A July 2003 trip
to Paris by karameister
Quote: When we arrived in Paris, we came in the middle of one of the biggest heat waves ever. It was over 100°F, and people were crabby. After the shoddy, hot introduction, we found Paris to be quite enjoyable, if not always the friendliest.
The best things to do in Paris are really the tourist traps: the Eiffel Tower, Arc du Triomphe, and Notre Dame. The museums are also fantastic - try the d'Orsay for a smaller museum with a ton of highlights.
Of course, a walk around Paris is fantastic, too. You'll come across street vendors galore and small shops you may have otherwise missed.
Hotel | "Hotel Veronese (now KYRIAD Italie Gobelins)"
This hotel is small but has pretty nice amenities for the price. There are two tiny lifts, but they are a godsend when you're travel-weary! The rooms have pleasant views of the city and a television, and they are clean. Breakfast is included in the price.
On the floor we stayed on, there was only one shower for the entire floor. I thought this would be a problem at first, but I never had to worry, as there was never a wait and the shower was always clean.
The hotel is quite near the Latin Quarter, and very close to a couple of major Metro stations. There is a grocery just down the street and a small fruit stand on the next street over. Overall, the location is fantastic!
The staff was helpful and friendly. All of the desk staff spoke English and had great suggestions. Overall, it was a pleasant budget hotel!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2005
Kyriad Paris XIII Italie Gobelins
5 RUE VERONESE
Paris, France 75013
33-1-47 07 20 90
Everything that could be said about the Eiffel Tower has already been said.
Having said that, I would suggest that anyone visiting go near dusk. Thay way, you get to see the Eiffel in both daylight and at night. The night lights are fantastic - we just stood and stared for 15 or 20 minutes!
When you first arrive near the Eiffel, you will notice the vendors. They are selling everything from bread to soda to little, cheesy Eiffel Tower souvenirs. The vendors are a great part of the experience - you will see them flirting with women constantly and poking fun at the men.
We did not have to wait too long to buy our tickets, but there is a slightly longer wait for the elevators. You can buy tickets for either the second or third level, and I believe we paid about 8€ for the second level. The only disappointment of the whole experience was that the third level was closed for repairs; otherwise, we would have gone all the way up.
Once you are up, you can see all of Paris. It's amazing - I can't think of anything like it in America. I have yet to hear a person who has visited say that the Eiffel is overrated. I don't think you could with the views and how beautiful the Eiffel itself truly is.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 28, 2005
Champ De Mars
Attraction | "Cathedral of Notre Dame"
Europe has hundreds of gorgeous cathedrals, spanning hundreds of years of history. Not one can even come close to the beauty of Notre Dame.
We arrived and queued up on another hot day in Paris. The queue was about an hour long, but there are a few sandwich shops along the way, so we had a chance to grab a Coke and some bread.
After you purchase your ticket, you walk up a long, long, long spiral staircase. The view at the top is amazing. Like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc, you can see all of Paris from the top of Notre Dame.
There are two wonderful things about Notre Dame that separate it from any other cathedral. The first is the gargoyles. They are everywhere, and they lend a heavy Gothic air to Notre Dame. But who knew stone creatures could be so impressive, menacing, and breathtaking all at the same time?
The other amazing part of Notre Dame is the bell. The bell is not simply a myth; it is huge. It's housed in a tower at the top, and there are wooden stairs leading to it.
Notre Dame is not for those who are scared of heights or claustrophobic, as there are many tight passes very high in the air. But it's worth every penny and every bead of sweat. I felt like I was a piece of history while standing on top of Notre Dame.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 30, 2005
6, place du Parvis-de-Notre-Dame
Paris, France 75004
+33 (1) 42 34 56 10
The Arc is a fascinating sight. Located in the middle of Europe's largest roundabout, it is also the site of the last stage of the Tour de France every year. That alone probably makes it second in sights only to the Eiffel Tower.
The sight is familiar: pay your admission and queue up with many others to climb a couple of hundred spiraling stairs. The Arc does offered a discounted rate for students. At the top of the stairs, the view is spectacular, of course. For slightly more money, you can use one of the sets of binoculars and get a better view of certain sights.
The Arc also hosts the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Far fewer people visit this part of it, but it is also beautiful and moving.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 6, 2005
Arc de Triomphe
Paris, France 75008
+33 (1) 55 37 73 77
Attraction | "Musée D'Orsay"
The D'Orsay is fantastic, from the building to the collections. Housed inside an old train station, this museum is great for those who feel too overwhelmed to tackle the Louvre. There are still many amazing works in a much smaller space.
The D'Orsay officially became a museum in 1986. Before that, the building had been both a train station and a hotel. Many remnants of the station remain, from a gorgeous ornate ceiling to a giant clock.
The collection itself contains works by Monet, Seurat, Rodin, Renoir, and van Gogh, among others. The D'Orsay is the only place to find some of these artists most well-known works, including van Gogh's Starry Night. There are tons of paintings, but also a number of sculptures.
The Musée D'Orsay is open Tuesday through Sunday, with late hours on Thursdays. Go to the museum’s website for more information.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 24, 2005
62, Rue De Lille
Paris, France 75343
+33 (1) 4049-4994
Saint Paul, Minnesota