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Paris or no Paris

Hi All- I am dying to go to France. My boyfriend not so much. I of course think that if you are in France one must spend at least a few days in Paris. I want to see the countryside and tour the wine vinyards. Does anyone think that Paris can be avoided and just do the French wine regions or should we do Paris too. Maybe I will just save him the trouble and go alone..hehe..And can anyone say which wine region they really like?? I like both red and white wines. Thanks-Kim

Posted by
11 posts

I think it would be a shame to go to France and not to Paris.. That said, I personally didn't learn to love Paris until I lived there. As a tourist, although I found the architecture beautiful, I didn't truly love it. So it's up to you. Since you will have to fly into Paris, it might not be a bad idea to spend a couple days there, recover from the jet lag, and then you can say you've been.
I do love the French countryside even more than I love Paris.

I highly recommend a trip to Normandy - see the Mont St Michel, the American Cemetery (where parts of Saving Private Ryan were filmed) and the D day beaches. There's a great WWII museum there as well that's worth a visit.
Dijon and Beaune are nice - great wine tasting in Beaune.
You also could go to the Loire; visit some chateaux and have Loire (white) wine. I've never been to Bordeaux but hear it's nice. Lastly, one of my favorite trips in France was to the Champagne region. Beautiful countryside and champagne tasting!

Posted by
5610 posts

"Does anyone think that Paris can be avoided?"

Of course. You have some good suggestions from Melissa. If you are into wine, you could even avoid CDG and fly into Frenkfurt, which is often a reasonably-priced destination; travel the German wine regions on the journey westward.

Posted by
79 posts

Is there a reason why you DON'T want to go to Paris? Paris has so much to offer. It's my favorite city, hands down. And I think (personally) I would always wonder what I missed if I deliberately skipped something that was so feasible. But, I guess the best thing is just to assume you'll go back. Someone mentioned staying for a few days immediately after arrival, and that's a great idea. Then it's not really out of the way, and your focus is still on the wine regions. I say go for it. You're already there, you might as well! :)

Posted by
219 posts

Kim, Is your boyfriend a romantic? If yes, then you must go to Paris. If he is not, you still must go. What a great place to teach him how to be one! Lesson 1: Walk hand-in-hand at night after eating the best food and drinking the best wine from a wonderful restaurant. I'm sure you can figure the rest. Reims area for champagne. Of course the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions. Another idea-- Examine the bottle label of the French wine you enjoy drinking, look for the town, region, etc... and start your travel research from there. There's usually other vineyards in that area. Good luck, have fun, and please visit Paris!

Posted by
805 posts

I have spent more time in Paris than anywhere else in Europe. While some of this is due to the fact that I have a large extended French family, I would likely do so anyways because I love Paris. Paris is my favorite European city and probably my favorite place to visit anywhere. IMHO it's practically criminal to go to France and not visit Paris, so fun, so relaxing, so beautiful.

Posted by
5610 posts

"Kim, Is your boyfriend a romantic? If yes, then you must go to Paris. If he is not, you still must go. What a great place to teach him how to be one! Lesson 1:..."

Hmmm. Nothing less romantic to a man than lessons in romance. I'll bet 'that respecting his request and ordering a couple of beers and a pile of pommes frites - wherever you go - are more likely to put him in the proper mood.

Posted by
30 posts

How long is your trip?

If for 10 days or longer then definately spend at least 2 nights in Paris.

I for less than a week then you could skip Paris, but even then I would suggest at leat one night there.

Paris is my favorite Europen city as well (tied with Venice in the Spring and Fall), and even though I've been there at least half a dozen times it would still be very difficult for me not to visit again if I were going to France (which I am in December and yes, Paris is on my itenerary).

Posted by
4125 posts

If you are (a) dying to go to France and (b) have never been to Paris, then my advice is to go to Paris.

It is the greatest city of France if not Europe, and occupies a special cultural and historical place in French identity. It is the capital of France in the sense that Washington DC or New York or LA is not. Furthermore Paris has in it representations of every other region in France in its museums, wine bars, markets, and restaurants.

A very interesting wine region for both reds and whites is Burgundy. Normandy is a wonderful choice for other reasons, but there is no serious wine scene there.

I hope you can get your boyfriend with the program and have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
97 posts

Hi-Thanks for all the suggestions. It sounds like Paris is a winner. I have been talking with my boyfriend and it seems like he is coming around. I don't think we would spend all the time in Paris..like maybe 3 days or something. Again, thanks for all the help. Kim

Posted by
104 posts

Paris was the first place I went to in Europe, and so far, it is my favorite city. Even though everyone I know told me that London was their favorite city, Paris still eeks ahead of London for me. My husband and I both loved Paris. We went to a few museums (we're not huge art people), did a ton of walking and exploring and sitting in cafes people-watching. We loved learning about the history of Paris. The architecture is so beautiful, and the people were typically very nice to us. I think you should definitely go.

Posted by
11 posts

Glad you have decided to go to Paris. Just spend some time walking around and getting a feel for the city.. some things I’d suggest, in addition to all the “must do’s” (Versailles, Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, Arc De Triompe, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame) – take a walk around Ile De la Cite (can be combined w/Notre Dame visit) – on Sundays they have all kinds of fun street performers. Spend some time in the Champs De mars by the Eiffel tower, just enjoying the park. Go to Rue Mouffetard – eat at an outdoor restaurant and visit the ice cream/gelato store at the top of the hill.

If you’re into the creepy..the catacombs make for an interesting visit.

Posted by
3313 posts

If you go to Paris - and you should - plan your arrival carefully. Try to come above ground for the first time at Place de la Concorde. It will knock his socks off.

Best place for wine, not question, is Burgundy. It's not far from Paris by train and you'll be able to taste world class reds and whites. The countryside is beautiful and there are lots of small towns to enjoy.

Posted by
104 posts

We made our first trip to Europe in 1999. We were leery of trying to hit the "big city of Paris" as neophytes, so after landing in Paris, went directly to Lyon and then onward through France and Italy. Since then, we have been to Paris 3 times and it's our favorite city in the world. It's one of the easiest cities to get around in and one of the friendliest! Go, let the sights, parks, architecture and food seduce you. One of our greatest joys is just walking around and being there. You won't regret it if you never go, but if you ever get the chance in the future you will regret not having done it sooner. Bon voyage!

Posted by
69 posts

My husband and I enjoyed the Rhone Valley and Beaujolais region. But to do this, flying into Lyon is recommended as it is 5 hours away from Paris.

Posted by
57 posts

Don't miss Paris. you'll kick yourself later if you do. We spent a lot of time in Bordeaux and if you can go to Beaume. You can visit the wine caves there and spend all day sipping wine. We went to one place and I vaguely remember sampling 28 different wines LOL plus the town in adorable.

Posted by
196 posts

Paris is a MUST. We were there for the first time 3 yrs ago and will be back in October this year---can hardly wait! It is just a magical city. If you go to Normandy, be sure to try pomme cidre (hard apple cider that has a kick) and Calvados (apple liquer).

Posted by
800 posts

Kim - I am of the minority opinion in saying that I am not very fond of Paris. I've been there 3 times and if I never return I won't miss it. Having said that I assume that you will be flying into Paris in order to begin your France trip. In that case it seems wrong to not stay at least 2 nights before renting a car and touring the countryside. We really enjoyed traveling around France especially Normandy, Brittany, Dordogne & Languedoc regions - they were spectacular but we did not do much real wine tasting beyond trying to order local wine wherever we went. But getting back to the Paris/No Paris question - we prefer to stay wherever we land for two nights partly to get over the jetlag and also just to see whatever it is that this big airport city has to offer. This summer we had to fly to Milan which is not a city I'd purposefully pick to visit. I'm glad we decided to stay for even 1 night - I liked it much more than I thought I would. Maybe your boyfriend will end up loving Paris!

Posted by
12 posts

Paris is wonderful, glad you've decided to go. In terms of wine regions, Burgundy is a great choice. Beaune is set up for wine tourism. Bordeaux isn't quite as pretty, it's a fairly industrial region. If you have the time, the Cotes du Rhone and Chateauneuf-du-Pape regions are really interesting. If you don't have the time, the Loire would be good. But one of my favorite wine regions is the Alsace, great scenery, history, people, and wines. I do agree, though, that you should see Normandy as well.