We live in California so have to fly over the entire United States, the Atlantic, Ireland, the UK and part of France before landing in Paris the day after we started. Needless to say, there is a jet lag problem. The easiest way to overcome jet lag (for us) is to start walking and Paris is the perfect place to do this.
Where we start depends on where we stay, but often we start by walking to Notre Dame Cathedral just to make sure it's still there. Then we walk along the Seine watching the tour boats go by with people waving. We'll walk up the Ile de la Cite to the end, cut through Place Dauphine, the hidden square most people never find and on to Pont Neuf. There we cross to the Quai de Louvre and walk towards the Louvre, cut through the Cour Carree, out into the Cour Napoleon with the famous Pei Pyramid and under the Arc du Carrousel. If the little Paul's stand is open, I'll get a coffee and then we walk through the Tuileries enjoying the antics of the many people there. At the Place de la Concorde we turn south and cross the Pont de la Concorde and start back down the other side of the Seine toward the Musee d'Orsay. We wander on into the Luxembourg Gardens and then head off to Place St. Sulpice near our favorite restaurant. By then we're ready for a meal and a rest. Afterwards, we usually take the Metro back to the hotel and sleep like babies. It's a good introduction to our favorite city after being gone for a while.
Fondest memory: Many many memories and most have been shared elsewhere on this site.
What do I miss the most? Paris. When I'm not there, I miss Paris. The entire city and all the people in it; I miss them.
One of my favorite things to do in Paris is just walk around with no agenda and exploring new places. As many times as I've been here there are still areas that I've yet to explore and walking allows me to do just that.
Sometimes I grab a good map and figure out my route, what I would like to see, do and explore, or I just head out with no plans whatsoever.
In this photo you can see that I'm in deep thought trying to figure out exactly where I wanted to go as our time here was limited. We decided to visit the Marais.
Fondest memory: I do a lot of walking, and anyone that has traveled with me will attest that all my exploring in a city like Paris is almost always done on foot. You get the best experience of the city when you put your two feet to work.
Even before going to Paris (for the first time) I knew that a) I didn’t want to prepare a busy agenda too ambitious to ever realize, b) Set objectives in terms of what I would see and/or visit, c) First, and foremost, I wanted to simply enjoy the city, to walk along its streets, sit on benches, just look at it and marvel at its beauty. This last thing being something I want to do with any place that I visit.
I knew I wanted to... Just walk and look, and enjoy the feeling of being in Paris, of being one more person to look at the lovely architecture and to be overwhelmed by its grand spirit.
So yes, the very first thing I would suggest anyone to do, especially when visiting Paris for the first time, is to take a day (or two) and just walk around and indulge in the visual pleasures. Nothing more. No rush to get to the Eiffel tower, no waiting in lines in museums, nothing like that.
Suggestions: a stroll along Rue de Rivoli to Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville, and then go down to Quai de Gesvres, continue along Rue de la Cité and you would reach Notre Dame.
Here is my standard first reply for questions such as yours
1) Eat Good Food - What do you want to eat? What do you mean by good?
2) Good Time at Night - What is your view of a good time?
3) Reasonably priced places to drink and dine - What does reasonably priced mean to you?
My answers would probably we different then yours on all 3 as my wife and I are a tad older and in fact have 4 children all older then you. I probably couldn't even get the same answers from all 4 of my kids (young adults) if they were all going to Paris for 3 days.
Let us know. If I can't assist you others here will be more then helpful. But help direct their answers with answering the questions. Otherwise you might get everybodies personal opinion.
With that being said here are a couple of potential things for you to do. We have been in Paris twice in the past couple of years and were just there for 4 days last month.
1) A cruise on the Seine River either a dinner cruise or just a regular cruise without a meal.
2) Find some hidden parks or well known parks and walk through them and have a picnic
3) Buy some bread and pastry just about anywhere in Paris. YUM
That will get you started.
There are always events going on in Paris and around.
Many are free and change every week.
You can have a look at the website autour2moi.fr ("around me" in French) which shows an
Interactive map of all events in Paris. (in French but still useful)
Exists also on mobiles (search "autour2moi" ) : useful when you want to know whats going on around you.
Have a nice trip.
Pont Alexandre III : with its Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs and winged horses at either end, was built between 1896 and 1900.
The Pont Alexandre III connects the Grand and Petit Palais on the right bank with the Hotel des Invalides on the left bank.
Fondest memory: Pont Alexandre III is the most ornate, extravagant bridge in Paris...
The first stone was laid by the Russian Tsar Nicolay II in Oct.1896. The bridge was to symbolize Russian-French friendship and was named after his father Tsar Alexander III.
I spent a day in Paris in 2009. On my way from Munich to New Delhi , I took a detour in Paris. I just had to see the Eiffel and had heard a lot about cabaret at The LIDO. I used a day pass for metro, the underground railway. It was efficient but filthy. One needs to see the Delhi Metro in India, far superior to the Paris one. But it was well connected and comfortable. I picked up a map and had done some homework to catch as many places as I could.
Fondest memory: Along the Seine, it is a beautiful walk. I had a rucksack and a waterbottle with me. In Sept , the weather was pleasant. The view from the Eiffel is beautiful. Also, the Arc de Troimphe was nice. The Champs De Elysee is an avenue to see and did a lot of window shopping. I had a chance to drive an F1 car with a simulator(not on a driving track) at the Renault showroom. Also took a picture there. It would be better to take advance tickets for the Eiffel. I climbed the till the second level on my own.
At night there was a huge queue outside The Lido. I had not expected people to be in a jacket waiting for almost two hours before the show. But the show was worth every Euro I spent on it.
I was staying at the Holiday Inn close to the airport so only problem I had was after the Lido show at 2am , there was no public transport to take me to my hotel. So, took a cab which took care of all the savings I had done in the day :-)
I Was in Paris for 3 days in May 2009. First day hot as *%*$ second day poured rain. Last day drizzle....prepare for all "changeable weather".
Fondest memory: This little restuarnt by my hotel. The waitress was so sweet to me whenever she served me my dish she would say "Oooh La La". I loved this place so much I ate there 3 nights in a row
Paris is a lot more do-able on a budget than most people think. You just need to know where the "bon addresses" are.
Basically anytime you venture into 11eme, 20eme and 19eme, prices fall dramatically. Do not eat near the louvre, it'd break the bank. right outside of the metro exit La Cluny there is an excellent creperie stand which you can get an awesome crepe for under 3euros, make sure you get out the exit of the musee de cluny though. drinking a coffee (mind you, an "expresso", not your crazy starbucks size coffee) au bar instead of in the salle (so drinking at the bar or sitting down in the room) will cost you significantly less (say 1 euros vs. 2!). the menu for these drinks are usually behind the bar. Water should always come for free at any restaurant, and in the st-michel area, there are more than enough touristy restaurants that offer a full 3 course 10-15 euros meals. Seriously those are not bad. If you are under 25 years old, during the weekend buy the carnet des jeunes (or passe de jeunes, i forgot!), which should cost you 3.25 euros per day for UNLIMITED travels on the metro, bus and RER and the best is- it includes zone 3!
If you fly into the orly airport, do not take the high speed orly rail, take the bus which is a few euros cheaper and gets you straight into metro denfert rochereau. However, if you fly into CDG, im pretty sure the RER is cheaper than the CDG express bus (Roissy bus), but it does take you straight to Opera area.
In each area there's a steal. Here's a few secret hiding places to check out good and cheap restaurants: metro Belleville, Place d'italie, Arts & Metier- all areas with a sizable Asian community, where usually good food and cheap supermarkets are right around. Metro strasbourg-st-denis and chateau d'eau have plenty of cheap restos as well.
Shopping in supermarkets for picnics will also be moeny-saving for you, but try to go for franprix, ED, supermarchés de paris, avoid monoprix. Weekend markets in certain areas (not all, mostly in the east. basically west of metro tuileries things get expensive) will be very cheap and offer you a wonderful glimpse into parisian lifestyle. My favourite market used to be the saturday market off of metro Avron, awesomely cheap, fresh, and very fun. Make sure you check the back part of the market where its mostly Arab vendors, and their products are cheaper.
Go also to porte de clignancourt on sundays for their famous flea market. i never managed to go there but my friends always say its fun.
Another fun area to visit is the bank of canal st martin. On a beautiful day i used to go with friends for an after-work drink and picnic, lots of little cafes, and the side near metro Jaures has a very cool student bar where you drink sitting outside.
Aim for happy hours in most parisian bars and you'll enjoy a nice beer or two.
Buy your daily grub in patisseries - baguettes will fill you up easy and cost you no more than a euro the whole piece. Or, buy a freshly made sandwich in any patisserie.
Rue du cheval blanc (i think) in bastille area is a whole street full of bars and i find their drink prices very reasonable.
If all else fails, Mickey D's does offer a dollar menu, and FREE wifi (in certain ones, not all of them. Also no plugs in restaurants, charge your laptop well before bringing it in).
Surely many will argue that people come to paris to see FRENCH CULTURE, not ASIAN culture or likewise, but after living 2 years in Paris on a 250 Euros budget (whats left after paying rent and transport), i find these areas fascinating, bursting with activity, plenty of cool things to see and lots of fun.
Fondest memory: I really miss how the moment I stepped out of my door something is happening. Either its a café with people sitting and conversing, basking in the sun or just a beautiful quiet street unfolding in front of you. I love how the city is so well connected, modern and historical at the same time. I love the way they take their time eating lunch. I love the smell of fresh bread around the corner. I don't love the high prices, I don't love the sometimes (and yes its true) snobbishness of Parisians, how blasé they are, but I do appreciate their hard-working style, and those are some of the reasons that I love Paris.
For those that are interested in the b and w photography of Paris from days gone by, there are a couple of exhibitions on in Paris at the moment by two of the "humanist" photographers of the 50's, one more well known than the other and two different styles, but very well worth the time to have a look whilst in Paris this early Spring.
Robert Doisneau - exhibition at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, 2 impasse Lebouis 75014 Paris until the 18th April 2010 - Tuesday -Sunday 13h00 - 18h30 except Saturdays open from 11h00 - 18h45. Entrance is between 3 to 6 euros. The Wednesday evening also from 18h30 - 20h00 and is free. Nearest metro is Gaité.
"Izis" Bidermanis - exhibition at the Hotel de Ville de Paris, 5 rue Lobau 75004 Paris until the 29th May 2010 - Every day except Sundays and Bank holidays from10h00 - 19h00 and entrance is free. Nearest metro is the Hotel de Ville.
5 Reviews and 727 Opinions The Four Seasons George V is truly one of the world's great hotels. I really, really love to stay...
Saint James Paris Paris
1 Review and 160 Opinions Saint James is a beautifull place, oase of silence in the middle of Paris. Quietly good service,...
Hotel Relais Bosquet Paris
8 Reviews and 903 Opinions I know Hotel Relais Bosquet for a long time and it always been a very satisfying hotel. The care of...