First-Time Paris Visitors

Old Apr 24th, 2001, 05:55 PM
Joe G
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First-Time Paris Visitors

We're spending a week in Paris in mid-May and staying at the Hotel Napoleon on Avenue de Friedland. Basic questions for anyone listening-

What sites of interest are close-by?
What is must-see for first time visitors?
Any restaurant/bistro recommendations in this area?
What type of weather can we expect this time of year, and what type of clothing should we bring for a side-trip up to Normandy?

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer.

Old Apr 24th, 2001, 06:28 PM
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Hi Joe-

I am not familar with the hotel you mention. (I'm not familar with most hotels in Paris, though, so that doesn't mean anything.)

However, it is very easy in Paris to get around on the subway - so no matter what area you are staying in you will be able to see the sites.

What are you interested in? There are many wonderful museums, gardens, buildings, cathedrals, stores, etc. to see in Paris. Knowing what interests you will help others make recommendations.

Personally, my favorite thing, aside from museums is to just walk around the city. Most guidebooks recommend several different Paris walks - which will generally take you by some common sites and explain what you are seeing and also help you see a bit of Paris neighborhoods and stores.

I think the weather in May will be very nice - you can check to get historical weather information. Guidebooks will also have weather information.

I hope this helps - enjoy your trip!
Old Apr 24th, 2001, 06:53 PM
Bob Brown
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Paris as a city comes about as close to being all things to all people as any major city I have visited in Western Europe. You have to approach from the point of view of visiting the places that appeal to you. Something had to lure you to Paris, so maximize your touring on that theme. If nothing lured you to Paris, then I have no specific suggestions. Walk down to Rue de Rivoli before 9 AM and take the first Paris tour bus you can find.
If art is something you like then certainly visit Musee d'Orsay.
If history is your thing, then Paris is full of it. A trip to Versailles might be in order, too. Because there is a great deal of history associated with that palace.
Many people visit the Louvre. But I see no reason to go there unless you have some definite objectives in mind.
It is such a huge place that it requires more than one trip to see it well.
Above all, I think you have to give Paris time to unfold. I enjoy just walking around some of the areas observing what ever there is to be seen.
One of my favorite places is Ste. Chapelle inside of the Palais de Justice.
It is a masterwork of stained glass walls. Even though it was constructed in the 1400's, the building was so well crafted the glass walls have rarely buckled or broken from internal stress. And, it you like classical music, Ste. Chapelle is a wonderful place to hear a concert.

But I think the best way to approach it is to get a good guide book, of which Fodors has a worthy entrant, and pick the places that you think you would like to see. I don't think any of us can say for sure what you will like.
Old Apr 24th, 2001, 07:22 PM
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The weather should be delightful (always allow for rain); if you are planning to visit the D-Day beaches, bring good walking shoes and a windbreaker (preferably waterproof) as the coast can be windy and damp.

As suggested, get a good guidebook; don't worry about 'must-sees'. You've chosen Paris for some reason, so go with what attracted you in the first place. No point spending a whole day in the Louvre if your interest lies in gardens and Art Deco architecture...
Old Apr 25th, 2001, 03:03 AM
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Take all the excellent advice above.
I have a file on Paris; if you'd like to see it, email me.
The area of your hotel is not the most central tourist location and I can't make restaurant suggestions for that particular neighborhood, but you are not far by metro and/or foot to many other popular areas.
Weather in Paris is always fickle, and never more so than in the so-called spring. Bring a raincoat and umbrella, and a sweater to layer underneath because I've been there in late May and one time I had drizzle and temps in the
mid 50sF. I hope you love it regardless of the weather.
Old Apr 30th, 2001, 10:42 AM
Joe G.
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Thanks to "scigirl", "Bob Brown", "Elvira", and "Elaine" for responding to our posting. Your input has been very helpful. Will give a full report upon our return from France.

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