Shanathalas
"When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around"

14 Sleeps til Europe

Category: By Shanathalas
I'm so very excited! I busily getting things ready for my trip. Having picked up and read the Lonely Planet guide to Paris, I now realise that I will not be able to do/see it all. So I ask you, the viewing several, to leave your comments of what you loved most about Paris and what's not to miss.
 

7 comments so far.

  1. Alex 11:42 AM
    I generally recommend just wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere :-)

    I don't know how long you've got, but I guess the Eiffel Tower is a must, as is Notre Dame and Sacre Couer (mostly because there's a nice view from there too). You can probably do most of the touristy stuff on the first day and then have more time to amble aimlessly on subsequent days. Also, take note, the Louvre is sometimes free, which makes you feel less overwhelmed by how big it is - if you've paid to get in, you feel like you should look at everything (which is impossible). That's my 2 cents worth :-)
  2. Kass 4:36 PM
    The Eiffel Tower at night was my favourite part of Paris. We also did this really sweet night tour with fat tire bike tours (http://www.fattirebiketoursparis.com/) They have a boat ride after the bike tour, where they give you sweet disgustingly cheap red wine lol. You can get some amazing pictures of the Eiffel Tower from the boat at night.

    Sacré Coeur is awesome too, for the views, but the tourists up there can be fucken annoying. I wouldn't recommend taking the stairs or the funicular, basically because the peddlers that are at the bottom are not only verbally, but physically abusive. When Bjorn and I were there they were grabby and making death threats at us, just because I got "mouthy" after one of them touched me. So not cool. I've heard of plenty of other people getting abused by them as well, so be warned if you go that way!

    The other option of getting up there is walking around the winding streets to get up there - also, theres a small shop on the corner that sells amazingly delicious grapes! So if you see some, I recommend them!

    As for other things, the Louvre (go back there at night, the pyramids look amazing by sunset).

    the Notre Dame - Didn't bother going in, as I think all the tourists just ruin the atmosphere. It's gorgeous enough just from the outside! They also have a very delicious ice cream store quite close called Berthillon. Yum!

    Musee Rodin - never got to see inside, as it was a stupid public holiday, but it's suppose to be v cool.

    Arc de Triomphe - lots of sweet shopping around here, and movie theatres (yes with some english movies, if you get bored of siteseeing).

    The cemeteries in Paris are amazing, and so so old, so thats always a treat (I know sounds weird..) You could always visit Jim Morrison at Père-Lachaise, in eastern Paris.

    The local art stalls along the Seine, near the Notre Dame. You can pick up some real gems there.

    And otherwise, just walk around. There are so many awesome sights in Paris, and they're not on the tourist track. Enjoy the sweet strawberry tarts, and awesome Parisian cuisine.

    Oh! And make sure you speak as much French as possible, esp in the main train station, they're real fuckers about that there!

    Have fun you guys!!!
  3. vohumanu 5:58 PM
    DEFINITELY'S
    Asterix Land - So much fun your head will explode. Go on a school day, obviously.
    Centre Pompidou - One of the best art museums in Europe. Open late.
    Musee d'Orsay - Not as good, but you still have to go.
    Catacombs - Spooky, but something you're unlikely to see anywhere else.
    Sainte-Chapelle - Fantastic. Take a zoom lens.
    Louvre - Leave a lot of time. Sure, it's got paintings of ugly babies, but it's got a lot more archaeology than you might think. The audio tour is okay, not a lot of the archaeological collection has audio notes.
    The Pantheon (ymmv) - A nationalist cathedral, what d'ya know? Better if you've read Foucault's Pendulum (great book btw, laugh a minute if you're a Studies of Relgion major).
    Notre Dame - Make sure you see it at night. However you can only do the climb during the day.

    MAYBE'S
    Eiffel Tower - You have to climb the Eiffel Tower just for the view.
    Sacre Cour - Is nice and has a great view too.
    Père Lachaise Cemetery - Is nice and peaceful.

    I DIDN'T RATE (no flames please);
    Arc de Triomphe - The way the streets converge makes the view interesting, but it's something you could skip. Better if you've played Onimusha 3.
    Rodin Museum - Was okay.
    Versailles - Nice enough, but not worth the hassle.

    RESTAURANTS
    We didn't have much luck finding good food in Paris. My quest for something drowning in garlic and butter was never fulfilled. Ask Mat.
    The best place we went was Le Dome for a seafood dinner. The maitre d' was very friendly.
    http://www.paris-restaurants.net/dome-montparnasse-restaurant.htm
  4. Evelyn 4:27 AM
    I agree with Alex - don't try and do too much that you don't get to experience being there.

    I love huge gothic cathedrals - so I'd definitely say Notre Dame is a must. And the Eiffel Tower too, gives you both a major tourist attraction, something that seem to appear in every movie set in Paris since it was built and great views over the city. And if that is the sum of your touristy actions I don't think you should feel you haven't done enough.

    So I'd say think about it that way - as controversial as it may sound. If art isn't your thing, maybe skip the lourve and go to a museum that you like instead.

    Don't know if you know Susie Bright - but she talks about her recent trip to Paris and recommends the Bateau Mouche the river boat that takes you up and down the Seine - apparently the key is going at night ;)
  5. Alex 10:53 AM
    Oh and for good food, there are a bunch of recommendations in this blog http://blog.mayyan.net/2006/09/18/paris-recommendations-part-1-restaurant-and-food/
    Steve and I went to the restaurant Jardin d'Artemis (34, Rue Mouffetard) and it was really good (5 or 6 years ago)and not toooo expensive. Have fun and see you soon!
  6. becstarr 8:34 PM
    I concur with Vohumanu: everyone in my family loved the Catacombs of Paris when we were there in the mid-90s. Definitely worth a visit.

    Joel would probably recommend a riverboat ride. Seeing a town by water is usually a pretty lovely relaxing thing to do.
  7. Get a fresh baguette piping hot from the oven. Eat it.

    Eat a lot of cheese from the cheese shops.

    I wish I hadn't missed the Centre Pompidou.

    Also - the eiffel tower - I would take the stairs if your knees/ankles are up to it. Head there in the late afternoon, so you can see the city in daylight, and then night time. Catch the eiffel before it does its flickering disco ball thing.

    Catacombs were spooky. Watch out for the guards, who roar out "No flash!!" when they catch you (but are quite okay at taking the photos *for* you)

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