Paris Tourist Trap Tips by Dabs
Paris Tourist Traps: 435 reviews and 329 photos
I just read of someone's four hour wait in the cold December air to ascend the Eiffel Tower and recalled the coldest I had ever been, the day that we waited atop the platform on the Eiffel Tower, waiting to go to the next level, on an equally cold December day many years ago.
Just my opinion, of course, but I think of all of the things you could be doing in Paris with four hours. And then there's the real problem with being on top of the Eiffel Tower-you can't see the Eiffel Tower!
Don't get me wrong, the Eiffel Tower is a wonderful monument, especially when it is lit up at night so go see my must see tip before you think badly of me :-)
Unique Suggestions: If it's December, wear lots and lots of clothes! And try to figure out when it will be the least busy, it seems that early am might be the best.
I understand you can now purchase tickets in advance but that's always a risk that the weather won't be good, who wants to go up the Eiffel Tower when it's raining or foggy? It's the same problem I have with the London Eye.
Fun Alternatives: Go for the great views on top of Notre Dame or the Arc de Triomphe. I also understand that there is a fine free view from the Galeries Lafayette, there used to be a fabulous view from the Samaratine Department store which has been closed for a number of years but I saw an article saying that a development was in the works at this site so maybe someday they will reopen the upper deck.
New Year's Eve in the Latin Quarter
We didn't want to get dressed up and pay big money to eat out on New Year's Eve so we headed to Champs Elysses with about a million other people. Anticlimatic is not a strong enough word for this street celebration in Paris, had I not looked at my watch, I would not have even known that midnight had arrived.
No countdown, no fireworks and the increase in noise level at midnight was imperceptible!
Another note, certainly not unique to Paris, virtually all of the restaurants increase their prices for NYE starting around dinner, some under the pretense of a price fixed menu, some blatantly gouging by plastering prices that are double over the usual price on the menus. The only restaurants that didn't seem to be gouging were fast food and the take away places (crepes, Greek, pizza).
Unique Suggestions: Stay clear of the metro close to midnight unless you want to be one of the sardines in the metro car.
The metro going back was very unpleasant, people pushing and shoving to get on the next train, I even thought their might be a possibility of someone getting trampled on. If you can avoid getting on at the stops on the Champs Elysses (FDR or Concorde) do it!
Fun Alternatives: Have a really nice lunch and then go to the supermarket like many of the locals seem to be doing, buy yourself a picnic dinner and a bottle of champagne and have your own celebration in the comfort and warmth of your hotel room.
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