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Day Trip to Paris


Fonty
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I am going on a 1 day trip to Paris in about 3 weeks with a couple of friends, one of which is celebrating a "special" birthday.

 

I have been before on business trips, and we have all done several recreational visits in the past.  I was wondering if anyone could recommend any smaller art galleries, museums or any other sites that would be slightly different from the usual tourist attractions. 

 

We are going out on the first Eurostar in the morning, and getting the 7.30pm train back to London, so our time is fairly limited.  

 

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. 

 

 

 

 

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If you like history, La Musee de La Carnavalet, the Paris town house of the Marquise de Sevigne of letters fame, shows the history of Paris in the same way the Museum of London does. Not all rooms are open all the time and of course on Mondays, most museums are closed anyway.

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Its a few years since I've been but I always like exploring the maze of streets in Montmartre - away from the Sacre Coeur. The Dali museum is in this area and the art museum St Pierre and an amazing fabric warehouse. For Art museums , Le Petit Palais is worth a visit but not open every day - I cannot remember where it is - but not in Montmatre

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La Musee Nissim de Camondo is well worth a visit.

 

It's also nice wandering around the Marais district and especially the Place des Vosges.

 

The hotel we have stayed in on our last couple of trips to Paris is buried in a beautiful arcade.  I bought a little guide book in Paris that listed quite a few arcades that were all lovely to stroll through.  The ones we tried were in a reasonably small area.

 

If it's open when you are there, you could do the self-guided tour of the Garnier public areas:  https://visitepalaisgarnier.operadeparis.fr/selection/service?productId=458120753〈=en

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The French meetups and daily deals site (Groupon etc.) often have good ideas for less 'touristy' activities.

 

Whether or not you are able to do the self-guided tour, the shop at Garnier is well worth a visit, with some beautifully illustrated (though mostly not cheap) books and videos in French and English for ballet folks who have already seen all the English materials. (Some can be bought online.)

 

Yaffa

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Musee de L'Orangerie next to the Tulerie Gardens. It houses Monet's Water Lilies plus more and has never been busy when we have visited.

Bit out of the way but going to the top of Montpanesse Tower gives a fantastic view of Paris.

Sainte - Chapelle is interesting and doesn't take long to visit.

The crypt under Notre Dame is quiet compared to how busy it is up above. It has archaeological ruins from the earliest settlements of Paris.

 

Whatever you do on the day I hope you have a great time. 

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I spotted this piece in the Stella magazine of yesterday’s S. Telegraph about a gallery/museum on the Left Bank specialising in ‘jewellery treasures from around the world’ illustrated with a picture of a gorgeous necklace of chunky amber beads.  No doubt everything is for sale and no doubt it is an eye-wateringly expensive establishment but it might be well worth a look anyway.

 

http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/article/TMG11091681/Little-Black-Book-Pippa-Small.html

 

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I second Janet's recommendation of Musee Nissim de Camondo, a mansion built by a wealthy Jewish financier who loved everything about 18th-century France and built and decorated his house to reflect that, and then bequeathed it to the nation. A sad story, though: his oldest son died in the French airforce in the first world war and his daughter and grandchildren perished in the Holocaust.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

 

Just to let you know that we went to Paris on Saturday, and had a lovely time.  We decided that if the weather was rainy, then we would visit one or two of the museums recommended by people on this thread. If the weather was fine, we would spend the greater part of the day outside.

 

As we were leaving London on the Eurostar, it was belting with rain, so I was delving into the guide books to plan our possible museum visits.  When we arrived in Paris, we stepped out of the Gard du Nord onto wet pavements, but the skies had cleared and a peep of blue was visible.

 

So, we thought we would head towards the Marais district on foot to begin with.  We ambled through the Place des Vosges with its amazing architecture, wiggled about a bit, and then went on to the Pere-Lachaise cemetery, which none of us had visited before.  It sounds a little odd, going to a cemetery, but it was as much a park as a graveyard, and a beautiful place to walk about and explore.  By this time, the weather was mild and sunny, and our photos show magnificent tombs set against a background of bright blue skies. 

 

After being on our feet for about 3 hours, it was time for a quick bit to eat sitting outside in a cafe in one of the pretty backstreets in the area.  Then we took the metro to the Opera House, and spent 10 euros on a self guided tour.  Absolutely wonderful, and I wish I could have smuggled one of those chandeliers into my handbag.

 

After that we walked on from the Opera House for a quick view of Monmartre.   By this time, it was so warm, we were all in t-shirts.   We decided not to trail all the way up the steps, but instead opted for a cold beer sitting outside and admiring the Sacre Coeur from a distance.

 

Then a final walk to the brasserie opposite the Gard du Nord, where we collapsed into comfy seats inside and ordered a chilled kir to sip while we looked at the menus.   Rather than have a big meal, we settled on a selection of starters.  We decided to spend our money on a rather expensive, but delicious bottle of Pouilly Fuisse, which I had never had before, but will definitely be having again.  :)   Afterwards, we had a range of desserts, including a creme brulee to die for, and crepes suzette, which I haven't seen on a menu in the UK for years.

 

Pleasantly replete, we stepped across to the station, and boarded the return Eurostar in a relaxed fashion for the journey back home, having had a splendid day out.   

 

Thanks very much to everyone for your advice, and next time I go I shall hope to try some of the museums suggested here. 

Edited by Fonty
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I was due to give a talk in Paris on fashion law on the 7 Nov 2014 for which I would have received my return rail fare from London, bed and breakfast at an hotel of my choice and a slap up meal. I spoke on the same subject to the same association in London last year and the hospitality was lavish. You can see the bottle of bubbly next to me on the table..  

 

But Ballet Black are coming to Leeds on 6 and 7 Nov and they trump Paris any day. So I have asked a young colleague to take my place.

 

Non ballet loving friends can't understand my priorities but I am sure you all can. 

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