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Top sights for first time in Paris

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Aug 6th, 2013, 07:20 AM
  #1
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Top sights for first time in Paris

I'm writing a blog post on how to choose the best area to stay on a first visit to Paris and I'd like to know which sights people absolutely want to see when they've never been there.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 07:25 AM
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Wouldn't it be better to do a blog on what people would recommend after they've actually visited?

My faves were Centre Pompidou, Sacre Coeur, Rue Moufftard and the other Statue of Liberty. But I'm guessing most people who've not been would have put the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame ahead of all those. Actually, the Eiffel Tower would go in my list, but from a distance when it's all sparkling...
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Aug 6th, 2013, 07:29 AM
  #3
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Thank you RM67, but I'm aiming at people who are trying to decide where to stay the first time, based on their knowledge of where they want to go. Once you've been to Paris, it's quite different, particularly as everyone has their own idea of what's the most interesting.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 08:08 AM
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Most people who have never been don't have a great idea of where sights are in relation to ech other - or to their hotel. Amazingly, I have found that a lot of people don;t really look at a map until they get there.

So - are you trying to elicit a lot of confused opinions? Or determine the level of (or lack of) geographic knowledge?
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Aug 6th, 2013, 08:15 AM
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Neither. I am trying to find out what someone coming to Paris for the first time thinks that they should see. I am then going to suggest that they consult a map and then determine in which area to stay (with my suggestions)so that they can pick an appropriate hotel.

I would imagine they'd want to see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre and the Orsay Museums, the Latin Quarter, the Sacré Cœur, Montmartre and perhaps the Moulin Rouge, and the Marais, but maybe I'm wrong and maybe there are other places people want to see these days. I have been living here so long now that I don't have an objective point of view.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 08:15 AM
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Honestly, I don't see the point. It's hardly a novel concept. Millions of people have already attempted this, plus:

1. A lot of first-timers have no knowledge of where they want to go, despite the innumerable resources available, and just have vague ideas of what a visit to Paris might or might not entail (which is fine).

2. There is no "best" place, whether you're a first-timer or an old hand. If you suggest the 5th or 6th arrondissement, you're succumbing to stereotypes. If you suggest the 9th or 20th, you'll be seen as a nutcase.

3. IF you actually pinpoint a particular area and IF anyone reads it, you'll just clog up a particular area (not likely to happen unless you gain Rick-Steves-like recognition, but it can and does ruin a particular area...like rue Cler...ugh).

4. Just about everyone who actually does some research ahead of time has the same first-time list of things to see: The Tour Eiffel, Notre Dame, Montmartre, the Louvre, etc., etc. ...and there is no way to choose a particular place to stay based on them, as Paris wasn't built over centuries to accommodate the wishes of visitors.

There still are unique topics relevant to Paris that would be worthy of a blog post. This isn't one of them.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 08:25 AM
  #7
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I've never heard anything so rude. If you don't like my question, you don't have to answer. Who are you to decide who should write what? And you claim to have a sense of humour!
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Aug 6th, 2013, 08:30 AM
  #8
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Hey AF,

Touchy, touchy today?

If you want to know what the pros think the beginners want to see look up Paris under "Destinations" or in any guide book.

If I were looking for suggestions on where to go and what to do in a new city, I would want them from someone who has been there, not from a newbie.

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Aug 6th, 2013, 08:36 AM
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Subject closed. Obviously, the people I would expected to hear from i.e. who remember what they wanted to see on their first visit to Paris, are not in the audience. I am not looking for suggestions on where to go and what to do in a new city. Nor do I want to know what the pros think the beginners want to see.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 08:47 AM
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Interesting point about maps, you are right many first timers seem to have lost the ability to read a map, check out public transport or use the web. Is this because they are used to using people to sort this stuff out for them, they have never learnt how to use a map or they throw their brains away when they start planning a holiday? Any ideas?

I think the other thing people forget is that going abroad is different than being at home, I love the sort of debates we get into about ice, alcohol, guns, tipping, healthcare, A/C that seem to stimulate the "I have a @@@ at home why is not available here and at a I price I'm used to paying"?

I have read a few Parisian blogs over the years and putting Kerouac's amazing photo montages to one side they tend to be by dull people who want to talk about "this wonderful restaurant where &&& has been cooking for months and it is so wonderful" think a very camp sex-in-the-city voice-over.

I have yet to see "the place is a concrete city, the airport is miles out of town and you can catch a dirty train or sit in a dull Taxi for hours as you suffer the worst jet lag you can believe, then check into the smallest hotel with the tiniest shower the world has invented and the guy at reception had the gall to shout "have a nice day" in a false American accent as I got into the lift". Now that would be a fun blog and you could then go onto describe how to avoid that stuff.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 08:51 AM
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AF you shouldn't give up so easily, where is the resilient Ozzie grit, I heard the Oz captain this morning talking about making the Test a draw. That's the stuff.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 08:55 AM
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one aspect that "newbies" tend to ignore is the excellent public transport in Paris, and in most other big cities, come to that.

so you can stay near the Eiffel Tower and be standing outside Notre Dame within 15 mins of leaving your hotel.

far more important IMO is the atmosphere of where you stay - does it have nice, reasonably priced restaurants, bars and cafes? a market to wander through? and good access to the aforesaid public transport?

if so, it doesn't really matter where you stay.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 09:23 AM
  #13
 
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The usual answer to newbies is "in Arr. 1-8", and then piggybacking on what Annhig said, "because the transportation systems in Paris are so good".
AF is trying to use this question to answer another thread, and it just doesn't quite make sense to me there either--and then I happened on this.
Newbies want to see all the places she lists, from one end of Paris to the other. I always have to go to the 16th to see my parents' home, and feel like I have to pack a lunch to get there.
Newbies need to be encouraged (as they are on the other thread) to stay in a fun area, with cafes and shops to tweak their feeling of being in Paris (and not stay on the Champs where nothing is "happening" IMO ). AND need to know how easy it is to get anywhere they want to see--you don't need a hotel at the foot of Sacre Coeur--in fact you don't want that!!
Blogs--hmmmmm.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 09:55 AM
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When I read a blog I want to hear what people did, see their pics, follow their useful links. The planning stage can be an interesting part of that too, but usually only in the context of before and after (was the pre-booking of attraction tickets worthwhile or did it tun out there were no queues anyway, was the carry on sufficient to survive a fortnight, did the film exhibition at the Trocadero actually live up to expectations etc etc)
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Aug 6th, 2013, 10:12 AM
  #15
 
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95% of blogs are masterpieces of self-indulgence. It is one of the curses of the Internet. Wow, everybody can see my name and photos (and I put it there.)
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Aug 6th, 2013, 10:40 AM
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you speak of a rudeness I failed to detect in any of the honest refrences to your original post. Went to your blog....I'll take a little rudeness over a dreadfully meaningless, self-serving and boring blog anyday. All of a sudden everyone is a writer....NOT. Ho Hum! Next.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 11:35 AM
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It sounds like you have a business going, advising tourists and plugging hotels. To be honest, I think what you are doing has been done, I remember seeing something like that before (in fact, if you go onto any major hotel booking website, you can pick a site in Paris and it will show you hotels near it, that's what they do). So if you want a hotel near the Eiffel Tower, you can go to Expedia or booking.com, etc., and already do this.

<>

I would think you are right, but I'd certainly add the Champs-Elysees to that, also.
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Aug 6th, 2013, 11:50 AM
  #18
 
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To get back on topic to the original posts, we liked staying in the 7th, and most people we met liked the 5th and 6th as well.

The greatest thing about our recent first trip to Pars was the things we wanted to see the most were not necessarily the things we ended up enjoying the most.

Everybody feels they must see Louvre and Versailles. While magnificent, my wife and I felt like cattle.
The favorite things about our trip were (in no specific order):
Nighttime boat ride on the Seine, passing the lit up Eiffel Tower,
Orsay and Cluny Museums,
Relaxing with a glass of wine at cafes,
Notre Dame---hanging out with the gargoyles,
The stained glass at St. Chappelle,
Walking across the different bridges,
Montmartre,
Buying food on Rue Cler for a picnic under the Eiffel Tower

For us, it changed from "must sees" to "let's experience"
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Aug 6th, 2013, 01:09 PM
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tower, I went to see and I agree with you.

Sorry AussieFrance that blog is not the sort of thing I have a lot of time for, do you run it or do you write the stuff? I hope run it. Is the major source of income advertising or do you also get travel income?
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Aug 6th, 2013, 01:17 PM
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I remember what I wanted to see my first time in Paris and the Sewers were at the top of the list.

Secondarily: Louvre, Versailles, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Orangerie, Jeu de Paume.
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