We're going to Paris this summer

My husband, six year old daughter and I have decided to spend a week in Paris. Hotels and airfare turned out to be a lot cheaper than I initially thought.

I’m so excited. I’m from the US. We’ve been to Europe before (Italy) but not France.

What should we see and do in Paris?

We’re also going to spend another week either by the French coast in Nice and Cannes or the Greek Islands of Mykonos and Santorini.

I have a friend who took a hot air balloon ride over the Champagne vinyards. She said it was spectacular.

Have fun! What a fabulous trip!

I just got back from a month in Paris. I don’t have much advice, because I spent most of my time in the library and archives (it was a research trip), but I had the most fantastic time! Even just going home from a long day in the library and eating baguette, cheese and a glass of wine for dinner was a special treat (and a pain au chocolat… I could have eaten my weight in those). The metro was so wonderful, and I’m originally from a city with a subway - you can get absolutely anywhere in central Paris in about a half hour.

As I’m sure you’re prepared for, everything will be a madhouse in the summer. I visited the Musee d’Orsay on a Sunday in early March and it was crowded; I can’t imagine it in the summer. But with a six-year-old, you’re hardly going to attempt the Louvre. Apparently a lot of Parisians themselves flee the city in the summer, though, so that reduces the critical mass somewhat.

I babysat a six-year-old American girl there, and she said the Jardins de Luxembourg was her favourite part of the city, so don’t miss it. Montmartre was just as charming as they say, though the main square and the steps in front of the Basilica were packed so tight you could hardly move. (I don’t like crowds, in case you can’t tell!)

Pere Lachaise has got to be worth a visit.

Same here, but I was there on Easter in 2008 so that might have had something to do with it.

Personally, I loved every minute of exploring Notre-Dame cathedral, it was beautiful.

Have been to the cemetary twice now, still didn’t see it all. Amazing place.

Take the metro to Trocadero (I think) then walk up the stairs and prepare to see the Eiffel Tower for the first time. Do it at night, if possible.

The small museum with Monet’s water lilly collection will knock your socks off.

Of course Notre Dame, but don’t pass up Sainte Chappelle. Very gothic and beautiful.

Eat, eat, eat!!!

Wow, there’s nothing like your first trip to Paris; there is so much to do and see there. I have been there a total of four weeks, and there’s still lots I haven’t seen. Since you have time before your trip, get a copy of Fodor’s or Lonely Planet or Eyewitness books on the city. And learn a little French before you go.

Will you be there for Bastille Day (July 14)? Don’t miss the fireworks at night, coming out of the Eiffel Tower. They’re not like anything else you’ve ever seen.

And Do. Not. Miss. the “Musee d’Orsay,” especially the top floor.

Bon voyage!