Have You Been to Paris, France?

Have You Been to Paris?I have a question for the hivemind.

Have you ever been to Paris? Not Paris, Ontario, but Paris, France...


I'm going there on Friday and I'm curious as to what you'd recommend I do when I'm there. What do I have to see and do in Paris?

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Enter the Louvre via the Carousel de Louvre and not the surface entrance.

The Latin Quarter has some of the best food.

Book in advance your time for the Eiffel Tower.

Museum pass is worth it, as is the metro pass.

The boats at the Jardin de Luxembourg fountain are lots of fun to send around the fountain :).

Versailles is cool, but it's a full day outing.

September 5, 2012 @ 8:32 PM

Blind Dave

The kiddies are back in skool and you're fluttering off to Paris??? Care to explain yourself, young man?

September 5, 2012 @ 8:47 PM


Ya, what gives Mike? You are now jetsetting off to Paris? Wait a minute. Is Dove or Ford paying for you to test drive their new European line?

September 5, 2012 @ 9:06 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I realize it sounds like I'm a wealthy jet setter, but I'm still the same poor bastard I've always been.

I had work in Amsterdam, hence the recent trip there, and I have more business in Amsterdam next week, so this jaunt to Paris is just for the weekend before I take the train back to Amsterdam.

I'm expensing a lot, and the rest I'm doing on the cheap.

Keep the Paris tips coming!

September 5, 2012 @ 9:52 PM


You should go to London, Mike! On the way back from Amsterdam, perhaps?

September 5, 2012 @ 10:17 PM


The catacombs are FASCINATING

The view of Paris from Sacré Coeur is absolutely breathtaking. Climb the hill, don't take the funicular.


It's amazing... Ron Hawkins references it in Rosy & Grey... "And I've seen the sun go down on Sacré Coeur"

Montmartre does feel touristy, but climbing that hill, and the view, and the history, it's a must-visit. Perfect time of year to go!

September 5, 2012 @ 11:13 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Actually, I'm going to Dublin on the way back from Amsterdam.

I want to see the motherland.

September 5, 2012 @ 11:17 PM


Never been to Paris, but looking forward to the Blogosphere's hints as I hope to go next year.

Now Dublin - that is a beautiful city! Do the hop-on hop-off bus tour.

September 6, 2012 @ 7:08 AM


I've been to France twice, but have yet to set foot on the European continent - island territory remnants of the French empire. Come to think of it, I've never been to Paris, Ontario, either.

I've found that Trip Advisor (start here: http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ ) can have really good tips for places, as they are all user reviews.

Yes, Ron Hawkins sang that lovely line. Good thing Rosie left out the next one. ;-)

September 6, 2012 @ 7:27 AM


Paris is great - so much to see. If you're going with your wife, take the Seine boat ride. Its touristy but its worth it.

Only thing, don't expect the locals to be friendly or helpful (that includes their waiters).

September 6, 2012 @ 8:54 AM


Ditto on Sacre-coeur and Catacombs, and also highly recommend Sainte-chappelle (which has the benefit of being right next to Notre Dame -- do the climb to the top of the bell towers!). The Louvre can get really really busy; the Musee d'Orsay may be more manageable if your time and tolerance of crowds is limited. And the Jardin de Luxembourg is great. We did the Catacombs, walked to the Jardins, and then had lunch in the Latin Quarter.

Also, though, try to just relax at a sidewalk cafe and enjoy yourself for a while. Breakfast in particular -- get a coffee or hot chocolate and a croissant or brioche and just sit and watch the people go by. That was our morning ritual when my wife and I were there, and it got us off on the right foot. Similarly, you should buy a picnic lunch from the assorted bakeries, fromageries, and other food shops and eat in one of the gardens or the bridges across the Seine.

Unlike Argie, I did not meet a disproportionate number of rude people in Paris. And that includes waiters. Be friendly and polite, and use your high school French (even if you have to switch to English after a minute), and don't dress and act like an idiot tourist, and you might be pleasantly surprised by how warm the French are.

September 6, 2012 @ 9:58 AM


I completely agree with dlauthor, I was in France for two weeks in July. In my opinion, the people of France are more friendly and polite than Canadians, particularly in the GTA. Make an attempt to speak French, be courteous, don't expect mall clothing store service from waiters, and you will be pleasantly surprised at how nice Parisians are.

The closer you get to a major tourist attraction, the price goes up and service goes down in direct proportion. There are wonderful cafes, brasseries, patisseries, menswear, etc shops that you can visit and have a great day out. The main tourist attractions are OK, but I didn't feel the need to be at them everyday, we just chilled and had a great time without a schedule. Enjoy!

September 6, 2012 @ 2:20 PM


I've been to Paris, but it was a very very long time ago with my parents. Can't remember much though. Actually wee maybe not have been in Paris so maybe I shouldn't say I've been, but we were traveling around France camping out in a trailer. Don't remember much though. Hope you do an open Mike before you leave.

September 6, 2012 @ 6:01 PM


I too would recommend the Musee d'Orsay over the Louvre - crowds are smaller and art just as impressive. Also, skip the Mona Lisa until your 2nd (or 5th visit).
I would also recommend getting a fresh baguette, some fine cheese or brie, some jambon, and a great cheap wine and go and sit in the park by the Eiffel Tower and eat + drink away and watch the people go by.
I would also wear/pack some 'nicer' casual clothes -- even the bums dress nicer than the best dressed in Toronto.
And be prepared to see some of the most tastefully dressed beautiful women you've ever seen (outside of your lovely and talented wife naturally).

September 6, 2012 @ 7:21 PM


Agreed about the clothes. Nobody in Paris wears a T-shirt or sneakers. Part of the whole "don't be an Ugly North American" rule.

Also, I should note that the scam artists and pickpockets can be kind of thick on the ground, particularly around the touristy locations. Watch your wallet in particular -- I was being vigilant, and even then a 12-year-old kid (roughly) almost lifted mine near the Arc de Triomphe (OK to visit if you have time, but not a highlight for me, and the Champs Elysees isn't really all that).

September 7, 2012 @ 9:59 AM


Stop being a tourist & get out and see the real Paris. Take a trip through the ethnic suburbs & talk to the immigrants from Tunisia & such. Listen to their alienation Mike. Soon as they recognize you're not French you should be fine. Experience the REAL side of Europe.

And Dublin? Try Belfast dude. Listen to the words of the Whiteboys & Orangemen. Feel the pleasure of being stopped at a road side inspection to be questioned by armed soldiers. Stop & have a chip butty.

Then stop in Scotland dude. And if anyone harasses you, tell 'em you know me, sixth Laird of Drum and chief of Clan Irvine. Oh and bring me back a tartan.

September 9, 2012 @ 12:39 PM

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