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Paris in October, 2 x DSs (10 & 12), not Disney. Suggestions? Tips?

(16 Posts)
Erebus Sat 06-Aug-11 16:49:46

We are thinking about expanding the boys' cultural horizons grin in the Oct half term by going to Paris for a couple of days.

Can anyone help me with any ideas about:

Where to stay
What to see (inc 'must see's'!
What to read for background
How to get there (we are in Southampton)
Who to book through.

We will be going one step up from budget, iykwim, ie not YHA but a 'deal' at a hotel near the Metro is fine, though we'd pay more to be in closer as we won't be there for long, maybe 3 whole days?

Any additional thoughts gratefully received!

TIA

UsingMainlySpoons Sat 06-Aug-11 18:16:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Herecomesthesciencebint Sat 06-Aug-11 20:45:46

we took DS's last oct (6 and 4) and had a fab time. I know Paris reasinably well tho wich helped but plucked a hotel on line using tripadvisor and it was fine. Most Parisian hotel rooms are tiny tho so watch for tis if you plan to all share one. the other option is a self catering type apartment which are usually good value. Nice areas to stay in are the latin quarter or the marais.

My boys loved taking to cable car up to sacre coeur. Make sure you walk behind it tho to the lovely litle square with all the local artists selling great paintings and doing caricatures.

Its worth doing a days walking to be honest. Start at say the palais de Luxembourg which is really impressive and has a fab adventure playground altho they may be too old. You can watch the very stereotypical frenchmen play boule! From there you can walk down the latin quarter across the river to notre dame. From there walk along the river thru the gardens etc all the way down to the champs elysee. You pass loads of well known areas on the way then.

The metro stations are all pretty near to each other and very easy to navigate.

The smaller museums may be less busy than say the Louvre which has huge queues. There is a Picasso museum in the marais.

Can honestly say its my favourite capital city.

Erebus Sat 06-Aug-11 21:37:28

bint- which hotel did you use, if I might ask?

Thanks for the info.

Figgygirl Sun 07-Aug-11 01:48:43

We fly from Southampton to CDG airport with Flybe. The flight only takes one hour, plus the hour time difference.
To get to your hotel you can either take the train into Paris ( RER line B ) which goes all the way through the centre, so depending on your hotel location you can walk from one of the stops, take a metro or another RER line.
Alternatively you can book a private transfer to meet you at CDG and take you straight to your hotel.
You can also use the Roissybus from CDG - Paris which costs € 10.

Someone asked recently on here about what to see with kids in Paris, so have a look for that thread. Their kids were a bit younger, but some of the suggestions would still apply.

You can also get a lot of help from people on the Trip Advisor Paris forum.

LillianGish Wed 10-Aug-11 21:01:40

I used to live in Paris and my top tip would be to skip the Eiffel Tower (long queues) and go up the Montparnasse Tower instead - lift to the top, no queues, higher than the Eiffel Tower and (this is the best bit) once you are up there you don't have to look at the ugly old thing! Afterwards you can stroll through Montparnasse cemetery (Samuel Beckett - my own personal fave) and into the Luxembourg Gardens (great adventure playground). I would rent an apartment if possible (google apartments to rent or Citadines are very good) - hotel rooms are tiny - then you can have all the fun of going to your neighbourhood market and boulangerie.

Figgygirl Thu 11-Aug-11 04:34:08

You can buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower online to avoid the queue if you wish to go up. You can buy them for the summit or just the 2nd floor. It is interesting walking down through the construction framework. There are toilets, restaurant, cafe and shop on the tower.
I like the views from the top of the Arc De Triomphe and seeing all the roads leading from it. We climbed the steps up, but there is a lift if needed.
Notre Dame Towers are also interesting, seeing the chimera/ gargoyles close up, but there is no lift. You also cannot bypass the queue using a museum pass as you can in some other places.

Erebus Thu 11-Aug-11 19:43:37

Thanks- any other advice anyone?

Lizcat Fri 12-Aug-11 11:10:39

Personally I feel that the Louvre is too big and too busy and much prefer Musee d'Orsay - the impressionist museum. I can remember going for the very first time at 13 and being blown away by these paintings which I still love to this day. So much more colourful and appealing.
As a teenager visiting Paris I enjoyed the Tour de Monparnasse, the Arc de Trimophe, the funiculaire to the Sacer Coeur and Versaille (book tickets online for timed entry).
As a frequent visitor from then till now these are still my favourite places.
Having checked recently the only flights in October from Southampton are to Orly airport with Flybe and times to be honest are not great. We live in Newbury and we do a huge variety visiting our 'french' family - in november this year we will drive to Folkestone and take the Eurotunnel, then easy drive to Paris.

Erebus Fri 12-Aug-11 12:34:20

Great information! Any other thoughts you have would be very welcome, too!

swedie Fri 12-Aug-11 12:40:51

Hi,

We've been to Paris 2 years in a row with our 4 year old and really enjoyed it both times.
Our best bit was the cite des enfants which is a hands on science museum for kids. You pre book so its never too busy, it has a section for under 5s and one for over 5s and also all the standard science museum stuff.
We booked a hotel opposite the park its im and had a family room which worked really well, it was also opposite the tube station. Can't remember the name but if you want it I can look it up. The first itme we went we booked a flat for 2 nights through VRBO which was brilliant, same price as a hotel but wiht loads more space. I'd highly reccomend it and means you can save money on food as you can eat breakfast at home and make packed lunches.
Have fun.

ChippyMinton Fri 12-Aug-11 14:04:25

Novotel Suites at Porte de Montreuil is worth a look. As Paris is small, so it's quick to get into the centre on the Metro. This one is next to a big shoppping centre for water/picnic supplies etc (We stayed at an Etap hotel in nearby recently, which was fine, but the rooms only sleep 3)

Tesco clubcard had a Seine sightseeing trip available the other week.

For the best view of the Eiffel Tower, take the Metro to Trocadero and look at it from the Palais de Chaillot.

Erebus Fri 12-Aug-11 17:26:50

Thanks Chippy- that looks good- but I can't get the site to give me the option of 2 interconnecting rooms! I will have to give them a ring.

ChippyMinton Fri 12-Aug-11 21:50:38

Ah. I suggested that one as I wrongly assumed that you would want just the one room.

Erebus Sat 13-Aug-11 09:19:52

The site does list having '10 connecting rooms' so it ought to be possible, but the way you look up availability is to 'book' as it were and nowhere does it ask if you want interconnecting rooms!

The hotel actually looks ideal, so thanks!

Figgygirl Sun 14-Aug-11 04:12:56

Hotel Exelsior Latin is a 2 star hotel, 20 Rue cujas 75005 Paris.
0033 146 347 950
excelsior5@orange.fr
66 rooms, tv, bath, phone, hairdryer. Doubles, twins, triples, quads.
Near Pantheon, Luxembourg Gardens, Notre Dame, in the Latin Quarter.
20 mins walk Louvre. In a quiet one way street so not noisy.

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