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Tips on what to do in Paris in the Autumn

Tips on what to do in Paris in the Autumn

Old Apr 30th, 2010, 03:09 PM
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Tips on what to do in Paris in the Autumn

I am going to be in Paris for about six weeks this Autumn, 2010, from the last week in October /beginning of November until the 13th December, staying in the 4th Arrondissement, the Marais.

This is to fulfil a lifelong ambition of spending several weeks at one time in Paris to try to live as a local rather than a tourist! I am hoping to meet friends over there and have people to stay with me from time to time, but none of us will be French and I am anxious to make the very most of this opportunity. I hope to visit the popular attractions, museums, concerts, ballet, theatre, Christmas Fair, take some language lessons and see the Christmas lights etc....Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should make time for and where I can find out all that there might be to see and do ahead of time, so that I can plan my time really carefully.

I am looking for a truly French experience and would really appreciate any suggestions you may have. Thank you very much in advance.
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Old Apr 30th, 2010, 05:00 PM
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Have you considered a French language class.
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Old Apr 30th, 2010, 05:05 PM
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With 6 weeks I don't see any need to plan time too carefully. I think much of the thrill of being there for 6 weeks would be the ability to wander the streets, read books in cafes etc. I'm so jealous!! It's something I'm hoping to do when we retire, but that's some way off yet.

If you don't already have some French language, then I would suggest a crash course now so that you can order groceries etc which you will need to do on a daily basis. We have rented apartments in Paris and as much as I love to shop and cook, it's difficult without the ability to communicate and many of the supermarket staff don't speak English at all, which is fair enough.
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Old Apr 30th, 2010, 06:49 PM
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The Festival d'Automne has a large program of music, dance, theater, and cinema every autumn at venues throughout Paris. The website still has last year's program up, but it will give you an idea:
http://www.festival-automne.com/fr/programme-liste.php

There are occasional Thursday lunchtime concerts for free at the Opera Bastille, check the schedules at http://www.operadeparis.fr/cns11/live/onp/. I looked and don't see any listed for next October through December, but I don't know whether this means they won't be having them or they just haven't scheduled them yet. The rest of their schedule does seem to be on the calendar, so you can see if there are events that interest you.

You can find listings of events and exhibitions at www.whatsonwhen.com.

I have visited Paris on my own the past two Novembers, and you might be interested in my trip reports:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...y-to-paris.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rip-report.cfm
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 07:27 AM
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Wow, such prompt replies, thank you one and all. These are all good tips and I shall follow all three!

Yes, I do hope to spend time just hanging out in cafes, but since this is something I have wanted to do all my life and this is probably my one chance, I want to plan as well.

I shall look into language classes: I was quite good at French 30 years ago but am very rusty. Also it would be nice to spend some time in a group of people too.

Nikki, I have yet to look at your posts but will do very soon. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to give me this info.

I'm so excited!!!
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 12:28 PM
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I think that your school girl/boy french will be helpful. A quick refresher before you go will serve you well and then it would be great fun to take a class while you are in Paris.

Are you renting an apartment? If so, could you post the link as there are lots of us who like to keep a watch for good Paris rentals. Nikki's reports are great, definitely worth a read.

I'd love you to post a trip report while you are in Paris. A little update every couple of days would be fabulous!!
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 12:36 PM
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I was in Paris last year from 1st of Nov. til 14th of Dec and will be there for the month of Nov. this year, too..along with a month next spring and the fall of 2011.

Last year the weather in Nov. was unseasonabley warm. I only needed a light coat. Winter did not arrive until the day before I left. They had a bad winter as the whole world seemed to have.

What it might be like this next Nov. is hard to tell. It will just be watching to see what is happening.

I happen to always stay in the 7th within a group of apartments that have all the amenities, local office an personnel nearby to help in every and any way.I have so many great restaurants nearby and excellent transportation to any area , if I do not want to walk, or wlak one way only!.

Do make arrangements for a Navigo Decouverte card.You will be able to get it for the month of Nov.and the rest by the week and carnets.

You can follow my running trip report for this same period of time here: Part I: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...v-3-dec-14.cfm and Part II: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...14-part-ii.cfm

That might give you a bit of information along with some pictures.

Have fun planning..

Joan
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 03:48 PM
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I'm still negotiating apartment prices!! But as soon as I have a firm idea of which I am going for I will indeed post what I have found and how, on this site. Sometime in the next 10 days.

I write a daily blog and intend to keep it up while in Paris. I cannot promise to write here as well at the same time but hope my blog will do as well. Not self-advertising but if you want it: sweffling.wordpress.com will take you there, or just google sweffling.wordpress and it should take you there. I've just had a wonderful trip to California which is all on there.

Gracejoan3 I haven't heard of the Navigo Decouverte Card so many thanks for that tip. I will follow your running trip with great interest and look at Nikki's too.

You're stars, all of you. Thanks so much.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 05:57 PM
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6 weeks- how fun! Do you have an interest in photography? I can highly recommend Sophie Pasquet's photography lessons/tours and her 4 day workshop-

http://www.betterparisphotos.com/

She also has some good suggestions for photo spots, great photography tips and exhibitions/events on her website. Just looking at her website photos may inspire you to visit some areas in Paris that you may not have previously considered.

Enjoy your adventure!
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 12:46 AM
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Now that's something I had not thought of in any way, but I shall now. Even if not more than a holiday 'snapper' the insights, tours and tips for locations would be really good fun. Thanks so much zoecat!
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:33 AM
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Pariscope, on sale at all news stands, will list all the week's concerts, fairs, exhibitions etc. I found out about an ephemera exhibition and sale this way; picked up some wonderful stuff.

FNAC stores sell tickets for almost any event in Paris for a small service charge--helps bypass queues, particularly for concerts at Sainte Chapelle.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:33 AM
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Hi, you must be the envy of many Fodorites with such an opportunity to stay in Paris for a whole 6 weeks! I know we all envy Joan!!
Although this little link may have certain information that may not be current, there are wonderful tips and I hope it will be useful to you.
I also recommend you get hold of Thirza Vallois 3 little paperback guides called: Around and About Paris Vol 1(2 & 3).
You will enjoy Paris even more with her fantastic background info in everything Parisian!
Here's the link: http://www.tomsguidetoparis.com/HangingOut.php
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:26 AM
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Hey you guys, is there no end to the riches you can come up with? This is stupendous. Now,I think I need a few more weeks in Paris, I wonder . . . .
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 07:17 AM
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Sweffling you mentioned renting an apartment in the 4th.
If you change your mind and want to move into a double-digit arrondisement there is this little place - we are renting it for 2 weeks in August. It can support 4 people if necessary and I would think the renter/owner will give you a good deal.
It has a small garden which would be nice when the weather is good.
Anyway, have a butchers...........
http://www.vrbo.com/103254
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 01:57 PM
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What a little gem, thanks tod. I looked up the availability and unfortunately it is booked for most of the time I will be there. But if I am everlucky enough to be back again, I will aim for this.
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