Paris 1st timers

Old Jan 10th, 2001, 09:22 AM
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Paris 1st timers

What are the MUST see's in Paris? Should
we go on day trips outside of Paris? We will
be there for 9 full days and need advice on
everything!! Thanks in advance.
Old Jan 10th, 2001, 09:30 AM
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Hi Laura, first of all do a search on this forum under PARIS and just see what it yeilds. Then go out and get a good guidebook or two, Eyewitness guides are great for overviews, people and culture, Fodor's guides, Frommer's, Let's Go, Cheap Eats, these are all series of books that are out there to give you a nice overview of the city. Do you like Jazz? History? Cafe's? Museums? You can find all of that in Paris,plus with 9 days you will have ample time to take a day trip or two out of the city and visit Versailles or one of the near by chateaux. Let us know what your special interests are and we can give you more info.
Old Jan 10th, 2001, 09:33 AM
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First, get some good guide books. Don't buy them all, go to Borders or Barnes and Nobel, pick a few, get a coffee and sit down and research. Buy the one(s) that seem most useful. Any of them will list the main sights and most will include lesser known ones. A rough list of the must sees would have to include:
Eiffel Tower
Arch of Triumph
Notre Dame Cathedral
Sacre Cour church
Louvre musuem
Museum D'Orsy
Rodin Museum
Walk down Champs Elysee
Walk all over Paris
Ride a boat on the river
Go to Versailles (day trip)
Go to Chantilly (partial day trip)
Go to Fontainbleu (day trip)
Wander the Latin quarter
Eat bread, drink coffee, eat bread, eat bread
Eat crepes from sidewalk vendor
Wander through the Marais district, especailly Place De Vosges
Eat more bread
St Chappelle church
Visit some of the big department stores
Visit small shops
Eat some more bread

9 days will give you lots of time to explore. Best way is to walk and discover on your own. Get a map. Learn how to use the Metro (the subway) and buses (really quite simple and inexpensive way to get around). Take some meals in small out of the way cafes and bistros where the locals go.
Eat bread and cheese and drink coffee.
Oh, did I say that you should really eat some bread?
Old Jan 10th, 2001, 09:45 AM
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Agree with Thyra--more info would help us help you better. However, for daytrips I would recommend Versailles, Chartres Catherdral, Giverny (Monet's house and gardens, sometimes disputed as a worthwhile visit, but I loved it!) and Chantilly or Vaux-le-Vicomte (the last two are chateaux near Paris). If you choose only two I would suggest Versailles and Chartres, giving a day for each. A must see list in Paris could easily be filled by browsing through a guidebook or reading other threads here. Otherwise for Museums I would go to the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, Orangerie, Marmottan, Georges Pompidou Centre, Rodin, Picasso for starters. Other must sees on my list for first time Paris would include Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, Tour Eiffel, Sacre Coeur, Opera Garnier, Luxembourg Jardins, Madeleine, Saint Denis, Eglise du Dome (Les Invalides), Galleries Lafayette, Conciegerie and more really. These are just places, and a visit to Paris is more than just visiting places. It's about wandering through neighborhoods, relaxing at cafes, etc. So this list is by no means the end all list.
Old Jan 10th, 2001, 11:41 AM
Bob Brown
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Nine days for Paris is about right, if you plan it well.

My favorite places in Paris are as follows:

Musee d'Orsay
The Rodin Museum
Sainte Chapelle, particularly for an evening concert.
A performance at the Opera Bastille!
(Of course you must be a music lover for this one to have any appeal.)

Another activity I enjoyed in Paris was visiting some of the parks and observing people. Even street activity can be informative and amusing.

As for places out side of Paris, I have one nomination that stands head and shoulders above the rest: Vaux-le-Vicomte
The chateaux at Vaux is a marvel of restoration. It was originally dreamed up by Nicolas Forquet, finance minister under Louis 14. The three men usually credited with bring off the construction are Andre le Notre, the marvellous landscape architect; Charles le Brun, the talented interior desinger and artist; and Louis le Vaux, the genius engineer.
These are the same three men who were "asked" (coerced??) by Louis 14 to design and oversee the building of Versailles, after he had put Forquet in jail forever and looted Vaux of its furnishings.
The perfect blending of the interior, engineering, and the grounds are wonderful to behold.

Now, how should you go?? Tour or free lance? If the tour goes only to Vaux-le-Vicomte, and gives you ample time to explore after listening to the narratives, then take the tour. We had an excellent guide who knew her stuff.
The problem was that I could have stayed another 2 hours. So you can safely bet that Vaux is high on my list of places to revisit.
Old Jan 10th, 2001, 12:15 PM
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hi laura
I have a long file on Paris;if you'd like to see it, email me.
Good suggestions in the above responses.
With 9 days you will have enough time
to "waste" several hours on an afternoon in a cafe, or stroll aimlessly in the Marais section, or sleep late and enjoy a late breakfast.
If you are planning on at least the Louvre and Orsay museums, be sure to get a museum pass to avoid long entrance lines.
If you're going in late spring or summer, don't miss the gardens at Giverny and Versailles, as mentioned.
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 06:39 PM
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I, too, will be a first timer to Paris in June of this year. I've read about these NO-WAIT-IN-LINE PRE-PURCHASE MUSEUM PASSES, but have been unable to locate where I purchase them? Do you know??? Thanks
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 09:30 PM
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buy a pass 1, 3 or 5 day at a metro station ticket booth or at the ticket office of the first museum you visit. We did the metro station because we also needed to buy a carnet of tickets at the same time. You can use a credit card.
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 02:20 AM
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Check out using the Bateaubus transport system up and down the River Seine. You can buy varying tickets and just get on and off the boat. Brilliant way to see Paris from Seine and easy to understand with good guide book. Make sure you double check opening days and hours of museums. They Vary.
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 06:10 AM
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...and DEFINITELY stay in a small hotel somewhere on the left bank of the Sine !!!
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 06:23 AM
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more info on the museum pass--see
The intermusees web site provides a list of museums included in the pass, and all the places
that are included are places where you can buy it. You want to buy it at a small museum to
avoid the long lines at the Louvre, and the Musee D'Orsay. However, at the Orsay, you can buy it in the bookstore and still avoid the long ticket-buyers' line. You can also buy one as laurel said at many metro stations, at the Tourist Information Bureau (Carrousel du Louvre, at the National Tourist Bureau: 127 avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008 Paris (open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.). at railway stations: Information-Tourist Bureaux located in the Montparnasse, Nord, Est, Lyon, and Austerlitz stations. I bought one at my hotel front desk with no extra charge.
Old Jan 12th, 2001, 08:33 AM
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Metro (subway) advice: Buy a Carte Orange hebdomadaire (week-long) for 85 FF for Zones 1 & 2. They run from Monday-Sunday; can be purchased as early as Friday for the next week. You need a small photo. For the other days, buy a carnet (car-nay) (10 tickets) and share. Don't buy individual tickets unless you just need a couple. Zones 1 & 2 cover Paris, but not Versailles. The tickets/Carte Orange are also good on buses.

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