Paris Journals

Vive La Paris

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A May 2007 trip to Paris by pointofnoreturn

Jardin des Plantes (Le) Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: The Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Monet, Baguettes - Paris has it all and even more!

Vive La Paris

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Overview

Quote:
“I’d like to see Paris before I die… Philadelphia will do.” (Mae West)Paris…The city of lights, a haven for romantics, culture, arts, couture fashion, baguettes, and damn good wine…Paris has it all. It is the capital city of France and home to many of the world’s most renowned museums in the world. We arrived in Paris as our first stop on our month-long trip to see four countries. I’ve always had a passion for fine arts and art history so I was ready to welcome Paris with wide-open arms. Sadly, when we landed at CDG, it was pouring rain and the weather was miserable. I wouldn’t let that faze me even though it indeed rained the next four days. We arrived right at the start of May 2007....Read More

Appihotel

Hotel

Appihotel Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Appihotel is more of a low budget hotel than a hostel. It's relatively quiet and appeals more to the independent or budget-conscious travel than a fellow hostel-goer. This place is not for families because it's in the 2e arrondissement right on Saint Denis (otherwise known as the red light district). However, being a young female traveler, I encountered no problems whatsoever and felt perfectly safe. I did see a few prostitutes standing on the street here and there but they just minded their own business and expect you to do the same.I traveled with another female and we each paid C$35 a night for a twin private en suite room. It was very clean, modern, and bright. The bathroom (especially t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 5, 2007

Appihotel
158 rue Saint Denis
Paris, France
+33 (1) 42 33 35 16

Jardin des Plantes (Le)

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Attraction

Jardin des Plantes (Le) Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
This is the world's oldest zoo and was created in 1794 but later expanded and improved over the next two centuries. It's a relatively small (but easily accessible) zoo located within the Jardin des Plantes in the 5e arrondissement. According to the official website (www.mnhn.fr), there are 240 mammals, 500 birds, and 130 reptiles housed at this zoo. It's a great place to take children or just about anyone on a nice sunny day. If you only plan to see the Jardin des Plantes or the surrounding museums (I believe there are two, a national history one and a geology one) and you have lots of extra time, you can just stroll around in the zoo.Admission...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 5, 2007

Jardin des Plantes (Le)
57, rue Cuvier
Paris, France 75005
+33 1 40 79 30 00

Conciergerie

Attraction

Conciergerie Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
This palace is a former prison that once housed the ill-fated Queen of France, Marie Antoinette. It's near the Notre Dame Towers on Île de la Cité (1e arrondissement). Portions of the palace are still used today by the government so only small sections are open to the public. I've always been interested in the French Revolution and anything that had to do with the Napoleonic Era so it was only natural we decided to visit this spot. We had bought the Paris Museum Pass (2-day) the previous day so we didn't have to pay an admission fee which is usually €6.50 for adults and €4.50 for students. We showed up near closing time (6pm during the season, 5pm off-season) so we didn't expect to stay ver...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on June 5, 2007

Conciergerie
2, Boulevard Du Palais
Paris
+33 01 53.40.60.80

Musee Rodin

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Attraction | "Rodin Museum"

Musee Rodin Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Located in the 7e arrondissement, this museum was one of the best museums I've attended. I purchased a two-day Paris Museum Pass and, after visiting all the major sights, I decided to hit this museum to see my favorite Rodin sculptures.It's a relatively small museum but definitely worthwhile, whether you have the pass or not. Many of Rodin's sculptures are out in the lush rose gardens complete with small fountains and pretty tree-lined avenues. Student rate is €5 and adult rate is €7 for full access to the museum, exhibitions, and gardens. For budget-conscious people, the museum is free on the first Sunday of every month.I was particularly taken with Rodin's "The Burghers of Calais...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 5, 2007

Musee Rodin
77, Rue De Varenne
Paris 75007
+33 (1) 44 18 61 10

Musee d'Orsay

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Attraction

Musee d'Orsay Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
If you're not a fan of massive crowds and like to visit smaller galleries, this is the perfect museum for you to visit. The museum is located in the 7e arrondissement, near the Eiffel Tower and just a short metro ride from the Louvre. Regular admission rates for adults is 7.50 euros, and the concession rate is 4.50. The museum is free on the 1st Sunday of every month as well for people under the age of 18 and for disabled people. When we arrived at the museum in the early afternoon, there was a massive line with well over 150 people in line. Thankfully, we had purchased the Paris Museum Pass so we happily bypassed the line and went straight into the museum with no admission charges. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 6, 2007

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

Napoleon's Tomb

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Attraction

Napoleon's Tomb Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Napoleon was one of the world's foremost military leaders with one of the greatest stories you've ever heard. Born to a large family, he married an Empress, evolved into a powerful army leader, was made into Emperor at a young age, won and lost many battles, and finally exiled to St. Helena. His legend still lives on in the hearts of many history and military buffs.Napoleon's Tomb is adjunct with Hotel des Invalides in the 7e arrondissement. I didn't visit the Military Museum due to time. I've always been fascinated with French Revolutionary history, especially when it came to the relationship between Napoleon and his first wife, Josephine. The tomb is magnificent and majestic. It is certain...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 14, 2007

Napoleon's Tomb
Esplanade des Invalides
Paris, France
+45 55 92 30

Paris Opera (The Palais Garnier, Opéra Garni)

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Attraction | "Paris Opera"

Paris Opera (The Palais Garnier, Opéra Garni) Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Opera Garnier was actually one of our first stops during our stay in Paris. It is located in the 9e arrondissement. To get there, there are several metro lines (Lines 3, 7 and 8). Admission is 7 euros for adults and 4 euros for students, children, and seniors. Children under the age of 10 are given free entry. However, you must check to see whether there is a rehearsal on the day you are planning to visit, otherwise you will not be allowed entry. It is open daily (for the most part) from 10am to 6pm. A tip for the wise traveller: Show up before opening time to stand in line because you must go through security before purchasing tickets. There are guided tours available but admission is usually double ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2007

Paris Opera (The Palais Garnier, Opéra Garni)
8, Rue Scribe
Paris, France 75009
33 1 40 01 17 89

Eiffel Tower

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Attraction | "Tour Eiffel"

Eiffel Tower Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
When you visit Paris, whether it’s your first time or your tenth time, it’s usually the Eiffel Tower that is the first stop of your “things to see” list as it was the case with me. The Eiffel Tower is in the 7th district and is Paris’ tallest monument and also one of the most widely recognized structures in the world. It was built in the late 1800s to commemorate the World Expo that was being held in Paris at the time. You can get to the Eiffel Tower by taking either the metro or RER or a combination of both. The station you need to get off is Champ de Mars: Tour Eiffel on RER-C. We showed up late in the day and arrived at the entrance around 5pm. The waiting in line was not so pleasant for we...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2007

Eiffel Tower
Champ De Mars
Paris 75007

Cathédrale Notre-Dame

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Attraction

Cathédrale Notre-Dame Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of Paris’ renowned landmarks with its majestic towers that span for eternity. The interior of the cathedral is so beautiful and yet at the same time, so dark and ancient. It gives you a sense of wonder and fulfillment when you see all these candles burning in the background. The crowds were large but it is expected for it’s such a popular place with tourists and locals alike. We came here late in the day around 5pm after a long, busy day. The carvings on the exterior of the cathedral are stunning and really remind you how much work went into that church. After walking through the church, we decided to use our Paris Museum Pass to climb the towers. Our guidebook (Let...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 20, 2007

Cathédrale Notre-Dame
6, place du Parvis-de-Notre-Dame
Paris, France 75004
+33 (1) 42 34 56 10

Centre Pompidou

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Attraction | "Beaubourg - Centre Georges Pompidou"

Centre Pompidou Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
To get a taste of one of the world’s greatest collection of modern art, simply head to Centre Pompidou in the 4e arrondissement. To get there by metro, get off at one of the following stations: Rambuteau* (Line 11), Hotel de Ville (Line 11) or Chatelet (Lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14). This is the place where we bought our Paris Museum Pass and I recommend this because: a) there are barely any lines when purchasing at Centre Pompidou, and b) Centre Pompidou is included in the pass so it is free. I believe that the Centre is open from 11am to 9pm and closed on Tuesdays. It is said that the Centre has free admission on the first Sunday of every month but that was not the case for us – they would not let us th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 20, 2007

Centre Pompidou
Place Georges Pompidou
Paris 75004
+33 (1) 44 78 12 33

Catacombs of Paris

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Attraction | "Catacombes (Les)"

Catacombs of Paris Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
One of Paris’ most unique experiences – it is said that the catacombs span more than 300km in length although a small portion of it is open to the unsuspecting public. The Catacombs were established back in the 1800s due to the lack of space in cemeteries. Admission is €2.50 for students, €3.30 for seniors and €7 for adults. You can get to the site by taking the metro (Line 4 - Direction: Porte d'Orleans , Station: Denfert Rochereau).The Catacombs is definitely not for those who are faint of heart, elderly, young children, claustrophobic, or basically anyone who can’t handle narrow steep winding steps. You need not to worry about heat because it is very cool down in the tunnels, which is a gre...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 20, 2007

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

Palace of Versailles (Chateau de Versailles)

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Attraction | "Château de Versailles"

Palace of Versailles (Chateau de Versailles) Photo, Versailles, France
Quote:
Everyone says that a trip to Paris is not complete without a trip to Versailles, especially if you want to get away from the endless amount of museums in Paris. The best way to get to Versailles is by RER (Line C5, direction Rive-Gauche). You can purchase a round-trip ticket (€5.50) at any metro station (using an agent at a ticket booth). The train takes about 30 minutes each way then it’s a short 5-10 minute walk to get to the gates of Versailles Palace. Admission to the Palace is included in the Paris Museum Pass but does not include Marie-Antoinette’s Apartments or basically anything outside of the main chateau. You must pay an extra €7 for Marie-Antoinette’s estate and €2 for the apartments of the...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 20, 2007

Palace of Versailles (Chateau de Versailles)
20 Km Sw Of Paris
Versailles, France
01 30 83 78 00

Musée du Louvre

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Attraction

Musée du Louvre Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
What’s a visit to Paris without seeing the Louvre? The Louvre is essentially the most famous museum in the world and also home to the renowned Mona Lisa painting. For Da Vinci Code buffs, this is a must-see as well! Located in the 1e arrondissement, it is accessible by metro (Lines 1). The museum is open except on Tuesdays and national holidays from 9am to 6pm. If you want to beat the crowds and you don’t plan on seeing every little thing, show up on Wednesday and Friday evenings when it’s opened till 10pm. For budget-conscious travellers, the museum is free on the 1st Sunday of every month but beware, these special days are usually the most jam-packed! Admission prices are as follow: €9 regular admis...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2007

Musée du Louvre
99, rue de Rivoli
Paris, France 75001
+33 (1) 40 20 51 51

Sleeping in Orly Airport

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Story/Tip

Quote:
So you have an early morning flight and you want to save money by sleeping in the airport? No problem! I booked tickets for an EasyJet flight from Paris Orly to Rome Ciampino and our flight was at 7am. That meant we had to check in around 5am if we wanted to get priority boarding (long story). We didn’t want to spend any unnecessary money for another night at a hotel plus a taxi. Sure, people will tell you that taking a taxi is your best option but don’t forget, there are special rates for off-peak hours, especially at the crack of dawn. We checked out of our hotel in the morning and headed to Gare d’Austerlitz train station (Metro Lines 5 and 10 and RER-C). That particular train station is cl...Read More