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HELP! My first trip to Paris is in less than a month and I am SO overwhelmed...

HELP! My first trip to Paris is in less than a month and I am SO overwhelmed...

Oct 3rd, 2005, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,069
One last piece of advice, perhaps the greatest travel advice ever offered, courtesy of the late Douglas Adams:


You will have a good time. Just get yourself a good map (Streetwise works well) and a good tour book (I recommend DK)...and do what seems best. If in doubt, JulieVikmanis's itinerary generally sounds pretty good to me.

Oh, and remember to thank your mom. Sincerely and often.

When you come back, be sure to post a trip report. We'd appreciate it.
mr_go is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 374
Good to see that your mother is so good to you. Pop along to a book store and ask for the book 'Top ten things to see in Paris'.this book has been translated into so many languages that you will see every second tourist with one. Iy tells you where to go and has maps to show you the way etc.My one has been to Paris so many times with my friends and my friends friends. To get a general view of the city get a ticket on the hop on hop off bus that tours the city and having got an overview you can pick what you really want to see. the ticket is good for two days. Enjoy and don't forget your mother's present.
CU is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 01:47 PM
Posts: n/a
Have you thought about a tour guide for one day? Check on this site for an e-mail address for Michael Osman. He gave us a walking tour our first day in Paris, and did a great job of showing us the lay of the land, getting us set up with metro tickets and museum passes, and showed us some very interesting things we wouldn't have normally seen. He's very laid back, but will show you a incredibly full and interesting day. annieladd
Oct 3rd, 2005, 01:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,617
contact info for Michael Osman

elaine is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,481
What a great birthday present!
If you like modern art include the
Pompidou on your museum list. It's awesome.
L84SKY is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 02:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,621
My advice is not to spend the next month planning. Believe it or not, if you suddenly had to move up your trip to leave in two days, you would still manage just fine and have a great trip! Don't kill the trip by overplanning it. The best part of Paris isn't the list of sites to see - the best part is the beauty of the city itself. Plan to do some walking and just soak it in. Definitely plan to see a number of sites but don't micro-plan every day. Plan one or two things a day to do and then plan some time to "wing it." Give yourself room to go with an impulse while you're there to do something you hadn't planned on.

Get this: I started planning my September trip to Eastern Europe two weeks before departure. I booked my airfare 6 days before I left, and I booked most of the hotels after I got there via the internet. I still had a great time and very few mishaps. If you have your hotel(s) lined up, that's 90% of the battle, believe me. Your most careful planning should be for logistics: how do you get from the airport to your hotel? Which important sites are closed on which days so you don't miss them? With seven days, you're unlikely to miss out on anything essential. A quick look at a good guidebook will give you most of the important stuff to see for a first trip. (Part of your first trip should be to figure out what you want to see more of next time!)

You're going to have a great time!!! Don't stress too much.

Andrew is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 06:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5
Has anyone told you all today that you are WONDERFUL! Thank you so much for all the great advice. I have now successfully moved on from "overwhelmed" to "how am I going to wait a month until I leave?", haha. I love the idea of picking one or two things a day that I really want to see and then kinda happening upon other things.

I also wanted to say a special thank you to Elaine who sent me a wonderfully thorough word file on Paris.

I will keep you all posted as my trip unveils, and of course... once I return.
Taylor1636 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2005, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 309

You and your mother will have a great time. I've been taking my daughter to Paris every year for the last 20 years or so.

I read where you are staying at one of the Citadines Apart'hotels. Congratulations! you made a great decision. We have stayed at the Citadines at Place d'Italie every year for the past four years; we've also stayed at the Citadines in Brussels and in London. We really enjoy going to the neighborhood markets and the supermarche to purchase food. Be sure to purchase bread at the boulangerie and buy your pastries, cakes, and goodies at the patesserie. Do not pick up the fruit or vegetables at neighborhood markets - point at what you want and indicate how many (we often buy veggies and fruit at the supermarche because it is easier). The Citadines have cooking utensils, cutlery, dishes, and everything you need for meal preparation except for food. The desk clerk can direct you to the nearest supermarche.

If you are an animal lover, you may enjoy window shopping at the pet stores located on the main street (adjacent to the Seine) between Notre Dame and the Louvre. We always marvel at how pricey the Siamese kittens are. The puppies are really cute too.

We visit museums (we get a museum card and go to d'Orsay every day), historic places, and other touristy places. However, some of my favorite memories of places spent with my adult daughter are those involving day-to-day activities. We really enjoy grocery shopping, window shopping, sitting in neighborhood parks watching families, trying to find the best pain au chocolat in our neighborhood, and just strolling the streets.

November is usually a great time to go. The weather will be chilly but certainly not miserable. The museums and tourist spots will not be too crowded.

Have a great time!
Dorothy01 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2005, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,087
I've been to Paris 4 times, and on the last trip I had the most FUN I've ever had in Paris - I went on a Fat Tire Bike Tour! (I can't believe no-one else has mentioned this on this thread yet...)


I hadn't ridden a bike for 20 years, but like they say, you don't forget although I was a bit wobbly to start with! We did the evening tour and it was terrific. I really enjoyed it.

They also do segway tours - if you search here you will find lots of info and recommendations for that as well.

Have a great trip!
julia_t is offline  
Oct 4th, 2005, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,116
<I have now successfully moved on from "overwhelmed" to "how am I going to wait a month until I leave?">

Well now, that IS progress!!! Wishing you and your Mom all the best. You are a kind and thoughtful poster. This is the type of thread that makes Fodors great.
suze is offline  

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