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Trip report - Paris 7 days in July

Just wanted to briefly share our experience.
We stayed 7 nights at the Hotel d'Orsay in the 7th, one block from Orsay Musuem. Nice, clean, very friendly English speaking staff. Not in a "neighborhood" like Marais or Rue Cler - but very central I thought to main sights, and excellent Metro/RER access,, that we used often to get us back when our tootsies were too tired to hoof it back.
We tried a few of RS recs for restaurants:
Au Bougnante on Ile de la Cite - DELISH!
Café le Flore - for the experience - but it is pricey - 19E for a sandwich
Le Fumoir - just for un café crème one morning - very nice ambience
Bistrot du Forum (in Reims) - excellent entrée/plat for 16E - great place for dinner or lunch we had lunch.

Other great places:
Cafe des Ministeres Bistro de la Mer (7th near Invalides)- seafood restaurant - very nice, quiet. upper price range - spent 100E total for dinner
Restaurant CINQ-MARS (7th near Orsay Museum) - crazy good terrine, mussels, lamb chops and warm fruit crisp - again about 100E
Le Solferino - café/brasserie a block from our hotel ate twice - lunch and a late snack - reasonably priced, good food.
Brasserie Le Borbon - (7th near Invalides -next to Café des Ministeres) - went here when we saw Café was closed - again, delicious food entrée/plat was about 25E
Café de la Comedie - near Louvre and Le Fumoir - plat was 15E - I had beef bourguignon, husband had Cassoulet - really good traditional French fare

In addition to the Louvre, Orsay, Saint Chapelle, Notre Dame, Invalides, Orangerie, hiking up the Arc, and strolling the parks and neighborhoods we:
went up the Eiffel Tower at 9:30PM - woke up at 2:30AM EST 60 days before to get tickets to the top - it was awesome.
Saw a show at the Moulin Rouge - was impressed, way classier than I thought. Very talented dancers, actors and gymnasts all formed part of a very elaborate, I thought, tasteful show.
Did RS Montmatre, Historical Paris and Louvre tour/walk - highly recommend.
Versailles - get here early and book the private tour - worth more than the 7E per person. Of note - only 2 fountains will be running if you choose to go on Tuesday or weekend.
Reims - an awesome and EASY day trip. The cathedral is beautiful and with a lot less people than ND in Paris, the town itself is very nice. Note - cathedral is being restored - main Rose window cannot be seen and the Roman gate is also being restored - covered in scaffolding - bummer! Toured the Martel champagne caves - loved it. Emmanuel was excellent!
Did a Paris Walks tour - Left Bank Writers - excellent!
Did Seine river cruise ( gift from my parents) - so lovely to see Paris lit up - I bet an open air cruise would actually be better for the sites, but the dinner itself was delicious. We booked Bateux Parisien.

I think that's it - nothing disappointed! Paris is divine and can't wait to go back. Thank you Rick Steve's your book was invaluable!!!! And thank you to the regular contributors as well - your advice and suggestions were invaluable as well.

Posted by
378 posts

Sounds like you had an excellent trip. I'm on the same tour in early October of this year. How was the walking?

Posted by
41 posts

We didn't do the actual RS tour - we followed his "walks" from the Rick Steve's Paris guidebook. I don't know if that's what they do on the actual guided tour. It's a lot of walking, no matter what. Very pleasant though, and that's part of the charm. Wear comfy shoes. As in wear ones you already use at home. your trip is not the time to break in shoes!

Posted by
1097 posts

Thanks for the report! We are going in October, I failed to get my Eiffel Tower tickets (too much going on at home with a sick parent) and it slipped my mind, so I am taking my chances on just getting in line and getting my tickets (I do keep checking the website). We are also planning on doing a few walks with ParisWalks, we used them in London and love them! Thanks for the info about Moulin Rouge, I was kinda on the fence about going to a show but I just might explore it more. Also about the dinner cruise.

Posted by
8235 posts

Thanks for taking the time to post! It sounds like you all had a great time.

Posted by
4697 posts

Glad you enjoyed your time in the City of Light. How long till you can return? :-)

Posted by
762 posts

I have been to Paris four times and I never get tired of experiencing one of the most amazing places in the world! I'm glad you had a great time, if you go back be sure to visit the Pantheon and if you can spend a couple of days in Versailles and explore the Palace gardens in depth, most people never seen the beauty of the full gardens and fountains and the Queens peasant village.

Posted by
11 posts

I visited Paris in May and failed to get Eiffel Tower tickets, however on the website I noticed a link to Cultival.fr, and I purchased tickets for a Behind the Scenes tour of the Eiffel Tower, which includes a ticket to the 2nd level. After the tour finished, we bought a ticket to go up to the top. We all enjoyed the tour- and only had to wait to go up to the 3rd level.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks for the restaurant recommendations!!! We will be there early September and are doing our restaurant research to make sure we enjoy the food to the max. As far as the comments on the Eiffel other posts have mentioned that even getting on-line 60 days in advance at 2:30am they were unable to get tickets. Sounds like a racket because you can finds tickets through different tour operators and of course at an increased price. Anyway I did get tickets taking the "Behind the Scenes Tour". Times were filling up for that 3-4 weeks ago.

Posted by
41 posts

@mygalsal28 - it is a racket! I didn't et the time I had hoped for - but in actuality - it worked out better! We caught the sunset from the tower and stayed until dark. It's worth doing at least once, I'd say. I'm sure you will have an awesome time. The food - ther's so many places to eat. Even with recommendations - sometimes it's hard choose. Oh, and when we strolled Montmatre we at Tentazioni 26, rue Tholoze. DELICIOUS!!! We stumbled upon it. It has good ratings on tripadvisor - so we weren't along in loving this little place.

Posted by
694 posts

Sounds like you had a really wonderful time. We also did the show at Moulin Rouge and it was excellent. We did the dinner too which was just ok but the show was really good. You're so right - Paris is divine!

Posted by
1615 posts

It's 90 days in advance at 2:30 am for ET tickets. Another company to try for a reasonably priced Behind the Scenes tour is Get Your Guide.