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Off to Paris. Any hints & tips please.

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  • BarryBlueBarryBlue Forumite
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    It's a few years since we went to Paris. I do agree that the Louvre is madness as people tick it off their bucket lists. I much preferred the Musee d'Orsay, as someone else has said. If you are into art, especially Monet, visit the Orangerie and Musee Marmottan. We also found Les Invalides interesting.

    Paris can be an expensive city, as you would expect. But there is still plenty you can see without paying a fortune too.
    :dance:We're gonna be alright, dancin' on a Saturday night:dance:
  • mamanmaman Forumite
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    BarryBlue wrote: »
    It's a few years since we went to Paris. I do agree that the Louvre is madness as people tick it off their bucket lists. I much preferred the Musee d'Orsay, as someone else has said. If you are into art, especially Monet, visit the Orangerie and Musee Marmottan. We also found Les Invalides interesting.

    Paris can be an expensive city, as you would expect. But there is still plenty you can see without paying a fortune too.


    Not very French but we found branches of Subway ideal to buy picnic lunches.:o
  • Toni'sfriendToni'sfriend Forumite
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    We have just come back. The buses were great for getting about. I found them much easier than the Metro. A pack of ten tikckets costs 14.90 euros. If you have to change buses to get to your destination you only need to use one if you change within 90 minutes. I would agree that if you are going on Eurostar do not get a taxi of any kind from the Gare du Nord. There are so many road works and so much traffic there at the moment that they take ages to get anywhere and cost a fortune. Public transport is a much better idea.

    I really like the Marais and the Place des Voges. A walk in the Luxembourg Gardens - in fact, a walk anywhere. The food markets are fabulous, The Louvre is really busy.

    If you don't feel like a meal in a restaurant I would recommend the little Asian takeaways (they are everywhere).
    Have adventures. laugh a lot and always be kind.
  • dontonedontone Forumite
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    I just wanted to thank all on here for taking the time to post hints & tips.
    We got back from Paris yesterday evening (it took actually longer to get from Leeds/Bradford Airport to our house than the actual flight:( ). We weren't sure about going with all the protests, etc, but we had a great time, but are rather pooped from it all. There is a lot to take in, and we overdid the walking - as usual.
    Here is a bit of a travel report with a few good bits & grumbles.

    We got the Navigo D!couverte card as Bradders kindly suggested. We got it on Monday morning on the way to the Louvre, and it cost 27 euros, but it got us all over the place and to CGD airport on the way home (a single ticket to GDN cost us 10 euros each when we got there, so it was well worth it)
    I highly recommend pre booking for places. We got 9.30am tickets to the Louvre, and there was hardly anybody there when we got in, and got to see the Mona Lisa without any of the hustle & bustle that you see on the telly. I actually managed to get right to the front of the barrier to take piccies, so that was good.
    We also booked for the Catacombs, and the line for those without tickets was at least 90 minutes waiting time. We more or less got in straightaway. Very spooky & unnerving place, but fascinating. Pity my audio guide failed near the beginning so I missed out on some of the history.
    We couldn't pre book day tickets for the Effiel Tower, so we ended up pottering round the grounds and inside (someone tried to sneak a knife into the park and got caught at security) But, on Tuesday night about 9.30pm, the queue to go in was really small, so after about 15mins queuing we got in and got to the top - it's very cold up there.
    No chance for Versaille either, so we will try again if we go next time.
    Loved the Champs-Elyesse area, and Luxemburg Gardens. And I was surprised that the city was very clean. We have been to Barcelona & Rome, and both places were piled high with rubbish bags in some places, not the case in Paris, it's very well taken care of.
    Our Hotel was called the Hotel Astoria. It was pretty basic, but clean. And, when we got there, we got a free mini bar - pop & water, and we got a free breakfast every morning too. And that was a choice of cereals, eggs & bacon, pasteries, bread & cheeses, etc. In the afternoon we could help ourselves to muffins & tea if we wanted to. Saved a few quid by not having to go out for breakfast. It was great.
    A couple of grumbles.
    The amount of begging on the Metro was very annoying, people (and a child) wandering up and down asking for money. Also the amount of ticket dodging too. In London, people would have been jumped upon by the police for that, but there was more security on the Champs Elyesse than on the underground.
    The traffic is crackers. It's like Wacky Races out there. I nearly got run over by some idiot driving a moped on the pavement.
    The lucky lucky men are the most aggressive I have ever come across. One tried at the Sacre Coeur to grab DH's arm to plonk a bracelet on there, and others are waiting to pounce with tat at the exits of various places. The police chased a load of them near the Tower area 'cos they were selling booze & ciggies. It was quite funny watching them run - think Benny Hill in French.
    And finally, the Japanese and German tourists.
    One German woman blocked us off going to the lift in the Tower so about 25 students with her could go before us. No explanation for it, just an arm blocking us off. Until a fella with them explained it was a school trip.
    And the Japanese tops the lot. They are rude, pig ignorant and do it all with a smile on their face. You get there first, they barge you out of the way. You wait your turn to take a pic, they march up and block your view.
    One even tapped me on the shoulder and waved me out of the way as I was looking at the Venus de Milo. He got a few choice words as well. A please & thankyou goes a long way. They are infuriating.
    Apart from that, it was a great trip, and we are definitely going to go back.
    Thanks again to all for you suggestions. It's very much appreciated.
    BEST EVER WINS WON IN ORDER (so far) = Sony Camcorder, 32" lcd telly, micro ipod hifi, Ipod Nano, Playstation 3, Andrex Jackpup, Holiday to USA, nintendo wii, Liverpool vs Everton tickets, £250 Reward Your thirst, £500 Pepsi, p&o rotterdam trip, perfume hamper, Dr Who stamp set, steam cleaner.

    comping = nowt more thrillin' than winnin':T :j
  • AHARAHAR Forumite
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    dontone wrote: »
    And the Japanese tops the lot. They are rude, pig ignorant and do it all with a smile on their face. You get there first, they barge you out of the way. You wait your turn to take a pic, they march up and block your view.
    One even tapped me on the shoulder and waved me out of the way as I was looking at the Venus de Milo. He got a few choice words as well. A please & thankyou goes a long way. They are infuriating.
    Apart from that, it was a great trip, and we are definitely going to go back.
    Thanks again to all for you suggestions. It's very much appreciated.


    Based on my experience, this sounds quite unlike Japanese people. How did you find the behavior of the Chinese tourists?
  • BarryBlueBarryBlue Forumite
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    AHAR wrote: »
    Based on my experience, this sounds quite unlike Japanese people. How did you find the behavior of the Chinese tourists?
    That is exactly my experience with Japanese tourists too. They are frequently rude and ignorant, and are very happy to try to barge you out of the way. I am tall and well built and simply shove them back, but they are quite resilient. At one tourist venue in Italy I literally had to elbow one Japanese woman away as she was trying to climb over me to jump a queue.

    Chinese tourists also seem to be completely oblivious of everyone else and will simply barge their way through if you let them. We encountered some dreadful ones at the Hermitage in St Petersburg and I remarked how ignorant they were. Our Russian guide said that she dreaded them as they were invariably like that.
    :dance:We're gonna be alright, dancin' on a Saturday night:dance:
  • dontonedontone Forumite
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    AHAR wrote: »
    Based on my experience, this sounds quite unlike Japanese people. How did you find the behavior of the Chinese tourists?

    TBH, I have always found the Chinese tourists to be okay. Certainly a lot more polite.
    I have only ever had one bad encounter with a Chinese tourist, and that was in the Rio hotel in Vegas. They used to do the 'Carnival In The Sky' show and they threw down beads. One woman saw me waving to the folk in the floats and proceeded to walk backwards and try and elbow me out of the way (she was looking behind her shoulder pretending to wave the whole time too). I saw what she was up to, and managed to swat her out of the way at the last second as her elbow came down. I was lucky, because she could have easily given me a black eye. She came off worst, as I knocked her flying. And I caught the beads too. lol.
    Apart from that, no problem at all.
    I would ban selfie sticks as well if I were in charge. Those are a complete PITA too.
    BEST EVER WINS WON IN ORDER (so far) = Sony Camcorder, 32" lcd telly, micro ipod hifi, Ipod Nano, Playstation 3, Andrex Jackpup, Holiday to USA, nintendo wii, Liverpool vs Everton tickets, £250 Reward Your thirst, £500 Pepsi, p&o rotterdam trip, perfume hamper, Dr Who stamp set, steam cleaner.

    comping = nowt more thrillin' than winnin':T :j
  • Toni'sfriendToni'sfriend Forumite
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    I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It is one of my favourite cities.

    Unfortunately begging is very commonplace in many European cities now including those in the UK. Worst places I've been recently were Munich and Salzburg at the time of the Christmas markets. It's particularly bad around stations ans tourist attractions. Much of it is organised. Whilst waiting for a train in Frankfurt the waiter of the the cafe we were in warned us not to give the many beggars there anything at all. He told us it was organised gangs and they made an absolute fortune from tourists and they would rob you if they could. I do feel sorry for people who are obviously in need. You can usually tell if they are sleeping rough as they have all their worldly goods with them. If they are genuine they appreciate a cup of coffee or a sandwich or even a few of the small value coins you probably won't use. But you will find that those are the ones who don't ask you for money.

    I can't say I've ever had any problem with Japanese tourists apart from there being huge groups of them blocking pavements whilst all taking the same photograph but they are usually very polite (I love the way they bow to everybody).

    I'm so glad you're thinking of going back. We're off again next January. Can't wait.
    Have adventures. laugh a lot and always be kind.
  • dontonedontone Forumite
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    Yep. Rome was terrible for it. There were people with tin cans tied to their wrists knelt in a praying position hoping people would drop coins in.
    Paris had folk with bits of cardboard with writing on begging, and we kept getting approached by folk on the Metro. One stuck his hand in my face while we were going to the airport on the way home.
    London seems the most aggressive place for it imo. There was a couple up near Harrods who were very nasty, shaking a paper cup in your face and the fella was spitting on the floor near peoples feet if they ignored him.
    Manchester used to be the same. Lots of foreign women crowding around Piccadilly with babies on their hips shaking cups at you. It looks like they have been moved on though.
    You need your wits about you for sure. I just wish that in Paris (and Rome tbh) that they really clamp down on the lucky lucky men (although one night near the Tower, they all scooped their sheets up and left for a while). You don't need to be pestered when you are trying to look at stuff.
    Definitely going back though. Still stuff to see. We are trying to decide where to go on our next adventure.
    BEST EVER WINS WON IN ORDER (so far) = Sony Camcorder, 32" lcd telly, micro ipod hifi, Ipod Nano, Playstation 3, Andrex Jackpup, Holiday to USA, nintendo wii, Liverpool vs Everton tickets, £250 Reward Your thirst, £500 Pepsi, p&o rotterdam trip, perfume hamper, Dr Who stamp set, steam cleaner.

    comping = nowt more thrillin' than winnin':T :j
  • AG47AG47 Forumite
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    We're going to Paris in August Sat-Sun. We want to do something like Open top / hop on hop off bus tour around Paris. Is it the best way to see the Paris because we won't have so much time? And if so, any suggestions for which one?
    Nothing has been fixed since 2008, it was just pushed into the future
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