Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:40 PM
Lsura is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Back in the South, y'all
Posts: 6,962

Suggestions for a trip to Paris


So, last Friday I managed to get a round-trip ticket to Paris from Atlanta for less than $300. So, in January I'll be headed there for about 9 days.

I may take 2-3 days and go to London - I've got some friend who live not far outside the city and it would be good to see them for the first time since they visited here. That's not a long train trip and I'll book that as soon as I can confirm with my friends.

The trip's about 7 months out - which is good, it gives me time to plan and save money. The trip is also long enough that I should be able to look beyond the usual tourist destinations. I'm still a tourist and I'm happy to go to (some) of those places, though not all of them.


But there's still plenty of time in Paris, and I'm open to suggestions/tips/etc as I start planning.


(note that key in my planning is getting some basic French phrases down. I work for a university so can take an Intro French class free in the fall semester - plus I'm working on the Duolingo app as well).
__________________
Librarians wield unfathomable power.
-Librarian Avengers
  #2  
Old 06-05-2019, 04:17 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 17,101
Make your friends come visit you in Paris. Nine days is not so long in Paris that I’d be wantin’ to cut it down for a London trip. Nine days in Paris will pass in the twinkling of an eye.
__________________
Uke
  #3  
Old 06-05-2019, 04:25 PM
DPRK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3,299
In a city like that, I would find out what exhibitions are happening at the museums, but I assume you know that.

As for less touristy destinations... if you can find out what happened to "Le Vieux Paris" in the rue de la Verrerie, let me know. That place is (was?) awesome. You had better enjoy singing bal-musette type songs with accordion accompaniment, though.
  #4  
Old 06-05-2019, 04:37 PM
bonzer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: NW5
Posts: 3,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
In a city like that, I would find out what exhibitions are happening at the museums, but I assume you know that.
In terms of exhibitions, the one that will still be running in January is the Louvre's Leonardo da Vinci blockbuster. While the Italian's would beg to differ, this is the year's most anticipated exhibition. It'll sell out very, very quickly once tickets go on sale, so a high degree of advance planning will be required.
  #5  
Old 06-05-2019, 07:12 PM
Icarus's Avatar
Icarus is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In front of my PC, y tu?
Posts: 5,118
I recommend the Marais Food Tour.
  #6  
Old 06-05-2019, 09:30 PM
Graymalkin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 222
If you stay in a hotel and want to sleep, don't stay in one downtown on the Left Bank--Boule' Miche' area--noisy as hell at night.
  #7  
Old 06-05-2019, 09:40 PM
Telemark's Avatar
Telemark is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Yet again, Titletown
Posts: 22,684
What do you like to do? Are you into museums, and if so what kinds? There are lots of choices in Paris; I particularly like the Musee D'Orsay. Some folks like this "Louvre" place. Notre Dame is unfortunately not an option but there are other amazing churches and religious sites in the city. The Catacombs are very interesting if you're into that sort of thing. A dinner cruise on the Seine is fun, IMO.

There are lots of great excursions out of town. Besides Versailles, a trip to some chateau in the Loire Valley, the D-Day beaches (could be an overnight trip), Giverney for Impressionism, and the nearby cities of Riems or Rouen.
  #8  
Old 06-05-2019, 10:29 PM
Chefguy's Avatar
Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 41,949
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
What do you like to do? Are you into museums, and if so what kinds? There are lots of choices in Paris; I particularly like the Musee D'Orsay. Some folks like this "Louvre" place. Notre Dame is unfortunately not an option but there are other amazing churches and religious sites in the city. The Catacombs are very interesting if you're into that sort of thing. A dinner cruise on the Seine is fun, IMO.

There are lots of great excursions out of town. Besides Versailles, a trip to some chateau in the Loire Valley, the D-Day beaches (could be an overnight trip), Giverney for Impressionism, and the nearby cities of Riems or Rouen.
For a church in Paris, I'd suggest Sacre Coeur in the Monmartre district. Perched on a hill with a nice view, plus the district is interesting. And yeah, Reims has a great cathedral.
  #9  
Old 06-05-2019, 10:59 PM
Icarus's Avatar
Icarus is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In front of my PC, y tu?
Posts: 5,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
For a church in Paris, I'd suggest Sacre Coeur in the Monmartre district. Perched on a hill with a nice view, plus the district is interesting. And yeah, Reims has a great cathedral.
Also, check out Sainte-Chapelle, not much to look at on the outside, but stunning stained glass all around.
  #10  
Old 06-06-2019, 02:24 AM
Nava is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 41,874
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
For a church in Paris, I'd suggest Sacre Coeur in the Monmartre district. Perched on a hill with a nice view, plus the district is interesting. And yeah, Reims has a great cathedral.
When I go there, I like to walk from the subway station that's behind it, on Montmartre itself, rather than from the front. You walk uphill a bit through narrow, windy streets, and then walk along the side of what turns out to be the SC itself, into a stunning view. And then you get to walk down those long stairs, which is always better than walking up them


I still haven't bothered enter the SC itself (definitely not my style), but - the view!
__________________
Evidence gathered through the use of science is easily dismissed through the use of idiocy. - Czarcasm.

Last edited by Nava; 06-06-2019 at 02:26 AM.
  #11  
Old 06-06-2019, 06:41 AM
Lsura is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Back in the South, y'all
Posts: 6,962
Thank you all for suggestions so far. Generally, I'm open to anything except clubbing - that's not my cup of tea anywhere I am - so I'm mostly treating this as the adventure that it is. I'm going to plan some specific things, and leave myself open to some serendipity as well.

bonzer thank you specifically for the tip on that exhibition. I'll definitely try to get tickets when they go on sale!
__________________
Librarians wield unfathomable power.
-Librarian Avengers
  #12  
Old 06-06-2019, 07:22 AM
panache45's Avatar
panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 43,836
Pick a hotel that's within a couple of blocks of a Metro station that's a direct line to CDG Airport. Even with your luggage, you won't need to take a taxi.

Don't spend an entire day in the Louvre. Pick one section that you're really interested in, and forget the rest. Instead, go to the Musée d'Orsay. It includes impressionism through art nouveau, and is in an absolutely stunning converted train station. It's my favorite museum in the whole world.

Walk the straight line from the Louvre, through the Tuilerie gardens, and up the Champs d'Élysées, to the Arc de Triomphe. I take this walk every time I'm in Paris.

You can still see at least the façade of Notre Dame and the gargoyles.

Definitely go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It's touristy as hell, but worth it.

And take advantage of all the wonderful street food, especially crepes and croques monsieurs.

Wear well-broken-in comfortable shoes. Pack lots of Moleskin and Molefoam.

Don't be taken in by the gold ring scam.
  #13  
Old 06-06-2019, 08:30 AM
Novelty Bobble is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South East England
Posts: 8,690
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Make your friends come visit you in Paris. Nine days is not so long in Paris that I’d be wantin’ to cut it down for a London trip. Nine days in Paris will pass in the twinkling of an eye.
There is plenty to do in Paris but I'd recommend taking some time out to do the London trip. 9 days in Paris seems like a lot to me. I mean, I like Paris but I think 9 days is a lot in any single city. without a change of scenery.

The Eurostar gets you to London quickly (just over 2 hours) and isn't ridiculously expensive if you book early. An equivalent trip in November is about 90 euro return for a day trip and that would give you at least 12 hours in London. You also get the novelty of going through the undersea tunnel.
__________________
I'm saving this space for the first good insult hurled my way
  #14  
Old 06-06-2019, 09:51 AM
Telemark's Avatar
Telemark is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Yet again, Titletown
Posts: 22,684
Rather than London (which is fine, but deserves its own trip) I think there are plenty of excursions in France that would enhance the Paris experience. The D-Day beaches, the Loire Valley, and Le Mont-Saint-Michel get you out of Paris and into parts of France that are different and interesting.
  #15  
Old 06-06-2019, 10:38 AM
Omar Little's Avatar
Omar Little is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Within
Posts: 12,889
Don't plan to spend lots of time at the Louvre. Pick a some specific exhibits to see (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, etc.) But plan to spend more time at the Musee d' Orsay. I'd also recommend a bike tour. These guys are awesome: Fat Tire Bike Tours.

Have fun.
  #16  
Old 06-06-2019, 11:19 AM
Wrenching Spanners is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: London
Posts: 332
Some random comments:

At the Louvre, be sure to have a look at Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People”.
https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-noti...leading-people

I also like Hotel des Invalides which also features Napolean’s tomb.

Reims is in the Champagne region and has tastings and tours, so it’s a doubly good choice for a day trip.

Versailles is spectacular and definitely worth the day trip.

At least once, order the magret de canard (duck breast) for dinner.
  #17  
Old 06-06-2019, 01:04 PM
bonzer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: NW5
Posts: 3,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsura View Post
bonzer thank you specifically for the tip on that exhibition. I'll definitely try to get tickets when they go on sale!
Posting prompted me to poke around to see what the latest news on the ticketing was.

Seems they're solving the problem of how to include the Mona Lisa, while still accommodating those who just want a selfie in front it, by not separating the temporary exhibition from the rest of the collection. In other words, rather than charge extra to those visitors who want to see the special exhibition, as is normal, anyone who gets into the building will be able to then just go round it.
However, as a crowd control measure, they're requiring that everyone visiting the museum for the duration will have to advance book a ticket with a specified entry time, with quotas on the numbers. This is in contrast to the normal situation whereby most visitors queue, sometimes in immensely lengthy queues, to get in on the day. Numbers aside, their argument is that this will eliminate most of that queuing.

Tickets go on sale online on the 18th of this month. It's unclear to me whether that'll be all slots through to February, or whether they'll release them in batches of dates.

Is this a good idea? The obvious danger is that a nuanced and scholarly exhibition gets overrun by those who wouldn't otherwise bother with it (though that's not necessarily all bad). Optimistically, my past experience in the Louvre is that most of the scrum around the Mona Lisa show no interest in any of the other Leonardo paintings just around the corner. They also apparently used the same system with their Vermeer exhibition, so it's not an entirely untried experiment.
I'd also be surprised if this means that it entirely sells out, as the likes of Leonardo at the Court of Milan very much did in London in 2011-2. Even if the Louvre's usual footfall is predominately tourists, some days will normally be quieter or busier than others. But I'd still suggest booking as soon as the day/slot that suits you becomes available.
  #18  
Old 06-06-2019, 01:07 PM
Telemark's Avatar
Telemark is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Yet again, Titletown
Posts: 22,684
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
At least once, order the magret de canard (duck breast) for dinner.
And at least once get a street corner Nutella crepe.

If you go out for a walk in the early morning, watch out for vast quantities of dog shit. Parisiens do not pick up after their dogs.
  #19  
Old 06-06-2019, 01:14 PM
Slow Moving Vehicle's Avatar
Slow Moving Vehicle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 3,818
Damn, and here my wife was bragging on finding a round trip American/British Airways flight to Paris in March for $600 each! We grabbed that sucker. Maybe the same as yours - Atlanta to Paris with a layover in London.

This’ll be Mrs. SMV’s second trip to Paris, and my first. Might skip the Louvre, but the Musee d’Orsay is definitely on the agenda.

A friend said the tour of the sewers was the best 15€ she ever spent.
  #20  
Old 06-06-2019, 01:38 PM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 17,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
And at least once get a street corner Nutella crepe.
+1
  #21  
Old 06-06-2019, 02:16 PM
Lsura is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Back in the South, y'all
Posts: 6,962
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Moving Vehicle View Post
Damn, and here my wife was bragging on finding a round trip American/British Airways flight to Paris in March for $600 each! We grabbed that sucker. Maybe the same as yours - Atlanta to Paris with a layover in London.
There's a person who semi-regularly posts flight deals on the Atlanta subreddit, and that's how I found this one. And yep - I'm on American/BA with layovers in London both ways.
__________________
Librarians wield unfathomable power.
-Librarian Avengers

Last edited by Lsura; 06-06-2019 at 02:17 PM. Reason: words are hard
  #22  
Old 06-06-2019, 02:36 PM
dalej42 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 14,226
I’ll be the contrarian as I strongly prefer London over Paris. So, taking the Eurostar to London is an excellent idea, assuming you have 2-3 days to do so. It’s not worth it as a day trip.

Skipping the Louvre would be madness if you have any interest in art. The Musée d’Orsay is excellent as well.
I didn’t particularly enjoy the Sacre-Coeur, but I was bombarded by scammers there, which soured my mood.
The Marais was my favorite area of Paris.
__________________
Twitter:@Stardales IG:@Dalej42
  #23  
Old 06-06-2019, 06:17 PM
Tim R. Mortiss's Avatar
Tim R. Mortiss is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Lincoln Park, Chicago
Posts: 7,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsura View Post
......(note that key in my planning is getting some basic French phrases down. I work for a university so can take an Intro French class free in the fall semester - plus I'm working on the Duolingo app as well).
In my experience, all Parisians speak acceptable English, they just don't want to. If visitors aren't going to make an effort to connect, neither are they. But - if you pull out a phrasebook and try to speak to them in their own language, they will consider that all the effort they need out of you and will switch into English mode immediately.
  #24  
Old 06-06-2019, 06:55 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 17,101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
When I go there, I like to walk from the subway station that's behind it, on Montmartre itself, rather than from the front. You walk uphill a bit through narrow, windy streets, and then walk along the side of what turns out to be the SC itself, into a stunning view. And then you get to walk down those long stairs, which is always better than walking up them.
Yeah yeah! Take the Metro to Place Blanche (that was my stop when I lived there when I was 19) and walk up the Rue Lepic, through the Place du Tertre (the “bohemian” meeting place during the Banquet Years) and on up the Sacre Couer.

The church was finished in the early 20th century, so it’s not my bag, either, but the view is tremendous.

For a cool church, try Saint-Sulpice on the left bank. Close to the Jardins de Luxembourg and many other wonderful things.

And yes, do NOT miss the Musee d’Orsay. Late 18th-early20th century art, my favorite, and the building, the old railway station, is fantastic.
__________________
Uke
  #25  
Old 06-07-2019, 11:49 AM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 17,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
I’ll be the contrarian as I strongly prefer London over Paris. So, taking the Eurostar to London is an excellent idea, assuming you have 2-3 days to do so. It’s not worth it as a day trip.

Skipping the Louvre would be madness if you have any interest in art. The Musée d’Orsay is excellent as well.
I didn’t particularly enjoy the Sacre-Coeur, but I was bombarded by scammers there, which soured my mood.
The Marais was my favorite area of Paris.
I happen to agree about London- I actually did it in reverse order- was staying in the UK and did a long weekend to Paris via Eurostar.

Paris is... very French. It's just similar enough to our culture and ways of doing things to make the differences infuriating- I always had the feeling that a lot of Parisians were being dicks more because they could, not because of a legitimate cultural difference.


London, OTOH, is inside that threshold, being even more similar than Paris. Somewhere like Budapest is far enough out of it where annoying stuff just gets chalked down to cultural differences.
  #26  
Old 06-07-2019, 12:07 PM
DPRK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3,299
I'm not aware that either Paris or London has a statistically greater amount of dicks or assholes than any other big city. Just don't go desecrating any national monuments.
  #27  
Old 06-07-2019, 04:36 PM
panache45's Avatar
panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 43,836
The only asshole I ever witnessed in Paris was a German tourist. He insisted on photographing a multi-racial couple and their children, even though they emphatically told him they didn't want him to.
  #28  
Old 06-07-2019, 06:33 PM
Disheavel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,533
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
And at least once get a street corner Nutella crepe.
A lemon and sugar crepe is more Parisian to my mind! Another fun food place is Ladurée for some macarons. Every bakery is mind blowing.

But one place that every Doper will truly love is Deyrolle which is a taxidermy and curiosity shop. Think Field Museum but you can buy things- like a 40,000 euro stuffed elephant. We have their education posters on microbes and chickens (12 euro) on our walls at home. It is really unique and kids to adults will find something of interest to them- they will ship to the U.S. as long as it isn't an endangered species. And it is only a couple hundred meters south of the Louvre.

WIth regard to the Louvre and presuming you have a museum pass, go multiple times- our last trip we went 3 times to different wings or areas. But just 60-90 minutes per time- it is really only packed from 11-3 so go earlier or later or in the evening. Several years ago, I was with my offspring (who was 6 and tired after 2 weeks of Europe's museums) so in 90 minutes we walked through literally every other room of the Louvre that we'd never been in before. Sometimes we'd go 5+ rooms without seeing anyone, but literally every room is a treasure. The scale of that place is insane and I can't believe how some of the pieces/exhibits aren't more popular- and it is simply becuase there are even more impressive or famous treasures!

A multiple visit place is also Musée de l'Orangerie (and Musée de Orsay) as neither is large but some of the pieces especially impressionist paintings change color due to daylight, weather, and mood. They are magical- particularly the lillies at the Orangerie.

The Rick Steves' audio (walking) tours are a great introduction to many european cities and museums and are free via his website/podcast/iOS app.

I've been to Paris 5x and still haven't been to all of the things I wanted to see my first trip.
  #29  
Old 06-07-2019, 06:47 PM
digs's Avatar
digs is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: West of Wauwatosa
Posts: 9,677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsura View Post
There's a person who semi-regularly posts flight deals on the Atlanta subreddit, and that's how I found this one. And yep - I'm on American/BA with layovers in London both ways.
Their latest find? "The Japan sale is back! Atlanta to Tokyo for $772 round trip!" Makes me want to move to Atlanta (jk)

Wonder if anyone's doing this for Chicago?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
Paris is... very French. It's just similar enough to our culture and ways of doing things to make the differences infuriating- I always had the feeling that a lot of Parisians were being dicks more because they could, not because of a legitimate cultural difference.
We bought croissants and cafe au laits at a cart every morning, and my wife noticed it was only the tourists WHO SLOWED DOWN THE LINE who were treated rudely. ("Dadburn, Maud, I know I had me a cent-ime here somewheres...")

So it wasn't Gallic Disdain, it was normal Big City Impatience.

Last edited by digs; 06-07-2019 at 06:51 PM.
  #30  
Old 06-07-2019, 06:47 PM
Disheavel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,533
Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
The only asshole I ever witnessed in Paris was a German tourist. He insisted on photographing a multi-racial couple and their children, even though they emphatically told him they didn't want him to.
I speak 0 French and have never had anything but warm interactions with Parisians. Be polite, quiet, and respectful. No shorts, no tacky shirts, cover your shoulders in church.

My best "French are jerks" story occurred at a bakery at 6:30 in the morning my final morning of my first trip. An old american couple with, no joke, bedazzled flags and eagles on sweatshirts and gnarly shorts are in front of me at the bakery. This was a highly recommended bakery that we hadn't made it to and I was getting breakfast plus some food for the flight later with the final cash I had. The old couple said, "do you speak english?"
"No no inglish. sss sss sOrry"
"CAN WE HAVE TWO [two fingers up] Cressants and TWO CHOCOLATE CRESSANTS and two normal COFFEES [imitate drinking]?"
[Turns to his wife and whispers loudly] "they'd do more business if they'd learn to speak english like everyone else"
Rings up. and spins around the cash register and says "35 euros"

Now I think to myself, well nuts, I wanted way more food and only have 25 euro. I'm going to have to rethink here. The couple finish and walk away.
So I say "Pardon, <my french is not good. I apologize>" all in French and the barista says, "My English is fine, I just didn't want to have a conversation." And then I got 10+ pastries and a coffee for 18 euro. And I walked away thinking:

And that was exactly why the French hate americans and americans hate the french, but they both have a story to tell to back up their view.
  #31  
Old 06-07-2019, 10:59 PM
bonzer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: NW5
Posts: 3,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disheavel View Post
WIth regard to the Louvre and presuming you have a museum pass, go multiple times- our last trip we went 3 times to different wings or areas. But just 60-90 minutes per time- it is really only packed from 11-3 so go earlier or later or in the evening.
Per my previous post, that is the sort of advice that would usually apply, but won't this January. In enforcing pre-booked, time-allocated ticket entry to the museum - with (effectively?) no exceptions - for the duration of the Leonardo exhibition, that's almost exactly one version of what they want to temporarily suppress.
  #32  
Old 06-08-2019, 09:38 AM
panache45's Avatar
panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 43,836
Funny thing happened on my first trip to Paris: a guy stopped me and asked me a question in French. I answered in my best French, "Sorry, I don't understand you; I don't speak French very well." Again, he asked me something in French. Again, I told him I didn't understand. He asked me a third time, becoming very agitated. I repeated myself, also very agitated. We were almost about to come to blows, when I asked, "Do you speak English?"

Turned out, the guy was another American tourist who didn't speak much French. We had each assumed the other was a rude Parisian.
  #33  
Old 06-08-2019, 02:14 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 17,101
Yeah, rude Parisians are no worse than rude NewYorkers. We just both hate you tourists.
__________________
Uke
  #34  
Old 06-08-2019, 02:33 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 17,101
Of course, I could move back to Cleveland, meet panache45 at the Tick Tock Tavern on Clifton for Strohs beer and spare ribs, and we could both hate the tourists TOGETHER.
__________________
Uke
  #35  
Old 06-09-2019, 03:04 AM
APB is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 2,115
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzer View Post
Posting prompted me to poke around to see what the latest news on the ticketing was.

Seems they're solving the problem of how to include the Mona Lisa, while still accommodating those who just want a selfie in front it, by not separating the temporary exhibition from the rest of the collection. In other words, rather than charge extra to those visitors who want to see the special exhibition, as is normal, anyone who gets into the building will be able to then just go round it.
However, as a crowd control measure, they're requiring that everyone visiting the museum for the duration will have to advance book a ticket with a specified entry time, with quotas on the numbers. This is in contrast to the normal situation whereby most visitors queue, sometimes in immensely lengthy queues, to get in on the day. Numbers aside, their argument is that this will eliminate most of that queuing.

Tickets go on sale online on the 18th of this month. It's unclear to me whether that'll be all slots through to February, or whether they'll release them in batches of dates.

Is this a good idea? The obvious danger is that a nuanced and scholarly exhibition gets overrun by those who wouldn't otherwise bother with it (though that's not necessarily all bad). Optimistically, my past experience in the Louvre is that most of the scrum around the Mona Lisa show no interest in any of the other Leonardo paintings just around the corner. They also apparently used the same system with their Vermeer exhibition, so it's not an entirely untried experiment.
I'd also be surprised if this means that it entirely sells out, as the likes of Leonardo at the Court of Milan very much did in London in 2011-2. Even if the Louvre's usual footfall is predominately tourists, some days will normally be quieter or busier than others. But I'd still suggest booking as soon as the day/slot that suits you becomes available.
That's almost certainly not the case. The Louvre's own press release only speaks of timed slots for the exhibition. They've done that before. The only innovation is that this time the exhibition tickets must be bought in advance.

It can't possibly be that every visitor to the Louvre will have a timed slot for the exhibition. Even allowing for the fact that this will be on over the winter months, the number of visitors the Louvre will be getting each day will be several times that of the daily attendance at any exhibition that the Louvre has ever staged. Or that of any other exhibition that any other museum will stage this year. So the only way that it would be at all practical to allow all visitors access to the exhibition, even with timed slots, would be if they drastically restricted the numbers visiting the rest of the museum. Why would they do that? That would transform a sure-fire moneyspinner into a major loss of revenue.
  #36  
Old 06-09-2019, 03:10 AM
Sunny Daze's Avatar
Sunny Daze is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bay Area Urban Sprawl
Posts: 12,217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
Also, check out Sainte-Chapelle, not much to look at on the outside, but stunning stained glass all around.
This is my "don't miss" place. It's like stepping into a bath of colored light. I haven't seen anything like it anywhere else.
  #37  
Old 06-09-2019, 06:02 AM
PatrickLondon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 3,389
This whole "rude Parisian" thing: always remember that standard etiquette is to open every interchange in a shop with "Bon jour", and include your pleases and thank yous. If you miss it out and launch straight into what you want to ask about, you will come across as rude. If it's an extended discussion, it helps to close it off with "Merci, bonne journée".

A couple of non-budget-breaking hotels I like (no frills, but clean, comfortable, and well placed for public transport, albeit not at the heart of everything - but nowhere is):

https://www.cosmos-hotel-paris.com

https://hotelamericain.com/

(Bear in mind that breakfast is usually charged as an extra in this sort of hotel, and will normally be the standard continental breakfast rather than cooked - you might want to scout out local cafés to see if you can get more variety at lower cost elsewhere).

Public transport in Paris: https://www.ratp.fr/en
https://www.ratp.fr/en/visite-paris/...rounding-areas

Last edited by PatrickLondon; 06-09-2019 at 06:05 AM.
  #38  
Old 06-09-2019, 06:15 AM
PatrickLondon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 3,389
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickLondon View Post
This whole "rude Parisian" thing: always remember that standard etiquette is to open every interchange in a shop with "Bon jour", and include your pleases and thank yous. If you miss it out and launch straight into what you want to ask about, you will come across as rude. If it's an extended discussion, it helps to close it off with "Merci, bonne journée".

A couple of non-budget-breaking hotels I like (no frills, but clean, comfortable, and well placed for public transport, albeit not at the heart of everything - but nowhere is):

https://www.cosmos-hotel-paris.com

https://hotelamericain.com/

(Bear in mind that breakfast is usually charged as an extra in this sort of hotel, and will normally be the standard continental breakfast rather than cooked - you might want to scout out local cafés to see if you can get more variety at lower cost elsewhere).

Public transport in Paris: https://www.ratp.fr/en
https://www.ratp.fr/en/visite-paris/...rounding-areas
I may be a bit weird, but one thing I like to do is check out the hardware/DIY department in the basement of the BHV department store: apart from seeing what's different in style from what you're used to, they have potential souvenir items like assorted signs for your house. Or the kitchenware/housewares departments will have small gadgets and easily-packable items.
  #39  
Old 06-09-2019, 11:15 AM
Dag Otto is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Las Cruces
Posts: 5,382
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickLondon View Post
I may be a bit weird, but one thing I like to do is check out the hardware/DIY department in the basement of the BHV department store: apart from seeing what's different in style from what you're used to, they have potential souvenir items like assorted signs for your house. Or the kitchenware/housewares departments will have small gadgets and easily-packable items.
Yes, you might be weird, but I did the same thing the last time I was there.
  #40  
Old 06-09-2019, 04:14 PM
Treppenwitz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 743
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
Also, check out Sainte-Chapelle, not much to look at on the outside, but stunning stained glass all around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
This is my "don't miss" place. It's like stepping into a bath of colored light. I haven't seen anything like it anywhere else.
A third vote for Sainte-Chapelle. Choose a sunny day. Without wanting to talk it up to the point where it could never live up to expectation, I always assumed that, in days of yore, simple rustic souls would regard it, on first viewing, as miraculous. I mean in the strict sense of the word.

Practical point (it's been a few years, but I assume this is still true): they really do search you on the way in. I was told that this is because it's technically a Ministry of Defence site, or something similar (no, me either). I rocked up with a tiny key-ring pen knife, and had that taken off me before I could enter. They were very good, stored it and gave it me back on the way out, but it's hassle you don't need. It's worth bearing this in mind when (not if!) you go.

j
  #41  
Old 06-09-2019, 04:27 PM
Stuntman Mike's Avatar
Stuntman Mike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 182
https://www.med-eng.com/Portals/0/Im...E-EOD-EOD9.png
  #42  
Old 06-10-2019, 09:05 AM
Bert Nobbins is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 324
The Musée d’Orsay is a wonderful place but be prepared for big queues to get in. We had to stand there for an hour. Also big queue for the cafe.

If you're going to Versailles, the best way is on the RER-C, one of the regional lines. It has lovely two-deck carriages which give a great view once the train is out of tunnel.

https://parisbytrain.com/paris-to-ch...lles-by-train/

There are several station called Versailles; you want Versailles-Château–Rive Gauche
which is 5 minutes walk from the chateau.

Do not forget the Eiffel Tower. Again , queues can be horrendous to go up, but it's well worth just walking around. And there's the Hotel des Invalides just up the road. Also near by is the Val'd Hiver stadium. Events there in 1942 were such that the French police were rebuked for excessive brutality... by the Gestapo.

There's a lot of history in Paris.
  #43  
Old 06-10-2019, 09:19 AM
panache45's Avatar
panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 43,836
An interesting excursion is to visit the Ile de la Grande Jatte, where Seurrat did his famous painting. You can stand at the exact spot where he stood, and see how different it is today.

Nearby is La Défense, the modern area of Paris, a refreshing change of pace from the 18th and 19th centuries.
  #44  
Old 06-10-2019, 11:29 AM
Bert Nobbins is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
An interesting excursion is to visit the Ile de la Grande Jatte, where Seurrat did his famous painting. You can stand at the exact spot where he stood, and see how different it is today.
It's a pleasant enough place, but there's not really much there; mostly tennis courts etc.

Even if you're not travelling by train, the Gare du Nord is worth a visit. Incredible ironwork, very atmospheric. Many a fictional french secret agent set off from there to do dirty work in London.

A favorite place of ours is the linear park on an old railway viaduct: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coul%C...n%C3%A9-Dumont
It runs along the avenue Daumesnil.
  #45  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:51 PM
Lsura is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Back in the South, y'all
Posts: 6,962
My ongoing thanks for all the suggestions - I've started a notebook so I can do some planning, including noting what day of the week various places are closed.

Thank you too for specific hotel suggestions, PatrickLondon - that's my next priority to get figured out and booked.
__________________
Librarians wield unfathomable power.
-Librarian Avengers
  #46  
Old 06-10-2019, 03:26 PM
peedin is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,977
My friend (who speaks no French) and I (who can say please/thankyou/how much, etc) spent 2 weeks in Paris and never had a problem with rudeness or not being able to converse. We rented an apartment in the 6th, next to Luxembourg Gardens. We bought the museum pass so never had to wait in line to buy tickets. Neither of us had any desire to spend any time at the Louvre, so we did the Louvre Express. Mona Lisa (which is over-rated and underwhelming), Venus, and Winged Victory which gave me goosebumps and made me cry. We did all the "tourist" things because were tourists. Top of the Eiffel Tower, top of the Arc de Triomphe (highly recommend both), d'Orsay, dinner cruise down the Seine. Get to Sainte Chapelle in the early morning. We stood in line for an hour to get tickets, then they decided to close for lunch. We said fuck it and went to Chanel. Spent a day at Versailles and tooled around in a golf cart. The only bad meal we had (and it wasn't bad, but we just didn't like it) was at a duck restaurant our friends insisted we go to with them. Many restaurants are closed on Sunday.

We had a great time. How can you not have a good time in Paris????
  #47  
Old 06-10-2019, 03:43 PM
peedin is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,977
Missed the edit window. Will you be in Paris for a full 9 days, or do the 9 days include travel days, which are essentially 2 days off your trip, making it 7 days? Either way, I wouldn't go to London on the same trip. I love London the most of any city, and it definitely deserves its own 14 days.
  #48  
Old 06-10-2019, 10:14 PM
carnut is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: State of Hockey
Posts: 4,811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
Also, check out Sainte-Chapelle, not much to look at on the outside, but stunning stained glass all around.
I second Sainte-Chapelle, not just the stunning glass, but look at the paint details on the pillars. Every pillar is different and they all represent local plants. Fascinating.
  #49  
Old 06-10-2019, 10:22 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 17,101
peedin @#46: I agree that the Winged Victory of Samothrace may be the most moving piece of art in the Louvre. Every time I visit her I want to lick her all over.

But forget about the Mona Lisa and all the other tourist attractions....the joint is loaded with great art — Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa” — and second-rate art that is extremely moving — Whoever’s “The Deluge.” Wander around and see what floats your personal boat.
__________________
Uke

Last edited by Ukulele Ike; 06-10-2019 at 10:22 PM.
  #50  
Old 06-10-2019, 10:29 PM
carnut is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: State of Hockey
Posts: 4,811
An add for you: while you have time, check out some travel books on Paris about good food and places to visit, and what is available to do there in winter versus summer. Care to take in a hockey game?
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:20 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017