Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Transportation in Paris. Any advice? (

denisea Nov 5th, 2012 09:51 AM

A suggestion for you re: your plans...

I woukd go to the Notre Dame towers or Ste Chapelle first on the day you are planning that. The security line for Ste Chapelle can get long (part of the justice complex), so I would go there first. Then Notre Dame, I think the towers open at 10am and the line there can get long, since only a few people are let up at a time (worth the climb)! There is rarely a line of any kind at L'Orangerie, so save that for last.

I like the Army museum and Rodin but they could not be more different. From my perspective, I would sane the ADT for night or skip entirely.

Well, i guess the Pantheon IS within walking distance of Ste Chapelle and Notre Dame, but it's a long walk. I would take the Metro line 10 or RER B rather than walk thw whole way, to save time.

How long will you be in Paris? If you won't be there for a full week, don't bother with the Navigo pass, just get a few carnets for the Metro and buses. The Navigo is for Monday through Sunday night, so unless will be there to use it Monday-Sunday night, it's probably not a cost saver. You have to pay 5 euro for the card itself, get a picture made and then also pay for the week of use. We stick with carnets.

I can't help with nightlife...we always go to a local cafe for drinks after dinner, but that's it. I don't want to speak for everyone here, but Fodors does tend to have a demographic than it is bit more "experienced" than you. So, many of us have left the partying days behind! Oberkampf and Bastille are probably the best areas for finding nightlife.

paris15 Nov 5th, 2012 10:04 AM

It might be possible to meet some people, even parisians. For this to happen it has to be quite a small place, if possible crowded so that people don't sit but stand (or danse). And there is always something happening when you have to queue with other people at the bar.
Do you speak some french? Anyway you'll find young people always willing to practice their english (like me, even if I'm not young anymore).
I can think of many bars or restaurants like that, but not in every neighborhood.

Concerning New Year's Eve, I have no idea (but to try to make some friends before to get invited somewhere). The champagne driking option on the Chams Elysees or under the Eiffel Tower might not be funny just the two of you (and it's getting wilder and wilder every year).

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 5th, 2012 10:22 AM

I'll be in Paris from Thursday til the following Friday. So 8 days. I think I will go to the ADT at night! Thanks! I'm thinking the view will be better at night

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 5th, 2012 10:29 AM

Where do a lot of young Parisians hang out? I do want to meet lots of people from Paris. I'm not particularly interested in meeting other tourists; I want to experience Paris, meet Parisians.

StCirq Nov 5th, 2012 10:48 AM

They hang out near the Hotel Cosmos.

jamikins Nov 5th, 2012 10:54 AM

Head to will find lots of late night cafes, restaurants and young Parisians.

paris15 Nov 5th, 2012 10:59 AM

Well, exactly
This one would be a favorite of mine.

And on the left side there is a list of nice/friendly/cheap/trendy bars in the same area.
If you can manage it, surf the website to find out cool places.

I add something else : there is one area very special and dear to my heart to hang out when you're young. The area is La Butte aux Cailles in the 13th arrondissement. Two or three streets where you will find small bars and many friendly young people.( far from you're hotel, but you'll surely see and meet france's youth there.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 5th, 2012 11:04 AM

Thanks for that link! Very helpful!

Askar01 Nov 5th, 2012 12:37 PM

I’m sorry to say this, really, but I fear your cousin is going to ruin your trip.

<i>"my cousin made the reservations with him and I wasn't aware"</i>

Really nice of her

<i>"I think she's trying to bully me into not going to Père Lachaise. Making comments, and making fun of me"</i>

You’re making all the arrangements, all the planning and that’s what you get from her!!?

Another point: do you think your respective budgets are in the same range? If she has more money than you, and with her father paying for the hotel, you will end up being her hostage.

I’m reading through your posts that you are capable to do this trip on your own. Dump her and go back to your initials plans.

Mieux vaut être seul que mal accompagné as we say in French (Better off alone than in bad company)

Good luck

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 5th, 2012 12:46 PM

I appreciate your advice, but I cannot dump her. I don't want to insult anyone and come off as a brat. However, I will be following my set schedule, regardless of her. I know she likes to sleep, and I have the feeling she will sleep in a lot. I'm not going to make concessions for her or force her to wake up. I'm not going to surrender on visiting certain areas because of her weird hang ups about dead people.
Anyways. Yeah.

bumper Nov 5th, 2012 01:25 PM

The first time I went to Paris I was 20 and had a wonderful time. I would not worry too much about having your hotel chosen by your uncle - if he is paying for it. I would encourage you to spend some time in the Marais, which is one of my favorite areas in Paris. You can easily go on a morning stroll here for a great flavor of Paris. To find out where the students hang out in Paris, pay no attention to the old folks on this site (and I am certainly in that category). Get the Let's Go! Guide to Paris. It will tell you where the students hang out (it's written by Harvard students). You can also check out their website. Read as much as you can before you go and you will be as prepared as you can be. Have your cousin choose her top five must sees and you do the same, then alternate. That way, you will both get to the things you really want to see. Go with the flow. Some of my best experiences were places I knew nothing about before I went to Paris. Walking around Le Sacre Coeur I met a British student and his girlfriend whose was working as an au pair and they let me join them in going to clubs, cheap! restaurants and some of the more touristy sites, as well. It was the trip that whetted my appetite for a lifetime of travel. Have a wonderful time; I am very envious - not only of your trip, but seeing Paris for the first time at your age.

EGC Nov 5th, 2012 01:55 PM


With regard to nice and cozy bars, I once went to Chez George (not the bistro, but the wine bar at rue Mabillon, 6ème) and had the time of my life. It's a classic of its kind. Lots of colourful types: some old bohemians, scores of young students, relaxed Sorbonne scholars, quite a few would-be artistes, etc. To me it was the most cheerful and vibrant crowd of friendly Parisians ever. Highly recommended (and, in my case, a great locale to celebrate my birthday ;).

paris15 Nov 5th, 2012 02:19 PM

I agree with ECG. I used to go there a lot when I was in my twenties (10 yeard ago), as I lived quite close.
So much fun (downstairs). And in the winter, they have a fire down there. It is really small, but where can you sing on a Edith Piaf song (or pretending to), then dance on Emmenez-moi by Charles Aznavour.
A good place for its mix of parisians and tourists and whoever else.

Leely2 Nov 5th, 2012 02:45 PM

Fodor's tends to skew old (I'm including myself here). In addition to the above suggestions, you might take a look at time Out Paris for events during your stay.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 5th, 2012 06:26 PM

Great! I will check that place out! Sounds like aa great time!

menachem Nov 5th, 2012 08:43 PM

seems like a fun way to meet people: every wednesday

Also I recommend the area around Canal St Martin.

And if your cousin likes to sleep in, you could make an agreement to meet for lunch together, have lunch, do a sight in the afternoon, have dinner, and sometimes to things together, sometimes apart. But that way, you have mornings to yourself to wander around, enjoy the morning rush hour in a neighbourhood cafe, have a coffee and a croissant, visit a museum, just people watch. Precious time to yourself.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 6th, 2012 02:51 PM

The sortir à Paris website has a lot of stuff on it! Ill browse it to see what events will be taking place on the days I will be in Paris! Thanks.
The other one, do only english expats frequent those events?

gardendiva Nov 6th, 2012 03:50 PM

While you are at the bookstore getting your guide, pickup a Paris map by Map Easy. They are detailed maps with places to see, eat, Metro stops etc printed on the map. I don't think I will ever visit a big city without one.

I have not been to Paris since 2004 so I cannot remember exact places to go but I do remember wondering through a little market along the Seine across from Notre Dame. It was fun and gave us a chance to catch our breath.

Do not be afraid to do things on your own. Just be aware of your surroundings. You will know when you are in an area that you should not be in. Also be very mindful of your purse, etc at all time.

Lastly, I do not know what the drinking age is in Paris or if you would be allowed in bars and clubs if you are underage. Maybe someone can help with that.

janisj Nov 6th, 2012 03:53 PM

"<i>Lastly, I do not know what the drinking age is in Paris or if you would be allowed in bars and clubs if you are underage.</i>"

They are not underage - both are adults.

passionfruitdrink37 Nov 6th, 2012 04:18 PM

I'm an adult.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:55 PM.