Off the beaten track in London and Paris

Old Jun 14th, 2005, 07:40 AM
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Off the beaten track in London and Paris

Is it true that any place Rick Steves recommends is inundated with hordes of tourists? Are there sources (preferably on line) of interesting and/or historically significant sights that the travel industry has ignored or overlooked?

We plan to do all the "must-sees" (I hate that term) but we'd also like to visit some places that aren't in any guide books having wide circulation.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 08:07 AM
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It is true that some places Rick Steves recommends are inundated with hoards of tourists. It is also true, and for good reason, that the "must sees" in London and Paris are must sees. It is hard to find the out of the way places the first time you visit a city. There is a great discussion on this forum entitled something like "things to do in Paris once you have seen the must sees". Try to find that. Read trip reports. Take walks. Get lost. Sit on a park bench or in a cafe and watch the passing scene. After you have seen the major sights, slow down and try to see London and Paris. It is up to each person to decide what appeals to them. But you can find lots of ideas here.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 08:14 AM
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well, let's see, someplace on line with lots of ideas...I think you're there!
We're headed to 3 days London/10 days Paris in July, and I've copied & pasted at least 80 pages of notes from this website! Next, I'll keep culling down to condense...(I've been to London once, Paris 5 times - I'm in a bit of a rut, for sure - but still haven't seen all of Paris!)
From specific menu items at some small restaurant, to the particular alleyway to turn down for a hidden park, to which spot is indeed to mobbed to handle with their old aplomb, this site is superb - I use it for overseas and domestic travel constantly to the amazement and fun of whoever's traveling with me. One of the things I'm most looking forward to in London is Ceremony of the Keys, for instance, which it highly touted here. So, I knew to write ahead, and we got tickets.
My vote to get away from RS's publicized site: search here by topic.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 08:19 AM
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when i would want to get a clear photograph, i would get up before breakfast and take the metro to the attraction in question.there wont be anybody to obstruct the photo.
however it can get lonely in some places and if you get into trouble with a hobo/junkie etc there wont be anyone around to help.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 08:41 AM
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Passepartout - I picked up a handy little book at La Samaritaine last year called Unexplored PARIS by Rodolphe Trouilleux. A wonderful book of surprises, rare finds, and odd treasures that will enchant lovers of multifaceted Paris! I will be in Paris this October for 2 weeks just exploring one of my most beloved cities.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 11:10 AM
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As you do your trip research, even using printed sources, look for things that appeal to YOU, that might not be interesting to or visited by ALL the tourist hordes. For example, the Eyewitness guide to London has a description of the Design Museum. I doubt that many first-time visitors to London would put that on their list, but it may be on ours.

Also, check out LondonWalks, which deserves all the good reviews it gets. As a newly-minted lawyer, I took their Inns of Court tour, and really got a lot out of it. Maybe there's a tour of the many they offer that is more interesting to you than to most.

Because most visitors to London and Paris (or anywhere else) have limited time, you can use regular guidebooks to locate significant sights that won't be heavily visited, particularly some of the smaller museums.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 01:05 PM
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You can see which guide books are popular by which places are filled with tourists. Places recommended by popular guide books have a lot of tourists in them, whether those places are worth seeing or not. The perfect example is the rue Cler in Paris, a nondescript little street that is clogged with Americans because Rick Steeves sings its imaginary praises for pages on end. I can only assume that Rick doesn't get around much in Paris if he thinks the rue Cler is the best thing since the croissant.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 04:37 AM
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Hi P,

>...we'd also like to visit some places that aren't in any guide books having wide circulation.<

The Arenes de Lutece, a 1st Cent Roman ampitheater, is just off Rue Monge near the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. Hardly any tourists go there.

ira is offline  
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