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First trip to Paris - top 3 must see/do/eat

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Mar 17th, 2012, 06:47 AM
  #1
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First trip to Paris - top 3 must see/do/eat

I will be in Paris at the end of April for 6 days. Reading guide books, web pages and this forum have overwhelmed me with too many great sights, places to eat etc. Tell me what where your top 3 things to see, do or eat.
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Mar 17th, 2012, 06:55 AM
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L'Orangerie museum
Macarons
Champagne cruise on the Seine
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Mar 17th, 2012, 07:23 AM
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Seine cruise at night with http://www.vedettesdupontneuf.com/ buy tickets online to save money

Drink wine in a cafe on a square with great views and people watching

Visit markets to buy a picnic and eat in a lovely garden
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Mar 17th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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the impressionist gallery at the Musee D'Orsay

hot chocolate from Angelina's

visiting Ste Chappelle on a sunny day, so the light streams through the stained glass
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Mar 17th, 2012, 12:01 PM
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To see: the Eiffel Tower (NB: just LOOK at it, don't join the queues of hapless hordes)

To do: Musée Guimet (still touristy but not as much as some other museums in Paris; some days it can be practically deserted)

To eat: crêpes caramel beurre salés on the Ile St Louis, at the Salon de Thé Pain d'Epices
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Mar 17th, 2012, 12:06 PM
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Ths is a great thread for ideas http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...o-in-paris.cfm
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Mar 18th, 2012, 01:17 AM
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It would be a great help to know where you are staying because many sites are easily linked in a particular walk, but to recommend, we need to know where the walk begins.

Any special interests? Art,shopping, music, fashion, architecture, decorating, history?

Any food/drink prejudices or loves?

I could give you more positive recommendations knowing the answers to these questions, but I can give you some NEGATIVE recommendations without knowing anything. Do not waste time on 1. The Rue Cler 2. The Centre Pompidou 3. The Pantheon

I also agree with Bianca_P about going up in the Eiffel Tower.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 02:52 AM
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>>>I can give you some NEGATIVE recommendations without knowing anything. Do not waste time on 1. The Rue Cler 2. The Centre Pompidou 3. The Pantheon<<<

Anyone with even a remote interest in modern art or French history would beg to differ.

My top three or five and a half would be:
1. A performance at the Palais Garnier
2. The Louvre
3. The Pompidou
4. The Basilica Saint Denis
5. Proper baguettes from a bakery
(I also really enjoyed the Pantheon, btw)
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Mar 18th, 2012, 03:34 AM
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I have a far from remote interest in French history and I agree with Ackislander's NOT TO SEES. Also, no need for the Eiffel Tower to be on your list, you will see it from many viewpoints.

My list is outdoor spaces because with only 2 days, most of my time would be spent outside absorbing the city itself.

1. The Louvre courtyard with Pei's glass pyramid.
2. The Palais Royale courtyard and loggias behind the Comedie Francaise
3. The Place des Vosges
4. The Isle St Louis
5. Place de la Concorde
6. Place Vendome

If you walk to/from/between these places you will have a good take on Paris.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 04:06 AM
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I agree the others about Eiffel Tower. We had a lovely April day picnic lunch of a baguette sandwich, sitting on a park bench gazing at the Eiffel Tower and people watching...was fabulous.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 04:54 AM
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Notre Dame (including climbing the tower for the view and to see the gargoyles and bell)
Ste Chapelle
Musee d'Orsay

but choosing a top three in Paris is awfully hard. I would encourage you to read the thread on the top 100 listed above. And, a book of good walking tours is really helpful as opposed to a guide book that just lists major buildings and museums. I would buy the Michelin green guide. With six days you have time to wander some of the neighborhoods. (I understood you to have six, not two days?)

Have a great trip!
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Mar 18th, 2012, 04:59 AM
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Have a late supper and stroll on Rue Montorgueil.

The stained glass at St. Chapelle

Go to L'Orangerie in a mostly cloudy day with fast moving clouds. See how the changes in light affect the paintings.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 05:53 AM
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Tarquin, you are person of intelligence and culture.
Your favorites are mine.

I cannot imagine a visit to Paris without some time in the Palais Royale courtyard and Place des Vosges. I also like the "back" courtyard at the Louvre. For outdoor spaces, I also love the Luxembourg Garden, the garden at the Rodin Museum, and the Parc Andre Citroen.

I'll take my history at the Invalides (grand), Carnavalet (human) and Cluny (spiritually satisfying). As for Beauborg, I'll go the Opera Bastille rather than IRCAM for my music and MOMA in New York for my modern art museum, thank you very much.

As to the building itself, the French are not to blame. It is hard for me to believe that a brilliant architect like Renzo Piano was associated with the utterly talentless Richard Rogers. The Centre Pompidous, shocking in its day, is as tedious and old fashioned now as a person my age still wearing the bell bottom trousers, wide white belt and platform shoes of his youth.

Not that I have an opinion, you understand.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 06:40 AM
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Ste. Chapelle both on a sunny day to see the magnificent stained glass at its best and in the evening to hear a lovely classical concert.

Luxembourg Gardens on a Sunday to people watch.

The newly reopened Impressionist galleries at the Musee D'Orsay.

But don't miss the Orangerie, the Tuilleries, an evening Seine cruise, the Rodin Museum gardens where the roses should be starting to bloom, "The Lady and the Unicorn" tapestries at the Cluny Museum, the Place des Vosges, and the Winged Victory at the Louvre.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 07:33 AM
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Only three... gosh, that's hard.

Pere La Chaise Cemetery
Rodin's garden
D'Orsay

and... (sorry)
Musee Nissim de Comando
Walk Place de La Concorde (pick up a crepe from the stand) through the Tuilleries garden to the courtyard of the Louvre

What I would avoid on a quick trip because it's over-rated and touristy (IMHO):
Rue Cler
Most of St. Germain
Champs Elysee
Place du Tarte in Montmartre
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Mar 18th, 2012, 08:02 AM
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Picnic and people watch near the Eiffel Tower - you can also do this in Place des Vosges

Do the Vedettes du Pont Neuf on the Seine

Musee d'Orsay
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Mar 18th, 2012, 08:23 AM
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Patisserie.
Maison de Chocolat.
Patisserie.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 08:42 AM
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to see:
Ste Chapelle-do try to go when it is sunny
Climb towers of Notre Dame for a great view of Paris and those terrific gargoyles
St Denis- burial place of French Kings

To eat:
Beef cheeks at Le Comptoir in the 6th
Gerard Mulot for the gorgeous shop and a pain au chocolat
Un Dimanche a Paris for the sleek, modern shop (and restaurant) and the best macarons (IMO) in Paris!

Enjoy your trip....you can't see it all in one trip so don't try to (and don't stress out over that)! Definitely take the time to relax and enjoy some cafe creme or wine at a cafe and just enjoy being in Paris.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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The Louvre
Musee d'Orsay
St Chappelle (sp?)

Take the Batobus on the Seine, a hop-on-hop-off boat, to get from place to place. It is convenient and affordable. Gorgeous at night. Do not miss it after dark. It only runs till 9 or 10pm, so be aware of that.

See the Eiffel Tower, especially at night when it lights up, which you can see from many points.

I agree that the Champs Elysee is somewhat disappointing. It is full of tacky shops and lots of people.

Walk as much as possible. St Germain, the Marais, etc.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 10:45 AM
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The top things are: - the Eiffel Tower ( go to the first platform, not the top), the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Grand Palais and the Pont Alexandre III with the Invalides, the Pantheon. Eat:- snails, fois gras, caviar. Do:- take a boat ride on the Seine, visit a street market, have a drink at a grand cafe while people watching, window shop at the grands couturiers. Have FUN.
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