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trip to paris with college student?

itsthatimeitsthatime Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
edited November 2012 in Parent Cafe
I am planning a trip to Paris this winter with my husband and college student. I have not been there for at least 25 years and neither of them have been at all. Any advice, tips, restaurant recommendations, don't miss sites (other than the obvious)...hotels or areas that you really liked or didn't would be helpful too. How long do you think is optimal to stay? Day trips or should be train to another city?? Love to hear your thoughts
Post edited by itsthatime on

Replies to: trip to paris with college student?

  • cromettecromette Registered User Posts: 2,614 Senior Member
    Awesome! What a great trip! So much to see and do! I've been twice recently. I stayed here, and liked it. It's close to the Champs Elysees, most everything and convenient to the train system which you can take pretty much everywhere, and it's very easy to navigate.

    Hotel Galileo Hotel Paris Champs Elysees Hotel Paris Centre

    If you're going to eat like a local, of course, get OFF the Champs Elysees! LOL. I ate at several places on Rue Marbeuf, nothing fancy, but very tasty. I can't remember the name of my favorite, but it was a small cafe, had a few outdoor tables, very nice white tablecloth place, but not pretentious. There are a lot of offerings on that street - Chinese, Mediterranean, etc. - but of course, this place was French. I actually prefer those quiet, out of the way places over the high profile, busy, fancy places.

    I took the train to Versailles. That was beautifully awesome if you like architecture, gardens, estates, etc.

    The water taxis let you cruise up and down the Seine and get off at various stops - which is a great way to see everything and pick and choose. They also have open air buses which are similar.

    The view from the top of the Musee d' Orsay is breathtakingly beautiful. You can see the Sacre Coeur in the distance.

    I also did a tour of the catacombs, which was creepy and unlike anything I've done before.

    The shopping around the Notre Dame cathedral is great. Both for souveniers and nearby, also for cheaper local fare.

    Of course, all of the regular tourist traps are awesome. I've seen too many to list. Don't forget the Eiffel Tower twinkles at night every hour (I think). That's cool to see.

    I did not drive anywhere. I took public transit everywhere, and it was cheap (value wise) and easy.
  • 07DAD07DAD Registered User Posts: 5,169 Senior Member
    Take the train to Epernay, France and tour Moet (day trip). It was really, really interesting.
  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,303 Senior Member
    You could obviously spend every waking hours in museums. As far as Art is concerned, I would say that the Louvre would be on everyone's list. I love the Musee d'Orsay. But there are so many more....Picasso, Mus
  • 07DAD07DAD Registered User Posts: 5,169 Senior Member
    I've always wanted to go to P
  • showmom858showmom858 Registered User Posts: 2,548 Senior Member
    I would also recommend a visit to Sainte Chappelle with its amazing stained glass windows. I love Galeries Lafayette although the shopping is pricey the dome is worth the visit. I also enjoyed our walk through Momtmartre and Sacre Cour. We climbed the steps to the top of Notre Dame to look at the gargoyles which was also fun. I would walk through the Jardin de Luxumbourg although there may not be much blooming in the gardens in the winter.

    Musee d'Orsay is my favorite, but you should spend some time in the Louvre. We actually did the Rodin and Musee d'Orsay in the same day on my first visit to Paris with H. The train to Versailles is a day trip and I highly recommend it if you have the time. It's nice to see the Champs Elysees, but we did not spend much time there. We preferred to eat in little cafes where people were sitting out and liked places that were off the beaten path. Like missypie my girls were interested in the underpass where Princess Diana was killed. We also walked by the couture fashion houses.
  • stradmomstradmom Registered User Posts: 4,656 Senior Member
    My college aged D enjoyed the catacombs tour. She took at day trip to Bruges and says that was far and away her favorite location visited during her semester abroad. (She also did the more typical Paris tours.)

    Home might also be fun. They have walks focused on topics like fashion, chocolate, street art etc that are interesting and entertaining.
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Registered User Posts: 6,468 Senior Member
    Rent an apartment. It is the best value, most comfortable stay and allows you to explore the food markets. With a college student, I would recommend something in the Marais district.
  • surfcitysurfcity Registered User Posts: 1,927 Senior Member
    We stayed at the Hotel Duquesne - it is walking distance to the Eiffel Tower and also the Louvre. Very near a lovely street with all sorts of vendors and restaurants, whose name escapes me at the moment. Many cafes around to eat in. The Metro was easy to use to get to Notre Dame etc.

    We went to the Champs Elysee one day but honestly, it is so commercial now. My D kept saying that all these stores (H&M, Sephora, Nike, Izod, LV) are in our mall! It is definitely worth a look, but I don't think I could spend more than an afternoon there.

    I prefer wandering the side streets and trying new stores and cafes.

    Do watch Midnight in Paris to get inspired!
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Registered User Posts: 6,468 Senior Member
    As far as restaurant rec's ---- what sort of establishments? If you speak French you might want to check out the online magazine: Restaurant Paris et France : Guide FOODING® des restaurants de style
    They know whats going on that is both new and traditional in French food. Word to the wise, make reservations even in some of the more modest establishments. Even if it's on the same day of your visit. If a restaurant in Paris is worth visiting then they are usually booked. If it's the latest and greatest ( like Frenchie) a few months in advance might be in order. www.frenchie-restaurant.com
  • itsthatimeitsthatime Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    thanks everyone!! what a great start to our list. we like good food at good prices but will probably do a few splurges at one or two highly rated restaurants ... we love off the beaten path finds and I had no idea about nicholas flamel's house -that will be a big hit with my student! i speak a little french but not enough to read up on reviews or any articles...basically enough to order off the menu, find basic directions and the bathrooms! I am still in the early planning stages so welcome any more ideas!! thanks again
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Registered User Posts: 6,468 Senior Member
    Really good simple french food at fantastic prices and filled to the brim with locals (ok to reserve on the day of) Accueil- Restaurant Le Trumilou
    When we visit Paris we always go at least twice. Very friendly folks. And the Canard aux pruneaux (duck stewed in prunes) ROCKS.
  • cromettecromette Registered User Posts: 2,614 Senior Member
    I know just about enough French to say good morning, good evening, excuse me, thank you, and to apologize for not being able to speak French. I found the last bit particularly useful. :)
  • Anne33Anne33 Registered User Posts: 61 New Member
    I'm a huge Rick Steves fan. We used his advice in Paris and were thrilled at the insider tips and time-saving advice, especially when visiting Versailles. Travel Itineraries: Paris in One to Seven Days by Rick Steves

    Also recommend the flea market at Porte de Clignancourt for shopping, antiques, and people watching!
    Paris Flea Markets, Flea Markets in Paris - Paris Perfect
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Registered User Posts: 6,468 Senior Member
    AND be sure to always address someone with their formal title as in bonjour Madame, never just Bonjour or merci Monsieur ...never just merci. Our idea of politeness is imbued with familiarity. To the French familiarity is construed as being rude. Formality is appreciated and signifies respect. Familiarity, not so much. But you have been there before and probably understand this.
    This will be the first year in some time that I have not gone to Paris.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,321 Senior Member
    Happykid & pals stayed at the Europe Hotel Paris which is near the Eiffel Tower, and convenient to the Metro: Europe Hotel Paris Eiffel *** - OFFICIAL SITE - 3 star hotel Eiffel Tower Their big splurge in Paris was dinner in the cheaper Eiffel Tower restaurant.
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