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First trip to Paris- What To Do??

Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 08:45 AM
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First trip to Paris- What To Do??

Hi everyone--

My name's Allen and next week my Mom and I will be taking our first trip to Paris for 8 nights. What are the must see things? Are there any good tours to go on? Can anyone recommend any reasonable restaurants?

Also, is 8 nights too long for Paris? Should we consider taking a day trip??

Any help would be much appreciated!

Sincerely,

Al & Denise
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 08:53 AM
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Not very impressive troll posting.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 08:53 AM
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First, buy a book or two. Fodors, Paris for Dummies, Unofficial Guide to Paris, etc. All will have suggested itineraries and sites not to be missed. With that amount of time, you can do the city as well as day trips to Giverny, Versailles or even Normandy. Lots of options for escorted tours - search this board for more.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 09:00 AM
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what is troll posting?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 09:02 AM
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Hi
If you're serious, take a look elsewhere here at fodors.com under Destinations, then click on Paris.
Lots of great basic information in all categories.

Narrow down your interests a bit, plan an itinerary, and then come back here for more input.

You will need a general guidebook and a map too.

I have a long file on Paris; if you want to see it, email me at [email protected] Ask your mom first.

What do you mean by a reasonable restaurant? What prices did you have in mind for dinner, and what kind of food?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 09:19 AM
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If you are leaving next week, my first question is... do you have HOTEL reservations? To me, that is the only essential item. Anything else you can figure out once you arrive in Paris.

No, 8 nights is not too long for Paris. See once you get there if you feel like taking a day trip. Your hotel front desk can probably make a suggestion and assist with arrangements.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 12:31 PM
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How do people decide to go to a certain place without first having some idea of what there is to do there?
 
Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 01:01 PM
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For god sake will you people help the guy?

Select a neighborhood to explore each day then add the sights according to guidebooks. Paris is huge. The most intense area is around the Les halles.Louvre because here you will find the Louvre, Notre Dame, Les Halles, Hotel de Ville, Rue Rivoli shops the Seine, etc.

Check out websights -

frommers.com
fodors.com
timeout.com

The "Eyewitness Guide" is good to help with this. I also like Frommers Paris (sorry Fodors). If you get both of those you would be covered.

For food I highly, highly recommend the book Bistros of Paris by Authors Robert Hamburger and Barbara Hamburger.

For day trips I would only suggest one, Versailles. Since this is your first trip to Paris I think it would be best to see you can in the city.

http://www.chateauversailles.fr/

I hope that helps.

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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 01:40 PM
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Sorry if we offend you, richardab, but how can you take seriously anyone who posts a week before an eight-day trip to Paris and asks what they should do there?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 01:50 PM
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HowardR - actually a LOT of people do not study up much about where they are going. I personally don't understand it, but it is VERY common.

Friends have actually asked my why I research before taking a trip - that learning too much before hand would "ruin" it for them.

Back to bigal's question - it doesn't strike me a a troll at all --

You will find plenty to fill your 8 days. Take a day trip out to Versailles. Stop in the Tourist Office on the Champs Elysees. They will give you lots of brochures and pamphlets about places to see. And l'Opentour buses are great. They are hop-on-hop-off tours that let you see the whole city and stop along the way to see things up close. there is an English commentary.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 02:53 PM
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I don't agree. Janis. Most people who don't plan as much as we do certainly do SOME research, like, say, reading/skimming a travel book or two at the very least. I certainly infer from the original poster that he hasn't even done that!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 03:14 PM
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Karebear, troll posting is one of the more little-known events in the Scottish Highland Games, similar to caber tossing. The trolls don't much care for it but they really can't do much about it, being no match for burly Scotsmen.

http://www.crieff-highland-games.co.uk/caber.html
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 04:20 PM
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Sorry Howard, you're wrong. I'm just chiming in as someone of the no-research persuasion! I rarely study up ahead of a trip. I do work to find a neighborhood that suits me & make a hotel reservation. Beyond that, I wing it. I'd rather sit in a sidewalk cafe or public park than tour a museum & you don't need a guidebook for that!

Back to Al's question, since noone has really taken a stab at it:

Must See: Eiffle Tower, Luxemborg Gardens, Arc de Triomphe, The Tuilleries, D'Orsay &/or Lourve, St. Chapelle, Versaille, (pardon my terrible french spelling).

Reasonable restaurants: Simply keep your eyes open in whatever neighborhood you are in, often there will be a chalkboard or a menu posted. Also try the crepe stands and bakeries.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 05:10 PM
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forgot above:
Notre-Dame
Sacre Coeur
Champes-Elysees
Latin Quarter
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 06:21 PM
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I'm with you HowardR.

Someone who is spending 8 nights in Paris and asks such basic questions with a week to go has more money than sense or extremely lazy.

To get here to ask a question you must have first been on the home page and should easily have seen the heading on the left of the page "destinations" of which Paris is one of 4. All of the basic info is there and everyone should be directed there first for answers to the kind of questions that bigal999 asked.

And Suze, I'm not impressed with your list of must sees. Everyone knows the Crazy Horse and Rue de la Gaite are the only must sees in Paris when you're bigal9999 and traveling with your mother.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 06:39 PM
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go to Notre Dame on a Saturday late afternoon -- about 5 pm or so....when you are most likely to observe a high mass wedding....OMIGOD the Hats!!!! and the soloists...your mother will weep with joy. Afterward, stroll across the little pedestrian bridge to the Ille St. Louis to Bertillon for passion fruit sorbet or caramel ice cream (or both). Send your Mom to Carita for a hair appointment, and you just sit in the lobby to watch the most extraordinary women waltz by. For restaurants, also check out back issues of Gourmet magazine, etc....My favorite bistro is La Bookiniste, on Rue St. Augustine. There is also Bistrot du Cote, a Michel Rostang place at the far end of St. Germain des Pres, which was unbelievably good.
Take the elevator all the way up the Eiffel Tower, and telephone someone...
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 07:16 PM
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HowardR and jsmith - sorry but you are simply mistaken. Most, but not all, Fodorites are "do a lot of research" types. But I know many people who do not open a single book or web site before traveling. I have even traveled with a few of that type - it is VERY frustrating because they don't know even the most basic things. But they are certainly a large minority if not a majority of tourists.

I have run into these types all over the world - people who have no idea what is possible or what even exists in the places they are visiting.

I used to put it up to plain laziness - but have decided it is just the way some people are.

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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 07:22 PM
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To HowardR, jsmith and anyone else who answers these posts with comments rather than assistance.

I don't always "study" on every place I am going. Often I read the guidebook on the flight over or at night in my hotel room. Yes, I can be accused of having "more money than sense" and so many frequent flyer miles (about 650,000) that I can go anywhere on a whim.

Whether lazy, rich, dumb or senseless, everyone has a right to post what they want. Its a free message board and would be a lot better if people didn't answer with stupid replies like "do a search", "what do you like" or "you're a troll".

I formally proclaim anyone who answers a message like that a self proclaimed "troll".
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 07:22 PM
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In fact - just this evening I got an e-mail from an acquaintance who is leaving w/ his son This Thursday for Paris and Rome via london, and has no idea how they are getting from one place to another or where they are staying. He assumes things will just work out - he was asking me what he might do with a day in London on the way home - that is the LEAST of his problems, if you ask me . . . .
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 09:00 PM
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Fine.

From the freaking fodors description on this very website, here are the best things to do (compressed into 3 days):

Day 1

Head first to the Tour Eiffel: morning (or late evening) is the best time to avoid the crowds. The most thrilling approach is via Champ de Mars.

Afterwards, tour the Seine on the Bateaux Mouches; these boats depart regularly from place de l'Alma.

From here, walk or take the métro to the Arc de Triomphe; from the top there's a great view of the boulevards emanating from L'Étoile and the noble vistas extending to the Louvre and La Défense.

Then work your way along the Champs Élysées, across Place de la Concorde and the Jardin des Tuileries to the Louvre. Don't visit the museum now -- wait until the next morning, when it's less crowded.

Day 2

Get to the Louvre (closed on Tuesdays) early to avoid the crowds; in one morning you'll only be able to see part of the museum -- it's that big.

After lunch, wander along the ritzy rue St-Honoré. Here you'll find the French president's home, the Palais de l'Élysée (closed to the public), and the Neoclassical Église de la Madeleine.

For good shopping and a look at Haussmann's 19th-century Paris and the famous Opéra Garnier, join up with the Grand Boulevards.

Spend the late afternoon getting a sense of Paris's village-like character by exploring Montmartre. Either walk (heading north along rue du Faubourg Montmartre to rue Notre-Dame de Lorette to rue Fontaine to place Blanche) or take the métro to the Pigalle or Blanche stop.

On boulevard de Clinchy you'll find the famous Moulin Rouge.

Continue up into Montmartre, via place des Abbesses. On this square are two Art Nouveau gems: the church of St-Jean de Montmartre, and the Art Nouveau Guimard entrance to the Abbesses métro station.

From here, walk through the winding, hilly streets to place du Tertre, and then on to Sacré-Coeur, where there's a tremendous view of the city below.

Day 3

Start the morning admiring the Impressionists in the Musée d'Orsay (closed on Monday); arrive early to avoid the crowds. Then head to Notre-Dame Cathedral, perhaps the most inspiring monument in Paris.

In the afternoon explore the Latin Quarter, using the Panthéon dome as a landmark. Take time to relax in the Jardin du Luxembourg or sip coffee in a neighborhood café.
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