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First Time in France

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Long Island, NY
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First Time in France

I'm taking my first trip to France this summer for two weeks. Will I get bored if I just stay in Paris? I was thinking about splitting the trip five days in Paris and five somewhere else. Hopping over to London or Rome.

Hudson Valley, NY
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1. Re: First Time in France

I don't think you would get bored. Keep in mind there are many day trips you could take from paris- such as Versailles, Fountainbleau, Reims etc. There are many things to do in Paris that many tourists just don't see due to the lack of time to spend there. There are many parks to visit as well and if you did stay for 2 weeks- you would really get a chance to soak up the city and not feel a bit rushed in whatever you did.

That being said- you COULD also stay 5 days and hit the main sites and then another 5 somewhere else. I would be partial to Rome- but that is entirely based on my opinion because I loved Italy! You could also consider doing the South of France..like Provence, Nice and the Riviera. I think those area's are do-able by train or bus.

It would be hard for me to decide- you have a tough choice to make IMO. Good luck and have fun.

Long Island, NY
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2. Re: First Time in France

Thanks RPL, part of my trip will overlap Bastille Day too. I am very excited about going. Is it true that everything is closed, do I need to prepare for this with regard to dining?

Ohio, USA
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3. Re: First Time in France

Since I appear to be in a Samuel Johnson mood tonight. I will quote him again: "Sir, when a woman is tired of Paris, she is tired of life. For there is in Paris all that life can afford." (So OK, go ahead and split hairs! Johnson actually said: "When a man is tired of London...") But it is equally true about Paris, which, as I understand it, from the POV of some women has the additional allure of being one of the world's great shopping cities...

There is MORE than enough in Paris to keep you interested for a month, or a year, or longer. But it is certainly easy to spend part of your time in another city if you want to. One thing about Rome is that it can (and usually does) get uncomfortably hot in mid-summer.

How about Dublin as an alternative? Cheap flights are available from Paris via Ryanair, and Dublin is one of the most happening cities in Europe these days. (OK, so I'm biased, but it's stiill a great place...)

Wherever you decide you should investigate an "open jaw" ticket if you do split your time between two cities. This will save you money and time back-tracking. (And if you have not already booked your trans-Atlantic flight, Aer Lingus might be a decent bet for a low fare, if you can get a seat at all, which would make a stopover in Dublin even more attractive...)

Have a great trip!

Vancouver, BC
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4. Re: First Time in France

There is so much to do in Paris. I was there for a week last year and I will be returning again this year to spend another week before going elsewhere. I am returning because I want to spend more time in the attractions that I had to race through because there was just so much to see and do that I wanted to fit it all in. All in all, I was exhausted but exhilarated (?sp) about the whole trip. Even going to the shopping centre is like going to a museum so I would just spend hours looking at things, not necessarily purchasing.

The train system is great so you can do day trips and such. My friends came back after spending 9 days and they thought it was too short and are planning to return in the near future.

Bon voyage.

SFpeninsula
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5. Re: First Time in France

SophieBella,

Paris can be anywhere from a stop over to a way of life.

2 weeks to a month has been my time there for 4 of the

past 5 Septembers and I will return again this September.

I sense that in a lifetime I will never see it all.

My favorites are:

D'Orsay

Rodin

Cluny

Marmatton

Luxembourg Park

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Chartres

Montmarte

Ile de la Cite

Latin Quarter

St. Germain de Pres

Normandy

Mont. St. Michel

St. Chapelle

The above alone are at least a week and a half.

This list doesn't include all the eating, shopping and the

big attractions - Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Seine, etc.

I hope you will give yourself the joy/excitement and the

grand lady her due.

over here
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6. Re: First Time in France

Sophie... I could stay there forever and never tire of the city and its charms. But for a less dreamy answer, why not make Paris your "home base"? Rent an apartment and then take a couple smaller trips to the rest of France? But at minimum I'd say you need 5 full days just to make the tourist rounds... to truly soak up all Paris has to offer could take a lifetime.

Paris 4th Arr
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7. Re: First Time in France

When you have weeks instead of just days in Paris, you get to go beyond the postcard-Paris and do some of the things Parisians do. A picnic at Parc Bercy, walk the gardens and then attend a concert at the Parc Floral in the Bois Vincennes, enjoy a glass of cold Brouilly standing around a wine barrel at Le Baron Rouge or shop the open-air markets for a picnic lunch.

You may want to try to cover all the postcard-Paris stuff in the beginning so you can slow down and smell the flowers at the Jardin des Plantes toward the end.

I don't think you'll have any trouble filling your days in Paris. Save the day trips for the next visit... and there will be one.

Long Island, NY
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8. Re: First Time in France

Thank you for all the advice. I am looking forward to seeing the sights. I am sure that there is enough to see for a lifetime. I am particularly interested in finding out more about the "open jaw ticket" (?) Is that something I request from the airlines or do I just purchase a one way?

Ohio, USA
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9. Re: First Time in France

You should request an "openjaw" ticket from whatever agency or airline you are making your booking through. If you want to fly to Paris, but return from Rome, for example, you would ask for an open-jaw ticket for those two cities. The fare should be somewhere between what the individual RT fares would be to each of the cities concerned.

So, if the RT fare to Paris was (say) $900, and the RT fare to Rome was $1100, the open jaw ticket would probably cost somewhere around $1000.

OK?