Disappointments de Paris
By Rick Steves
While Paris can drive you in-Seine with superlatives, here are a few negatives to help you manage your limited time:
La Madeleine is a big, stark, Neoclassical church with a postcard facade and a postbox interior (but it's surrounded by fine shops).
The Bastille is Paris' most famous non-sight. The square is there but confused tourists look everywhere and can't find the famous prison of Revolution fame. The building was destroyed, and the square is good only as a jumping-off point to explore the colorful Marais neighborhood or to stroll the Promenade Plantée Park.
And the Latin Quarter is mostly a frail shadow of its once bohemian self. The blocks nearest the river (across from Notre-Dame) are more Tunisian, Greek, and Starbucks than old-time Paris. The neighborhood merits a wander (kids love it), but you're better off focusing on the area around boulevard St. Germain and rue de Buci, and on the streets around the Maubert-Mutualité Métro stop.