paris in july

Hi never traveled across the pond and seriously contemplating a short 5 day stay in paris w/o the kids for me and my wife. Any hints on where to stay in Paris and must do's would be greatly appreciated, planning on the end of July. thanks Kerry

Posted by Maryam
Washington, DC
562 posts

Sounds great. If this is your first trip, please read through Europe Through the Back Door by Rick Steves. Lots of good info for new travelers. You could probably check out a copy at your local library (otherwise, it is relatively inexpensive).
As for "must do's", I know I have a list, but again, you need to grab a good Paris guidebook (Rick's is good) and peruse through it. My choices would be: Versailles, Orsay, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, walking through Montmartre, cruise down the Seine, carousel at Tuileries garden, leisurely walk through Loxembourg Garden, Museum Carnavelt, Notre Dame, and Sainte Chapelle. Get a Paris Museum pass, use the metro with a carnet of tickets, and grab a table at cafes for lunch and dinner. Picnic in the gardens.

Posted by Thomas
Vienna, Austria
502 posts

5 day getaway without the kids in Paris!? Sounds like a brilliant idea! Extra points if you can agree not to even talk about the kids during dinner. Any things that you two are especially interested in? History? Art? Music? When it comes to choosing a hotel, it's all about "location, location, location" (and price, of course.) For killer location I like: http://www.eugenie-paris-hotel.com/ The hotel is pretty much a straight shot from CDG (Charles De Gaulle Airport): about 30 minutes on the RER train. Hotel is a short walk to the river and Notre Dame, and about a block from the Metro. Shakespeare & co is also right there. Best tip is to really get yourself familiar and comfortable with the metro. So quick and easy if you take the time to figure it out. Cluny Museum is also near the hotel. It's a beautiful little museum that has some Roman ruins in the basement and plenty of cool medieval stuff. http://www.bonjourparis.com/story/take-in-the-cluny/ Since you will be without kids, you and your wife may want to stay out to the wee hours at least one night. Fortunately, there's a jazz club about 2 blocks from the hotel (don't know if jazz is your thing, but we enjoyed this place): http://www.caveaudelahuchette.fr/1514/25702.html Allow yourself time to soak up the ambiance of the city. I recommend an evening parked at an outdoor table at a café. http://www.tomsguidetoparis.com/HangingOut.php One word of warning: You and your wife might get totally hooked on Europe and find yourself always dreaming about coming back and exploring further. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you a great trip!

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1356 posts

Hi, i would spend some time "thinking" about what you like to do. I could recommend what "I" like but as with everyone on here and in the world, what may float you and your wifes boat may not float mine. as mentioned p/u RS book and give it a once over. If what he recommends floats your boat, then there you go. If, not, the as i said, spend some time thinking and googling. You can google "things to do and see in Paris" and see what pops up. then once you have something in front of you, start reading up on those things. happy trails.

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3076 posts

The first question I would ask (or advice I would give) is to allow more than 5 days if at all possible. The first morning you're going to feel like you've run into a brick wall from the jet lag. Don't be tempted to sleep the day away. The last evening you're going to be packing up preparing to go home the next morning so that's not going to be a full day. Just know that when you say you have 5 days...you may actually have less time than you think. There are sights galore to see in Paris, but try to leave some time for just meandering the side streets, sitting at an outdoor cafe and wandering the parks and gardens.

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3206 posts

"meandering the side streets, sitting at an outdoor cafe and wandering the parks and gardens." Agree with Tim, these are my favorite things to do in Paris. Hotels I recommend: Hotel de Lutece, Hotel des Deux Iles, Hotel St. Jacques, Hotel du Pantheon, Hotel des Grands Hommes, Hotel des Grandes Ecoles. I like staying in the 4th, 5th and 6th arrondissements best. As close to the river as possible. This is the heart of Paris. My most favorite neighborhood is Ile St. Louis (little island east of Notre Dame). Don't miss the Luxembourg Gardens :) Versailles is worth it imo. Especially the gardens and the Grand and Petit Trianon, and the Hamlet. There are lots of daytrips that are very worthwhile (Giverny, Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Chantilly, Malmaison) but your time is limited. I'm not a fan of Montmartre and Sacre Coeur. Packed with tourists, hilly and far from the areas I love. Others will disagree.

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1202 posts

I agree with Susan about Montmarte - it's out of the way from the rest of the attractions and VERY touristy!......Leave lots of time to wander around and enjoy the ambiance. The parks are lovely and don't miss an evening picnic on the Champs de Mars and watching the sparkles come on at the Eiffel Tower......Be sure you get an air-conditioned hotel. Our last visit to Paris (late June) it was 90 degrees and miserably humid. Luckily, both the hotels we had chosen had AC.

Posted by kerry
boston, ma, usa
2 posts

Thankyou all for the information, i purchased a copy of Rick Steves paris tour book. thanks again for all the tips, Kerry

Posted by Sylvia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
331 posts

5 days without the kids? Yahoo! Who cares what you do!
Ok I agree with the other posters. RS Guidebook, Google, ask friends and have fun researching and planning together. Make sure you sleep in at least One time!!(it may never happen again)

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
783 posts

Two years in a row we stayed at the Le Littre (6 arron.) in Paris. We booked the hotel rooms on their website. They even arranged for a taxi service to pick us up at the airport or the train station. Then their taxi service took us back to the airport both times. It was an arranged time and price. We paid the drivers directly. The second time we stayed there (2010), we booked a room with a balcony. We could climb out onto the balcony and see the Eiffel Tower, all day and night. As it stays light until 11:00 PM, (yes - 11:00 at night) in May and June, we totally enjoyed seeing the Eiffel Tower so often from our room. We could see the city during the day and the lights all night long. Our rooms were both air-conditioned. Their lobby is kind of warm though. You can only book the balcony rooms on their site. They offer free wi-fi in their lobby. Their breakfast was too expensive, so we only ate at the hotel once. We stayed at the hotel for a total of 21 days, during our trips. We had a short walk over to the train. The train station is attached to a dept. store. We also walked over to get some buses.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

kerry, I agree with the others. As you've never been abroad, read Europe Through The Back Door prior to your trip and pack along the Paris Guidebook to plan your sightseeing, etc. while there. Is there any way you could add a bit more time? Keep in mind that you'll lose the first and last days in flight times, and will be jet lagged for the first day or two. You'll generally arrive in Europe the day after you depart and the last day will be spent on the flight home. That's a long way to go for only a couple of days. Regarding "must do's" or "must see sights", use the Guidebook to choose things that interest both of you. I really enjoy the Musee d'Orsay and typically visit there on each trip to Paris. The Louvre is also great (but don't try to see all of it, as it's huge - if you want to see the Mona Lisa, it's in the Denon wing). Other sights - the Military Musuem & Napoleon's Tomb, St. Chappelle, Montmartre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, boat tours on the Seine, day trip to Versailles - the list is almost endless. I prefer to stay in the Rue Cler area (near the Eiffel Tower), but everyone here has their favourite. BE SURE to wear Money Belts as there WILL be pickpockets, and be sure to read up on the usual scams (gold ring, friendship bracelet, etc.). It would be a good idea to buy a Paris Museum Pass, as it will minimize your time waiting in queues. Late July is going to be PEAK season in Paris so it's going to be hot, busy and crowded. Good luck on your planning!

Posted by Thomas
Hermosa Beach, CA, USA
74 posts

We did a lot when we were there in 2011, but the one thing that still grabs me was dinner in the Eiffel Tower. There are two restaurants in the Tower. The Le Jules Verne restaurant is the more expensive, but we had a memorable dinner in 58 Tour Eiffel with a window seat overlooking the Trocadero. Arrive well in advance and go to the top before your reservation time. The gift shop is on the same level as the restaurant, also. And use Rick's Guide Book to learn how to avoid the long lines. The Eiffel Tower is the icon you'll see everywhere when you return and you won't see it without remembering that night. P.S. Make your reservation immediately.

Posted by Maureen
San Francisco
112 posts

Be sure to get a place with A/C. It can get brutally hot there and a fan just doesn't cut it.

Posted by Brenda
Carterville, Illinois, United States
66 posts

I was in Paris in July the last time I went. That is a great time, especially if you can be there over Bastille Day. I love the Hotel Beaugency. Check out the following link: tomsguidetoparis.com.
I followed many of his suggestions and was never disappointed .

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

I was there in July 2 years ago and it was cold (never above 60) and rainy. Check the weather forecast before you go; do NOT make assumptions about it.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4765 posts

It was really, really hot when we were there over Bastille Day in July and we were very happy to have a room with A/C. Basic room at Ibis, with breakfast which suited us fine, as we spent little time in the room. We saved our money for other things. Favorite thing for us was climbing to the top of the dome in the Sacre Coure. The view was fabulous as you look out over Paris and almost down onto the Eiffel Tower. No lines and we were the only people climbing up there. Everyone has their own favorite things to do, so make sure you read some guidebooks and pick out the the things that interest you the most. Especially since your time there is so short.