Paris Things to Do Tips by riorich55
Paris Things to Do: 8,770 reviews and 17,682 photos
We actually visited this park twice on our 2012 Paris trip. The first time was in the evening on Saturday night. We arrived at the park about 7:45 p.m. after wandering the streets from the Arc de Triomphe. On our walk we were almost all alone the entire time. We saw nary another tourist, but got a really good slice of an upscale Paris that many visitors probably don't see on their first or second trips. As it was 7:45 p.m. we wandered into the park only to hear a whistle blowing about 5 minutes later. We finally saw the source of the whistle being one of the park attendants who was whistling everybody to leave the park as it closed at 8:00 p.m. Disappointed that we couldn't explore more of the park we decided we would make it one of our planned destinations the next day.
Indeed on Sunday after another full day of activities we did get over to Parc Monceau about 6:00 p.m. and had actually made dinner reservations at a restaurant we had passed the day before for 8:30 p.m. The parc was filled with families, young people, old people. Kids on the swings and carousel, lovers on park benches and of course people on their ever present cell phones. We saw joggers, walkers and everybody just enjoying the Paris life. We walked into the main entrance and out of another entrance by some very elegant town homes.
Again, we closed up the park, but this time did get to see most everything.
I think an interesting day in Paris would be just to walk around all day and stop in every couple of hours or so at one of the local Pastry shops that are all over the city.
When I was growing up in a collar suburb of Chicago we had a very nice bakery where my parents would periodically get some very nice treats for my sister and I. This bakery is still there and periodically when I get back to the town where I grew up I will stop by and pick up a couple of sweet treats. Unfortunately, the big box grocery stores have dominated the local scene where I live nowadays and the sweets and treats just don't do much for me.
On our 2 trips to Paris since 2008, we have had the occasion to stop in at a couple of the fine shops in Paris and we savor every bite.
Here are just a couple of shots from places we've either stopped in or just drooled at outside.
Directions: All Over the City of Lights
Eiffel with iPiccy
It's Everywhere, It's Everywhere!
Well at least it seems like it is. Almost anywhere you are at within a 5 mile radius of the Eiffel Tower you will be able to see it from some vantage point.
On our first trip to Paris back in October, 2008 we only saw it from afar on several occasions, and saw a light show one late evening. In April 2012 on our second trip we ate almost in its shadow on our first night back in Paris and then meandered over to walk by and under the "lady" during the evening hours. We took the obligatory picture of the Eiffel Tower behind us and continued taking some additional pictures throughout the next 4 days.
We really don't have any burning desire to go up in the structure itself. Maybe it's because we are from the Chicago area and have been up to the top of several of the taller structures in our fair city.
We also figure why spend the money to go up to the top. We would rather save our hard earned dollars converted to Euros and splurge on yet another wonderful meal. Wouldn't you??
Directions: You can't miss it!!!
You Lookin' at Me?
You can walk through just about any neighborhood in Paris and have an entire feast with your eyes. Just take in all the wonderous foods, try something new, learn some new words in French, but overall just enjoy the experience.
The above short paragraph was one of my first attempts at a review on VT back in 2008. Since then we have been back to Paris again in 2012 to visit more of the sites we didn't see back on our original tip. We walked around some different neighborhoods and stopped in at a couple of more stores to buy some more movable feasts.
You have to be a little bit on the sly when you take food pictures in Paris. I remember from our first trip I was told very sternly, No Monsieur when someone saw me ready to take a picture of the inside of a meat and cheese store. As you can see from the first picture I took for this tip back in 2008 the gentleman on the right side of the photo is giving me a rather stern look. Little did he realize that his look is what really makes this picture come alive.
Directions: All Over Paris
The last time we were in Paris in 2008 we took a couple of pictures of the Arc de Triomphe from afar and rode a taxi about 3/4 of the way around. This time we decided to get a little better up close and personal look.
We arrived about 6:15 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon and saw a gathering of military personnel and some bands. At 6:30 p.m. a ceremony started which we soon discovered is the daily Eternal Flame Ceremony. The flame is burning in memory of all the unknown soldiers from both WWI and WWII and probably other wars that the French have fought in as well.
The ceremony started on November 11, 1923 and has been held every day, even during the German occupation of Paris during WWII, since then.
From other information I have found it is the first eternal flame in both Western and Eastern Europe, since the Vestal Virgin's flame was extinguished in the 4th Century. The flame also served as the inspiration behind the eternal flame which is at the grave of the U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C.
Saturday in the Park
Sue and I had plans to picnic in a park in Paris this time around. We were so confident that we would that we even packed a portable vinyl ground spread in my luggage.
We know that it does rain in Paris in the Spring (I think there may have been a few things written about that and maybe a movie or two), but we did have 3 days that we would be there for lunch, so we were sure it would happen.
The first day, Saturday, we actually had lunch indoors with 3 other VTers and since it was raining outside anyway it was a great day to spend the afternoon.
The next day, Sunday, we had a great all you can eat breakfast at the hotel we were staying, so we really didn't feel like having a sit down lunch, although we did buy some pastry and bread around 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon to get us to our 8:30 p.m. dinner reservation.
Our final full day in Paris was Monday. We had a light breakfast, switched our hotels from the La Defense area to the Latin Quarter and then we must have had a brain freeze. Because instead of going to a local store and buying some cheese, meats and breads and maybe a little wine for lunch we went into a sandwich shop, bought a sandwich and continued our visit to a couple of more museums.
What were we thinking?? Wait a minute I know what we were thinking. We had bought a 2 Day Paris Museum Pass on Sunday and only used 3 of the places to visit that day. So in order to get our money's worth we had to visit a few more places didn't we?
So we spent the afternoon visiting 2 more places, using our pass and thought well this was just the start of our 18 days in Europe. Surely we will have a picnic somewhere??
Anyway, I do have a picture of a couple eating on a bench on that rainy Saturday afternoon. It was only misting when I took this picture.
I guess we have to visit Paris once again to get in our lunch in the park experience next time!
Do You Want to Listen?
On our last night in Paris, after spending most of the afternoon in the Louvre, we decided to do a little more walking toward the Champs Elysee. Turning down one of the streets off the Champs Elysee and heading toward the Seine we came to the Pont Alexandre III bridge just before dusk.
Several picture opportunities seemed to beckon us, including the one shown here of Leopold Morice's sculpture on the right bank of the bridge. The Young Girl with Seashell or Fillette a la Coquille seemed about ready to share her sound with me.
UPDATE: Took a few more pictures of the bridge on our 2012 trip that I am posting here. We were still fascinated by the bridge and all the intricate works.
Back on our first visit to Europe in 2008 one of the very first things we saw outside the Gare du Nord train station, the RER, the street to our hotel, our hotel was Place Saint-Michel as we began our first 4 days in Paris. At that time the fountain was not spouting very much water as seen in picture #1. This time as we were staying close by in a hotel for one night we passed by this area on our way to the Paris islands. We knew instantly where we were and this time the fountain was in its full glory.
Also in the Place Saint-Michel this time we saw a bubble maker entertaining (hopefully he wasn't there to distract for pick pocket friends) children by casting his bubble in the air seemingly just beyond the reach of the 3 little girls we saw when we passed. (pictures 2, 3 and 4)
A little fountain history - The fountain was constructed by Gabriel Davioud between 1855 and 1860. Originally it was going to depict Napoleon, but Napoleon III was taking some heat about that so it was changed to the Archangel Michel.
Directions: On the border between the 5th and 6th Arrondissements
Rich and Sue in the Jardin des Tuileries
When we were planning our trip to Europe, Rich decided that he wanted to take a bike tour of Paris on our first day there to get a "feel" of the city. After arriving at 11:00 and finally getting out of the train station (another tip to be developed), we went to our hotel, walked around a little, had a brief bite to eat and met the tour guide by Notre Dame at 3:00 p.m. (15:00). The company, Bike About Tours is not the most known, but from all the reviews Rich had read was the one people really seemed to like. Our tour guide plus 7 other people including ourselves took off with our bikes around 3:15 and for the next 3 hours wheeled our way through some quiet and some not so quiet streets through several arrondissements of Paris.
Although we were a little disappointed with the tour (probably because instead of the owners it was conducted by one of their brothers who was visiting from Australia), I think you will enjoy the tour and get to some places you normally wouldn't.
2010 cost is 30 Euros per person. Tour times during the summer months are at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. More information on their website listed below.
Address: Vinci Parking Rue Lobau, Paris 75004
Directions: If you want to take the tour you will meet them by the Charlamagne Statue in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
Phone: 06 21 18 46 93
The Blue Eiffel Waltz
As my introduction page on Paris states we never did get to the Eiffel Tower itself. That's not to say that we were going to leave Paris without taking at least a couple of pictures to remember. Again, let me go into a little story telling mode to give you the background for the 2 pictures I have posted here.
On Friday, our 2nd day in Paris, we had spent most of the day at the Palace of Versailles and also had dinner in the town of Versailles. We thought that Friday night coming back to Versailles might be the ideal time to get close and so we got off our RER from Versailles nearest to what I thought would be the tower. At 11:30 p.m. at night though we started walking and decided that we had 2 more days left in Paris and we were dead tired after following in the footsteps of the Royals all day. So basically walked to the Metro and went back to the hotel.
The first shot we took was on Saturday night just prior to 10:00 p.m. (actually I think it was 9:50 p.m. since someone mentioned that the Eiffel Tower put its Disney Twinkling Light Show on at 10 minutes before the hour). It was really breezy that night and as we got our vantage point from the Seine we got our dose of pictures and videos of the light show POST CARDS FROM PARIS PART 2
before we headed back to our hotel. Our original plan had been to party all night since it was Paris' annual Nuit Blanche, but we are a little past the all night party phase of our life (Sue will tell you I never went through that phase, and she is right).
The second shot was on our last night in Paris, with this shot coming from near the Pont Alexander III bridge. With both pictures, we decided to play with the coloring on the computer since we are far from experts at getting really good night shots.
Directions: You can't miss it!!!
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