(Closed) Paris, Paris, Paris!

posted 7 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
Member
4336 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

so jealous! I went there for 2 days a few years ago (by myself!) and all I thought the whole time I was there was how lonely I was and how much I wanted to be there with someone I loved! Truly a city for lovers… 

Make sure you see the Effiel Tower at night when it’s sparkling! (I think it’s on the hour or something.)

Post # 4
Member
3049 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

I was only in Paris for about two hours… the train company was on strike as usual, so we couldn’t get into the country until about two hours before our other train was leaving for Italy. That being said, I only went to the Eiffel Tower (ran there and back) and had about 10 minutes to eat some food at a local cafe. Defniitely make sure you eat local… especially their bread… it’s amazing!!! 🙂

Post # 5
Member
321 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Cool! My Fiance is just getting on to booking our Europe trip and we plan to spend a week of it in Paris! =) I’m super excited.  I’m just beginning to start researching about our plans.  You can use Tripadvisor and type in google search enginge, “things to do in paris tripadvisor” and theres a list with reviews by others of where to go, eat, and shop etc.  Its a great forum to join to get informatiom from others too! Enjoy!

Post # 6
Member
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I love Paris- I love staying in the Marias neighborhood- it is so walkable to everything- we walked to Notre Dame, the Louve, the Metra stops are super close and tons of little cafes and restaurants-the Luxembourg Gardens, etc- it is very neighborhoody feel-cobblestone street-  we like that.  If you are more into shopping, you may like the Champs-Élysées area more- but since I live in a big shopping area (Chicago) and have been to NYC a lot- it wasn’t too much different- so I prefer the more neighborhood places.  

I highly recommend a day trip to Versailles and make sure you take the walk out to Marie Antoinette’s Garden – this is an amazing day trip- we ended up getting into a small town square somehow on a bus, having lunch at a great cafe full of just people on their lunch hour- than catching the train back to Paris.

 

and we splurged on a few nice meals out- but we did “take away” a lot too- the panini’s are to die for- cheese, bread, butter.  Man, those French know how to make a sandwich 🙂  

Post # 8
Member
744 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’d stay away from the bottom of the 18th district. It’s close to Montmartre so they advertise their hotels as being in Montmartre but it’s actually the red light district. Totally fine during the day but kind of shady at night. I lived in Montmartre for 2 years and miss it to death 🙁 definitely go there and just walk around without a goal. Eventually, you lose the crowds of tourists (they mostly go to the basilica) and that’s when the magic begins. I’d try to stay away from the 13th as well, it can get creepy at times, especially around Gare du Nord.

You have to know where you are going in the 19th but Canal St Martin and buttes-chaumont are great places to hang out.

Try the 12th or 15th district. It’s easily accessible but pretty residential so hotels are probably cheaper than the most touristy places. And it’s very safe. 17th is good too, close to the Champs Élysées and safe. 16th is very posh. The small numbers (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) are very touristy since most of the attractions are there (basically all those things you see in guid books) I imagine the hotels there are pretty pricey as well.

Post # 9
Member
2116 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Thats where we got engaged/I lived there for a little while last summer! Please do all of the following!—

Take a day trip to Giverny and go to Claude Monet’s home and garden, it is SO BEAUTIFUL.. google it while you’re there, there are shuttles that leave from Paris out there daily

walk, walk, walk- walk everywhere- just walk at random

Go to Musee D’Orsay, I prefer it to the Louvre any day. Its smaller, but its full of much more interesting art work (IMO)- for reference, Monet is my favorite artist and tons of his stuff is there

Go into every church you see

Drink wine on the steps of the Sacre Coeur at sunset and just look out at the incredible view

Drink wine EVERYWHERE (you can! its legal!)

don’t plan on buying a whole lot of clothing unless you’re really into black and kind of boring things, I hated shopping in Paris, it was really disapointing

Walk around in Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, its SO beautiful- SOOOO BEAUTIFUL

Hang out in Tuileries, its right outside of the Louvre- it was one of my favorite places to just sit and read

 

I could tell you a million more things but those are the most important.. let me know if you want more!

Post # 10
Member
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

A freinds’ mom who lived in Paris for years sent me this email for my first trip and I found it extremely helpful!!!

Restaurants

 Fontaine de Mars 

01 47 05 46 44

129 rue St Dominique   …..my personal favorite!!!  after dinner take a left and walk toward the Eiffel Tower…..you can walk through the Champ de Mar park and under the Eiffel Tower at night…..it is really magical!!!   do make a reservation it is a busy place.

 Le Procope

01 40 46 79 00

13 rue Ancienne Comedie……great atmosphere and on a small side street …..one of the oldest places in Paris……you will see lots of tourist here….

Le Petit Machon

01 42 60 08 60

this is near the Lourve and close the the Palace Royal……cute little place …..good food!

 Laduree

01 42 60 21 79

great for tea or a light lunch……there are   4 around the city……beautiful pasteries and wonderful hot chocolate

 Shopping

The Bon Marche…….take the metro the Seves Bablone stop and the store is at the metro stop….beautiful department store……expensive but the best shoe and scarf departments!!!!  walk up rue de seves……you can shop the entire way up the street…….when you get to the top of the street…..stop for cafe at Cafe Margot…….a great people watching place…….!!!!!

 

Another place I liked to wander and shop is at metro stop “Passy”   take the metro to Passy stop and walk to the top of the street and make a left…..you can shop the entire way up the street…..lots of local French ladies shop here……..at the end of the street is a department store called Franken Fills……great french department store….small and expensive……trendy!!!

 You can also got to Printemps….this is a large department store……very crowded with lots of tourist….it is located at the Opera metro stop.

 If you want designer shopping…….Rue de St Honore is the street…..Hermes and Dior all the famous lables……it is very near the Lourve

 Have a wonderful trip……Paris is truly a magical place!!!!!

 Bargains in France:

Anne Fontaine blouses……shops all around Paris

Longchamps bags

Harve chapel bags…..store is located at the Rosevelt metro stop…

copper pots

Le cruset pots

Emile Henry bakeware

 Tourist tips

take the boat ride but don’t do the dinner cruise…..it is overpriced and the food is not good……so many places to eat in Paris that are better 

 Louvre…..there are 2 english speaking tours each day……call ahead and make a reservation

 take the metro…..it is great and safe……cabs are also easy to get…

  

Post # 11
Member
2135 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

oooooh you should visit Sacre Coeur in Montmartre. I love it there, its soooo pretty!

And make sure you visit the Louvre. You can actually walk along the Seine from the Louvre through the Tuilleries gardens, through the Place de la Concorde (where Marie Antoinette was executed), and up the Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomph. At the top of the Champs Élysées there is a lovely bakery, Ladurée. It is amazing!

Post # 12
Member
744 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Hum,from experience, I wouldn’t rely on cabs on Saturday nights once the metro is closed though. There are a lot less cabs in Paris than in almost every city I have ever been to!

Post # 13
Member
4887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

God… I loved Paris so, so hard.  Good for you!!!!

It’s kind of a hike but we took a day trip out to Normandy.  The history, the beaches, the American cemetery… it was TOTALLY amazing to be there. 

Obviously you must also do the touristy things, but I highly recommend getting a day (or two day) pass on one of the open air double decker tour buses!  You can get on and off the stops when ever you like and pick up the next bus, no problem. They have headphones you can listen to lots of info. 

Also try to do a booze cruise on the Seine at sunset… the Eiffel tower starts to sparkle, and you’re drifting down the Seine and going under these amazing bridges… there really is nothing like it.

Visit the Louis Vuitton flagship store on Champs Elysees (shomps ill-eh-says is how I was told to pronounce this, please correct if wrong!)

I recommend L’Appart and L’Congres (not sure about spelling here) for food – but honestly we never ate anything even remotely mediocre.  The boulangeries and patisseries and cafes are AMAZING.  Such a culinary adventure.  Try as many new things as you can!!

Buy a Longchamp bag if that’s your thing.  Also visit Printemps – it’s a three story mall of sorts that is nothing but couture after couture after couture.  Prada-Chanel-Burberry-Dior-Gucci-you name it.  It’s intense.

I second Musee D’Orsay, I loved the Monets and Manets.  Amazing.  Although the Louvre is really something.  Take your time there – we only had two hours and made it a point to see Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, but we could’ve spent two weeks there.

Post # 14
Member
492 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I studied abroad in Paris eight years ago and I agree with the previous poster regarding where to stay/what to stay away from.  A lot of hotels are near the Gare du Nord and a lot of shady activity also happens there.  If you aren’t sure what district a hotel is located in, look at the zip code.  All non-PO Box Paris zip codes follow the pattern 750xx where xx is the district.  So zip codes like 75001, 75002 are great but I would avoid 75018 (has some lovely areas, but unless you know what you’re doing go elsewhere.)  The districts start with #1 in the center and spiral outwards, so small numbers are more central.

I don’t have tons of specific recommendations as things may have changed…but my favorite chain restaurant is Paul which has amazing bread, pastries, and sandwiches (it’s my favorite place to stop for lunch).  The St Michel area and the rue de Rennes are both great for non-luxury shopping.

Post # 15
Member
746 posts
Busy bee

I second the vote for the Marais!  It is such a cool neighborhood!  The view overlooking Paris from the steps of Sacre Coeur is great, but another favorite panoramic city view I always enjoy is from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.  You cross under the street (don’t EVER try to walk into the traffic at Place d’Etoile, you’ll get run over!) & emerge at the Arc.  After several trips to Paris, I never went to Giverny.  Then on my last trip I did & now I GET IT!  It is absolutely beautiful — you’ll come home inspired to transform your own yard!  Just wandering the streets in the Latin Quarter is a treat.  There are streets that twist & turn and you can just duck into a little bar or cafe & just immerse yourself in the atmosphere.  I concur about avoiding areas around the Gare du Nord.  Also, I never felt safe around Chatelet Les Halles.  Climb to the top of Notre Dame & peer out over the city with the gargoyles.  Versailles is a great day trip, as is Fontainbleau.  If time permits, maybe a night or 2 near the chateaux in the Loire Valley would also be of interest.  As several others have said, just walk, walk, walk.  And if you get tired of walking, hop on Le Metro.  It’s one of the easiest in the world to navigate.  Bon chance et bon voyage!!

Post # 16
Member
87 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I just wanted to share with you ” YAY!!” you’ll have fun I’m sure. We are going this summer for our honeymoon..so I’m stealing some of the other posters advice!

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