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::Title: Paris compilation ::Compiled by: Mark Nowak ::Filename: europe/ ::Date: 1993 January ::Type: Compilation ::Note: Volunteer needed to edit/organize this file! :: This and other guides are available by anonymous ftp from in the directory /pub/rec-travel.

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Date: Wed, 13 Jan 93 10:37:11 CST From: (Mark Nowak) Message-Id: To: lucas@ccu.UManitoba.CA Status: OR

From: (Laurie Weakley) Subject: SUMMARY Paris Favorites (Long) Date: 15 Apr 92 20:32:03 GMT Organization: UNC-CH School of Medicine


As promised, here's the summary to the responses for my post about Paris Favorites. Thanks very much!

Original Post:

Date: Mon, 06 Apr 92 17:49
I'll be in Paris for 10 days in September.
I'm interested in your favorite Parisian experiences:
hotels, restaurants, sights, whatever.
What did you really enjoy about Paris?
Any restaurants you'd gladly return to? Any sights
you'd not miss for anything?
I promise to post a summary! I posted a similar
request for a trip last year, and the response was a big help.
Thank you,
From Wed Apr 8 02:52:54 1992

Go to the metro station "Denfert-Rocherau" (not sure about the spelling so check it - but it's on the southern side of Paris.) Follow the sign to the catacombs. Pay for a ticket, go down the stairs, and be prepared for a *strange* experience. (Also lots of walking, and it can be a bit muddy in places…).

Go on a river boat - surprisingly cheap for an hour's trip. But watch for the little boys who stand on the bridges over the Seine and spit on you ! Boats leave from near the Eiffel tower.

Go up the Montparnasse 'skyscraper' and have a coffee at the top. Don't pay right to the open air viewing gallary, go to the floor below where the cafe is and sneak up to the top when the watchman's not looking ! Much cheaper….

From Wed Apr 8 09:28:24 1992

In article you write:

From Mon Apr 6 17:58:44 1992

I'm interested in your favorite Parisian experiences:
hotels, restaurants, sights, whatever.

What did you really enjoy about Paris?

Paris is my favorite place. We lived there in the early 70's and I have been back several times. My favorite thing is to just walk around the streets. The parks, the museums, even the department stores are all very interesting. Food is very expensive, but there are lots of small cafes (especially on the left bank) where you can get a reasonable meal - and you can buy bread, cheese, and sausage and have a picnic for lunch. The best place I ever ate was at Tour d'Argent - but we had to make a reservation from here (I had a travel agent in Durham do it - they found someone who could speak French).

There are also plenty of day-long excursions outside france - reachable by train - mostly to castles. The countryside is beautiful.

I'll be happy to answer any specific questions you might have.

From btr!! Wed Apr 8 10:38:41 1992

Don't miss the Bateaux Mouches (the name for the Seine boat excursions). Take it at night – or dusk).

The Paris catacombs are something else – skip the sewer trip for this one.

There's a little known museum at Les Invalides. It contains scale models of a hundred or so French cities made about 200 years ago. The French army used them for strategic planning.

Have fun!

From Wed Apr 8 10:40:12 1992

In article you write:

What did you really enjoy about Paris?
Any restaurants you'd gladly return to? Any sights
you'd not miss for anything?

The Picasso museum. A trip to St Germain en Laye on the train with a picnic. Fresh baguette. Aimless wandering.


Kathleen King ( Dept of AI, University of Edinburgh, 80 South Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1HN.

From Wed Apr 8 10:58:49 1992

In article you write:

Laurie -

We spent 3 days there (before a trip through the wine country) back in June of '85 and left totally frustrated because of all we missed. We therefore returned to Paris for 10 days in November of the same year. That was much better!

A few reccomendations:

Of course you will want to spend time in the Lourve and other museums. If the

weather happens to be good at first, use that time to visit sights that are dependant on good weather and save the museums for either bad weather days or nearer the end of your stay if you are lucky enough to only have good weather. I had a hard time convincing my wife that we really would get to the Lourve, but it turned out to be good that we did wait.

It's expensive, but a dinner at Restaurant Jules Verne, halfway up the Eiffle Tower, was an unforgetable experience. The carpet, walls, ceiling, all furniture, wine glass stems, place plates, bud vases, and single rosebuds on each table are ALL BLACK. There is a black long-arm-desk-type lamp shining down on each table, which had a very pale grey tablecloth. No other lights were in the room, and, of course, the outside walls were all glass. All you could see was the food on the table and the lights of Paris all around! It was rather dramatic and the food was equally spectacular.

Other restaurants that we went to that were in the same class (food & $$) were the Carillion Hotel at Place de la Concorde, La Tour d'Argent overlooking Notre Dame, Guy Savoy out past the Arch de Triumph, and one other I can picture in my mind and know what I ate, but can't remember the name. For all of these, we wrote ahead and asked the concierge at our hotel to book reservations in advance. I asked her to space the reservations about every other day during our stay and I didn't care which one was on which day. I also said NOT on the first day! She handled it perfectly. I highly reccommend Gault-Millieu as the best guide to the best restaurants in France.

For less-fancy and more affordable meals, Le Polidor, near le Sorbonne, is a historic, neighborhood bistro where the natives eat that was fascinating. We did not have a bad meal there - eating at many bistros - even at the corner drugstore near our hotel!

Speaking of hotel, we stayed at the Madison Hotel, directly across the street from St. Germaine des Pres, on Blvd. St.Germaine, on the left bank. The location was fabulous - right in the middle of the left bank activity and easy walking distance from everything! There was also a metro stop at the front door. Our room (both times - by request the 2nd time) was 81, which was the "garret" overlooking the rooftops of Paris! It was great and cheap at the time. They were rehabbing the place during our second visit and that is now complete, so it is more expensive. However, I read that it is still a good buy. The dollar is not what it was then, so all prices are much higher.

The obvious sights, I will assume you know about. Others we enjoyed were the chapel that is inside the gates at the Police station near the city hall. Go only on a bright sunny morning. The windows are spectacular! The Rhodin (sp?) Museum was good. The Orangerie near the Lourve - Monet's Waterlillies in two round rooms in the basement level are fantastic. Be sure to go to the top of Notre Dame if you can take a long spiral staircase.

Take comfortable walking shoes, you can walk just about everywhere. For longer trips, get a week (or 10 day?) "orange card" pass for the metro. It is fast, cheap, and easy.

I'm envious. Paris is my favorite city! Have a great trip!

Mac Price

From Wed Apr 8 11:47:28 1992


I just returned from a week in Paris. I have some favorites - The Rodin Museum - in the 7th - near Invalides - wonderful !!!

Restaurants -

I can get the exact names and addresses for you if you like - my documents are at home - but:

1) In the Museum D'Orsay (modern Art) - don't miss the restaurant Palais D'Orsay on the upper floor - fantastic Belle Epoque decoration - I mean fantastic !!! They have a lunch buffet deal called the Formula Rapide for 69 francs that includes wine and desert a great way to break up the day there.

2) Les Philosophes - a drop-dead cute little restaurant with excellent food in the 4th - a few blocks east of the Pompidou Center/Les Halles area. I love this restaurant - small semi-formal little room with pretty art on the wall and good mood music, very attentive woman proprietor who speaks fine English, and fine, fine, fine food. We had wonderful spinach/mushroom/gruyere salads, full plates of perfectly cooked beef tenderloin slices with wine sauce, vegetables, and a half liter of house wine for a total of 163 francs !!!!

3) Cafe Breteuil - on Place Breteuil in the 7th - (2 blocks from Metro Duroc) Wonderful lunch menu - a beautiful floor-to-ceiling windowed restaurant looking out over a beautiful open area in an upper class neighborhood. The menu is 165 francs per person - but includes a full bottle of excellent Bordeaux (worth > 100 francs). We had the best escargot we've ever been served - large portion, salads, fine veal main course, fine desert and espresso for the menu price - definitely a splurge lunch at $60 for two - but I wish I could eat there every day.

4) Restaurant Thomieux - on St. Dominique in the 7th - great and very economical 5) Poule au Pot - also in the 7th - I think on Universite - their specialty is a chicken stew served in a heavy huge copper pot - the chicken breast covers a wonerful piece of pate' (wow - tasty !!!) about 200 FF for two dinners

6) Willi's Wine Bar - in the first near the Louvre/Palais Royal - really neat American hangout

Gosh - there are a million places - I love Paris !!!!

mail me if you want me to natter on and on.

Dave Matz

From Wed Apr 8 13:41:43 1992

I have only been to France once and I spent 6 days in Paris. I loved it! It was one of the most wonderful cities I have ever visited. What I liked best about Paris is walking around it. It's not that big so you can walk most places. And all the other spots you can get to with the metro. Bring good walking shoes and walk, walk, walk.

My favorite museum was the Orsay, but I'm into Impressionist art. More my speed than the Louvre, though the architecture of the Louvre is very impressive. I was somewhat overwhelmed by all that old European art.

As far as restaurants, we didn't eat in any bad ones. Two that I liked a lot were L'Epi D'Or which is near the Palais Royale and the Bourse, and Juveniles. L'Epi D'Or is a bistro sort of place and the food is wonderful. It was the best meal we had in Paris. The atmosphere captured Paris dining out (not the high-class kind) to a t. Juveniles is a wine bar and the food there was very good. I had duck on a bed of greens and it was the most delicious duck I've ever had. After eating in France, I was thoroughly convinced that you could not get a bad meal there.

Sharon Badian or

From Thu Apr 9 10:45:01 1992

Laurie -

    By far, my favorite restaurant (in the lower mid price range)

is "Le Cafe Du Commerce". It is located at 51 Rue Du Commerce. It is very easy to find, just take the metro line 8 heading for BALLARD and get off at the COMMERCE stop. You will exit into a park. Just hang a left on commerce and walk about 1 1/2 blocks.

    A great place to just hang out is Luxembourg Park. For a fun

walk to the park, take the metro line 4 to the CITE stop. This will put you on the island near Notre-Dame. Then walk up through the Sorbonne (many students and cool shops) and in a few blocks you will find yourself at one of the park's entrances.

    I love Paris -- and try to spend 5-6 weeks a year there. Have

a great trip!

Pete Percosan Motorola DSP group

From leafusa!zurich.HQ.Ileaf.COM!fal@uunet.UU.NET Thu Apr 9 13:02:06 1992

I go to Paris a lot and lived there 5 years. I have a file I give] to friends who are going for the first time, but it is kind of long (14 pages). It also has a compilation of restaurants and hotels from people on

Let me know if you would like me to send you this document.

From Thu Apr 9 14:44:04 1992
What did you really enjoy about Paris?
Any restaurants you'd gladly return to? Any sights
you'd not miss for anything?

My wife and I were there last September. Some of the highlights:

Au Trou Gascon: A one-star Michelin restaurant. Fairly cozy with very nice service, not stuffy. Great food and a great wine list. It's expensive, but not for this class of restaurant in Paris. This was my favorite meal of the vacation.

Au Pied Du Cochon: A really lively bistro in the 1er arrondissement. You'll probably stand in line to get in, but our waiter was friendly and funny and the food was very good. Try the fruits de mer if you're brave.

Willi's Wine Bar: Despite the yuppie/nouveau riche American crowd, this was a great place. The food is good and there are great wine selections by the glass and bottle. The staff is pretty down to earth. Not cheap, though.

The view from Sacre Coeur: Not to mention the climb up to the top through narrow spiral staircases.

The Musee D'Orsay: To me it was much more interesting than the Louvre, mostly because it's easier for me to appreciate 19th century art than earlier painting. However, the Louvre is certainly worth seeing for the "big name" stuff.

The Hameau at Versailles: Sort of a monument to how out of touch royalty can be. It's really pretty.

We were a bit underwhelmed by the parks in Paris. They tend to have sand/ gravel in most of the walking areas, and very little grass in general. It ended up being fairly dusty and not nearly as pretty as some of the parks in London. I should add that we didn't go to lots of the more famous parks

like the Bois de Boulogne, Jardins de Luxembourg, etc. They may be more impressive.

I'd recommend buying Patricia Wells' Food Lover's Guide to Paris. It's a great book and we did well with her recommendations. Get a good map with a street index, too. We lived by the Metro - it's easy to use, reasonably safe and clean, and you get around very quickly.


From Fri Apr 10 18:26:13 1992

Hi, here's what I sent someone else on the net a few weeks ago. It's a bit long.

I lived in Paris for 2 years, and returned just this late summer.

Do I have favorite places to recommend?– gobs! a couple good friends just went there to see a relative in the Olympics– too bad I didn't save my notes to them…

I worked there, so the places I went to will be a little more expensive than you might be willing to pay as a traveller. But I think they give a fairly good taste of Parisien eating. I also have no idea how long you'll be staying, so don't be overwhelmed by what follows if you're spending only a weekend there.

For lunch (and dinner)… There's Le (or la?) Taverne de L'arbre sec, in the 1st arrondissement. You take the metro to Louvre (and NOT Palais-Royale) on line 1, and you'll be a block away. It's located at the corner of rue st honore and rue de l'arbre sec. It is where Roxane is to have proclaimed her love for Christian to Cyrano, in Cyrano de Bergerac. The owner is Bernard Blanc– you can tell him I recommended him, should you go. His father runs the bar, has big big bushy eyebrows. He used to offer a lunch for 75FF (salad, main course, dessert– the best was their creme cafe). They might be closed on Sun/Mon. This is near the Louvre, Les Halles, right in the center of town.

Nearby, for good views is going to the top floor (11th?) of the dept store St Maritaine (the way up to the 'vue panoramique' is well marked). In fact there's a cafe/rest on top but bound to be touristy and tres expensive. My other favorite spot around here is Pont Des Arts– you'll recgonise it because it's a foot bridge that looks like it's ready to fall apart, directly between the Louvre and what was the Ecole de Beaux Arts I think (big dome). It's a neat bridge with artists and a few musicians.

Another decent lunch place is calle Aux Gamins de Paris, in the Marais, on rue vieile du temple– perhaps near where rue de rosiers is– on the left side of vieile du temple if you're walking away from the Seine (North). This is a nice little wine bar/resto with a fairly non-tourist international crowd (it's where hip Americans and hipper French hang out). This whole area is great, esp the architecture and in particular –I don't know what you call them– they're pieces build on corners, like turrets. The Marais ('swamp') is where the bourgeois used to live (like Roxane), in 'hotels', and now is populated by Jews and fashionable Parisians. If you read Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum," the street names here refer to the strange orders of knights he talked about in the book. It's hip and alive on Sundays when the rest of Catholic France is spending it in the countryside or in parks. Be sure to go to Goldberg's Cafe for some Eastern European food. My favorite was a falafel shop not far away– I don't recall the street. It's a small area and i'd suggest walking east through it from Centre Pompidou to PLace de Voges (Victor Hugo's house nearby and neat street musicans), and eventually onward to Bastille, another really neat up-and-coming district. Back at the Centre Pompidou (be sure to go up for other great views) is La Dame Tartin, if I recall. A really reasonably priced place that specialises in open face sandwiches. It's a bit touristy but also appeals to many locals, and of all the places I went to I always ran into to people I knew there. It's right next to the fountain with all the wierd sculptures in it, not far from some church (St Merri, or something).

Another cheap thrill is of course Sacre Coeur, where you'll find other tourists looking at the view. We once went to a rest. nearby, called Le Tartempion or something like that– but that was many years ago and it's probably gone tourist. Be sure to walk around the hill behind the basilica because there are lots of nice views from there. In that general area (the 18th) is a large black African population– on the street corners you'll see great big african women beautifully swathed in colorful batiks (sold in nearby stores– boy I'm really beginning to sound like a travel guide) selling fried corn on the cob. If you wander into one of the small unmarked pharmacies specialising in nothing but African herbal medicines, be sure to try to listen to what their speaking. On the northern edges of this area is the great flea market with lots of neat things to see. Watch out of pickpockets.

For a distant view OF Sacre Coeur, go behind the big clocks (where cafes are) in Musee d'orsay.

Another good view is from the top of Notre Dame. The entrance (have to pay) is on the left side, facing the cathedral. Note that you can go to the very top of one of the towers. Also (I never made it here) is going to the top of the dome of the Pantheon, in the 5th.

If you're looking to spoil yourself I've 3 recommendations for dinner, in order of price. One is L'Enfance de Lard– maybe 100-150FF/person, located on rue de guisard. Hard to find, in the 6th. Probably the best way is to get off at metro St sulpice, walk north toward the edge of the square, where the storefront for YSL is. Walk into one of the small streets leading out of the square, with the YSL shopp on your right. Take the first right, and the rest. will be on your right. If you like escargot, they have a very nice escargot en profiterole (or something like that)– escargot in a pastry drenched in (yep!) butter (but this is koay as long as you drink red wine). This place was recommended to me by a friend who thinks of nothing but food (as most French seem to do). You'll notice this whole area is very student-ish with lots of nice boutiques and sometimes touristy. But on warm summer nights it's definitely festive.

The second restuarant is Chez Julian, in the 10th, at 9 rue Faubourg St Denis. Take line 4 and get off at Strasbourg St Denis. Walk west then north to go through the Porte de St denis, and NOT porte de St martin. (You will exit from the metro south of the portes) They look like mini versions of the Arc de Triomphe. Going through Porte de St Denis you'll be on rue Faubourg St Denis, and after a bit the rest will be on your right. It's a neat bustling brightly lit place decorated in the belle epoque style of art deco. A friend of mine spotted Madonna here. After 11pm, they have a special 4 course meal for 90FF. Waiters are NOT surly but efficient. You usu have to wait. But there's a small bar there and in the past they've been known to offer free kirs (white wine mixed with a fruity liquer). In general this is an interesting area with a strong N. African influence. It looks a bit seedy, but like most of Paris, it's safer than any American equivalent.

Lastly, my all time favorite is– I never knew the name– we called it chez Patrick, right next to La Taverne de l'arbre sec. It's on rue de l'arbre sec, no. 64 maybe, 2 doors before La Taverne going toward rue st honore (you can ask Bernard). It's closed Mon and Sun I think. This is a tiny place (intime) so you ought to make reservations– you can do that earlier in the day. Patrick and his water and bartender are all really nice. It's expensive– maybe 250-300FF/person for a full meal including several bottles of wine. But it's really good and definitely not a ripoff. Tell Patrick that a friend of Jennifer's recommended him to you, if you go.

Note that most places in Paris will have a menu located outside so you can check without getting seated first.

A street to visit that has a market everyday is rue de mouffetard (I understand there are youth hostels here too). Artsy, with bookshops and little papershops, it winds down (south) from metro Cardinal Lemoine to a church, st Mediard where on sunday pm (usu 4pm) they have free classical music concerts. In fact on sundays all over paris there are free music concerts in churches and the way to find out about them is to buy a Pariscope (3FF) at any kiosk on the Thrus preceding the weekend. It's a way to visit the city. Another fun and cheap thing to do is to take the metro line 6, say from metro stops Italie, or Montparnasse, toward the eiffel tower. Because in the portion to the line that approaches then crosses the Seine the train is elevated and you get a really neat view in crossing (you'll have to see a map to see what I mean).

There's always the bateaux mouches for about 50 FF or maybe less you go a on a tour of the river.

Whelp, I just notived your other posts, so it looks like you'll be backpacking it, ergo perhaps on a limited budget. So perhaps some of these places will be a bit really expensive. I think you can always try to look under 25, as most backpackers are. They don't always card. And you cvan act dumb. On e thing you should bring is any (current or past) studnet ID. That usu wokrs.

About taking a night train from London to Paris, I had a friend who ran into trouble because of a strike (welcome to France!– in fact once I was 'stranded' in Venice with my sister because of a train strike and I was supposed to go back to work soon- so we went to Florence- tough choice huh?)

Well I hope you have a nice trip. I hope to get back there someday myself.

Good luck and bon voyage!!


From Mon Apr 13 11:37:01 1992

In article you write:

From Mon Apr 6 17:58:44 1992
I'm interested in your favorite Parisian experiences:
hotels, restaurants, sights, whatever.


Don't stay at the Ceramic on Ave. Wagram. It's got a great location, a great price, and the shower was private, hot, and strong, but the bed was terrible and the street was too noisy to allow good sleeping.

What did you really enjoy about Paris?

Cafes. Cafes. Cafes. And the overall romantic atmosphere. I went last August with a friend of mine from London that I've always had a crush on, and the legendary atmosphere of Paris worked its magic . . .

We'd get up, decide what part of the city we wanted to start sight seeing in, and take the Metro out there. Then we'd look for the first likely looking cafe for breakfast. After a very long breakfast of bread, tea, chocolate, croissant, or whatever, we'd do our sight seeing, and then wander into another cafe for beer, wine, whatever. Just sitting outside watching the world go by. Ahhhh. I'm going back in 3 weeks, this time with a female friend – so I'll get some shopping in!

Any restaurants you'd gladly return to?

Yes. There is a chain called Hippopotamus, which has good food for good prices. The best meal I had was at this place called the Drugstore (well, whatever the French word for Drugstore is). It's above a drugstore (a rather chi chi one a that – they sold fancy perfumes and cosmetics). I can't remember where it is, though. Somewhere in the Latin Quartier I think.

Any sights
you'd not miss for anything?

Before I went everyone said "don't bother with Sacre Coeur", but I disagree vehemently. Also, don't miss the stained glass in St. Chappelle. But here's a trick to avoid long lines: go down to the Concergerie (where they imprisoned Marie Antionette before they guillotined her) and buy a combined ticket for the Concergerie/St. Chappelle. No one goes to the Concergerie it seems, so you won't have to wait to get in. Then go over to St. Chappelle and bypass the long ticket line to walk right into the chapel.

I didn't make it to the Louvre, but went to the Musee d'Orsay instead. Incredibly sculpture on the ground floor. The Impressionists on the top. Don't miss it.


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