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The lovely, lovely people at Eurostar have given me 2 return tickets (we're off to Paris). I'm taking ds for October half term so I need some help...

(29 Posts)
AvenaLife Sun 27-Jul-08 23:35:52

can anyone recommend a cheap, basic hotel/bed and breakfast that's clean and things that a 9 year old might like to do? I've been told that they have some B&B's where the owner will be like a parisian tour guide?
It's our very first holiday and I want to make sure he has a great time.
Are the french understanding of excitable children? We don't speak alot of french so does anyone know if they are more tolerant if you try?

Thanks in advance.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 28-Jul-08 16:10:07

In Paris, people are often a bit rushed, not very patient.

I'd look on tripadvisor or similar to find B+B options. There are lots of fine 2* hotels in Paris, which could work fine, not much in the way of tour guides, though.

What sort of stuff is he interested in?

prettybird Mon 28-Jul-08 16:14:49

Can't help much with the hotel recommendation - stayed in a great wee place which was very reasonable in 2000 when I was heavily preganant with ds but can't remember the details. it was in the 14eme arrondissment and right besdie a street with loads of restaurants.

Ds is 7 going on 8 and has been through Paris loads of times. he loves the Eiffel tower - don't underestimate the kitchy tourist things. He also enjoys going around Notre Dame and seeing some of the "old" things. I'm sure if we'd ever had time to go up the towers, he's have loved the gargoyles.

I'm sure there have been loads of other recommendations for thigsnt od with kids - have you searched on "Paris"?

Bink Mon 28-Jul-08 16:34:14

We did a tiny self-catering attic in Marais (search in archives, you'll find other suggestions too), which was just perfect for us - you could collapse back home mid-afternoon if you needed to, and meals were obviously all no effort.

The people in shops/museums etc. were all lovely to ds & dd (then 8 and just 7) - we taught them some basics (thank you & so on) & reminded them that in France people really appreciate children remembering to use "madame" & "monsieur" (eg "Merci Madame!"). They were much much nicer than I expected them to be.

Sciency 9yo would like the Musée des Arts et Métiers - we had to allow ds about an hour in each gallery. Pascal's calculator, invented in 17th c; a Kray Super-Computer; a roomful of bizarre and faintly Angela Carter automata; ancient tramlines throughout the building dating from when it was a warehouse; a chapel dedicated to the history of the motorcar and a Foucault's pendulum. It was also strangely empty & peaceful; and had a nice restaurant attached.

AvenaLife Mon 28-Jul-08 22:20:45

Thankyou for all of your suggestions. ds likes science so I'll take him there and the Louvre. No disney though. I'd rather stay in a B&B then a hotel so I'll have a look around.

Thankyou for all your help. smile

bigfatpieceofchocolate Mon 28-Jul-08 22:58:04

If you are planning to have a few evenings outpeople watching rather than staying in and want to be somewhere lively I would recommend staying in St.Michel in the Latin Quarter. It is an area where you can step out of your hotel room in the evening and there is a lot going on and you feel safe wandering around (lots of coffee shops and restaurants open late etc). It is also completely central for tourist attraction and on the metro (stop - St.Michel).

AvenaLife Mon 28-Jul-08 23:01:51

ds is a bit of an intellectual/philosopher. I know that there's an area with book shops, cafe's etc full of people like this but I'm not sure where. My neighbour warned me off the Latin Quarter. She said it was full of muggers and prostitutes. hmm I may have to re-think this. Thanks. smile

harpomarx Mon 28-Jul-08 23:02:42

haven't been for years, but remember going to the Pompidou Centre as kids - don't know how much we got out of the exhibitions but seem to remember loving the escalator and all the stuff going on outside (was probably tedious mime artists and human statues but it pleased us...). Liked the cute little shops around there too, do 9 year old boys do shops?

going on the metro was cool as were all the obvious touristy things such as Montmartre.

harpomarx Mon 28-Jul-08 23:03:38

ooh, Avena, your neighbour sounds like a doom-monger. Ignore her!

AvenaLife Mon 28-Jul-08 23:06:57

ds hates shops unless he's got a book and a bag of sweets wink. I'd like to find a nice cafe so we can earwig on the intellectual side of Paris. I know it exists. Somewhere.

She warned me off the Metro aswell. Is it as bad as London Underground?

harpomarx Mon 28-Jul-08 23:08:57

repeat after me, Avena, "I will not listen to my paranoid helpful neighbour anymore"


AvenaLife Mon 28-Jul-08 23:11:58

PMSL! "I will not listen to my paranoid helpful neighbour anymore".

It sounds like just what I'm looking for. There must be loads of bright sparks for ds to chat to. Paris won't know what's hit them. grin

HongKongFoeey Mon 28-Jul-08 23:12:44

why did they give you the tickets? did pay for them?

WendyWeber Mon 28-Jul-08 23:14:25

cod took her 8-yr-old there a bit ago - lots of helpful inf on her thread smile

AvenaLife Mon 28-Jul-08 23:15:14

I won them in a draw. They were giving away a pair every day for a week and we on saturdays. Ds has never had a holiday before. He was so happy he cried. I just have to sort out passports and accomodation.

AvenaLife Mon 28-Jul-08 23:15:43

Thanks Wendy.

harpomarx Mon 28-Jul-08 23:22:31

do you know, I've never been to the Louvre, Avena. We did go to the Musee d'Orsay though, which I would recommend if you want to take ds to an art gallery. It has lots of famous Impressionist works so he would see stuff he might recognise.

He will love Paris, Avena, hope you all have a great time and don't forget to send your neighbour a postcard featuring prostitutes and muggers (bloodstained perhaps?)

AvenaLife Mon 28-Jul-08 23:27:14

Haaa! grin

He hates religious portraits (being a Jedi) but quite liked the van goughs in the national gallery in London. He had an interesting conversaton that embarassed the hell out of me over the chair picture. We should try the Musee d'Orsay. We've been given an open ticket, we just fill in the dates and send it off. We can stay as long as I can afford so who knows. We have 12 months to go so it doesn't have to be October if the cash doesn't work out. He said he wants to go to the cemetary! hmm

harpomarx Mon 28-Jul-08 23:29:19

Pere Lachaise cemetery is cool, Avena, go there! - wonder if the hippies still hang out by Jim Morrison's grave?

AvenaLife Mon 28-Jul-08 23:35:10


science museum
art gallery
there's a kids play area somewhere
eifel tower
gargoils at notre dame (sp?)
He likes classical music so there might be a concert somewhere.
pompidou centre

versailles sounds dull.

Can you recommend anything else?

harpomarx Mon 28-Jul-08 23:44:54

your ds sounds a dream to entertain, Avena - classical music, science, cemeteries....!

I kind of fancy Versailles but have not been there so can't comment. Don't know if it would have interested me at that age. There is a Picasso museum - your ds sounds erudite enough to be interested in that (it goes on a bit though....)

My only word of warning to you (I am not turning into paranoid helpful neighbour here) is to be careful of prices if you are on a budget. Drinks (alcohol) can be really expensive in cafes - particularly in touristy areas and particularly if you sit outside. Get ds to have a citron pressé - just water and lemon juice and sugar really but it appealed to me as a kid cos it felt like having a cocktail or something!

Anyway, I am not really qualified for this job having not visited Paris for donkeys, maybe a more expert and recent visitor will turn up soon...

AvenaLife Mon 28-Jul-08 23:54:11

Thanks. You've been really helpful. ds is not your average kid, he's always been very bright and odd. There's a genius behind his enthusiasm just waiting to get out. I see glimpses no and again. I hope Paris can let it out a bit more. I'm not sure about the cemetary though.

harpomarx Tue 29-Jul-08 00:08:32

noooo, really, do go to the cemetery. It is absolutely beautiful and full of history. Montparnasse cemetery too!

AvenaLife Tue 29-Jul-08 00:10:39

It's creepy! Do you know any family friendly youth hostels?

HongKongFoeey Tue 29-Jul-08 09:57:51

when we went ds1 was about 7 and he loved playing with the wooden sail;ing boats on the pond next to the louvre-don't know if that's too babyish?

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