Tiffany McCrea-Lennon gives us some top Europe travel tips. From great places to stay to the best things to see and do, you might get a few ideas for your own Europe trip.
I stayed for one night near St Pancras station. The Tavistock Hotel impressed for a cheaper hotel – it was bbout $214/night including breakfast.
For London transport, the Oyster card is the way to go. It has a GBP8/day limit so once you have used the GBP8 you wont be charged anymore.
The Eurostar from London to Paris is so easy. There’s no security and mucking around like you would at an airport. Point to note: If pax on Rail Passes, make sure you fill out your passes each day before getting on the train as there is a EUR50 penalty if not done.
I took the metro from the main station to near our hotel then walked for five minutes. Hotel – Excelsior Latin is a gorgeous hotel in the Latin Quarter, close to Notre Dame. Book a Comfort Room as it’s larger than the Classic.
- Fat Tire Bike Tours – Must Must Must. We did the Paris by Night which was 4½-5hrs long. We cycled around the Paris streets during peak traffic (hilarious!) visiting all the tourist attractions then enjoyed a cruise on the Seine (with free red wine from our tour guide).
- Eiffel Tower – Skip the Line, provided by City Wonders. This was also very good and our guide was excellent.
- Les Papilles is a restaurant not far from the Excelsior. Yum!
South of France
Here are some of my recommendations for things to do in the south of France:
- Locaboat seven day one way hire Negra to Argens on the Canal du Midi. You definitely need a minimum of three people on board and have an extra room for luggage. Take gloves for ropes, NZ flag, NZ souvenir pins for locks people.
- Castlenaudry is a local meal Cassoulet along the Canal du Midi.
- Bram is a circle-like village and the best restaurant is at the lock.
- Carcasonne has an amazing medieval castle! You can actually stay in a hotel within the castle. The castle has many shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. You could spend all day there.
- Argens – Amazing restaurant with woodfire oven at the lock. Pre-book restaurants as soon as you get to your overnight point as most places only have one restaurant and there are many boats!.
- Rail – the fast trains are excellent. So easy and less stress than going to airports.
I stayed in Mestre (not on Venice Island) opposite the railway station. The Hotel Tritone (Best Western) was very good hotel and had a €4 buffet breakfast! Close proximity to airport, train station and buses to Venice Island.
Buy a tourist travel pass. This can be used on the buses and water taxis.
- € 18.00 – 12-HOUR TRAVEL CARD
- € 20.00 – 24-HOUR TRAVEL CARD
- € 25.00 – 36-HOUR TRAVEL CARD
Get on a water taxi to Murano Island where they do glass blowing. It’s also a lot quieter than Venice. A great place to stop and have a drink.
Levanto is a small village north of the five villages. We stayed at Hotel Carla 4* hotel – family owned and run. It has wonderful hosts and includes breakfast. It’s a 7-8 minute walk to the train station for easy access to the Cinque Terre.
- Village 5 Monterosso has the best beaches and the most wine shops, artisan shops, hotels and restaurants. The village is divided into two parts, old and new.
- Village 4 Vernazza is a lively village with many restaurants and bars. Perfect for sunsets.
- Village 3 Corniglia is the only village which is not built directly on the sea but on a cliff 100 metres above sea level. Be prepared to climb 382 steps to the top. Corniglia is probably the most genuine town of the five and with the least amount of tourists.
- Village 2 Manarola is the most photographed village of the Cinque Terre.
- Village 1 Riomaggiore is 10 minutes by train from La Spezia.
I stayed at Residenza Di Ripetta – a 4* hotel and apartment style accommodation close to the Spanish Steps. It included breakfast at a nice outdoor café/bar.
For tourist attractions I recommend Skip the Line for any you want to see, else don’t bother.
We can help you plan your very own Europe adventure, including some of the places Tiffany visited. Just tell us where you want to go!