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 Post subject: Day trip to Paris
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:19 pm
Posts: 46
Hi,

Am thinking of taking the children to Paris for a day trip to see the Eiffel Tower and one or two other sights and am looking for any advice people may have. Does anyone know if there is say an English speaking coach company when we arrive at Gare du Nord that would take us to a few places or where I can find a cost effective way of doing it by ourselves. Am actaully quite hopeless at working out logistics etc.

Thank you


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 Post subject: Re: Day trip to Paris
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:40 pm
Posts: 133
There is a round Paris open top bus which we used when our daughter was eight. You can get off and on as often as you want http://www.city-sightseeing.com/tours/f ... ngposition .

It doesn't visit Gare du Nord, but you can either walk to a start point, or jump on the Metro.


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 Post subject: Re: Day trip to Paris
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
Posts: 2607
Hi me2010,

Only one day? Oh dear, Paris is such a beautiful city that it will be hard for you to choose where to go besides the Eiffel tower! That’s a ‘taster session’ then, but I imagine it might be in ‘accompaniment’ to one day at the nearby Disneyland? :wink:


This site might give you a better knowledge of the city, but I am sure there are many other valuable websites: http://www.aparisguide.com/index.htm


Concerning transport and access to museums maybe have a look also at these sites
http://www.parispass.com/?aid=25&gclid= ... tAodAXUASw
http://www.helloparis.co.uk/Getting-aro ... tAod_mkA2A
And here is the site of the RATP which is the company that controls the buses, metro and RER in Paris and its region:
http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/c_21879/tourists/

The idea of taking the top decker bus is excellent because it will allow you to see several well-known sites while just having to hop on and off a bus (personally, I am used only to the metro and RER that I like dearly as they are really efficient.. except when the French are on strikes which is far too often compared to others countries! :roll: ). But for you who won’t have much time and might be a bit disorientated in a foreign city, the cars rouges might be an ideal option. :wink:

If in the future you come to Paris again for a few more days, try to go and see the Versailles chateau because it is really worth it, even if you do not visit the interior. :D The gardens are so grand and majestic! :D And if you have kids, they would enjoy boating on the canals or ride some tandems (at some extra cost). It is particularly worth to do it in summer and spring when there is the musical fountain show:
http://en.chateauversailles.fr/prepare- ... -eaux-1-en


wishing you an enjoyable stay in Paris! :D :D


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 Post subject: Re: Day trip to Paris
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 2083
Location: Maidstone
Personally I wouldn't recommend doing it to see sights as a day visit with kids. Just imagine doing it in London, you really can only do one major thing in a day before its time to head home. I once went to London and did all those three museums in one day, it just ended up being a tick boxing exercise that we have been there. :oops:

We recently did the trip for a few days and were at Gare du Nord at 9:13 but we were all tired as we woke up at 4am (as we live a 20min drive from Ashford) and lost an hour crossing into France. Almost everyone was sleeping on the train which takes less that 2 hours from down here in Kent. By the time you come out and try to work the exits its 10am and then my kids were telling me they were hungry despite having eaten on the train. :roll:

Almost all the main activities involve standing or walking around. You may perhaps fit in one museum but if you could add in at least a night that can give you 2 full days as you can depart Paris around 8pm the following day.

Paris is amazing at night and Eiffel Tower at night is just amazing too. They light it out for 5 minutes every hour after dark and it was completely different watching it at night and visiting it during the day. I also think the joy in visiting Paris isn't in always hitting the tourist trails but sometimes just sitting on the bus and watch the Parisians go out and about in their business and soaking in the architecture and atmosphere surrounding you as well as the diversity of the city.

You don't need an open top deck bus, they are just expensive tourists buses like London ones. The local bus system is very good and very easy to use too. I was apprehensive about using local buses but they are soooo easy to use and a good way of sight seeing. All you need to know is which bus number you need to take and they have a screen inside which shows the next destination. By the way all the customer service assistants at Gare speak English, in fact at all the main attractions they all speak English but it is polite to know the basic thank you and hello in French.

French pronunciation is another thing, what it looks on paper and how they say it almost always seemed different (to me that is). On the buses I just looked at the destination screen because they spell it, on the metro I just looked at the next destination map.

I found by booking at least a month in advance we got some good deals from Eurostar and the hotel we stayed in but we were travelling outside school holidays so I don't know if you may get similar discounts if you book in advance for half term breaks. If you want details of where we stayed you can send me a pm. It was a great location for the money we paid. Arrondissements 1-6 tend to be much more pricey but a bit further out you can find better value for your money.

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 Post subject: Re: Day trip to Paris
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
Posts: 2607
sherry_d wrote:
Personally I wouldn't recommend doing it to see sights as a day visit with kids. Just imagine doing it in London, you really can only do one major thing in a day before its time to head home. I once went to London and did all those three museums in one day, it just ended up being a tick boxing exercise that we have been there. :oops:

I totally agree! Aim at a minimum of three days, if possible one week… and even this is not enough :lol: :lol: , but at least you would have done the minimum. :wink: Last time we took our DS to ‘discover Paris’ when he was 8/ 9 (no need to bring children who are too little to Paris. Even at Disneyland, there are many attractions they won’t be to enjoy due to their short size ), I had to go back to the UK after three days and my DH and DS who were finishing the week there to continue visiting this fabulous city got the luck to be ‘stranded’ in Paris due to the ashes of the ashes of the Icelandic volcano :lol: :lol: . That gave them two extra days there. What a godsend! :D :D

sherry_d wrote:
I also think the joy in visiting Paris isn't in always hitting the tourist trails but sometimes just sitting on the bus and watch the Parisians go out and about in their business and soaking in the architecture and atmosphere surrounding you as well as the diversity of the city.

Couldn’t agree more… However, here are some places nice to stroll about even though they are touristic places:
- Trocadero and champs de Mars (near Eiffel tower)
- ‘Ile de la cite’ (that’s the island where Notre Dame is). There is very well-known glacier over there called berthillon:you can easily find his address on google
- ‘Quartier Latin’ near boulevard St Michel and the pantheon (nearby the ‘jardins du Luxembourg‘ where you can have a rest and enjoy the weather if it is nice) and going down to the ‘quais de la Seine’
- Behind the Sacre Coeur, there is the ‘place du Tertre’ where there are many painters and caricaturists with cafes and restaurants (when you go up to Montmartre, it’s quite nice to take the ‘funiculaire’ if your children have never boarded a funicular before… and you give your little lesson about forces, pulleys and gravity in you are in your teaching mood :lol: :lol: ). Then, on your way down, no need to take the ‘funiculaire’ again, just walk down and enjoy the atmosphere.

Maybe some people would recommend to you strolling on the Champs Elysees, not really my taste but everybody has different tastes, so I am mentioning it to try to be complete. However, I like l’Arc de Triomphe where the ‘soldat inconnu’ (= unknown soldier) is buried but that’s my nationalist pride who is speaking there! :roll:
These are the places which come at the top of my head, but I am surely forgetting many others like place de la Madeleine, l'Opera, le jardin des tuileries, etc…

I have better to keep quiet otherwise I am here for a long elogious talk about Paris! :roll: :roll:

Signed by a French person who loves dearly her capital city, as you could have guessed
:lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Day trip to Paris
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 2093
Location: Birmingham
There is very well-known glacier over there called berthillon:you can easily find his address on google


I became genuinely confused at that point as I was unaware of any glaciers (slow-moving rivers of ice) near Paris, and was beginning to wonder at the effects of the recent freezing weather on the Seine ...... :lol: but now I think you are referring to an ice-cream maker?

I was also thinking of taking the children to Paris and then the South of France next October half term - sorry to hijack the post but what sort of accommodation would anyone recommend for a family of 7? Is it possible to hire decent apartments for just a few days?


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 Post subject: Re: Day trip to Paris
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:47 pm
Posts: 2151
Location: Warwickshire
You give your children generous trips! We couldn't afford to take kids to Paris for a birthday - but it's a glorious place, you need much more than a day to appreciate it.

Where would you begin? So many things to do and visit.

We might be on the London Eye if we're lucky. If we could afford to do Paris for a birthday treat, we'd do it - but for a few days at least.


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 Post subject: Re: Day trip to Paris
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:46 am 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
Posts: 2607
um wrote:

I was beginning to wonder at the effects of the recent freezing weather on the Seine ...... :lol: but now I think you are referring to an ice-cream maker?

:lol: :lol: Who knows if it will happen one day!! To this day, I had never seen a 'white Easter'.. though since yesterday, the snow is tending to melt quick and fast here in Brum! I have even heard from a nice patrol person of a well known car breakdown service who came to start my car which was capricious due to the cold weather :roll: , that it even once snowed in June in Birmingham:shock: :shock:

um wrote:
[color=#800080][size=85]There is very well-known glacier over there called berthillon:you can easily find his address on google

but now I think you are referring to an ice-cream maker?


Yes, I meant an ice-cream maker! :lol: :lol: .. My post was really full of French words, sorry.. :oops: I sometimes write my posts in a hurry, not taking enough time proof read everything! :evil: Anyway the translation of some (many ? :roll: ) of my sentences must certainly make you laugh more than once as these sentences are processed in a French mind so the structure is very often wrong... So smile or laugh at my many mistakes :lol: , and don’t hesitate to ask me clarification if the meaning is too obscure! :wink: .. and thank you for your patience with me :wink: who is doing of massacre of Shakespeare’s language :cry: on this wonderful forum :D !

um wrote:
I was also thinking of taking the children to Paris and then the South of France next October half term - sorry to hijack the post but what sort of accommodation would anyone recommend for a family of 7? Is it possible to hire decent apartments for just a few days?

To find an accommodation for a large family, I would suggest you to have a look at the website of ‘particuliers à particuliers’ (meaning ‘private individual’ to ‘private individual’ i.e. private sale/let). Here is the English page of their website:
http://www.pap.fr/?lang=en
There might be other useful websites on the web but I am afraid I do not know them yet, maybe some other suggestions will come...

Normally, you can let for a specific number of days, depending on the owner and on the season (high or low). When we rented the flat in Paris, it was Easter holidays (so high season) and I felt shy of asking for an extra week end to the full week we were already asking for (so we had planned 9 days not just 7... and then two more were added. What a fabulous Paris is!!! :wink: ). I shouldn't have felt shy, as we planned our trip well in advance and owners usually prefer to have the flat rented than empty, so we easily obtained the extra week end!

If you rent in Paris, try to look at something not to far from a 'metro' station (= tube station), even if possible looking at the proximity of good connections not too far away (for example, one or two, if possible no more than three stations from your point of boarding the metro). It is usually mentioned in the adds because it is an important detail as in Paris, we do walk a lot! No new shoes to be worn during that trip! :wink:

But maybe, I would suggest you to rather aim at one week on Paris (from which you go easily to Disneyland, Parc Asterix and chateau de Versailles) and to plan another trip to see the south of France, unless you take your car there... in which case I would advise you to spend the whole :shock: of a summer month in France, visiting the country North to South.. but I am fully aware that such a project can be hard nowadays due to the economic crisis we have to live through!!!

I remember such a long trip in Greece in my youth (family of eight, car full to the top., boarding the boat in Italy (of course, we visited a few churches with nice mosaics on our way from France to the Italian harbour ) to Patras in Greece... and then three marvelous weeks of visiting Peloponnese till up the central Greece to visit the meteoras... our car has been 'kind enough' of not having any breakdown during its harsh adventures on the dusty roads. No GPS in that time, so my dad's efforts to take some short cuts could end up in some funny situations :lol: ... After all these visits, my dad had planned one last week to rest in a small village on the sea side). Such wonderful memories as you can imagine with a large family :wink: . That really reminds me of the family atmosphere in the book My family and other animals by Gerald Durell :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Day trip to Paris
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:39 pm
Posts: 2080
No, do carry on, JE, as your structure helps me with my French.


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 Post subject: Re: Day trip to Paris
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
Posts: 2607
KS10 wrote:
as your structure helps me with my French.


Hi KS10, :D

I am so glad to hear that I am helping with your French despite me not intending to! :lol: :lol: I love so much teaching, that it is absolutely fabulous to hear that I am doing so inadvertently ... not only that but I am doing it through mistakes :shock: ! What a miracle! :lol: :lol:


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