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Paris: Any areas of Paris where a guide would be useful?

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Mar 3rd, 2011, 05:54 AM
  #1
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Paris: Any areas of Paris where a guide would be useful?

We will be in Paris the 3rd week of June, 2011. I have an opportunity to have a French guide escort us through the city or a particular arrondisement (if that is our choice).

This is something I have never done before, nor have I ever taken an organized tour.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 06:14 AM
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I've loved the walking tours I've taken so I would advise taking advantage of the opportunity for a guided tour. I would focus on a small area of Paris rather than take an overview of the city tour. You should pick an area or subject that interests you. For me, I would choose medieval Paris. You could choose one of the outlying areas that tourists seldom visit such as Belleville.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 08:10 AM
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adrienne, Our time is limited in Paris with only four days, so I would like to stay close to the Seine (left or right bank). Our hotel is located in Saint Germain des Pres.

It would be difficult to focus on a subject that interests or a particular area since there will be six of us in our group -youngest 10 to eldest 70. However, all of us are healthy, energetic and can walk many miles per day.

I feel as though a historical area would be a good choice. Would you consider the Marais interesting? I should mention that the Marais will be crowded because Gay Pride week will be in full swing.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 08:43 AM
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I've enjoyed walking tours on the Latin Quarter, St-Germain-des-Pres, Notre Dame area, Hemingway walk, and the Marais. One other tour I took was Paris during the Occupation on the Left Bank.

If this is the first time in Paris for some of you there is a free walking tour from Place St-Michel (near Notre Dame) to the Arch of Triumph that takes about 3 hours.

http://newparistours.com/index.php?o...d=13&Itemid=27

Notre Dame also gives an excellent 1.5 to 2 hour tour, given by volunteers. I've taken this tour twice. Tour times: Wednesdays & Thursdays - 2:00/Saturdays - 2:30. Meet just inside the front door under the clock.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 11:28 AM
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Guided tours can point out remarkable things that you might never see on your own. But anybody who has intensive guidebook experience can easily do without. For example, it's wonderful to have somebody tell you how the Eiffel Tower was built or the history of the Pont Neuf -- but it would be very naive to think that this is not available in the books.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 06:21 PM
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adrienne and keouac, your points are well taken. I think there is something to hearing about an "attraction" or a lesser-known piece of history on-the-spot.

Sometimes, reading and memorizing just doesn't make it.

I'm leaning toward the Marais right now, but with three months to departure, who knows what may turn my head.

Thanks to both of you for your responses.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 06:55 PM
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FWIW - I would not visit the Marais on Saturday as it will be too quiet (apart from the Gay Pride activities). It's much more fun when there are lots of people around. If you tend toward the Marais because of the Jewish history I would highly recommend the Jewish Museum.
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