Paris between Christmas and NY

Old Nov 11th, 2003, 05:44 AM
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Paris between Christmas and NY

We are heading to Paris between Christmas and New Year's and I had a couple of questions as I am starting to do my research.

I am looking at the 2 star Hotel de la Sorbonne on rue Victor Cousin but can't find a whole lot of info on it. Is there any reason why I shouldn't stay here? We have stayed at Hotel Muguet the last two visits and I wanted a hotel similar to this one but with a change of scenery. I thought the Latin Quarter looked pretty lively on our last visit.

Is there a good online resource for activities during the holiday period like what's going on on New Year's Eve? We are looking for something casual, nothing that would require bringing a suit or fancy dress.

And finally is there a reliable online resource that has restaurant listings that you can search by area, type of cuisine, price?

Thanks for any advice!
Kristi is offline  
Old Nov 11th, 2003, 05:54 AM
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Years ago my husband and I took a pre-wedding "honeymoon" to Paris, starting the day after Christmas. By far the most romantic experience of my life! Note that the closer you get to NY, the city becomes VERY crowded ... but it is neat type of crowded - lots of tourists, but most from other parts of Europe - when we were there we encountered many Italians. Thus, I would advise you to see the major tourist sites (Notre Dame, Louvre, etc.) as soon as you arrive. (We went to Notre Dame New Years Eve day and could hardly walk it was so crowded.)

The lights in the city are lovely.

On New Years' Eve, we went to a concert at St. Germaine de Pres church (please forgive my spelling!), then to dinner at a Vietnamese restuarant in the Latin quarter - at midnight, the waiters came around and kissed all the women. When we went outside, it was bedlam. People were running away after having been tear gassed somewhere nearby. Men were diving into cars with sunroofs, kissing the ladies. I've never had so many (or any, for that matter) strange guys kiss me. We just sat outside at a cafe until 4 am watching it all.

I hope this sounds fun to you - if not, stay away from the Latin Quarter!
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Old Nov 11th, 2003, 06:33 AM
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As to restaurants, an interesting site I found was (I got on to find restaurants open on Sunday in the either the Latin Quartier or St. Germaine for my first night's dinner.
As I'm going the last week of November, I don't think I'll have a problem for restaurants in my budget so I didn't try to reserve...)

as to things to do, the Paris Tourist Bureau has posted the Holiday schedule for museums..

Bonne Annee!
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Old Nov 11th, 2003, 09:31 AM
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I stayed there, but it's been about a dozen years ago. I don't see any reason not to stay there, I liked it a lot. The staff were nice and the room was very charming and pretty with a good bathroom. I liked it better than the Muguet, frankly. The location is pretty good as it's off the main streets so not as noisy, although I will warn you it can get noisy in that general area due to streetlife and the sounds echoing in the streets -- that was when I had my windows open, however, which you won't be doing at that time of year.

I think there are lots of reviews on about it. I know they mention a lot of construction in those reviews, and I think they were doing some when I was there (but 12 yrs ago), although that was only in the daytime. that's probably over by now. I might also look at the Hotel College de France right around there for what you want. that's probably where I would go next time. I did have a nice room at the Sorbonne, I believe it was a small double (I was alone). It would be small for a couple, as usual in Paris, so I'd go for the larger rooms if you have a choice. I think my room was larger than the one I had at the Muguet, however.

the best comprehensive online sources for holiday activities is the Paris Tourist Office sight, under "events". You can search by holiday/seasonal and get a lot of stuff.

However, it sounds like what you want is just a private restaurant or something, so that wouldn't be in in some list like that. NY eve is just like it is in most places, people partying mainly and making noise in the streets. The city does sometimes put off fireworks near the Eiffel Tower, but not every year. I don't know what to suggest for some special activity for NY eve that would require only casual clothes other than just walking around the streets, which many people do. I don't know what kind of thing you are looking for.
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Old Nov 11th, 2003, 11:21 AM
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Thanks Missypie and SuzieC, I will be sure and check out that website you gave for restaurants.

Christina, thanks for the reassurance about the hotel, it is one of the few that isn't raising it's price too much for that time period and the location sounds ideal. If I am reading the map correctly, we can take the RER straight from CDG to the Luxembourg RER station and it looks like we can walk to the hotel from there.

Actually Missypie's description of her NY's eve is kind of what I'm looking for (sans the tear gas of course). Perhaps a concert of some sort followed by dinner at a casual place (I think like what they call a brasserie here in the US)that doesn't need to be booked 4 months in advance followed by whatever street celebration there might be. Last time we were in Paris for NY's eve we ended up having a horrible meal and then went over to Champs Elysses which cleared out virtually right after midnight (it was very cold that year).
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