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Got Tips?

May 1, 2008

Many of you have offered to provide me with your tips on the Best of Paris for which I am grateful – but why should I be the only one who gets to hear them? So, I’m inviting everyone to post their favorite tip, place, whatever for Paris – how every many you want! – so that I can use them on this trip but they can be shared by everyone else as well. Comment away! If there is something that you think I must absolutely do, try, eat, find, let me know!
image: wallyg
Now, of course, more details just to make everyone jealous. We’ll be staying in an apartment in the 5th Arrondisment which is known primarily for the Latin Quarter, the Sorbonne, the Pantheon and the Jardin des Plants (Garden of Plants). It is in the center of the city, but on the west bank of the Seine.

So far our plan is not to have much of a plan. We are definitely going to get to Versailles – particularly since we watched Marie Antoinette which was filmed there and I have read part of the Antonia Fraser biography of her. Sweetie also wants to go to Reims to see the cathedral. Apparently, Reims was also the site of the surrender of Germany at the end of World War II and they have the room where it took place exactly as it was all those years ago.

Other than these two excursions outside of Paris, we plan to just wander where we may. We have been once before, but that was in 2000 and in the winter. We both agree that sometimes the best parts of a trip are when you just stumble on to the good stuff. We’ll do this in the vicinity of the big touristy places like the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, etc., but we’ll also get to know the Latin Quarter.

My father is flying in the day before we leave to take care of the beasties while we’re gone. He loves his grandkitties so this will not be a hardship. We are certainly looking forward to a much needed break and are incredibly thankful that we get to it in such an amazing place!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily permalink
    May 1, 2008 3:02 am

    Ah, Mrs. X … I will have to be living vicariously through you. I’ve never been to Europe, let alone Paris (unless the Paris Casino in Vegas counts!) and am wishing that you are able to enjoy yourself and immerse yourself in the Parisian culture.

    Hope you have tons of fun!!

  2. luna permalink
    May 1, 2008 6:12 am

    fun! ok, you asked for it — here are my suggestions, for what it’s worth. since I don’t know what you’re into (esp. foodwise), I’ll just share some of our highlights:

    museums
    (louvre, shmouvre — these were our faves):
    – musee d’orsay: especially the top floor displays (incredible) and rooftop view
    – musee l’orangerie (in jardins des tuileries): go to giverny without leaving paris; monet’s original murals intended to be viewed; one word: breathtaking (go before or after cafe angelina, see below)
    – musee rodin and sculpture garden (not far from d’orsay); very cool

    to see/for fun:
    – going up the eiffel tower at night (even half way, I know it’s touristy, but fun)
    – view of eiffel tower at night from trocodero (across the fountains; take the metro; bring some wine)
    – montmarte and sacre coeur (worth the metro ride; we caught a sunday service)
    – picnic along the quai

    neighborhoods to explore:
    – st germain des pres (6e): famous hip cafes, street jazz
    – les marais (4e): medieval gothic history; jazz clubs

    food:
    – farmers markets (esp. the big one the chefs go to, can’t remember name)
    – crepes (anywhere): one of cheapest meals you can have; also bakery quiches and baguette with fromage
    – macarons (see niobe’s pix)
    – stohrer patisserie (in les halles)
    – chocolateries (duh!)
    – berthillion ice cream (in ile st-louis near notre dame, or served anywhere)
    – poilane bakery (bread or on menus)
    – rue de buci/rue de seine (st. germain des pres area with good food): e.g., boissonerie (seafood); street market (sat/sun)
    – **cafe angelina** (across jardins des tuileries on rue de rivoli): OMG! must have chocolat (melted hot chocolat to die for), or anything. lunch is good too. [we got high on chocolat then checked out monet’s water lilies at l’orangerie — best day in paris.]
    – mouffe’tartes (latin quarter): cheap quiche
    – le souffle (near tuileries): all souffles
    – bistro allard (st. germain des pres, rue st. andres des arts): sole meuniere from heaven…
    – falafel on rue des rosiers (cheap)
    – onion soup at au pied de cochon (rue coquiliere)

    you may hate these recs., but thanks for bringing back the memories anyway. have fun and report back! ~luna

    p.s. I included a couple of links in this old post:
    http://lifefromhere.wordpress.com/2008/04/01/old-hopes-die-hard/

  3. luna permalink
    May 1, 2008 2:33 pm

    can you tell we like to eat?

  4. JellyBelly permalink
    May 1, 2008 8:14 pm

    you have to go to galerie 88 which is a great little place to eat and hang out. it’s right behind l’hotel de ville (i’ll have to look up the exact addy). i used to bring my marking and order mint tea and sit there for hours!

    my favourite museum is the picasso. it’s small and just beautifully laid out.

    hang out in the marais — in the 4th. there’s lots of good shops and good food. since it’s the jewish quarter lots of things are open on sundays. check out l’as de falafel (lenny kravitz eats there when he’s in town). their falafels are so tasty!!!!

  5. Melanie permalink
    May 2, 2008 11:36 am

    Mrs. X, my tips would be worthless because it’s been 15 years since I was in Paris, and a poor college student at that. But I also stayed in the Latin Quarter, 5 rue git le coueur. It was the “beat hotel” at one time, Allen Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac stayed there. I had the student room, 7 flights up. You could only stand up in 1/2 room. But from my window you could see Notre Dame. Ah, memories. Have a wonderful, indulgent, romantic, serendipitous time. Can’t wait to hear about it!

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