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meghan246 Jan 23rd, 2007 09:08 AM

New Ideas for Paris?
I'm going to Paris with some first-time visitors this summer. I have been to Paris three times and, while I look forward to revisiting the Eiffel Tower, etc., I am interested to add some new or unusual activities to our itinerary. Any ideas? I'm game for almost anything - cooking classes, bicycling, interesting side tours....

ilana25841 Jan 23rd, 2007 09:12 AM

I highly recommend doing a Segway tour through Mikes. It was a fun, unique experience just learning to ride, it was a nice way to zip around from one sight to the next (not for serious touristing though) and we (my 13yr. old and I) felt pretty 'cool'. We did the day tour in Paris and had a lovely lunch in the Tuilleries as part of it. There were people of all ages (including a 78 yr. old woman from Australia) and everyone enjoyed it.

lawchick Jan 23rd, 2007 09:14 AM

This is a nice cooking class and they have something for everyone

Lisa_O Jan 23rd, 2007 09:25 AM

I'm also planning a summer trip to Paris. An off-the-beaten-track activity might be to walk or bike along the Canal St-Martin.

hdm Jan 23rd, 2007 09:45 AM

hi lawchick,
Thanks for the atelierdeschefs website. I was considering a one-day class at the cordon bleu but there's nothing there I'm interested in for the week I'm in Paris.

Can you help me with the website? I arbitrarily chose an atelier and then wanted to find courses offered during the week of May 19 to 26. I chose those dates on the pop-up calendar but then what? There doesn't seem to be anything to click on to activate those dates. I tried just hitting 'enter' but nothing happened. Can you help?


lawchick Jan 24th, 2007 01:45 AM

hdm - they just don't seems to plan that far ahead. Why not subscribe to their newsletter or send them an e-mail asking about May courses.

hdm Jan 24th, 2007 04:28 AM

thanks, lawchick. I'll do that.

surfmom Jan 24th, 2007 04:35 AM

check out - the owner is Barbara P James - I've taken 2 photos tours with her. She is fabulous! I've never taken a lunchtime seminar with her, but I had a great time on the photo tours.

That is another option - the photo tours - - I saw some really neat areas of Paris that I would have never found by myself...

ira Jan 24th, 2007 04:59 AM

Hi M,

>'m going to Paris with some first-time visitors this summer. I have been to Paris three times ...<

Are these unusual activities for you or your first-time TCs?


nbodyhome Jan 24th, 2007 05:49 AM

I'll be doing the Fat Tires bike tours again, and they also go to Monets Gardens and Versailles. Plus, from the Vincennes area, I plan to walk into central Paris and I was pointed to a lovely park area on the way - I figured by doing a lot of walking, I'll see much more of the different areas of Paris.

tod Jan 24th, 2007 06:18 AM

meghan246 - You have obviously done all the so called "touristy" musts - will your visitors be left to go it alone on specific days while you need to do something different? Nothing wrong with that. A break from each other could be a good thing.
I do have a suggestion or that you may like to do with your friends but it includes quite a walk ( 2 miles).


This is not a "new" idea except maybe to you & friends but one I have personally done!

Take the Metro to Republic then walk up Rue Du Faubourg Du Temple until you come to Sq.Frederic Lemaitre.
Walk down Q/de Valmy taking the opportunity to stand on any one of the wonderful old iron bridges that staddle the canal.
Cross over at Rue de La Grange Aux Belles and turn into Rue Bichat. Enter the 17th Century Hopital St.Louis founded in 1607 by Henry IV. Walk through the courtyard and past the Chapel and back onto Rue de La Grange and down to the canal & Quai de Jemmapes. At this spot until 1627 stood the Medieval gallows of Montfaucon and one of the main places of execution.

Continue walking along until the next bridge at Rue des Ecluses St.Martin and cross back over to Quai De Valmy.
If its nearing 12-12.30pm a good idea is to stop a little further down on the corner of Passage Delessert at 163 Quai De Valmy at a little cafe called Le Chaland.
Here you can take the weight off, enjoy a cold beer or some wine with a home-style cooked lunch whilst looking at the canal.

We crossed back over at Rue Louis Blanc, past Place de Stalingrad and onto Quai de La Loire and the Bassin de La Villette where the Canauxrama boat was waiting. It leaves at 2.45 sharp.

We had a happy trip around the Bassin and down the Canal Saint Martin, passing under all the bridges and through the locks with a live commentary interjected with merry old French tunes played over the loudspeaker. We loved it!

Eventually you come into Port de l'Arsenal and a chance to have a coffee and get the Metro home from Bastille.

Note: We followed this walk from the EyeWitness Guide To Paris (which gives loads more information on what to see enroute, but did it in a reverse fashion).
The book has lots more good ideas.

gracejoan3 Jan 24th, 2007 06:31 AM

Purchase a Michelin Green Guide for Paris. Read it and I'm sure you will find many interesting things that will be attractive for you.

LJ Jan 24th, 2007 06:39 AM

If you or any in your party are into CSI or crime/mystery novels, you might enjoy the Paris Police Museum (5th Arrondisement, Rue de Carmes). The French were forensic pioneers and this museum is intriguing. BTW, PPM is not its actual name but you can get the particulars in any decent guide book.

palette Jan 24th, 2007 07:14 AM

Harriet Welty's wine and cheese lecture in her apartment in the 20th AR; I have done this 3x now with friends, and she is a delight, the cheeses and wines are great, and she even adds salad and dessert so you are well fed for the rest of your afternoon. Harriet is an American writer, married to a Frenchman, and has lived in Paris for 20+ years. She is a delightful hostess.

The St. Martin Canal ride -
I prefer this company because it starts just near the d'Orsay so you get the Seine in addition to the Canal. The other company begins at the first lock and so only includes the Canal (for the same price, I believe). And, if you do the canal ride, start at the d'Orsay; I have done the ride in each direction, and it is more interesting to go "up" the canal towards Parc Villette than "down" towards the city itself. Rising in the locks was for me more exciting than being lowered. The most recent trip had a commentator who also played a clarinet during the underground segment; really good acoustics. This is a leisurely 3 hours.

palette Jan 24th, 2007 07:31 AM

Jim Haynes' Sunday drop-in dinners - I haven't gotten here yet but it is on my to-do list.

tod Jan 24th, 2007 08:29 AM

That's a great option Palette.
Another one for meghan246 is an All-day cruise north east of Canal Saint Martin
along the Canal de l'Ourcq, stopping at the charming village of Claye-Souilly.
Departs from 5 Quai de la Loire at 8.30 am and reservations are necessary - 42391500.

meghan246 Jan 24th, 2007 10:35 AM

Wow! I am overwhlemed with all these great suggestions - they are just what I am looking for - thank you!

To Ira and Tod: These activities are for both parties to enjoy in addition to visiting the usual attractions of Paris. And, yes, I suspect our party will head in different directions from time to time.

From cooking class to wine & cheese tasting to a walk along the Canal...I'm not sure in what direction I will go, but I am very much looking forward to it!

paqrtravis Jan 24th, 2007 10:41 AM

I have been there a bunch, and went a couple years ago with my mom and cousin. I wanted to do something different and suggested the catacombs. very interesting! I would see that again.

mwatson Jan 25th, 2007 11:45 AM


Are the cooking classes in French only or do they offer classes in other languages, I am unable to determine this from the website.

Thank you

Michel_Paris Jan 25th, 2007 11:55 AM

I choose the British option, and when I pick 'courses', it comes up with english language if I were to guess, those would be in english.

pjsparlor Feb 16th, 2007 08:34 PM

Hello, I am interested in the cheese tour, how much and how long was it? thank you PJ

hocknyc Feb 16th, 2007 08:54 PM

Rule # 1: Go to Paris and walk around to see what you can see!
Rule # 2: Always be proper, but interact to learn whom you might meet.
Rule # 3: Bite what you can bite... just hope that it is cheese!
Rule #4: Let yourself be bitten; just hope that you've been smitten.
Rule #5: When in Paris: eat, drink and(with a little research of your own you'll find what you are going/came here for) be merry!

bilboburgler Feb 27th, 2007 07:33 AM

Just did the segway trip around paris yesterday. Once one ignores the "awesome" US speak it was "jolly fun" with great care and attention given to some mature Californians on the trip who managed to get lost, fall off etc. Generally I would say this was a very safe way of seeing a few of the main sites between the Louvre and the tour eiffel. The two wheel electrical things were relatively easy to learn though I still managed to whizz off across a lawn with park keepers panicing behind me.

Worth the money.... well not so sure but... for a celebration or a one off pretty good

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