Options

Things to do in France

cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm RegentBears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
edited November 2021 in Help / Advice Forum
I've always wanted to see the Louvre, so I booked a trip in March. I'll be there for about six days, so apart from that... the sky's the limit.

It would be really awesome to find any nice local theaters, art museums, music/movie/game shops, etc. (And Blood Machines in a theater would be incredible, seeing how it's a French film.)

I also hear that visiting London is feasible within a 2 hour train ride, so anything doable in a day is welcome.

I'll be staying here if it helps:
ovl29pxf1p60.png


(This is all revolving around the desperate hope that nothing viral screws this up, but I'm as vaccinated as can be and not getting any younger, so I may as well go while it seems somewhat doable.)

Also, seeing Rochefort would be neat because I love this film, but not sure if it's reasonable to visit or even worth seeing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZFK8svwtxA

wVEsyIc.png
cj iwakura on

Posts

  • Options
    ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular

    I went on vacation there in October! That was my fourth vacation there - Paris is my second favourite city in the world to visit, and there’s definitely enough in the city to occupy you for a week. As close as London is, I’d suggest spending the full trip in France and giving London a dedicated trip of its own in the future. But the most important thing I’ll say: get the Covid passport. You will need it to get into places like the Louvre and to eat in restaurants.

    Next: here’s the Wikivoyage page for Paris. It’s worth reading IMO.

    Now, on to you and your trip specifically.

    The big stuff within Paris:
    • I suggest visiting the Opera, just a few blocks away. In a country that does ridiculously over-the-top opulence better than anyone, the Opera may be the most ridiculously over the top opulent place there. The self-guided audio tour is pretty good if you can’t make the timeline work to get on a normal guided tour.
    • Plan for a full day at the Louvre. And be aware that it’s NOT open on Tuesdays.
    • I suggest going to the Musee D’Orsay as well; I personally like their art collection even better than the Louvre. Note that they’re closed on Mondays.
    • The Eiffel Tower is an obvious thing to go see. You can go see it in the evening. Expect very long lines.
    • The Arc de Triomphe is also pretty close to your hotel; among other things, it has one of the absolute best views of the Eiffel Tower.
    • Be sure to walk through the Jardin du Palais Royale, and then down to the Jardin des Tuileries. And then either to the Louvre, or in the other direction to the Arc de Triomphe, along the Champs-Élysées. Really, go both ways.
    • The Catacombs are undeniably creepy, but are one of the coolest things you can see in Paris. It’s a long walk from your hotel though; you’ll likely want to take the Metro to get there.
    • Sacre Coeur is a popular tourist destination; with that said I will note that the building was built as a giant “fuck you” to socialists after the destruction of the Paris Commune 1871.
    • Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie are what remains of a former royal palace, and are visited with one ticket. The former is an amazing collection of stained glass, the latter is a former prison where a large number of people sentenced to the guillotine spent their last days during the Revolution.
    • Les Invalides is a huge museum about French military history. Also present there is the tomb of Napoleon.

    Offbeat stuff in Paris:
    • The Marché Bastille is just north of the Place de la Bastille, and is an open air market from Thursday to Sunday mornings. Follow the green space north from the market to get to the Canal Saint-Martin, which makes for a lovely place to sit down to eat whatever you might have bought at the market or in nearby boulangeries.
    • The Musée des égouts de Paris is the Paris sewer museum, located in a still functional sewer. Don’t eat a heavy lunch before you go!
    • The Musee de Cluny, museum of the Middle Ages, may still be closed when you go. But if it’s open it’s worth seeing IMO.
    • The Centre Pompidou is a modern art museum, and by most accounts of people who enjoy modern art it’s pretty good. If nothing else, there are some nice views of the city.
    • The Archaeological crypt of the Île de la Cité is very close to Notre Dame, and you descend down to the level of Roman Paris. Well worth seeing IMO.
    • The Musée de l'Orangerie can be seen with a double ticket to Orsay. It’s not large, but Monet’s water lilies there are world famous.
    • The Musée des Archives Nationales at Hôtel de Soubise is a quick but cool visit. It comes ancient and historic documents, in rooms built around 17th century luxury on par with Versailles.
    • The Musée Carnavalet is dedicated to the history of Paris, and has a few neat exhibits.
    • The Musée du quai Branly focuses on non-European traditional art from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania.

    A few potential day trips, all easily accessible by train:
    • Versailles has to top the list, as it’s possibly the most famous palace in the world, with historically significant events happening there for centuries.
    • Chantilly has a palace built for a prince. And also a palace built for horses.
    • Fontainebleau isn’t as big as Versailles, but it’s older, and it’s a bit more pleasant in some ways.
    • Meaux has a lovely cathedral and a WWI museum - the WWI museum is a bit of a hike from the rail station though.

    One more thing: I don’t know how fit/able you are, but if you can, I recommend walking everywhere in Paris to the greatest extent possible. For one, avoiding the Metro and it’s packed cars will help minimize your chances of catching Covid or other illnesses. But more importantly IMO, Paris is a gorgeous city to walk though. I have never regretted a walk through Paris, enjoying the beauty of the city on foot, keeping an eye open for street art or plaques or signs about the history of the place.

    Civics is not a consumer product that you can ignore because you don’t like the options presented.
  • Options
    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Shadowhope wrote: »
    I went on vacation there in October! That was my fourth vacation there - Paris is my second favourite city in the world to visit, and there’s definitely enough in the city to occupy you for a week. As close as London is, I’d suggest spending the full trip in France and giving London a dedicated trip of its own in the future. But the most important thing I’ll say: get the Covid passport. You will need it to get into places like the Louvre and to eat in restaurants.

    Next: here’s the Wikivoyage page for Paris. It’s worth reading IMO.

    Now, on to you and your trip specifically.

    The big stuff within Paris:
    • I suggest visiting the Opera, just a few blocks away. In a country that does ridiculously over-the-top opulence better than anyone, the Opera may be the most ridiculously over the top opulent place there. The self-guided audio tour is pretty good if you can’t make the timeline work to get on a normal guided tour.
    • Plan for a full day at the Louvre. And be aware that it’s NOT open on Tuesdays.
    • I suggest going to the Musee D’Orsay as well; I personally like their art collection even better than the Louvre. Note that they’re closed on Mondays.
    • The Eiffel Tower is an obvious thing to go see. You can go see it in the evening. Expect very long lines.
    • The Arc de Triomphe is also pretty close to your hotel; among other things, it has one of the absolute best views of the Eiffel Tower.
    • Be sure to walk through the Jardin du Palais Royale, and then down to the Jardin des Tuileries. And then either to the Louvre, or in the other direction to the Arc de Triomphe, along the Champs-Élysées. Really, go both ways.
    • The Catacombs are undeniably creepy, but are one of the coolest things you can see in Paris. It’s a long walk from your hotel though; you’ll likely want to take the Metro to get there.
    • Sacre Coeur is a popular tourist destination; with that said I will note that the building was built as a giant “fuck you” to socialists after the destruction of the Paris Commune 1871.
    • Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie are what remains of a former royal palace, and are visited with one ticket. The former is an amazing collection of stained glass, the latter is a former prison where a large number of people sentenced to the guillotine spent their last days during the Revolution.
    • Les Invalides is a huge museum about French military history. Also present there is the tomb of Napoleon.

    Offbeat stuff in Paris:
    • The Marché Bastille is just north of the Place de la Bastille, and is an open air market from Thursday to Sunday mornings. Follow the green space north from the market to get to the Canal Saint-Martin, which makes for a lovely place to sit down to eat whatever you might have bought at the market or in nearby boulangeries.
    • The Musée des égouts de Paris is the Paris sewer museum, located in a still functional sewer. Don’t eat a heavy lunch before you go!
    • The Musee de Cluny, museum of the Middle Ages, may still be closed when you go. But if it’s open it’s worth seeing IMO.
    • The Centre Pompidou is a modern art museum, and by most accounts of people who enjoy modern art it’s pretty good. If nothing else, there are some nice views of the city.
    • The Archaeological crypt of the Île de la Cité is very close to Notre Dame, and you descend down to the level of Roman Paris. Well worth seeing IMO.
    • The Musée de l'Orangerie can be seen with a double ticket to Orsay. It’s not large, but Monet’s water lilies there are world famous.
    • The Musée des Archives Nationales at Hôtel de Soubise is a quick but cool visit. It comes ancient and historic documents, in rooms built around 17th century luxury on par with Versailles.
    • The Musée Carnavalet is dedicated to the history of Paris, and has a few neat exhibits.
    • The Musée du quai Branly focuses on non-European traditional art from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania.

    A few potential day trips, all easily accessible by train:
    • Versailles has to top the list, as it’s possibly the most famous palace in the world, with historically significant events happening there for centuries.
    • Chantilly has a palace built for a prince. And also a palace built for horses.
    • Fontainebleau isn’t as big as Versailles, but it’s older, and it’s a bit more pleasant in some ways.
    • Meaux has a lovely cathedral and a WWI museum - the WWI museum is a bit of a hike from the rail station though.

    One more thing: I don’t know how fit/able you are, but if you can, I recommend walking everywhere in Paris to the greatest extent possible. For one, avoiding the Metro and it’s packed cars will help minimize your chances of catching Covid or other illnesses. But more importantly IMO, Paris is a gorgeous city to walk though. I have never regretted a walk through Paris, enjoying the beauty of the city on foot, keeping an eye open for street art or plaques or signs about the history of the place.

    Yep, I did plenty of walking when I visited Tokyo, so I'm fine on that front(I only used trains to get between cities). I love museums, so those definitely top my list.

    wVEsyIc.png
  • Options
    ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular

    Cool!

    Well, I won't pretend to be a native or anything, but if you have any general or specific questions I can try to answer them.

    Civics is not a consumer product that you can ignore because you don’t like the options presented.
  • Options
    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    CONSUME MASS QUANTITIES

  • Options
    RingoRingo He/Him a distinct lack of substanceRegistered User regular
    I have been informed that impromptu performances of the 90s Jamiroquai hit "Virtual Insanity" are the thing to do every time you find yourself on a moving sidewalk in Paris

    https://youtu.be/4JkIs37a2JE

    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
    Edcrab's Exigency RPG
  • Options
    ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    CONSUME MASS QUANTITIES

    When I went last time, walking everywhere, I went into every boulangerie or pâtisserie that had a long line or looked good on Googles reviews and I bought at least two or three things.

    I put on 14 pounds in 14 days while walking over thirty kilometres a day.

    Paris is delicious.

    Civics is not a consumer product that you can ignore because you don’t like the options presented.
  • Options
    CornucopiistCornucopiist Registered User regular
    Depending on your interests, there are many more interest-specific things to do and see. For example, manga (and anime) is huuuuge in France. And there are state laws to support bookstores, so bookstores are fabulous in France.
    Put together, this means are many manga in most bookstores, and there are many manga specific shops, and then there's the manga café which has a reading room with 18.000 manga.


  • Options
    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    I went to Paris for the weekend and we did absolutely nothing but walk and eat. Didn't want to waste valuable walking time going in places. It's amazing.

  • Options
    djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    We went to Paris a few years ago and took one of the water taxis along the seine (batobus, I think is the name). It was a neat way to get from A to B, but even with the top open, the glassiest ones are basically moving greenhouses, so if it's a hot or sunny day, it can be _very_ hot on the boat.

  • Options
    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited December 2021
    I went to Paris for the weekend and we did absolutely nothing but walk and eat. Didn't want to waste valuable walking time going in places. It's amazing.

    My recommendation also, plus I would advice against spending time for a day trip to London. It will take valuable time away from enjoying Paris, not to mention that London is not done in a day (or a week for that matter).

    Now March may be a little early for this weather wise, but if it is warm enough the I'd say spending a couple of hours at side walk cafe just drinking coffee and taking in the scenery is worth it. If you manage to sit where you can observe a few parking spots across the road it is even better, it will give you insight to why many cars in Paris look a little scruffy - simply put it seems that nudging other cars to find room to park is normal.

    PS. Make sure to try real French Fries at a restaurant and also visit a bakery, buy a baguette and maybe some charcuterie from a butcher for lunch.

    BlindZenDriver on
    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • Options
    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited December 2021
    I adore Paris.

    Keep in mind that it's a big, dense city; and like many big, dense cities it can be dirty, stinky, loud, and there is income inequality. I don't think that's a problem for you but some folks can be disillusioned by the reality of it.

    I'm not sure that waiting in line for the Eiffel Tower is worth it: instead, taking a walk down the Trocadero or sitting on the Champ-De-Mars (weather permitting) gets you up close to its base.

    My only other advice is to take your time. It's a highly walkable city, with a fantastic subway system, restaurants and cafes everywhere. Just spend some time exploring. Some folks are tempted to pack as much touristy/historical stuff into their visit as they can, and IMO that's not the ideal way to go about it. Pick some of the museums and tourist attractions you're most interested in, but leave plenty of time in between them (including a few days where you have nothing planned) to just wander. Sit in a sidewalk cafe and drink wine or coffee for a few hours. Find a small kebab shop in an alley and eat some grilled meat.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Options
    CornucopiistCornucopiist Registered User regular
    PS. Make sure to try real French Fries at a restaurant and also visit a bakery, buy a baguette and maybe some charcuterie from a butcher for lunch.
    Now, now, let's not get hasty, French fries are Belgian.
    And while a steak-frites is quientessential bistro food, it's not typically French nor limited to France and might not be that good, depending on where you go.
    Bouchées à la reine, however, is fantastic, was invented at the French court and therefore is Parisian, and is awesome. That said, Paris is where you find world cuisine, and french regional quisine, as well as the court cuisine that became international, so it's hard to make a case for any specific dish...

  • Options
    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Yes, definitely don't go to London too. Save that for another trip.

  • Options
    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    I don't know if this will be applicable, but the best, unexpected memory I had from Paris was a dinner cruise. Granted there was a good portion of value in the romantic part of doing it as a couples, but seeing the city lit up at night from the river and having a fancy meal was really nice.

    Don't wait in line to go up the Eiffel tower. Instead, go walk around it and instead go up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, preferably at night. The Eiffel Tower is one of the things that makes a view of the city look like Paris, and you can include it in the panorama if you go up the Arc instead.

    Have some breakfasts in cafes. Say "hon hon hon" to yourself as you have your cafe and pain.

    What is this I don't even.
  • Options
    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Depending on your interests, there are many more interest-specific things to do and see. For example, manga (and anime) is huuuuge in France. And there are state laws to support bookstores, so bookstores are fabulous in France.
    Put together, this means are many manga in most bookstores, and there are many manga specific shops, and then there's the manga café which has a reading room with 18.000 manga.


    For fear of playing to stereotype, yes, I'd love to know where these places are, especially any cool import shops.

    wVEsyIc.png
  • Options
    asurasur Registered User regular
    The Musee Rodin is a must see and for an added covid bonus is pretty much entirely outdoors.

  • Options
    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    asur wrote: »
    The Musee Rodin is a must see and for an added covid bonus is pretty much entirely outdoors.

    Oh yes, Rodin is an absolute must.

    What is this I don't even.
  • Options
    DibbitDibbit Registered User regular
    I don't know how it looks in march, but I'm low-key fascinated by the Promenade Plantée: Basically, when they got rid of one of the raised railroads, instead of demolishing it, they replaced it with a little park. It sounds fun, but obviously, won't fill your day.

    If you're into ironic History, you might want to go to Chateau Saint-Cloud (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parc_de_Saint-Cloud) and when you arrive there, notice that it's now Park Saint-Cloud.
    It used to be one of the most important palaces in Europe, and it got destroyed in a pretty ironic way: Basically, France wanted to get a bit of a rousing battle going because they had internal unrest, they poked Germany... and then Germany poked back, marched into Paris, accidentally burned down the Palace, and then drunkenly walked away again.

    It's the palace that Marie Antionette bought when the French had a famine going on, and it basically sealed her fate for being a horrible person.
    It was also the residence of most of the Napoleons.
    And some historically important treaties were signed there.
    And it had the first ever Miniature Rail-road! Choo-Choo!
    But now it's mostly a park, with the internal Weights and measurements institute having what's left of the buildings. (Unfortunately, you can't go visit the kilogram, this one is the original and too important)

  • Options
    FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    If you're a graveyard aficionado then the Pere-Lachaise necropolis is a must visit. While not as good as londons countryside cemeteries it's still pretty great.
    Just don't visit the Jim Morrison tombstone, despite changing headstone to a "vandal-resistant" one it spends 90% of the time vandalized because people have no fucking respect.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
  • Options
    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    I have great timing, don't I? I've been told the stuff in Ukraine shouldn't affect anything, but if anyone locally thinks I'm wrong, feel free to let me know.
    (Also, can anyone confirm the Louvre is indeed free next Sunday?)

    wVEsyIc.png
  • Options
    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Not sure if Denmark counts as locally, but unless you're booked to fly on a Russian airline then nothing has changed.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • Options
    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Yeah, business as usual here so far, the only thing I'm worried about is that they're saying I have to show a negative test before I go back to the States, despite being fully vaccinated.

    I saw the Louvre today, and it was gorgeous.

    u7u182lsu0v9.jpeg

    wVEsyIc.png
  • Options
    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Surprised no one told me Paris has the most retro game shops I've ever seen... Boulevard Voltaire was wild.

    wVEsyIc.png
  • Options
    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Buy a French copy of Lupin the Third

  • Options
    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited March 2022
    So yeah, Blvd. Voltaire and the Louvre were definitely the highlights of my trip.
    (Again, blows my mind that no one here of all places knew about the massive retro gaming district...)



    I also saw the Sacre Coeur, the Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, and a lot of neat local shops. (Versailles was closed due to a summit, sadly.)


    Food-wise, ehhh... I have to be honest, it was real hit and miss. Everything was a lot more expensive than I thought, and while some places were good, a lot were mediocre-average.

    I definitely would have thought twice about going had I expected the Parisian airport to be the labyrinth from hell on return, especially with the US requiring a covid test. :P
    (Still, that's our fault, not France's.)


    The people were also very nice and helpful, especially since I went nearly everywhere on foot. Trying to ask in French worked wonders. Thanks for all the hints. If I ever go back, I'll make sure it's post-pandemic, and ideally not alone. :)


    Also, swag:
    h9wwabic0gc7.png

    For a friend, who loves hymnals(from a massive shop that had a ton of them) :

    62lhktgamemg.png



    And one last thing, I saw where the ending of one of my favorite films was shot:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFaRpDe_dUo
    seax6osqn0ow.png


    15xgwscq5jhz.png

    4wa20bqe8eby.png

    Maybe that's the final lesson.

    12qlo9560fjd.png

    cj iwakura on
    wVEsyIc.png
Sign In or Register to comment.