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Paris - A travel report by Brad
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Paris,  France - flag France -  Ile-de-France
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sven_ak's travel reports

Some cheese with that wine?

  13 votes
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Paris travelogue picture
Great city. Anything on a cultural scale is here. Significant Arab, southern European, African (all over), North American, and Asian populations make this city one of the most diverse in the world. It is the perfect spot to dig into Europe as there are numerous flights to all over for the best prices.

A few places that quickly come to mind of must see sights are the obvious; Eiffle Tower, Arch de Triumph, Montparnesse, the Latin Quarter, Luxembourgh Gardens, Versailles (25 min. by train SW of Paris), Sacre Couer, Notre Dame, Marais, Isle Saint Louis, and more and more and more...

Favourite spots:
Paris travelogue picture
St. Michel/St. Germain/Odeon are the top spots on my list. They are all walking distance from each other. Best is to take the RER B metro/train line and get off at St. Michel. Exit by the fountain and as you face the fountain (Notre Dame to your back), make a right. Wind through the streets until you hit the first major intersection. Then just get lost. Great area. The Louvre at night is amazing. Be sure to enter the court yard opposite to the glass pyramid. It illuminates something fierce at night and is utterly beautiful. Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart) Cathedral in the 18th district is an absolute must (see the film Amelie). WATCH YOUR POCKETS as pickpockets roam everywhere here. Be careful but it is safe so long as you are smart. Luxembourg gardens (RER B, one stop after St. Michel) is a very nice calm in the middle of a busy city. You can spend a good hour here. The marais (opposite left bank) is a nice area to shop and wander around.

What's really great:
Paris travelogue picture
Paris is the best place for any budget. It is not like that of the Middle East or SE Asia, but you can swing it and enjoy it with any amount of money. The best way, in my opinion, is to start your night at St. Michel. Cross the bridge to Notre Dame and walk along the left side of the Cathedral. Then cross the bridge to Isle St. Louis and stop at middle of the bridge with a bottle of wine (as this is rated the most romantic spot in Paris) and enjoy the Seine. Incredible.

Sights:
Must go to the Musee d'Orsay (for Monet, Manet, Picasso, etc), and an absolute is the Rodin Museum. I liked this more than the Louvre (you get too bloody tired at the Louvre!, but you still must go).

One of my favorite hidden spots is rue Cler. On linge 8 at Ecole Militaire and a stones throw from the Eiffel Tower and the American University. Market open from 8am to 1130am. Perfect place to get fresh bread, fruits, and good wine choices aswell. Lots of character here and is probably one of my favorite places in Paris.

Accommodations:
Any guide book will help you out here, but for my suggestion, take a look at the 14th district (RER B line, westside). There are numerous hotels and you are a eight minute ride from the Seine. This is not the best area, but better prices.

The best place I have found and the greatest location is just off rue Cler. Book at Hotel Champs de Mars which is family owned and is on rue Champs de Mars (maybe Ave). It is 65 euros a night and quaint rooms. It is half the price of others in the area but b/c it is family owned, it is less expensive. Read about rue Cler above.

Hangouts:
Check out the Guillotine. Again, go to St. Michel, facing the fountain, make a left. Walk to the first street, continue one block and you will see it. Also Chez George at St. Germain des Prix, Bar 10 at Odeon has great sangaria's (behing the movie theater). These are my favorite spots.

Place d'Italie as a great bar scene (typical college bar type of place).

Aside from the Guillotine, you will not hear English at all. Very French places.

Restaurants:
Millions...whatever you want.

Best prices to eat are in the Latin Quarter IF you want to be around the tourist scene. And you really should. Crepes, kababs, etc are all over. Good Mexican, Italian, Greek, Japanese, Chinese Resturants plague this area as well as some decent French, but not the best.

Other recommendations:
For good flights elsewhere...check out Ryan Air and Easy Jet. They are very inexpensive but with Ryan Air, you must take a bus an hour and a half out of town (easy to arrange, just go to Porte Maillot metro and buses depart to Beauvais). Beauvais is a small town with just an airport...I have flown to Sweden from Paris four times and never paid more than 40 euros (incl. taxes) for my flight.

Published on Saturday February 21th, 2004


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Fri, May 07 2004 - 02:14 AM rating by whereisliz

Terrific report, makes me long to be in Paris all over again (I was just there this time last year, for the first time!). I agree with you about Rodin's garden... wonderful.

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