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StCirq Oct 9th, 2012 11:08 AM

A carnet is a group of 10 tickets. You can share them, so start out with one and buy another, or single tickets, if you need more.

You really need to familiarize yourself with the layout of the city, so next thing to do is get a detailed map and study it, and be sure you understand the scale. You'll see where the Tour Eiffel is in relation to your hotel and can then decide how you'll get there.

Then you need to learn how to get around it. Everything you need to know is at

suze Oct 9th, 2012 11:47 AM

Don't you have a city map? Again kindly and gently, taht's the first thing you need to plan a visit to a new city. You can find one online or in a guidebook with a scale so you can tell distances, and be able to figure out what's walkable and when you'll need to use Metro or bus service.

suze Oct 9th, 2012 11:54 AM

also you can use Google Search engine for some of your questions.

As a test I just typed "distance from montparnasse to eiffel tower" and a bunch of websites pop up (answer is 4.41 miles, so further than most folks would consider "walkable")

jamikins Oct 9th, 2012 11:56 AM

Yes get a good map and then group what you want to see so you arent running back and forth every day.

Get yourself a good metro map as well

A good metro stop near you is the republique stop as there are many lines that go through there.

And the 96 bus will take you right to the river at St Michel in the Latin Quarter and Notre Dame.

Leely2 Oct 9th, 2012 11:56 AM

Good call on Cosmo's. You'll be much happier there. I always spend some time in that area when I'm in Paris and find it easy to walk to le Marais, Place des Vosges, etc. But you will definitely want public transport sometimes, especially if it's late or very cold or if your feet start to give out on you.

StCirq has given you some sound advice. is a great tool--you can plan your trips online in near real-time. And remember to get a good street map.

MonicaRichards Oct 9th, 2012 12:06 PM

There are also lots of apps to help you. We had a Metro Paris as well as the France Travel guide by Triposo (handy if you wanted to know more about a site while you were there but don't want to lug around a guidebook) as well as a French/English dictionary.

kerouac Oct 9th, 2012 12:25 PM

And don't worry about not staying in the center. You will see the center every day anyway and by staying out of the center you will see so much more than people who don't want to lose sight of the Seine.

FrenchMystiqueTours Oct 9th, 2012 12:26 PM

You can buy maps in Paris at any news/magazine stand, bookstore, larger supermarket, tourist type stores and other places. I would recommend getting a large fold out map so you can see the city at a glance (a scale of 1:12,000 is good) but also get a small booklet called Paris Pratique Par Arrondissement or Paris Le Plan Pratique, which will fit easily in your purse. Each type of map shouldn't cost more than 5-6 euros.

jamikins Oct 9th, 2012 12:34 PM

If you have an iPhone you can now download free city guides from Trip Advisor, including Paris. I am currently in Philadelphia and they are great for restaurants, sites etc and they work offline, so I dont need internet access - highly recommend them!

nancy1652 Oct 9th, 2012 01:38 PM

Just in case you want to splurge on one meal, a great restaurant near your hotel is Astier at 44 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud. Go for lunch and it will be great fun...about 25 euros and well worth it.

suze Oct 9th, 2012 01:44 PM

My favorite map was a free one from the hotel lobby. I like to use folding paper maps because I make notes on them as I go along. I had a book I'd purchased by arrondisements but we never used it.

Surfergirl Oct 9th, 2012 02:08 PM

For me, I always prefer getting the mobilis (day pass for € 6)to the carnet(10 tickets)that cost €12,70. Yes, with the carnet, you can split it up -- BUT you use one on the metro, then one on the bus, then one on the tram, then back again, and you've used up 6 tickets.

Especially in December, when it's really chilly, you are probably going to be using the Metro, buses, and possibly the tram, going from one place to another, then returning to the hotel. So, if i'm going to be going to several places using public transportation throughout the day and perhaps evening, I get a lot more bang for my buck with the mobilis, since you can use the same ticket all day on just about anything that moves!

passionfruitdrink37 Oct 9th, 2012 04:42 PM

EAre there any amazing sights most people do not know about? I obviously want to some of the main ones but what are some great sights and experiences only an experienced traveller or a local would know about?

denisea Oct 9th, 2012 05:27 PM

A lesser known and less visited site is St Denis. It's on the Metro (line 13, I think). It is the burial place of French Kings and a beautiful church....especially on a sunny day so the stained glass really lights up. We really enjoyed St Denis and most tourists don't know much about it and don't go there.

For local experience and kerouac's reports on this forum. He lives in Paris and is always posting all kinds of amazing,, off the beaten path sites and trips.

StCirq Oct 9th, 2012 05:47 PM

Well, there are a gazillion amazing places most tourists don't end up in that are fascinating...but you're only going to be there for a very short time, so I would concentrate on the main sights. If you want to mix it up a bit you could go to the hammam at the Mosquée de Paris, or take a short ride out to Ile des Impressionistes and enjoy La Maison Fournaise, or check out some of the ginguettes, or go to the market in Belleville, or go to the top of the Tour Montparnasse (that's not so out of the ordinary, but I don't think a lot of tourists in Paris do it), or go to the Buttes de Chaumont, or head out to the Parc St-Cloud, or visit the Château de Vincennes....really, the possibilities are endless, but your time is short.

By the time you've been to most of the major attractions, your trip will be over. Decide whether you want a "traditional" sightseeing tour of the city, or something unusual. Given your traveling companion's hotel preferences, you might want to stick with the usual stuff.

Oh, and you might want to check out for special things that are happening while you're there.

passionfruitdrink37 Oct 9th, 2012 06:10 PM

La tour de Montparnasse was already on my list of places to go to, along with St. Denis. I also want tovissit the Louvre, le Musee d'Orsay, Sainte Chapelle, Versailles. I was also intersted in going to Pere Lachaise, but my cousin apparently has issues with cemeteries.
I feel like going up the Eiffel tower is a waste of time. Aam I wrong? I have nodesire of wasting time there.

I am also very intersted in just walking around and justtaking things in.. I cannot put into words how excited I am for this trip.This has been my biggest dream, to go to France and see Paris.I would go and not come back, but I'm poor. Hahaha

mamcalice Oct 9th, 2012 06:30 PM

If you are going to the top of the Tour Montparnasse, you do not need to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. You will see a great view of the city with the Eiffel Tower included.

MonicaRichards Oct 9th, 2012 06:45 PM

passionfruitdrink, don't miss L'Orangerie, where Monet's water lillies are.

Leely2 Oct 9th, 2012 06:47 PM

I think because you and your cousin are young you should spend some time in the bars/clubs around where you will be staying and also over at Canal St. Martin. Or see what's going on live-music-wise while you're there.

passionfruitdrink37 Oct 9th, 2012 06:50 PM

Yes! I wonder if its included with museum pass.

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