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Nick Cramer Nov 18th, 1997 08:56 PM

Off to Paris...Suggestions?
I am 18/m. My mom and I are planning a vaction to Paris. I was wondering if someone could give suggestions on places check out, and the best hotels. I want to see something that will interest me, and at the same time get some experiences only possible in Paris. Any information would be great. Thanks!

Jody Nov 18th, 1997 09:10 PM

Go to your local bookstore. Get yourself two or more two good tour guides. Read them cover to cover. Borrow videos from your local library. Do searches on the web. The more you know before you go, the more you will enjoy the experience. Once your arrive, be SURE to go to Paristoric, a multimedia presentation of the history of Paris. Having seen this, you will know what you do not want to miss.
If you wish to "see something that will interest" you, you'll have to figure that out for yourself. And, just being in Paris will enable you to "get some experiences only possible in Paris" if you are paying attention. For the best hotels, investigate same on this website. That's the really easy part of planning your trip. If you want to be told what to do, book a tour with a travel agent. On the other hand, if you and your mom want to "experience" Paris, put forth considerable effort. Believe me, it will be worth it.

Joe Nov 18th, 1997 09:14 PM

Gosh, if you can't figure out how to post a message only once here...Agree with above post. Do a little research and planning on your own! Astonishing that you would be "off to Paris" without a clue. There are enormous resources at your local library, bookstore, on the web. If you wish to "experience" Paris, you are going to have to figure out for yourself how to accomplish same!

Yvonne Nov 19th, 1997 08:35 AM

Oh to be 18 and planning a trip that mom's paying for ;-). If you'd like a list of sites I found useful while planning a Paris trip let me know. What follows is a wonderful list, posted by 'Neal' in July. I hope you find it of value. Thank you Neal.
Spend a day together at the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay. Together, they are one of the world's three or four best museums. The Louvre covers antiquity to 1800; the Musee d'Orsay covers 19th and early 20th Century French art. Confine yourselves to the top floor of the Musee d'Orsay, where the bulk of the Impressionist art is hung. At the Louvre, I would just wander: the museum's strengths range from
Egyptian antiquities through Etruscan to 19th century Second Empire decorative arts (Louis Philippe's apartments are on view; they give new
meaning to the word "garish"). Take a side trip out of Paris for a day. Most convenient is Versailles, which is readily accessible by the RER Yellow line. Versailles is not just the Palace, it's hundreds of acres of gardens, the Petite Trianon, Marie Antoinette's farm, and more. My personal favorite is Vaux le Vicomte, a chateau in Melun, south of Paris. It's readily accessible by rail and a short taxi ride; it isn't crowded, yet the house
and grounds are as lush as Versailles. Take (a) photo of your wife (and she of you) from the plaza behind the Trocadero, where the Eiffel Tower rises in the background across the Seine. Be sure to have her photo enlarged and placed in a very nice frame, because it will likely have one of the greatest smiles ever captured on film. Spend a few hours on the Ile de la Cite and Ile Saint Louis, the two little islands in the Seine. They are a microcosm of Paris, easily walked. At the east end of the Ile de la Cite is the cathedral of Notre Dame, one of the great gothic cathedrals. Make certain to sit on a bench in the garden behind the cathedral, preferably with an ice cream cone from one of the shops across the street. Buy her a bouquet of flowers from the flower market on the Rue de la Cite. Go souvenir shopping at Galeries Lafayette on Blvd. Hausmann. G-L is Macys.
Saks, Bloomingdale's and Neiman-Marcus all rolled into one beautiful store (don't miss the stained glass ceiling in the central atrium). Apart from
souvenir shopping, G-L provides a window into Parisian life. The departments like linens and housewares are anything but mundane when you're in a foreign city. Walk the roadway above the Seine, especially between the Pont Marie and Pont Neuf; where there are bookstalls and vendors. Pause at one of the outdoor cafes near the river on the Boulevard St. Michel and order a diablo menthe (peppermint soda). At night, stand on the Pont Neuf as a Bateaux
Mouche approaches and shines its searchlight on the bridge. Make it a very long kiss. Things I would skip: Sacre Coeur and Montmarte, the Moulin Rouge and Place Pigalle, the Pantheon, Hotel des Invalides, Ecole Militaire,the Arch de Triomphe, the Bastille, the Sorbonne, Palais Royale, Les Halles,
the Bourse, Centre Pompidou, the new opera house, Au Printemps department store, or La Defense. Most are either vastly overrated or are distant from other things in Paris. They can wait for another trip.

J Cam Nov 19th, 1997 10:19 AM

By all means purchase a guide book - and read it thoroughly. Look at back issues of magazines, gourmet, Travel and Leasure, etc. The ideas in other messages are great - devote one day to museums - one day to the 5th, 6th and 7th Arrondisements - ride the Seine River - locate good places for lunch (always have wine) - ride the Metro subway - cover the area and islands around Notre Dame - Eiffel Tower - Arc De Triumph/Champs - Blvd. Michelle, St. Germain - Montmarte - above all else, prepare to walk as much as possible in the morning along the river - and at night. Splurge and hire a car for 3 hours to take you all over the city (ask your concierge) - and for a hotel, don't go over $200 per day (you can do very nicely in that price range). sit in sidewalk cae and have coffee (expensive but fun). Stay away from any and all fast food places! Paris is a wonderful large city - see the best places as opposed to all of it. And get that book today.

Mike Nov 22nd, 1997 06:12 PM

Agree with most of advice previously posted by "Yvonne". After several visits, I'd say Ile de la Cite and Ile Saint Louis are favorite areas for strolling, cafes and people watching; agree that L'Arch de Triomphe is worth skipping, but if you like to watch people, the parks in the Champs Elysee area are great during nice weather. Musee D'Orsay is a personal favorite, much moreso than Louvre...probably the greatest Impressionist collection in the world. Unlike Yvonne, I thought Montmartre was fun...yes, touristy, but a great place to catch the views of the city, sit in a cafe, and have a few laughs. Good Luck!

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