I am taking my daughter (age 20) to Paris for the first time. We are lucky to have my friend to stay with in the heart of the city. We only have one week. I'd like to take her out to see a few other sites, where I've been (ie: bruges, brussels?) Looking for easiest train ride, maybe stay over one nigh? Also...what are the must sees while in Paris? (backdoor places of course :-)
I recommend that you go to a major bookstore like Barnes&Noble and thumb through the Lonely Planet Paris guidebook and the LP Paris Encounter guidebook. The former is more thorough than the Rick Steves Paris guidebook and has more suggestions for things to do that would appeal to young adults. The latter is written especially to highlight things to do more than places to stay. Then buy whichever one you think will work best for you.
We really love the outdoor markets. Our favorites are the President Wilson and the Saxe Breteuil. They are so French.. and you can get your lunch there.We also love the Porte de Vanves flea market on Saturday and Sunday.If you need more info on any of these... metro stop, hours, etc., send me a PM.
We are taking a daytrip to London on the Eurostar (2 1/2 hrs from Paris). Also, Loire Valley with all the chateaus would be a nice day/night getaway. As for backdoor Paris, we are trying something new this trip (highly recommended on TripAdvisor) Bike About Paris bike tour...supposed to be very easy riding through neighborhoods (Maraist, St Germain, etc) not the big tourist sights. It looks like a great way to see the areas that you don't usually get to (3 1/2 hours with a stop at a cafe).
With only a week in Paris, I'd stay in Paris and maybe do day trips. There is so much to see and do in Paris alone, one week isn't even enough. For day trips I'd suggest: Monet's Home and Gardens, Vaux le Vicomte, Fontainebleau, Malmaison, Provins, Rouen, and Reims, just to name a few.
If you're thinking overnight how about Amsterdam? Plus you can get out and see Brussels because the train stops there. It's in the RS Paris book. What is she interested in? Shopping, museums, art? My 18 year old went with her grandma to Paris and Barcelona last year and she really appreciated the drinking age! She loved having a glass of wine with her meals and was cheeky enough to send me a picture of her toasting the Eiffel Tower with a beer in hand!
Thanks everyone!! Wonderful suggestions ~ very much appreciate all!