Im going travelling in August and starting off in PAris, spending 5 days there!!
What would you recommend doing in this city??
Where are the best places to go at the evening??
We plan to travel around France for a while, then hope to end up in Spain then back through France again!!
Which places/towns would you suggest seeing, and what route to take if possible??
Thankyou in advance for your help
The TP Paris Nut here, hoping to help you on the first leg of your journey
I've actually made up a schedule for a few days for TPers in this exact same situation...so here we go....
Ok, if you're going there for 5 days you will have enough time to do most of the basic tourist locations and maybe even walk around the city to find some unknown treasures.
Before I begin, I would suggest that you get a metro pass (it’s good on the metro, bus and RER commuter trains). They have a daily one which is well worth it (check out the city public transport website - warning it's in French). Also, get a good map of the city. I had the Let’s Go Western Europe book, but I found the map left something to be desired, so I also got the “Inside Out” Paris Pop-out map. It was so easy to read, and had all of the sights clearly marked, so it was hard to get lost. It cost about $14 CDN, but it was worth every penny.
I’d probably suggest for you to section of the city into sections so you can explore it separately.
Day 1: (6, 7, 8, 15, 14 arrondissments) The areas surrounding the Eiffel Tower and les Invalides, Trocadaro, Arc de Triomphe, Jardin du Luxembourg, Montparnesse, the Sorbonne.
Day 2: (1 (only part of) 2,3,9,10,18 arrondissements) The area’s surrounding Scare Coeur (Montmatre), Forum des Halles, Centre George Pompidou, the Opera, St Eustache.
Day 3: (1, 4, 5 arrondissments) The Louvre (takes a day and a half to see, but we spent half a day there. Go early to avoid line-ups), Palais Royal, Latin Quarter and St. Germain, Notre-Dame and Ile de la Cite, Jardin de Tuileries, St. Germain, the beautiful bridges on the Seine, Musee d’Orsay, and the Fine Arts Academy.
On your extra days, spend one travelling to Versailles, a beautiful Castle in the suburbs of town, it's only a short commuter train ride away! Spend the other just enjoying everything! Also don't forget to check out the cemitaire Pere Lachaise, located in the 20th. Jim Morrison is buried there, along with very famous literary figures. The bibliotechque national is very modern, but slightly out of the way (Just past Gare Austerlitz in the 13th) but if you go there I suggest crossing the Seine to go over to the Bercy stadium and check out the Bercy Canonstrate, and le Defense (the modern, financial district) with La Grande Arc, which is to the North-West of the city.
The city is sectioned off into 20 arrondissments, which is how I made the plan.
If you need a place to stay, try the BVJ: Paris Louvre Hostel, it's in a great location and rates are pretty good!
Hope that helps!
PS: If you have any questions, just ask!
Wow - what an incredible plan! The only thing I'd add to it is a stop at the Catacombs, if you like that kind of thing. It was so eerie, all those bones piled up for miles and miles. I second a trip to Pere Lachaise - great place to spend a few hours. I loved it.
On your way to Spain, I would definitely go to Bordeaux, a little town called St. Emilion is really pretty as it's surrounded by vinyards and wineries. Carcassonne has a medieval walled city, but I found this to be a lot like Disneyland. It's been completely rennovated and is filled with tourist shops and restaurants.
Thankyou for all your replies!!!
Keep the hints and tips coming!!
After Paris, I'd head for the Med to see a very different France.
It is worth lingering in Languedoc before hopping over the border into Spain.