basically i did my own research from Internet, lots of readings and asked lots of questions to those who've been and live there. i bought our tix 6 months prior and it was around RM2.2k/pax (all in inclusive of food, baggage and seat). i think we had a great deal since normal tix to UK is about RM4K+. Our itinerary as follows:
Where?: KL - UK - Belgium - Paris - UK - KL.
When?: 7 may - 22 may (springtime!)
UK:Day 1 (7 may)
- landed at Stansted. stayed at cousin's house in Heston, which is about 1 hour journey from Stansted.. thanks to her and her hubby for fetching us in the middle of the cold night. we arrived at 12am and we couldnt sleep til the next morning due to jet lag (or maybe we were just so excited hehe)
Day 2 (8 may)
Stonehenge trip (by car),
- entrance fee: GBP6.60/pax
- Things to do: look at the stones and appreciate its beauty :P
- seriously i think its a bit expensive since you cant get to go very near to the stones. and all you get to see is just...stones! no wonder we saw many ppl standing at the gates outside the area since its a bit pricey. recommended for those who love history and architecture.
- PS: if you wish to go during winter or early Spring dont forget to wear thick clothes and gloves. it was 8 celcius cold and the freaking windy weather makes it much COLDER! my hands turned BLUE and i ran straight to our car to 'save' myself :p- click on the link above to know how to get to stonehenge by public transportations.
Bath (by car)
- Entrance fees: no entrance fees since we didnt go into the Roman Bath etc. You only need to pay if you go inside one of the baths.
- at southwest of England, about Bath is famous for its hot springs and beautiful architectures and the breathtaking sceneries, thanks to its hilly surroundings.
- i cudnt stand the cold weather so i bought a cheap, cute red winter coat for GBP10! :)
- lunch: GBP8 (i had muesli bar and tuna sandwich)
- breakfast: FOC (at home)
Day 3 (9 may)
Brussels & Leuven, Belgium
- tube tix: From Hounslow to London St Pancras (main train station in London) - ~GBP3/pax
- train tix: bought superfast EuroStar train tix online and i requested to courier to my cousin's house in UK. (GBP50/pax one way)
- Breakfast: Muesli Bar bought at London train station (GBP5/pax)
- 1.5 hours train journey from London's King's Cross St Pancras Station to Brussels, and tour guided by my cousin. he works in Leuven.
- train stops at Brussel Nord / Bruxelles Midi (its the same thing). Pls take note that they speak French and Dutch. Thus the two languages.
- we went to see the famous 'pissing' statue and took pics. seriously its the ONLY famous thing to do while ure in Brussels.
- we went to Grote Markt, the famous Market in Belgium.
- Belgium is famous for its "frites" a.k.a Fries. Trust me, the taste is superb!! Belgians normally dont take heavy lunch and you can see lots of frites shops, waffles and choc shops in the city. yummy!!
- Lunch: 6 Euro/pax
- What to buy: Chocs and lotsa belgian chocs!!
at grote markt
one of frites shops - look at the crowd!!
the cool youths in Brussels :)
Day 4 (10 May)Bruges, Belgium
- took a local train to Bruges from Leuven (where our cousin stays), journey took about 2 hours from Brussels. (4 euro/pax. if you travel on the same day you arrive by Eurostar you dont have to pay a cent to Bruges!)
- Things to do: walk and walk and walk and walk and enjoy the beautiful sceneries! it's like the second Venice since its surrounded by water. worth going! if you've seen the movie "In Bruges" you'd know :)
- Breakfast: skipped coz we were in a hurry
- Lunch: 8euro/pax, we had "Quick", Belgium's version of McDonalds :)
- Entrance fees: None
one of the empty streets in Leuven. A very2 quiet place...you can hardly see anyone walking..
Leuven train station
we had our breakfast here! yummy choc-dipped waffles & frites!
belgian chocssssssss! yummehh!
the beautiful Bruges! :)
Day 5 - 9
train tix: thalys 54 euro per pax, one way, 59 Euro back to London (Total: 103 Euro)
breakfast: skipped! again, coz we were in a hurry
where we stayed: Absolute Hostel 270 euro for 4 pax, 3 nights 2 days. Booked via www.hostelbookers.com
Metro tix: 4 euro/pax
- i fell in love with paris. nuff said. it's true what my friend once said. even a dog seemed romantic in paris! hehe.
- If you wish to go to Paris, PLEASE stay at Absolute Hostel, its very2 near to Metro (same like London tube) station, about 5 mins walking and plenty of halal (Arabs) Restaurants and a MacDonalds nearby. The Metro station name is "Republique" and its about 20 mins journey to central train station.
What to do:
- Buy hop on hop off tour bus tickets (2 days tour for 34 Euro) and make sure you dont skip a route! There's 4 or 5 routes and they go to different parts of Paris. Take note on the places you want to hop off and you can hop off the next day. if you're in a hurry you can buy 1-day tix and hop off anytime you want. the bus is so efficient and they come every 20 mins or so. there's plenty of buses around and you can sit on the rooftop just like the double-decker bus in London and enjoy the scenic surrounding of Paris :) *highly recommended* You may also purchase the tix online here!
- Shop at Galleries Lafayette - loads of cool and trendy handbags and clothes i tell ya! we spent 2 days in Lafayette
- Shop at Les Halles (a freaking huge underground market) - cheaper compared to Galleries Lafayette.. u can find cheap leather boots there!
Places you MUST visit: Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, La Defense (the modern side of Paris) and all the gardens! the entrance fees varies, depending on what day you go.
Places you MIGHT want to visit: Disneyland Paris (quite far from Paris), Moulin Rouge, Versailles, river Seine romantic dinner/Cruise
the famous Louvre!
Eiffel.. look at the line!
one of the 'jardines' (parks) in Paris
Arc De Triomphe
where we stayed, Absolute Hostel
La Defense, the modern side of Paris.
Where to go:
- Portobello Market at Notting Hill. Its market is only open on weekends. You can buy used leather jacket as low as 2 pounds and other great items sold here! a must place to visit!
- Bicester Village - 130 luxury Outlet boutiques with SUPER CHEAP price!! plenty of designer brands like Anya Hindmarch, Alexander McQUeen, Armani, cK, Clarks, Coast, Cath Kidston, Dior, Furla, Gucci, DKNY, just to name a few. i wish i went there at 9am :p
- Tower Bridge, London Eye, Madame Tussaud, Buckingham Palace and watch the changing of guards as early as possible, Kew Gardens, London Zoo, Harrods
Where to eat:
- Restoran 'Makan' at Portobello Market. They have SUPER YUMMY nasi goreng!
- Arabs restaurants in front of Harrods
websites you MUST visit:
http://www.ryanair.com (if u wish to get cheap airfares, make your booking as earliest possible)
www.kayak.com (compare flight rates)
i guess that's about all. you may download my trip plan (incomplete but it helps) here:
we spent about RM5k/pax, all in :).
my advice is:
- plan your trip as early as possible and do lots of research.
- stay at your relatives' or friends' place.
- share food as the portion is twice as big
- buy train or flight tickets at least 3 months prior to your vacation
- dont go during winter, shops close early and public transport wont be running if snow's heavy. go during spring or early autumn and rates are slightly higher during summer.
or if you have further queries please do not hesitate to ask me :) ill try my best to answer your queries