quirky paris


Jul 23rd, 2013, 03:19 AM
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quirky paris

my wife and i and another couple are having a short break in Paris Monday-Wednesday. We really do not have time nor inclination to go to large attraction, louvre etc. We are more interested in seeing unusual areas and places, bars restaurants etc. We are staying at Hotel Crayon near louvre. We will be going up tour montparnasee as opposed to, eifell tower and a trip round monmartre is on our list. Any input would be welcomed. we are all in our late 50s or early 60s and one has a slight mobility problem, i.e. has back problem so doea not walk to many miles
rufusg is offline  
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Jul 23rd, 2013, 03:53 AM
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I was going to suggest the catacombs but the steps might not be so good for anyone with back issues.

Have you been to Shakespeare and Company?

If you like oysters, Huitrerie Regis comes highly recommended.
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Jul 23rd, 2013, 03:53 AM
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Oh, and there is that giant thumb at La Defense. Weird.
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Jul 23rd, 2013, 03:58 AM
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You could take an Eiffel back stage tour with a group which will be short duration and might qualify as "quirky."

There are many small museums which would not take much time and lovely churches. Also the Passages are fun and not on the main tourist path.

One of the quirkier museums I've seen in Paris is the Lock and Key Museum in the Marais (also known as the Musee Bricard). The Museum of Romantic Life is small and interesting and has a delightful small garden cafe for lunch.

Since you'll be in Montparnasse, you might want to explore the Bordelle Museum (sculpture) or the Post Museum which I thought was interesting. They have great post cards in the museum shop. Another sight in that area is the Montparnasse cemetery - it's just as beautiful as Pere Lachaise but much smaller.

The Mosque is interesting and there is a wonderful tea room behind the building with a beautiful garden. After touring the mosque, you can sip mint tea and have some cookies under the trees. While in that area also explore the Roman arena (Arene de Lutece).
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Jul 23rd, 2013, 04:02 AM
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The Arab museum is VERY interesting, particularly the windows that open and close like the iris of your eye with more or less light.
Just a nice street market?
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Jul 23rd, 2013, 04:55 AM
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- Place des Vosges, Rue des Francs-Bourgeois

- Paris Plages has just opened for the next four weeks: either along the Seine between the Louvre and the Marais, or up at the Bassin de la Villette near metro station Jaurès (you could combine this with a boat trip up the Canal St Martin from the Bassin de l'Arsénal by Bastille).
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Jul 23rd, 2013, 05:01 AM
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You might want to see all of the things going on at the newly renovated and redesigned Place de la République:

The Left Bank Expressway had been converted to an interesting promenade between the Musée d'Orsay and Pont de l'Alma:
kerouac is offline  
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Jul 23rd, 2013, 06:46 AM
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Not sure about quirky, but couple not as popular places we like are
Musée Nissim de Camondo
Musée Marmottan Monet in a beautiful neighborhood
Musée national Gustave Moreau
There are tons more, just do some searches on this board and ou will fiind lots of different and interesting places to visit.

@kerouac, great photos! nice to see the new Place de la Republique
yestravel is offline  
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Jul 23rd, 2013, 07:39 AM
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As far as restaurants go you can't get much quirkier than Dans la Noir, where you eat in total darkness, served by blind wait staff.
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Jul 23rd, 2013, 07:48 AM
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I think this book is really a plus for people who don't want the typical tourist guide to Paris

The other thing I would recommend is visiting the Covered Passages of Paris, of which there are several right near where you are staying in the 2d arr. Nice flat walking.

Before or after you go to the tour Montparnasse, why not head into one of the "fishbowl" cafes nearby and watch the world go by on street level, to experience the contrast? This area was the haunt of Henry Miller, and Le Select is my favorite cafe, but you have Le Dome and La Rotonde and others as well. Can't guarantee you won't see other tourists inside, but the view to the outside remains purely Parisan and fascinating.
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Jul 23rd, 2013, 08:02 AM
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I don't know about quirky, but there are plenty of smaller museums if you don't want big ones. I found the postal museum kind of interesting, for example (in Montparnasse). I also liked the nearby museum devoted to WWII and the Resistance (right next to the train station).

Nissim de Camondo has a lot of work going on now (which someone suggested), and the full collection isn't on display FYI.

I suppose the sewer tour is quirky, more or less. Doesn't interest me in the slightest (and someone I know who went said it didn't actually smell), but would be different.

I don't really know of any quirky or unusual bars or restaurants. At least not in a good way.

I did enjoy Victor Hugo's home in Place des Vosges, it's not that big. I also think it is free entry, although you'd have to be interested in him to care, I'm sure (although he was quirky IMO).

Timeout has a whole list of quirky museums
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Jul 23rd, 2013, 08:34 AM
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Have you been to yet?
ira is offline  
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Jul 23rd, 2013, 09:42 AM
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Secret gardens maybe?
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