Just returned from Paris

Old Jan 14th, 1998, 03:31 PM
  #1  
Lee
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Just returned from Paris

We just got back from essentially a weekend in Paris and it was great! Temps were in the mid 50's F and partly cloudy, very pleasant. Our hotel was in the Latin Quarter (near the Sorbonne) and getting about was so easy thanks to the Metro. We bought Metro passes and went everywhere: The Eiffel tower, Versailles, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees, Sacred Heart church and Painter's Square, Pigalle, etc. Our hotel was the Sully-St. Germain and was FF530 per day for a double including breakfast. The hotel was very friendly and was adequate for our needs. We flew on a US Airways "E-Saver" for $279.00 (from Buffalo, NY), leaving Friday and returning Tuesday. Whirlwind tour maybe, but a lot of fun. Now that was a "getaway weekend"!
 
Old Jan 16th, 1998, 07:40 AM
  #2  
Monica
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I was in Paris in October (France for 2 weeks all together) and also had a great time. I was in the Latin Quarter at Hotel Studia (384FR with complete bathroom) next to the Metro and an outdoor market. Great location, hotel room ok for their price, clean. Saw all the sights and ate great foods! Had some rainy days, so we headed to the Museums. Stayed in Tours in the Loire Valley and visited several Chateau's. Beautiful area. Also visited Versailles and Monet's home and gardens. There is SO much to see in Paris that I'm planning another trip next year (this year will be Italy). Monica
 
Old Jan 16th, 1998, 08:11 AM
  #3  
Mary
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Lee - we too are having a whirlwind tour...even more so. We get in Paris on Tuesday around 11:00 a.m. and leave Wednesday about 9:00 p.m. We are looking for something memorable to do in the evening while we are there (but don't want to break the bank either). We are going in March so the weather may be a bit questionable. Any suggestions? Either a GREAT restaurant, moulin rouge, dinner cruise, just hanging out????? Thanks.
 
Old Jan 16th, 1998, 09:47 AM
  #4  
Lee
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Mary, I am hardly an authority on Paris, but I know what I would do in that amount of time. If you are like me and can't sleep on any moving vehicle, I'd check into the hotel and sleep for a few hours. Go to any Metro station and buy a one day pass. If the weather permits, I would would go to the Eiffel Tower and ride to the top. Take the Metro to Bir Hakeim and once on the street, walk north two blocks along the river, you won't miss it, trust me. Afterward, take the metro to Charles de Gaulle-Etoile and you'll arrive at the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees'. There you can stroll the avenue and choose somewhere to have dinner, selecting something that agrees with your pocketbook and taste by reading the posted menus. On Wednesday, you can take a trip to nearby Versailles or to the Louvre, whichever you choose. If you'd like, you can e-mail me and I'll send a copy of my trip notes to you. That may be better. Lastly, I've done the boat cruise and the Rouge. It may be cold for the boat cruise and the food isn't so hot, while the Rouge is popular, I think that it's 'way to expensive (BIG $$$)to see a show. I'm not a prude, but if I want to see scantly clad women, I'll check with my wife. Have fun and good luck!
 
Old Jan 16th, 1998, 10:41 AM
  #5  
Mary
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Thanks for the info Lee. I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head for things that we did want to see, the Eiffel Tower, Champes Elysees, etc. The only other thing I did want to do was the Sacre Coure and a walk along the Seine (in the evening...weather permitting). Luckily, we will have already been in England for a few days so the sleep will not be a factor. From what I am hearing about the dinner cruise and the show, I think we will just end up having a nice dinner out on Tuesday evening and top it off with a few drinks! One more thing...what's the protocol if you just show up somewhere for dinner? Do you need reservations and if you don't have one, will it be a long wait? Do they usually have bar areas you can wait in? I was hoping since we are there on a Tuesday night that no reservations would be needed. Thanks again! Mary
 
Old Jan 17th, 1998, 11:35 AM
  #6  
Jo Lee
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A sister and I are planning a trip to Paris & surrounding area Feb 25 - Mar 5th. We are wanting to know some good ECONOMICAL hotels and also should we consider tours or just see France on our own. We've also considered the RailFrance pass. We would greatly appreciate any suggestions. Will it be warm enough to sun at the Riveria??
 
Old Jan 18th, 1998, 08:48 AM
  #7  
Lee
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Mary: You are very welcome. In March, I wouldn't think that you would have problems with reservations as we did not have to wait at any restaurant. Obviously, if it is a very popular place, you may wait, but they'll have a bar. When you go to Montremarte (Sacred Heart Church, Painter's Square), take the Metro to "Pigalle", get off the subway and walk east about three blocks, on Boulevard De Rochechouart, then walk uphill (you can't miss it) to get to the church. When you walk up about two blocks, you should see steps leading upward, these are the ones you take. It isn't an easy climb, so you can: a)Take a taxi, or b)The tram nearby. We walked and it was OK and it took about 15-20 minutes from the Metro. The view of Paris in front of the church, to the south is fantastic. The inside of the church is beautiful as well. Right around the corner is Painter's Square. Take the short walk and buy a painting as they are inexpensive. We bought one that he was asking about $140.00 for and we bartered with him down to $93.00. If some of the artists want to sketch you or cut out your profile on the way over, just be firm and tell them "no" and they won't bother you. The Metro is very easy and safe to use. Good luck and have a good time!
 
Old Jan 18th, 1998, 09:06 AM
  #8  
Lee
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Jo Lee: Our hotel was located a few blocks from Notre Dame in the Latin Quarter, with the Metro entrance one block north. This Metro entrance will take you anywhere in Paris. Our hotel was the Sully- Saint Germain at 31 Rue De Ecoles, tel: 01.43.26.56.02 and although it wasn't top flight, it's clean, comfortable and friendly. Ask for "Reza", who is the night clerk and it most helpful. On the Riviera, I am not sure. I was in Cannes once, about 10 years ago and it was in June, so it was hot. I don't believe it gets much cooler than 50 F in the winter, but I don't know if it will be warm enough for some sun in late February. The French Riviera is very beautiful. You can check climates on the web, to get some idea. Good luck and have fun!
 
Old Jan 19th, 1998, 12:12 AM
  #9  
Jody
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This is some of the worst advice I've ever seen for visiting Paris. Anyone knowledgeable in recovering from jetlag would advise strongly against that nap. A one-day metro pass goes for 50F, whereas a strip of ten tickets costs 48F and the tickets can be shared and used over the duration of your stay. Or, you may purchase tickets as you need them for 8F. The Champs Elysees is probably the worst place in all of Paris to have a meal. Overpriced, disappointing food. Snooty waiters and terrible service. Mobbed by tourists, so what else would you expect? There are, however, fabulous choices down any side street. Anyone who's ever read a tour guide knows that the food on dinner cruises is terrible and overpriced. Much better to have a wonderful dinner anyplace else and enjoy the scenery during your cruise rather than waiting in a buffet line and wondering what all the unfamiliar offerings are. If you have big bucks to waste and enjoy sleeze and jeering men and T&A, the Moulin Rouge is your kind of place. Oh, and the drink prices are exhorbitant! (Or, so I've heard. Most people wouldn't want to be found dead there.) As for visiting the Sacre Coeur, better to take the metro to Absesses and ride the finicular. This avoids the long uphill climb. And, watch out for pickpockets! For better "art" reasonably priced, go behind Notre Dame. We saw the same "paintings" as at "Painter's Square" at the tourist shops by the Eiffel Tower for five bucks. Bet they're mass produced! A far superior view is from the rooftop terrace of La Samaritaine (and you have a wonderful view of the Sacre Coeur from here also). For a really nice meal, it is advised to select an appealing restaurant and reserve in advance. Some moderately priced, but spectacular, choices would be Chez Francis (awesome view of Eiffel Tower, gorgeous interior, fabulous terrace for after dinner drinks) and steps away from the Seine for enjoying a moonlight stroll after, La Fermette Marbeuf (incredible Art Nouveau interior), Vagenende (almost as nice and gorgeous as Maxim's with terrific live music). All have wonderful food and friendly service.
 
Old Jan 20th, 1998, 05:46 AM
  #10  
Lee
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Jody: The "worst advice" remark is not appropriate. Unlike yourself, we "tourists" will make some mistakes as opposed to you "experts". We are just human. The Moulin Rouge is overpriced and not for everyone, but how can you comment on something you've never even seen? I have been there only once and although I wouldn't go back, the show was extraordinary. Typical of many Americans to snub nudity. It isn't done in some tasteless fashion, the shows are very creative, in fact. Having been there, I don't suggest it simply because on limited time, there are other more important things in which to see. There is nothing wrong with Painter's Square as it's fun to visit as is the "Champs" and others. You are right about the cost of meals, but it costs nothing to stroll. I've lived in Germany for nearly three years (not in the military) and have been to every european country at least once, so you can come down off that horse and not start on your memoirs just yet.
 
Old Jan 20th, 1998, 06:15 AM
  #11  
mark
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Mary, I also returned from my honeymoon in Paris (and London & the Dolomites). For a memorable evening, take a boat cruise on the Seine. I've heard dinner is a bit overpriced for what you get so just go with the cruise. Even if it's freezing, it will be quite memorable. Paris is so wonderful at night that even a walk along either bank of the river is worthwhile.
 
Old Jan 20th, 1998, 06:37 AM
  #12  
Mary
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Lee - I just wanted to say thanks again for your info. It did help confirm a few things we were thinking about. I'm so tired of people berating other peoples advice. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Everyone tells me the Champes Elysees is "touristy", but I don't care, it's what I want to do and I'm going to do it. I am also going to Montmarte and if I chose to buy a painting there instead of for "5 dollars behind the Notre Dame" then so be it!! If everyone liked the same thing this world would be BORING!!! We truly were thinking of the dinner cruise, but have now decided just to take the evening cruise...no dinner! THANKS AGAIN!
 
Old Jan 20th, 1998, 07:36 AM
  #13  
Lee
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Mary: You are most welcome. I sincerly hope that you have a wonderful trip and that you'll let us know the details, afterward. Your attitude is very refreshing and I'll bet that you'll have a great time! Best wishes, Lee.
 
Old Jan 20th, 1998, 12:16 PM
  #14  
Susan Dompkowski
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Hi, Monica,
Your trip to Paris and outlaying areas sounds like what we have planned. We are planning on a tour of Chateaux country with 3-4 days at end of trip for Paris sights. We are thinking the last of Sept '98.
You have done what we want to do. Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated. We have never been to France before so seeing the usual sights is a must. Would also like to be able to not spend a fortune in Paris even though we know it's expensive. My husband and I love to walk and wander about. Thanks in advance.
Sue
 
Old Jan 20th, 1998, 07:29 PM
  #15  
Jo Lee
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Lee: Thanks for the advice. Sounds as though the Riveria will be worth seeing even if we don't also get to enjoy the sun. Sounds warmer than Ohio in Feb! Thanks to everyone's advice we will cruise the Seine but skip the dinner--I vaguely remember doing that 20 yrs ago.
 
Old Jan 20th, 1998, 08:01 PM
  #16  
ptrevisan
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HEY THERE!! I'M LEAVING FOR FRANCE NEXT FRIDAY ON BUSINESS. THE OFFICE IS ABOUT 1/2 HOUR FROM LILLE AND 2 HOURS FROM PARIS TOWARDS THE BELGIUM BORDER. I'D LIKE TO GET ANY ADVICE AVAILABLE SO I COULD VISIT DURING THE WEEKENDS; AND ALSO THE MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO MOVE ABOUT.

THANKS IN ADVANCE

PT
 
Old Jan 21st, 1998, 06:05 AM
  #17  
Lee
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Jo Lee: You are most welcome. Although it won't be warm enough to lie on the beach, it should still be pretty mild and sunny. Cannes is a lovely place with a different kind of flavor than, say Paris. They are more friendly and especially toward Americans. Walk out on the pier and try the "Steak Diane", it's fantastic. If you go to the casino, men must wear a jacket (which they have extras of, on hand). Have a great time!
 
Old Jan 21st, 1998, 01:32 PM
  #18  
Richard
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Let me get my oar in here. My wife and I just returned from Paris (i'm sure it was the same week-end that Lee was there, the weather was spectacular, so good in fact after arriving from Dallas, taking the Orlybus and metro to our hotel on Ile Saint Louis we climbed the stairs to the Notre Dame tower..what a view). There are some good tips above, buy a carnet (10 tickets) for the Metro and remember to hold your ticket until the trip is completed, they do spot check. Also, the Metro to the Abesses to visit Sacre Couer, follow the signs to the funicular (your Metro tickets are good here also). Paris is not overly pricey, we found a hotel on the Boulevard St. Michel (Boul'Mich) for 400 Ffr, the Hotel Grand Suez. Food is also inexpensive, the crepes from the sidewalk vendors make a great lunch, breakfast is usually included with the room, coffee, juice, a croissant and petit pain so dinner can be a treat. We have found Rome to be a lot more expensive.. If you like to walk, we would highly recommend Cadogan city guide for Paris, good info on walks, places to eat, and funny little asides. You'll enjoy Paris and want to return (we've been eight times).
 
Old Jan 21st, 1998, 05:56 PM
  #19  
Judy
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We too just got home last night from a four night weekend in Paris. We walked alot..only used one strip of carnet tickets in our five days. As for the nap when you arrive, there are those who can sleep on planes and feel just fine on arrival. However, some people (including myself) feel much more refreshed after a short nap. I think that is pretty much an individual preference. We went on the dinner boat cruise on my birthday which was 18Jan (Sunday). We (two couples) thought it was great....the food was good (my husband's salmon was excellent...my beef was passable). But the lights of Paris at night were beautiful....the waiters charming...the wine good and plentiful. There was a strolling violinist and a singer. I thought it special and romantic. As for the price, it was $142.00 per couple with a minibus pickup at our hotel and a short tour before. We managed to spend almost that much per person at restaurants! The sidewalk crepes are a great bargain! Also, I would make dinner reservations if you don't want to be disappointed. We went to Marly's in the Louvre Monday night without a reservation and could not get in! Have a great time................Judy
 

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