I am spending the month of June in Paris, France. Its a school trip (art history major here). We are doing all the cool touristy things, all the major museums, bike ride along the river, Chartes Cathedral, etc.
Where should I go that is off the beaten path. I am staying in a hostel in St. Michel near Notre Dame in the 5th ars.
Where are the great little places to eat, I love great food and I think experiencing a country through the food is important.
So give me your *must do in Paris*
and if you have any tips for Venice, Italy I am spending a week there for the Beinial.
I love all the little, narrow streets in the 6th, sort of around Rue de Buci, Rue Bonaparte, Rue Jacob. Nice shops, restaurants and cafes, as well as alive at night. Mariage Freres tea shop on Rue Grands Augustins, with the cafe/tea house on the 2nd level. Must have tea and their creme brulee one afternoon. Not sure of the street or name of restaurant in the same area, but it is a creperie. Yum. Crepes for dinner, all sorts of ways...then have a sweet one for dessert. Also, you must visit Jardin Luxembourg, of course. My favorite museum? Musee Rodin. His sculpures in the garden and in the house. A nice little cafe in the garden there where you can eat and ponder the sculptures just in view. Have some Moroccan food while you are in Paris. Gerard Mulot patisserie is near Jardin Luxembourg with fantastic macaroons.
Definitely off the beaten path, and I can't remember exactly how to get there because when I last went I was 13, but the Palace of Versailles was absolutely amazing. The hall of mirrors was so beautiful
I have planed to go to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, as well as the catacombs, and possibly the sewers. I have passes into all the museums, and my program includes day trips to Versailles, Van Gogh's house, Rodin Museum and Manet's property.
Keep the names of cafes, restaurants and other things you guys can come up with coming, I am creating a list.
If you like tennis, go to the French Open, usually in early June. Agree that Versailles is a must, tho I liked the grounds more than the palace, esp. Marie Antoinette's fairy tale village. Montmarte and Sacre Couer are also amazing. Check out the street markets...beautiful food, flowers, etc. A night boat trip on the Seine...walk around and enjoy - you will love it!
I enjoyed getting falafel on rue de rosiers in the Marais. There were several small art galleries there as well with really interesting paintings. I believe the Picasso museum was near there too. I also enjoyed going to Berthillon for ice cream.
After your visit to Notre-Dame, go along the cathedral and across the little park to Ile St-Louis. On Rue St-Louis, have a Berthillon Ice cream. You will have trouble choosing the flavour, so go for more than one scoop!! yummy.
When you go to Versailles, try and visit The Académie Equestre in the refurbished stables across from the castle. They have practices in the morning. You will drool over the manège with chandeliers, the horses and the outfit the riders wear!!! All designed by Hermès.
Visit Hermès on rue du Faubourg St-Honoré!
I have never found the time to visit the Catacombes or the sewers (nobody ever wants to go with me!). I also want to visit the Parc des Buttes Chaumont.
Last year, I visited the little boutiques at the Cour St Emilion, walked all the way from the Parc de Bercy to the Mitterand Library and then, along the Seine to Notre-Dame. I deserved my Berthillon ice-cream!!!
Don't miss the Musee de la Chasse in the Marais. A beautiful, small museum devoted to hunting and wildlife.
Also in the Marais, if you want a cool place for coffee/light meals/amazing cakes, go to Le Loir dans la Theiere (the dormouse in the teapot -- an Alice in Wonderland reference). It's Rue des Rosiers (toward the Rue Mahler intersection).
One more Marais highlight. There's a wonderful, quirky puzzle/toy/unusual stuff shop on Rue de Turenne called Tumbleweed. The propietor is an American woman who moved to Paris some years ago. If you're looking for unique gifts and clever puzzles of all types, this is the shop for you.
I second the Musee de Cheval and add a visit to nearby Chantilly. This lovely chateau predates Versailles and has a human scale to it. Also it has the Duc de Berry's Book of Hours on display. The grounds are to die for.
As for eating in Paris -- almost anywhere is terrific. Paris has wonderful food!
I have never found the time to visit the Catacombes or the sewers (nobody ever wants to go with me!).
The Catacombes are great! A bit spooky, so bring a friend! But if you are terrified of small spaces, they may not be for you. Very narrow path underground, and it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to go through them.
Also - shopping in the area of Rue de Rennes! All of the very nice (and $$$) stores there and lots of little cafes.
I envy you!
I studied in Paris, and loved it. Of course I was pitifully poor, so ate at cheap prix fixe boites, drank cheap wine, and ate great crepes, turkish delight, from street vendors.
I still managed to go to Hermes and Guerlain and buy a little something.
I third or fourth the Rodin Museum, and of course the Louvre. You could spend a year in there and never see it all.
Do all the touristy things and have fun!
I envy you too going to Venice. Although I travelled a lot as a young woman, I deliberately stayed away from Venice because I had the romantic notion that I wanted to go there with the man I loved.
Many years have passed, and I still yearn for Venice, but the man I love won't get on a plane......
I need to get there before I am too old to climb in and out of gondola, visiting via Commissario Brunetti is just not enough.