Travel Europe Trip Questions

LaDyVaMpX

Member
May 18, 2009
31
0
Bay Area, CA
Hi Everyone,

I am going to Europe for the first time (London, Paris, and Rome) at the end of September (YAY), and in the course of preparing for the trip I have several questions that I have not been able to find the answer to yet (and am hoping someone reading this post will know).

1) How many designer bags can I bring back from Europe to the US? I have heard conflicting answers ranging from you are limited to bringing one bag per person to being able to bring as many bags as you want.

2) For each of the three cities, what is the best way to get to/from the airport? As I was booking my air+hotel, I did not purchase transfers from airport to hotel and from hotel to airport because I was not sure whether $85 for two people one way was reasonable or not. I am totally fine with taking public transportation as long as it will not take too long or be too confusing or complicated.

So far, I think that these are the two main questions that I haven't been able to figure out, so any input/help/advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 

Kitsunegrl

Fill the Giant Pig!
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Nov 7, 2006
13,314
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Cajun Country
I think for the bags, you can bring back whatever you want; you just have to pay the customs tax over a certain monetary amount.
 

NanamiRyu

Justine
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Dec 3, 2007
3,303
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NY
1) You can bring back many as you want. As Kitsunegrl said above, it's the monetary value that matters, not the quantity. The exception to this would be having so many of the same item to look as if you are bringing them for business purpose, not for your own shopping. But I'm assuming you aren't going to buy 20+ bags?

Also, if you meant to ask about duty free limit, it's $800 per person. What I mean is, you are expected to pay duty over any purchase over that first $800 from all your shopping. If you are traveling with family members, use one custom form so your limit would be higher.

2) London and Paris are quite easy to get around, assuming you are using Heathrow for London. LHR and CDG can easily be accessed with tube (Piccadilly line) and RER. If you can tell me where your hotels are, I could give you exact stops/routes to take.

Now for Rome, public transportation system is a lot more limited than two other cities. There's a train system that serves between Roma Termini and FCO though. I never had to use anything in getting to/from Roma Termini as my hotel was always in 10 min walk area. But that area isn't really "touristy" and I'm guessing your hotel would be somewhere much further. Can you tell us where it's located?
 
Oct 20, 2008
4,197
1,452
manhattan
you can transfer from Roma Termini train station to the Metro. the main tourist hotel areas are usually just a few stops from the train station. easy peasy.

i forgot to add: stay aware and keep an eye on your bags and pockets while in the subway.
 

LaDyVaMpX

Member
May 18, 2009
31
0
Bay Area, CA
Thanks for the info, everyone.

Does anyone know whether there is a limit on the amount of VAT refund that is available?

Justine, here is my schedule in Europe:

London
- Arriving at Heathrow
- Staying at Commodore, 50 Lancaster Gate, Hyde Park

Paris
- Departing from London City Apt LCY, arriving at Paris Orly
- Staying at Littre, 9 Rue Littre

Rome
- Departing from Paris Orly, arriving at Rome, Fiumicino APT
- Staying at Saint Paul Hotel, Via Vito Volterra 43

Thanks for all the help, everyone! Much appreciated.
 

ProfNot

Sylvie Guillem fan
O.G.
May 10, 2006
2,553
72
danceland
The hotel you are staying at in Paris is in a lovely, quiet residential neighborhood.

It's a bit far from a subway (Metro) station for my preferences. You'll probably be taking taxis to the shopping areas, museums, etc. The blocks on the map are a lot longer than they look.

The Rodin museum is nearby. Lovely.


London to Paris - I would take the train. Downtown to downtown: faster than hotel to airport and airport to hotel. Fun ride, too.

The Luxemborg gardens are lovely, too.
 

LaDyVaMpX

Member
May 18, 2009
31
0
Bay Area, CA
Thanks, ProfNot and Longchamp.

Unfortunately, the package I booked my trip through only included air and not train from London to Paris, although I did think that taking a train would've been a very interesting experience.

Maybe the next time I'm lucky enough to be able to go to Europe I'll do that :smile:
 

NanamiRyu

Justine
O.G.
Dec 3, 2007
3,303
1,595
NY
^ Aw... That's too bad. Eurostar really is the best way to travel between those two cities.

London

The closest tube station to your hotel is Lancaster Gate, which is a part of Central Line. My advice would be take Piccadilly Line (the only one at LHR) upto Holborn station and take Central Line train (west bound) to Lancaster Gate. Even though there are earlier transfer spots than Holborn, then you'd have to transfer twice, which is quite burdensome.

Your hotel is also located within walking distance from Paddington station and this is something interesting you should remember. There's a train service called Heathrow Express and it runs between LHR and Paddington. It's a bit pricey at £16.50 per person (lower class ticket, first class is even more) but the total travel time is only 15 minutes! I never took it myself as I don't see the point of using it and then transfering to a tube line to get to my hotel. But since you can benefit from the location of your hotel, maybe you'll prefer to take it?

Now to get to LCY from your hotel, take Central line, east bound to Bank. And then from there you have to transfer to a different kind of train called DLR, which goes directly to the airport. Taking a cab to LCY wouldn't be a bad idea either, as the fare would be around £35.


Paris

The cheapest way to get to your hotel from Orly would be taking RER & metro. Even though there's no RER station directly under the airport as for CDG, there are shuttles to transfer you between Orly and a RER station called Anthony. Take RER (B line) into the city and transfer at a station called Denfert Rochereau. Change to line 4, heading to Porte de Clignancourt. Your hotel is located near a station called St Placide, which is only few stops after the transfer. And of course, your way to Orly when leaving Paris is the same route, reversed.

If you'd rather not bother taking the shuttle, RER, and then metro, cabs are plenty in Paris and they aren't too pricey. And since Orly is closer to the city than CDG, the fare should be only around 30-35 euros.


Rome

There's a train called Leonardo Express that serves between FCO and Termini station in the center of Rome. It takes about 40 mins and costs something like 11 euros. Once you get to Termini, take the subway to Basilica S. Paolo, which is only about 6 stops away.

Taxi from FCO to any point in central Rome is supposed to be flat fee of 40 euros. But I heard many cab drivers pretend to not to know this :rolleyes: while I never experienced it myself.