Paris for 4 nights in November

Sep 12th, 2010, 06:10 AM
  #21  
 
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Read The Lady and the Unicorn, and then go to Musee de la Moyen Age (aka Cluny). I know someone mentioned it, but reading the fictional account about how the tapestries were made and then actually seeing them was one of the highlights of one of my trips to Paris. I have been to Paris at Thanksgiving, and that year it was cold, but not miserable. I live in the southern part of the US, so I know how hard it is to imagine being cold, when you are not! Take gloves and a scarf; they do help!
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Sep 12th, 2010, 06:15 AM
  #22  
 
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Oops; forgot you are Australian and maybe will not know that Thanksgiving is in late November!
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Sep 13th, 2010, 04:06 AM
  #23  
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Is Michael Osman a person or a tour company? If it is a personal guide, it probably would be a good idea to get him for a day. A couple of scarves might be a good memento of Paris. Thanks Marty, we know about Thanksgiving and we always picture the big feast you guys tuck in to.!! Don't worry, we Australians will do our bit to make sure we have a great Thanksgiving in Paris.
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Sep 14th, 2010, 02:09 AM
  #24  
 
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Michael Osman is a person. Musee D'orsay is a very beautiful building - a former train station. I'd be happy to visit even if some of the exhibition is missing.
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Sep 14th, 2010, 02:59 PM
  #25  
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I have checked out Michael Osman and it does not seem he is all that easy to get hold of. There must be hundreds of good quality guides in Paris, not necessarily with the same reputation as Michael, but recommended by some. Anybody know of anyone they would recommend for a day?
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Sep 14th, 2010, 03:19 PM
  #26  
 
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Hi Beaufort,

I live just up the road from you in Brisbane and I always tend to travel to Europe in November/December. Personally, I think it is a fantastic time as there are less crowds (my pet hate) and hotels etc are much cheaper. The weather has not been an issue at all. I like to take layers as suggested above. I have my travel thermals and I find them to be invaluable. They are light and easy to pack, take up very little room and keep you lovely and warm.

Paris is a great city to walk in. When we were there in 2007 the rail wasn't running due to strike action and so we walked everywhere.

Please persist with Michael Osman, we had him for two days - although he was sick at the time he sent his mate Scott Emerson instead and he was an absolute hoot and we had the best, best time with him. I tipped him with Tim Tams - he thought that was fantastic!

Definitely have hot chocolate at Angelinas! We all went to see Moulin Rouge and I have to confess I wasn't impressed but that's not to say you wouldn't be. This was incorporated in a one night tour - Dinner at the Eiffel Tower, Seine River cruise and then Moulin Rouge. I really, really enjoyed our dinner at the Eiffel Tower, we had a lot of fun there, (you had to be there ) and the river cruise I thought was all quite good value.

Your wife might also enjoy a fashion parade at Galleries LaFayette - we all did. We booked early and had front row seats - it was just a bit different I guess.

You will fill up 4 days no problems at all and don't worry about the weather - we actually had beautiful sunny days whilst there but I always carry a very compact umbrella for just in case.
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Sep 16th, 2010, 01:26 AM
  #27  
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Thanks stormbird, great to hear from a Brisbanite, I have had a business there for over 30 years so I appreciate your endorsement of the Paris weather in November. Well it looks like I have to rethink about Michael and of course Angelinas makes a lot of sense especially that time of the year. 4 nights is such a short time to be in Paris, so I suppose the evening package you refer to gives you a bit of everything all in one night only. I would be interested in what other people think of those night packages because they seem to be heavily promoted. I am sure my wife would enjoy Galleries LaFayette so I have also put that on the list. Do you know if the parks and gardens are worth visiting in Late Autmn?
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Sep 16th, 2010, 03:59 PM
  #28  
 
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Hi Beaufort,

Regarding parks and gardens, after a few visits to Paris they've not been a priority for me (each to their own!) but I'd imagine there wouldn't be much to see come November though.

With only 4 days you'll be pushing it to see just the 'usual suspects'. Regarding Michael Osman he can 'fast track' you through such places as The Louvre - i.e. taking you to the 'biggies' and this means you haven't wasted any time trying to find them yourself. This of course, doesn't feel rushed but you'll be quite satisfied with what you've seen. He really is excellent value for money.

You'll be able to sit and enjoy a coffee, restaurants, bistros and the Paris ambience absolutely everywhere.

The metro is easy to use but Paris does lend itself to walking I'd have to say.

Let us know your plans when you've roughed out your 4 days.
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Sep 16th, 2010, 05:44 PM
  #29  
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The first day Friday, I arrive at lunch time, so I really only have 3 and a bit days to do Paris, so I will have to hit the ground running. It seems a lot of places are closed on Mondays when I am there, so I will have to move quick on the other days. Are Sundays a general trading day for most cafes, shops and museums?
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Sep 17th, 2010, 01:55 AM
  #30  
 
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Many restaurants and most shops are closed on Sundays. Museums are generally open. There are some areas, such as the Marais, where shops are open on Sundays.
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Sep 18th, 2010, 10:29 PM
  #31  
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Is Monday a normal business day for retailers and restaurants and is it only the museums that are closed that day?
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Sep 19th, 2010, 12:03 AM
  #32  
 
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November is Photo Month! And depending on the exact dates of your trip you land in the middle of Paris Photo! Lots of interesting exhibitions to see, many in buildings you wouldn't ordinarily have access to. For walking: avenue plantee, from Bastille, and Canal St Martin: many nice cafes and restaurants, interesting galleries to pop into, book shops. Also, I'd reserve at least one afternoon for just general hanging around, staying in one area, sitting in a cafe with a book or the papers, just watching, drinking coffee, then perhaps something else...The danger is that you try to cram too much into the time you have..That will lead to the paradox that you will have seen everything and nothing, but not Paris.
Tip for access to the Louvre: at the little shopping mall on Rue Rivoli, called Carrousel du Louvre, there is also a ticket booth and an entrance, but without the outrageous lines in the Pyramid. Instead of going to Notre Dame, go to Sainte Chapelle (across the road, basically) if you want to see medieval religious architecture at its most beautiful.
A very very nice place to have tea in is the Paris Mosque, near Jardin des Plantes, on the left bank. They cover their courtyard in winter and have heaters there. It's lovely.

Neighbourhood cafes will definitely be open early: great to have coffee and start off the day with something sweet!

For getting around, I would use the bus. The RATP site will give you a great interactive bus map. Tickets bought for the metro (a good deal is to buy carnets of 10) can also be validated in the bus: just get on and use the stamping machine for that.
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Sep 20th, 2010, 05:10 AM
  #33  
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You know I have gleaned so much information from so many people from this fabulous forum, however menachem you are right, I will never get to see and experience all of the wonderful recommendations in 3 and a half days. I need to just look at the places I really want to see and spend a lot of time just soaking it up and hopefully talking to people, which sometimes leads you to see something 5 minutes away which turns out to be awesome. You can see why so many people are passionate about this place and come back year after year and still have places they have not visited.
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Sep 20th, 2010, 05:28 AM
  #34  
 
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I will make a recommendation to get the DK Eyewitness Guide to Paris. I like its organization because it takes Paris by "area" and shows all the things you might like to see within that part of Paris.
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Sep 21st, 2010, 09:36 PM
  #35  
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Thank you Gretchen.
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Sep 23rd, 2010, 12:10 AM
  #36  
 
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One more tip: check out the street markets and use those for people watching and buying something to eat.
http://www.parislogue.com/travel-tip...d-markets.html

I completely endorse the recommendation for the Richard Lenoir market close to Bastille. Don't forget to have coffee at Cafe Des Phares close by.

http://www.cafemagazine.co.uk/phares.html



have fun!
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Sep 23rd, 2010, 04:49 AM
  #37  
 
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Hi beaufort,

I'm also looking forward to Paris in November but we will only be there for the weekend so I envy your 4 days.

We intend to see the Monet exhibition at the Grand Palais (which opened yesterday but so far I don't seem to be able to order tickets online), visit Musee D'Orsay, climb the Eiffel tower and wander around Paris popping into our favourite patisseries.

We will probably fit in a few more sites but the pared down list of our essentials will make the weekend feel less rushed and more enjoyable I think.
Primarily we're in Paris to meet up with my sister and enjoy ourselves!

I hope you have a wonderful time.
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Sep 23rd, 2010, 05:14 AM
  #38  
 
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Why spend truly hours climbing the Eiffel Tower on such a short visit. Not just the climb but standing in line to do it. Also if you intend to do it in the day time, remember it will be getting dark by maybe 5PM. Just a thought to ponder for your time.
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Sep 23rd, 2010, 06:11 AM
  #39  
 
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Gretchen,
As I said this our pared down list of essentials!
Do you suggest we spend more time in patisseries instead!? Just kidding LOL.

We will have our 13 year old daughter with us and it's her favourite thing to do in Paris. We love the exercise and the view.
We're hoping to go up around dusk, watch the lights come on and be down in time for dinner so dark by 5pm is perfect.

I've lost count of the number of times I've been to France but in the last 6 years or so I've climbed the Eiffel tower 3 times with my children and we have many happy memories of the 'very windy day', the sparkly lights, the other climbers, etc.

We'll be back in Paris in July for a longer visit and we'll be climbing the tower then too (with 2 excited first timers in tow!). It will be hot and the line might be longer than in November!
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Sep 23rd, 2010, 01:21 PM
  #40  
 
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Check out my trip report; I stayed at Quai Voltaire this past August (for four nights). I talk about how easy it was to get everywhere (though the nearest Metro is a 12 minute walk; farther than most major sites!). I also talk about some of the restaurants nearby. Have a great trip (and do go to the Musee d'Orsay).

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-in-august.cfm
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