Paris Journals

Right or Left Bank?

A July 2004 trip to Paris by wanderer 2005

Pere Lachaise Cemetery Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: Paris is the epitome of romance for some, but for others, there's a lot of adventure. Walk til your heart's content around the historical streets of Paris, shop til you drop or grab some great French food. Paris is a must!

Concorde St Lazare

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Hotel | "Concorde Saint Lazare"

Quote:
The Hotel Concorde Saint-Lazare is an historic hotel in Paris' opera district. The hotel, which opened in 1889 and was originally named The Grand Hotel Terminus because it was connected by a suspended walkway to the Gare St Lazare, was the epitome of luxury back in those days. The hotel originally had 500 rooms, but no room had a bathroom. Bathrooms were down the hall and shared. The hotel has since been remodeled to have 300 rooms, all with private bathrooms. The walkway to the train station is still there, but the entrance to the walkway has been replaced by the front desk. The hotel was built in record time of 15 months. The artist who painted all the walls and ceilings, felt very rushed ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 8, 2005

Concorde St Lazare
108 RUE ST LAZARE
Paris, France
33-1-40 08 44 44

Victoria Palace Hotel Paris City Centre

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Hotel | "Victoria Palace"

Victoria Palace Hotel Paris City Centre Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The Victoria Palace Hotel is a small, quaint four-star retreat off a side street, around the corner from Montparnasse Tower. With only 62 rooms, the attention to detail and service is true French hospitality. As you step into the lobby, there’s a small cocktail lounge to your right. To your left is another small sitting room, complete with a fireplace and plush couches and chairs. After check-in, you have your choice of a glass elevator or a beautiful spiral staircase to take you up to your room. There are only five floors, so the staircase isn’t too bad of a idea. Our room was just as plush as the sitting room downstairs. As you walk into the foyer, there’s a closet with a sa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 13, 2005

Victoria Palace Hotel Paris City Centre
6 RUE BLAISE DESGOFFE
Paris, France
001-33--1-45497000

Sofitel Arc De Triomphe Paris

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Hotel | "Sofitel Arc De Triomphe"

Sofitel Arc De Triomphe Paris Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The Sofitel Arc De Triomphe in Paris is in a great residential neighborhood, a short walk from the busy streets of the Champs Elysees and the Arc De Triomphe. The metro station is a 5-minute walk, and there's a pharmacy, small grocery store, and many restaurants within a 1km radius. The Sofitel has 134 rooms and is very quiet. The small lobby and lobby bar are truly Parisian. Marble floors, fresh flowers, and Louis XIV-style furniture takes you back in time. This is mainly a business-type hotel, but I think it's perfect for leisure because it's quiet and not in the middle of all the hustle-and-bustle. We had room 217, which is a totally futuristic room, from touch-screen remote controls,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 1, 2005

Sofitel Arc De Triomphe Paris
14 RUE BEAUJON
Paris, France
33-33-53895050

Le Petit Canard

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Restaurant

Le Petit Canard Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Oh my God, this is my favorite place! I'm not a HUGE duck lover, but I really like fois gras. This is a very small local place, and the owners raise their own ducks in Geneva. The menu is everything duck, and it's GOOD. You know the French eat late, so at 7 or 7:30pm it isn't terribly busy - yet. The menu, of course, is in French, but they do have a couple things in English. This is a place that will give your taste buds a ride.The fois gras with caramelized onions and toast is not to be missed, and the hot goat cheese in toast is always a winner. I had the cream of mushroom soup with fois gras in it, and it was AMAZING, and I don't like mushrooms, either. I had the duck stewed in red w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 31, 2005

Le Petit Canard
19 Rue Henri-Monnier
Paris, France
01 49 70 07 95

Cafe Terminus

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Restaurant

Cafe Terminus Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Nestled inside the Hotel Saint-Lazare, Café Terminus is the only restaurant on the property. There were plenty of locals enjoying lunch this particular spring day. We were sat by the window, were everyone else was. There was no one actually IN the restaurant. Tablecloths and monogrammed silver set the mood for this wonderful meal we were about to have. We had the 36€ prix-fixe menu. I started off with the pea soup with custard of scallop. WONDERFUL! They brought a bowl over with one big scallop in the middle, then another waiter followed with a huge terrine of pea soup, which he poured around my scallop. The soup was wonderfully creamy and tasty, and the scallop was butter-tender....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 31, 2005

Cafe Terminus
108 Rue Saint-Lazare
Paris, France
(0) 14008-4444

Finzi

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Restaurant

Finzi Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Located down the street from the Sofitel Arc De Triomphe is a small Italian place called Finzi. We felt like eating somewhere close to the hotel, so the concierge made a reservation for us. It was literally a 5-minute walk away at 182 boulevard Haussmann. There was only one waiter who spoke English, so I used my broken French as much as possible. We started off with wine, and the waiter brought over a tray of marinated olives to munch on with our wine. They were really yummy. We had an appetizer of the usual caprese salad. It was refreshingly tasty. My waiter said that they make their own mozzarella cheese. It was really creamy and soft, and the tomatoes were sweet and juicy. We also ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 15, 2005

Finzi
182, boulevard Haussmann
Paris, France 75008
01 45 62 88 68

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Attraction | "Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise "

Pere Lachaise Cemetery Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Pay your respects to your favorite actors, composers, poets, musicians and heads of state at Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. Jim Morrison, Frederic Chopin, Sarah Bernhardt, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and many other famous names are all immortalized here. Pere Lachaise is unlike anything you've ever seen. It's a huge park with cobblestone walkways, huge trees and ornate mausoleums. Stained class, marble stone, delicate engraved headstones, I was amazed that this was a cemetery. It's a beautiful, serene place to walk around. You can get a full map at the front gate for about €3. Take a couple of hours to stroll through this place. It's truly amazing. There are restroom facilities at each entra...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 26, 2005

Pere Lachaise Cemetery
16, Rue Du Repos
Paris, France 75020
33 1 55 25 82 10

Catacombs of Paris

Attraction | "Catacombs beneath Paris"

Catacombs of Paris Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Just across the street from the Denfert-Rochereau Métro stop, there's an unassuming treasure waiting to be discovered. It’s just a few euros to take a walk into the past. There are long, dark tunnels; bones stacked in heart and cross formations; eerie noises. Be sure to take a flashlight and have good walking shoes.

Plan your visit carefully, as the hours are limited. Tours are available Tuesday through Friday 2pm to 4pm and Saturdays and Sundays 9am to 11am and 2pm to 4pm.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 26, 2005

Catacombs of Paris
1, Place Denfert-Rochereau
Paris, France 75014
33 (1) 43 22 47 63

Latin Quarter

Attraction | "Third Discovery Tour: Latin Quarter"

Latin Quarter Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
I simply LOVE the Latin Quarter. All the shops, cobblestone streets, the diverse restaurants, Notre Dame right around the corner... it's all so beautiful. Restauratuers stand outside their establishmets tyring to lure potential customers inside, lots of souvenir shops line each street, and there are bars and pubs on every corner. I always go out of my way to make it down there. I think it's one of the best parts of the city.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 27, 2005

Latin Quarter
Left Bank of River Seine
Paris

Friday Night Skate

Attraction | "Rollerblading the Champs Elysees"

Quote:
Imagine rolling by the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame with nothing but streetlight and moonlight guiding you. Friday night skate, as it's referred to, is a different way to see the city of lights. About 1,200 people show up for this event that starts at 10pm at Montparnasse Tower, and the route changes each week to make it interesting.

The police even have a webpage dedicated to this and will post the course a few days before, so drivers know which parts of the city to avoid. No novices, please. This is serious skating for those of us who do it on a regular basis. The crowd moves quickly, and skaters sometimes need to brake quickly too.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 1, 2005

Friday Night Skate
departs from Tour Montparnasse at 10pm
Paris, France

Saint-Severin Church

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Attraction

Saint-Severin Church Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
St. Severin chapel is not only one of the best-kept secrets in Paris, but it also boasts one of the finest organs in the city. This is, by far, my favorite church to visit. It’s not as massive as Notre Dame, but holds just as much history inside its walls. This church is in the heart of the Latin Quarter, right around the corner from Blvd. Saint Germain. You could walk right by it if you’re not paying attention. History says that Severin was a 6th-century hermit who was closely associated with St. Martin, the patron saint of travelers. Parishioners used to hang horseshoes here as a thanks on their safe return from a journey. A small oratory was built here in his memory. The oratory th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 10, 2005

Saint-Severin Church
The Left Bank
Paris, France

Galeries Lafayette

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Attraction

Galeries Lafayette Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
If you love to shop and have some cash to drop, then Galleries Lafayette is the place for you. This mega-shopping mall houses only the best shops from around the world. Names like Dior, Armani, Versace, Jean-Paul Gaultier, DKNY, Calvin Klein, La Perla--they're all here. Keep in mind that this is not your ordinary mall. The center is amazing inside. Gold leaf and artfully painted walls--it truly is a sight to see. It's like shopping in a palace. Above is a glass and iron dome that gives it a cathedral-like feel. There aren’t actually any stores you go into; it’s kind of set up like a flea market, so you just walk from one label to the next. No walls separate the vendors. One second, you’re look...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 29, 2005

Galeries Lafayette
40, Boulevard Haussmann
Paris 75009
+33 (1) 42823456

Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts

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Attraction

Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Walking down Rue De Bonaparte on a nice, spring day in May, we came across a beautiful school. Now, I don’t like school--never have--but if my school looked like this one, I would make sure I went every day, just so I could take it all in. Come to find out, this place is as historical as it is beautiful and houses a vast collection of art. The Ecole des beaux-arts is made up of a vast complex of buildings located between the quai Malaquais and the rue Bonaparte, in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Près, just across from the Louvre museum. Long supervised by the Ministry of Public Instruction, the Ecole des beaux-arts is now a public institution. The School houses prestigious historical colle...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 17, 2005

Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts
14 rue Bonaparte
Paris, France 75272
01 47 03 50 00

From CDG airport to city

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The easiest and least expensive way I found to get from CDG right to your hotel door is a shuttle service called Bee-Shuttle. It cost me 14.50 euros per person (there were two of us) to have a driver meet us at the terminal and drive us in a private, air-conditioned minivan, right to our hotel door. I wanted to take the RER, but after a 9 1/2-hour flight with luggage and stairs, having to transfer trains at Chatelet and drag my bags from the metro station to the hotel... this was much easier and only slighly more expensive. Thought about the Air France shuttle, but then again, we would have had to take a train to our final destination and deal with stairs and carrying luggage to the hotel. You...Read More

Thalys high-speed train

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Attraction | "Thalys train - Paris to Amsterdam"

Thalys high-speed train Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
I couldn’t wait to take the Thalys train From Paris to Amsterdam. I’ve always heard good things about it, and now I can second that. The fare between the two cities is very reasonable, and the trip takes almost 4 hours. There are several short stops on the way, to pick up and drop off passengers. There are two classes of service on the Thalys. Just like on an airplane, there’s first and second class. It’s called comfort 1 and comfort 2. We traveled in comfort 1, as the fare wasn’t that much more than comfort 2, and a meal is included. The difference between 1 and 2 is mainly the seats. Comfort 1 has wider, more comfortable seats with one seat on one side and two seats on the opposite side. A c...Read More

Thalys high-speed train
Gare Du Nord
Paris, France

Metro system

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Story/Tip

Metro Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The Metro is by far the easiest, cheapest and the only way to get around this beautiful city. I can understand you being intimidated by the language barrier, but there’s no need to be. Grab yourself a Metro map, jump on a train and find your way around. It’s VERY easy. The Metro will take you anywhere you want to go. The Louvre, The Champs Elysees, Notre Dame, The Latin Quarter, The Eiffel Tower, anywhere your heart desires. You can get a map at any hotel, metro station or souvenir shop. You have to have a ticket to access the trains and you can purchase those either in a machine inside the station or from an agent. I don’t recommend buying tickets from someone on the street, as they may ha...Read More