My feed

to access all these features

Use our Travel forum for recommendations on everything from day trips to the best family-friendly holiday destinations.


One day in Paris - advice please?

23 replies

Janh · 03/02/2004 16:26

A friend and I are having a week in France at halfterm including a day in Paris, starting and finishing at Montparnasse. (No kids! How good's that? )

The day will be c 9.30am - 6pm. Can anybody recommend a leisurely wander that takes in all the best bits and leaves plenty of time for wilting in cafes?


OP posts:
Nicksie · 03/02/2004 16:50

Message withdrawn

Thomcat · 03/02/2004 16:57

No way you have to go to the louve man - it's beautiful. Just run there, run round and do 3 key bits like the Monalisa and stuff.

Once it's dark go to the Artist Sqaure in.... oh what;s the areas Montparnasse is it??? Anyway - walk round there - it's fun and lovely and then walk down round the corner to Sacre Couer - it's beautiful when it's all it up.

Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame didn't turn me on half as much as Sacre couer (sp?) and the Lourve.

Have a lovely time.
D and I are back there in the spring - I can't wait.

CountessDracula · 03/02/2004 17:03

Artist square is in Montmartre and is horrifically touristy!

My favorite tourist place in Paris is the Sainte Chapelle on the Ile de la Cite. I went there with no real expectations and was gobsmacked. If it's a sunny day all the better as it has the most amazing stained glass I've ever seen.

Nicksie · 03/02/2004 17:05

Message withdrawn

Thomcat · 03/02/2004 17:15

It is touristy yes, but still great with fab bars and stuff and Sacre Coeur is beautiful and I don?t think it should be missed, personally speaking like

I've never actually queued for the louvre Nicksie - I must have been v lucky.

I?ll check out the place you recommend when I go Drac. Been to Paris 4 or 5 times so it's nice to find somewhere new to go - well done for starting thread Janh - it's benefited me too!

CountessDracula · 03/02/2004 17:19

Last time I was there TC all the restaurants were just so awful and they really didn't bother to try and do any nice food or be friendly as they knew they would get the business anyway - we got on the bus and went down to the Marais for lunch instead!

CountessDracula · 03/02/2004 17:20

Oh yes but the view from the Sacre Coeur is indeed magnificent.

StressyHead · 03/02/2004 17:20

message withdrawn

Janh · 03/02/2004 17:40

Oooh, thank you ladeez, lots of lovely ideas here!

TC, the last time I went to Paris I was a mere child - well, a bit younger than you are now anyway! - and I went to Sacre Coeur and Montmartre and they are fun and lovely! Bit of a climb though IIRC - someone will have to push me up.

We're actually going on Sat 14th, ie Valentine's - friend was saying it's a bit of a waste really, going with each other . Last time I went I could have acquired some company quite easily but I'm invisible now...sigh.

Thanks for all the suggestions! Nicksie, the Bateau Rouge sounds good (I always like things where you can sit down). If we went straight to the Louvre at 9.30 - or 10, prob - would we still have to queue for ages? I love the Impressionists so will defo go to Musee d'Orsay; would like to see Notre Dame again (can you pick up a Bateau Rouge there?), is the Sainte Chapelle near there?

CD, any specific recommendations for lunch? (What is the Marais?)

SH, yes, it is me that's going to Poitiers - although not in P, not even for the train (we're getting the TGV from Chatellerault which is nearer, ds2 is dead jealous, he's always wanted to go on one) but I'll see if we can spend a bit of time there and tell you about it (are you going to Futuroscope?)

OP posts:
CountessDracula · 03/02/2004 17:43

Sainte Chapelle between Notre Dame and the Palais du Justice or whatever it's called, on the same island.

The Marais is the gay district, good fun and some nice restaurants though couldn't tell you the names of any I'm afraid.

The Quartier Latin is always good for a meal though be careful as there are some distinctly iffy places there too!

StressyHead · 03/02/2004 17:45

message withdrawn

Thomcat · 03/02/2004 17:47

Well Janh - i hope you and your freind have the most lovely day and I look forward to hearing all about it on your return. xx PS Sacre Coeur has a cable car!

hermykne · 03/02/2004 19:05

heres a few more bits

i dont know if the palais royale was mentioned beside the louvre, really nice to walk thru with all the fountains going.quaint shops under the arches.

in the marais district there a lots of trendy shops along rue des frances bourgeois, rue de sevigne, where the musee carnavalet is, rue de vielle temple and rue des rosiers . place des vosges have some nice cafes and restaurants. place du marche st catherine has about 5/6 restaurants all open onto the sq and its really nice for lunch. thats where i'd head to.

if you dont make it up to sacre couer, the BHV departemt store, on rue de rivoli, has a brillant view of paris from its rooftop terrace (as long as there is no mist) and lovely nostalgic cafe! nice ice cream/ sorbets. and you can shop on your way down or up!

on the southside of the river in the st germain district, there are umpteen restaurants around the streets of rue seine, rue benoit, all mixed prices and fare.

for an afternoon cafe in that area you cant miss la palette on rue de seine. nice restaurant just beside it too.

then further west on the same side, place st sulpice is v nice, with great shops in the area (rue du cherche midi for shops, mise en demure interiors at the end of this sreet) and le bon marche (divine) department store around one of the corners.

for an interesting walk pick a fri or sat for the rue mouffetard also on the sth side, its got a great st market and some really great cheese etc shops the whole down it and nice cafes and creperies on the sq for a little rest! there is also an old coliseum (arene de lutece)nearby and i think its signposted .

sth side gardens the jardin du luxembourg is lovely with nice interiors shops along rue des medicis.

bateauxmouche is a good idea if time ltd.

have a lovely time!

Janh · 03/02/2004 19:13

Thanks, hermykne! That's fantastic! (Have you lived there or something?)

OP posts:
hermykne · 03/02/2004 20:14

i have been going to paris for years and know it pretty well at this stage, at one point ofr my work when i woked, i was there 3/4 times a year so it was just brillant.
i love it, of course i cant remember restaurant naes but if i think of them in the meantime i'll post them for you, but i dont think you can go wrong with most true parisian cafes/bar/restaurants.

my dh said to me yesterday do you think we'll ever get back there to paris and milan, we have a dd of 16mths and one on the way, oh some day i hummed.................

hermykne · 05/02/2004 20:32

its la samaritaine department store for the rooftop view and restaurant! mulling it over in my head while going to sleep last night!

Janh · 10/02/2004 20:13

Hi all!

Have just printed this whole thread off for ref when there - the weather forecast is good, sunny and not too cold (depends whether you believe the BBC or the Weather Channel!)

Hermykne, thanks for your updates. I'm sure you will get back there, when your dd-and-one-on-the-way are older, and won't they be impressed when you whirl them around and know where everything is!

OP posts:
JanZ · 11/02/2004 12:56

Janh - I hope you have another a look at this thread before you go!

I would strongly advise getting a carte musee if you are planning on visiting more than one museum or tourist attraction. Apart from saving you money (obviously dependent on how many places you visit), its BIG advantage is that you can bypass the queues - important if you just have a day. There is a special entrance at the Louvre (in one of the side passages - going through to the street on the RIGHT bank) and at the Musee d'Orsay (our favourite) you can just go straight to the front of the queue and wave the card.

You can buy it at the train station and at the main metro stations (I think we bought ours at Notre dame St Michel - or it might even have been at the Louvre metro station) and you can get one that is just valid for the one day. Well worth it - for the queue jumping alone!

We're just back from a week's skiing and had an afternoon and evening in Paris on the way there(flew to Paris and then got a couchette) and a day on the way back. However, we didn't need a carte musee, even though we spent all Sunday morning in the Musee d'Orsay as it was the first Sunday of the month and therefore free!

Paris was lovely - a LOT quieter than in the summer, but with a nice relaxed feeling. We had a lovely coffee (going) and lunch (coming back) in the Cafe Panis - which is on the Left Bank, just opposite the "front" edge of Notre Dame. The service was friendly (not always the case in Paris) and the food was good and not TOO expensive, given the location. It was lovely to sit and just watch the world go by. Choose the comfy seats - they were well designed to be good for both relaxing and reading a book and for eating!

Enjoy yourself!

Janh · 12/02/2004 08:54

Phew - just caught it! Thank you very much, JanZ, for all that, esp the carte musee and the cafe.

We're setting off at lunchtime - getting excited now! (Also panicking about what they'll get up to here when I'm gone!)

OP posts:
hermykne · 19/02/2004 19:33

how was your trip?

lilibet · 20/02/2004 13:02


come on, fill us in?

JanZ · 24/02/2004 16:58

Janh - how was your trip? Did you have a good time? What did you get up to? And how did the family cope while you were away?!

Janh · 26/02/2004 10:36

Oooh - bonjour, mesdames! Don't know how I missed this.

Well, we did have a wonderful day though didn't manage to get to half the places we'd hoped - partly because we underestimated the distances in our little guide book and walked far too much (my poor feet!)

Looking up from underneath the Eiffel Tower put us off the idea of going up it and we managed to resist the models for 1 euro (can those guys really make a living doing that???)

Jan, we couldn't find the Tourist Inf at Montparnasse so didn't manage the carte musee - however the queue at Musee d'Orsay was only 25 mins, not too bad, and lots of entertainment in the queue (buskers, awful paintings, hot chestnuts in dustbin lids) so it went quickly. Loved the contents but it was quite crowded - can't imagine what it would be like in the summer! - so bought an extensive guide book to look at later.

We spent an interesting half-hour getting lost in the Metro - we had the Penguin Essential Guide, it has the Metro map reproduced to look like the Tube map, but all the colours were wrong! Worked it out eventually and had the pleasure of an accordion busker right in front of us - didn't know where to look! (Didn't give him any money either. How mean.) We were heading for the Champs Elysees but by the time we emerged it was too late so we had to head back for the train.

Accidentally missed Sainte Chapelle - really meant to go but got distracted by hunger and it wasn't sunny anyway. Did shuffle round Notre Dame though and then had a nice lunch at Jan's Cafe Panis - the first menu we picked up was in English, that is really tourist friendly!

Basically though one day is not nearly enough when you haven't been for so long and don't know your way around. I would love to go again for longer.

The rest of the time we just milled about in the country - went for walks, visited a couple of natives, cut the grass (which was fun for me because we don't have a garden), went to Chatellerault (v pretty) on the Monday when nearly everything was shut, curses, and had nice winey evenings watching old videos!

Stressy/Galaxy, we didn't actually go to Poitiers so can't help with that but it is a very pleasant and attractive area - no dramatic scenery but nice. Also, quite a few Brits live there because it's about as far south as you can go for good weather and still get R4 LW! So definitely worth considering. (We drove back via Cher, which is where I went on an exchange when I was 16 - we went to the actual village and it was a total timewarp, loads of new houses and I didn't recognise a thing and couldn't find the house where I stayed - very disappointing. But the scenery was not as nice as Vienne.)

Who's next to go? Is it Thomcat?

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.