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Paris Travel Tips

Welcome to our travel tips section. Here is where we share some of the places and things we found and learned on our 2005 Trip to Paris, France!

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Here are some general observations and some information not listed elsewhere:

 

HOTEL DE LUTECE
65 rue Saint-Louis-en-l'Ile 4eme Arr. (Ile St. Louis)
01 43 26 23 52
www.hotel-ile-saintlouis.com
"Double" room Rate as of Sept 2005- 164 Euros per night.

 

D-DAY TOURS
http://www.d-daybeaches.com
Bayeux, France
02 31 51 70 52
1/2 day afternoon tour US Beaches 45 Euros
Ask for Vincent to be your guide.

 

METRO

If you are going to be there for several days, consider getting a Carte Orange.  It is 15 euros and gives you unlimited travel in zones 1 and 2 (basically the whole of paris out to and including La Defense).  It makes it really easy to just hop the metro for a few blocks, or to go all the way across town.  You will need a small photo, but they have little picture machines in most stations.  Just make sure to get the kind with at least 4 to a page or else the pictures will be too big to fit.  They also do a 16 to a page, but we're not sure if they'd be too small.  Anyway- once you have the pics you will have to cut it out to fit the card.  There is a little sticky area to help afix the photo and then there is a clear laminate that is supposed to cover the photo and your name.  Once you have it all filled out and the picture attached, you just peel off the backing and stick the clear part down over the front of the card.  Also, you have to write the card number on your little ticket. Make sure you keep your metro pass handy at all times while in transit or in the stations.  We came across a little sting operation where they had a line of RATP workers stopping everyone in the tunnel and checking their tickets.  Anyone who did not have a ticket was instantly fined and had to pay cash on the spot.  (we actually saw ALOT of turnstile jumping while we were there so it must be a pretty big problem)

Avoid metro station Chatelet if you can.  It is the oldest in the world (so they claim) but it also has to be one of the largest.  Nearly every major line has a connection here so it sometimes cannot be avoided easily, but if you do have to make a connection at Chatelet, make sure you give yourself extra time to navigate all of the many tunnels, escalators and moving walkways.  Also, if you exit at Chatelet, make sure to have a look at the "plan du quartier" before picking your exit.  There must be close to a dozen places to enter and exit this station.

 

DRINKS

Beer soda and fruit juice usually cost more than wine in Paris, so if you like wine....

A Panache is 1/2 beer 1/2 lemonade (soda)

Absinth is pretty hard to find.  Let us know if you know a bar that serves it.

This just in...  here is a bar that supposedly serves absinthe.  Let us know
what you find if you end up there and can remember anything the next day...

Cantada 2
13 rue Moret,75011 Paris 01 48 05 96 89

 

MUSEE D'ORSAY
62, rue de Lille  3eme  Metro: Musee D'Orsay
+33 (0)1 40 49 48 14   The Orsay's Website 

The Louvre is nice and all, but for the real show check out the Orsay.  It is packed with beautiful artwork inside and out- not to mention that the museum building itself.  The views from the top floor are also quite breathtaking.

 

DALI ESPACE MONTMARTRE
11 rue Poulbot  (Montmartre) Metro: Abbesses or Anvers + Funiculaire
01 42 64 40 10

If you go here expecting to see lots of paintings of melty clocks you may be disappointed.  None of the famous masterworks are there (we saw one or two in the Georges Pompidou but still not the really famous ones).  There are however many sculptures and hundreds of original prints and illustrations from the many books that Dali contributed to over the years.  The museum was well worth the time, but not really any paintings.

 

MUSEE DES ARTS ET METIERS
60 rue Reaumur 3eme Metro: Arts et Metiers

Although it is called the arts and crafts museum in our guidebook, it should really be called the museum of human innovation.  There were thousands and thousands of exhibits ranging from everything from early scientific and measuring equipment, to scale models of iron and steel mills, to mathematics and computers, to full scale industrial machinery, to the science and technology of fabrics and weaving, to cameras and motion pictures, and a whole room full of full sized antique bicycles, automobiles and airplanes, just to name a few. You really need a half day here at minimum.  In the two hours that we had before they closed we were barely able to peek at some of the exhibits.  Also make sure to leave time for the "chapel" at the end.  It contains many of the more "wow" factor exhibits including Foucault's original pendulum that was used to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth in 1850.

 

 

MUSEE DES ARTS DECORATIFS
107 Rue de Rivoli 1er Arr.
33 (0)1 42 60 01 88

Half of the exhibits here were closed, but there was a really cool room full of jewelry including many art nouveaux Lalique pieces.  There is also wall contrasting the raw materials vs the finished products from everything from human hair to coral to gemstones to gold.

 

MUSEE DE L'ORANGERIE

Well we were excited to visit this museum in the Tuileries gardens near the Louvre, but alas the restoration is still in process and will probably be so for some time.  They have already extended the closure from early 2004 to 2005 on the signs, but it did not look like it was anywhere near to being re-opened.  Bummer.

 

SOMETHING INTERESTING

Something I've never seen in the USA and in sharp contrast to the hole in the floor bathrooms was this one in the Avignon TGV station.  Soap, water and dryer all in one and all on automatic sensors.

 

LE CIMETIERE DU PERE-LACHAISE
http://www.pere-lachaise.com/

If you are like us and want to make the pilgrimage to visit Jim Morrison's grave (among others) you may be in for a little bit of a disappointment.  Jim is still there, but they have removed the bust made famous in Oliver Stone's movie  "The Doors" and replaced it with a new more non-descript marker.

Thanks to Kristine Clark de Castilho for the "before" shot.

Before

Now