Paris, 2 teens in 4 days

Jul 19th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Paris, 2 teens in 4 days

We'll be in Paris for 4 full days in August with our 19 and 16 year old. What are the top 4 things that you think we should see or do in Paris?
Also, many years ago when I went to Paris I went to the Moulin Rouge show. Is it still there, do you think is doable or is there another show that you'd suggest?
Thank you in advance
dianal84 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 05:53 PM
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Moulin rouge is a complete waste of time.

What your kids should do is look at some student resources (Let's Go guide or the thorn Tree section of the Lonely Planet web site) since what they want to see/do (especially nightlife) will probably differ significantly from your interests. I'm betting they will want to find some student hangouts with music that isn;t about 40 years old (just like the showgirls at Moulin Rouge).
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 06:21 PM
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Yes, it's still there, like every other Las Vegas-like Japanese tourist trap in the city.

Send your kids to the library or bookstore to read through guidebooks and rent videos about Paris attractions so they can be part of the planning process.

The top 4 things? That's pretty narrow, but I'd have to say the Tour Eiffel, a boat ride on the Seine at night (Vedettes de Paris - you can get discount tickets online), wandering around the Latin Quarter (for your kids - you couldn't pay me to do it except in mid-winter), and a wonderful Parisian meal (if your kids appreciate good French food).

Are you saying 4 top things because you only have 4 days? You do realize you can do more than 1 thing a day, I hope. You could easily visit the Marais, Ile de la Cité, Sainte-Chapelle, Notre Dame, the Conciergerie, the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Musée Rodin, Musée de l'Armée....and a gazillion other things, if you got a good map, located things you want to visit, and group them by location.
StCirq is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 06:50 PM
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One thing my children (teens) enjoyed was the catacombs... they were just talking about it again today -
MomDDTravel is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 11:19 AM
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Hi Diana,

For nightlife, I wanted to share this guide with you on the best Paris nightlife for teens - written by a tour company that specializes in college break trips. Moulin Rouge is on this list, but personally I agree it can be skipped...

Do your teens like museums? If not, I'd maybe skip all the museums mentioned above. I loved wandering around the Louvre for a bit, and there's lots of shopping all around it which your teens may enjoy afterwards. I thought Ile Saint-Louis was really fun to walk around and it's home to Berthillon, which is one of the top ice cream shops in the world, as well as right by Notre Dame so that could be a fun afternoon for your group. Enjoy your trip!
ErinK09 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 11:30 AM
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Fat Tire Bike Tours - best thing for teens EVER in Paris for one evening.

They will love it unless they are hugely unfit.

(But when I did it with my teens I was a fairly unfit 48yo who hadn't been on a bicycle in 20 years or so, and I managed it and loved it too!)
julia_t is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 12:08 PM
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If they are skaters they can do an organized group skate around Paris every Friday evenings (link above) - skate rentals i assume are available

And of course the Eiffel Tower and on the steps of the Trocadero opposite the tower on the other side of the Sein there are usually quite a few break dancers performing for a crowd.

The 19 yr old may enjoy being able to drink legally in a bar - the 16 yr old is too late as the age was justmoved from 16 to 18 this year.
Palenque is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 12:16 PM
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Gee, apparently you said something heretical. Wow. I guess there are only some approved things to do in Paris.

I agree with the advice to let your teens pick -- even it's the very unrespectable Moulin Rouge.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 12:18 PM
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this is what we did with our teens in ONE day, ewhen they were a bit younger than yours:

L'arc de triomphe,

Eifel Tower

vadette ride down to Notre Dame [good cheap lunch on left bank]

walk along the pet shops on right bank


champs elysees

and that was just one day, of a strike, so we had to walk apart from the vadette ride!

THey also liked Versailles, what little we could see because of the strike and rain the day before. had we had longer, we would have done the Marais, Musee D'orsay, Sacre Coeur,and LOADS more.

try to arrange what you want to see by area/accessibility by metro so that you aren't dodging about too much.

have a great trip,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 01:01 PM
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I second the catacombs, especially in August when it's hot, hot, hot! You get positively chilly down there. Wear old sneakers and carry a small flashlight.

Boat ride down the Seine, again a nice thing to do on a warm day.

Eiffel tower's a no brainer, do it at night just before it closes -- great way to end a long day.
Surfergirl is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 02:19 PM
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In terms of what to recommend, it might help out a bit if you give a sense of what their interests are at home. If you're talking about Paris's top sites in general, I think most people would say the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, etc., but Paris is an amazing city with many wonderful things to experience!
Rachel_K is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 07:34 PM
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I was in Paris last fall with my 17-year old for 3 days and I actually think it's harder to do a whirlwind tour of a city with that age. Palenque has it right -- skating, watching street performers, meandering through flea markets -- these may be of more interest to them than plowing through the Louvre. We got lucky -- we went to the Louvre on the first Sunday of the month and it was free! -- so I didn't mind spending barely an hour hitting a few of the highlights. My teen and I each had one priority for the day (e.g., me -- Notre Dame, her -- H&M) and then we kind of played it by ear depending on where we were and what we felt like doing at that moment (and how much endurance we had). Some of the most special moments we experienced were completely unplanned.

Although we toyed with going to Moulin Rouge, we ended up going to a ballet at the Palais Garnier (the old opera house). The theater setting alone was worth the tickets, but we saw a ballet that was simply shocking (very avant garde). It was perfect -- no complaints from my teen! I purchased tickets online from the theater's web site a few weeks before we left and the tickets were mailed to us.

Another suggestion if you end up strolling along the Champs Elysees -- they may like to wander around the Virgin music store. It's huge and they can get a taste of French artists from a wide array of genres (as well as get a fix of their at-home favorites). The flagship Sephora is nearby as well. If you do have teens who like to shop, try Printemps -- it's truly a department store to experience and they have an excellent cafe.
ttrent is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 11:58 AM
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Thank you, all, for the great ideas. We'll be going to see Wicked in London so, I was wondering if there was another show in Paris that would be memorable. When I saw Moulin rouge, I thought it was ....incredible. I was a teen and it was the first time that I saw a "Vegas" like show. My kids are looking to see what's there, but they are so busy with their summer that they are not really focusing on this trip so, I feel that I need to research and set things up and then we'll see.
dianal84 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 12:27 PM
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I would strongly reccomend the bike tour - we did the day tour when we arrived, and then the night tour just before we left. The day tour was more 'informative' and a great overview of the city, and the night tour was more 'fun' and includes a trip on the Bateau Mouche boats. The other thing about the bike tour is that Fat Tire Bikes is staffed by 'cool', outgoing young people, who would probably be able to give your kids insight and ideas on things to do and go.

I would also suggest looking at figuring out how to use the Velib bike system - we didn't explore too deeply because our kids were too young (or rather too short..) to use them, but I thought if I went back I would DEFINITELY want to look at biking around.

I would also second the catacombs!
Canada_V is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 05:18 PM
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I love the idea of the bike tour. We do like to bike. Where did you book the tours? Should I wait until we're in Paris?
dianal84 is offline  
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