Paris 2014 Guidebook
Favorite discoveries or tips:
St Denis Basilica, the first Gothic cathedral and burial place of all the French kings
Susan & Ted Hirtz in Houston, TX USA 11/05/2013
We loved everything in Paris! We went the last week of September 2013.
Susan in Longmont, CO USA 10/15/2013
Saint Chapelle - sign at entrance said no fast entry for museum pass holders. Also nearly half of the upper area stained glass was covered for restoration work. Very disappointing. A long wait for next to nothing.
Melissa Small in Wesley Chapel, FL USA 10/04/2013
Hayley Lester in Dallas, Te USA 09/28/2013
Grey Shuttle was a great way for our large party to get to and from the airport.
Mark in Easton, MD USA 09/21/2013
Discovery: The Napolean III apartments in the Louvre. I'm a stately home fanatic when in England, and this (and Versailles) fed that part of me.
Deborah A. Geier in University Heights, OH USA 09/06/2013
Just a note to thank you and your staff for "Rick Steves' Pocket Paris." My mom and I used it during our week-long visit to Paris this summer. It was really very helpful as we prepared for our visit and spent the week in the City of Light.
Annette Simmons in Minneapolis, MN USA 08/05/2013
Pick one activity as a must see for the day and get there 1 hour before it opens.
Michael in Baltimore, MD USA 07/27/2013
Picnics along the Seine are a great way to get a feel of the city and relax!
diane hallman in houston, tx USA 07/23/2013
Opera Garnier - This was 2nd time to Paris and we always follow Rick's advice. I had seen pictures of the inside of the opera house in another guide book. A must see. I recommend more than a 1 Triangle rating on p. 59. Beautiful. On the steps outside local talented musicians entertained during the lunch time when we were there.
Linda Miles in Lake Jackson, TX USA 07/14/2013
Regarding ticket machines at CDG? I had no trouble buying tickets with a non-chip credit card. I used the green machine. However, the tip about not being able to use credit card at Versailles is right on. Purchase at the counter when you arrive at the Versailles station to avoid the long lines on the way home
Kelly in Temecula, CA USA 07/02/2013
Use the underground mall entrance at the Louvre as recommended by RS. We went there on Thursday around 10:00 a.m., with the Museum Pass, there was no line. Avoid Mondays and weekends at the Louvre because it gets really crowded. First thing is to go to Mona Lisa before the crowd gets in. You get by the Winged Victory of Samothrace anyway if you walk up the stairs. Do the Venus the Milo later.
Felita in Hong Kong , China 07/01/2013
We spent two nights in Versailles and I highly recommend that plan. We were able to tour the Chateau early and then see the garden and park after the Chateau closed. The big bus tour groups and day trippers from Paris had left and we had the grounds almost to ourselves. Afterwards we went to Le Trois Marches on Rue de Satory and it was the best meal we had in France.
John Cooney in Chicago, Il USA 06/28/2013
Restaurant La Forge at 14 Rue Pascal in the 5th arr is great. The service is great - the chef often comes out to talk with guests. The food is very good and reasonably priced, featuring cuisine from southern France such as cassoulet and lots of duck. Went twice on this visit, bringing different groups of friends each night. It is not in the usual tourist flow path, but it is worth the trip.
Dale in Fairfield, OH USA 06/07/2013
Someone mentioned this, but we also love the musicians in the metro...not only listening to them, but many sell CD's. We have a wonderful collection of music from years of travel to Paris. Chatelet, the big metro hub, has a lot of musicians including a large group with wonderful music and singing. also they play at the Concorde station.
J. Davis in Lebanon, Oh USA 06/06/2013
Making a Reservation for the Eiffel Tower saved us at least 2 hours. The Museum pass allowed us to walk right into the d'Orsay, l' Orangerie, and Louvre instead of standing in ANY LINE (short security line at Louvre). We postponed going into the Chateau at Versaille until the afternoon, electing instead to enter into the"Supplemental" grounds via the Queens Gate in the AM, seeing the Hameau and the Petite Trianon, then going to see the Chateau in the afternoon when the security line wait was practically non-existent. Over-all, these time saving tips saved us at least 8 hours or a DAY's worth of sight-seeing time (not to mention our legs were fresh at the start of a museum tour instead of fatigued already just from standing on line for hours!)
Bonnie Edens in San Jose, Ca USA 04/23/2013
Thanks very much for the warning about pickpocket techniques. We encountered both the "lost ring" and "petition signing" situations in the park around the Eiffel tower one morning. We successfully rebuffed the thieves, and my daughter learned much about the 'real world.' Forewarned and forearmed, indeed. Thanks for looking out for us.
Jim in Chesapeake, VA USA 04/16/2013
Thank you for a marvelous compendium of reliable advice! We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Paris in April 2013, and much of that success was due to the detailed and pertinent advice in your guidebook. Your book reads like my own travel advice pages for friends.
Jim in Chesapeake, VA USA 04/16/2013
Paris - 7me Vin restaurant was outstanding! Great food and wonderful atmosphere.
Margaret Kerkhove in Brentwood, NH USA 04/12/2013
museums with art and the brief intros were most helpful
22nd street residents in New York, NY USA 04/05/2013
Use grocery stores and bakeries to save money. Visit a cheese shop! We spent 38 Euros for 19 people for 5 different cheeses. Eating them on the night train to Munich was one of the best memories of our group.
Andy Hadd in Austin, TX USA 03/26/2013
Le Comptoir du Relais for lunch. Get there early before opening to secure a seat. The food is excellent.
John Osgood in New York, NY USA 02/17/2013
In Paris (January), we looked at menus, prices, and went to a small restaurant (crowded) that was really good. Most diners were french.
Robin Stewart in Derwood, MD USA 01/26/2013
The Paris Museum pass. RS recommended we buy the pass and it was wonderful. He also told us about the alternate lines for pass holders and those helped so much. We got past the lines at the Louvre, Versaille, Saint Chappelle as well as D'Orsay and the Panthenon. The line privledges alone made it so worth it. We were traveling with our 2 year old and waiting in line is very difficult. At the Pantheon the guards waved us to the front of a 20 minute line just by flashing our passes. I highly recommend the pass. All of RS time saving tips worked beautifully. We loved the advice for Versailles. We also had a great lunch at one of the two rcommended restaurants in the village of Versailles.
Ashley Davis in Oakton, VA USA 01/06/2013
Paris in the rue cler neighborhood right off the commerce metro stop called cafe commerce. This is a wonderful area with (affordable ) shopping and workaday parisians walking their chiens. The cafe was filled with locals laughing and talking. We spoke enough french to be treated warmly and the food and drink was great. Rick you need to add this to your book as the shopping was actually affordable unlike bon marche which shocked my wallet for life. The locals were friendly though we spoke minimal french they were wonderful. Would absolutely return to this area.
christie malcor in upland, ca USA 12/22/2012
If you stay a bit longer in Paris, a new museum about the Holocaust has opened near Paris in September 2012, the Shoah Memorial in Drancy. It'a a place located in front of the former interment camp from where most of the Jews of France were deported to Auschwitz. The permanent exhibition and the audioguides are in english ; there is a lot of multimedia material. A very interesting visit, worth going to the suburbs...
Anne-Laure in Paris, France 12/06/2012
Several shops near the original Berthillon ice cream shop are serving Berthillon ice cream. If the lines are long at Berthillon, or Berthillon is closed at night, the nearby shops may be the best way to go (some open until 23h00).
T Anderson in Falls Church, VA USA 10/13/2012
GREAT BOOK! Your recommendation for making reservations for visiting sites was so helpful. This was my 3rd trip to Paris and in the previous ones (last one in 2002) I didn't need reservations to see various sites, e.g., Eiffel Tower. But I took your advice this time and made reservations, and they saved me many, many hours!!! Thank you!
Bob Delahanty in Cedar Park, TX USA 10/04/2012
French Mystique Bike Tours: http://www.frenchmystiquetours.com/home Private small group bike day long tours from Paris into the beautiful nearby countryside. Meet the owner/guide, Bruce at the bike rental shop in Paris to start the tour of your choice. A definite highlight of our family trip to Paris.
Tracy Morrow in Winnipeg, MB Canada 10/01/2012
You didn't list our hotel- Le Pavillon de la Reine. It was a little pricey, but this was our 50th wedding anniversary. Ambience, decor and especially the service was outstanding.We highly recommend it!
David Bowyer SC USA 09/24/2012
Boulangerie on Rue Sthas excellent . Dominique across from 73 Rue St. Dominique has excellent selection of mouthwatering pastries along with cute girls in spiffy looking uniforms.
David Bowyer SC USA 09/24/2012
Hailing a cab! We tried EVERYTHING, even to book one on line-but needed a local call number and we didn't have one. We DID find a phone number on the internet that said "ENGLISH SPOKEN" but then when we tried to call it, we used too many numbers or something and couldn't connect. I said "RickSteves". As in that book has ALL the tips needed and had saved us many times. The same number was listed, but maybe without the 00's or it was slightly different. We were in a huge panic because we needed to get to the train station very early and we didn't want to count on the metro. Tips-the museum pass-but then we went to 7 places in two days in order to have it save us any money. I planned everything as thoroughly as possible so that we didn't have to walk too far between sights. A hop on hop off bus would be great-or is there one. They can be hit and miss as we took one in Glasgow that was excellent but the one in Florence was not so good. Flashlights in the catacombs-excellent tip. got some cool pictures. This book was SO helpful. Reading it in advance-yes do and then keep it with you at all times.
Susan Rae in Vancouver, BC Canada 08/30/2012
The train ticket machines at CDG only took coins or chip & pin credit cards, so I had to buy some over-priced airport food at the wee cafe close by so as to get enough coinage for the machines.
Joel LaMarre in Winthrop, MA USA 08/22/2012
L'Alivi - Corsican restaurant in the Marais, 27 rue du roi de Sicile. Excellent food with a Corsican lilt, and great Corsican music playing in the background. Liberta!
Steve Caple in Sacramento, CA USA 07/27/2012
My friend shared this with me, & I thought it was a great idea. I'm very dependent on having my phone online, but data roaming rates are crazy. You can rent a mi-fi device for a little under $17 per day, (xcomglobal.com). Just carry that with you & you can have up to 5 devices online & an unlimited amount of data.
David Gillenwater in Cumming, GA USA 07/26/2012
Versailles Trains – If you did not purchase your return ticket to Paris, you need a lot of coins to run the machines, as they only take coins or credit cards with the chip. The vendor selling things there will not do an exchange, even if you purchase something. If you don’t have the coins or the credit card, you have to stand in a long line with a lot of other clueless people. However, there is a sign over there saying that all the trains do stop at a lot of places, including Invalides in Paris, so find that sign to plan your stop to get off.
Charles De Gaulle Airport: It is crazy. We did go to the right terminal, but started walking the wrong direction towards T2C and was told we needed T2E (we apparently didn’t look close enough at the reader board in the train station). Found E and went to the first desk only to not have things work. Oh, we were at T2E2, and we needed T2E5. Went there, got our tickets, and told to go to T2E8 to drop off our luggage. All these counters belonged to the same airline, yet they couldn’t deal with us in one spot.
RER trains: They will technically let you in with a normal Metro ticket, but if you leave the city at all, they have a second gate which you must repass your ticket through in order to get out. It is those machines that will not accept Metro, and there is no way to pay extra at these points, and mostly the staff won’t come help. It is not easy to jump over the gates! So make sure you buy an Ilde-de-France ticket for things like Versailles and the airport or you will have issues.
Metro – Rick says, “toss our tear your used ticket so you don’t confuse it with the unused tickets – they look almost identical.” Unlike so many other systems in which a ticket is good for one hour from validation, the tickets are only good for one trip though the Metro with transfers on any train. However, once you leave the Metro and head up to the street, the ticket is unusable again. As a result, make sure you are always entering to ride the correct train as you may not always be able to make the correction without surfacing in the smaller stations.
Heather Cowley in Vancouver, WA USA 07/24/2012
Velib CAN take American credit cards without chips - go online and buy short term subscription from http://en.velib.paris.fr/. A 1 day costs 1.70e or a week for 7e, and unlike Navigo, starts whenever you want (now or future). I wrote down my subscription number (until you can get the machine to print a receipt with it on it), and just punched it into the machine. I followed other people's advice on checking the bikes, avoiding ones with seats spun around, planning ahead, and planning to return the bike while I shopped. If you get a 15 minutes bonus from V+ station (hilltop ones), only 1 per trip. You can't shuttle 4 bikes up a hill to get a 1.5hr trip for free.
Also, try the alternate entrance at the Louvre! I think it's Pont de Lyon, in the Denon wing. Saved me about 2 hours over the main entrance - met my skeptical friends elsewhere in the museum.
Kevin Moynihan in Davis, CA USA 07/19/2012
Spot on information in the Paris book. We used it for everything, barely ever waited in line, took our own self-guided tours and had a great time! Everything was easy to follow.
Elizabeth Katz in Menlo Park, CA USA 07/09/2012
Pain & Chocolat; 16 Avenue La Motte Picquent, Paris 7th, (ner Rue Cler). Small, intimate, very French, FABULOUS!
Frank Albi in Cincinnati, OH USA 07/05/2012
Ann's Cookies - 60 Rue St. Louis. Ann is delightful and her fresh-baked cookies are AMAZING. Eric Kayser Boulangerie - I didn't find it specifically in the book so I'll mention it just in case. We went to the shop on 8 rue Monge in the 5th, but they're all around the city. E. Dehillerin kitchen store - another shop you're probably aware of, but worth mentioning. WOW. @ 51 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the 2nd. Arr.
Gayle McKercher in Schwedelbach, RP Germany 06/27/2012
Scammers are alive and well in Paris. My daughter fell for one on 20 Jun 12. A scammer pointed out a "gold ring" on the ground and then let her have it saying it was her "lucky day." Then the scammer came back and asked for some money on the pretext that they let her have the "gold ring". Don't fall for it!
Mark Heredia in Brussels, Belgium 06/23/2012
A tip from my frequent traveler husband. Put passports and ONE shoe you will wear home in the room's safe - make's it harder to forget items in the safe :)
Kathy in Atlanta, GA USA 06/22/2012
I am an avid Rick Fan and have planned all 7 of my Euopean trips with the aid of his books, videos, and web site. I usually love his tips and recommendations! We just completed a 3 week trip through Portugal, Spain and France and stayed in many, many accomodations recommeded in Rick's travel books. Loved all accept one - please take the following into consideration for the next France addition.
Laura Wagner in Naples, FL USA 06/20/2012
Go see the Gustave Moreau museum. Sit at a sidewalk table and people watch.
Terry Tolentino in San Francisco, Ca USA 06/09/2012
Hotel Eber Mars
mike thompson in cambridge, On Canada 06/08/2012
Take full advantage of all the latest smartphone apps, including your walking audio guides. I also found several excellent free language apps. To avoid roaming charges, I kept my phone in airplane mode the whole time and then caught up on email back at the hotel via wifi. Worked like a charm.
Patrick Smith in Bentonville, AR USA 06/01/2012
Paris-Walks led informative and entertaining tours. Discover walks are free - based on tips. One was very good, one was fair - but still a good way to learn the lay of the land and to get better informed about what you're seeing!
Marcy in Philadelphia, PA USA 05/30/2012
Le Royal, 212 rue de Grennell, deserves mention. Its lunch, three courses including wine, at under 13 euros was our best value meal and an authentic experience in a neighborhood brasserie. Next door is Au Gros Caillou with Gusto Italia just aross the street, both favorites as well for friendly service, good food with locals on both elbows!
Marian Allender in Kirkland, WA USA 05/26/2012
We discovered a beautiful little tapas bistro, Casa Candido, at 40, avenue de Versailles 75016 Paris. There is a little garden at the back of the bistro, where you can sit in peace amid a flower garden to enjoy tapas and sangria. The service is wonderful, the staff friendly -- they even helped us with bus connections back to our hotel. This is in the area of the Statue of Liberty.
B Sperl in Cheboygan, Mi USA 05/15/2012
Interesting but not mentioed in your guide: The Police Museum (M.Cardinal Lemoine). History, photos, weapons, executions. All in French with an English guide page available.
Roger Baker in Albuquerque, NM USA 05/14/2012
The information on rail travel in very good but the best site I have found for this information is called - "The man in Seat 61" http://www.seat61.com just excellent on any topic related to train travel all over the world. He has some sound advice and cautions on buying tickets on line - you MUST use the site Rick and he show for TGV or you will be pushed to raileurope that is much more expensive. It is also very easy to pick up your tickets in Paris. You can go to any of the Gare - TGV - stations in Paris - there are 5 or 6 spread out around the city and go to the SNCF - french railroads - booking area. Don't be afraid if there is a long line they move fast. Just show the agent your confirmation and identification - check Ricks phrasebook for the request for tickets in French and chances are the agent will respond in english. They were very helpful.
Mike in Clifton, VA USA 05/08/2012
Marquis de Lafayette - monument and grave The guide book for Paris makes no mention of Lafayette. As one of the key figures in the American Revolution I think there is interest in visiting his memorials. The first is next to the Seine river by the Pont Alexandre III bridge on the way to Les Invalides and is a statue of him on horseback with saber raised. this statue was donated by American school children in his honor. The site most people interested in Lafayette will want to see is harder to find. His grave is in Picpus cemetery. exit the Picpus or Nation stop on the Metro and take Rue de Picpus ( Not - Ave de Picpus) to number 35. This is a residential street and the entrance to the cemetery is via a single door. It is open Tue to Sunday 2-6pm and is 2 euros each. Well worth the visit as the cemetery is a very prominent part of the Reign of terror period in French history. Here is some information about the cemetery -
from the bulletin you receive at Picpus - In 1794, during a time of the french revolution called "the Terror", the guillotine, on its trip inside Paris, arrived at "place de la Nation".
There, between june 14th and july 27th, over half the victims of guillotine of that period, 1306 people aged 14 to 90, were executed. They were brought there from all over the country.
Most of the victims came from the people, but there were also nobles, soldiers, magistrates, priests and nuns.
The 16 Carmelits 'nuns of Compiegne were executed there too. In the Image of the Christ, they gave up their lives to God and went to the scaffold singing religious hymns.
All were condemned, with no appeal possible, by a revolutionary tribunal, often for no real reason. They were considered guilty of not having subscribed to revolutionary ideas, Their bodies were thrown at night, and without respect, into mass-graves, and everything was done so that these tragic happenings would be quickly forgotten. After the revolution, three sisters of the Noailles family, including the wife of Marquis de Lafayette, were determined to find the place where their mother, grand-mother and sister had been buried.
They were successful thanks to a young girl" mademoiselle Paris" who had followed the carts carrying the bodies. The spot, in the meantime, had been bought and walled by the princess of Hohenzollern, whose brother, the prince of Salm-Kyrburg, was also among the victims.
They realised that all these unfortunate victims had been buried in haste, without any religious ceremony, and that nobody would ever come and pray at their graves. For that reason, they decided to create a sacred place for prayer and meditation, they bought the surrounding land and built a chapeL" They requested the nuns of a neighbouring community, the Sacred Hearts of Mary and Jesus, to set up a perpetual praying service for the souls of the victims.
And to this day, as the founders had wished, the prayers go up from this place of memory, not only for the victims, but also for the executioners, victims of the totalitarian opposition to human dignity. Picpus is a place of meditation and forgiveness as well for men and women who have succumbed to the excesses of some of the materialistics ideologies that now prevail.
Picpus, with the help of the Sisters of the Congregation, is a place of love of Human Kind and trust in the future.
Mike in Clifton, VA USA 05/08/2012
We found ourselves in Paris on May 1, 2012. To our dismay everything was closed on this important labor holiday. But noting a comment in your guidebook about seeing Parisians relaxing in Luxumburg Park, we went there and were plesantly surprised. The park was totally alive - crowded but not cramed. We had a fabulous time watching them play chess, (the best play a fast and furious timed game), Boules, sailing boats in the pond, children riding the carousel, pedal cars, and just relaxing on chairs and in the grass like an Impressionist painting come alive. At the end of the day we unintentionally wound up amid a political rally on Rue Saint Michelle - less than a week before the election. We had to alter our plans to get back to our apartment, but found it to be a vibrant slice of French culture. Proves your advice that the unplanned and unexpected is sometimes the best.
Rich S. in Huntersville, NC USA 05/06/2012
We had a fabulous trip to Paris and loved Rue Cler and all the places we ate ...
Ingrid in Randolph, NH USA 05/04/2012
We agree with Rick -- the Orsay is fantastic! We bypassed the Louvre and were not disappointed. Rick's Audio Guide does not work with the new museum layout but you can listen in advance for helpful tips and then rent the museum's audio guide, which is quite good.
Kathy Shearer in Emory, VA USA 04/27/2012
We spent a lovely day taking the RER out to Chatou and ate at La Fournaise along the river in the place where Renoir painted "Le Dejeuner des Canotiers". Also La Cantina de Troquet resto - great experience. Also Mollard with its Art Nouveau interior.
Ginna in Zoellner, IL USA 04/21/2012
The security lines for Sainte Chapelle and the Palais de Justice both ended up in the same courtyard. The Palais de Justice line was much shorter. We didn't see this until we had been in line for about 30 minutes and were close to the security checkpoint.
Laurie Engelbeck in Issaquah, Wa USA 04/16/2012
Contrary to previous experiences, RailEurope is not necessarily more expensive than tgv.com. One should definitely do comparision shopping. RailEurope now has free print your ticket at home. It gave me a $25 discount code for my second set of tickets, making it cheaper than tgv.com.
chun in El Paso, TX USA 04/10/2012
Loved the Rue Mouffetard market. Discovered that the French may have gotten a bad rap. Despite my preconceived notion of them as somewhat boorish, I found them to be just the opposite. I found them to be very helpful, patient,outgoing, and friendly; from the man on the street, to the shopkeeper, to hotel staff.
Fred Oliver in San Diego, CA USA 03/30/2012
Something barely mentioned in your Paris with Children section is the bike rental area at Versailles. They have bikes of all sizes from toddler bikes with training wheels to larger mountain or cruiser bikes. For our kids (ages 10 and 7.5) this was the highlight of the trip. We rented bikes and rode all over the grounds on the well made gravel paths. The kids really felt "free" as they had an enormous amount of open space to ride and be silly etc. Not to mention, they were able to see areas of the Versailles grounds that they would never had the energy to walk to on their own. This was a great and safe alternative to renting bikes in Paris and worrying about the kids on the streets (since the large gardens, like the Tuileries do not allow bikes). I hope this helps you. We had a wonderful vacation thanks to your book.
Laurie in Davidson, NC USA 03/19/2012
Yes! (First of all, I want to thank you for a great guidebook: Pocket Paris (2011?). I stay in the Rue Cler area and want people to know about a rally great shopping street, which a Parisian woman told me about and which was exactly what I needed for clothes for myself and gifts for family and friends. Not at all toursity and very reasonably prices. It's also a 10 minute walk (right past the Parc du Champs de Mars and a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower): Rue de Commerce. A good little department store, numerous clothing shops for men, women and children and restaurants and creperies.
Theresa Catlin in Mariposa, CA USA 03/07/2012
The whole city!! We weren't sure what to expect after hearing all the stereotypes about Parisians, but we really fell in love with the city.
Kelly Hainer in Cleveland, OH USA 02/18/2012
I discovered that the owner quoted me MORE for a Rick Steves discount than was on their web site! See my copy and paste below. The web site says a Classic Twin room is 187 euro per night when you do the internet special (pre-pay, no cancel). GRRR!
Michele Vossler in Bellevue, WA USA 02/08/2012
I loved my trip. I wanted to pass along an observation which may be valuable to visitors to Paris. In Charles De Gaulle airport, the direction arrows point down when the intent is for the passenger to proceed straight ahead. This is different from the convention used in the US which would have the arrow pointing up for continuing straight ahead. As one running to catch a plane, confusing and going down a level needlessly should be avoided. The book was so helpful with other little tips that I wanted to pass this one along. Good work guys and gals!
Mary Ference in Dahlgren, Va USA 02/01/2012
Two great patisseries in Paris, both of which are on Rue Rambuteau. The first one is Pain de Sucre and the other one is Hure Boulangerie. Probably the best baked goods and sandwiches I have ever had. And so beautifully prepared. A must for foodies!
Also there is a pagoda theatre near the Bon Marche. Definitely worth the trip. You would never imagin finding such a beautiful little Asian themed garden in Paris.
Helen in San Francisco, CA USA 01/11/2012
We were fortunate to have had Thierry Gauduchon as a guide in Paris. He is excellent! Thank you for the recommendation in your PARIS guidebook that we also used for our on your own tours. The maps are user friendly, the areas of interest are spot on.
Markay Allen in San Marcos, CA USA 12/07/2011
The Paris "pocket" guide was wonderful...it really was like having a tour guide in your pocket! We used it for touring the Louvre, Orsay, and Versailles and it was a relief not to have those bulky audiophones stuck to our ears.
Terri in Quilcene, WA USA 11/26/2011
The Parc Floral de Paris in the Bois de Vincennes contains several play areas for children but we randomly found a treat within the park. Follow the map to the big slides. On the far side of the playground behind the slides is an adventure course which is great for older children, teens and adults. You wear a safety harness with a safety line which cannot be removed until you reach the end of the course. There are wires to walk, logs to walk over, nets to climb and zip lines. There are 3 courses: a low one on which everyone starts to learn how to use the equipment, a mid-level course and a high course. Costs for 2 hours are 10 euros for kids under 1.4 meters and 15 euros for everyone over 1.4 meters. My 8 year old son had a great time. The company has a website which is only in French. http://www.evasion-verte.fr/parc-floral/ There is also a different play area nearby with more rope climbing activities. My son preferred to play up in the trees.
Debra in Gettysburg, PA USA 11/03/2011
The Paris guide book was worth its weight in platinum!! Loved Rue Cler, thank you Steve. The top of the Eiffel tower can be cold at night but the crowds are warm and friendly.
Vicente in Melrose Park, IL USA 11/01/2011
I would warn travelers in/out of Paris...the CDG airport is chaotic, disorganized, no direction, frustrating. Allow at least 3 hours to get through the mess. Air France is wonderful--great food and amenities.
wayne white in walnut creek, ca USA 10/26/2011
If you go to Paris definately get that Museum Pass. We bought ours right around the corner from our hotel and it was great not having to wait in very longs lines especially since it rained the whole time we were in Paris. Rick Steve's guidbook was a huge help. It was Like our travel bible over there and the maps set us on the right path since we wlaked everywhere we went. It was so funny to see so many tourists carrying the guidebooks It seemed to us Rick Steve's was #1 for travlers to Paris
Rose Kenney in Tewksbury, MA USA 10/23/2011
On a recent trip to Paris we went back to the Hotel de L'Alma in the Rue Cler area. RS dropped this as a recommended hotel but we tried it after noting that it is now three star, vice previous two. Some improvements had been made and the hotel was nicer but it is NOT a three star hotel. Online rates were comparable to other hotels in the area and the staff was very helpful.
Bill Z in Southport, NC USA 10/07/2011
Please include the fact that it's necessary to keep your Metro ticket until you exit the system. During one trip, I encountered six officers blocking the entire walkway, making sure everyone had a legitimate ticket.
Fortunately, I had mine with me (I had thrown them away right after entering sometimes) so I got past them.
David Yuen in Hollywood, FL USA 10/05/2011
Saturday Market by the military school in arr.7 near eiffel tower... they had it all: food, clothing, leather goods, all made in france.
Mark in Victoria, bc canada 09/25/2011
Never, ever, ever go with a "budget" hotel that is not recommended by Rick. I don't care what Rough Guides or Trip Advisor says about it. Trust me. I learned the hard way. Never again.
You really need to allow a whole day for the Louvre, then another day, or at least half a day, each for Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower. You can't rush around and see all these things in one day or even day and a half, you'll go In-Seine!
Katherine in Hutchison, IL USA 09/03/2011
We 'trawl' for background for our enjoyment of your tours. We are also 'life long learners' so we found The Learning Company's 'Great Courses' series. Once in a while we find a lecture series that really expands our information base for one of your tours. One example is Dr. Richard Brettell's 'From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism." Imagine our interest when we found the lectures top heavy on the physical development of Paris and its culture and its social structure as well as covering a professional discourse on the major works of Impressionist art! These courses can be afforded by 'budget travelers' once they realize that the entire catalog of this company is placed on deep discount sales on a rotating basis each year. We buy cheap and learn a lot! I wish other Rick Steves travelers could benefit from what we discovered by accident and by having little to talk about over breakfast (as we are long-married and living in retirement.
Jim Ellsworth Caldwell, Texas
James Ellsworth in Caldwell, TX USA 08/13/2011
When we went to Versailles, we bought our ticket at Cafe Bleu Roi and also ate dinner there after exploring Versaille and it was one of the best meals that we have had so far while in Paris. Also, the owner/bartender who sold us the Passport for Versaille was incredibly friendly and funny! He saw me holding the Guide Book when we walked in and said, "Rick just called to tell me you needed a ticket". We would recommend not only buying tickets at Cafe Bleu Roi but also stopping there for a bite to eat...there was no wait, unfortunately the line for security at Versaille was obnoxiously long...but fortunately the scenery while waiting is beautiful!
Wendy in Jamestown, NY USA 08/10/2011
On our recent trip to Paris, we found your Paris guidebook excellent. We suggest one addition to art museums. The Musee d'Art Moderne de Paris was a real find and was not included in your book. This museum has an excellent collection and happens to be free. They also have a very good and reasonably priced restaurant with a relaxed outside sitting area. This museum is centrally located as well and near a Metro station.
Kathy Pezdek in Claremont , CA USA 08/09/2011
The Fat Tire bike rides are great.
Bob May in St. Louis, MO USA 07/24/2011
Croissants and fresh-squeezed OJ in the Marais were the only bargains found on our trip!
Marta in Vienna, VA USA 07/23/2011
I believe that readers need to be informed of the abundance of pushy and rude scam artists on the steps to Sacre Coer. We were constantly approached to have a bracelet made, sign a petition, buy some useless rubish. As we left they yelled epitats about American are Sh**. Also, readers should be informed of the long line of "shell game" scammers on the street below the church. We were not pulled into any of the scams because we came prepared having reading Rick's book on Paris.
Elizabeth Metier in Fort Dodge, IA USA 07/05/2011
Paris 2011: You need to make on-line Eiffel Tower reservations several days in advance (p196). There was a wonderful fountain show at Versailles set to music. The audioguide for the Army museum was 6 Euros (NOT included in the admission price! p66) and the north entrance only accepted credit cards.
Linda in San Antonio, TX USA 06/19/2011
The Paris Greeter walk is highly recommended. We didn't know a soul in Paris so it gave us a local connection and we saw some things we'd never have known about. The website is now www.parisiendunjour.fr The walks are by donation.
Laura in Fredericksburg, TX USA 06/16/2011
In regards to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery tour from the Paris 2011 guidebook (p. 338-339), there was no mention of the painter Camille Pissarro's grave (I found it near the tomb of Heloise & Abelard). A friend of mine who lives near the Chantilly Chateaux took me to a great crepe restaurant. The name of the restaurant is "L'Atelier Restaurant de Crepes". Address is 49, Rue Michel Blere 60260 LAMORLAYE FRANCE. It has great food, nice contempory interior design with a quiet, pretty indoor patio. Two of us had dinner crepes, a drink, and desserts for 38 euros.
Linda Smith in west chicago, IL USA 05/27/2011
Steve, I think you should seriously consider including addresses (with postal codes). Many people today travel with the use of blackberries and gps. Do you realize how many towns have the same or nearly the same names in France! It drove us nuts!!
Susan bragg in Houston, Tx USA 05/26/2011
My wife and I just completed an 8 day vacation in France. I did most of the planning myself and most of that was from your Guidebook. The vacation consisted of 5 days in Paris and 3 days touring Normandy by car. The tips from your book were invaluable in determining where to stay and the sights of Paris. We stayed at the Hotel Hospitel across from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Hotel duDauphine in Honfluer, and Les Vielles Digues in Mont St. Michel. The Paris Museum Pass was very helpful.
Frank Swigon in San Antonio, TX USA 05/06/2011
Had my hair washed and styled in a Paris salon. A fun experience!
Judy Johnson in Alexandria, MN USA 04/25/2011
Skip the subway and take the bus in Paris. The bus system is easy to learn and you don't have to do all the walking the subway requires. Plus when you are in a beautiful city like Paris, you want to be above ground not below it.
Greg J in Georgetown, KY USA 04/24/2011
I love Paris, and we read a fun book with our kids before we went, called "Paris" by Renzo Rossi. (New York : Enchanted Lion Books, 2003.) It had lots of illustrations, fun facts, etc. One picture was of the oldest houses in Paris--they are still there, said the book, at 11-13 Rue Francois Mirron. I love medieval stuff, so we went to see them. You can only look from the outside, so it's a quick stop, but it made an easy detour from the Marais walk, right after #6, "Rue Pavee". Maybe you could consider adding this in as an optional detour. We certainly found it interesting! There's also one of those fun plaques with Paris history in front (in French, of course). Thanks for considering my idea.
Laurie Zaepfel in St. Paul, MN USA 04/15/2011
We stayed at Hotel d'Angleterre, a block from Versailles. The top floor corner room was VERY QUIET & large. The bed was comfortable. Our travel companions had very small but comfortable & quiet rooms. No elevator. The desk clerk helped us find a parking spot & carried our bags to the top floor. The web site is www.hotel-angleterre-versailles.com. The room price total in March 2011 was 108. euros.
G Sellers in Melbourne , FL USA 04/14/2011
Academie de la Biere, just a couply blocks of the luxembourg gardens is a great place to try mussels and fries (they have 5 different broths to choose from) It is also the best Beer bar in Paris with a great selection of French and Belgian beers on tap. (and many more in bottle)
Joshua Leo in Grand Rapids, MI USA 04/11/2011
The recommendation of Elisabeth van Hest as a tour guide. She knew absolutely everything about everything of possible interest to tourist and/or history buff in Paris and France in general. She is extremely personable and attentive to the particular interests and needs of her 'charges'. She was always going above and beyond her guide 'duties' recommending and/or booking attractions, dinners, & transportation for us, even 'after hours'. Her fee was well worth every cent/Euro; her informative tours & friendship, priceless!
Gary in Clemmons, NC USA 04/11/2011
Hotel du College de France, 7 rue Thenard, in the Latin Quarter just a block off of Blvd. St. Germain (near metro Maubert Mutualite). A wonderful two-star hotel. Warm and friendly staff (all speak English), neat and clean rooms (free Wi-Fi and room safes), excellent breakfast (extra), great central location. I've been staying here every year for over ten years. It's my "home away from home" in Paris. Web site: www.hotel-collegedefrance.com Tel. +33(0) 1-43-26-78-36.
Ronald Sellers in San Antonio, TX USA 03/15/2011
Get the Museum Pass!! Lines are long. What a time-saver.
Lance Teruya in Ewa Beach, HI USA 02/23/2011
I would have Rick reccommend bringing a compass with you to urban destinations. His directions are great but if your in Paris in winter overcast I did not know which direction was "turn east" A little pocket compass would have made following the directions on his walk easier.
kevin in san diego, ca USA 02/06/2011
The restaurant, Chez les Fondues, at 17 Rue des Trois-Freres. It's only open for dinner and opens at 7 PM. Reservations are required, but we didn't call the day before we wanted to eat there and couldn't get through to them in the morning, so we stopped by exactly at 7 PM and they let us in. It's wonderfully fun, has a very reasonable cost, has only 2 dishes (beef fondue or cheese fondue), they take cash only, and we highly recommend the experience and food! Their # is 01-42-55-22-65.
Also, the Musee du Vin on Rue des Eaux, located about a 10 minute walk east of the Pont d'Lena, looked very interesting and appeared to have exquisite dinners. We found it our last night in Paris and didn't have time to go through the museum nor eat there, but would have liked to read about it in your book!
Alison Snow in Bellevue, WA USA 01/28/2011
I loved the Orsay, however I was just there and all of the Monet's were on loan so I missed all of them. However, due to this book I discovered Millett. I could have starred at his pantings for hours!
Chapel Ham in Bellville, TX USA 01/10/2011
Re museum pass in Paris: to get good value, careful planning is needed.The pass is useless for three of the most important museums, as the Louvre and Versailles require almost the whole day and the Carnevalet is free. Buying a ticket for the Louvre (as you suggest) at the tabac in the lower level of the Carousel is definitely the way to go.
Bob Falk in Sydney, Australia 01/08/2011