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Honeymoon in Paris?

Discussion in 'Bride World Wide & Grooms Grooves' started by Hospatogi, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Hospatogi
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Hospatogi » Apr 10, 2012
    Has anyone been to Paris recently? We are considering going there on our honeymoon in Aug and would love some ideas about what to do there and where to stay ? Thanks :)
     
  2. vc10um
    Ideal_Rock

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    by vc10um » Apr 10, 2012
    Personally, I've never been, but Paris is definitely on my bucket list!

    Friends of mine just did a quick 4-day trip to Paris in February and they stayed at the Hotel Du Champ De Mars. It looked quaint and cute! They said the location was excellent as well. They did the big things: Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph, the Louvre, Notre Dame, a cruise on the Seine (go on the lunch cruise! MUCH cheaper but still tasty and the tour is the same), a visit to Montmarte, and Versailles. They're best advice was EAT! :mrgreen:

    I hope you have a wonderful honeymoon!
     
  3. AsschrFan
    Rough_Rock

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    by AsschrFan » Apr 10, 2012
    I'm currently living in Paris for a few months, and it is definitely a very romantic city. August is a time that many French leave the city on vacation to the south, but all the big sights are always open. I'm not sure how long you'd like to stay for, but there's a ton of stuff to see: museums (Louvre, d'Orsay, Arts Decoratifs, Pompidou), parks (Luxembourg, Tuileries), cemeteries (Pere Lachaise, Montmartre, Montparnasse), landmarks (Eiffel Tower - take a view from the Palais du Chaillot in the evening on the top of the hour when it sparkles, it is THE most amazing sight, with fountains in the foreground!, Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe), and churches (Notre Dame - do climb to the top on a clear day, Sainte Chapelle - they have classical concerts in the evenings during sunset when the light comes right through the amazing stained glass windows). Whew! I'm getting way ahead of myself, but even if you just stay in your hotel all day and come out to take a stroll down the street, you can't help but feel the magic of the city.

    Hotel wise, it depends on your budget. If you can afford to stay in the Champs Elysees area, why not? However, I think the best compromise between budget and location is booking somewhere on the Left Bank - St. Germain, Luxembourg, Jardin des Plantes, Montparnasse or Buttes-aux-Cailles, which is actually my favorite out-of-the way quiet neighborhood in Paris.
     
  4. Hospatogi
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Hospatogi » Apr 10, 2012
    Thanks vc10um and AsschrFan! I am planning to stay only for 6 nights of which we were hoping to do 2 day trips to Giverny and Versailles. I know it can get pretty expensive so I am trying to find a cute budget hotel within walking distance to the touristy attractions or at least with a metro stop close by. A few people have mentioned staying in the marais area? What do you think? I am looking forward to long strolls and picnics. Are there any places good for purchasing inexpensive souvenirs such as soaps, scarves, and chocolate? This is our first trip there so I appreciate all your help with things we definately must see :)
     
  5. Gypsy
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Gypsy » Apr 10, 2012
    I went years ago. We stayed right by Champs Elysees and it was very convenient to all the sights. I would have preferred to stay a little closer to Notre Dame personally because I preferred the feel of the neighborhood and the shops. But it was within easy walking distance.

    Just as a personal experience, 3-4 days in Paris was enough for me. I got to see the Montemarte, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre, the d'Orsay, Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe, etc. And it was all lovely to see once. We went to Versailles as well. And that was lovely as I love history, but sad too for me. The people in I met in France didn't get the sadness of it, the 'new France' came out of those ashes and they are very proud of the Revolution. If you go see Napoleon's tomb... it's an experience.

    The food was good. You have to be really careful about understanding the culture of eating there. Don't eat at a nice restaurant if you are on a schedule for lunch cause in Paris a nice lunch is to be savored and it will take you 2 hours to get out of there even if you order a basic sandwich with fries. The servers at nice French restaurants are all about the experience and are the exact opposite of fast. S-L-O-W. For the french eating at a restaurant is not about fueling up like pulling into a gas station and then getting back on the road. If you don't understand that you will go slowly insane as you sit and stew in your own frustration.

    For lunch quick eats were best, I found, when sight seeing. Local cheese shop with a bakery next door. Grab some brie and a baguette and sit on the grass outside or walk and munch. Get some grapes at the fruit vendor. Or a lovely piece of quiche and walk to the fruit stall for some berries.

    Breakfast hit a lovely outdoor cafe and get warm croissants and coffee and relax people watching.

    Then for dinner go to a nice place and plan to have wine, and appetizers and dessert and spend several hours talking and just experiencing it all. Don't tip, or at least don't tip like an American. The portions at nice restaurants are meant for several course eating, not single course.

    If you don't like your steaks bleeding rare, don't order a steak. Seriously. Try the local seafood if you like seafood and are feeling adventurous. I was introduced with Whelks while there and it's been a lifelong love affair ever since.

    Pop into as many bakeries as you can. Seriously. And try all the melons. Best melons ever.

    All said, though... If you have the time. I'd go to see the countryside or a smaller town for a few days too. Paris isn't France proper. It's very much Paris. I really enjoyed my time there, but seeing the 'real' France was something I wouldn't pass up.

    If you rent a car for a portion of your trip you can take trips to to quaint villages in the countryside.
    a. Rennes & the Brittany coast & countryside - including Dinan & St Malo
    b. Strasbourg, Colmar, and the cute wine villages & countryside of Alsace.
    3. Avignon and Provence
    4. Dijon, Beaune, castles & countryside in Burgundy

    All of the 4 above regions are easily accessible from Paris via the fast TGV. I'd prefer to spend a few days, like 4, in Paris then rent a car, pick one region get a hotel and explore that region for a few more days, like 4 more. Make sure you hit an outdoor market one day, those are amazing and so much fun.
     
  6. Hospatogi
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Hospatogi » Apr 10, 2012
    Wow Gypsy thank you so much for sharing your experience. I just picked up a tour guide book from the bookstore today and spent the whole evening pouring over all the things we can do. One of the things I just found out about is taking a cooking class. I would love to learn how to make dessert :) I am not sure if we want to rent a car this trip or just relax alittle bit. Maybe seeing other parts of france would be a memorable second trip as I am sure we will be back :)
     
  7. Gypsy
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Gypsy » Apr 10, 2012

    Do you speak french if you want to take a class? It might be hard if you don't. Other than that, why not?


    I'm not a city person at all, so for me spending more than 5 days in any huge city, even Paris, would be too much. But everyone is different! You guys will have a great time either way.
     
  8. Hospatogi
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Hospatogi » Apr 11, 2012
    The cooking class is actually taught in english. I know very little french but have heard that its not too much of a problem in Paris. My fiance and I both grew up in large cities so I think we have become immune over time to congestion and noise !
    In fact we are having our wedding in new york city. I thought it was a good idea at the time figuring that our large number of out of town guests could make a mini vacation out of our wedding. I didnt realize how much more expensive it is to have a wedding in manhattan but luckily I just love my wedding venue !
     
  9. marygrace
    Shiny_Rock

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  10. Gypsy
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Gypsy » Apr 12, 2012
    That would be amazing. One of the best parts of Paris was the grocery stores. I kid you not. So different from ours and so many things to explore. If I went back to Paris I'd love to have a kitchen. I don't know if that's what I'd want for my honeymoon though. I'm more a room service gal for romantic occasions.

    Good news on the cooking class in English. No, not speaking French is okay. But you will get better service if you attempt some French, at least that was my experience. Just for basic things like:

    "Are you open"
    "Where is the bathroom?"
    "How much does it cost?"
    "Thank you very much"
    "How do I go to..."
    "What time is it"
    "Can you please help me"


    Understanding the metric system is a good idea too.
     
  11. Phdecorate
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Phdecorate » Apr 21, 2012

    I have been three times, I definitely agree that you need at least a few phrases. Most French people will be happy to switch to English if you at least start in French so practice "Bonjour, Madame/Monsieur/Mademoiselle, parlez-vous anglais?" (Hello, ma'am/sir/miss, do you speak English?" and "Je voudrais" (I would like......[a baguette, a coffee, etc]).

    I would recommend a day trip to Brussels. It is not far by train and it is a great city to see. You could also take the train to Provence or a Mediterranean city like Marseilles (you can do it in a day but it is a LONG day).

    I would say you need to decide what you want to get out of the trip. Do you really like touring and want to really explore the museums and churches, etc? Or is it that you want to see the sights, see the famous works at each museum (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo), without delving much deeper? Or just want to have relaxing meals, desserts, wine, etc? That can help guide your plan. There may be some private tour companies that you could explore that could customize a few days of touring for you.
     
  12. DearBuddha
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by DearBuddha » May 4, 2012
    My husband and I spent part of our honeymoon in Paris. We were there for a week in August of 2008. Honestly, it was amazing. Paris absolutely lives up to the hype and it was an incredible experience. I'd say Paris was the highlight of our honeymoon.

    We stayed in a little boutique hotel right off the Champs Elysee, off of Rue de Bassano. Here's the link to the site: http://www.belmont-paris-hotel.com/gallery.html

    The hotel was just ok. The rooms were small and the elevator is not for the faint of heart or claustrophobic. We probably COULD have chosen another place to stay, but then we'd have lost the convenience of being right on the Champs Elysee. We'd walk out of our hotel every morning, and boom! There's the Arc De Triomphe. Amazing.

    We walked to the Lourve and Tuileries gardens easily enough from our hotel. We did some light shopping (make sure you check out the Louis Vuitton store, just for the spectacle of it!). We had a beautiful, romantic dinner at a tiny Italian restaurant that looked out over the Eiffel tower, and then we shared a bottle of wine while watching the tower's light show. That is an absolutely stunning show!

    We did the requisite bus tour of the city and the Notre Dame tour. We spent an afternoon walking around Montmartre, but we missed seeing the Sacre Coeur. Make sure you get a chance to see that!

    Also, the banks of the Seine are a local favorite to hang out at during the summer. A lot of the banks are transformed into "mini beaches." The city buses in a ton of sand that they then spread over the cobblestone walkways. Then they bring in lounge chairs and umbrellas and people just spend the day "at the beach." Having spent my entire life living right on the beaches of Massachusetts and California, this was exceptionally funny to me.

    We also took a day trip out to Versailles. I'm a history teacher, and a Frankophile, so I had to go to Versailles. It was a 20 minute train ride outside of Paris and you can easily spend an entire day just walking around the palace grounds. The interior of the palace is insane; I've been to a few different palaces throughout Europe, but nothing compares to the grandeur of Versailles.

    Paris is a large city, but a lot of what you'd want to see or do is very much within walking distance.

    I will say that the stereotype about the French is true. They can be a bit snotty if you don't make an attempt to speak even a little bit of French while you're in their country (which, honestly, is understandable; it's so rude to go to another country and expect its residents to cater to you in your own language). My French is pretty terrible, but I made the attempt anyways and it was greatly appreciated. They made a few jokes at my expense, but then understood that there was a considerable language barrier and they immediately started speaking to me in English.

    I hope this helped. Paris is a wonderful place and you will have a great time! If you have any other questions, let me know :)
     
  13. Maisiebelle
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Maisiebelle » May 10, 2012
    I'm a little bit late to this thread but if you are still looking for somewhere to stay, my son and his fiancee stayed here (he proposed at the Palace of Versailles....I brought him up well didn't I?!)

    http://www.appartement-hotes-folie-republique.com/en/

    Its a good price and they said it was easy enough to jump on the metro to visit the sights in Paris :))
     

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