Paris 2014 Guidebook
Best and worst sights, experiences and destinations:
Best: Vaux le Vicomte
Why: It's a masterpiece of French architecture and gardens. History intrigued us. Go on 2nd & 4th Saturdays when fountains play and the shuttle bus is available!
Susan & Ted Hirtz in Houston, TX USA 11/05/2013
Best: Holocaust Memorial and the Deportation Memorial
Why: Excellent. Both definitely worth your time.
Susan in Longmont, CO USA 10/15/2013
Best: Eiffel Tower
Why: Fortunate to be on the "upper level" of the third level of the tower as a Rick Steve's recommended tour guide was giving his presentation about the tour, history, and what they were seeing. He was so amazing that we wished we had known about it in time to have signed up!
Worst: D'Orsay and Louvre
Why: Tour groups of some nationalities pushed and shoved their way to front and center of every major focal point with total disregard for anyone else, i.e., they were standing four to five feet away from every Monet painting, blocking viewing from the distance it could be most appreciated. Extremely difficult trying to fit in between the tours to be able to see anything at all - and we arrived early! Overrun with tour groups from opening on. Very disappointing.
Melissa Small in Wesley Chapel, FL USA 10/04/2013
Best: Musee d'Orsay
Why: Great layout, great art!
Mark in Easton, MD USA 09/21/2013
Best: Versailles, including crepes in Versailles town that evening at La Cote Bretonne, catacombs, Louvre; Rodin Museum and Jacquemart-Andre; the ballet at Opera Garnier
Why: We were psychologically ready to confront the reported hordes at Versailles, but we took the early train and arrived just before it opened (in May). What crowds? It was great! We had a lovely time. I love house museums so really enjoyed the Rodin museum (in his home) and the Jacquemart-Andre. And I LOVED seeing the Paris Ballet perform at the incredible Opera Garnier. And the catacombs are just cool. Amazing that they took such reverent (and artistic) care in relocating these old bones. Do bring a flashlight.
Deborah A. Geier in University Heights, OH USA 09/06/2013
Best: Musee D'Orsay and Notre Dame
Why: Both incredible.
Why: We met only one crabby cab driver -- everything else was fabulous.
Annette Simmons in Minneapolis, MN USA 08/05/2013
Best: St Chapelle
Why: Beautiful stained glass
Why: The crowds for the chateau-particularly the tour groups made the experience terrible. Long wait Too bad for a fabulous place
Michael in Baltimore, MD USA 07/27/2013
Best: Saint chappelle
Why: amazing stained glass
diane hallman in houston, tx USA 07/23/2013
Best: RS Audio tours
Why: Nice to use in Orsay and Louvre Museums
Worst: L'Open Tours
Why: Not good commentary at all. It was mainly Parisian music with brief cutesy remarks with hints of what was located along the routes. Very disappointed after having it highly recommended on page 45. They do provide many routes but no worthwhile commentary.
Linda Miles in Lake Jackson, TX USA 07/14/2013
Why: The chateau is beautiful inside and out. The public transportation from Paris is not difficult if you are travelling in the summer when the shuttle bus is operating (Melun to Vaux). The shuttle schedule is linked to Vaux's website. The fountains were in operation the Saturday we visited (I believe it is every 2nd and 4th Saturday from 3-6pm that the fountains operate). The chateau was not crowded and you can tour at your own pace. We spent most of the day there.
AB in Murfreesboro, TN USA 07/07/2013
Best: Champs-Elysees Walk
Why: We started out on the reverse but got the best part out of Champs-Elysees. When we exited Esplanade des Invalides, we passed through Pont Alexandre III and walked along rue W. Churchill to Place Clemenceau. We then turned on Champs-Elysees towards Arc de Triomphe. Our Museum Pass allow us to skip the ticket line and went up to the top of Arc de Triomphe. We were at the top just in time for the flower ceremony for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They actually blocked a section of Champs-Elysees with the trumpet and drum band parading through that section. It was an impeccable view at the top to have seen all of it.
Felita in Hong Kong , China 07/01/2013
Best: Notre Dame de Paris Tower and Concert in Sainte Chapelle
Why: Finally being able to see the gargoyles and chimera closely was a thrill. We also heard Vivaldi in Sainte Chapelle which was an amazing pairing of music and venue.
John Cooney in Chicago, Il USA 06/28/2013
Best: The Orsay
Why: Impressionism, Impressionism, Impressionism.
Dale in Fairfield, OH USA 06/07/2013
Best: Museum pass
Why: Get it! Strolled right by an hour-long line for the Louvre.
Worst: RER B train from CDG to Paris
Why: Graffiti scrawled on EVERY flat surface visible from the tracks. No attempt at "art", just initials and gang symbols. Not a good intro to a city that prides itself in being beautiful.
Scott Dommin in Vermilion, OH USA 05/18/2013
Worst: Paris du Nord (Eurostar)
Why: Finding the check-in for a trip to London was a royal hassle (after having such an easy time at St. Pancras in London). The Eurostar check-in is very, very poorly indicated at Paris du Nord and only through a lot of searching did we find the check-in spot . . . on the 2nd floor. And then, we were hassled by a pan-handler as we approached customs . . . in plain view of the Paris police--Inspector Clouseau was at his worst!
David Lawson in Santa Barbara, CA USA 04/24/2013
Worst: Eastern European Gypsies at the Arc de Triomphe
Why: Played the old " found a gold ring and you can have it . . . and oh, by the way, do you have some spare change (7 Euros) for my lunch. Beware of people running up and showing you "found" objects.
David Lawson in Santa Barbara, CA USA 04/24/2013
Best: Jaquesmart- Andrei Musee
Why: Fantastic exhibit by Eugene Boudin, contemporary of Monet.
Margaret Kerkhove in Brentwood, NH USA 04/12/2013
Best: art museums
Why: accurate, good intros to the collections
Worst: ARMY MUSEUM/NAPOLEON'S TOMB
Why: only two bathroom stalls for ladies on the whole site. Were I an older woman or pregnant I might have literally had an accident waiting in line for the hour plus to get in to the ONE bathroom area with two stalls on the whole grounds. Please mention this in your book so people can be prepared and plan ahead
22nd street residents in New York, NY USA 04/05/2013
Why: I had a group of 16 high school seniors. Nothing compared to the expression on their face when they came around the last set of stairs and entered into the glorious spectacle of stained glass. It was like being birthed into a different world (hint, let people in your group discover the stairs to the main chapel themselves).
Worst: Fat Tire Bike Tour in bad weather
Why: I love Fat Tire Bike Tours but, unfortunately, we scheduled them the first day and we had bad weather. The kids claim it was their worst part of Paris, but I think they underestimate the power of this tour to acclimate oneself to Paris and to getting the most out of travel in general--"dominate" and "palm of power" became catch phrases used for the rest of our time in Europe. The Fat Tire Bike Tour emboldened them to enjoy so much more. I wouldn't let the weather dissuade you from doing the tour--just dress better.
Andy Hadd in Austin, TX USA 03/26/2013
Best: Reims cathedral, Chartres.
Why: Both breathtaking, very few tourists in February.
stephe durham in sarasota, fl USA 02/28/2013
Best: Orangerie Museum
Why: Beautiful place with incredible art. Lighter crowds and short waits.
Why: Horrendous wait to get through security. Overcrowding in the main chateau. There are so many people you can't enjoy what is a beautiful place.
John Osgood in New York, NY USA 02/17/2013
Why: We were happy to get in for free as we were there off-season (with our daughter), on the first Sunday of the month.
Robin Stewart in Derwood, MD USA 01/26/2013
Best: It was a tie for us between Notre Dame at night, the Louvre early morning, D'Orsay (any time with the pass) and Versaille.
Why: Paris is such a great city it is so beautiful. It is impossible to say which is best because it is all so wonderful. We found that Paris a late city so getting to sights before 10 was a great tip.
Ashley Davis in Oakton, VA USA 01/06/2013
Why: We attended while the fountains were on. Beautiful, magnificent and refreshing all at once. Well worth the extra 8 euros/person
Worst: Pompidou Center
Why: Not our style of art. The view from the top was nice, however, for our first evening in Paris.
T Anderson in Falls Church, VA USA 10/13/2012
Best: Flat Tire Bike Tours
Why: It was a great tour! I highly recommend it. I have been to Paris before and I have seen many of the sites. But it was a lot better on a bike. And, the people at Flat Tire are great - they are very friendly and very helpful. I had so much fun on the tour, that the next day I came back and rented a bike to ride around Paris by myself.
Bob Delahanty in Cedar Park, TX USA 10/04/2012
Best: Paris Pass entrances, Walks and Tours
Why: Knowing how to bypass lines and enter attractions without waiting was invaluable. And the suggested "walks" and tours were also invaluable, not just for navigation but also for the educational information provided. The humor was a definite plus!! Our 10 day trip was absolutely enhanced by this book. Can't thank you enough, Rick. We're taking you to Ireland next fall....
Peggy McCormick in Lancaster, PA USA 09/27/2012
Best: The Louvre, Rodin Museum and Victor Hugo
Why: Worlds best museums for paintings and statuary. I lived in Paris as a young marine guard at our embassy for two years, but had no appreciation for art. I am glad my views have changed.
Worst: Pompidou Center
Why: Sorry, form does follow function, but this structure has to be the ugliest building in Paris. Art is in the eye of the beholder, but many of the modern paintings, as bad as they were fit in this museum.
David Bowyer SC USA 09/24/2012
Worst: High Tea at the Crillon
Why: Decor and ambience are great in this old world hotel but the High Tea was terrible. The tea was fine but the sandwiches were meager, tasteless and stale. The sweet tray was OK but nothing like the High Tea we had at Empress Hotel and Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC. The Crillon should leave the High Tea to the Brits and Canadians!
David Bowyer SC USA 09/24/2012
Worst: Bateaux Parisiens Seine Cruise
Why: I am writing to request that you reconsider your recommendation of Bateaux Parisiens as a Seine cruise provider. I had a confirmed reservation for 4 for a departure on Friday, September 21, 2012. Despite waiting over an hour in the rain (along with at least 40 others, many of whom had confirmed reservations), no boat ever stopped at their Notre Dame departure location. This company's failure to honor our reservation ruined our last night in Paris. As many of those waiting with us for this cruise obtained their initial information regarding this provider from your guide book, it is my hope that you will reconsider including this company in your future editions. I would be glad to provide you with any additional information that you may require.
Jeffrey H. Seibert in Baltimore, MD USA 09/23/2012
Best: Hotel Jeanne d'Arc
Why: Location in the Marais is perfect for eateries (esp on Rue Caron) and the metro. The single room I had was good, well maintained and comfy. The breakfast (when I chose to get it) was adequate and well presented (tea and juice along with the great croissant and roll with jam. There was a lift that always worked and the people working the desk were very helpful, caring and polite. I'd stay there again at the drop of a hat.
Joel LaMarre in Winthrop, MA USA 08/22/2012
Why: It is just plain awesome, especially the park/gardens. But pack lots of water!
Heather Cowley in Vancouver, WA USA 07/24/2012
Best: Musee de l'Orangerie
Why: Fabulous! I would give it three triangles, since it is such a lovely, accessible museum. We did it right after the Louvre, so it provided the much needed break that Monet designed it to give.
Why: In fairness, the guidebook repeatedly points out that the Louvre is terrible, and the tour was very helpful, but if you didn't have to go, I wouldn't have!
Elizabeth Katz in Menlo Park, CA USA 07/09/2012
Best: "Hidden" restaurant at Versailles
Why: Located southeast of the bike rental an not on your map in what I think was once a stable, this indoor-outdoor gem had a limited menu, but unlimited service. A real "find" for us!
Frank Albi in Cincinnati, OH USA 07/05/2012
Best: The book itself
Why: We carried Pocket Paris with us EVERYWHERE! The map saved us and the book was perfect for the highlights of this great city. We followed it through the Louvre, the Orsay, Invalides, etc. We also downloaded apps for our phones, including the Paris Historic Walks. I especially liked being able to turn it on and off for different sights, because we did that particular tour out of order. The Museum Pass recommendation was extremely useful. We just wished there was a 3 day pass, which would have served us a bit better. Some day we would like to go back to Paris, to do more of the neighborhoods, now that we have a good idea of what is there! Thanks, Rick! It made our trip.
Worst: Rue Cler
Why: I can't really call this "worst". It just wasn't particularly special. We found that most neighborhoods had their own "Rue Cler:, with markets, chocolatiers, bakers, cheese stores, butchers, cafes, etc. We didn't see how this particular street was more special than any of the others.
Susan in Laguna Niguel, CA USA 07/03/2012
Why: My 11 y.o. son LOVED this cruise, though he also loved the park at the Luxembourg Gardens. He had a hard time choosing. We jumped on the boat after a very rainy day; the sun was just setting, and despite wet seats, we had almost the entire boat to ourselves! Plus, it's an amazing bargain. Please note I loved these as well, plus EVERY recommendation about the Rue Cler. I think we ate at almost every restaurant, we stayed steps away so we could be near it and we weren't disappointed, and the guys at Bacchus indeed chose a wine for me and chilled it...with a smile!
Gayle McKercher in Schwedelbach, RP Germany 06/27/2012
Best: Musicians playing on the Metro for tips...
Why: As my daughter and I rode the Metro over the Seine River a man with an accordion started playing some wonderful French music. It fit the mood completely looking over the river and seeing the City around us. Awesome!
Why: Loved Paris. It was magical!
Terry Tolentino in San Francisco, Ca USA 06/09/2012
Best: Hotel Eber Mars
Why: Very friendly & helpful staff (Theo & Hamid in particular), newly renovated room was more than adequate for our needs, great location and breakfast was included!
Why: Still undergoing renovation work on floors 2-4 but should be a very nice small hotel once done if rooms on the 5th floor are the goal.
mike thompson in cambridge, On Canada 06/08/2012
Worst: Eiffel Tower
Why: Even though we had heard about the broken lift, we hadn't counted on that diverting a lot more people to the stairs line, which was over two hours long. We had to skip it.
Patrick Smith in Bentonville, AR USA 06/01/2012
Worst: Hotel de la Tulipe, Paris
Why: Not all the front desk people were like this, but the one the night we arrived wouldn't answer my question, which I asked politely about the room we had, but instead argued with me until we were yelling at one another. Only then would he answer my question, which he could easily have done at first. In addition, the bathroom was so dirty I cleaned it myself before I'd even use it. We came from another hotel in another city that was fine, so it wasn't that my standards were unrealistic. On top of that, they allowed people to smoke, both in the common areas and their rooms. Since I have asthma, this meant I had asthma attacks the entire time there. I told the front desk person (a different one), who literally shrugged and said, "What can I do about it?". These are enough reasons to avoid this hotel unless you have no other options.
Christine Frick in Castro Valley, CA USA 05/30/2012
Best: Route 69 bus!
Why: Got me on the bus and through different neighborhoods. It introduced me to Paris, could see the sights from it. Then I was confident to figure out other bus routes.
Marcy in Philadelphia, PA USA 05/30/2012
Best: Paris Museum Pass
Why: Not only did it save us money, it allowed us to skip very long entry lines. Plus we visited several "extras"-- Arts/Metiers and Arts/Decoratifs ---which we wouldn't have seen otherwise. On the RS site we learned we could buy--with credit card-- the pass plus metro and RER tickets at the TI at CDG on our way into Paris.
Marian Allender in Kirkland, WA USA 05/26/2012
Best: #69 Bus tour
Why: Combined with Eiffle Tower tour and Pere Lachaise cemetery tour makes a great day.
Roger Baker in Albuquerque, NM USA 05/14/2012
Best: The museums
Why: Thank GOD for the tips on how to get around the lines at the museums. We would not have had nearly the good experience we did without the advice.
Jim Gillivan in Walnut Creek, CA USA 05/09/2012
Best: Historic Paris Walk, but there are many.
Why: Excellent overview; presentation of Notre Dame is insiteful and informative. We love that the walks take you through or to quite plazas with excellent, out-fo-the way cafes and restaurants. Parisians were impressed that we had found them, and did not settle for the big tourist traps.
Worst: The so-called Bus 69 Paris At Night tour
Why: OK, you do see Paris at night on this bus, but you have no idea where you are or what you are seeing. There is little traffic at night so the bus speeds along the route. We did this last year on our first trip to Paris and spent the whole brief bus run laughing histerically as beautifully lit building sped past our windows. This year we did the 2CV Paris At Night tour and it was very good.
Rich S. in Huntersville, NC USA 05/06/2012
Best: Sainte Chappelle
Why: Hearing Vivaldi's Four Seasons there was an unforgettable experience.
Ingrid in Randolph, NH USA 05/04/2012
Why: Our 2nd visit and the train/bus combo worked great, leaving us plenty of time to visit the gardens and house and still time for a nice lunch at Baudy Hotel which we loved. Just the right atmosphere.
Worst: Musee d'Orsay
Why: Spent 2 1/2 hours on line in pouring rain, waiting to get in. Then went to the restaurant and waited another 1/2 hour - by the time we got in the lunch menu was done but we had salads from the tea menu. Then we thought we should see the art but there were actually lines waiting to get into the rooms! This was 2nd or 3rd time for the d'Orsay and will probably never go again. Visiting sites has become such a nuisance - too many people standing and staring at one object while listening to headphones or the like going on and on with much more info that they can ever take in.
Ginna in Zoellner, IL USA 04/21/2012
Best: Normandy Battle Tours
Why: Stuart Robertson gave us a 1 day tour to remember. Knowledge based expanations and wonderful imagery made what happened at these beaches come to life.
Lana Gonda in Mexico Beach, FL USA 04/20/2012
Best: The Museum Pass, and tips on avoiding lines.
Why: We got into the Louvre and the Orsay Museum very quickly by using the tips in the book. The Museum Pass more than paid for itself, plus saved time by letting us skip ticket lines.
Laurie Engelbeck in Issaquah, Wa USA 04/16/2012
Best: Montmartre Walk
Why: There is a great deal of history in Montmartre that my family and I would have completely overlooked if not for your guidebook. The walk was well planned and informative.
Worst: Pere Lachaise Cemetery Walk Map
Why: I understand that it the map was simplified for clarity and meant to be used in accordance with another map, but I found it misleading and confusing, especially since some of the lanes printed on the map did not display their name and the circles that represented graves were ambiguously placed. (For example "D", Ingres's grave, was impossible to find using the map.)
Emma B. in Brooklyn, NY USA 04/14/2012
Best: The Historic Paris Walk
Why: Such a carefully thought out adventure with so much variety. I would never have gone to the Memorial de la Deportation, which was one of the most moving experiencing of my time in Paris. I loved how I was guided to look at a few particular stained glass window in Sainte Chapelle, and a few sculptures at Notre Dame. I even had luch at the recommended Caveau de Palais restaurant (with divine creme brulee!)
Theresa Catlin in Mariposa, CA USA 03/07/2012
Best: Paris in a Day, Eiffel Tower
Why: We were in Paris for a little more than a day and a half. We started with the Eiffel Tower our first night. For our only day, we followed Paris in a Day, then added the Arc de Triomphe and The Champs de Lysses.
We really felt as if we got the real flavor of the city and its people.
We were on a mission in the Louvre and found the book's tour recommendation very helpful.
Worst: Champs de Lysses
Why: It really didn't live up to what we were expecting.
Kelly Hainer in Cleveland, OH USA 02/18/2012
Best: Tour Eiffel, Museum Pass, Bus #69
Why: We booked tickets for the Eiffel Tower before leaving and wasted no time in line. The Museum Pass was also a great time saver. Bus #69 was great fun:)
Gina in Ellicott City, MD USA 02/01/2012
Best: Walking tour of Marias and the Jewish centre
Why: It took me for one of my most fun experiences in Paris. From the Bastille to the nice lunch in the Jewish centre to ending at Pomperdu centre. It great getting a blow by blow and turn by turn instruction. Every where I travel, I will be using your guides.
Lee Smith in Toronto, ON Canada 12/14/2011
Best: Sainte Chapelle
Why: The extrodinary stain glass windows
Markay Allen in San Marcos, CA USA 12/07/2011
Best: Eiffel Tower and Versailles
Why: The Tower is absolutely beautiful, particularly at night with its light show. Do buy your tickets in advance befored you leave home; the llines are very long.
Worst: Sainte Chapelle
Why: The best parts are closed for repair or renovation.
Vicente in Melrose Park, IL USA 11/01/2011
Best: Walking Tours and maps
Why: Your walking tours and maps were very useful also, the colored maps at the front of the book showed all the taxi stands around the city. That was especially helpful for me and my bad knees. Lots of goo info!
Jim in Sewell, NJ USA 10/31/2011
Best: Our B&B in Honfleur--La Cour Sainte Catherine
Why: Liliane was away, her friend Amanda Ferguson who has a B&B across the street was managing. Amanda was delightful. Our accommodations were ideal for the 4 of us (my 3 adult sons & I)--2 suites. After a tiny room in Paris, this was heaven!
wayne white in walnut creek, ca USA 10/26/2011
Why: We purchaed our Museum passes and headed to Gate A at Versailles for the bypass only to find out it was closed and everyone had to go through gate B. It was a 2 1/2 hour wait. Don't know what happened but it definately was a bump in the road that cut into our sighseeing schedule.
Rose Kenney in Tewksbury, MA USA 10/23/2011
Best: Port de Vincennes found by being lost
Why: We took the Paris Metro line 1 in the wrong direction and hopped off here, and right at the top of the Metro stairs was a wonderful outdoor market. We were truly in a locals neighborhood as folks purchased all their fresh meat, fish, cheese, poultry (with feathers still on!), and bread for their dinner. Fresh flowers, kitchen gadgets, take away food and a few clothing/leather goods vendors were here as well. This is a weekly market, held on Wednesday and Saturday. We loved the area, strolled throughout the side streets and agreed if we ever take public transportation in the wrong direction again we'll be sure to go upstairs before heading in the right direction.
Worst: Sacre Coeur
Why: We could not believe the crowds of vendors blocking the top step selling their plastic trash and trinkets, what a spoiler to a lovely site. There were also very rude young women attempting to get signatures on their clipboards, some type of scam I am sure. We witnessed one of them run into the shrubbery nearby to relieve herself, where is the Paris police presence? This is a chaotic mess ruining an historic site.
Wendy in Chatham, Ma USA 10/15/2011
Best: The Tour of the Louvre section
Why: We were planning on visiting the Louvre on Sunday, 10/2. As the first Sunday of the month, I knew it would be free because you had explained that in your book -- and EVERYBODY we talked to in Paris said, "Don't go when it is free, it will be a madhouse and you will have a terrible time," but that was the day we had so I read up carefully and we followed your advice to minimize the stress and get the most positive experience possible. We showed up just 10 minutes before opening at the underground mall entrance as you suggest, where we were only about 30 people back from the head of the line. When the museum opened and they let us in, we were upstairs to the Venus de Milo so quickly and easily that we didn't even realize where we were at first. We had her to ourselves for 10 whole minutes before another person even wandered in -- the whole thing was magical. Of course, once the crowds caught on and figured out where they were going, we could hear what sounded like a swarm of bees buzzing down the halls, which turned out to be about 500 tourists armed with cameras who burst into the room where we were and proceeded to run all over the place snapping pictures and taking videos of each other without even seeming to notice the statue in the center of the room. It was also an amazing experience, but for a whole bunch of different reasons!
Patrick in Washington, DC USA 10/10/2011
Best: walking tours in rick's book, Bus #69 & Fat Tire bike tours
Why: brought history to life in du Marais & Montmartre... easy to follow and lots of great info.
Loved the Fat tire bike Paris by day tour & the 9 hour day Versailles cycle trip... wish I'd gone on the paris by nite tour as well. Informative, fun & so much more to see by cycling than walking.
Bus #69 we took almost daily... always lots to see from high up in the bus and nice to be with the locals.
Worst: champs Elysees
Why: too touristy, Arc Triumph was worth seeing, just take the subway there.
Mark in Victoria, bc canada 09/25/2011
Why: the most informative I'd read, before our trip there.
leslie brown in ellicottville, ny USA 09/05/2011
Best: Left Bank Walk
Why: This walk was wonderful. It is great to get away from the tourist-choked big sites and really experience the city the way a Parisian would. Everything was right where Rick said it would be (except the toy shop - I think it closed?). Thank you Rick! I just wish I had had more time to savor it.
Worst: Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame
Why: Louvre: Way too big, way too crowded. The Mona Lisa is ruined by being roped off and behind a glass screen and the allowing of flash photography. You can't appreciate it. Also, Rick recommends going in the evening to avoid the worst crowds, but I was in the Mona Lisa room quite late (after 7) and it was still super crowded.
Eiffel Tower: Lines too long. I didn't even bother. There seems to be one public restroom with a ridiculously long and slow line. You'd better not have to use the bathroom really bad. They actually had someone directing it, and it was still a nightmare.
Notre Dame: More impressive on the outside than inside. Again, the overuse of flash photography is incredibly distracting and ruins the experience. Cathedrals in England don't allow it, for good reason. The line outside to go up in the tower and look over the city is ridiculously long and didn't move after 15 minutes, so I abandoned it.
Katherine in Hutchison, IL USA 09/03/2011
Best: Bastille Day fireworks seen from Pont Neuf.
Why: Great view, dissipated noise!
Worst: Walking the Promenade Plantee.
Why: Pouring rain, no one else there except for a guy hanging about who looked like Bin Laden. I got so wet that the boulangerie lady laughed when I handed her a sopping 5 euro note to pay for my baguette. In all, not so bad for a worst experience.
Marta in Vienna, VA USA 07/23/2011
Best: Warnings for Notre Dame & Tour Eiffel
Why: It was as if the people approaching us had read Rick's book, his warnings were that spot-on! One by one from the trinket hawkers everywhere to the women with the "Do You Speak English" and begging signs, to the dropped ring, to the "demonstration" bracelet. Thank you so much!
Steve in Phoenix, AZ USA 07/13/2011
Best: Rue Cler
Why: The ambience and old world feeling was exactly what I wanted to experience. Sunday morning was filled with locals toting home in the goods in small carts behind them. We found ourselves traveling back to this enchanting street more than once.
Elizabeth Metier in Fort Dodge, IA USA 07/05/2011
Best: The Museum Pass and Eiffel Tower reservations
Why: The Paris Museum Pass and Eiffel Tower reservation were the best tips! We zipped past so many thousands of people who were queued up for museums and monuments, especially the Louvre. The lines outside were so long, I felt sad for those people who don't read Rick's books. The Eiffel Tower reservation was the BEST idea ever. We saved HOURS and went for a pleasant stroll along the river, ate a crepe, and took photos at the Trocadero.
Why: Rick does such a great job helping prepare travelers. I smiled every time I saw someone else with one of his books. I read his books from cover to cover several times before we travel and watch his dvds, too.
Bonnie Crabtree in Nesbit, MS USA 06/28/2011
Best: The marias walk
Why: Authentic, great Sunday market at basilles, perfect first day in Paris.
Dorie Refling in Bozeman, Mt USA 06/20/2011
Best: Velib Bikes (Paris 2011 p42)
Why: Print a Velib Station map from their website! Also, we found it much easier to push the bikes out of the rack rather than try to pull them out. My American Express card did work in the machines.
Worst: The Petit Train at Versailles (Paris 2011 p544)
Why: It was a VERY rough ride that hurt my back. It stopped at the Grand and Petit Trianons before stopping at the Grand Canal. Closing time for the gardens and canal activities was 8pm but the train stopped running at 6:45.
Linda in San Antonio, TX USA 06/19/2011
Best: Paris Greeter walk
Why: Gave us some local knowledge of Paris. We saw some things we'd not have seen otherwise.
Laura in Fredericksburg, TX USA 06/16/2011
Why: A beautiful port city that is not overun by tourists and typically French.
Worst: The Eifel Tower
Why: Way too crowded.
Frank Swigon in San Antonio, TX USA 05/06/2011
Best: Carnavalet museum
Why: It was really interesting. We only wish that all the rooms had been open! (About half of them were closed for no apparent reason).
Worst: Petit train at Versailles (tram)
Why: Guidebook said you could take it all around the grounds, so we bought the day pass. We walked through the gardens to the "canal" and planned to take the tram out to the Grand Trianon. The tram conductor said the tram did not go there, so we had to walk. We only got to ride back from the Petit Trianon, which would have saved us half the fare if we had been able to buy one-way tickets.
Laurie Z. in St. Paul, MN USA 04/14/2011
Best: Museum pass in Paris
Why: It allowed our group of 5 adults to bypass the people waiting in the ticket line and go straight in to the museums. We went to enough museums to make it cost effective.
G Sellers in Melbourne , FL USA 04/14/2011
Best: Bastille Market
Why: normal parisians shopping for Amazing food!
Joshua Leo in Grand Rapids, MI USA 04/11/2011
Worst: Hotel Beaugency
Why: While the location is excellent, the hotel room we received was very small (even for European standards), the staff was not as friendly as others have commented, and the room itself had not been painted and was overall not that clean.
B. McCabe in Hoboken, NJ USA 03/14/2011
Best: Walking the Left Bank
Why: As nice as the Louvre, Notre Dame, and Champs Elysees are, I appreciated the flavor of Paris better simply wandering around the neighborhoods along the left bank.
Lance Teruya in Ewa Beach, HI USA 02/23/2011
Best: rue cler
Why: I felt it was the slice of paris that i wanted to see, i almost felt like a local
Worst: eiffel tower
Why: so many scammers. I had 3 gold ringers, and 2 bracelet people in the first half hour. thanks to Steve i was prepared for them.
kevin in san diego, ca USA 02/06/2011
Best: Musee de l'Orangerie
Why: Your description prepared us for an exquisite exhibition and it was at least as wonderful as we expected.
Alison Snow in Bellevue, WA USA 01/28/2011
Best: Saint Chappelle
Why: We didn't realize it was here, but Saint Chappelle was the most delicately beautiful of all the chapels we have seen in extensive travels through Europe (and especially Europe's cathedrals).
Worst: Rue Cler
Why: Overrated. We don't get it. There are great cheese shops and wine shops and *much* better cafes throughout Paris, why this touristy street? If you want a fun street, we'd recommend Rue Rosiers maybe (Le Marais) - it's got Chez Marianne, a lot of great Falafel, some great boutiques, and good, calm, local French vibe.
Kali Morse in Ft. Campbell, KY USA 01/19/2011
Best: the tour of the Louvre
Why: I was not overwhelmed and had loads of fun going through the tour Rick and his companions had figured out! I also went at night during the extended hours (thanks to the tip that it was open late on certain nights). I even met a couple following the same book and so we took a picture together with the books!
Why: I wish there had been some more suggestions, but all were wonderful. I had wanted more patisserie suggestions too I suppose.
Chapel Ham in Bellville, TX USA 01/10/2011