Wednesday, February 9, 2011

To Paris!

Last week I finalized my summer travel plans to France; I'll be heading to Annecy in July, returning in August.  I can't wait to see my sister and her family, and the friends I've made over the years.

Plus, I've planned a little side trip to Paris--three days in the City of Lights!  I'll be traveling with a friend who has never been to Paris, so, it will be like experiencing it again for the first time.

Since we'll be there for just a few days, renting an apartment isn't an option; most apartments rent for a minimum of five days.  But, I think I've found a small hotel, close to many of the sights a first-time visitor will want to see.

If you had three days to spend in Paris, where would you stay, where would you eat, and what would you see?


  1. If I was only there for a few days I would want to take one day and just sit at one of the larger beautiful parks (one that has benches, but also plenty of area for boule and football) and just observe the people. The chic women walking. The dapper gentlemen watching them. The young guys playing football. The old men and then petanque.

  2. This is a tough question because there is so much to see and do. I felt most at peace and content sitting on a bench in the park behind Notre Dame watching the people and enjoying the sunlight. Then I would walk over to the Isle St. Louis and walk around or sit at a cafe. I would want to go to Luxembourg Gardens, the Palais Royale, have dinner at Le Grand Colbert behind the Palais Royale, have a glass of wine at Le Grand Fils et Fils, take a boat ride on the Seine, stare in awe at the gorgeous bridges, watch the Eiffel tower light up at night from one of those bridges, and eat a croissant.

    I would not go visit the eiffel tower or visit a museum. I wouldn't have a schedule, but go with the flow and explore.

  3. Stephanie and Kalee,
    I LOVE your suggestion of people watching! Of course the impulse is to see as much as possible, but a way to really soak in the city is to observe the people . . .

    Steph, have you dined at Le Grand Colbert? Is it intimidating?

  4. Yay! I'm so glad you get to go this summer!

  5. Oh! I have such envy! This sounds wonderful! I dream of wasting an afternoon at a very she-she (sp?) cafe sipping cafe au lait and watching the world go by. Sheer bliss!

  6. wish I was going too! I've only ever been to Paris in the winter! I would stay at a boutique hotel on the Rue Montorgueil, and walk across to Stohrer for morning macarons (or croissants if you can tolerate gluten)visit the boucherie/fromagerie/wine shops, pack a picnic and walk. I might walk up to Montmartre, and I would certainly walk along the Seine and the Tuileries. If I were to visit a museum I would go for the Orangerie in the Tuileries to see Monet's water lilies and a few nice impressionist works downstairs. Then I might take in the Rodin Museum.. Have some gallettes de sarrasin at Aux Ducs de Bourgone..if you can stand the souvenir sellers, then take the stairs up the Eiffel Tower at night- I love the view at night even though the souvenir sellers make me crazy. I have other restaurant recommendations on my blog you can search for Paris, and it will pop up. Have the best of times!

  7. A. - I walked by Le Grand Colbert, stared in the window, and wanted to go back, but it was a strange time of day when I found it. I never did go back and I regret it. It's easy to find, I can give you step by step directions, it's like a photographic memory I suddenly have when it comes to Paris.

  8. If I were there on a weekend I'd make sure I'd go to the Vanve flea market on the Saturday morning. And St Chapelle afterwards and then I'd go to my favourite wine bar on Rue Mouffetard called Le Verre a Pied where you can sit out the front you can watch the world go by.

  9. Thank you Jennifer. Yes, I will definitely check out the recommendations on your blog, though I fear your tastes are more refined than mine!

    Jo, your comment brought back good memories. I have been to a concert at St. Chapelle--we took our son when he was twelve; that experience will be with us forever. And thank you for the wine bar recommendation!

    Steph, I know exactly where Le Grand Colbert is, but I have always been too intimidated to dine there, especially when my son was young. The history, the reputation, the ambience . . . but maybe this will be the trip to give it a try?

  10. we probably ate more crepes than anything- but we did take our girls to a very very nice restaurant- we wanted them (as well as ourselves) to have a super fancy dining experience. They totally did great- they're 9 & 5... You should absolutely take your son to le Grand Colbert, or some other place like it- what a memory- and what great food!

  11. Definitely walk, walk, walk around. Get a falafel in the Marais. Take in the Musee de Rodin. Then, after a day of walking, hop on a cruise of the Seine. This sounds really touristy, but it's actually a great way to see the city and its architecture in a different way. I'd suggest a cruise in the early evening when the sun is still up, but glinting off all the beautiful bridges over the Seine. It's not to be missed!

  12. The Seine cruise is a lot of fun at night. We did this on our most recent trip, when we took our then eight-year-old son. It's a very touristique thing to do, but very enjoyable. The city is gorgeous at night.

    I am a freak for Proust, so I would take the Proust "walks" that I have found online. I would also make the day trip out to Illiers-Combray near Chartres, where Proust spent his childhood summers.

    But excluding Proust walks, here's my plan:

    Tea at Laduree (hold the macarons; am I the only one on earth who hates them?)

    Palais Royal

    Chanel and Hermès to look at new stuff, then to one of les puces to find vintage fashion

    Stocking up on goods at Monoprix and pharmacies

    Never been to the Musee Rodin -- must go!

    Shooting some iconic photos of the stairways of Montmartre

    Tea at Angelina with my friend Tish from A Femme d'Une Certain Age

    Cafe Le Select

  13. And Sainte-Chappelle. Almost forgot. Not too much for three days!

  14. Marsi, it's so great to hear from you! Your suggestions--along with everyone else's--are terrific.

    I've booked a small hotel in the 7th arr; a room facing the courtyard and with a view of the Eiffel Tower. The hotel is less than a thirty minute walk to many favorites--Musée Rodin, Champs-Elysées--and close to Metro.

    I'll visit the pharmacie and Monoprix--several times--while in Annecy! But an early evening cruise on a bateau-mouche is on my list, and maybe a meal at Le Grand Colbert (if I can work up the nerve!)

    And I love the idea of just hanging out--parks, cafes--and people watching.

  15. How wonderful, I want to get back to Annecy!