area of Paris but still only10 stops from Cour de la Armee and the Arc d T.

    www.campanile.com

    There are the others like ibis, premiere classe.... actually many to choose from.

    you can get the paris metro map here..

    geographical http://www.johomaps.net/eu/france/paris/parismetro.html

    non geographical http://www.aparisguide.com/maps/metro.htm

    hope it helps.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,911

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    On good deals, you can get a 3*-4* hotel for €60 - €70!

    Also, try and do your bookings in £ rather than €, the latter just means there might be an additional intermediary which might or might not be bumping the price up.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Hi Dapr0digy.
    Thanks alot for the info. As I will be taking the Eurostar from Paris to London in the early monring, I will be staying at places within walking distance from Gare du Nord; and check that the hotels there are about 60-70 Euro for single room with shower. There are cheaper ones, at about 50 Euro, but seems to be fully booked (indicates no rooms available), cos guess it is summer season.

    Wow, thanks very much for the metro links, was trying to hunt for it in the Internet. Very useful for planning my way around the tourist sites.

    Hi Jed,
    Thanks for the tips. In London, i try to book using pounds and in Paris, using Euros.
    Now the exchange rates are quite good to travel to Europe/UK.

    Thanks and cheers

  7. #7

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Not sure have you done your booking or not.
    Last time I just use google and hotels from 'hotel booking', tripadvisory etc come into the list. Then I compare the price, and read the reviews. Of course it takes time, but I can get good deal.
    I've not been to Paris, so I can't comment. But I feel, €40~50 can get you a decent B&B, with attached bathroom.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha5354 View Post
    Hi,

    I am planning to backpack alone in Paris...etc.
    Hi! I'm not sure if you've visited Paris, if you did, pardon the points below which you may already know:

    1. Most places in Paris are easily reached by Metro (subway). Beware of pickpockets as they operate in small groups & act very fast. Normal precautions with wallet & gears will suffice. You can buy metro tickets cheaper in stacks of 10 at the station booth (11.60 vs 16 euros). Just ask for "Carnet" (carnay) or "un carnet sil vous plait" (oon carnay si voo play) for "1 card-pack please." Or simply, "carnet billet" (carnay bi-yeah). [Sorry for poor translation].

    2. The airport is usually congested; so take care of your belongings. If you're leaving Singapore around midnight & arriving at around 7am into Charles de Gaulle, finding food at the airport may be difficult. Packing some Gardenia raisin buns may help bridge until food stalls are open (later).

    3. You may want to have a pocket Belitz French-English/English French phrasebook within ready reach. Although in Paris nowadays, more are willing to speak English compared with yester-years, it is good to have one handy.

    4. Vietnamese noodle shops are common & they serve pretty tasty Pho (Beef White Noodle soup) or rice plates at reasonably price. If you like Mussels served the real traditional way in enamel pots, you must try the Leon restaurant. Famous, but not too costly. There is one near the Meridien hotel - I'll look up the station for you; slipped my mind.

    5. There are many beautiful places to photograph within Paris - the Grand Palace/Opera near the large Gallerie Lafayette shopping zone and the Sacred Heart (White) church atop a hill overlooking Paris. From the church you can walk downhill passing the famous painters square. Of late, this area has a lot of touts hanging around trying to sell small things to tourists. There's an Arc de la Defense (the modern & artistic Arc de Triomphe) at one end of the city which is very nice for photography. I'm sure you already know much regarding the Eiffel Tower & Arc de Triomphe & Champ Elysee).

    6. If you're flying home from Paris, give yourself ample time at the airport for check-in; Congested. There are pasta & hamburger joints at the lower level.

    7. Enjoy your trip. The euros exchange is very favourable now. I won't write about London or this posting will be too long.

    Rgds

    PS: Leon Mussels Restaurant is a few doors from Meridien hotel. "Set on Paris’s “Rive Droite” (“right bank”) of the Seine, Le Méridien Etoile is steps away from the legendary Champs-Elysées. Many of the most celebrated sights in this luminous city are within easy access: the Luxor Obelisk in the Place de la Concorde, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and Orsay museums, among others. Le Méridien Etoile is opposite the Palais des Congrès, and travelers can reach the business district of the city, La Défense, by way of the Porte Maillot metro station one minute away."
    Last edited by macVince; 15th May 2010 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Added in a PS
    Hobbyist; Weekend SG Tourist

  9. #9

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha5354 View Post
    Hi,

    I am planning to backpack alone in Paris and London from mid June this year. More or less plan the places to visit and take photos. Will be taking the Eurostar train from Paris to London and back (flying to and out from Paris).
    Will like to ask for suggestions and recommendations for budget accomodation in London and Paris, would be good if it is within walking distance to the tourist places or near to the metro (substation).
    Prefer a room on my own, single or double (if no choice).
    Appreciate if can provide me links as well.
    Also, any tips or warnings; and is it hassle to take the eurostar train from Paris to London?
    Thanks very much in advance!
    alpha5354
    hi, i can't help much with london, but you can always use hostelworld.com to check out possible locations. i assume you want to stay at a hostel.

    for paris, a relatively quiet place is oops! hostel. you can google for it. i have stayed there twice, it is in a safe district, quite conveniently located on lines from the airport/elsewhere. sad to say it is not really within walking distance of any great attraction, but you CAN walk if you are not too lazy.

    i am not sure how it fares in terms of prices for single rooms though.

    tips and warnings - if you stick to the touristy areas it should be fine; if you want to go to any out-of-the-way location, you can bounce it off the walls here, i will know more about london.

    no, it is not a hassle to take the eurostar from london to paris and back - just be on time!

    don't worry too much, london/paris are relatively safe locations. just be careful of your wallet/belongings.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    and nah, you don't need any english-french phrase book... i did fine with 0 french the two times i was there.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha5354 View Post
    Hi,

    Thanks very much.After much surfing, I found a few links to booking hostels in London. As I am taking the Eurostar train, yup, will be staying at St Pancras... and there are quite several hostels for single room (with attached bathroom) at about 60-70 Euro. Will surf around further and then book. Of course, there are dormitories (bunk with other people, strangers) even at about 20 Euro per bed per night. Will check on the YHA.

    Thanks once again
    if you want to save money,

    bunking with strangers is not that bad - just make sure you book a hostel with a locker in the room so that you do not have to sleep on your camera bag throughout the night.

    as you can see, the difference can be quite great. me, i'd rather save the money.

    for king's cross, st pancras - the area around the station is notorious for petty theft, so just be careful of grab-and-runs.. i haven't heard of any singaporeans getting into that though. beyond the king's cross area (away from the russell square/bloomsbury side), at night, it can get a bit dodgey. so keep your eyes open if you MUST pass by there, and avoiding it is much better , there's nothing much there anyways.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Hi Shen Siung,
    Thanks. Yup, already booked the hotels (in Nord and St Pancras). Use the london toolkit to search. As it is summer, and i booked late, the cheaper ones are fully booked (even surprisingly for single room). So, my deals not that good, but do not want to wait further, and since location ok, has booked. About 55 pounds and 70++ Euro. If booked early, can get better rates.

    Hi Vince,
    Thanls for all the tips and advices. Yes, never been to Europe, my first trip to Paris/London. Heard from friends also that there are many pickpockets. Also heard that the Afro men (touts) also target the free n easy tourists to force/intimitate them to buy bracelets in Sacre Coeur (one of my friend personal experience). Whereas London is relatively safer, at nights, there are police patrol the pubbing areas.
    I did some checking and calculation, and finally decided and bought the Paris Pass, also include the Paris Viste Pass to take unlimited metro, RER, bus (within zone 1-3), so one less worry on buying the metro ticket.
    Will bring a guidebook with some simple French catch phrase.
    Will try the Vietnamese noodle and also the mussels. Thks for the recommendations and dierction to go there.
    These places are covered with the Paris Pass, sure go : )
    Not sure to take tripod for Paris night scene at Eiffel Tower... add load..

    Hi Nightmare,
    Prefer to stay in a room on my own and pay more... yup, already booked the hotels.
    Thanks for the warnings, taking Eurostar, so staying in St Pancras/King Cross, hope it is safe to move around at night... and will try to avoid the Russell square/Bloomsbury side.
    Does the Eurostar train indicate as No. 9015 has actually the number on the train?
    Btw, still deciding whether to buy the 1 or 2 day London Pass (no travel card, optional)?
    As for transport, will buy the London Tube day pass (cannot find any website on the pricing of day pass).

    Cheers and thanks to all

  13. #13

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha5354 View Post
    Hi Vince,
    Thanls for all the tips and advices... Also heard that the Afro men (touts) also target the free n easy tourists to force/intimitate them to buy bracelets in Sacre Coeur (one of my friend personal experience)... Will bring a guidebook with some simple French catch phrase... Will try the Vietnamese noodle and also the mussels. Thks for the recommendations and dierction to go there... These places are covered with the Paris Pass, sure go : )
    You're welcome. There are at least 9 Leon mussel restaurants in Paris. Check out [www.leon-de-bruxelles.fr]. For "Sacre Coeur" & "Place du Tertre" where the street painters are (& where Vincent Van Gogh was once), I suggest you go in the morning so that when you're at foothill, it's mid afternoon. Not a good area during evening or after dark, unlike the Arc de Triomphe/Champs Elysee area where many tourists soak in the atmosphere till late & is safe. I use Berlitz to look up equivalent English words in restaurant menus, signs/brochures & for simple conversation, etc. (Actually, I used the Berlitz more in Toulouse, where I used to spend longer time than just vacationing in Paris for a few days.) Rgds
    Hobbyist; Weekend SG Tourist

  14. #14

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha5354 View Post

    Hi Nightmare,
    Prefer to stay in a room on my own and pay more... yup, already booked the hotels.
    Thanks for the warnings, taking Eurostar, so staying in St Pancras/King Cross, hope it is safe to move around at night... and will try to avoid the Russell square/Bloomsbury side.
    Does the Eurostar train indicate as No. 9015 has actually the number on the train?
    Btw, still deciding whether to buy the 1 or 2 day London Pass (no travel card, optional)?
    As for transport, will buy the London Tube day pass (cannot find any website on the pricing of day pass).

    Cheers and thanks to all
    no no no. russell square + bloomsbury are safe areas. it's the other side away from those areas which gets dodgey (e.g. the angel/islington areas). nonetheless, these are still relatively mild compared to problem areas such as brixton, and the bad parts of clapham. at least there isn't much violent crime yet. my friend's friend lives in that area, he got mugged in front of his doorstep.. but the person who mugged him gave him back his wallet when asked to.. just took all his cash.

    for eurostar, don't worry, the st pancras station is relatively organised. just get there early in case you do not find the area to board the train. there will be shops open, the people in london will not bite off your head if you ask them where the eurostar terminal to paris is.

    for london tube - depends on how much you want to take the tube. one trip within zone 1 (which you will most likely stay within zone 1) costs 1.80 pounds. so you can do the math and see if the travel pass is worth your money. i haven't used it before.

    getting an oyster card is an alternative, just that you will have to get back your deposit before leaving london.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Hi Vince,
    Thanks for the mussel link, will definitely try out. Yup, intend to go to Sacre Coeur & Place du Tertre on one morning.
    Any good place/food to try in London (hope not too expensive)?

    Hi Nightmare,
    Mistaken, noted Russell Square + Bloomsbury are safe areas (check that British Museum is in Russell Square). Will avoid the Angel/Jslington areas...
    Actually, Oyster card is cheaper, but I probably do well with the day pass.
    One stupid question, when I fly to Paris, I pass thru immigration and custom clearance, with my passport stamped by France immigration.
    When I take the Eurostar from Paris to London (and vice versa), will I still need to pass thru immigration and custom clearance, and will my passport be stamped by the UK immigration?

    Thanks for all your helpful tips

  16. #16

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha5354 View Post
    Hi Vince,
    Thanks for the mussel link, will definitely try out. Yup, intend to go to Sacre Coeur & Place du Tertre on one morning.
    Any good place/food to try in London (hope not too expensive)?
    Bayswater (by tube) is where most Asian visitors go for their Asian food - eg: roast duck noodle. But I like to go to Harrods' food area and sample different kinds of unique food which I don't normally enjoy here in Singapore, be it ice-cream; pastries & what not. Anyway, I'm not a frequent visitor to London or France; over the years I visited the US more than any other country. I once enjoyed the musical "Beauty & the Beast" in London at a relatively cheap price - watched in the afternoon on a weekday & booked a few hours earlier on same day.
    Hobbyist; Weekend SG Tourist

  17. #17

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha5354 View Post
    Hi Vince,
    Thanks for the mussel link, will definitely try out. Yup, intend to go to Sacre Coeur & Place du Tertre on one morning.
    Any good place/food to try in London (hope not too expensive)?

    Hi Nightmare,
    Mistaken, noted Russell Square + Bloomsbury are safe areas (check that British Museum is in Russell Square). Will avoid the Angel/Jslington areas...
    Actually, Oyster card is cheaper, but I probably do well with the day pass.
    One stupid question, when I fly to Paris, I pass thru immigration and custom clearance, with my passport stamped by France immigration.
    When I take the Eurostar from Paris to London (and vice versa), will I still need to pass thru immigration and custom clearance, and will my passport be stamped by the UK immigration?

    Thanks for all your helpful tips
    dunno if will stamp.. let me check..


    ya they will chop.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Hi Vince,
    Noted, will pop by Bayswater and Harrods area during lunch/dinner time

    Hi Nightmare,
    Thanks much for the info. cos i initially tot Euro is one big free country when comes to moving from place to place.. haha...

  19. #19

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha5354 View Post
    Hi Nightmare,
    Thanks much for the info. cos i initially tot Euro is one big free country when comes to moving from place to place.. haha...
    not really, i think only for EU passports then it is a bit more lax.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Backpacking in Paris/London (ask for advice)

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    dunno if will stamp.. let me check..


    ya they will chop.
    If not wrong, when resident outside EU pass through EU, will only chop once. UK not consider EU in this case.

    So, if UK - Paris, will chop once, Paris - Berlin, will not chop. But Berlin - UK, will chop again. My own experience

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •