Practical information on transportation and accommodations in Paris, London, and Edinburgh
We envisioned a 10-night trip in mid-June, with round-trip airfare to Paris, connection to London by train or plane, connection to Edinburgh by train or plane, and then a flight back to Paris.
Getting to and from Paris: Here are the lowest round-trip fares we found: $918 (multiple carriers) from New York City; $1,221 (American) from Chicago; $1,303 (American) from Atlanta; $1,215 (multiple carriers) from Los Angeles; $1,299 (Northwest) from Seattle.
Getting to London: We'd recommend making the hour-and-a-half flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle to London Luton on a low-cost carrier such as EasyJet. We found a one-way rate of $27 (21 euros). Alternatively, you could opt for the Chunnel, a high-speed Eurostar train crossing under the English Channel in two hours and 40 minutes. It departs from London's Waterloo Station and arrives in Paris's Gare du Nord, both centrally located. We found a one-way ticket for $192 (£149).
Getting to Edinburgh: It's an hour-and-a-half flight from London Gatwick on EasyJet starting at $30 (£16). Alternatively, hop on the National Rail for a four-hour journey from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverly, both downtown stations. Rates start at $24 (£12.50).
Getting back to Paris: Edinburgh to Paris is not as common a route and isn't serviced by EasyJet or RyanAir. We did find a one-way flight on British Airways for $229 (£125), including taxes and fees.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Hôtel du Champ de Mars: Expect a quaint, vaguely 1970s vibe and midsize rooms at this underpriced charmer in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. The hotel is around the corner from rue Cler, a colorful, bustling street crammed with little shops-a plus in a district with a less-than-vibrant street life. Doubles from $100 (79 euros). 7 rue du Champ de Mars, 01/45-51-52-30, hotel-du-champ-de-mars.com
Hôtel Étoile Péreire: Discreetly swank, and a 15-minute stroll from the Arc de Triomphe. All 26 rooms are individually decorated to evoke a certain design era (art deco, Rm. 409) or place (India, Rm. 306). Quiet is assured: Rooms with upholstered walls open to an airy courtyard, with the exception of Rm. 101, which is soundproof but doesn't open to the outdoors. Doubles from $151 (119 euros). 146 boulevard Péreire, 01/42-67-60-00, etoilepereire.com
Vancouver Studios: The large but simple rooms are self-contained apartments, with full kitchens and antique-style decor, but the real draw is the secluded, leafy garden out back--a fountain-filled oasis away from the bustle of the streets nearby. Friendly staff, doubles from $170 (£90). 30 Prince's Sq., 20/7243-1270, vancouverstudios.co.uk
The Jenkins Hotel: Comfy, traditional B&B in a Georgian town house with a low-key, friendly vibe; large, if overly floral bedrooms; and an affable owner who'll happily help with tips on London. Doubles from $160 (£85). 45 Cartwright Gardens, 20/7387-2067, jenkinshotel.demon.co.uk
Ibis Edinburgh Centre: Near the luminous Tron Church, the Ibis brags bright, well-kept rooms with satellite TV, and the upper floors have heart-swelling views over the rooftops. Doubles from $94 (£60). 6 Hunter Sq., 131/240-7000, ibishotel.com
The Steading, Roslin: A red-stone converted farmhouse nearby Rosslyn Chapel with spacious, pastel-colored bedrooms on the ground floor. Doubles from $125 (£70), includes a hearty Scottish breakfast. Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9PU, 131/440-1608, roslin.org.uk/start.htm