View Full Version : Suggestions for Friends Paris Trip

25th May 2008, 00:12
G'Day All,

A US friend and her 10 year old son are spending the week of 1 June in London then taking the chunnel train to Paris for 7 - 13 June ~ first trip out of the states.

They already have lots of suggestions from some of you elsewhere for London but could use some more helpful thoughts on Paris. He's a history buff and they already plan to do the tower and see Mona.

This will be the trip of a lifetime for them so any help appreciated.
Thank you :ok:

25th May 2008, 00:49
The very big war museum.
Musée de l'Armée is opened every day except from christmas, January 1, May 1 and November 1.
Opening hours, summer: 10 AM - 6 PM
Opening hours. winter: 10 AM - 5 PM
But their webpage is under reconstruction so it's just in French at the minute.

Jim Morrison's grave for the parents.

Look at Notre Dame very big, very very gothic. Then track done a painting by Matisse who painted it in his style as a purple square (fair enough it would be fiddly to paint) Don't think the painting's in Paris.

Do for a start.
Wish I was going.

25th May 2008, 01:36
Walk the streets and boulevards. Sit down and have a coffee, watch people go by, hours-on-end. Museums are great, but the city is alive.
For quick "all in one" take a bateu mouche tour up and down the Seine. The guided tour will give you an idea of the city.
Similar to the Circle Line trip around Manhattan.

My grandfather, who was a student in Paris after WW 1, said to his son, my uncle: "You cannot go to Paris, you have to keep going to Paris." What he meant was that Paris has to be experienced over and over again.

25th May 2008, 08:48
The Louvre for sheer jaw-dropping grandeur.
Musee d'Orsay for impressionism/pointilisme/fauve art.
Notre Dame and Isle de la cite.
Sacre Coeur in Montmartre - also a fine view over the city.
Place de la Concorde - where Madame La Guillotine did her grisly work.
Place Vendome.
The Opera.
Palais Royale
Jardin de Tuileries.
Jardin de Luxembourg.
Champs Elysees.
Grand Palais and Petit Palais.
Pont Alexandre.
Arc de Triomphe.
Le Trocadero.

and of course -

The Eiffel Tower.

The best cafes - Les Deux Magots and Cafe Flore in Boulevard Saint Germain, La Duree on Champs Elysees. Also, for afternoon tea and patisseries, Angelina's on Rue de Rivoli behind Le Jardin du Louvre.

Very nice, good-value restaurant - La Guirlande de Julie in Place des Vosges.

Get around on the Metro/buses although taxis are inexpensive (unlike in London).

If she hasn't already done so, tell her to buy the Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Guide to Paris - it's probably about the best. The London one is good too. Easily available in any good bookshop in London if they can't be found where she lives in the States.

Enjoy strolling and people -watching. It's marvellous for that. What Dushan's grandfather said is true. You cannot go to Paris just once. Mrs W and I will keep going back for as long as we are able.

Beatriz Fontana
25th May 2008, 10:32
Get back on the train and do a day trip to Lille (http://www.lilletourism.com/index_gb.php). The people are friendlier, it's much less busy and the architecture is gorgeous. It's French, but feels very Flemish. I took an Aussie mate of mine there last November and he was absolutely blown away by the place. Great beer and chocolate, too.

25th May 2008, 10:44
beatriz - they are americans who are spending a few days in Paris and want to see the Mona Lisa and the Eiffel Tower..... A day trip from London to Lille isn't going to cut the mustard for them.

but good for a day trip for us islanders i agree.

Beatriz Fontana
25th May 2008, 16:06

I know exactly what I was replying to. Seeing Paris is great - it's folly to think you'll see everything Paris has to offer in three days - but seeing a little more of France in a mere day trip is priceless.

25th May 2008, 21:44
While in Musee D'Orsay skip the awful, overcrowded cafeteria upstairs, spend a little more and eat in the gorgeous dining room, even if you can only afford one course. My kids (10 and 12 at the time) still talk about it five years later. (Just look in and you will see why.)

Get Bateaubus pass. Use the bateaux for getting around the important sights.

Take a guided bike ride, ( Fat Tire http://www.fattirebiketoursparis.com/bikes/bike-tour/ ) Four hour starts near the Eiffel Tower. Terrific guided tour with a stop for lunch in the Tuileries.

Go up to Montmartre for dusk over the city. Browse the artists, If you are there earlier in the day sit and have coffee outside. If later, come down and find the most crowded of those little restaurants for dinner. (My kids had frogs legs and snails, and told every one about it for months!)

Feed the pidgeons outside Notre Dames.

Saturday (and less on other days) browse the stalls of art and books along the banks of the river. Stop for ice cream and coffee.

Rent an apartment (yes, thru the internet,) and go get breakfast from the local patisserie every morning. (We sent the kids!)

I was amazed how much my kids took in and how willing they were to visit museums and cathedrals. We did seven days of non stop sight seeing and they still pull up little snippets of information and opinions from that trip It should be mandatory for all ten to fourteen year olds.

25th May 2008, 21:53
Pop along to the latin quarter & grab a falafel, for all it's reputation, this is the best meal I ever ate in Paris, all in, about 3 euros, so don't expect any frills like silver cutlery or a smile. Also, Pere La Chaise cemetry is a surprisingly entertaining day out. It's off the beaten track, but well worth a visit. Personally, I like the feel of Pigalle, but then again, I am a scumbag.

26th May 2008, 00:04
The Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees and how about Disneyland? I'm sure her son would enjoy it :)

26th May 2008, 01:30
Why would someone from the USA want to spend precious time in Europe visiting a quintessential American theme park? :confused:
Isn't that like eating at McDonalds instead of sampling French food?

James 1077
26th May 2008, 06:04
Musee d'Orsay for impressionism/pointilisme/fauve art.
Notre Dame and Isle de la cite.
Sacre Coeur in Montmartre - also a fine view over the city.
Place de la Concorde - where Madame La Guillotine did her grisly work.
Place Vendome.
The Opera.
Palais Royale
Jardin de Tuileries.
Jardin de Luxembourg.
Champs Elysees.
Grand Palais and Petit Palais.
Pont Alexandre.
Arc de Triomphe.
Le Trocadero.

and of course -

The Eiffel Tower.

Only addition to this would be that when doing the Arc de Triomphe to time it that you head up to the top at evening rush hour. Watching the cheese eating surrender monkeys driving around it is priceless.

The other question that needs to be asked is why would you want to go to Paris anyway? When I was in the UK the only reason 'er indoors and I would go each year was to remind ourselves quite how terribly rude French people (and Parisians in particular) are so that we would remember not to go for another year!

Beatriz Fontana
26th May 2008, 10:50
G-CPTN, my thoughts exactly!

26th May 2008, 10:53
On a more practical note tell them to watch out for pick pockets. We were constantly "under attack" when we last went:mad:

26th May 2008, 11:09
Musee d'Orsay
IMO one should start on the top floor. That's where to major impressionists are located. I thought the lower floors were less impressive (pun not intended).

I suppose it wouldn't impress the kids, but I used to like to visit the basement of the BHV department store which was full of "repair parts" for one's apartment. Hand-painted drawer pulls, electrical boxes, "chien mechant" signs, etc, etc.

There's a little exhibit hall in the Hotel de Ville (town hall) right across the street from BHV. Sometimes the exhibits are interesting.

26th May 2008, 13:51
BHV basement, definitely the best, for those that appreciate such things. Puts Home Depot to shame...

26th May 2008, 16:06
Sainte Chapelle for sheer jaw dropping stained glass windows. I took SWMBO and the friend we were staying with to it. In the street level entry it doesn't seem much, so I let them get to the "OK now what stage" and suggested that they went up the funny little spiral stone staircase and went up behind them The gasps of "OH MY GOD!!" as they reached the upper room were worth the wait. If it's a half way sunny day it is fantastic.
The Ancient Mariner

26th May 2008, 16:12
Money saving tip when in France/Paris/Spain/Italy. Don't sit at a table for waiter service, proceed to the bar and order your drinks, then take them to a table.

Your charged extra for waiter service. Not alot of people know that.


26th May 2008, 16:30
If you are visiting the Louvre forget about joining the half mile queue at Peis Pyramid. Instead, go to the Porte des Lions entrance on the South wing and you will find that it will take you directly into the corridor where the Mona Lisa is hanging.

Not many people know that. :}

Map here...