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First Time in France for 10 days could use some help!!!

First Time in France for 10 days could use some help!!!

Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 05:27 PM
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First Time in France for 10 days could use some help!!!

Going to France for first time in October.. late in planning... thought Paris for 5 days, any ideas for the other 5??? so many places to go not sure where I should spend the other 5.. any help would be much appreciated!!!Any Hotel or Chataeux ideas would be great!!! Thanks alot!!!!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 05:32 PM
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I would pick one other region for the other 5 days - ie, Brittany, Normandy, Loire Vally, Alsace etc. What are some of your interests? Medieval, War memorials, Classic Art, Impressionism....
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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Remember to plan in travel time and a little bit of jet lag. If you want to sleep in and have a few long lunches then ten days isn't too much time just for Paris. - I don't know if you'll have a car or not but if you'd like to get out of town for just a day or two I'd look for a travel book describing day trips from Paris. You can take a trip to Normandy or the Loire Valley, stay over night and return the next day. Depending on where you're flying out from that may be a good option to see more of France but not spend all your time in a train or car.

Have fun!
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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I'm the same like LaraM, Paris needs lots of days.

If you run through all of the sites in Paris, okay, you can handle this in five days. But, there really are a bunch of good things to visit in Paris.

With ten days in Paris, you can converse with others about the real Paris. View people spend time in the Rodin museum but certainly it's worth the visit.

You can whisk through the Musee D'Orsay in a few hours but I've been there many, many visits and I would love to spend more hours in this place.

Spend a whole Saturday in Paris and walk everywhere. You'll get to see many things which will miss just by using the Metro.

Find the parts of Paris which have specialties. Around the Moulin Rouge there's an area specialties on music. A bit more towards Sacre Coeur you'll find tissues-fabrics. Along the Seine has a bird neighborhood. Around the Gare du Nord has glass and porcelin.

How many women can spend less than a whole day at Galerie Lafayette. Even I loved visiting the store and see what I can't elsewhere.

So give yourself really see Paris and spend the whole ten days.

Blackduff
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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Paris IS wonderful, but PLEASE don't stay there 10 days and miss the incredible country side.
The last time I went to France we stayed in Paris 2 days on the front end of the trip and 2 days on the back end of the trip - which I thought was PERFECT. We stayed near the Champs Elysees on the front end of the trip and then stayed in the St. Germain area. The Opra area is also wonderful.
We traveled southern France in a car for about 2 weeks. Our favorites were: Saint-Emilion, small and perfect romantic city, stayed at Mme Musset's bed and breakfast. I felt like I was in a "Town & Country" photo shoot. Beautiful rooms and garden!!! LOTS of great wineries! The Dordogne River valley - Beynac (the film Chocolat was shot there) but a must is SARLAT. It is like a fairy tale. I bought a CD from a band playing outside one night and I love to play it in the summer - it takes me back. Best Sat. market I've ever been to. CARCASSONNE is a double walled medieval city - really neat, but more touristy than Sarlat and St. Emilion.
Collioure on the Mediterranean is beautiful. The views in Biarritz are beautiful, but it's big and expensive and the only place we stayed where we found very little English spoken.

If you love wine, the wine area outside Bordeaux will leave you speechless. (Don't stay in Bordeaux - too big!) We stayed at Cordeillan-Bages. They can set up tours for you at all the great wineries - Mouton Rothschild, Ducru Beaucaillou, Chateau Margaux, Latour, etc. we did 3 to 4 a day.

4 Days in Paris are more than enough - could even cut it to 3. The smaller towns are what you will fall in love with!!!!!
A GREAT restaurant we found in the St. Germain area was Le Relais de l'Etrecote. It is across from the Hotel Bel-ami and a restaurant called La Petite Zinc, which was one of Hemmingway's favorites. Le Relais serves only 1 thing. For approx. 20 Euros you get a salad and ALL of the steak and fries you can eat. And they are awesome. We got the last table at 7:30 and when we left, people were lined up for over a block to get in.
Eiffel Tower tip-best view and pictures are from the Trocadero bus stop.

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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 08:55 PM
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How about taking the TGV to Avignon (2 hrs, 40 minutes). You can then see Provence, whether it be Avignon/Arles or possibly drive not far to the hill towns of Gordes, Roussilon, Bonnieux. You could get around Avignon/Arles by public transportation but would need a car or tour to get to the hill towns. We rented a car in Avignon and turned it in at the Nice airport. Have fun!
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 09:09 PM
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Hi

I can only give you input when it comes to Paris. My wife and I went there in April and I have posted a trip report with pictures and links on my homepage http://gardkarlsen.com/Paris_France.htm . Maybe you can find some useful information there. Get in touch if you have any questions or comments

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 09:48 PM
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Maybe a little cirle tour: the Loire Valley 2 nights, Bayeaux, Mt St Michel 1 night then back to Paris
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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Hi G,

I suggest 7 days in Paris with a daytrip to Versailles or Chartres, and an overnight to Dijon/Beaune.

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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 11:53 AM
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I agree with tenntogo - don't spend all your time in Paris. It is my favorite city; however, there are many fascinating places in France - and I've been there 8 tmes (so far) - and spent several weeks in Paris. I think the idea of a 5/5 split is ideal. I would pick one other area Loire, Provence, Normandy, etc. and spend the other 5 days there.

I don't like jumping from one hotel to another, so I would probably stay 5 mights in Paris, then take the train to wherever I decided to go next (and I'm a big fan of Provence), rent a car and stay the additional 4 nights in a central spot to see the sights that are of interest. Depending upon when/where your plane leaves from will dictate your plans for the additional night.

Have a wonderful trip - France is a wonderful place to visit.
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 12:28 PM
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I think I would vote for Normandy if you will rent a car..should be great that time of year and you won't be too far from Paris. And you can dip into Brittany as well. It's been a long time since my last visits so sorry I cannot help with hotels.
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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It is a good idea to spend 4 to 5 day in Paris and choose another location.

For a newby, the Loire region might be first choice (overwhelmingly with castles).

An alternative is Burgundy.

For medium-priced castle hotels, I recommend http://www.chateauxhotels.com/public/accueil/index.php

For high-priced castle hotels, you may look at Relais et Chateaux.
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 03:52 PM
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ttt
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 05:22 PM
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Thanks for all your advice!! I am going to do 5 days in Paris and 5 days in the Provence area. I appreciate all the sites you gave me for checking out places to stay. I have to decide what part of Paris I want to stay in now, and where in Provence should be my home base. I am thinking of the Marais area of Paris, as well as the St Germain area. Any thoughts? Thanks again for your help!!
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 04:45 AM
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Hi gc,

In Paris we always stay at the Hotel Bonaparte, 61 Rue Bonaparte in the 6th. From 124E dbl w/bkfst. It is located near 3 metro stops. Has AC

Tel 33 1 43 26 97 37
FAX 33 1 46 33 57 67
www.hotelbonaparte.fr

For more info, enter "Hotel Bonaparte" in the "search this forum" box.

Photos are at http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&x=0&y=-l95uyr

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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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Provence is a good choice, especially in October, when the weather is usually quite good. We often have very warm days with cool evenings. It's less crowded and you can visit everything easily.

I would not recommend staying in Avignon however, unless you don't rent a car. You can see parts of Provence by train and bus, but the best way is by car.

If you'd like suggestions about the area, you can email me. I live south of Avignon, near St Rémy.

Patricia
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 11:42 AM
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Thanks Patricia,
I didn't know how to e-mail you. I would love suggestions for some fabulous places to stay that will give you that feeling of really being in provence. What could be better than from someone who lives there? About $300 price range. The St Remy area sounds nice, open to other small towns also, we will have a car. We will be taking the train from Paris so I guess we will pick up the car when we arrive. Any help is much appreciated. If there are special restaurants that you love that info would also be much appreciaited.
Thanks in advance.
Gayle
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 12:17 PM
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I was in France for a month in '04 with just over a week of it in Paris. It was a blur and I crave a month in Paris.

My 14 yr old son and I rented the rue Mouffetard studio from Henri at www.private-paris.com and loved, loved, loved it. Truly wonderful ancient, mostly pedestrian street. If you type rue mouffetard in the search box you'll likely see some posts about the studio and the area.

Next summer I'm renting the rue de Grenelle apt. from Henri because I'm going with three other women and we are all on some shopping mission or another so we are going to stay in the more cosmopolitan area (Christian Louboutin's beautiful red heeled shoes are waiting for me just across the street).

We're combining a week in Paris with a week in Provence so I'll tell you what I'm thinking of doing. I don't want to be jetlagged in Paris where one can find SOMETHING to do 24/7. So we're beginning our trip with a week in Provence where things are a bit slower then finishing with a week in Paris.

We may take an open jaw flight into a southern city (Marseille, Nice)from the states then depart at the end of the trip from Paris or we may fly to Paris and take the TGV direcly to Avignon. Just a matter of waiting to see what the difference will be in cost and time.

While many recommend renting a car for Provence we are going to rely on public transport this trip as there are 4 of us and we will all want to do different things, splitting up rather than staying together. I have driven in France and I found it pretty easy other than finding the damn rental agency at the airport when it was time to return it.

We plan to stay a few nights in Avignon at www.villa-agape.com then take the bus to Arles and stay at www.lecalendal.com. Last time I stayed in a charmless, modern, less than well located hotel in Arles to save money but I'm staying centrally located within the old city walls in both towns this time to soak up every bit of ambiance possible.

For a romantic trip with my husband I would likely rent a car and concentrate more on the small towns in Provence that are less accessible via public transport. There are great hiking & biking trails in Provence connecting many of the villages.

If you've done much digging about Paris on this site you've likely already heard of Michael Osman. If not, type his name in the search box and read all about him. For a first trip especially, he is a great guide who will actually save you alot of time as during your time with him you won't get lost and you will learn how to get around the city.

Mike's Fat Tire bike tours of Paris are also money well spent.
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 12:25 PM
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IMO, $300/nt is waaaay more than enough to spend to get a feel for Provence. Check out www.venere.com for lots of options and reviews. Its a very user friendly site for Paris hotels too because you can search by arrondisements very easily and there are maps to show exactly where the hotels are located.
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 01:51 PM
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gchizz1... I sent you an email with information on hotels, restaurants and sightseeing. If, for some reason, you don't receive it, you can email me at
[email protected]

Patricia
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