by beadsintox, KalyA first time 10 day trip to the 2 major capitals in the world, soaking in all the sights,sounds and attractions that it has to offer to every first timer. More
Day 01: Tue, Jun 23, 2009
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintox
London is the capital and largest city of both the United Kingdom and of England, and is the largest city in Western Europe. Situated on the River Thames in southeast England, London is historically one of the great world cities and remains a global capital of politics, culture, fashion, trade and finance. London will serve as the host city for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
London boasts a vast number of attractions for the traveler. Among the most famous are Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster (including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament) in Westminster. Shoppers can head to Portobello Road, which claims to be the world’s largest antiques market, for antiques, souvenirs and other knick-knacks or simply a walk through time.
London has a large variety of shows from fringe to Broadway-like musicals and productions. The West End district is where you’ll find the last type, with famous imported Broadway shows and some very good local productions.
Day 02: Wed, Jun 24, 2009
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxThe London Guards Hotel is located within walking distance of Hyde Park and approximately 25 miles from Heathrow International Airport. It is situated in a quiet area of Lancaster Gate, just a few minutes' walk from the famous shopping area of Oxford Street. The nearest underground stations are Lancaster Gate (few minutes walk from the hotel) and Paddington (with a direct link to Heathrow Airport via Heathrow Express). Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant and lounge. The hotel also offers limited room service, dry cleaning, 24-hour front desk service, and safety deposit. All units have air-conditioning, private facilities, satellite TV, safes, fridges, telephones in bedrooms and bathrooms, heated towel rails, and tea/coffee making facilities. Irons are available upon request.
36 37 Lancaster Gate, W2 3NA London, United Kingdom
44 20 74021101
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxFirst built in 694 but destroyed by the Great Fire in 1666, the beautiful building that stands today was designed by Christopher Wren and completed in 1710. St. Paul's has been host to many great occasions including the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965 and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. There are numerous treasures to see and experience in St. Paul's - a visit is a must. However, the Whispering Gallery is worth a special mention. Just a whisper against the blank circular wall can be heard 42 meters away on the opposite side.
St. Paul's Churchyard, EC4M 8 London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7236 4128
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxThe Tower of London is mainly perceived as a medieval place of imprisonment and execution. Nine hundred years of history are embraced within its thick, turreted walls. Even though the Tower's violent years are long gone, an aura of death and medieval torture remains. The main attractions for most visitors are the breathtaking Crown Jewels and the chance to see the legendary ravens who live within the walls. Folklore has it that if they ever leave, Britain will again fall to foreign invasion. Interestingly enough, orders have been received to clip their wings!
202-203 Grange Road, SE1 3AA London, United Kingdom
+44 84 4482 7777
Added Mar 24, 2009 by beadsintoxDesigned by Sir Horace Jones and opened in 1894, Tower Bridge is famous the world over. Due to the volume of river traffic at the time, Tower Bridge was designed to have twin bascules that could be raised. This famous landmark also has fabulous views over the Tower of London and of river life on the Thames. Visitors can ascend by the North Tower and traverse the river protected from the erratic English elements in an enclosed walkway before descending by the South Tower. Also on offer is The Tower Bridge Experience, a fascinating exhibition situated inside the towers and engine rooms. Want to get a great view of the Tower Bridge from afar, but not too far? Head on over to Potters Fields Park, right next to City Hall, where you can enjoy a picnic with a view.
202-203 Grange Road, SE1 3AA London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7403 3761
Added Mar 24, 2009 by beadsintoxWagamama serves up a pan-Asian cuisine that features a fusion of eclectic traditional favorites with modern flavors. The fare is made fresh and all items are featured on a dietary menu, allowing guests full access to the ingredients in their food. Orders are taken via electronic pads, meaning that preparation begins in the kitchen as soon as you have made a choice on what to order. Dishes come to the table in the order that they are prepared, which can be problematic for groups who want to eat together. Start off with a range of dumplings, or dive right into the kare noodle soups. The atmosphere is also a major draw with lots of open, light space and minimalist décor. The end result is a dining experience that has only grown in popularity as new locations have opened worldwide.
Cardinal Place, Roof Garden Level, SW1E 5JE London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7828 0561
Added Mar 24, 2009 by beadsintoxHere, amongst Fortnum & Mason's luxurious surroundings, the British Empire lives on. Small and always heaving with tourists, Fortnum and Mason is much more than just the Queen's grocer. With full carpeting and chandeliers, department store shopping takes on a whole different meaning. F&M's packaging is traditional and elegant, and is free when you buy any gift (except food, which is a pity, as the Food Hall is F&M's highlight) and there's a vast selection of own-brand teas, coffees, wines and provisions to choose from. Also, make sure you stop to see the curious fountain by the doors. But F&M is most famous for its inimitable hampers.
181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7734 8040
Added Mar 24, 2009 by beadsintoxVisiting Oxford Street is essential on any trip to London. Towards the end of the 18th Century it was bought by the Earl of Oxford and soon after this, Oxford Street started to become popular for shopping. When Debenhams and Selfridges opened in 1909 the street became the place to go for good quality shops. It now has over 600 shops and there are over 200 bars, cafes and restaurants in close walking distance as well as many other places of interest. Many of the more popular stores consider their branch in Oxford Street to be the flagship store and the one where they have their special openings and promotions.
Oxford Street, W1C 1JN London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7462 0689
Day 03: Thu, Jun 25, 2009
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxBuckingham Palace has been the official abode of British royalty since 1837. The forecourt is the setting for one of London's most popular tourist events: The Changing of the Guard. The Mews are working stables, where you can see the Queen's horses and state carriages. The Buckingham Palace state rooms are only open during certain days in August and September. Just outside the front of the palace, you can enjoy the Queen Victoria Memorial Gardens and the Victoria Memorial, a striking and impressive sculpture facing the Mall. The visiting hours vary seasonally.
13 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1A 1AA London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7930 4832
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxWestminster Abbey is regarded as a Medieval architectural masterpiece. It has been the venue for most of the country's coronations since 1066 and for numerous other Royal occasions. At present, it is still a church dedicated to regular worship and to the celebration of great events in the British nation. Westminster Abbey features the final resting places or commemorations of a large number of famous poets, scientists, musicians, artists, authors and more.
20 Dean's Yard, SW1P 3PA London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7222 5152
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxBig Ben is the name of the clock inside the famous tower that also forms part of the Houses of Parliament. Its impressive mechanism weighs in at over 13.5 tons, and the pendulum, which beats once every two seconds, is 13 feet long and weighs 690 pounds. The clock was named Big Ben after the First Commissioner of Works, and since 1885 a light above it has been lit while the House of Commons is in session. Residents can schedule a time to climb the clock tower. Unfortunately, non-citizens are not permitted to climb the clock tower.
House Of Commons, SW1A 2NE London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7219 3000
Added Mar 24, 2009 by beadsintoxTrafalgar Square was built following the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The man responsible for this famous naval victory, which finally destroyed French naval power and secured Britain from invasion, was Admiral Horatio Nelson. A column, with an 18ft statue of Nelson at the summit is the centerpiece of the Square. At the base of the column are the renowned Landseer lions. Renovations in 2003 removed traffic lanes to make room for a sizable staircase, connecting the National Portrait Gallery to the square. The National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery border one side of the Square, and it's a good place to sit and soak up the atmosphere on a sunny day. The Square is also famous for the large number of pigeons that congregate there. It's one of the main places that visitors come to take pictures.
Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DX London, United Kingdom
Added Mar 24, 2009 by beadsintoxThis is one of London's most prestigious shopping venues and serves as a glittering tribute to opulent and stylish things. Owned by Mohammed Al Fayed, each floor scales the heights of designer fashion clothing and accessories, luxury furniture, cosmetics, fine jewelery and classic toys. If you are in a hurry, you can have a complimentary Harrods personal shopper assist you. This Knightsbridge palace has 19 cafés and restaurants, an online casino and a pet department. Harrods's own brand provisions make perfect presents; you can have your purchases delivered anywhere in the world. In the basement, Al Fayed has erected a small gilded tribute to Princess Diana and his son Dodi who died tragically in August 1997.
87-135 Brompton Road, SW1X 7XL London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7730 1234
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxNotting Hill - is there anywhere else like it? Back in the old days it was a huge slum, inhabited by the poorest West Indian and Irish folk. But these days, film crews, tourists, rock stars and Madonna come to visit all the time. You can't really buy Notting Hill cool but you can try. There is a plethora of great designer clothes shops you know (Paul Smith and Joseph) and newer labels you will want to get to know better (Debonair and Preen). On Fridays and Saturdays, you could luck out and find the next hot new designer at one of Portobello Road Market's clothes stalls. The vintage clothes and shoes are fabulous too. The Portobello Green Arcade, which, unlike the market, is open all week and has some lovely fashion boutiques.
Notting Hill, W11 3HT London, United Kingdom
+44 87 0156 6366(Tourist Information)
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxPortobello Road is primarily an antiques market, which comes to life on Saturdays, when the rows of stalls stretch far into the distance: antique dealers and merchants selling art, clothing, crafts and second-hand books are abound. Fashion mavens come here to browse and to be inspired. Many successful designers got their start under the tent by the bridge. It is touristy on Saturdays, so try coming on Fridays or Sundays. During the week, there's a fruit and vegetable market every day and on Thursdays, there is an organic market.
111 Portobello Road, W11 2QB London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7229 8354
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxRun by three ex-Portobello Road market stallholders, Rellik sells a great selection of second hand clothes. Tall, light and spacious, the gear is laid out as simply as possible, but you'll still need to do a bit of foraging. There's vintage gear from the 20's onwards, as well as a whole range of Vivien Westwood creations. Two of the owners also customise their second hand finds to make them even more unique, and they also do dressmaking with old fabrics as well. Whether you want to spend less or more, Rellik is a great place to go for that vintage look.
8 Goldborne Road, W10 5NW London, United Kingdom
+44 20 8962 0089
Day 04: Fri, Jun 26, 2009
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintox
Paris is the cosmopolitan capital of France and - with 2.2 million people living in zone 1 (Central Paris) and another 9.9 million people in the suburbs (la banlieue) - is one of the largest cities in Europe. Located in the north of the country on the river Seine, Paris has the reputation of being the most beautiful and romantic of all cities, brimming with historical associations and remaining vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design. Dubbed the City of Light, it is among the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Central Paris is officially divided into 20 districts called arrondissements, numbered from 1 to 20 in a clockwise spiral from the centre of town. Each arrondissement has its own unique character and selection of attractions for the traveler.
One of the best value and most convenient ways to see the sights of Paris is with the Paris Museum Pass (previously known as Carte Musées et Monuments), a pre-paid entry card that allows entry into over 70 museums and monuments around Paris. Those there are too many to list, highlights include: Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, Père-Lachaise Cemetery, the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay and the Picasso Museum.
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxIn spite of its modernization, the Gare du Nord is still a good example of a 19th-century train station. A German architect, Jacob Ignaz Hittorf, built the station in 1863. Its most notable features are its neoclassical façade, its statues of military greats, its Roman figures, and the steel and glass decorating its ceiling. Trains depart from this station for northern France, northern Germany, Belgium, Scandinavia, Holland and England (via the Channel tunnel).
73 Rue de Dunkerque, 75010 Paris, France
+33 1 45 26 94 82
Added Apr 17, 2009 by beadsintoxOriginally known as place Louis-XV, this square was created between 1755 and 1775 by the architect, Gabriel. Renamed Place de la Révolution in 1792, a guillotine was installed and 2800 executions took place including that of King Louis XVI. Louis-Philippe christened it Place de la Concorde in 1830. The Louqsor obelisk, a gift from the Viceroy of Egypt to King Charles X of France, has been standing in the center of the square since 1840. The eight statues representing France's largest cities and the two fountains were also added at this time. The square is home to one of Paris' most prestigious hotels, the Hôtel Crillon.
Avenue Gabriel, (rue Boissy D'anglas), 75008 Paris, France
Added Apr 17, 2009 by beadsintoxThe ground on which the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Palais du Luxembourg stand was originally the site of a Roman camp. In 1257 the Chartreux religious order bought the land and built a monastery here and later princess regent Marie de Médicis had the palace built in 1615. This is one of Paris' favorite gardens. Sensitively and very prettily laid out, it is wonderfully popular with students and residents in Paris' Latin Quarter. Children can go on pony rides, play on swings and sail their toy boats on the octagonal pond. A much-loved and popular meeting place.Open daily from 7.30am
Boulevard Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris, France
+33 1 42 34 20 00
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxClimbing the 387 steps to the top of this masterpiece is well worth the effort for the spectacular view. Construction of the first great Gothic cathedral began in 1163 and was largely completed by 1212. The rebuilding of the two transept gates in 1270 marked its completion. The west face is adorned with three richly decorated doorways and crowned with two 69-meter (226-foot) towers. The cathedral is busy at the best of times; especially on Sundays, when much of the building is closed to visitors.
6 Parvis Notre-Dame, Place Jean-Paul II , 75004 Paris, France
+33 1 4234 5610
Added Apr 17, 2009 by beadsintoxThis friendly place in the heart of Paris serves a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delights and the choicest of desserts. Also, get entertained by stage performers with guitar accompaniments as you feast on the treat.
Ile Saint-Louis, 75004 Paris, France
+33 1 4633 6607
Day 05: Sat, Jun 27, 2009
Day 06: Sun, Jun 28, 2009
Day 07: Mon, Jun 29, 2009
Day 08: Tue, Jun 30, 2009
Day 09: Wed, Jul 1, 2009
Added Mar 25, 2009 by beadsintoxThis building was not always blessed with the famous address of the world's most celebrated detective, its number was changed to 221b in honor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation. The rest of the museum is also very true to the fiction. You can sit in Holmes' armchair, fiddle with his scientific experiments, and examine memorabilia from his adventures. Dedicated Holmes' fans will enjoy their money's worth.
221b Baker Street, NW1 6XE London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7935 4430
Added Mar 25, 2009 by beadsintoxThe famous waxworks museum, started by Madame Tussaud in 1835, are one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, and usually have queues to match. With their fast-track booking system, visitors can bypass the queues by pre-booking a time slot for a small surcharge. Madame Tussaud learned her trade making death masks during the French Revolution, and those of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette are displayed beside the actual blade that beheaded them. There are wax models of the famous and the infamous from every walk of life, some of which are amazingly life-like. The Spirit of London exhibit is where memorabilia from London's past are on display.
Marylebone Road, NW1 5LR London, United Kingdom
+44 870 999 0046
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxPetticoat Lane is probably the best market in London for budget clothing, and most definitely the place to visit if you're looking for new leathers. The large selection of locally made leather jackets in the covered area at the southern end of Middlesex Street can be snapped up for less than half the shop price if you are prepared to haggle. When you do finally win over the seller, treat yourself to a cornet of fried king prawns in garlic and butter from the stall outside. Most of the other clothing on offer is standard market fare, but there is a stall selling French Connection seconds at bargain prices, and occasional designer clothes traders put in an appearance, too. This market opens at Wentworth Street at the beginning of the week and eventually lands up spreading to Middlesex and other trading streets by the weekend.
Wentworth Street, E1 7HT London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7377 8963
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxDeveloped during the 18th century by farmers selling livestock and produce outside the City's boundaries, the market today offers everything from fruits and vegetables to reduced-priced goods and bankrupt stock. Set among the curry houses and Asian restaurants of the vibrant Brick Lane area - home to many of London's Indian community - the market bustles with activity and is the place to find bargains on goods, including televisions, clothes, cameras, bikes and - yes - even kitchen sinks. Choose amongst the Backyard Market that takes place every weekend and shop for knick-knacks or the Sunday market and sample the choicest of mouth-watering delicacies!
91 Brick Lane, The Old Truman Brewery, E1 6QL London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7770 6100
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxBe a masochist and scare yourself with a nocturnal walk around Jack the Ripper's playground. At the end of the 19th century, a psycho left female victims (mainly prostitutes) so mutilated that people were scared to walk the streets after dusk. Walk the very streets tainted by his victim's blood and learn about the Ripper's possible identities (which to this day remains a mystery), listen to anecdotes, see gruesome photos of the scenes of crime and play a little role-playing game near the end of the tour. Meet at 6.45p at the exit of Tower Hill underground station - there is no need to book and you only pay at the end of the tour.
3 May Street, St Ives, W12 7GF London, United Kingdom
+44 171 680 0956
Day 10: Thu, Jul 2, 2009
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxKnown as both the London Eye and the Millennium Wheel, this huge 450-foot ferris wheel on the South Bank gives a fabulous bird's eye view of London, if your stomach is strong enough. The spectacular views stretch for 25 miles on a clear day to include views of Windsor and Tunbridge Wells. Up to 25 people can fit in each of the wheel's "capsules." The wheel turns surprisingly slowly - it takes thirty minutes to go round, so there's plenty of time to spot landmarks and take photos. Hours vary by season.
Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB London, United Kingdom
+44 870 990 8883
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxNow open seven days a week, Camden Market sprawls across Camden High Street, Camden Lock Place and the Stables off Chalk Farm Road. The Camden Lock Market is great for arts & crafts and the Electric Market (Sundays only) is the place to go for the best variations on the latest high street trends. This is one of the two must-visit markets for anyone seeking street, alternative & hippie styles, the other being Portobello Market. Traders sell everything from second hand clothes to cheap antiques, records, clothes & accessories, as well as decorative items.
Camden High Street, NW1 8AH London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7974 5974(Tourist Information)
Added Mar 26, 2009 by beadsintoxMove over Broadway. The West End district of London certainly gives that famous New York City street a run for its money. Plays and musicals draw theater-goers from all over England. The avenue was created to improve London traffic conditions and is now home to notable venues like Lyric, Gielgud, Queen's and Shaftesbury theaters.
Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly Circus to New Oxford Street, London, United Kingdom
Day 11: Fri, Jul 3, 2009
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxThe arch is a site of memories, current events and celebrations. The lists of the dead will move you. And the cars that drive around the monument will terrify you! Standing in a direct line between the Louvre and the Grande Arche de la Défense, the monument links the past with the present and offers amazing views. A truly impressive landmark, 50 meters (164 feet) high and 45 meters (147 feet) wide, Paris would not be Paris without it! Open daily from 10am.
Place Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile, 75008 Paris, France
+33 1 55 37 73 77
Added Mar 24, 2009 by beadsintoxMussels, Frites and Belgian beers are the order of the day at the Covent Garden branch of the Belgo chain. Situated in a basement, Belgo Centraal's industrialist decor - with benches, metal and earthy colors - creates a unique atmosphere, particularly enjoyable in a group because it affords you space for a little boisterousness. Have we mentioned the mussels and frites yet? Seriously, if you're in the mood for hearty Belgian fare, whether it's sausages (try the wild boar) or Waterzooi (a light chicken and vegetable stew topped with cream), Belgo hits the spot. Be sure to wash it all down with beer from their huge, and often bizarrely-named (from Delirium Tremens to Paauwel Kwak), selection. There's a kid's menu, too (excluding beer, of course), and often-changing promotions (lobster and frites meal deals, for example).
50 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9LJ London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7813 2233
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxIn 1810, the Montrouge stone quarries became catacombs. Because of a lack of space in the graveyards of Paris, it is here, 20 meters (65 feet) underground, that the remains of six million Parisians are exhibited. These ossuaries, illustrated by texts, create a chilling atmosphere and describe some of the events in the history of Paris, giving visitors substance for meditation. During World War II, this network of galleries was used as a hideaway for the Résistance movement; its vastness and the discretion of its entrances were great assets indeed.
1, avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France
+33 1 4322 4763
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxOne of the most famous haute couture brands in the world, Chanel is also one of the oldest fashion houses (opened in 1909), known for the little black dress, the tweed suit, and Marilyn Monroe's favorite Chanel N°5 perfume. Under the direction of designer Karl Lagerfeld since 1984, the main boutique is located in the center of the high fashion district near Place Vendôme.
31 Rue Cambon, 75001 Paris, France
+33 1 4286 2600
Added Mar 24, 2009 by beadsintoxThis Swedish fashion chain store is a favorite with men and women looking for fashionable clothes that won't break the bank. Whether you need a new suit for work, a saucy little top for Saturday night, or that latest one-season-only item, this shop offers a great choice and is definitely worth a visit. Hennes also stocks swim wear, underwear, accessories, make-up, and even its own range of perfumes and scented candles. A great range of children's clothes, for children six years of age and under, is also available. Several larger stores are situated on Oxford Street.
High Street Kensington, 103-111 High Street, W8 5SA London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7368 3920
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxSituated right in the heart of Paris, the Jardin des Tuileries stretches from the Louvre to Place de la Concorde. Commissioned by Queen Catherine de Médicis and created in 1564 at the same time as the Palace of the same name (which was later destroyed), it was redesigned in 1664 by architect André le Nôtre, who was responsible for the layout of its paths, its symmetrical flowerbeds and its terrace overlooking the Seine. As delightful as ever, the garden is perfect for strolling and relaxing in (there are even donkey rides!). From 21st June until 25th August every year the garden plays host to a fun fair whose big wheel gives visitors a fabulous view over Rue de Rivoli. The garden is also home to the Orangerie and the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume.
rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
+33 8 9268 3000(Tourist Information)
Added Mar 24, 2009 by beadsintoxQueen Victoria was born in this palace in 1819, and Princess Margaret and other royals also resided here. A Jacobean mansion in Kensington Gardens (next to Hyde Park), Kensington Palace was the London residence of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Visitor attractions include the state apartments and the Royal ceremonial dress collection. Lunch and tea are served in the Orangery or the Winter Café (depending on the time of year), which is open from 9a-6p.
Kensington Gardens , W8 4PX London, United Kingdom
+44 844 482 7777/+44 20 3166 6000
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxOnly a few people know that the third largest museum worldwide used to be the main residence of French kings and emperors for six centuries. The Old Fortress was erected in 1190 under the reign of King Philippe Auguste to protect the kingdom from the invasion of northern tribes (the Vikings). During the 14th Century, the palace was extended under Charles V and became from time to time a royal residence. The greatest changes in the original palace were made under King François I. The medieval Grosse Tour was destroyed and replaced by a sumptuous palace, still considered a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. In 1594, Henri IV decided to build a passage between the Tuileries Palace and Louvre Palace, still known as the "Great Gallery." The "Cour Carrée" was part of a vast program conducted under Louis XIII and Louis XIV to embellish the king's residence and is a symbol of the classical period. After Louis XIV moved to Versailles, the Louvre knew a static period. The most recent construction is the Glass Pyramid erected by Leoh Ming Pei under French President Mitterrand, which is now the main entrance to the museum. With 35,000 pieces and a surface of about 68,746 square meters (740,000 square feet), the Louvre cannot be taken in in one day. -Aurélie Pichard
34 Quai du Louvre, 75001 Paris, France
+33 1 4020 5824
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxIronically Pont Neuf, which in English means "New Bridge" is one of the oldest bridges which stretches across the river Siene. Standing at the western point of the Îlele de la Cité—island of the city, the bridge connects the left and right banks of Paris. The bridge was officially inaugurated in 1607, by King Henry IV. The attraction and specialty of Pont Neuf is that, it was one of the first to have pavements. Parisians love to socialize and hang out here, and hence there is no doubt that the bridge is one of the most visited spots in the city.
Îlele de la Cité, 75001 Paris, France
+33 8 9268 3000
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxPrimark sells own-label goods at amazingly low prices. There are items for the house as well as clothes and accessories for men, women and children. A quick browse can lead to amazing finds, Birkenstock-copy sandals, bra and knickers sets, 5-pack trainer socks, Calvin Klein-esque see-through underwear with lace edges in a variety of colors and satin pyjamas at less than half the price that most high street stores charge. Good for vests, shorts and T-shirts.
King Street, 1 Kings Mall, W6 0PZ London, United Kingdom
+44 20 8748 7119
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxThis department store is right inside a heritage monument, and ladies will go crazy for the collection of clothes, jewelry and other accessories on display. The most famous and trendiest brands have a corner at Printemps: Chanel, Dior, Gucci, YSL, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Louis Vuitton. The fourth floor is devoted to promoting new designers such as Zadig & Voltaire, Isabelle Marrant and Vanessa Bruno. For men, there is a separate six-floor section. For the home, you will find home furnishings, china and silverware, and anything else you could think of for your wedding registry. Speaking of weddings, visit the wedding salon to try on your future bridal gown. If you care to indulge in some post-shopping pampering, Printemps even houses its own salon and spa. What else could Printemps possibly offer?-A fashion show every Thursday! Gastronomes also have the opportunity to fill their baskets with delicacies at Printemps Gourmet-Take a break in the restaurant or café before embarking on one more fix of Parisian fashion.
64 Boulevard Haussman, 75009 Paris, France
+33 1 4282 5787
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxThere is nothing more wonderful than walking down Parisian streets and discovering new places. The Marche aux Puces which literally means, "Market of the fleas" is not just one market but twelve that have been incorporated into one long stretch of shopping haven. Browse through a selection of 3000 stalls that sell antiques to funky junk. If you don't speak French, make sure you take someone who does; for the best possible bargain.
Avenue de la Porte de Clignancourt, 75018 Paris, France
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxGrab a croissant and your cup of coffee and head off to one of the oldest flea markets in France called the Puces de Montreuil. Established in the 19th Century, it mainly stocks second-hand clothes (in good condition) and designer seconds. If wearing second hand clothes is not your thing, then browse through jewelry, antique engravings, appliances, crockery and even old furniture.
Place de la Porte de Montreuil, 75020 Paris, France
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxThe world's biggest flea market welcomes 200,000 visitors each weekend. You name it and this place will have it: furniture, pictures, new and second-hand clothes, all at rock-bottom prices (especially if you're a dab hand at haggling). There's a jovial fairground atmosphere with the aroma of food wafting around and people crowding round the stalls, hoping to pick up a 1970s leather jacket or a rare Louis XV chest of drawers. Make sure you have cash on you, as stallholders seldom accept credit cards and the nearest available cash machine is always lined out.
140 rue des Rosiers, Saint Ouen, 93400 Paris, France
+33 1 4012 3258
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxTopshop, "the world's largest fashion store", greets its young budget-but-fashion-conscious customers with blaring chart tunes and a giant TV screen showing Radio Top Shop DJs spinning in the sub-basement. The ground and first floors are dedicated to Topman menswear, including designs from Moto, Jibe, and Levi's engineered jeans. Downstairs the womenswear starts... Pandering to street sport style right through to girlie chic, vast collections of party tops and dresses. Tucked away are the shoes; look out for reasonably-priced footloose offerings from Faith and fancy-free footwear from Bertie. Additional womens wear labels such as Giant, Zack and Blue Nile mark their territory down here too. The changing-room areas come equipped with computer games.
36 Great Castle, W1W 8LG London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7636 7700
Added Apr 04, 2009 by beadsintoxParis just wouldn't be Paris without the Eiffel Tower. Designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World Fair, at 300 meters (984 feet) it was then the world's tallest building. Not everyone was happy when it was first built; many considered it an eyesore and wanted it pulled down, but today it is one of the world's most visited monuments. The first and second floors can be reached using the stairs, and elevators take visitors to the magnificent view at the top.
5 avenue Anatole France, Champ de Mars, 75007 Paris, France
+33 1 4411 2323
Added Mar 23, 2009 by beadsintoxPredominantly a decorative arts museum, the V&A is a comprehensive collection of sculpture, furniture, glass, photographs and more in periods ranging from ancient to art deco. You can also find the recently refurbished Raphael Gallery here, home to several tapestry cartoons by Raphael that are part of the Royal Collection. There are special theme nights on Wednesdays.
Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7942 2000
Added Mar 24, 2009 by beadsintoxWagamama serves up a pan-Asian cuisine that features a fusion of eclectic traditional favorites with modern flavors. The fare is made fresh and all items are featured on a dietary menu, allowing guests full access to the ingredients in their food. Orders are taken via electronic pads, meaning that preparation begins in the kitchen as soon as you have made a choice on what to order. Dishes come to the table in the order that they are prepared, which can be problematic for groups who want to eat together. Start off with a range of dumplings, or dive right into the kare noodle soups. The atmosphere is also a major draw with lots of open, light space and minimalist decor. The end result is a dining experience that has only grown in popularity as new locations have opened worldwide.
Belvedere Road, Southband Centre - Royal Festival Hall, SE1 8XX London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7021 0877
Added Mar 24, 2009 by beadsintoxThis Early Byzantine-styled Catholic Cathedral, designed by Victorian architect John Francis Bentley and completed in 1903, is set off the main road across a small piazza. A fine marble interior and many beautiful mosaics in a resplendent fusion of blue hues top the impressive high altar, behind which the choir sits. The dramatically suspended, huge painted crucifix is well worth visiting. Sung High Mass is a majestic experience with incense and a whole legion of altar servers. The Bell Tower, at 273ft high, is an excellent vantage point from which to view London and you can also take a lift to the top of it everyday.
42 Francis Street, SW1P 1QW London, United Kingdom
+44 20 7798 9055
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