Honeymoon in Paris

posted 3 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 2
Member
13 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2014

We are honeymooning in Paris this summer!  It will be my first time there.  Following this thread…

Post # 3
Member
689 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We’ll be in Paris in about 3 weeks for our belated honeymoon! I’ve been there before, as well as many other cities in France, and countries in Europe, but something about Paris is magical. We’re doing lots of day trips outside of Paris during our trip. One day will be dedicated to Versailles, another day to Reims, and another day in Provins. All are metro accessible. 

Our hotel is one block from the Champs Elysses, closer to the Arc. It’s more money but it’s well worth the location, especially in terms of the metro. I can’t wait!! We’ve been looking forward to this for almost 6 months!

Post # 4
Member
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Commenting to follow.  We will be in Paris for a few days and not really sure where will be going yet.  So exciting!!

Post # 5
Member
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I don’t think thre’s anything stereotypical or wrong with going to Paris, I’m pretty sure Paris is on MOST people’s bucket lists!!

Have a great time! I went with my mom in October, we only stayed in Paris for (a very busy and fast paced) two days and then traveled down south. Maybe do a few day trips? I know you can do one to Versaille, Lyon, 1-2 day trip (can’t remember) to Normandy, etc… My favorite area to explore was definitely Montmartre (where Sacre Couer and Moulin Rouge are). It’s the “bohemian” area and it was fun to walk around. Also if you like street shopping, you’ll find some there. We did but it was our first day so we didn’t buy anything, and we never again saw any street shopping, everything was high end stores so that was disappointing. Wish I had bought a few scarves that day! 

Get familiar with the transit system, it’s well worth it to utilize. Regarding the Eiffel tower, we tried to go up at dusk so we got the light AND night, but by the time we made it through the line and up to the top it was pretty much dark. I wish we had gone earlier so we could have gotten some daytime pictures of the view and the city. A week will give you lot’s of time to do something I didn’t get to do, go and sit out at patisseries and have “breakfast” and coffee. Paris is a great place to enjoy a coffee or glass of wine and people watch. 

Tourist books wise – I thought the Michelin France book was lame, maybe Paris is better. But language wise this little book was fantastic!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764147773/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  .
Post # 7
Member
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

gemmabear:  Great location, it’s a fun area! Seemed to have lot’s of places to eat, and lot’s of activity.

Post # 8
Member
2134 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

gemmabear:  I didn’t honeymoon there, but I lived there for a semester during college and it is AMAZING. Montmartre is beautiful and there are so many cute cafes/restaurants/shops in the area that are to die for. Definitely bring walking shoes, though, because you’ll be hiking up a lot of hills around there! And if you’re taking the Metro a lot, consider taking the elevator – the stairs out of that station are a real workout. I lived in the St. Germain area in the 7th (right on the border of the 6th), and that’s my favorite area of the city, because it’s so close to everything. Oh, and a little bonus information – the Louvre is free on Friday nights, so if you’re going, save it for then! Have a blast – I am so jealous. I need to get back to Paris ASAP.

Post # 9
Member
3344 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

We went to London for 4 days and Paris for 9 days for our honeymoon.  It was awesome!  I’ve been to Paris about 4 or 5 times, so I have TONS of tips!

Overall Parisienne Tips: Don’t tip your waiters.  It’s already included.  Asking for “un carafe d’eau” means you’ll get free tap water. Asking for “une bouteille d’eau” means you’ll be charged about 6 Euros or $8.20 for a bottle of water. This really adds up over the course of a vacation, so I recommend asking for tap water.  “Carafe” sounds like giraffe with a K instead of G. “d’eau” is pronounced doe like a female deer.  Consider buying a Larousse pocket dictionary.  I tried a lot of different French-English dictionary apps and nothing came close to the accuracy of Larousse.  A lot of people speak English in France, but some don’t (and some will pretend they don’t). It’s helpful to learn a few phrases before you go.  Note that hotels in Paris are really tiny and expensive.  You can save money and have more room by renting an apartment instead. We used airbnb.com and had a wonderful stay!  We were also able to choose a location directly in the center of Paris.  We never could have afforded a hotel room in the same place.

Metro and App Tips: If you have a smartphone, learn how to turn data off while you’re abroad so you won’t be charged but can still use the phone for offline apps.  (Easiest way to do this on an iPhone is to put the phone in Airplane mode but then re-enable Wifi).  Download the “Paris Metro” app (may be called “Visit Paris by Metro”.  It is developed by RATP and is free.  It has two offline maps: one of the metro/RER and one of Paris (you need data to download them but then you can use it while offline).  You can use this app to calculate your subway route without using data!  This was invaluable to us!  It also stores your most recent searches so you can get to and from the same location quickly.  You can search by fewest changes or fastest time.  If you will be carrying luggage to/from the airport, definitely use fewest changes.  Also, I highly recommend taking a taxi to/from airport instead.  The Paris metro is unlike American metros.  You can walk underground for 10-15 minutes at a time to change lines.  Also, KEEP YOUR METRO TICKET WITH YOU!  Do NOT throw it away!  Police can ask to see your ticket and they will fine you a lot of Euros if you don’t have it.  You also need it to change lines sometimes. The RATP website describes the various ticket and pass options, so do your research to see what fits you best. We personally bought “Carnet de 10 tickets t+”, which is  a package of 10 metro tickets at a discounted price, cheaper than buying 10 tickets individually.  If you want a Paris Visite pass, consider where you will be going in Paris first. The vast majority of attractions are within zones 1-3 so that is likely all you need.  But the airports require a pass with access to zones 1-5 (yet another reason to take a taxi to/from the airports).

Other Great Apps: 1) Ulmon Paris.  It’s free and has a gigantic, easy-to-read map of Paris.  It also includes all major sightseeing attractions, local cafes and restaurants, etc.  You can click an attraction and then “pin” it with a colored icon so you can quickly find it on the map for later.  Most attractions listed in the app include hours of operation, but you may want to double-check these before departure. 2) My Currency Converter (jRuston Apps).  There are many currency converters both free and paid versions.  I found this one to be the most accurate, available offline, and plus it’s free. If you want to convert other things too besides just currency, consider downloading GlobeConvert Free (Ivan Karpan). However, that one has been hit or miss with currency conversions.  3) Tripomatic. Can be useful for creating your own itineraries that are then viewable offline.

Food Tips: We found food to be ridiculously expensive while in Paris.  Try not to eat in the fancier, more touristy areas (for example, avoid lunch on the Champs Elysees).  It took some searching, but we did find some reasonably priced places.  A couple of our favorites were in the Marais district (take the metro to Saint-Paul).  Coffee is unlike in America too.  They pretty much only serve small shots of espresso and these are almost always not available to-go (or “for take-away” as is commonly said in Europe).  Depending on your coffee habits, you may want to search out a local Starbucks.  There are a couple spread throughout the city (Marais, Bastille, Louvre, etc).  If your hotel or apartment has an espresso maker in it, seriously consider making your morning cups of Joe before you leave.

Sightseeing Tips: Depending on the length of your stay, you may want to buy a Paris Museum Pass.  Do not confuse this with the “Paris Pass” sold by ParisPass.com.  That one is a rip-off.  The Paris Museum Pass is great but requires a little bit of research beforehand to be sure you’re getting the best value from it.  Be sure to read the instructions carefully as the pass is only valid starting the date you write on it, and the date should be written DD/MM/YY in the European style.  Lots of the attractions/sites are actually free, and all the gorgeous old churches are free.  Many places are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so again, do your research before you show up to avoid disappointment.  I have a 4-page guide to all the best sites broken down by neighborhood if anyone is interested in taking advantage of all the research I’ve already done. Just send me a message with your e-mail address and I’ll send it to you.  My overall advice for sightseeing is allow more time than you think you need.  Even if you plan your trip perfectly and rush around to try and fit everything in, it takes about 8 or 9 days to see everything Paris has to offer (and even then, it’s not really everything).  I also highly recommend taking 1 day trip out to Versailles.  It’s easiest to get to by train but also accessible by bus.  Don’t be dismayed by the line because it’s worth it! Buy a ticket to see the chateau (castle) and then consider buying a ticket to ride the little train to the smaller chateau.  They recently started charging to access the gardens, which I find ridiculous. This used to be included. The small train drives through the gardens to get to the chateau, so it kind of kills two birds with one stone IMO.  I would skip the garden ticket and just buy the small train ticket to access the other castles (petit trianon, grand trianon, and Queen’s hamlet or Hameau de la Reine). The gardens are GIGANTIC, so be advised that if you buy one of those tickets, you will have A LOT of walking to do. But the Palace of Versailles is really a must-see when visiting Paris.  Allocate an entire day just to do that.  Le Louvre is also another whole day event. Our favorite museum was probably Musee d’Orsay.  If you love Claude Monet, then you absolutely must visit some of the lesser-known museums: Musee de l’Orangerie and Musee Marmottan Monet.  I could honestly go on and on about Paris.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask away!  I’d love to help.  🙂

Post # 10
Member
13 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Christy42213:  Thank you so much for the app tips!

Post # 11
Member
2018 posts
Buzzing bee

gemmabear: Saph: 

The 6th/7th arrondissements are incredible (when I am in Paris alone I stay in a small hotel near the Rue Cler), but I am also an enormous fan of the 14th, particularly the area roughly around the Pernety and Alésia Métro stops on line 4.  Most people you will hear around you will be speaking French and the area has a relaxed vibe because there aren’t really any major touristy things to do.  However, I’ve also found that most of the people and businesses in the area are very kind and generous to non-French speakers.  I have also always had incredible luck with restaurants in this area; most of the places I see appear to have creative menus for a very fair price, considering that they are located in Paris.  (I don’t know what you all consider low/medium/high end; if you are booking at Epicure, then you may find the 14th to be rather too humble.)  

If a place that will run around 60-100 EUR/person depending on how spendy you are with wine is neither offensively expensive nor offensively cheap to you, I would suggest considering a place in the 14th called Kigawa.  The restaurant is small, has refined decor, and a staff that is generous and kind and will make you feel completely at ease even if you’re not regular “fancy” diners.  It’s not a Michelin *** establishment, but it seems like it would be ideal for a really lovely, quiet, intimate dinner.

I honestly think that the Basilique Saint-Denis is more interesting than Notre-Dame de Paris; the Royal Necropolis is there and one has the opportunity to get a fairly close and detailed look at some important and sophisticated medieval stained glass.  Furthermore, the crowds at Saint-Denis are not nearly as obnoxious.  However, there is a small admissions fee for Saint-Denis while entrance to the church of Notre-Dame is free (the Treasury and Towers charge admission). 

For those who are still in the planning stages, one place that I could recommend for a day trip is Le Mans; a TGV from Gare Montparnasse will get you there in an hour.  Vieux Mans, the old city, features lovely views out over the river, interesting views of the city’s very old walls, and access to the Cathédrale Saint-Julien (a friend once exclaimed, “Oh my God, it’s Diagon Alley!” when I took her to Vieux Mans). 

MizzStark1026:  I’ve spent time with friends winding down at a bar called Le Coq Rouge in Reims; the owner is a funny guy and the place is small and gets a good buzz going.  I know a fair bit about the city’s cathedral so this is your first visit to Reims (I know you said that you’d visited various cities in France before, but I don’t know if Reims was among them) feel free to PM me about it. 

Post # 12
Member
3394 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Paris is probably my favourite city in the world, I’ve been several times and I think it’s as touristy or authentic as you want to make it. Given it’s your first time, I’m sure you want to do some of the tourist spots (especially the galleries – Pompidou, the Louvre and Musee D’Orsay) – but I recommend scheduling them as early as possible in the day, to avoid the crowds and to get photos without a zillion tour groups milling around.

Some of my favourite things to do in Paris:

– Walk, walk, walk. Paris is amazing on foot, so pack some comfortable shoes and a map and just start exploring. My favourite area is still Le Marais, the architecture is beautiful, the galleries are countless and the boutique shopping is outstanding.

– When you get tired of walking, hope on a Velib bike. You just need a credit card to register, and it’s free for the first 30 minutes (if I recall correctly). There are heaps of bike return stations, so you can basically make your way through the city with a combination of cycling and walking. It’s my favourite way to see Paris. But the Metro is also worth using, if only for the gorgeous architecture alone!

– Shakespeare & Co. I don’t know if you’re a bookworm, but this bookstore is my favourite in the world and totally magical. Grab a café au lait at the nearby cafe and while away the hours people-watching. 

– Pack a picnic, grab a chair and spend an afternoon at Jardin du Luxembourg, Canal Saint Martin or along the Seine. 

– Browse the flea markets – Les Puces is the most famous, I love wandering around and taking in all the weird and wonderful items on offer, from vintage couture to trinkets to antiques.

Post # 13
Member
2534 posts
Sugar bee

We went to Paris for our honeymoon! It was a once in a lifetime amazing trip!!

I am jealous that you are staying in Montmartre, that was our favourite part of Paris! Sacre Coeur is beautiful. Be sure to wander around Place du Tertre there and watch all the people painting and sketching in the street! We loved it. There’s an amazing bakery on Rue de Norvins in Montmartre called La Galette des Moulins. Get an eclair. You will not regret it.

The Metro seems scary, but it is actually super easy to navigate as long as you know the names of your destination stops. Consider getting a Paris Visite metro card to save money.

I second the Bee who suggested getting a Paris Museum Pass. Saved us so much money and time because in some museums it allows you to skip the main lines!

As for things to see, some of the stuff we did and loved:

– Eiffel Tower. An obvious choice because it`s so iconic. Make sure to see it both during the day and at night.

– Arc De Triomphe. You can actually climb to the top to see an amazing view of the whole city! It is beautiful at night as well.

– Art museums. We did the Louvre and Musee D’Orsay. If you are an art lover, these are a must see.

– Churches. We spent a whole day exploring the beautiful churches in Paris! Truly amazing buildings and religious art.

– Montparnasse Tower. A lot of people skip this but it was a cool activity for us as they have an amazing observation deck that allows you a 360 degree view of the city.

– A dinner cruise on the Seine (use Bateaux Mouches, they are an awesome company). DH and I did this on our last night in Paris. It’s a bit pricey, but so worth it. Amazing food, wine, live music, dancing, and it cruises by a lot of Paris landmarks at night (Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, etc.) The most romantic thing I’ve ever done!

– Eat, eat, eat. Seriously. Crepes, eclairs, macarons, wine, cheese. You’ll be in freaking Paris 😀

You are going to have an amazing time. If you want more tips or suggestions, feel free to PM me!

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  GeekChic.
Post # 14
Member
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

Vive La France!!! What a wonderful honeymoon you’ll have!

I’ve been to Paris multiple times and I actually don’t have very specific tips b/c I basically just like to wander when I’m there.  I was usually broke when I went, so what we used to do for food was get cheap stuff in supermarkets and eat on benches by the river– very romantic! You can get such cheap and GOOD bottles of wine (just don’t forget the bottle opener if you’re going picnic style )

I agree that Montmartre is great for exploring. I also loved the Latin quarter, despite the crowds. But I always have to spend an afternoon on the banks of the Seine in La Cite.

Ugh, there’s no way to give must-sees for Paris! But luckily, there’s no way to go wrong, either. 

If you love steak, there’s one restaurant I’d recommend. They only serve salad, steak and frites, and it’s awesome! But I cant’ rmemeber the name. PM me if you’re interested and I’ll ask my sister what it was called. She used to live there.

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