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Bonjour Paris!

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lovelylulu

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Jul 6, 2005
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My lovely husband and I are going to be off to paris for an extended weekend in a couple of weeks. It's my first visit and DH hasn't been since he was 11. I'm so excited!! We'll be arriving on Friday morning and leaving on Tuesday evening which will hopefully be enough time to explore this wonderful city. We're staying on the left bank in St. Germaine, an artsy little neighborhood right beside the seine and within walking distance to places like the musee d'orsay and the eiffel tower.

So, while i've done a lot of personal research, I'd love to hear some PS recommendations/tips on places to see, eat, etc.

Also, i can't hardly wait to do a bit of shopping. are there any must buys like dark chocolate, scarves, toothpaste


Advise away!

Here is a little bit of the list i'm making:

*Musee D'Orsay
*Marais
*Macaroons
*Picnic by the river
*Cezanne's studio
*Church in St. Germaine
*heaping piles of mussels
*croissants and bagettes. lots.
*Rodin Museum
*bridges (are there any particularly lovely ones)
*Montmarte
*wine and chocolate
*strolls with my husband
*Printemps (for shopping)
*Fauchon
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 29, 2004
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17,193
Notre Dame (the outside at least)
Crepes!!
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
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11,534
Ooooh FUN!!!

* Le Bon Marche (department store -- clean, modern, CHIC! purses!)
* the gourmet "supermarket" next to Le Bon Marche
* Ack ... what's that famous coffee shop on the Left Bank (Cafe de Flore) ... there's like a crossroads with three corners that all have famed coffee shops on them (Les Deux Magots is another one).
* look in every Florist or Bakery window!!!
* cruise on the Seine
* eat crepes after dark at one of the streetcarts near the foot of the Eiffel Tower
* FLEA MARKETS ... usually Sat or Sunday I think ..Here's a link to some
* CHEESE!
 

Efe

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2006
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773
The Moulin Rouge and Louis Vuitton store would be 2 of my musts.
 

curlygirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
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2,637
Ooh, looks like you've got a pretty decent list going!

I want to recommend Berthillon on Ile St. Louis for ice cream--DELISH!!!

Also, you might want to check out this little museum called the Louvre!

Bateau Mouche ride on the Seine.

I love the Marais. So quaint. And you're staying in a great area. There are lots of great cafes and shops on Blvd. St. Germain.

My sister used to live in Paris so I would go to visit quite often but I haven't been there in years. It's such a fabulous, romantic, historic city and it holds a dear place in my heart! I can't wait to go back. You're going to LOVE it. Take tons of pictures!!
 

ljmorgan

Brilliant_Rock
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Mar 5, 2006
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Great timing, I just returned from a week long trip to Paris on Monday! I went for business but managed to have plenty of fun. I second the Notre Dame recommendation, very beautiful, I think just as beautiful on the inside as out. Sacre Cour in Montnarte is also well worth the trip, the most beautiful view of Paris that you can get in my opinion (yes, beats the eiffel tower!.) If you''re in shape, pay the 5 euros to climb the million story tiny stone spiral staircare to the dome -- the view is worth far more than 5 euros!

The Musee D''Orsay is lovely, I enjoyed it even more than the Louvre. You are going at such a great time because the crowds are pretty non-existent! Polaine bakery on Rue de Scribe gets my vote for the most amazing breads and baked goods. For lovely shopping try the Champs Elysees, and Montaignue Avenue. Good crepes are easy to find at every corner! Stay away from cafes right across from museums and sights, we once learned the hard way that prices are nearly double for food that is not nearly as good.
 

widget

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2004
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4,255
Oooh....I''m so jealous!!!!!

I''m going to follow this thread just for the vicarious thrills...


Don''t be afraid of the Metro....system is really easy to figure out...

widget
 

phoenixgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2003
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3,369
Definitely Musee d''Orsay -- the Louvre is overwhelming. Musee d''Orsay is my favorite museum, but the last two times I was in Paris I didn''t get to go (ok, I know that the complaint is cancelled out by the fact that I''ve gotten to go to Paris so much).

Montmatre is neat, and there''s a little Salvador Dali museum if you wind your way around to the left when you get off the trolley. You can buy some of his prints and even a few originals, I believe. Watch out for pickpockets around Montmatre, and all major tourist attractions, of course.

When you go to Notre Dame, see if you can find the Holocaust Memorial tucked into the park down by the water. It''s very moving.

In the Tuileries gardens there''s the Orangerie museum where Monet had his giant water lillies glued to the wall so they''d never be moved.

Near the Louvre on Rue de Rivoli is Angelina''s, totally touristy but a fun place to get hot chocolate, quiche, wine, etc. for lunch. My husband and I got engaged not too far from there in the gardens of the royal palace.

My favorite meals were definitely at neighborhood bars and brasseries, away from tourist attractions. You''ll find great food lots of places.

Oh, and make sure you get a crepe Nutella on a street corner one time for a late night snack.

Last summer we stayed at the Hotel California Saint Germaine, which must be near where you are staying since you mentioned Saint Germaine? We really liked this little bar restaurant on the corner across the street (the hotel is 32 rue de ecoles, so across the street on the end further from Notre Dame if I''m not mixed up). By the way, the hotel was mediocre but the Villa Pantheon across the street looked nice.
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
335
The Macaroons are to die for. The dept stores had awsome handbags and a neat kitchenware section. ALso, check out the vendors selling their paintings on the streets.
 

MsP

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
663
I too just returned from Paris a few weeks ago... I agree with many of the ideas others have posted but there are a few things I''d mention.

*Use the metro system. It''s so cheap and easy to use. Totally safe during the day as well.

*Notre Dame is nice, but Saint Chappelle is MUCH better. It''s kind of secluded within the Justice department buildings and the outside isn''t too impressive because it''s surrounded by ugly buildings but the stained glass is AMAZING. The walls are like completely covered and the images tell a story. It also isn''t too crowded.

*There are some great Indian restaurants if that is your thing.

*Don''t go to the Moulin Rouge area at night. It was completely degrading as a woman walking through there eventhough I was with a guy. Lots of crude comments. Gross.

*Don''t forget about Versailles. Some love it, some aren''t impressed. Depending on when you are going the gardens may be beautiful!

Have fun!!!
 

Harriet

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
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12,823
Lucky you! If you like macarons, Pierre Herme''s are even better than Fauchon''s (btw, Fauchon NY has closed
). Try the Ispahan.
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
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24,299
all the formage you can eat! Brie, Munster on a baggette! Oh, yeah the wonderful baggette sanwiches in the bakery''s. YUM! Street vendors with crepes


eiffel tower, sacred Heart (beautiful overlooks the city), catacomes, Champs Elysee for shopping and at the end of your shopping go see the Arc de Trimphe, better yet do a bus tour that will show you everything!!! I found it helpful.

I am so excited for you. Yeah!!!!
 

Rock Candy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
630
Be sure to go upstairs in Sainte Chapelle to see the absolutely gorgeous stained glass windows! They are breathtaking!!!

The beautiful Sacre Coeur church has incredible views – well worth the trip. The surrounding area has some great little shops, too.

I HIGHLY recommend La Petite Chase for dinner. It is the oldest restaurant in Paris and they have an awesome fixed price menu. They are located at 36 rue de Grenelle in the 7th. We stayed at the K & K Hotel on Boulevard Raspail in the 7th arrondissement and this restaurant was within walking distance.

Make sure you have a bowl on French onion soup, a cup of hot chocolate (they use real cream & chocolate!), a Pain au Chocolat and some of their fantastic wine!

I agree with MissPrudential – use the metro system!

The Seine river cruise is romantic. If you time this just right, you can board just before dusk and see the lights of the city come on, including the Eiffel Tower. Bring your own wine and some cheese to enjoy!

Have a GREAT time in Paris! I’ll be there late April to early May. I could LIVE in that city – it’s awesome!!!
 

Siamese Kitty

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2006
Messages
878
Ha! Maybe we need a future PS GTG in Paris!
I''ll be there myself three weeks in May to do research. I''m staying in St. Germain, too, which I think is a good choice. I think everyone has already mentioned the hotspots-my personal favorite part of town is the Latin Quartier (5th) which is a lively area with tons of little bars, restaurants, and shops. I think that you will be able to take in most of the main sites within the time you''ll be there.

Has anyone seen the catacombes? I''ve heard they are pretty creepy?

One thing I could add from a practical standpoint is that if you charter an airport shuttle to CDG, be sure to find out how many stops are scheduled on your pickup route. Last summer, I had a driver give me a tour of Paris while picking up passengers in four different arrondissements. It took over two and a half hours to get to the airport (the service quoted me 45-1hr dep. on traffic), and I lost my seat on the plane. This probably doesn''t alway happen, but just in case.


Hope you have a wonderful trip-please report back
!
 

lovelylulu

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
2,406
I HIGHLY recommend La Petite Chase for dinner. It is the oldest restaurant in Paris and they have an awesome fixed price menu. They are located at 36 rue de Grenelle in the 7th. We stayed at the K & K Hotel on Boulevard Raspail in the 7th arrondissement and this restaurant was within walking distance.
WOW! Thanks everyone. I can''t tell you how big the smile on my face is after reading all of these fantastic suggestions. Everyone has such enthusiastic love for the city. If it''s possible, i think i''m even more excited!!

We are actually staying at the K&K. I found it on tripadvisor and it pretty much received stellar reviews. originally we were contemplating taking a friend''s advice and renting a flat, but since we are going on odd days of the week it was difficult to arrange. K&K seems to lack a bit of the charm of the places we ordinarily seek out, but it seems like it''s in a perfect location. plus we got a great deal


I''m going to write out a list of all these suggestions - you guys are terrific.

oh how i love crepes. and cheese. and wine. and pain au chocolate. au revoir to all my hard work over on the WWT
 

Rock Candy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
630
Date: 3/8/2007 9:07:11 AM
Author: lovelylulu
I HIGHLY recommend La Petite Chase for dinner. It is the oldest restaurant in Paris and they have an awesome fixed price menu. They are located at 36 rue de Grenelle in the 7th. We stayed at the K & K Hotel on Boulevard Raspail in the 7th arrondissement and this restaurant was within walking distance.

WOW! Thanks everyone. I can''t tell you how big the smile on my face is after reading all of these fantastic suggestions. Everyone has such enthusiastic love for the city. If it''s possible, i think i''m even more excited!!


We are actually staying at the K&K. I found it on tripadvisor and it pretty much received stellar reviews. originally we were contemplating taking a friend''s advice and renting a flat, but since we are going on odd days of the week it was difficult to arrange. K&K seems to lack a bit of the charm of the places we ordinarily seek out, but it seems like it''s in a perfect location. plus we got a great deal



I''m going to write out a list of all these suggestions - you guys are terrific.


oh how i love crepes. and cheese. and wine. and pain au chocolate. au revoir to all my hard work over on the WWT
The K & K is in a FANTASTIC area! Go out their front door, cross over to the median of a divided highway and the metro stairs are right there - soooo convenient! If you are taking advantage of the K & K breakfast - they have GREAT Pain au Chocolat! There are TONS of great little shops in that area as well. Oooooh, you will fall in love with Paris!!!

This year I''ll be staying in the 5th (Latin Quarter).
 

Nicrez

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2004
Messages
3,230
I would not suggest the Moulin Rougue. Way too touristy and far away. I suggest the Lido, which is classier, and less touristy. I went and it was exceptional... i actually made recently a MUST LIST on Word for a friend. I have it at home, and right now i am at work. Let me see if i can attach it tonight...I have all the details of when things are open and closed, as well as pre-travel details to make reservations. It's decent, including nightlife and transportation through out the city... let me see if i can attach it tonight...

HARRRIET, what do you mean Fauchon closed in NY!?! WHAT?! I seriously got addicted to their Gianduja chocolates from the Fauchon in Paris. They have crack in them. i wanted to get more here in NY and ...and...


Also I have to suggest Versaille if you can BUT make sure you go at an off peak time. I almost snapped a tourist in half due to over crowding and obnoxious uber cameras being shoved in my face and crowding my views. I was held back, but i would have snapped him like a twig!

Also, the opera district is lovely. I stayed there once at a tiny boutique near the opera house. The last time I went I stayed at huge hotel on rue St. Honore and both had a totally different expereince, but I think I had a nicer (and CHEAPER!) time at the little hotel. So, as "important" as the big sites are, I always had more fun doing my own thing, walking around the Tuileries around the Louvre (site of the former home of Marie Antoinette and Empress Joesphine), Crepes on the street, with just plain sugar and maybe lemon. Must.

Not sure if you are into it, but if you want to see the opera, make sure you call your hotel concierge and book the tickets immediately. They sell out in Paris faster than you can blink! Of course you must see shops at the Rue St. Honore...all the fun ones are there, Chanel, Gucci, Hermes, Longchamp, etc...

Also, I suggest leisurely lunches of Bagette with salami and cheese. They are also great to pack for busy days of running around, when you don't have time to eat long meals. You can take a "Batteaux" ride down the Seinne, but DO NOT take it from the Eiffel Tower! They completely overcharge!

So much advice actually. Jeez, I should just finish this post up, and see what else sticks out the MOST...have a fabulous time! And the Pont Neuf is a great bridge, as well as visiting the Ile de Cite, which is so lovely and picturesque. trinket shopping and lunching Monmartre is great! Also souvenirs are MUCH cheaper there... For books oddly, the booksellers along the Seinne who are there seasonally are great! Also good cheap souvenirs and trickets in there as well... ok, sorry...
 
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