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Paris tips?

This is shaping up to be a busy fall for me--I'm going to be heading off for a short trip to France next month. We'll be mainly in Paris and that area.



If any of you have been there before, I'd love to hear tips of less obvious must-see places and things, as well as restaurant suggestions!

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
cynleitichsmith
Sep. 20th, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
I studied abroad in Paris in 1991 and returned with my husband on vacation in 2000, but the city is largely eternal. Most of this is obvious, but so much of that is must-see that it can be a lot to prioritize unto itself.

Definitely go to Jardin du Luxembourg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jardin_du_Luxembourg

and the nearby Latin Quarter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Quarter,_Paris (I had good luck with Asian food).

I also loved visiting Shakespeare and Co.: http://shakespeareandcompany.com/ (That's where I got my prized copy of Supergirl by Norma Fox Mazer.)

But really my main recommendation is to go to the George V/Four Seasons: http://www.fourseasons.com/paris/ If budget isn't an issue, by all means, dine at Le Cinq. But if so, there's still a little piano bar/bistro. (If you watched "Sex in the City," the hotel where Carrie stayed with the Russian in Paris).

The major museums are to die for, but as a historic destination, I found Versailles a bit disappointing--not because of the site itself, but you have to buy a separate ticket for just about every wing.

Have a wonderful time!
megancrewe
Sep. 21st, 2011 02:50 am (UTC)
Thank you for the suggestions! I've added those that weren't already there to the list. :) We're actually staying in the Latin Quarter, so I'm sure we'll see a lot of that!
soniag
Sep. 20th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
Are you a tea drinker? Any of the Mariage Freres locations would be wonderful! They have lunches as well. (And they probably do an excellent coffee. I'm just not a coffee drinker.)

The Louvre is hell. I like the Orsay much better.

La Sainte-Chapelle is gorgeous, particularly when the light is just right (later in the day, perhaps?)

I adore the Cluny Museum (Musée National du Moyen Age) -- the lady & unicorn tapestries are there.

Pere Lachaise is cool, too, but maybe not the best option if you're only in Paris a few days.

Here's my photoset from February, if it's any help. We were there for 8 days and didn't push ourselves very hard.
megancrewe
Sep. 21st, 2011 03:05 am (UTC)
Thank you! I suspect we will be checking all of those out. :)
jjhoutman
Sep. 20th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
i lived in Lyon, France in 1990-1991 and visited Paris a bunch of times. If you love impressionism and don't want to deal with the crowds in the Orsay, try the Orangerie in the Jardin des Tuileries (right near the Louvre).

As for food, I'm a big fan of picnics (or pique-niques, as they say in France). For cheap you can get bread and cheese and wine and fruit. Or go to a Traiteur and get something fancier. I remember a lovely meal of guinea fowl in a porcini cream sauce I ate on the floor of my hotel room.

There are loads of great, inexpensive restaurants of all kinds in the Latin Quarter. Avoid the ones with the outdoor menus in English, as a general rule.

I love to go to the open air markets, not just for the food. OK, mostly the food. There are all kinds of different markets that sell non-edible stuff too.

As you can tell, I like the less touristy options, a la Rick Steves.

Now I'm getting hungry...
megancrewe
Sep. 21st, 2011 03:11 am (UTC)
Hee, food tips are very welcome! We both enjoy good meals. :) I expect we'll be doing a fair bit of picnicking. Thanks!
deva_fagan
Sep. 20th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, I loved Paris so very much when we went in Oct 2006. I have been dreaming of going back (maybe in 2013!).

Here's the entry with my highlights: http://deva-fagan.livejournal.com/156060.html

And here are my pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/16618524@N00/sets/72157616632723214/

I didn't put descriptions on any pics but if you see anything that you want to know more about I can provide details.

For food we found the best stuff were the crepes and baguette sandwiches we got cheap on the streets, and the food from the markets (we stayed in an apartment, and cooked at home some meals). Also the Vietnamese and Kebabs are good and not too pricey.

I am envious! But also very excited for you!
megancrewe
Sep. 21st, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)
I thought I remembered you'd been! I've very excited after hearing so many wonderful things.

Thanks for sharing your links! A few of the pics look particularly intriguing--can you let me know where these are from?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/16618524@N00/3431626491/in/set-72157616632723214
http://www.flickr.com/photos/16618524@N00/3432462372/in/set-72157616632723214
http://www.flickr.com/photos/16618524@N00/3431649115/in/set-72157616632723214
http://www.flickr.com/photos/16618524@N00/3431637193/in/set-72157616632723214
deva_fagan
Sep. 21st, 2011 10:20 am (UTC)
#1 & #4 are in the Luxembourg Gardens, at the Medici fountain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medici_Fountain). That was one of my favorite spots of our entire trip (even within the garden itself). Perhaps it was the magic of that particular moment, but I just got this really strong and compelling vibe from the whole area.

#2 & #3 Are at the Chateau de Vincennes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Vincennes). You can get there on the metro -- it's way out on the very edge of the city, so it has a quite different feel. There's a huge park (with entry fee) nearby too that seemed very popular with the cityfolk.

Eee, so excited for you! Honestly, I think the most fun in Paris is just wandering around the parks and little streets and markets and watching people. It's a great city just to get lost in, like Venice!
megancrewe
Sep. 21st, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
That works out well, because I was already planning to make sure to see both of those places! :) I'm sure we'll do a lot of wandering and people-watching--I've learned that rushing around trying to take in too many things in one day just burns us out.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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