France in winter for 5 weeks

Sep 24th, 2014, 05:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 441
France in winter for 5 weeks

I will be in Paris from March 10 to April 17. Have an apartment in the 1st and I hope to absorb Paris, not necessarily to travel around. I have been in Paris about 5 other times for 3-4 days each time.

What suggestions could you offer that I should do before leaving USA that I might not be able to do once I arrive: Paris pass?? Eur ail France??

I intend to visit lots of museums, flea markets/neighborhood markets, shopping, food markets, Opera (tour of building), etc.

Lots of strolling through different arrondissements. Restaurants not a big item, I eat wherever I windup.

Thanks for any advise you can offer.
eurogals is offline  
Sep 24th, 2014, 10:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,690
I would say to plot a few trips to other places in France that you want to see and then remember to get the train tickets online about 3 months before the travel date -- you can often save up to 75% off the full walk-up fares.

Keep in mind that Easter is April 5th, so you would not want to travel on the surrounding days.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 25th, 2014, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
>>>I hope to absorb Paris, not necessarily to travel around<<<

With over 5 weeks in Paris, you will definitly want to see something else after you had been twice to all flea and food markets in Paris.

With the extremely fast TGV, there are many options for short trips, even day trips into regions which look far away from Paris at first glance at a map.

Firstly, the castles. There are at least three magnificent castles in easy daytrip reach from Paris - Versailles, Chantilly and Fontainebleau (in this order). Alternatively you can take the TGV to Tours (just one hour!) and see a few of the Loire castles.

Secondly, Champagne. The TGV to Reims takes 48 minutes. On a daytrip, visit the cathedral where the French kings were crowned and visit one or two caves. They are really impressive.

Thirdly, Bourgogne. 1:33 to Dijon (although I find Beaune more interesting).

Fourthly, Provence. You want some sunshine? See Roman monuments? The medieval Papal Palace? The TGV to Avignon takes 2:39. Still doable for a daytrip, but better stay there for one or two nights. Provence is fantastic and a wonderful alternative to Paris.

As K. has said, book your TGV tickets well in advance to save a lot of €€€.
traveller1959 is offline  
Sep 25th, 2014, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,510
How lucky you are to be able to spend five weeks in Paris! Although you may well want to take some trips out of town, there is so much to see and do in the city that you will easily fill the time.

First, get a monthly Navigo Découverte pass for zones 1-2. Then familiarize yourself with the very useful RATP interactive map and itinerary planning function:

Since you have been to Paris several times, you must have visited many of the "must sees." Here are a few ideas for other places of interest:

City of Paris Museums which charge no admission for permanent exhibits. Some have English language guides online that can be downloaded.

Museums that are free on the 1st Sunday of the month. We took advantage of this to visit the Musée du Moyen Age (Cluny) and the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine. Neither was crowded.

Other favorites recently have been:
Coronelli Globes at the Bibliothèque François Mitterand
Cinémathèque for Gehry building and special exhibit
Château de Vincennes
Mouzaïa neighborhood
Tour Montparnasse view from roof
Cemeteries: Père Lachaise, Montparnasse and Montmartre
La Défense for Grande Arche area
L'Institut du Monde Arabe for architecture and view
Notre Dame du Travail church in Montparnasse

If you're interested, click on my username to find two trip reports with more details and links. I can't wait to get back to my favorite city.
MaineGG is online now  
Sep 25th, 2014, 04:50 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 441
I dont plan to travel around france as I have spent 6 weeks there with week in cote d' azur, 1 week in Provence seeing villages, and have been to Avignon, Arles! Etc., etc. and a week in Normandy and Brittany. I have been to Europe 12 times and don't want to travel too much. Heading to Kuekenhof after Paris for the tulips.

This time I just want to see Paris and perhaps Loire castles. I can be quite content in Paris and will no doubt have days where I will just read my books and Enjoy the day. Perhaps a cooking class, concert.

I thank you MaineGG for all the info I will definitely read it all.
eurogals is offline  
Sep 26th, 2014, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,653
A few trips of several days isn't the same as being in a place five weeks. A savvy traveler would not even consider buying a Eurailpass or a Paris Pass, either. If you are there five weeks, why would you even think you would buy a Paris Pass (which is more expensive than buying the parts, but they aren't parts you'd need if you are there 5 weeks). And you can get cheaper rail fares by buying in advance online. Besides, you said you didn't want to go anywhere and local rail fares are cheap.
Christina is online now  
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