Planning a trip to Paris. HELP

Two Peas is Closing
Click here to visit our final product sale. Click here to visit our FAQ page regarding the closing of Two Peas.

Posted 1/4/2013 by She-La in NSBR Board
 

She-La
PeaNut

PeaNut 982
July 1999
Posts: 72
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/4/2013 2:25:45 PM
My husband and I are planning a trip early summer for our 25th anniversary. I don't even where to start. The Internet is so confusing. Any suggestions or places not to miss would be appreciated.


SheShe

SockMonkey
LibrariaNerd

PeaNut 56,220
November 2002
Posts: 29,828
Layouts: 184
Loc: Illinois

Posted: 1/4/2013 2:30:45 PM
I'm actually going for the second time in June!

Trip Advisor was invaluable when I planned my first trip there with my mom. Be sure to really read the reviews and look at the user photos.

What are you interested in doing?

There's so much --- That's why I'm going back!

She-La
PeaNut

PeaNut 982
July 1999
Posts: 72
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/4/2013 2:37:15 PM
Sightseeing, good restaurants that aren't ridicously expensive, visiting some of the surrounding towns.

Do you know of some restaurants that have an Eiffel Tower view at night?


SheShe

SockMonkey
LibrariaNerd

PeaNut 56,220
November 2002
Posts: 29,828
Layouts: 184
Loc: Illinois

Posted: 1/4/2013 2:40:54 PM
I really recommend buying the Rick Steves Paris book (or checking it out from the library) if you haven't yet. That's a GREAT resource, too.

There are SO many sights to see: Notre Dame, the Louvre, Monmartre (just walk the streets), the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysees...

h&hmommy
PeaAddict

PeaNut 337,614
September 2007
Posts: 1,634
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/4/2013 2:42:24 PM
6 New York has a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower. I suggest letting the chef pick your courses (he takes your order) and sit back enjoy! We got tickets to go up in the Eiffel Tower afterwards. It was a perfect night!

pennyring
Thrift Ninja

PeaNut 226,011
October 2005
Posts: 23,312
Layouts: 40
Loc: Rite Aid

Posted: 1/4/2013 2:47:22 PM
Yes, get to Trip Advisor.

Now that that's out of the way: Get yourself to a real life bookstore and buy a book on Paris. Then READ it. Make notes of things that are NOT TO MISS for YOU. Your list will be different from mine.

You'll want to figure out what you want to see, what your budget is, then determine which arrondissement you'll stay in. You can base it on budget, location, or neighborhood vibe. Whatever you're into.

Plan to take the Metro (subway) everywhere. It's inexpensive and reliable. You can take the train out to Versailles if you choose to go. You can also take the train to Disneyland Paris.

You probably don't want a rental car.

Check out all the museums (if that's your thing) and decide which ones you want to visit. I could literally spend two weeks doing nothing but museums, so I always have to pair it down to the ones I want to see the most.

My not to miss list:
* Eiffel Tower
* Arc de Triomphe (climb to the top)
* Champs Elysees (get a Royale with Cheese at the McDonald's here)
* Notre Dame (climb to the top)
* The Louvre
* Sainte-Chapelle
* Disneyland Paris (we're big Disney fans)

A lot of people LOOOOOVE Versailles. It's not my thing. DH and I both disliked it and just wanted to get back to Paris the whole time we were there. Most people seem to love it though.

* Eat lunch or dinner in a drug store. I recommend Publicis on the Champs Elysees.
* Don't miss the local yogurt, cheese and bread. YUM!

I'm sure I'll think of more...

But seriously. You need to get a book and just read it, so you know the possibilities.







SockMonkey
LibrariaNerd

PeaNut 56,220
November 2002
Posts: 29,828
Layouts: 184
Loc: Illinois

Posted: 1/4/2013 2:52:03 PM
Oooh, I would totally skip Disneyland AND McDonald's (ew!) and definitely do Versailles. The gardens are unbelievably beautiful.

Eat a croque monsieur (grilled ham and cheese) from a little cafe instead of a Royale with Cheese (unless you're a huge Pulp Fiction fan and you just want to say it out loud).




pennyring
Thrift Ninja

PeaNut 226,011
October 2005
Posts: 23,312
Layouts: 40
Loc: Rite Aid

Posted: 1/4/2013 2:59:14 PM
I agree on the Croque Monsieur! And I am a huge Pulp Fiction fan which is why we HAD to go!

Ooh, be sure you get a Nutella Crepe from a street vendor! There's a guy on the North side of Notre Dame who makes an amazing Nutella Crepe!




SockMonkey
LibrariaNerd

PeaNut 56,220
November 2002
Posts: 29,828
Layouts: 184
Loc: Illinois

Posted: 1/4/2013 3:02:24 PM
Mmmm...crepes. The little hotel we stayed in is run by a family and our last morning the woman made us crepes with Nutella for breakfast as a special treat. I almost cried. So good.


nual_scrappeuse
BucketHead

PeaNut 460,616
March 2010
Posts: 575
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/4/2013 3:07:18 PM
I found the Rick Steves book and dvd on Paris to be incredibly helpful. Check with your local library to see if they have those. There is also a Rick Steves forum.

Some of my favorite things to do were of course visiting the Eiffel Tower, but also having lunch in one of the many parks, and visiting the garden portion of the Rodin museum. The grocery stores there have great things to grab and go for lunches and is an easy way to save money. Also make sure to eat plenty of crepes! Make sure to go to one that is making them fresh in front of you. If you can't see it, they are probably microwaving it Also I did the tour bus that goes around the city for a day. Yeah, it made me look like a tourist, but it really helped me get the lay of the land.

h&hmommy
PeaAddict

PeaNut 337,614
September 2007
Posts: 1,634
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/4/2013 3:15:45 PM
We LOVED our walking tours of the city.

We also took the train out to Giverny (Vernon train station) to see Monet's Gardens. One of the most beautiful places on earth. The gardens were in full bloom in May. We rented bikes at the train station and rode them out to Monet's house. We felt so Parisian! Fat Tire Tours does the same thing but they were all booked up when we were there.

SMG in AZ
Je suis desole

PeaNut 38,879
May 2002
Posts: 6,070
Layouts: 36
Loc: Phoenix area

Posted: 1/4/2013 3:17:39 PM
Learn some very basic French phrases if you don't speak French. You can get by with please, thank you, excuse me, and I'm sorry. Just those 4 in lather, rinse, repeat will get you a long way.

As pennyring says, read up on local customs and culture, and you will be treated better. For example, don't walk into a boutique and start asking questions about price. Greet the proprietor, make small talk if you can, and realize that every experience starts with a social relationship.

Don't drive in Paris. Just don't. Walk and use the Metro. Bring good walking shoes and an extra pair of good walking shoes so you can trade them out every other day.

If you go to Versailles, take the Fat Tire bike tour. You will start by biking through Paris to the train station, then you will load your bikes onto the train. When you get to Versailles, you will shop at the markets for lunch supplies, then you will bike to Versailles and eat on the palace grounds. On a bike, you can see so much more of the grounds, which to me was far more wonderful than the palace itself. You will also have tickets and a couple of hours inside the palace. You do not have to be a cyclist to do the bike tour. It is very recreational biking and not terribly exerting. Hands down, one of the best days we spent.

Research so you can purchase advance tickets for things like the Eiffel tower. We skipped by the longest lines of people waiting to go up because we had reservations. We went up about 7:30pm so we could go up in the daylight and be up when the lights went on. So our pictures are daytime and nighttime. Although pay attention to sunset times so you time it correctly, and remember it gets chilly up there. You will disembark at the 2nd level and take a 2nd elevator to the very top, although you do have to wait in line for that one.

Research is the key, and you do want to get a good guide book. I wanted a couple of things planned out and a lot of time to just walk, look, and experience. Plus I NEEDED to go to the Paris flea markets so I had researched those as well.




Suzy

SockMonkey
LibrariaNerd

PeaNut 56,220
November 2002
Posts: 29,828
Layouts: 184
Loc: Illinois

Posted: 1/4/2013 3:21:22 PM
Yeah, if you plan to do any kind of museums, I'd get the museum pass. The lines can be ridiculous, especially in summer. We bypassed a lot of lines that way. Same goes for Eiffel Tower tickets; get them in advance if you can (or be prepared to wait for a long time in a not-so-great line).

We were sure to always say "bonjour" when entering a store, restaurant, etc. & "merci." It is rude to walk in and not greet someone. They're going to know you don't speak French. It doesn't matter. It's about making the effort.

I found the people of Paris to be incredibly helpful and polite. The rudest person we encountered on our trip was another American (and I wanted to revoke his citizenship for being such a tool).


baslp
PeaAddict

PeaNut 256,023
April 2006
Posts: 1,134
Layouts: 0
Loc: Philadelphia

Posted: 1/4/2013 3:36:29 PM
We went to Paris 3 yrs ago. THere was a thread on what to do in Paris at that time. I printed it out and used it to help plan where we went and what restaurants to try. I will try to find the post.

**Bran**
AncestralPea

PeaNut 257,257
April 2006
Posts: 4,319
Layouts: 24

Posted: 1/4/2013 3:56:24 PM
1. No car, just Metro. It is super easy to navigate and runs regularly to wherever you want to go.

2. Bookstore - if you live in WA there is a wonderful store that has an amazing staff, it is a Rick Steves store. They have books on every city you could possibly want to visit and you can sit in front of the fireplace for hours, buy your favorite books or just make copies of pages. You can also speak with their guides and they help you plan your trip based on your personal preferences for your trip. The Rick Steves guidebooks are a fabulous resource even if you don't live near the store. I personally find, knowing the history of what we are seeing makes it much more interesting than just going cold to a tourist attraction.

3. Every single person's list is different. I love Musee Rodin and I love Versaille. First thing we do is go to Eiffel Tower our first night and get waffles with Nutella from the overpriced vendor at the carousel near the base of the tower. It's like our tradition. I love visiting the Louvre just because of what it is but it is not my favorite place. Same with the Orsay. Visiting the Catacombs was very interesting and we would really like to take our kids to that when they are a bit older. Climbing Notre Dame, Mass at Notre Dame, climbing Arc de Triomphe. Just shopping in Paris is a different experience. Montmartre - lunch on the hill , St. Chapelle - the history of St Chappele v. the history of Notre Dame. We love the little underground areas - 'under' Notre Dame, 'under' the Louvre, Place Napoleon. SO much to see and do and very much dictated but what you and your husband enjoy.

4. We try to stay in local hotels rather than chain establishments. The rooms are usually tinier and not as modern but I love the experience. Last time we rented an apartment from VRBO and it was amazing! We were right in a neighborhood and they had the local market on Wednesdays and Sundays, plus all the local shops in the neighborhood.

5. Be polite and respectful of different cultures - if you address people in your French they will reply to you in pretty good English if you are in the city. Don't ever assume that they don't understand what you are saying.


Brandi

mamastew
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 190,156
February 2005
Posts: 2,432
Layouts: 14
Loc: DFW, Texas

Posted: 1/4/2013 4:22:31 PM
Penny's list is a good one. I would skip Disney. We did do McDonald's just to say we did.

We stayed at the Westin right across the street from the Tuileries Gardens. We went to the park at night (it is safe and there is an outdoor cafe and lots of people strolling) to watch the Eiffel Tower light show. It does the show for five minutes on the hour every hour after sunset.


matleavepea
PeaFixture

PeaNut 382,038
July 2008
Posts: 3,127
Layouts: 1
Loc: hogtown

Posted: 1/4/2013 4:27:18 PM
i stayed in the marais, a central area and very beautiful with narrow streets, balconies and views of tiled roofs!! better luck with more "european" feel if you stay away from holiday inn and ramada chain style hotels.

loved walking around in the cemeteries - sounds macabre but i found them just as fascinating as the museums. fave museum was musee d'orsay, in a huge old train station. would love to explore the catacombs but could see that might not be for everyone.

you will have a wonderful time, whatever you end up doing. it's so beautiful and it's everywhere. you can't go wrong. enjoy!!


Legacy Girl
PeaFixture

PeaNut 299,733
February 2007
Posts: 3,761
Layouts: 5

Posted: 1/4/2013 4:33:45 PM
Obviously, Le Tour Eiffel and L'Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame.

Absolutely Versailles. LOVE it!

A Seine cruise on a Bateau Mouche is a must-do.

One of my other favorites that's not so high-profile is the Picasso Museum. It's closed for renovation until summer, but if it reopens in time, I'd say it's definitely worth a trip. While I'm not a big Picasso fan, I absolutely loved the way that the museum detailed the man behind the art. It's a fascinating story.

Enjoy every minute of the planning and the trip. Paris will capture your heart! <3




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I-95
It's all just nonsense anyway!

PeaNut 97,456
July 2003
Posts: 20,385
Layouts: 0
Loc: California, NY & Orlando

Posted: 1/4/2013 4:38:53 PM
Apart from all the usual stuff, Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur etc...if you want to spend a really interesting day somewhere, go to Père Lachaise Cemetery...Jim Morrison from the Doors is buried there, along with other historical notables. It's incredibly fascinating, and beautifully laid out close by, and a great place to take photographs. There's a metro station very close by.

Also the Paris flea market is worth a visit. It's not nearly as inexpensive as it used to be, but it's still a great place to shop.

BUT...go buy a decent guide book and read it...in fact, take it with for maps and references.

She-La
PeaNut

PeaNut 982
July 1999
Posts: 72
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/4/2013 5:30:56 PM
Thanks so much for all the wonderful ideas and suggestions. I really appreciate everyone taking the time to respond.


SheShe

EmilyDionne
PeaAddict

PeaNut 215,734
July 2005
Posts: 1,368
Layouts: 65
Loc: Okanagan, BC Canada

Posted: 1/4/2013 5:39:38 PM
Make sure you stay somewhere with easy access to a metro line. Do not rent a car in Paris. Buy the passes for multiple days for the metro. Focus on what you find is interesting. Wear very good walking shoes. Do the boat tour on the Seine. Don't do the Eiffel tower on a cloudy day and make sure if it's too busy to come back some other time. Research and plan and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!


Greetlings,
Petra

TheBiscuitScraps
Bubbie is my most prized title.

PeaNut 99,833
August 2003
Posts: 5,226
Layouts: 2
Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina

Posted: 1/4/2013 5:43:25 PM
On first trips to any large city, I buy 3 guide books, and one is always a DK book, for the pictures and descriptions alone.

DK Paris

We are leaving now for dinner....more later.


Carol
My favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations.
Visit me on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ccsalter/


PghScrapper
Waiting for Godot

PeaNut 210,270
June 2005
Posts: 11,049
Layouts: 47
Loc: Back in the 'Burgh

Posted: 1/4/2013 5:43:50 PM
All excellent suggestions above. I prefer the DK/Eyewitness books over Rick Steves. The DK books have some wonderful themed walking tours in the back - we've followed them in several European cities and have never been disappointed by what we've seen - both the famous and the obscure.

Go out to Pere Lachaise cemetery. Fascinating place with a laundry list of the famous, and infamous, interred there, including Jim Morrison of The Doors fame.

I also like the Musée de l'Orangerie in the Jardin Tuileries. Monet created a whole series of waterlily paintings expressly for display in the rotundas of the museum and they are simply breathtaking.

Splurge (and I do mean splurge - will probably cost you 50 Euro for 2 people) on breakfast at la Maison Angelina on the Rue Rivoli (not far from the Louvre). Do NOT order coffee - order the best hot chocolate you will ever taste in your life. It's been four years since I was there and I can still vividly remember the smell, texture and taste like it was yesterday. to.die.for.

I also loved the Left Bank and Latin Quarter - just walking around and taking in the sights and sounds of the area. Stop by Shakespeare and Company - an English language bookstore across from Notre Dame. Eclectic and quirky are the best words to describe it!


-----------------------------------------
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. -Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuva42
PeaFixture

PeaNut 41,763
July 2002
Posts: 3,746
Layouts: 17
Loc: Somewhere in the middle...

Posted: 1/4/2013 6:31:12 PM
We went this past summer. One thing we enjoyed was buying passes one day for the Batobus. Its a hop-on, hop-off boat that runs up and down the Seine and drops you off right in front of all the big tourist attractions, like the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, etc. Saved a lot of walking and it was fun.

Watch out for the gypsy girls. They will come pushing up to you asking you to sign a petition and pretending to be deaf, while their friend will dip her hand into your purse. We were mobbed by these girls three times in a three day stay. We learned to grip our purses tightly and yell "NO" at them.

Be prepared to pay to pee. Everywhere. Nobody lets you pee for free!

When you leave get to the airport at least an hour earlier than the airline recommends. NOTHING is labelled in the airport, you have to ask (though there are loads of helpful people to answer your questions) which gate you need to be at, which desk you need to go to to check in, check baggage, etc.

Have a fabulous time!




Laurie

SockMonkey
LibrariaNerd

PeaNut 56,220
November 2002
Posts: 29,828
Layouts: 184
Loc: Illinois

Posted: 1/4/2013 6:42:27 PM

Watch out for the gypsy girls. They will come pushing up to you asking you to sign a petition and pretending to be deaf, while their friend will dip her hand into your purse. We were mobbed by these girls three times in a three day stay. We learned to grip our purses tightly and yell "NO" at them.


Yeah, they were the worst near the Eiffel Tower. We also had a guy try the gold ring scam on my mom. I just laughed at him and said, "Really?" and we walked away.

Careful of pickpockets and gypsies; we saw more in Paris than in Rome. They will even make big announcements at places like Versailles about them. Any of the tourist sites, you'll need to make sure you keep your belongings close.

bgpa
PeaAddict

PeaNut 53,649
October 2002
Posts: 1,188
Layouts: 40
Loc: NorthCentral PA

Posted: 1/4/2013 6:43:48 PM
Another vote for Rick Steves. Buy a copy and take it with you. Also, instead of the Museum Pass, get the Paris Pass. It covers your Metro pass, museums and attractions and the boat ride. Be sure to get a cheese platter while you are there.

Do some research on how to behave when you are there. If you stand out as the typical American tourist, you will be treated like one. If you blend in, you will be treated MUCH better.


Barb

"Be the change that you want to see in the world"
-Mahatma Gandhi

Meet Annie: Annie the Deaf Aussie

One Million Moms 4 Gun Control

**GypsyGirl**
Well, Bless Her Heart.......

PeaNut 142,890
April 2004
Posts: 16,073
Layouts: 1
Loc: Be a Flamingo in a flock of pigeons!

Posted: 1/4/2013 7:35:16 PM
I had the opportunity to live in Paris recently. If you will search my past posts, you will find several detailed postings on suggestions of ideas for travel to Paris.

As for tour guides, we found the DK travel guides to be the best once on the ground. There is one for Paris, one for France and another of the top 10 things in Paris. For advance planning, the Rick Steves guides are very good.


Toni
Professional Expat Wife, Hell Holes are my Specialty!


Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Lao Tzu (604 BC - 531 BC)



KateMarie
I'd rather be in Disney World!

PeaNut 165,323
August 2004
Posts: 5,414
Layouts: 0
Loc: Just outside of Boston, Ma.

Posted: 1/4/2013 7:47:10 PM
Pick up the large trunk that will be waiting at the airport..with me in it!

I promise I won't bother you and DH!


~Kate~








Nantini
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 274,935
August 2006
Posts: 5,850
Layouts: 8

Posted: 1/4/2013 8:06:13 PM
My list of must sees will be different, but I've been there so many times I've lost count.

For some odd things to do... There's the Dead folks.
Or the other Dead people
Then there's Sewer tour

The later is really more interesting as it shows where the French underground was.

phdscrap
PeaAddict

PeaNut 406,102
January 2009
Posts: 1,356
Layouts: 1
Loc: Texas

Posted: 1/4/2013 8:07:55 PM
My favorite is the Rodin. If you are on a budget you can do just the gardens (which has the thinker and the gates of hell) for just a euro or two. The gardens are the best part, though you will miss the kiss, which is inside the actual museum.

You can train to Versailles for the day from Paris.

The Sacre Coeur and the area around it are pretty cool.

The Jewish quarter is pretty fabulous.

Last time I was there I took a bicycle tour that started at the Eiffel tower. It was a nice easy ride and it was really fun. The company is called Fat Tire. I would also second the Rick Steves books.

Have fun!


Jules

always dieting
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 230,159
November 2005
Posts: 2,400
Layouts: 10
Loc: Indiana

Posted: 1/4/2013 8:15:44 PM
marking my spot for future reference. Love all this great advice.

Jill-of-all-Crafts
PeaNut

PeaNut 388,120
August 2008
Posts: 491
Layouts: 0
Loc: Rockin in the UK

Posted: 1/4/2013 8:35:57 PM
Another one for the Rick Steve's Paris book!! Its literally a day by day, step by step tour guide. We spent 3 days in Paris and followed the book to a T. Can't wait to go back!!
Uploaded with iPhone client

pennyring
Thrift Ninja

PeaNut 226,011
October 2005
Posts: 23,312
Layouts: 40
Loc: Rite Aid

Posted: 1/4/2013 8:36:12 PM
I thought of something else you need to do!

Take a Seine river tour. We used Bateaux Parisiens and they were great. You buy your ticket and get on the boat near the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame.

It's a unique view of the city from down below with a narrative in English on a little headset thingy, so you can learn/understand about everything you're passing on the shore.


Watch out for the gypsy girls. They will come pushing up to you asking you to sign a petition and pretending to be deaf, while their friend will dip her hand into your purse. We were mobbed by these girls three times in a three day stay. We learned to grip our purses tightly and yell "NO" at them.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yeah, they were the worst near the Eiffel Tower. We also had a guy try the gold ring scam on my mom. I just laughed at him and said, "Really?" and we walked away.

Careful of pickpockets and gypsies; we saw more in Paris than in Rome. They will even make big announcements at places like Versailles about them. Any of the tourist sites, you'll need to make sure you keep your belongings close.



Yep, beware of the Gypsies and gold ring people. There's a third scam we experienced at the Eiffel Tower. There are these African guys. They want to "sell" you a bracelet.

Typically, they will try to just put it on your wrist and then demand payment. If you see them coming at you, stuff your hands in your pockets and give them a strong, loud, "NO!" if they come near you.



SockMonkey
LibrariaNerd

PeaNut 56,220
November 2002
Posts: 29,828
Layouts: 184
Loc: Illinois

Posted: 1/4/2013 8:37:48 PM

Typically, they will try to just put it on your wrist and then demand payment. If you see them coming at you, stuff your hands in your pockets and give them a strong, loud, "NO!" if they come near you.


They hang near the funicular at Sacre Coeur, too. ANNOYING.


phdscrap
PeaAddict

PeaNut 406,102
January 2009
Posts: 1,356
Layouts: 1
Loc: Texas

Posted: 1/4/2013 8:44:44 PM

We also took the train out to Giverny (Vernon train station) to see Monet's Gardens. One of the most beautiful places on earth. The gardens were in full bloom in May.



Giverny is beautiful, but it REALLY depends on when you go. I went once in early May and a loqt of the gardens were blooming. However, a little later in the summer and very little is blooming.


Jules

Shih Tzu Mommy
Million dollar camera, 10 dollar lock!

PeaNut 224,352
September 2005
Posts: 24,004
Layouts: 0
Loc: Right here

Posted: 1/4/2013 8:57:57 PM


Any suggestions or places not to miss would be appreciated.






Why are you going to Paris? That should be your 'places not to miss' list. The things I do, places I go, wonderful experiences I have are not necessarily going to be of value or importance to you. Do you want to hike up to Montmartre and enjoy Basilica? Do you want to be down in the raunchy Pigalle to see the touristy side of things? Are you wanting to walk through the Louvre and find a bench and sit and stare at amazing art until you cannot even recall what the outside world looks like any longer?

So tell us what you want to do and we can help you more effectively.



Dog people are a special breed!

She-La
PeaNut

PeaNut 982
July 1999
Posts: 72
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/7/2013 1:48:18 PM
BTT


SheShe

Dee R.
BucketHead

PeaNut 14,649
April 2001
Posts: 871
Layouts: 87
Loc: Germany

Posted: 1/8/2013 9:42:18 AM
When we were there over Thanksgiving we went to go see the Catacombs and were disappointed to find them closed and there wasnt a definate date for when they will be open again. Just a FYI.

Have a WONDERFUL trip!




Anna in TX
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 23,002
October 2001
Posts: 2,336
Layouts: 11
Loc: TX

Posted: 1/27/2013 6:24:05 PM
Awesome advice, thank you! We are planning a trip for 3 couples (me, DH, my 2 college roommates and their DH's) and appreciate all the advice.




Chendra
PeaAddict

PeaNut 179,013
November 2004
Posts: 1,546
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/28/2013 12:13:01 AM
I loved this store La Tuile A Loup for handcrafted items from all over France.


joyce.k.b.
PeaFixture

PeaNut 370,129
April 2008
Posts: 3,531
Layouts: 44

Posted: 1/28/2013 1:19:02 AM
Depends on your interests but I also suggest the Rick Steves book and researching on Tripadvisor.

Favorite area to stay is the Trocodero area. It's beautiful, walking distance to Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs de Elysees, and has many great restaurants and bistros. It is also a more residential, upscale part of the city, and less touristy.

I'm an art lover so museums are must sees:

Louvre: Carve out the entire day as this is the largest museum in the world.

Musee D'Orsey: Amazing collection of Impressionist work in an incredible building that use to be a train station. Picture the giant clocks from the movie Hugo and that is what you will see here.

Musee Rodin: Amazing art, amazing gardens.

Georges Pompidou Center: Incredible modern museum of art in the St. Germain area. St. Germain is a very fun, touristy area to spend the day, walking, shopping and dining.

Cathedrals:

Notre Dame: touristy, but a must see.

Sacre Couer: My favorite. In Montmartre. Looks over Paris. Stills feels reverent and is absolutely beautiful.

St. Chappelle: Incredible stained glass windows.

Shopping:

Spend some time at Lafayette. It is a huge department store like nothing we have here. A gorgeous, balconied, multi-storied, stain glass domed store that is as huge as it is crowded.

The grand opera house: Grand Palais. Beautiful inside and out and right across the street from Lafayette. Lots of Gypsies in this area, so gaurd your belongings.

Luxembourg gardens: a beautiful park in the city.

I could go on and on. There is so much to see in this wonderful city. Have an amazing time


Sukkii
PeaNut

PeaNut 539,967
January 2012
Posts: 475
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/28/2013 4:04:17 AM
I stayed in Place De Madeleine in the Hotel Madeleine, my DD is called Madeleine We were within easy walking distance of the Seine, 2 stations from the Eiffel Tower. I loved Notre Dame and Sacre Ceoure (sp) and the Louvre, did not do Disney, why go to France to do Disney?

We spent the days doing and seeing things and at 4pm went back to the hotel and sat outside and had lovely food and some wine. We were early risers and early bedders on that holiday I loved Paris and want to go back again and again.


bratkar
PeaNut

PeaNut 193,789
February 2005
Posts: 379
Layouts: 0
Loc: Some race track taking pictures!

Posted: 1/28/2013 5:05:25 AM
We are actually going for our 20th Anniv in May, two weeks ago, I felt the same way you did...

There is a ton of info on the net about EVERYTHING. It gets very overwhelming!

I didnt read everyones respones (and I will because I still have a lot to learn too!) But what I did read was some really great info that I dont need to repeat. Start a little book or file of notes. You wont remember everything your learning right now!

Rick Steves also podcasts that have been a JOY to listen to and really learn a lot from.

Everyone will have an opinion about something, good bad or otherwise.

Research the Arrondissemnets. We've decided on an apartment in the 16th. Only because I wanted to be close but far enough away from everything. We chose an Apartment because we will be there for a week and we will do better in an apartment then a hotel for a week.

I've gotten to the point, I'm making all thre research half the fun.

I've noticed to some of the pricing on say expedia vacations, CANT be beat. (for great hotels)

I have a couple of files my friend who just went to Paris put to together, with A LOT of great info and starting points. They are in Word, so if you want to read over it, email me at bratkar at aol dot com and I'll pass them on to you.

My husband and I can make the worst vacation the best time, just being together, but after a week of me in tears because I just couldnt find the PERFECT place that wasnt sold out and in our budget, we finally figured this is PARIS and we will be together, we are going to make the best of whatever we choose! (and be smart tourists!)

Dont let all the negativity about beggars, pickpockets, french 'attitude', etc worry you to much(I've seen a lot of it on Trip Advisor and another site) Be smart, be aware and like someone else said, learn a little bit of French will get you very far there. Be nice to them and they will be nice to you!

I'm also at least getting dragged into McDonalds for the Royale with Cheese, but I've already told DH, I'll pick up a crepe somewhere, he can have his Royale with Cheese....


Kelli

Oh yeah, I've had great fun with Google Maps, street views, helps a TON too. DH has been watching you tube videos too, both with have given us great ideas!

Show/Hide Icons . Show/Hide Signatures
Hide
{{ title }}
{{ icon }}
{{ body }}
{{ footer }}