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FINALLY going back to Paris! What do you LOVE to do there?

FINALLY going back to Paris! What do you LOVE to do there?

May 7th, 2015, 10:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,131
FINALLY going back to Paris! What do you LOVE to do there?

I am so excited to finally be headed back! I've been to Paris as a college student a couple of times, with my husband and friends, and with my son, but never with my family of four and I am almost giddy with excitement! Son is 21, daughter is 16, and happily I found exactly one week -- Sunday to Sunday -- this summer in which no one has a work or school commitment they can't break. So I booked the plane tickets and apartment rental and am happily anticipating our first family visit to that lovely city!

Those of you who know Paris better than I -- what is your FAVORITE thing to do in Paris? And if you took teen/young adult children to Paris, what was THEIR favorite thing? I'm already planning these::

A meal at the Jules Verne
Trips to a few museums I am carefully selecting
Walking tour of the Marais (with private guide, for in-depth experience)
Side trip to Versailles, with private guide
Guided (part car, part walking) "Highlights" tour of the main "must see" attractions like Arc de Triomphe, Montmartre/Sacre Coeur, Opera House, Place de la Concorde/Tuileries Garden, Notre Dame, Ile St. Louis
Napoleon's Tomb
Four Seasons chamber concert at St. Chappelle
Seine evening cruise
maybe the flea market
Lots of time strolling the parks and neighborhoods
Lots of time at outdoor cafes watching the city walk by
Lots of time in bistros and restaurants enjoying late-night, delicious dinners
Shopping if the mood strikes us

Based on a prior family trip to Madrid, I learned everyone is happiest when I don't plan early morning activities, so we will have leisurely mornings and late nights. If we don't make it to a particular museum or monument, I won't care. This will be my third time eating at the Jules Verne, which I found to be a fun experience and a great way to bypass the line to see the Eiffel Tower. I have found in other travels that it's worth getting private guides for some experiences; both the knowledge they impart and the ease of access they offer contribute to a better overall experience. And while I believe in good trip planning, I also believe in feeling free to discard "the plan" if something we'd rather do comes along.

What is your favorite restaurant in Paris?
If you loved something about Paris not on my list, what was it?
bakerstreet is offline  
May 7th, 2015, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Check out this recent post on 100 Things to Do in Paris! http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...o-in-paris.cfm
travelhorizons is online now  
May 7th, 2015, 11:05 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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As I repeatedly mention on this forum, because it is underrated IMHO: Vincennes.

You might also try to search out/incorporate some passages into your walks.
Bitter is offline  
May 7th, 2015, 12:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Leisurely mornings and late nights work well for me.

I favor small bistros. Two tiny ones I have enjoyed in recent years have been Philou near the Canal St. Martin and La Cerisae in Montparnasse. Reservations are essential. I also really enjoy Bistrot au vieux Chene at 7 rue du Dahomey in the 11th arrondissement. La Cerisae and Au Vieux Chene are not open weekends.
Nikki is offline  
May 7th, 2015, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Canal st. Martin is a vey scenic part of Paris and has some good restaurants and cafes nearby. I'd also suggest going to some of the outdoor markets-Marche D'Aligre or the Bastille Market on Sunday's or Thursday's. In the haut Marais the Marche D'Enfant Rouges is a fun lunch spot with lots of different cuisines or get a picnic lunch and sit out at the Places des Vosges or the stunning Palais Royal. best food advice is on Chowhound.com France message boards. I also use Le Fooding app and this site.

macdogmom is offline  
May 7th, 2015, 02:15 PM
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Favorite thing to do in Paris? Just being there.....
LoriNY1 is online now  
May 7th, 2015, 02:23 PM
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Like you and Nikki, I enjoy leisurely mornings, usually with a jog somewhere, and late nights.

I'm an art fiend and enjoy going to temporary exhibitions.

I like Parc Monceau. Easily visited with Musée Nissim de Camondo and/or Musée Jacquemart-André.

Have you been to Saint Denis basilique? What about Saint-Étienne-du-Mont?

Last year I enjoyed David Toutain but that may not work for your group; not sure I'd take a teen there. I like Au Bon Coin in the 5th. My fave might be having a long, luxe lunch at La Grande Cascade in the Bois de Boulogne. I always reserve.

macdogmom always has good food recs.
Leely2 is offline  
May 7th, 2015, 06:21 PM
Original Poster
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Love the suggestions! Thank you! Looking up some I don't recognize!
bakerstreet is offline  
May 7th, 2015, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Museum of Natural History....fossils galore!
Edward2005 is offline  
May 7th, 2015, 07:56 PM
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We toured the Opera house, the older one with tour guide. Loved the architecture, etc. Didn't have the pleasure to see an Opera. Be aware of Pickpockets in the area.
ACDB is offline  
May 8th, 2015, 01:31 PM
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I once saw a ballet at the Palais Garnier--fantastic experience.

The Petit Palais is free if you haven't been. The Grand Palais often has big temporary exhibitions.
Leely2 is offline  
May 8th, 2015, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Saturday morning at Port de Vanves flea market. I have purchased so many beautiful vintage oil paintings from this place. So much more meaningful to me than mass produced merchandise. You don't have to be there super early. 10:30 or 11 will work. Don't wait until noon, as most the dealers start packing up their goodies by 12:30.
Flaneur5 is offline  
May 9th, 2015, 01:28 PM
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My favorite is the outdoor farmers markets and fresh veggies and fruits. And of course, eclairs from Hure.
denmal is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 05:47 AM
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DH and loved Musee Quai de Branly - only 7 years old , great collection beautifully displayed, inspiring building with a street vertical garden and a garden cafe with fab views of the Eiffel Tower
northie is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 08:49 AM
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How about dancing on the banks of The Seine. We've seen this when passing by on a boat and iiit looked like fun on a warm summer's evening.

The live music around Notre Dame at night is also interesting.

We like to take friends to Le Train Bleu---always impressive. Fancy room to gawk at but a big variety of dress as it's in a train station.

Marmottan Museum---great display of Monet's in a small quiet setting so not so many tourists trying to see the paintings at one time.

Canal St. Martin cruise is very slow but shows you some interesting views of Paris along the water.

The only tour we ever did was Opera Garnier and we loved it. Book an English tour ahead of time.

And, of course, a flower shaped gelato cone at Amorino!

Even after many visits we still have dinner at the Montparnasse Tower on our list---gorgeous view of The Eiffel.
TPAYT is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Oooops, I see the dancung on The Seine says in July but we saw it several times on a Sat. night in Sept. So check it out for dates other than July.

I agree with your plan. I always make so many notes and half of them go out the window. I maybe plan 2 things a day and then go where the wind takes us.
TPAYT is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Here's my list (from a previous post):
paris1953 is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 03:35 PM
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In good weather, a stroll, on the Promanade Plantee. I love St Denis. I also loved climbing the towers of Notre Dame---great view of Paris and the gargoyles.

We love Verjus in the first-- very fairly priced prix fixe menu. In summer, we love a table outside at Marco Polo and a starter of melon and prosciutto. After lots of French cuisine, Italian hits the spot. Did you say where the apartment is....might help narrow down restaurant choices.
denisea is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 05:27 PM
Join Date: May 2010
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If you like tea, Mariage Freres is delicious and it's fun to shop in their old-fashioned store or have tea and cake in the cafe.

sfmurphys is offline  
May 11th, 2015, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Paris plage on a summer evening followed by a nice restaurant.
pariswat is offline  

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