I've used this forum many times to plan our trips from Spain to Costa Rica to the Czech Republic, and now I need help with our trip to France this summer. My daughter's boyfriend is from France, and his parents have invited us to meet them this summer for the first time. I have never been to France, & my husband was in Paris in the 1970's. So we plan on making this a 2-week trip, to include a week in Paris. We will spend our first 4 nights or so with the boyfriend's parents, either at their home in Clermont Ferrand, (south of Paris), or at their beach house on the ATlantic coast, (south of NOrmandy & Brittany). Then Richard will take us sightseeing for several nights somewhere where he thinks the crowds will be less. We were thinking of Normandy/Brittany/Mont St. Michel, but my daughter thinks it would take us all day just to see Mont St. Michel because of crowds. So I think our first week will be pretty much planned for us; it's the week in Paris I need help with. Will we get to see a reasonable amount in Paris in a week?
Because of the boyfriend's parents' other obligations, the best time for us to visit them is either the week of July 28 or the week of August 4. We will spend the 2nd week in Paris. I would prefer to come in June but that's not possible. I do have a guide book & have been doing some preliminary planning, & have read that July/August are probably the 2 worst times to visit Paris because of crowds, expense, & heat. What can we really expect? What would typical temps be in Fahrenheit, & what would typical wait lines be for museums, etc.? The reason I ask is that we went to Prague in August 2009 & I had read so many negative things about going there in August (unbearable heat, crowds, etc.) but we really didn't think it was that bad & I would go again in August if necessary. Would Paris be worse than Prague in the summer? I assume Paris is probably more popular than Prague?
How far in advance should we make reservations? I hope to get the dates finalized within several weeks. My daughter's boyfriend thinks we should make our Paris hotel reservations by the end of March. He doesn't live in Paris so he can't recommend a hotel. We are looking for something within 100 - 150 USD, definitely with private bathroom & AC. Any recommendations? My daughter stayed at the Hotel George Sand, 26 Rue des Mathurins, near the OPera House. Is this a convenient location? She was there for a business trip so she didn't have much time for sightseeing, but she liked the hotel & neighborhood. I've read about the various aggrondisements, but it's so difficult to choose the best location without having ever been to Paris. If this helps, we are interested in the following for sightseeing: (some are no-brainers, I assume
Louvre, ARc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde, Jardin Des Tuileries, Notre DAme, Sainte Chapelle, Musee de l'Orangerie, Place des Vosges, Latin Quarter, Musee d'Orsay, Conciegerie, Versailles. We love just about everything: museums, art, culture, history, walking around quaint/pretty neighborhoods, eating good food, relaxing at cafes.
I hope I'm not rambling, but thought the more you know about our trip, the better advice you can give us.
Thanks for any help/suggestions/advice!
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