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Where would you go in Paris with a seasoned tour guide for the day?

Where would you go in Paris with a seasoned tour guide for the day?

Old Mar 14th, 2005, 07:42 AM
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Where would you go in Paris with a seasoned tour guide for the day?

I have booked a day with Michael Osman for our upcoming trip to Paris. We will have him for the day on Monday May 29th. I have already checked out the museum schedule and it looks like the Louvre is open and the Musee D'Orsay is closed. My thought was to begin the day at the Louvre for a tour of the highlights (with a museum pass to bypass the lines). Then stop somewhere for lunch and then move on to a tour of Ile St. Louis including Notre Dame and maybe finish off touring the Marais District. I picked these places because they include must sees of Paris( we are first timers), but they are also interesting to me, particularly the Marais area. Michael said that he will be with us all day which is why I have many different things scheduled. So if you had Michael for a day what would you choose? Also what do you think of my itinerary?
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 08:06 AM
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You lucky little devil you! This gentleman was unresposive to my emails last year so I laughed him off. Everyone who tours with him raves and I'm sure he is tremendous, so go along with what HIS ideas are even if you think you are missing something.
Remember HE is the expert!!
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 08:20 AM
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I've never used a tour guide, so I can't comment on that.

But using a museum pass only for the Louvre seems like a waste of €9.50 to me (the cost of the pass over a regular admission). Rather than the Marais, why not see les Invalides and finish up at the Arc de Triomphe (open late)? Or Versailles?
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 09:17 AM
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Maybe I'm off base here, but I don't understand the idea of paying a guide who is "seasoned" with the sites of Paris and then having him accompany me to a major museum, like the Louvre or D'Orsay, where a good guide book or audio guide can do wonders. I think doing the Louvre would take too much of his valuable time where you could be getting a lot more for your money (I'm assuming he doesn't come cheaply).

He's the expert, and I'd ask him what are his favorites for first timers. I think the idea of a guide for the Marais and for Ile St. Louis is good, but I'd also be asking him what areas he can show you in a special way.
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 10:28 AM
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Thanks for the comments! I was planning on buying 3 day passes for my husband and myself so we will take advantage of museums on some of the other days. So it sounds like people think that the Louvre is pretty user friendly. Everyone makes it sound daunting because of the size and crowds. I was also planning to have Michael surprise us with some of his favorite areas, but he asked us what our interests were so I was trying to get some kind of organized plan.
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 10:32 AM
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I wouldn't use a general seasoned guide for anything, myself, I would only use one who was specialized in a particular topic that was of interest to me, like Parisian architectural history. I have actually gone on specialized walking tours like that by itinerary.

I wouldn't use a guide for a museum either, but if someone wants to do that because they don't know a lot about art and prefer to have someone tell them rather than read about it or listen to an audioguide, I've heard he is good for that because he has a special interest in art.

For a first=timer, I think your choices make sense -- definitely the islands. I'd probably pick the oldest part of the Latin Qtr as pretty important in Parisian history, also, and some parts of St-Germain, also.

That's probably enough for a day. In reality I think that if you are hiring this guide for his expertise, HE is the one who should be coming up with an itinerary of what is important for a first-timer, not asking you to tell him what to do. I think if you had a special interest, of course, it should be taken into account, but he should have some canned itinerary suggestions for you to review and tweak.

You might look at the itineraries for Paris Walks company as those are for first-timers.
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 10:33 AM
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oh, I don't think it's a waste at all to use a museum pass just for one museum, I"ve done that -- it's just a time versus money issue.

However,in this case, I would have thought that as a professional guide he is allowed to take you right in, isn't he? He is registered with the city, isn't he?
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 10:35 AM
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If this is your first trip to Paris I'd recommend having Michael Osman show you the major sights and then do museums and such on your own. That way you can see the Place de la Concorde, the Eiffel Tower, the Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens, and the Marais district, in addition to the Ile St-Louis. You should also try to fit in the Sainte-Chapelle while you're in that area.
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 11:00 AM
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Allow me to rephrase that: I agree that buying a Museum pass for the ability to jump the queues has time/money value, but I also think that not using it for the rest of the day when you can easily see some other sights that are included is like flushing money down the drain.

In other other words: why go to the Marais after the Louvre when you've already paid for 69 other sights?

(<i>p.s.</i> The math is different if you get a 3- or 5-day card, as those cost &euro;12 and &euro;10.80 per day, respectively.)
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 11:30 AM
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thanks guys! Christina, I haven't worked out the logistics yet with Michael. I was planning on emailing him again 2-3 weeks prior to our trip. As far as being able to get in a museum if he is a registered guide, I don't know. This will be my first time ever to use a guide so I am not sure. I guess that is a good question to ask. Robespierre, I understand your point about making the most of your pass in one day. We may end up striking the Louvre on the day with Michael and going another day so we can fit a few more museum pass sites. And Christina I do like your Latin Quarter suggestion. I am definately interested in architecture as well as well as quaint areas of Paris. Thanks all for the constructive criticism.
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 02:45 PM
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well, I do think if you fit in two museums in a day, that's a better use of the card, of course.

AS for admittance -- you should ask him if he gets you in without a wait. I know guides with groups do, as I was in one many years ago (my first trip to Paris). If that is true, no need for the card.
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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Playing devil's advocate here. I don't know this guide's areas of expertise, but if he does know quite a bit about the art in the Louvre, it might be nice to take a tour with him as he could show you the highlights quickly. However, the Louvre is really quite doable on your own with a guidebook. I guess I'd ask him what his specialties are to try and capitalize on his strengths.
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 04:16 PM
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When Michael says all day..you will be worn out way before he is! We've been to Paris about 20 times..maybe a few more and the last 3 trips when we met up with friends who know and have toured with MO we've had the best time ever!

As first timers you want to see the &quot;majors&quot; and Michael will make it so much more enjoyable..he'll have you on and off the metro and buses..in a few hours , you'll be old timers!


Any special interest you have he can accomodate.

I wouldn't hesitate to visit any museum with him, as a first timer..to me the Louvre is overwhelming and I would appreciate someone to ead me around if it were my 1st time there.





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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 04:50 PM
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Hi ilovetulips-

I have booked to spend a day with Michael O about 10 days after you, and I've asked him to take us around the Louvre in the morning. Haven't decided about the afternoon, yet.

My rational for having a personal guide at the Louvre is that I want to use every avialable moment to feast on the art and not interrupt myself by reading a guidebook. Also, my hope (based on what I've read in previous posts on this site) is that he will keep the attention of the rest of my family better than an audioguide or a group tour guide. (I could spend weeks in the Louvre, but the rest of my family...I don't know.)

I don't know if he is a registered guide (I don't know what a registered guide is). In his email to me, he said he gets into the Louvre free because he is a member.



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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 06:45 PM
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ilovetulips, it looks like we will be just missing each other. We have Michael for June 2nd. I was interested to read all the replies because we haven't decided on anything specific that we wanted to see. We hoped to just put ourselves in his hands and wander. I planned to see all the usual stuff ourselves and let Michael take us to more out of the way places. I'm sure whatever we do with him will be fun. I love to see a country through the eyes of someone who lives there.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 06:28 AM
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Wow, I didn't think I would get so many responses on this post. I believe that Michael's specialty is art because that is why he originally moved to Paris. I will email him soon to see what his thoughts are on the Louvre part of my agenda. I will make sure that I leave enough of the day open so he can show us &quot;his Paris.&quot; I am very excited about having a tour guide for the day and for the poster who said that they were old timers on the Metro by the end of the day, that is exactly what I was looking for.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 07:13 AM
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I can appreciate the desirability of having a guide versed in history, art, and architecture.

But the <i>M&eacute;tro</i>?!?! My 13-yo had it figured out in about 20 seconds.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 07:26 AM
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&gt;Where would you go in Paris with a seasoned tour guide for the day?&lt;

Wouldn't it depend upon the seasonings used?

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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 07:38 AM
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...unless you can locate a man for all seasonings.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 08:53 AM
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Let Michael set the agenda. You will see more than you can ever imagine with his choices. His tour of the Louvre with us was wonderful--many little side notes. I told him he should really be a teacher because of his way of explaining things and communicating them. He has a great sense of humor. You are in for a treat.
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