2 weeks in Paris with teenager

Mar 27th, 2004, 05:41 AM
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2 weeks in Paris with teenager

On June 5th, we will be leaving for 2 weeks in Paris and 1 week in Moscow/St. Petersburg. My husband will be tied up with business during the day and my 16 year old son and I will have the days to explore Paris. We have been there before and have seen the usual tourist/historic places. What neighborhoods/short day trips would you recommend that would be of interest and yet get us back by 5:30 when we meet up with my husband? My son loves history and travelling so any help would be appreciated. Also, any ideas for eating a mid day meal in the city that are moderate? Thank you so much in advance. I am very excited about this trip!
marilynr is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 07:15 AM
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Your trip sounds like so much fun!

One of the things we keep meaning to do and have not done yet (hope to do this summer) is take a day trip to Giverny.

Another poster some time back mentioned Mike's Bike Tours.

Well, I learned that one of the tours starts right when you get off the train at Vernon, I believe.

It sounds like a lot of fun combining the two.

An in-city thing to do, which most people miss is the Arenes de Lutece, since your son likes history. It's really neat, because you don't even know it's there; you walk down a stone corridor and you find yourself in this old roman amphitheater with terraces for spectators. It was found about a 150 years ago by accident, in the 5th arrondisement.
Surfergirl is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 07:34 AM
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..would suggest the military musseum at Les Invalides...One can also rent bikes in the Bois de Bouglogne...the sewers are interesting and a bit off beat...most importantly i would suggest that you give your son a good travel guide and ask him what he would like to do! I did this and my son came up with great ideas..as he was very involved, it was very much his trip too and we all had a great time!
travelbunny is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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For good day trips with an emphasis on history, both Chartres and Chantilly would be pleasant--in fact, each could be done as a half-day trip. Another would be Fontainebleau, and you could take the TGV to Dijon, Rouen, or Tours for the day. All are historic cities, Rouen especially, and would be interesting to visit. One other possibility would be Reims, with the cathedral where many of the kings of France were crowned; the cathedral is magnificent.
Underhill is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 09:36 AM
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I had just read about Fat Bike Tours on this site. It looks like alot of fun and can be done during the day or at night. I day trip to Versailles is nice. I wish I had been able to go to Giverny but it is never open when I am there.
Here is the site for the
Fat Bike Tourshttp://www.fattirebiketoursparis.com/
SUNSHINE1223 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 10:08 AM
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If your son loves history, then I would recommend a daytrip to the Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte, which was the inspiration for Versailles and provides what some think is a better tourist experience, especially when you factor in the story of its creator and his unfortunate demise.

I have a file on this and other daytrips.

RonZ is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 10:41 AM
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You ask about neighborhoods to explore and I think a teenager might be interested in some of the "newer" neighborhoods like Bastille/Oberkampf, and the very busy Marais. The Parc de la Villette has lots of sports and entertainment options as well as interesting architecture and outdoor art installations. You might want to take a canal ride or walk along the Canal St-Martin. And of course there are walking tours of many neighborhoods which will illuminate the history of those areas. These walks can be found in the weekly Pariscope, along with lots of other events.

Quick, moderate lunches have become easier of late, as there are a number of chains like Lina's Sandwiches and Columbus Cafe in addition to the more traditional creperies. I'm assuming your son might not have the patience for a sit-down midday meal, but if he does, any pleasant cafe will offer a croque monsieur or a sandwich and a chance to do some people watching.

I'd love to hear how it goes, as I'm taking my 13 year old nephew next spring.
shellio is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 11:01 AM
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Taking your 13-year-old nephew? What a GREAT AUNT you are!!!
Flyboy is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 03:13 PM
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Thanks, Flyboy, I hope it'll be fun for all of us. Since we love Paris and have brought back gifts for him many times, he hasn't let us forget that we promised years ago to take him with us as his bar mitzvah gift.

By the way, Marilyn, are you staying in an apartment or a hotel?
shellio is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 05:26 PM
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marilynr, how do you feel about letting your son out by himself to explore Paris? My son (age 17) really wanted this for our upcoming trip. I doubt I will see him much other than morning and night.
WillTravel is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 06:15 PM
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We took our son to Paris for a 5-day trip for his 16th birthday. He is also very interested in history and international culture; we took a day trip by train to Normandy and the American Cemetary (would recommend making this an overnight, if possible), and had his birthday lunch at the Arab Institute. We let him out of our sight several times - when we went to buy train tkts, he was on his own -- but he knew the way back to our apartment and was very comfortable, even without speaking any French other than 'merci' and 'bonjour.' We spent a day at Chartres the first time we took him to Paris; he still reminds me that he hasn't been to Versailles!

Pittsburgher is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 08:17 PM
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Parc Villete is where one can tour the Argonaut submarine and see a show at La Geode, the largest IMAX dome theatre in the world, among other attractions.
RonZ is offline  
Mar 27th, 2004, 09:31 PM
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The catacombs will be a must.

We took my 2 stepsons to Paris in '99 (they were 17 & 19) and they really loved the catacombs. Skulls and bones and such! Great boy stuff.

MarcieLynn is offline  
Mar 28th, 2004, 07:24 AM
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We had our two teenaged boys in France for two weeks last summer. Here are my suggestions: take a long day trip to Normandy. If he is into history, this is absolutely it. You can easily arrange a day tour during the week or if you really want to "see" normandy, do it on a weekend and have two full days. Just remember, June 2004 is the 60th anniversary of D-Day and it will be jammed. I would not miss this!!!! We went to Giverney as well on our way back from Normandy. It was well over 100 degrees so that is the biggest memory I have of the place! Oh yes, the pictures and gardens were beautiful. Versailles is a full day - take the train early and enjoy the palace, gardens, etc. If he likes tennis, go to Roland Garros - my older son is a huge tennis fan so this was key for him. In the city, we did the usual stuff: pantheon (not usually on the list but very cool), eiffel tower, arch, sacre coeur, Notre Dame, Memorial de les deportees (again, not on a lot of lists but very moving), Louvre (make a list of what you want to see, map it out and make a beeline for those works, then wander on the way out), Musee D'Orsay (same advice as on the Louvre), Luxembourg Gardens, Rodin Museum, Les Invalides (great military museum and Napolean's tomb), wander around the Sorbonne (we stayed nearby and had dinner on a cute courtyard one night). DEFINITELY... take the Fat Bike Tour. We did their segway option at night and it was the biggest highlight of the days in paris. Don't know if this would be considered a day trip, but the next place we want to visit is Oradour Sur Glan. You could also do Disney Paris - it was on our list but we ran out of time.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2004, 08:25 AM
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Thank you, everyone, for the wonderful ideas! I'll be researching all of the suggestions this week. A special thanks to Jinx!
marilynr is offline  
Mar 28th, 2004, 08:44 AM
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We are staying at a hotel called the Evergreen Laurel, located at the end of the metro stop Pont de Levallois Becon. This was arranged by the university we are affiliated with. Any good restaurants out that way?
I don't know if I would feel comfortable with my son venturing off for the day. We do split up on occasion in museums, etc. and he walks around the area by himself at times. It is nice to have a little alone time when you are spending so much time together.
Thanks again for your help.
marilynr is offline  
Mar 30th, 2004, 05:18 AM
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Hi Marilynr - your holiday sounds familiar to us as we took our 15 year old son to Paris at Easter some 10 years ago now. I can highly reccommend you have your sons portrait sketched in Place du Tetre by one of the many artists. We let a very charming gentleman sketch our son (after you agree on a price) and had it beautifully framed on returning home.
It hangs in his apartment and has become very special to him. We photographed the artist whilst sketching and can see the portrait in its various stages. It's something to evoke wonderful memories. It won't be long before he's not at home any longer so maybe you should do one for you and your husband?
We will once again be winding our way up the hill in Montmatre this June. I can hardly wait!
tod is offline  
Mar 30th, 2004, 05:49 AM
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If you haven't already been, might I also suggest Pere Lachaise cemetary.
trvlgrl is offline  
Mar 30th, 2004, 06:19 PM
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Trvlgrl, yes, I forgot that one! The cemetary is wonderful.
MarcieLynn is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 01:28 AM
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RonZ, I just went to the Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte website and that is definitely a place we will visit. Thanks for the suggestion.
marilynr is offline  

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