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Advice needed from seasoned Paris visitors

Tampa, Florida
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144 posts
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Advice needed from seasoned Paris visitors

Hi, Can I please have the benefit of your experiences visiting Paris and get some advice on the best way to get around and enjoy our brief trip. We (2 adults and 2 children 13&15) are arriving via the EuroStar into Paris Nord at 1pm. We then need to get to the Hilton Arc de Triomphe Hotel. I am assuming we should use the Metro, is this best way to get there?

We only have two nights (used up all our points!!) and would like to see the following Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame & the Louvre. We have also been recommended a few places to eat; Dragons Elysees, 11, rue de Berri, L'entrecote on Rue Marbeuf, Deux Magots, and La Duree (I am not sure of the spellings).

My questions are what the best order to do these activities. We will only have the afternoon/evening on our first day. One full day, and then the next morning before we have to depart Paris. Is it possible to walk to all these places (we don���t want to rush about) or should I use the metro or bus to get about. Have you heard of these places to eat, do you know where they are?

Any advice/ suggestions would be welcome. Thanks.

ps: oh by the way we will be there end June beginning July

Long Island, NY
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1. Re: Advice needed from seasoned Paris visitors

I think you itinerary is do-able. If you have to cut something out think about Le Entrecote. We ate there last fall and weren't impressed at all. Have fun!

Kensington, MD...
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2. Re: Advice needed from seasoned Paris visitors

I would recommend that you travel by bus. It's a bit slower than the Metro, but since you have such a short time, at least you'll be able to see interesting things as you pass by. If the weather is good on your arrival day, I'd go right to the Eiffel Tower (if you want to go up). If you wait until the next day, you never know what the weather will be. You can do the Louvre and Notre Dame in the same day. There's generally no wait to get in Notre Dame unless you plan to climb the towers to ogle the gargoyles. That line can be quite long. Be at the Louvre the moment the doors open to avoid long lines. Laduree has a delicious tearoom (quite pricey), but I'm not sure it will be your kids' "cup of tea"--sorry I couldnt' resist!

Jacksonville, FL
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for Jacksonville
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3. Re: Advice needed from seasoned Paris visitors

Hi Radio -

Email me and I'll send you a copy of my Paris notes...lots of useful info! Have a great trip! And definitely get a room with airconditioning for the time of year you're traveling! My email address is vickisfloyd@hotmail.com

Iowa
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4. Re: Advice needed from seasoned Paris visitors

Radio. we are also two adults, two teenagers (13 & 16) All Female! We are in Paris June 28 thru July 1. Maybe we will run into you. Have Fun!

Tampa, Florida
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144 posts
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5. Re: Advice needed from seasoned Paris visitors

thanks vickisfloyd i'll email you :-)

great idea to use the bus - can i get a bus pass and if so where do you buy them? Has anyone stayed at the Hilton Arc and if so do they have any comments on its location and ease to places from it.

thanks

Tampa, Florida
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144 posts
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6. Re: Advice needed from seasoned Paris visitors

Truffaut............thanks I think I will follow your plan to see the sights, makes sense.

ps: my kids are half British so they enjoy a good "cup of tea"!!! ;-)

Kensington, MD...
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7. Re: Advice needed from seasoned Paris visitors

You can buy individual tickets for the buses. Alternatively, you can each buy a Mobilis pass for each day. It will cost you about $7 per person per day for the pass. The advantage is that you can get on and off as often as you want and you won't have to "think" too much about how to use your tickets. That won't be the most cost-effective approach, but it would certainly be the easiest.

Tampa, Florida
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144 posts
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8. Re: Advice needed from seasoned Paris visitors

Thanks vickisfloyd I'll read your notes over the weekend. I have been reading some of the other questions posted in this forum and must say everyone is so thoughful and helpful with their advice.....how nice :-)

USA
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9. Re: Advice needed from seasoned Paris visitors

>>>I would recommend that you travel by bus. It's a bit slower than the Metro, but since you have such a short time, at least you'll be able to see interesting things as you pass by.<<<

Using the public bus system to get around Paris is great advice but. the buses require a bit more forethought and planning (but definitely not 'rocket science') to use than the Metro. The Metro routes are pretty clear cut and straightforward...they also stop at the same places both going and coming back. This cannot be said for the bus routes. Unlike Metro lignes, most bus routes meander about the city---which is one of the reasons they're so great for sightseeing (there aren't many sights to be seen in a Metro tunnel).Obviously, a bus route which heads in one direction along a one-way street cannont return on the same street when traveling in the other direction. In addition to this, several different bus routes may share a portion of the same street but not all numbered bus lignes will stop at all bus stops along that street. So it's useful to know the approx location of the stops for the particular bus route you plan on taking. Even though the numbers of the bus routes which stop there will be clearly shown on each bus stop, lnowing where the correct stop for your ligne is may save you walking several blocks in the wrong direction to find the right stop.

So, when you first arrive in Paris, stop down in ANY Metro station and ask for a copy of the RATP's free Metro/RER/Bus map--"..#2--PARIS--GRAND PLAN--lignes et rues..'. This is a large-format (think Texaco road map) folding map which has a numbered, color-coded diagram of the entire Metro/RER train system, overliad on a serviceable Paris street map, on one side and a numbered, color-coded diagram of the entire Paris Bus system (including direction of the route and the approx. location of the route's stops) overlaid on the same serviceable Paris street map on the other side. It is an INDISPENSABLE 'tool' to have at your disposal when trying to figure out bus routes throughout the city.

There are mapbooks which show bus routes but of necessitty, the maps are broken down into section pages and it is often difficult to envision the entire route traveled from Point A through Z and what's in between. The large-format can be a bit of a nuisance but it allows you to see where you're going and what you'll be passing along the way. With this in mind, ask for two(2) at the Metro station ticket kiosk...so that when one becomes hoelessly un-refoldable, you can toss it in the trash and use the other.

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Advice needed from seasoned Paris visitors

Definitely buy "mobilis" for zone one and use the metro. It's not hard to figure out, and the bus can be very slow in popular areas---you feel it's faster to get out and walk. One tip, check which places you want to see are open late that week, eg the Louvre is open to 9 some night, and plan something for after dinner, then a late visit to the Arc de triomphe. Plan from 9 am to midnight and you'll fit it all in. Les Deaux Magots on Rue St Germain has a great history, but you might want to just stop by for a drink and people watch. Have agreat time!