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Back from 6 days in Paris - Brief report

British Columbia...
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Back from 6 days in Paris - Brief report

Travelled with my wife and our two kids, 14 and 12. We rented an apartment in the 7th right near Ecole Militaire metro / Rue Cler. We hit all the highlights:

1. Tour Eiffel - went to the top, worth it but go during the day, we went at night. Day better for photos and seeing sights. Line took about 30-45 minutes to get on elevator.

2. Louvre / Tuileries - Beautiful museum but pick what you want to see. You could easily spend 3 days there but after a while everything begins to look the same.

3. Invalides - I would skip the war museum unless you are a war / weapons buff, it was alittle dry. The tomb of Napoleon is great, get the audioguide!

4. Notre Dame - Nice church, alittle overrated but nice. We walked in but did not go to the tower as the line outside was about an hour long. We also visited both islands and had the Berthillon ice cream.

5. Sacre Coeur - Great area for shopping and restaurants. Nice church with a great view.

6. Champs Elysees / Arc de Triomphe - Wandered around, expensive area to shop and eat, beware! My son just had to buy a Lacoste shirt he could have easily bought cheaper in Canada but it was his money!!

7. Catacombes - This was cool, my son liked it but not sure if walking through a dark tunnel with bones piled up is worth 35 euros but we paid it anyway. Very quick tour, only took about 30-40 minutes.

I would say we enjoyed the Latin quarter and the area around the Sacre Coeur the best. Lots of restaurants and cheap shopping. My sone also liked the area around Moulin Rouge but for different reasons!!

We used the Metro and the RER and never had any problems, very easy to get around. We bought the 5 day pass and it was worth it. We ended up taking a cab to the airport when we flew to Venice as the trains don't start early enough depending where you stay in town. Make sure if you book an early morning departure, you make other travel arrangements.

Depending on what country you come from and how your dollar compares, be prepared, Paris is ridiculously expensive. We also toured London, Venice and Rome this trip and Paris was the worst, cost wise, by a mile. If you eat in the areas I mentioned above, you can save some money. Stopping at a cafe for a drink (no food) beer, wine and two Cokes will easily be 25 to 30 euros.

Of the four cities we visited, we all agreed, Paris was the best. Lots to see and do and so much history. Our only complaint would be that the city is pretty dirty. Seems to be the thing to discard your cigarette butt wherever you want as the streets and sidewalks are filled with them. Perhaps if someone knows anyone on their city council, suggest installing some trash bins around the city, they are very hard to find so people just toss bottles, butts, paper, etc anywhere. Paris is such a beautiful city and the garbage certainly diminishes the shine abit.

If anyone has any questions, let me know, I'll do what I can to answer.

durham, nc
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1. Re: Back from 6 days in Paris - Brief report

Where did you stay in the 7th? I'm going in 2 weeks and rented an apt on rue de grenelle.

Victoria, Canada
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2. Re: Back from 6 days in Paris - Brief report

Glad you had a good time, but you do seem to write off some rather good sites, I mean Notre Dames flying buttresses are impressive, not just "nice" and the Catacombs are more then just a pile of bones, guess its perspective. My 14 yr old son loved Invalids, and he is definately NOT a museum type person.

I agree that ET is best done during day,, I have done it both ways and way prefer the daylight views.

If you had read this forum before you were warned about the 5 euros cokes,, they cost more then the wine sometimes.. next time buy kids drinks at a corner store and sit on benchs in a park, .. those cafes in the touristy areas charge you alot to sit and have a drink! Someone on this forum( can't remember who) said at those places you are renting a chair for the view, which is why things cost so much.. so true too!

I didn't find Paris very dirty, in fact , those men in green do a great job of cleaning the sidewalks in the central areas,, did you seee them? Maybe they were on strike or something, someone is always on strike in Paris it seems. LOL

I should go to the Italy forum to see if you posted there, but we found Venice VERY expensive, and not much cheap food to be found, how did you do there?

Oregon
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3. Re: Back from 6 days in Paris - Brief report

I'm surprised to read that you thought Paris was more expensive than London. I have read numerous reports on this forum that people think London is more expensive than Paris. I guess it is all in how a person spends their money as to what their reality is.

I'm glad you had a good time and liked Paris.

British Columbia...
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4. Re: Back from 6 days in Paris - Brief report

We were on rue Chevert, it is a great area and we were lucky to have a metro stop within a 2 minute walk.

We did read the forum alot before going and were prepared for the cost but it still is tough to swallow, especially as Canadians. We did alot of the cost saving things but sometimes sitting at the cafe and just relaxing and watching costs you. I am not complaining as we didn't want the costs to affect what we wanted to do.

As far as the attractions go, it is all up to your idea of entertainment and amazement. Notre Dame while nice is not the St. Peters or the Sistine. St. Pauls is also another amazing church but I guess Notre Dame has the name and history. As for the Catacombs, it is very interesting how and why the bones ended up there but how many piles of bones stacked identically can one look at. I would agree though Napoleons tomb was excellent, very interesting and informative.

We did see the little cleaners twice, both along the Champs Elysees and honestly they may have well been on strike as there wasn't alot of work being done.

Toronto
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5. Re: Back from 6 days in Paris - Brief report

Paris is dirty? Really? I just got back from a week in Paris and feel like I must rush to her defense because I found it quite clean. Not only that, but I think people are proud of their city and treat it with great respect.

Also - on a more shallow level - I saw a few garbage trucks going by and their trash collectors are much better looking than ours, and have a much more stylish outfits.

Burlington, Vermont
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6. Re: Back from 6 days in Paris - Brief report

Thank you for your report.

I'm glad you wrote your perspective.

One word Joan - chill

ohio
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7. Re: Back from 6 days in Paris - Brief report

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience, appreciate the tip on the audioguide. Can you tell me about how much time you spent with the audioguide looking at Invalides?

Smithville, Missouri
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8. Re: Back from 6 days in Paris - Brief report

Just got back from Paris and London, and agree that Paris was much more expensive. We even tried getting far away from the tourist areas to see if things got cheaper. No luck.

You couldn't be more right about the lack of trash bins. My poor son had to walk around with his trash most of the time because trash bins were so few and far between. Strange for such a beautiful city, you'd think they'd have trash bins everywhere in order to keep it clean.

Montreal
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9. Re: Back from 6 days in Paris - Brief report

Thanks for writting. It's quite interesting to see impressions SO different from my own.

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Back from 6 days in Paris - Brief report

Do you remember how much your son paid for his Lacoste Polo?- here they are about $100 for mens (plain polo). We are going in July to Paris. Thanks.