Paris Journals

Five Days in Paris

An October 2000 trip to Paris by travel2000

notre dame Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: Paris is so famous that I was almost afraid I would be disappointed. But my trip was everything I had expected and more, because there is so much Paris has to offer. This was one of the highlights of my ten-country European trip!

Five Days in Paris

Overview

musee d'orsay Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
How can I list the highlights when every moment was memorable. Five days was not enough for me. Yes, we managed to see the major sights, but I needed two more days to just stroll and do more shopping. I was just getting starting familiarizing myself with each arrondisement and I had many more to go. Most important, the food was excellent. SO, the entire trip there was a highlight!Quick Tips: Spend more time in town! Also, staying close to the tourist sights is convenient but not essential. The metro system is very efficient and runs through all corners of the city. Most people speak English now, though I was able to get by with my elementary French.Best Way To Get Around: Walking and...Read More

Louvre Forum

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Hotel Louvre Forum"

Quote:
This was a great find. We paid 550 ff per night for a twin room (2 twin beds) with bathtub and toilet. Our room was on the 5th floor, and our bedroom and bathroom both had windows. The bathroom was 5-star material - brand new everything! And so spacious. The windows look out to the a quiet street and apartments on the other side. It felt like we were living in Paris. The location is in the 1st arrondisement, close to the Louvre and Les Halles. The immediate neighborhood is quiet and not taken over by stores. It felt like the outskirts of Tribeca in New York City. The staff was very helpful, except for one slightly snobby woman. But she did her job and that was enough for me. Here is their email: hotel...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2000

Louvre Forum
25, rue du Bouloi
Paris, France 75001
1 42 36 54 19

Hotel Montpensier

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Hotel

Quote:
This is right by the Palais Royal and the Louvre. We stayed here for one night, due to a change in schedule where we arrived in Paris one day early and couldn't get an extra night at our reserved hotel. We booked this last minute through www.hotelboulevard.com. This hotel is run-down and has a tiny, one-person elevator. Our room stunk of stale smoke, so much that I could not sleep that night, despite having the window opened. The bathroom had relatively new facilities and was very clean. Though Paris has no non-smoking rooms, this was really bad. The location is excellent though, and the reception staff very helpful and genuinely friendly. The price we paid was 535 ff per night.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on November 5, 2000

Hotel Montpensier
12 RUE DE RICHELIEU
Paris, France 75001
33-1-42-96-28-50

Quote:
This is a cute little bistro close to our hotel (Louvre Forum). We had the daily menus, at 78 ff each. Came with salad or soup, and a choice of meat dish, and a fruit salad. The intimate atmosphere is better than the overall food.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 5, 2000

Restaurant Le Vieil Ecu
166 Rue St Honore
Paris, France
01 42 60 20 14

Galeries Lafayette Gourmet

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
We had the best cheese platter at one of the counters/bars where you can sit and eat. They have table service at the side counters. For 190 ff for 2 people, we had a platter with 11 cheeses (all excellent), and a platter with goat cheese and figs, both grilled and served cold. All came with a good size salad. The price includes drinks. Not bad for the quality of food, plus we went straight to dessert at the other counters!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2000

Galeries Lafayette Gourmet
40 Boulevard Haussman
Paris, France
01.42.82.34.56

Crepe Stands

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
You must try the French crepes. We actually tried our first authentic French crepe in Hannover, at a street stand next to the French Pavillion. It was freshly made by a French woman, who spread the batter on a crepe pan. When the crepe was almost done, she put Nutella (Italian chocolate and hazelnut spread-it is different than the Nutella you find in the US, which tends to be more paste-like in texture) and banana slices on and folded it in four. It was so good. The crepe was soft and slightly crusty on the edge, with the Nutella melted and warm slightly caramelized bananas inside. Perfect combination. Of course, the quality of crepes in Paris differs but overall are very good. We had one crepe with f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 11, 2000

Crepe Stands
Place Contrascarpe
Paris, France

Brasserie Bofinger

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
This is an old, very popular brasserie. It was recommended by Fodor's as well as my parents. It's famous for Alsace-French cuisine, and also oysters. There are also no reservations taken, so try to arrive early to ensure seating. We had onion soup and scallop 'cervice' style salad for appetizers, and steak tartare and the special, grilled venison medium-rare for entrees, then a delicious creme brulee. It was excellent! The clientele was a balanced mix of tourists and locals, as well as businessmen and couples on dates. The service is formal. Overall, one of the best meals we had in Paris.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2000

Brasserie Bofinger
5, rue de la Bastille
Paris, France 75004
+33 1 42 72 87 82

Le Café du Commerce

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Restaurant | "Le Cafe du Commerce"

Quote:
We were on our way to see the Eiffel Tower at night and wanted to have a nice meal nearby. Our Frommer's guide recommended this restaurant, but it's not that close to the Eiffel! The space is very nice inside-there are three floors and an atrium in the middle. However, they seat all the tourists on the second floor, so that was not a thrill for us. The food was OK, we had duck and pate and a fish, as you can see, not too memorable that I can even remember the specifics. In all, there are so many good places in Paris, don't bother coming here. Cross this off your guidebooks.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on November 5, 2000

Le Café du Commerce
51, rue du Commerce
Paris, France 75015
01 45 75 03 27

Sainte-Chapelle

Attraction

Quote:
This is the cathedral of stained glass. It is a prime example of high gothic in its glory. It's on Ile de la Cite, the island where Paris all began and only a short walk from Notre Dame Cathedral. It is small and intimate in size. When you go inside the entrance, walk up the narrow stairs to the royal chapel above...the beauty of being surrounded by the tall, stained glass windows will take your breath away. Most of the windows depict Biblical scenes. To best appreciate the history and stories on the glass, I brought the book "Mona Winks" by Rick Steves with me. (Please see section on this book in the Free Form section of my journal). Bascially, it gives you a diagram and explanations of each stain g...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2000

Sainte-Chapelle
4 boulevard du Palais
Paris, France 75001
+33 (1) 5340 6080

Parc de la Villette (Le)

Attraction | "Parc La Villette & Music Museum"

Quote:
This is in the northern edge of Paris. It's a big park in a newly cleaned-up part of town. There is the Science and Technology museum, a great interactive museum with lots of kids and parents in tow. Then there is Parc La Villette, famous for the green grass and the red cube structures by Bernard Tschumi. On the other end of the park is the new Musee de la Musique and the Concert Hall. I didn't go into the Museum, but the building was interesting.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 5, 2000

Parc de la Villette (Le)
Avenue Jean-Jaurès
Paris, France 75019
+33 1 40 03 75 47

Villa Savoye

Attraction

Quote:
This is a must-see for architectural or design professionals, or if you are simply interested in seeing a piece of history. Built in the 1920's by one of the most famous architects of our time, Le Courbusier, this white house is famous for the revolutionary design principles. We went on a Sunday, which I don't recommend as there are few RER trains and fewer buses that run in Poissy. It wasn't that bad as we were lucky to ge the timing just right. Note that this closes for lunch time. Check with the tourist information for details. We took the RER to Poissy (it costs alot more for the tickets as you leave the zones 1 and 2) and then catch the #50 tram.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2000

Villa Savoye
82 rue de Villiers
Paris, France

Musee d'Orsay

Attraction

Quote:
This renovated train station is a beautiful space in itself. On top of that, it has the best art of the 19th Century. (The artwork used to be dispersed between the Louvre and other museums.) There are thousands of paintings (many of which you would immediately recognize!), sculptures, furniture, art nouveau objets d'art. I brought my Rick Steve's 'Mona Winks' book with me to navigate the space (please see the free form section of this journal for more details on this book). I also purchased the small Musee D'Orsay pocket guide. My highlights were the Degas, Monet and Manet paintings, the Rodin sculptures, and of course, Cezanne and Renoir. This should be a must-see on your list. (NB: while we were th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 6, 2000

Musee d'Orsay
62, Rue De Lille
Paris, France 75343
+33 (1) 4049-4994

Finding accomodations

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
First, I would comb through the www.Frommers.com website for a description of the different Paris districts (called arrondissements) and figure out where you want to be. When it comes to booking, I recommend either faxing the hotels directly OR going through this website: www.hotelboulevard.com. I booked through them twice, and was satisfied with their efficiency. You can view photos of the hotels and rooms, and best of all, read all the comments from recent clients. They are very frank and direct and talk about the location, the condition of the rooms, cleanliness, and the helpfulness of the staff. If you do book through them, be careful not to fax the hotel yourself to confirm. Sometimes, the hotel ...Read More

La Carte Musees & Monuments

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
You simply MUST get this card when you arrive in Paris. You can get into the Louvre (through a special entrance underground, meaning no need to line up with the crowds!), Musee D'Orsay, limited rooms at Versailles, Sainte-Chappelle, Picasso, Rodin, etc etc...free and unlimited visits to permenant collections to 70 museums and monuments. You get a cute booklet with the listings with the pass. I can't emphasize what a great deal this is. I bought a 3-day pass for 160 ff, a price you gain back only after a couple of visits.

Rick Steve's Book

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
For those of you who are not Art History majors, I highly recommend buying this book before you tackle Europe. This book covers the main museums and historic sights as well as suggested walks through the major European cities (Paris, London, Amsterdam, Rome, Florence, and Venice, to name a few). Rick is good at giving you enough background information and then telling you how to tackle the place in question. He also selects artwork and tells you the history of the artist and the circumstances surrounding that era. We found it very useful in Paris, first following the historic Paris walk, then the tour and art explanations for the Louvre, Musee D'Orsay etc. This is as close to a personal guide as you c...Read More