daviation From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 1475 times:
I'm sure this topic has been covered in other threads, but I need some up-to-date information.
I'm planning to join some friends for a short visit to Paris in September. Is this a good month to visit, specifically the climate, service, etc?
I know five days is a short time, but I was able to pack in quite a bit of sightseeing with my daughter in London a couple of years ago. I'd love to visit the English countryside and the South of France someday, but it will have to wait.
Do you have any recommendations for the following:
1. Any particular arrondissement to stay in?
2. Any budget hotels, low-cost restaurants, cafes, etc you would recommend?
3. Is CDG more convenient than ORY? It seems that BA runs some kind of service from EWR to ORY on 757s. What is the deal on that?
My better half and I stayed in this hotel several years ago. Its location is central and it was very affordable indeed. The décor is something from another era, the rooms are small and could be kept in a better state, but the staff were friendly (greeting them with Bonjour! did of course help) and we didn't find anything that would have put us off returning there. In any case, if you use your Paris hotel room for much more than sleeping, you're doing it wrong anyway.
na From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10763 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1400 times:
Quoting daviation (Thread starter): I'm planning to join some friends for a short visit to Paris in September. Is this a good month to visit, specifically the climate, service, etc?
September is a perfect month for Paris.
Quoting daviation (Thread starter): I'd love to visit the English countryside and the South of France someday, but it will have to wait.
Both regions are absolutely worth visiting and among my holiday favourites.
As for your specific questions, I used to visit Paris quite often until about 10 years ago, so my restaurant recommendations would be a bit out of date. Nice areas to stay with affordable hotels: 5, 6, 7 Arr. south of the Seine, the Marais around Place des Vosges, etc.
CDG has better connections than ORY.
Very good advice. Paris is perfect for it.
Although I like arts, in about 15 visits or so I have not been inside the Louvre or the Centre Pompidou, and never climbed the Tour Eiffel, though I have been in plenty of other places of cultural interest, like the Opera Garnier, Sacre Coeur, Napoleon´s tomb or the Musee d´Orsay.
Marais, River Seine, Quartier Latin, Parc des Buttes Chaumont ....
Or less well known but very typical for Paris (IMO): Rue Cler or Rue des Martyrs: Nothing special, but it is so typical for Paris, and I would love living there. Not to mention Rue de la Harpe, but, located between River Seine and Blvd. Saint Germain, it is much more touristy there.
Paris is my favorite city. Enjoy your time, but please do learn some phrases.
Cannot be emphasized enough. Don't over-schedule yourself. Allow time for sitting outside at a corner cafe with a bottle of wine.
The Metro is your friend, and I suggest you look into the various multi-day visitor passes. Some include museum discounts, some have limits on zones, etc. I think we used the Paris Visite pass but pick whatever fits your needs. If you pick a hotel near a Metro station it will make your choice much less crucial.
Indeed. One can do remarkably well with "Bonjour, Monsieur / Madame" immediately upon entering a shop (don't wait for them to greet you!), merci, oui, non, and pardon. Obviously if you can muster a few more phrases, so much the better.
I found Paris to be a perfectly friendly place, but then I tried to act like a guest. (I have a fond memory of an evening at a nondescript corner cafe, where I was sitting a few tables down from a group of loud and annoying travelers of a certain nationality. I speak essentially no French, but got good service and an excellent meal. I rather suspect that they went home and complained of bad food and grumpy service, and they deserved every bit of it.)
Do NOT stay in the 18th, 19th, 20th, 11th (north), 13th (south) and 14th (south). Horrible, horrible places. Montmartre is an enclave in the 18th, worth visiting, but surrounded by a horrible place. I wouldn't go in the 18th, 19th and 20th at night either unless I absolutely have to.
Best yet priciest arrondissements to stay in: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 16th
Best and okay priced arrondissements: 15th, 17th (south), 13th and 14th north, 11th south,
Okay overall: 9th and 10th as long as you stay away from the train stations, 12th
Another technique is to draw a line right bang in the middle of Paris from North to South. Anything West of that line is good, anything East of that line is less good (with some places still being okay). All the while staying away from the ring road.
Quoting daviation (Thread starter): 3. Is CDG more convenient than ORY? It seems that BA runs some kind of service from EWR to ORY on 757s. What is the deal on that?
You will get more flights to CDG but ORY is more practical IMO, if only for the fact that it is closer to Paris.
Honestly, I'd stay away from the trains (RER) - either take the Orlybus or Roissybus (which take you to central Paris), the Air France buses (same thing but a bit pricier) or taxis (which will run you about 50€ to get to central Paris).
Note that for competitive prices, there is a service called Le Cab http://www.lecab.fr on which you can register, book your cab, and pay by credit/debit card up front - so you have no surprises on the price, and you get great service (good black cars + tinted windows + quiet driver in a suit, etc).
Litteraly the best month to visit Paris. It'll be relatively calm (well, for Paris) as everyone gets back to work, the children go back to school, etc. and the weather is still very nice.
Quoting PITingres (Reply 7): Indeed. One can do remarkably well with "Bonjour, Monsieur / Madame" immediately upon entering a shop (don't wait for them to greet you!), merci, oui, non, and pardon. Obviously if you can muster a few more phrases, so much the better.
Confirmed. It WILL make a big change for you. The French do not accept the fact that they're supposed to speak English, and won't unless you make a little effort. If you come in a shop and say, "Bonjour, hum, parlez-vous anglais?" - they will be more than happy to help you. If you barge in speaking English right away you'll get the cold treatment.
Merci! Yes, this is very helpful. I chose the Hotel Home Moderne on the Rue Brancion in the 15th arrondissement. Most reviewers said it has a good combination of price, neighborhood, local cafes and bistros, and access to central Paris.
We chose also to fly Delta from EWR - CDG; it was a bit more than United or BA, but I much prefer the bank of two seats rather than three seats. These flights are on the 767-300, although I've flown transatlantic on 757 and found them to be just fine (as long as there are only two people in the 3-seat bank).
My traveling companions are fluent in French, so that will really help. I remember some of my French from high school and college, so I'll try but my accent is very poor since I'm a native New Yorker!
One odd question: I am an opera buff and enjoy seeing operas in whatever city I'm in. Lucia di Lammermoor is being performed at the Bastille, while Alceste is being performed at the Palais Garnier. I'd much prefer to see a French opera in France, and I heard that the Garnier is really over the top! The tickets are not available yet on the web site. Do you happen to know when these tickets become available for purchase on the internet?
In the meantime, I have to put Paris out of my head because I have an upcoming trip to Hawaii (Big Island) with my son; I need to focus on that trip first.
Aesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6722 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 1117 times:
Quoting AF1624 (Reply 8): Air France buses (same thing but a bit pricier)
Same thing, not really, the Air France ones are coaches not buses, so you get to sit for sure. I have never used Roissybus so can't comment, but the RER is fine and less cramped. If you're 3-4 a taxi might be the most logical.
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