Paris Trip Tips

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May 16th, 2006, 07:49 AM
  #1
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Paris Trip Tips

First, a note of thanks to all Fodorites for insights/advice as I planned our trip to Paris earlier this month. In the spirit of helpfulness, here's some info that I think others may find useful:

1. We stayed at the Hotel St. Louis Marais in the 4th and liked it very much. The cost was 115 euro a night. A great, quiet location close to the Bastille and St. Paul Metro Stops. Our double room was small, but very clean with a comfortable bed. The water pressure in the shower may be the best I've experience - anywhere. Also, we used the airport shuttle service provided through the hotel which was comparable in price to a taxi and a lot easier than using the metro or flagging down a driver who doesn't speak English.

2. Definitely get the mueseum pass - it saved a lot of money and, just as importantly, time.

3. I know there are varying opinions on this board about Rick Steves, but we used his Paris 2006 book and found it to be invaluable.

4. In terms of eating, a friend provided a book to us called Paris By Bistro. Not sure if it's on amazon.com, but try to get a copy if it's available on the site. Lots and lots of great reviews of bistros broken down by neighborhoods. Interestingly, the most memorable meal we had wasn't listed in the book but rather one we simply tried on our own - Le Petit Vatel located at 5 rue Lobineau just behind St. Sulpice in the 6th. You won't found a more authentic Parisien bistro than this - it's like having dinner in someone's living room. Moderately priced food in a seating area that fits (at most) 12 to 14. They do not accept credit cards.

5. We did a night cruise on Seine which was one of the highlights of the trip and was surprisingly affordable - just 10 euro per person.

6. After an early dinner get a bottle of wine and sit by the Eiffel Tower from 9:00 to 10:30 - the light show starts around 10:00. I'd also suggest a trip up to the top. It's a little expensive and time consuming but it's worth it.

7. Finally, plan ahead to make the most of your time so you can truly appreciate this fantastic city.

I hope this information is helpful Enjoy!

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May 16th, 2006, 04:04 PM
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blh
 
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Thanks for tips - bookmarking for trip to Paris next year. I'll have to look for the book you recommend - sounds interesting!
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May 17th, 2006, 12:17 PM
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Interested me to hear that you liked the Rick Steves guide. I've not touched one, having been often warned away by others on here, but I suppose now I'll have to check it out for myself. More research -- the next best thing to being there!

Glad to hear you liked the Hotel St. Louis Marais; we have reservations there this fall.
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May 18th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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Anglophile05, It seems Hotel St. Louis
Marais has become a popular place. Glad you found it a good place to stay. We are renting a studio down the block that is associated with the hotel.

Can you tell me if you can walk to Louvre from that location?

Thanks, Tania
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May 18th, 2006, 11:22 AM
  #5
 
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Hi - thanks so much for the tips!

We leave in one week for our first trip to Paris.

Just wondering about the museum pass - what is it for - one museum, multiple museums? Where do you buy it, and how much?

thanks...
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May 18th, 2006, 11:28 AM
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For you cheapskates out there (like me), you can save money on the Eiffel tower if you take the steps to the second level. That was enough view for me (you're already taller than everything else), but if you want the top, it's cheaper to take the elevator from there (a bit over 3 euros, I think, plus 3 to climb, saves you around 4 euros, I think, but the numbers could be a bit off).
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May 18th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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Thanks, also bookmarking for upcoming trip.
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May 18th, 2006, 12:32 PM
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holly777

The Paris Museum Pass is good for 60+ museums and costs:

2 days - €30
4 days - €45
6 days - €60

The easiest way to buy one is at a less-crowded museum.

http://www.parismuseumpass.fr/flash/hp_en.html
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May 18th, 2006, 01:33 PM
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Thank you!

Looks like the thing to do -love to avoid those queues !

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May 18th, 2006, 01:34 PM
  #10
 
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..just a quick comment on the hotel you stayed in. I too stayed there twice but not the third time I booked. I had confirmed reservations (with a paper trail) and there were no language issues. When I arrived there was a sorry and sent me to another hotel which they owned. I have read on trip advisor that this has happened to others so I will never stay there again...just thought I'd leave a warning here!
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May 22nd, 2006, 07:33 AM
  #11
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A couple of follow-up points:

1. In terms of Rick Steves, what can I say other than I like his approach and found the information to be, for the most part, very helpful. One of his recommended restaurants was a dud and I don't get his affection for Rue Cler - it's OK, but certainly not worth a special trip. But I would have been lost without it on so many different fronts (e.g. buying a carte code at a tobacco stand for calls to the US). I suppose other good guide books would have just as good, but I can only speak of his particular book.

I very much liked his self guided walking tours.

2. In regards to Hotel St. Louis Marais: I too read some of the negative feedback on various boards on the internet and half expected our reservation to not be honored or to be shuttled over to some distant hotel. Again, my experience with the hotel was positive and we didn't have any these problems. Perhaps they simply had some problems in the past that has since been resolved? Again, I can only speak of my experience.

3. I neglected to mention that we flew to Paris from BWI on Icelandair. Based on a tip from a friend I signed up for their Luckyfares e-mail promotion and as a result got a RT ticket in May for around $400 per person. This was almost half of the cost I was getting from USAir and various travel sights like expedia. You do stop in Iceland for about an hour, but we didn't mind that at all - it allows you to stretch your legs, use a real bathroom, and do some duty free shopping if you want. Check out their web site if you've been disappointed with the quotes you are getting.

Robespierre's info on the mueseum pass is everything you need to know.
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May 22nd, 2006, 12:13 PM
  #12
 
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You can walk to the Louvre from the St Louis Marais. I would estimate it takes about half an hour or forty minutes to do so. We did it in chilly gray weather in February without feeling that it was too far, so I imagine on a beautiful day the walk would be a joy.
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