Visiting Paris, France

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The wife found the Paris museum pass was available at FNAC without a markup. 32 Euros for two days, many museums covered.

 

That Capelle thing was too jammed up with lines to do, but we did see a variety of spots today. Pompidou was nice (but a godawful looking mess of a building on the outside). And the Louvre was much better at this time of year compared to around new years (total mob scene).

 

We had hoped to do the catacombs, but we read it would be scary for the little ones. Stacks of skulls and bones are creepy for me, much less a couple of tots...

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Monmarte. Good for a beer. Some bar there called O'Sullivans owned by some Kiwi chap I believe. Can get away with anything in there!

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Anyone going to Paris between now and 24 May, don't miss the Turner et ses peintres exhibition at the Grand Palais.

 

I saw it on opening day and had to queue for tickets since I'd found out about the exhibition only the night before. You can buy tickets in advance from any FNAC store as well as online (see above link).

 

The following excerpt is from the description of Turner and the masters at Tate Britain, where the exhibition was first shown:

 

 

This unforgettable show places beautiful masterpieces by Canaletto, Rubens, Rembrandt and Titian next to some of JMW Turner's most dramatic paintings. It shines light on a lesser-known side of the British Romantic painter: his obsession to prove he was just as good, if not better, than the old masters who he so admired. (...)

 

Many works are reunited here for the first time in hundreds of years and others have never been seen together before in this light. Come along and decide [] for yourselves which battles Turner wins, and which he loses.

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Oh, merci beaucoup, Monsieur. (Anyone have a fluttering-eyelashes emoticon to lend me?) :D

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Please spend a weekend with me in "La Ville-Lumière"...???

 

Wait, I am happily married...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXpOyZbVN6U

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I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this yet, but if you pre-purchase your ticket or museum pass to the Louvre, you get to got in through the side door off of Rivoli and avoid the big line at the pyramid. They run you through the security check and then you just stroll right into the underground lobby. As for finding good beer, there is a little place on Rue Des Ecoles just east of Rue Monge called the Biere Academy. It is the typical "every beer known to mankind " dive bar and was kind of the official headquarters for the Irish fans during the '07 Rugby World Cup, so that should tell you something. I would recommend the Hotel Quartier Latin which is right next door if they have some deals. I stayed there in '07 and it was very nice. If they aren't making deals, one of hte other hotels in the area should be. The neighborhood is great and it has easy Metro access. it also won't bankrupt you like staying on the other side of the river can.

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Co-incidence or synchronicity?

 

On Friday I booked a long weekend in Paris for next month and now this thread suddenly re-appears.

 

I haven't got enough time to see everything I want to anyway so even more suggestions of things I MUST see is going to drive me nuts :)

 

Anyone been on the Thalys train and got any suggestions/tips for the trip?

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I love the Thalys. I used to take it every week a couple years ago (lived in the Netherlands during the week and Paris on the weekends). Hopefully you have a first class ticket. They serve a decent meal and free beer! Enjoy since the beer in Paris is ridiculously expensive. I paid 9 euros for a pint a couple weeks ago.

 

If you want to go to a great Vietnamese restaurant in the Chinatown section of Paris (the 13th) try Le Bambou, 70 rue Baudricourt, 75013 Paris, France. Tel: 01 45 70 91 75 .It's a no frills kind of place, but the food is excellent, and an absolute bargain.

 

A great French bistro is Au Pere Louis 38 rue Monsieur le Prince, 75006. Again, not very expensive, but a very charming wine bar/ bistro where the locals go.

 

Chez Janou in the Marais http://www.chezjanou.com/ is one of my all time favorites. We used to go there every couple of weeks. Get there early or make a reservation. It's always booked out.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

Hello everyone, if one has ONLY two and a half days in Paris, what would you like to recommend there? Which itinerary should I follow to see most of the tour attractions efficiently? A tour route by metro train would be much appreciated. Many thanks. :rolleyes:

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

Hello everyone, if one has ONLY two and a half days in Paris, what would you like to recommend there? Which itinerary should I follow to see most of the tour attractions efficiently? A tour route by metro train would be much appreciated. Many thanks.

 

Have a look at Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Paris#See

 

Just a small tip: if you want to see a panorama of Paris, don't go to the Eiffel Tower. There are better options:

1. Tour Montparnasse, the only skyscraper in the city centre, located just near Montparnasse railway station. The cost is about 10 euros. There is no wall or other security shit, just a small fence, so you can make good pictures from there.

2. Sacré Coeur church is located on the hill. A lot of people go there to see the sunset. The only free option to see Paris from the above.

3. Grand Arc de la Defense. It is not in the city centre, but in the business district of Defense (the last station of the first metro line). I haven't climbed it, but I think you can see Arc de Trioumph from there and the river. Cost is also around 10 euros.

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echoing what tor said really ..forget the louvre unless you have a huge yearning to see the mona lisa ( I should mention you actually cant see it all that well its in a big box with perspex and you have to que...but instead go to one of my favorite places on the planet the musee d'orsee its beautiful god dammit even the cafe at the top is bloody beautiful ( wonderful stained glass window ) if your into churches the sacre cour is stunning.

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DON'T have a beer on the Champs Élysées, whatever you do! 12 Euros for half a litre. You gotta by joking! As opposed to 4,50 for a Belgian beer in a small pub in the Latin Quarter. And I second Montmartre and the area around, even Pigalle (where the Moulin Rouge is).

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Wow, two and a half days. Well, I'll tell you the things my husband and I really enjoy seeing every time we go back -- I lived there four years, but the past two times (2009 and this month) we were only there for a weekend. If you have a specific desire to see something - give me a historic time period or cultural stuff you like to do - I can be more precise since I know the city well. Here's our top things list and how to get between some of them, all in one day... it's actually some of what we did Sunday a few weeks ago! I do hope you like lots of urban walking.

 

During the day

 

1. Begin from any of the sites within short walking distance of Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries (where the Louvre and l'Orangerie are located) or Musee d'Orsay (other side of the bank). Best metro stops are probably Concorde/Metro Line 1 (yellow) or Rue de Rivoli for Louvre/Tuileries or Musee d'Orsay has its own stops.

 

2. After you're done with one of the above places (concorde for Tuileries/Louvre or Musee d'Orsay), walk across the oldest bridge, Pont Neuf and visit Ile de la Cité. Here you can see Notre Dame and Ste Chapelle, FYI they are $$$$ to get into, and IMO not worth the high price tag unless you're really into old churches. Also, make your choices ahead of time of what you must see and get there early to avoid long lines. Otherwise you'll waste time.

 

3. Walk across Pont Neuf south towards St Michel (the St. Suplice-St Michel area on a map), which is a lovely if a bit touristy - it's got Les Deux Magots, the infamous Sartre-de Beauvoir spot. If you keep walking south, you'll eventually get to Montparnasse without buying an additional metro ticket. Lots of windy streets but fun little shops and cafes along the way.

 

I recommend the creperie street near the metro stop Edgar Quinet, which is actually a stone's throw from Montparnasse. My favorite creperie is Creperie Josselin, although it seems a bit touristy now... but it's cheaper than a full sit-down dinner, about 25 euros for two people to eat a galette (salty crepe Breton style) and a half liter of hard cider. There are like 20 creperies on that street, so maybe go elsewhere if that one's too crowded, etc. If you want a full sit-down meal at lunch or dinner, that St Suplice area I mentioned above is AMAZING.

 

During the evening, our two favorite activities:

 

1. The Tour Eiffel, and I know other people said to skip it, but you just can't! With that said, I've been about a dozen times in my life and I now only go after dark (at least dusk). The city is lit up beautifully. And yes, I personally think that if it's the only thing you drop a lot of money on (ha, who am I kidding! it's Paris) you should make Eiffel that thing. I believe it's open until 11pm or so.

 

2. Take the subway to the metro stop line 1 or 6 called Étoile/Arc de Triomphe and see the Arc de Triomphe at night, lit up. Then turn around and walk down the Champs Elysees. Most of the shops and cafes are open late, and they even have less expensive options these days (e.g. chain stores and restaurants) than when I lived there many years ago. If you walk the whole stretch you'll end up again near a Line 1 stop, I think George V or Clemenceau? but if you don't mind walking another 1KM (or less) you end up at the Place de la Concorde, lit up beautifully at night. From there you can walk along the banks of the river or head back to the hotel. Everything is amazingly lit up in that area, you won't be disappointed. Cross the bridge and stop in the middle to see the views!

 

On your other day, or if you still have time on the first day, I'd visit Montmarte. GO DURING THE DAY. Touristy, but worth the hike for the view alone... plus lots of good artists (even among the flocks of tourists). Place is super sketchy at night and always full of pickpockets. Back when I didn't care about that stuff, at age 22, I went clubbing next to the Moulin Rouge. Luckily I went with two male friends who ended up acting as my bodyguards... Anyways, I would not go back again. During the day someone tried to pickpocket my husband in broad daylight; fortunately he's not a moron and didn't have his wallet or anything in his pants pocket.

 

Also, for another view of the city as someone mentioned and some shopping in Paris, La Défense is the place to go. It's the arch that is in line wit the Arc de Triomphe.

 

Buying metro tickets:

A single ticket is 1,70 for one way, with turnstiles, good for 60-90 minutes I think. Choose the 10 carnet option instead, it's 10 tickets for 12,70, a much better deal and will probably last one person two days. (A one day ticket is otherwise over 11 euros.)

 

Eating:

The best places to eat in Paris for breakfast and lunch are, by far, either boulangerie/patisserie places (best pastries in the world) and/or chain places that do good deals like sandwich/salad + drink + dessert for a set price of 7-9 euros. These chains are: La Brioche Dorée (best deal for the price), Paul (best pastries), and Pomme de Pain (reasonable but quality not as good). Remember that in Paris you pay more to sit down (en salle) versus takeout (à emporter). If you have good weather, do à emporter and check out whatever awesome park or river bank is in the area, there will be benches. Sit-down is expensive and meals are 2-3 hours, but food is good if you know places. Areas I would recommend for full sit-down dinner: St Suplice side streets (not main square!!!), Place Dauphine, Montparnasse (creperies, also La Coupoule is a pretty awesome experience). There's also a restaurant from Chez Paul that I remember liking... but that was a decade ago. I have no idea if it's good anymore. Google is your best friend... :)

 

EDIT: to include info/opinion on the Louvre - this museum must must must be taken in bite-sized pieces. The first time you go, just select a wing you'd like to see and see that. Don't bother with the others. My recommendation is the Egyptian art (new Islamic section sounds amazing too!) rather than the paintings, especially if you plan to go to Musée d'Orsay. At the very least go walk around the outside and check out the IM Pei pyramids.

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Last time we had a day to visit...

 

From the station Champs de Mars-Tour Eiffel. You can pass by the Eiffel Tower, walk by the Seine. You will see many other things such as the Quai d'Orsay, the Musée d'Orsay and the Assemblée nationale. At rue de la Cité, cross the bridge to see Notre-Dame-de-Paris, and cross the next bridge to get on the other side of the Seine. At your right is the Hôtel de ville. If you go on your left, you'll end up at the Louvres. You can cross the Jardin des Tuileries and you will arrive at the Champs-Élysées. At the end of it, you'll find the Arc de Triomphe.

 

From the Arc de Triomphe, we walked to the Esplanade du Trocadéro. It was late in the evening and it was the perfect spot to watch the Eiffel Tower.

 

When I came back last year, I had half a day. I spent it in Montmartre.

 

EDIT: while I was writing this, the message above was posted. Much more info in there :P

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Well I'm all set. Plane ticket bought and hotel reservation booked. One week in Paris from December 23rd to the 28th. This is the first time I'm spending Xmas in Paris. If there are any TTers over there at the same time, it might be fun to hook up. I'll be the one smoking a cigar at the Café George V on Avenue Champs Elysées (if it's not too cold). ;)

 

Joyeux Noël!

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So it was too cold and windy yesterday to be sitting outside the Café George V, but I crossed over the Champs Elysées and sat in the warm front seating area of the Napoleone Bistrot. Magnifique! :)

 

We'll always have Paris. It's one of my favorite cities and I'm thinking of settling here.

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I would try to see the top story of Notre Dame Cathedral. The wood framing remains, after six hundred years, and it's referred to as The Forest. I've forgotten how many trees were used, but it was a massive number.

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