Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

6th Arr. in Paris in August - Need help with food and travel!

Notices

6th Arr. in Paris in August - Need help with food and travel!

Old Jul 8th, 2008, 08:34 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 128
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
6th Arr. in Paris in August - Need help with food and travel!

We'll be staying in an air conditioned hotel in the Sixth arrondissement (near Saint-Germain-des-Pres and Rue de l'Odeon)in Paris in the beginning of August. I've read through several other posts hoping to find answers. Thanks to Kerouac and PalenQ (whom I noticed most often), I expect less smog, less traffic (thank goodness - we'll be traveling into Paris by car), bring an umbrella no matter how hot or humid it's going to be, long lines at the museums despite some restaurants closing for holidays/vacations, and again, make sure we have a/c.

Our hotel is close to a Metro (Odeon - Line 4). But we also like to walk. Our athletic ability: We have walked (moderate-fast pace) 20 blocks in Manhattan without breaking a sweat in the middle of January and again in July (ok, so we may have sweat a little in July). We can climb 300+ stairs without stopping. We can stand in lines if needed (but not really preferred). We can cover 5-6 miles easily.

The questions I have are:

Any recommendations/suggestions for restaurants in the sixth arrondissment? Our budget? CHEAP. We're feeding 5 mouths (2 big ones and 3 small ones) and we've already lost money from the exchange rate (USD to euros). For breakfast, lunch and dinner? Perhaps a local market for picnic foods?

Closest ice cream?

Could we walk to the Orsay? Pont Neuf? Jardin Tuileries? Notre Dame? Jardin du Luxembourg?

This one will make some of you shake your heads, but I have to ask.
Bateaux Mouches or Vedettes? Yes, I read the other threads, but taking our hotel location (sixth arrondissement near Pont Neuf) into consideration... I'm torn. We're definitely saving the Seine river cruise for evening (we'll be too busy during the day and our feet will probably need a rest by then) and we will NOT be eating dinner on a cruise. Most threads' votes were for Bateaux Mouches, but Vedettes is closer! What should we do?

And since most of these threads combine the Eiffel Tower with a Seine river cruise... Should we rely on the boat as transportation to the Eiffel? Or take the Metro?

I tried to find answers by reading previous and current posts. I apologize if it's repetitive. Time is running out and these questions still remain. Thank you for your help!

libssmfamily is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 09:02 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,540
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would walk to all of those destinations from your neighborhood, but I really love to walk! For the Tour Eiffel I would either hop on the Metro or take a bus -- don't overlook the bus for getting around (mentioned on lots of other posts). You will have many transportation options.

Be sure to find the Bonbonnerie de Buci, rue Buci, which will be in your neighborhood. Wonderful pastries and confections.

Someone else who has stayed in that neighborhood will know better - I am sure there is a market in the St. Germain area but I do not remember any specifics, just that I walked through one on our last trip.
Barbara_in_FL is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 09:03 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 350
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I do have to ask, and don't take this the wrong way... Have you looked at any type of map for Paris yet?

For example Jardin du Luxembourg is probably 4 to 5 blocks from your hotel. Any one of the could we walk places is under a mile from your location.
MrNuke is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 09:05 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,652
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
re: <<boat as transportation to the Eiffel>

The Vedettes and the Bateaux Mouches end where they start, so you can't use them as transportation. Only the Batobus makes multiple stops (haven't used the Batobus myself, but someone said on another thread that that's not the best for seeing the river because you have to keep waiting for people to get on and off at each stop). The Bateaux Mouches rides are slightly longer-- IRRC about 1 hr 10 min, while the Vedettes and the Bateaux Parisienne are about an hour-- but that's not really a big difference because the extra parts at each end aren't the highlights anyway. I like the Bateaux Mouches boats (mostly bigger with more open areas), but one annoying thing is the rather loud multilingual commentary-- hearing the same thing repeatedly in English, Spanish, Chinese,... kind of ruins the Parisian atmosphere. On the Bateaux Parisienne, the audioguide is on hand-held devices, so you can listen only to the language of your choice, or ignore it completely.
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 09:12 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 350
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are going to combine the Eiffel Tower with a boat ride before, Bateaux Mouches is probably the better option. They depart from Pont de l'alma, which is very close to the Eiffel Tower. From there you could either walk back or take the metro/rer back to your hotel.

MrNuke is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 09:16 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,652
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry for the typos and bad spelling-- I meant Bateaux Parisiens, which start at the tower.
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 09:19 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,209
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Try the Batobus, a boat service that runs up & down the Seine.The circuit covers six stops: Port de la Bourdannais (near the Eiffel Tower), Port de Solferino (near the Musee d'Orsay), Quai Malaquais (opposite the Louvre), Quai du Louvre (near the Louvre), Quai de l'Hotel de Ville (near the Hotel de Ville). It's a pleasant alternative to travelling in Paris' (very hot) metro and you get a different perspective of the city!

Have fun!

2010

2010 is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 09:26 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 78
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cheap restaurants in the 6th? I usually have only myself to feed, so I budget morning and noon and splurge a bit a night. I think you will find some inexpensive restaurants, if there is such a thing in Paris, on rue Monsieur le Prince. Unless your hotel includes breakfast, I would go to Paul's, corner of rue de Buci and rue de Seine. Just next to Paul's is a Champion grocery store where you can buy snacks. There is a Häagen Dazs on rue de Buci. My favorite deli/patisserie is Gérard Mulot at 76 rue de Seine, but it is closed for part of August. All of these are close to the Odéon stop.
The Carte Orange has been replaced by the Navigo card, good from Monday morning to Sunday midnight on buses and the subway. You can buy it at a métro stop or a tabac.
You can walk to most of the places you mentioned, but I would take the 63 bus to Trocadéro and walk across the bridge to the Eiffel Tower. You can get the 63 going west on the rue de l'Ecole de Médicine, very near the Odéon stop. Unless you want to go up the tower, I would go in the evening to see the lights twinkle on the hour.
If you google Vedettes de Pont-Neuf, I think they still have printable coupons for 2€s off. I would take that because of the proximity to your hotel.
If you don't like long lines at museums, you can buy the museum card and bypass the lines.
I just got back from Paris the last week in May and will be back there on 10 August. I hope for your sake and mine that it will not be too hot. My hotel does not have air conditioning.
BootsN
BootsN is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 09:31 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,962
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For cheap(er) eats in the 6th, directly across from the Odeon metro station is the entrance to the cobblestoned Cour du Commerce. Take the cour du commerce to its end ( you will pass the famous Café Procope among other historic sites) and you will be on the narrow rue St. André des Arts.

If you turn to the left you will pass where the the first guillotine was invented to arrive at the well-known Buci market and home of the famous Amorino Gelateria. One of the side streets you will pass is Grégoire de Tours which houses lots of eateries-the Chinese and Creperie (A la Bonne Crêpe) are cheap and good.

If, instead, you turn to the right and descend the rue St. Andre des Arts you will pass an assortment of eateries-Chinese, Greek, Creperies, North African-where you can get a sandwich, crêpe or gyros for 5-6 euros and take with you to eat as you walk to Place St. Michel and its beautiful fountain which is located at the bottom of the street. From there it is an easy walk to Notre Dame.

Study a map to familiarize yourself with the area and it will make your walking much easier.

Have fun!

klondike is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 09:35 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 128
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Barbara! I will keep an eye out for La Bonbonnière de Buci - it's right around the corner!

MrNuke - No offense taken. I have looked at the maps, but having never been to Paris before, I'm not familiar with how long a city block is there. Manhattan differs from San Francisco, and San Francisco differs from San Diego, and so on. I also asked because most threads mention riding on the metro, taking a taxi and so forth. Rarely ever have I read that tourists actually walked through neighborhoods in Paris as suggested in the Rick Steve's Best of Europe '08. It could be preference, timing, weather, or laziness. The same applies in the U.S. Not often do I hear of tourists walking from the Upper West Side to Times Square in Manhattan, but it's definitely possible. Most prefer to jump on the subway. In our case, I'd prefer to walk, but I am unfamiliar with the city blocks in Paris. Thank you for your help with the Eiffel Tower/Seine Cruise. And thank you for noting that we could walk back to our hotel. Of all the locations listed, the Eiffel and distance had the biggest question mark.

MademoiselleFifi, I appreciate your clarification and I will take the commentary into consideration.

Regarding walking vs. metro/RER... I am trying to stay clear of the metro for two reasons - 1. cost and 2. theft. Now given, we could be approached and mugged on the street or hit by a car or step in dog droppings, but I think our chances are better on foot. And I'll need to keep my weight down after eating ice cream and pastries all day. What do you think?
libssmfamily is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 09:37 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 128
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2010 - my thoughts exactly... Having been on the subway in both Boston and Manhattan in summer - I have had experience with the heat. Thanks for your suggestion!
libssmfamily is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 09:41 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 128
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BootsN and Klondike,

Oh my goodness, not only am I EXCITED but I'm hungry! Your suggestions are printing as I type. Thank you so much for your help! Merci beaucoup!
libssmfamily is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 10:05 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 350
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
libssmfamily,

Good deal. You will find everything to be very walkable from your location.

Here are some rough times
Jardin du Luxembourg about 5 minutes
Pont Neuf about 5 minutes
Notre Dame 10-15 minutes
Orsay 15-20 minutes
Jardin Tuileries 15-20 minutes
Eiffel Tower about 40 to 50 minutes.
MrNuke is offline  
Old Jul 8th, 2008, 10:39 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 128
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
MrNuke, Thank you so much! Wow! I really appreciate your help and going the extra mile by including estimates! We'll definitely be walking!
libssmfamily is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2008, 01:50 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 11,431
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi libssmfamily, while I think your fitness level is fabulous, all that walking gets very tiring, especially if you are walking and then strolling through museums/galleries.

Buses have the bus No and the names of the stops printed on the sides of them and the bus routes are also inside each bus stop. MrNuke's times are ok but he doesn't allow any time for getting lost (and you will!). www.ratp.fr will help you work out bus routes.

The metro is fabulous and we used it a lot, but the buses let you see the city while you travel. I've had two trips to Paris, used the metro constantly and haven't ever felt in danger of theft? Not sure why you think that it will be a problem.

If you get to a museum and the line is long (St Chapelle for example) go back at the end of a day, the queue will be much shorter as the tour groups will all be gone. Obviously not at the larger museums where you will want to spend more time. We went to St Chapelle at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon and walked straight in. Same at Versaille, if you are going there, do the gardens first and then the Chateau later.

For lunch we picked up baguettes filled with all sorts of gorgeous things and ate in parks. It's the cheapest way by far to feed 5 mouths.

On our last day we bought the batobus tickets 12 euros and used it to hop on/hop off all day as we revisited our favourite sites. There's no commentary though, it's really just a ferry.

If your 3 small mouths are under about 11 years they might like to hire the little sail boats on the pond at Jardin du Luxembourg, children have been doing that for centuries now and they still love it! Pony rides are also available and quite inexpensive. It's a gorgeous park, don't miss it.

There is a market in your area, but I'm not sure how practical that will be if you are in a hotel rather than an apartment. Good for fruit though.

Hope you have fun!!

cathies is online now  
Old Jul 9th, 2008, 02:08 AM
  #16  
BKP
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,184
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'll answer your most important question because no one else has yet -- ICE CREAM!!

The best ice cream in Paris (and the world, let's be honest) is Berthillion. It's main location is on Ile Saint Louis, which is the island behind Ile de la Cite (where Notre Dame is located). Many different cafes and bistros will advertise that they serve Berthillion, but I prefer to go to the actual location for a bigger selection. They have little cones that allow you to have two scoops, side by side. Our favorites so far are chocolate and apple! Mmmm . . .

With 3 little mouths you can't go wrong. However, you do need to plan when you go -- go too early in your trip and you're going to have to keep going back and it's not really on the way to anyway -- but go too late and you'll kick yourself on the way home that you didn't get to go more often.

Have fun!
BKP is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2008, 05:31 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,233
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cheap restaurants:
Try Les Patios in the Place de la Sorbonne. Not expensive, good place to people-watch, entertainment by students who play music for tips (but aren't agressive about it). You'll find a mix of tourists, locals and students. Very pleasant, as it's in a square with no traffic. And there's indoor dining if you choose.

Also in your area, try Breakfast in America on Rue des Ecoles. It's a diner-style place that offers, uh, American-style breakfasts for reasonable prices -- http://breakfast-in-america.com/main/

Recommend walking up to Luxembourg Gardens and having picnic there. You can pick up the goodies on the walk to the gardens.
j_999_9 is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2008, 05:45 AM
  #18  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,700
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi L,

>Could we walk to the Orsay? Pont Neuf? Jardin Tuileries? Notre Dame? Jardin du Luxembourg?<

Yes to all.

>Bateaux Mouches or Vedettes?

Also check www.batobus.com.

There are many, many inexpensive restos in the immediate vicinity of your hotel.

Check www.pagesjaunes.fr for marchés in the 75005 and 75006 zones.

>Closest ice cream?

Look up Amorino Gelato shops at
www.amorino.fr/boutiques.htm. There are several near you.

Better than Berthillon.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2008, 06:21 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,233
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One other idea for lots of eats for not-too-much money: Walk through the Latin Quarter and purchase food at the small shops and stalls. You can buy stuff like stuffed crepes and much away as you walk around.
j_999_9 is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2008, 06:30 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 126
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
also go onto chowhounds.com for food ideas.. lots there...
coxbox is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information