We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

21 days in Paris! Questions! Give me your tips!

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
22 posts
Save Topic
21 days in Paris! Questions! Give me your tips!

Hi folks, 28 year old female student here!

I'm going to be in Paris from July 29th through August 18th. I will be studying at the Alliance Francaise on rue Raspail for 2 weeks, and during that time I will be staying at the Citea in Vanves, on blvd Jean Bleuzen. After that, I am booked at the Hotel Residence Monge on rue Monge for 6 nights.

I am planning to get the Carte Orange mensuelle, as I will be doing a lot of metro travel during my stay.

I am planning to use my debit card primarily, as it is a Bank of America acct., and I can get no-fee withdrawals at BNP atms in Paris.

I am also excited for the open air cinema festivals that will be happening while I'm in the city.

Also, I am planning to do 2-3 day trips: Versailles, Chartres, and possible Parc Asterix.

I would love to hear any tips, warnings, and generallly interesting info you have to share!

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
22 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: 21 days in Paris! Questions! Give me your tips!

Please? Anyone? S'il vous plait? :)

Montreal, QC
Destination Expert
for Nice
Level Contributor
3,314 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 21 days in Paris! Questions! Give me your tips!

Make searches in the Trip Advisor site. Your questions have been asked a few thousand times and you should get your answers easily. Also ut would be more than wise to get a travel book about Paris and its suburbs. You are a student, wel do some homework by yourself. The Web is full of info.

Try for instance www.chartres-tourisme.com/pages/en/index.php for Chartres

http://www.chateauversailles.fr/en/ for Versailles

http://english.pidf.com/ for the City's office of tourism.

Read some of KDSail's threads, it's a must.

But remeber it is YOUR trip not others', so you should first ask yourself what you feel like seeing.

France
Level Contributor
1,787 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: 21 days in Paris! Questions! Give me your tips!

The Alliance Francaise organized a lot for the students such as visits in the city itself, then tours outside the city, but also lots of other activities. Get the weekly tickets for the CO, since you'll leave on the 18th. You'll most likely be able to get a lot of discounts at museums, movie theaters (usually the first performance of the day) with the student's card, you'll most likely receive at the AF. I don't have any warnings. The school is in a perfect and safe location on Blvd. Raspail not too far from Le Bon Marche department store, Saint-Germain-des-Pres, the Quartier Latin and Montparnasse. You'll meet people from all over the world. Try to speak French, nonetheless. You're there that for, non?

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
22 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: 21 days in Paris! Questions! Give me your tips!

Oh, I'm sorry...I've been reading TA for months, I have the guidebooks, etc. I just thought someone may have some miscellaneous info to share...It's my first time out of the country and I'll be alone.

France
Level Contributor
1,787 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: 21 days in Paris! Questions! Give me your tips!

You won't be alone, my dear. The AF is full of students, especially during the summer months. The AF has also a cafeteria, where meeting folks other that from your own class will be a piece of cake. Relax, enjoy and prepare yourself as well as you can.

West Sussex, England
Level Contributor
2,342 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: 21 days in Paris! Questions! Give me your tips!

I was a student in Paris nearly 30 years ago and I absolutely loved it.

I guess students are still on tight budgets now as we were then. So getting the Ctare Orange makes a lot of sense. You can travel by bus, metro or RER all over the city (within the zones you have purchased) and in 21 days you will hvae plenty of time to see the sights. A good idea is to try taking different bus routes and look out of the window - you will see lots that way, all included in the price of your Carte Orange.

I believe some museums and attractions offer free admission at cetain times (try putting 'free admission' in the search box on this site or go to the Paris Museums site and have a search around)

Are you self-catering? If so, buy food from Monoprix and from markets. If the weather is good, make it up into picnics - eat a picnic in the Champs du Mars

When i was a student I spent a lot of time in the Jardins du Luxembourg, sometimes reading, sometimes just sitting and watching.

Lots of cheap second-hand bookshops on Bvd S Michel.

I guess if you are doing a course you will meet other students who can give you more tips when you get there.

You are so lucky - have a wonderful time!

Montreal, QC
Destination Expert
for Nice
Level Contributor
3,314 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: 21 days in Paris! Questions! Give me your tips!

I did not mean to be rude but just wanted to shake your tree so you would integrate the data before you go. That's what I try to do when I travel to France. This way I can melt in the crowd and feel like a local to a certain extent. Read the books and the info and try to learn some of it. carry a asmall pocket notebook in your pockets, you won't look like a tourist and you'll feel the city. As I always say, I dlike not look like a tourist but if I open my mouth, zip the feeling's gone, they know I am Canadian even though my native langauge is French.

Saltillo, PA
Level Contributor
23 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: 21 days in Paris! Questions! Give me your tips!

Use the metro pass on the bus as well. Yes, it's sometimes slower if you get stuck in traffic, but it's a great "free" (well, already paid for) way to see the city. The Parisians using the bus seemed a bit more relaxed than the ones in the Metro, IMHO. The pass is also good for the funicular up Montmartre... it comes out very close to the Sacre Coeur.

I'm going to be in Paris myself the week before you. I'm spending most of a week in Germany (Rostock) and most of a second week in Paris. In both places, I'm staying in the home of former exchange students I've hosted. I'M SO EXCITED!

I've been to Paris four times in the past, always with other people, and only the last time without students to worry about. This will be the first time I can go where I want and do what I want without worrying about someone else being bored. (I like fiber arts and historic things, so boredom in Paris is possible for someone travelling with me!)

I've taken the Grayline tour to Chartres (the last time I was in France, with two other teachers who are former students). Had plenty of time to explore the cathedral and the town.

I've been to Versailles twice with student tour groups, but when I was there the last time, we took the RER out to Versailles. We walked across the park to Le Hameau (my goal for the trip) and saw the Grand Trianon as well. By the time we got back to the palace, the morning tour groups were gone and the afternoon groups hadn't yet arrived, so we pretty much had the palace to ourselves... which was fantastic! It's much nicer without being crammed in like sardines and being worried about getting separated from your group (or in my case, losing a student in the crowd).

Rue Monge, btw, is very nice. One of my professors from grad school lives there, and she invited me to her apartment for coffee the last time I was there.

France
Level Contributor
1,787 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: 21 days in Paris! Questions! Give me your tips!

The AF web page has lots of useful info (in English!!).

Click 'Paris school' to start with.

http://www.alliancefr.org/

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
22 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: 21 days in Paris! Questions! Give me your tips!

Sussex- Yes, the studio I have at Citea has a kitchenette, so I will be at the Monoprix very soon after arrival!

Coco- Thanks for the reassurance, I'm a wee bit nerveuse!