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France on a budget - During Christmas/New Year's

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Sep 16th, 2011, 08:28 AM
  #1
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France on a budget - During Christmas/New Year's

I will be visiting Paris with my two adult daughters between Christmas and New Year's and would like some recommendations on places to eat, sightseeing, etc.

We are on a relatively tight budget (Mom is paying for all!!) therefore any cost saving suggestions would be helpful too.

This will be our first time to Paris for all three of us.

The girls want to do only a few museums (briefly), lots of shopping (but not in high end shops), eat in bistros (not fancy restaurants), and lots of strolling. They're also interested in some nightlife (I'm not, but will go along for the ride!)

Any suggestions would be wonderful!

Thanks!
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Sep 16th, 2011, 08:42 AM
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Chartier might be a good dining option: http://restaurant-chartier.com/www/visit/atable.php after strolling though the passages.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...57623429262296
Michael is offline  
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Sep 16th, 2011, 08:52 AM
  #3
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Thanks Michael. I'll add both to our list!
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Sep 16th, 2011, 09:41 AM
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The passages have pretty expensive shops for the most part IME, although you might enjoy checking one out. I dont' know what kind of shopping you really want to do that would be cheap, the value of USD is bad against euro now, and cheap stuff in Paris can be more than US a lot of the time. The cheapest chain stores I know are in the US now, anyway, but depends where you are from, they might enjoy checking out Zara or H&M (neither of which are French, anyway). There are several around Paris in various locations.

The Champs-Elysees is one spot they could find several stores to shop -- Zara, as well as Virgin records which I bet they might like (depending on these adult daughters ages, I'm thinking more 15-30 but if they are a lot older, maybe not), and there is a Monoprix on it, also (relatively cheap mass market place sometimes compared to Target, but it's not that cheap).

Otherwise, it's hard to know without what kind of shops you are looking for, just go to Galleries Lafayette or BHV, the big dept stores. There are some cheaper street vendors in front of GL. If you relaly want special boutiques (which won't be cheap) try the Marais or St Germain.

Otherwise,
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Sep 16th, 2011, 09:44 AM
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oh, I forgot, my one idea was to go to the mall beside Montparnasse tower, it has all kinds of shops from cheap to moderate chain stuff (ie, kookai) as well as a Galleries Lafayette. There is a huge Monoprix across the street (south direction) (or Inno, same owner).

Then you could try this prix fixe steak place just a couple blocks away, it's not bad http://www.relaisentrecote.fr/
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Sep 16th, 2011, 11:47 AM
  #6
 
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I believe that Christmas markets will still be on the streets...great for inexpensive food and vin chaud.

The shops will still be decorated for Christmas, so just checking those out is fun!

Not sure where you are staying but that might help for bistro suggestions.

I also love Le Bon Marche, as well as Galleries Lafayette for shopping...the food hall there is amazing.

I love Musee D'Orsay for museums...smaller than the Louvre and more manageable (I enjoy it more also because I love Impressionism). Maybe L'Orangerie to see the huge Monet canvases.

We enjoyed Le Souffle when we were there last year...not too expensive and we love souffles...small place in the First. Would make a great girls lunch or dinner.
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Sep 16th, 2011, 12:19 PM
  #7
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Thanks for these suggestions!

We will be staying at Au Manoir, Saint Germain des Pres, Paris.

The Christmas shops sound perfect - any additional information about these?

My daughters are currently 20 and 21 (soon to be 21 and 22) so the shopping will not be high end.

Also, for them (certainly not for me) - any good suggestions on a fun disco? (Oh my gosh, I will seriously be dragged into this, so make it worth my while)!!

Thanks everyone!
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Sep 16th, 2011, 12:20 PM
  #8
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Also....our hotel is located in #6 ( near the Montparnasse train station).

Anyone have feedback on the Bon Marche?

Thanks!
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Sep 16th, 2011, 01:00 PM
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I looked up your hotel and you're not near the Montparnasse train station (unless you're using "near" as a very loose term). According to the hotel web site it's at 153 boulevard St-Germain.

Anyway...with your hotel rates you are not on what I call a tight budget so I would suggest that you do not eat at Chartier which has terrible food. I loved the decor and the tradition of writing the order on butcher paper but would never eat there again.

For an inexpensive meal try Polidor; the beef burgundy is decent. One of my favorites is Marco Polo. It's not inexpensive but it won't break the bank either. There are tons of good restaurants in the area. Walk down rue St-Andre-des-Arts and you'll find a few.
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Sep 16th, 2011, 01:13 PM
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Chartier which has terrible food

It gets mixed reviews and I think that it depends on what one orders.
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Sep 16th, 2011, 03:40 PM
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We also love Marco Polo for Italian. In the same area, we like Le Danton and les editeurs (a bit touristy, but we like it just the same). The crepe window across the street next to Le Comptoir (L'Avant Comptoir is tasty and inexpensive). Le Comptoir is also great but more expensive and can be hard to get in. Marco Polo is at the corner of rue de Conde and rue St Sulpice.

All the above are at the Carrefour Odeon, steps from the Odeon metro stop. I love the intersection...we stayed right there last time we there.

The Christmas markets (stalls) are set up in neighborhood all over town. There was one along Blvd St Germain by the St Germain des Pres church and another one at St Sulpice. I believe there are stalls also set up along the Champs Elysee and I also think a large one at La Defense. Search for christmas markets on the forum and your will find other threads.

Not sure if you know, Bon Marche and Le Bon Marche are the same thing. It is not inexpensive but the food hall (Le Grand Epicereie) is just great for marveling at and the first floor cosmetics/perfume counter is also just great girl fun. It's not far from where you will be staying.
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Sep 19th, 2011, 04:29 AM
  #12
 
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Had a quick read through and did not see the shopping centre above La Defense Metro stop.Lots of shops in the not too high end range. You walk up onto ground level where the arch is, about 180 degrees and its approx 50 yards on your left.

http://goparis.about.com/od/shopping...la-Defense.htm
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