Paris Sept. 2013

Mar 14th, 2013, 12:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Paris Sept. 2013

Thanks to all who helped me with finding an apt to rent for 3 adults in Paris-it's on rue de l'Abre in the 1st. With that booked and our flights are booked (9/12-20, 2013) we now need your advice as to what to see and do. One adult has parkinsons disease and gets tired easily, but can walk without problems. The other 2 are in fine shape.
We want to see the usual: Louvre, Notre Dame, St. Chapelle, Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysee and d'Orsay. Want to see the Parisian markets but not sure which ones are in 'safe' areas? Possibly Versailles, but so expensive as a day tour.
That said--what about guided tours of the city? What are the best ones or can we do it with tour books on our own? Seine cruise at night worth it? Is it worth having lunch at the Eiffel? If not, where?
Prices of things: moderate, not expensive. Any suggestions would be helpful.
travelready1 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2013, 12:18 PM
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Are you looking for private tours or group tours with guides? If the latter, I've taken tours with Oui Paris ( and Paris Walks ( and would recommend both. They average a couple of hours or so, if that would be all right for the adult with Parkinson's.

Versailles is too expensive? I can't remember exactly, but I think it was €14 for the ticket + around €7 for the train. Or were you looking at a guided tour there?

See if the Pompidou, the Musee de l'Orangerie or the Musee d'Orsay interest you. The Louvre is massive (lots of walking!) and the other three are all more to my personal taste.
jent103 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2013, 12:42 PM
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Guided tours are fine, but Paris is also easy to do with a map and guidebooks, so it's time to get reading. All the markets are in safe areas. I don't think of Versailles as "so expensive." There's a huge amount to see and do there, and the upkeep costs must be astronomical. A Seine tour in the evening is almost always on my agenda, even though I've done it a few dozen times. I've never eaten at the Tour Eiffel, so can't answer that. As for "other places," Paris has something like 40,000 restaurants, so the question is a bit broad.
StCirq is online now  
Mar 14th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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<< guided tours of the city >>

I agree with Paris Walks tours. They last 2 hours, no need to book ahead (except for special tours), just show up. Good and interesting guides. The tours generally do not cover large areas so not a lot of walking but there is standing for a good deal of the tour when the guide talks.

I happen to like short guided tours as you would have to consult several guide books to get the same information.

Notre Dame has a free tour three times a week. And check out the English tours in the museums.

<< Seine cruise at night worth it >>

Absolutely! It's wonderful to see the city lights lit up and the tour is only an hour so you won't get tired or bored. I recommend the Vedettes du Pont Neuf which has 2 levels - the bottom is enclosed and the top is open. I love the top level to see the buildings clearly but dress warmly!

<< Possibly Versailles, but so expensive as a day tour >>

The most expensive ticket is E18. That's pretty cheap for an entire day of sightseeing.

<< Is it worth having lunch at the Eiffel >>

And you think Versailles is expensive???

<< Prices of things: moderate, not expensive >>

What does this mean?
adrienne is offline  
Mar 14th, 2013, 12:52 PM
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I'd say prices of things are moderate, but I'm sure that depends on your perspective, where you are from, and how much you've traveled. I think they are moderate compared to other major European capitals. If you are comparing to major US cities, I'd say cheaper than NYC, maybe in line with other major cities in the US. Some things are cheaper than in the US, and some more expensive, if you've never traveled to Europe before. For exapmle, public transportation is cheaper than in many US cities, especially if you buy some kind of pass, but a cup of coffee or any drink will cost you more in a cafe than in a cheap US restaurant. IF you compare to a regular US restaurant that would be in a big city and have a terrace, maybe still a bit more expensive. Food isn't noticeably different than where I dine in the US. Some Paris museums are very expensive (ie, Louvre and Orsay), but not so different compared to some NYC museums, and some are free.
Christina is online now  
Mar 14th, 2013, 06:46 PM
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Thanks for your replies! They are all helpful. We are all from NJ and I am the only one who has traveled extensively and also was on a Rick Steves tour of France which included a couple of days in Paris in 2007. My concern is with the friend who has parkinson's. Will the Metro be 'do-able'? Climbing just one flight of stairs isn't a problem.
Regarding tours--I was referring to minivan or bus tours to places outside of the city..they look rather expensive unless they are really great.
I will google Paris Walks tours.
Any other suggestions, please pass them on! Thanks.
travelready1 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2013, 07:17 PM
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European heritage weekend is 14th and 15th September so your timing's perfect. Buildings that are otherwise closed to the public are open FREE OF CHARGE. You'll love the Banque de France on rue Radziville (off rue des Petits Champs) in the 1st arrondissement. It has a wonderful golden gallery (a mini version of the gallery of mirrors at Versailles) and there are no queues if you go in the morning. Also, if you are on Rue de l'Arbre Sec, it isn't far. The restaurant called l'Arbre Sec is very good, by the way, and popular with locals. After you've visited the Banque de France, go across the road to Galérie Vivienne - you'll love it.
A lovely place to stroll around is the Palais Royal gardens, which are opposite the Louvre behind the Constitutional Court. There is a fountain in the middle.
Another friendly place to eat during the week is Louise on the corner of rue Croix des Petits Champs and rue Pelican.
With respect to the metro, it really depends on the stations and the lines. You're right next to one of the best lines - n° 1 - which will take you to a lot of places. You could try the buses as well. During the day, they are not crowded and there is only one step.
This is the neighbourhood where I live and I have written a lot of posts about it on my blog (just click on my pseudo to find the details).
AussieFrance is offline  
Mar 14th, 2013, 08:01 PM
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Musee Rodin is lovely and quite small. Some of the bigger galleries might be a challenge unless you can use a wheel chair.

Buses in Paris are great, and the system is easy to use.
cathies is online now  
Mar 14th, 2013, 09:00 PM
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Versailles is easy to do on your own - I got a personal audioguide for the chateau, and that was plenty for me. (I'm fairly certain it came with my ticket, but not 100%.) The gardens are quite large, so could involve a lot of walking. However, the most impressive view is closest to the house, so you wouldn't have to go terribly far to enjoy them. Once you get pretty far out, it's great for running or walking (and is open to the community to do so), but not quite as visually striking. My only concern would be - how is your friend in crowds? Versailles is often packed.
jent103 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2013, 12:48 PM
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I agree that Verssailles is very reasonable to do on your own. You don't need to go with a tour group.

Also visit the Cluny Museum; it's small but very, very interesting, especially the unicorn tapestries. We had a picnic dinner on the lawn by the Eiffel Tower in the early evening & watched the lights come on. Did a night time boat cruise on the Seine with Vedettes; it's definitely worth it; one of the highlights of our trip. also suggest Luxembourg Gardens - they are beautiful, & peaceful in the morning.
Kwoo is offline  
Mar 15th, 2013, 02:39 PM
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<< Climbing just one flight of stairs isn't a problem >>

Depending on your metro connections you may encounter more than 1 flight; there are sometimes several ups and downs to get to your next train.

The bus system is probably better and you won't have people rushing around you if your group is walking slowly.

Since there are three of you taxis might be better (if there is not a lot of traffic). You can find taxis near all the major sights and if someone gets too tired just walk into a hotel and ask for the taxi stand or if the hotel can call a taxi for you. It's sometimes worth the extra expense.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 04:43 AM
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Thanks for all your great suggestions, especially the ones in the area where our rental flat is located. I feel more relaxed about the trip now. I'm sure we'll all enjoy it.
One last question-taxi or shuttle from CDG to rue de L'Arbre flat? We won't attempt the train!
travelready1 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 04:50 AM
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For three people it would be the same amount for a taxi or a shuttle so take the taxi - it's quicker and easier. The CDG airport has wonderful taxi facilitators who will get you the correct size cab for your party and luggage. Just follow the taxi signs in the airport and do not accept offers from anyone within the terminal as they are not official cabbies.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 05:01 AM
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Agree with the recommendation to use the buses. They will often take you closer to your destination, and you get to see what is above ground. Get the good bus/metro guide--Michael Middleditch.
I like to use the DK Eyewitness Guide to Paris because it is organized by areas so you can see what you can walk to in a particular area. The Michelin Green guide is good for planning your museum touring.
Definitely take the taxi. Have your hotel/apartment address printed out and maybe a map also.
Gretchen is offline  

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