Wednesday April 9, 2014
A lot of readers write to me asking whether they can realistically get a sense of the city in only 48 hours. I highly recommend staying longer, and to answer the feasibility question directly, feel that this approach will afford a rather superficial (and harried) version of Paris that certainly won't do it justice. Still, some of you won't have more time, and to address that case, I've put together a flexible program that covers a great deal of the "big stuff", as well as some important but often overlooked places and attractions.
The Paris in two days itinerary is a 48-hour whirlwind, self-guided tour of the places and attractions you should see if you want to get a first taste of the city. Day one covers the classic Paris you know from postcards and includes giants like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. The second day sends you to the more contemporary right bank, where artists, young stylists, and immigrant communities generate the pulse of present-day Paris. On the program: a walking tour of the historic Marais quarter and strolls through several of Paris' most dynamic--yet still oh so charming-- neighborhoods. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner suggestions are provided, too.
The best part about the itinerary? It's designed to bend to your whims and tastes, and account for things taking less or more time than you expect. You're free to see as little or as much as you like, and in some cases you're given a choice between two great attractions or restaurants-- the choosing is part of the fun.
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Image: The Hotel de Cluny in the Latin Quarter houses the National Medieval Museum. It also features a dazzling medieval-style herbal garden and the remnants of Roman thermal baths. ©2006 Courtney Traub. Licensed to About.com.
Tuesday April 8, 2014
If you've seen the fantastic documentary, Man on Wire, you may have developed an unlikely fascination for tightrope-walkers. Earlier this week, a famous one named Denis Josselin made headlines when he walked across a tightrope to cross the Seine River, some 82 feet above the cold currents . Sure, it's not as precipitous and frightening as crossing the World Trade Center, as his compatriot Philippe Petit did in 1974, and as documented in the aforementioned documentary. Still, it made for an entertaining (if nerve-wracking) spectacle.
According to the Associated Press, it took Josselin half an hour to cross the 492-foot rope, and under the watchful gaze of hundreds of people. "I am the last tightrope walker that got the authorisation to cross the Seine river, it was ten years ago. So, these occasions are so rare that I am enjoying them as much as possible," he was quoted as saying. You can watch the video documenting Josselin's feat here-- and please, kids, don't try this on your own visit! Take a boat tour, or have a picnic on the banks, or tour the bridges of Paris instead.
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Friday April 4, 2014
At first glance, parents may wince at the idea of bringing kids-- especially the youngest ones-- to Paris, which can seem like a giant museum suited only for culturally savvy adults. But the city can be surprisingly kid-friendly if you know where to look, and plan accordingly. From an old-style amusement park confusingly called the "Jardin d'acclimation", to the Grevin wax museum (pictured) and a day of fun just outside the city limits at Disneyland Paris, there's no shortage of places certain to keep your young travelers happy and distracted. Consult our complete guide to the top things to do with kids in Paris to find out more. We've made it more comprehensive than ever by adding more family-oriented attractions to the list, so make sure to bookmark it ahead of your next trip. Also see our guide made specially for parents with picky eaters, and providing tons of useful advice on eating out with kids in Paris.
Image credit: A wax sculpture at the Musee Grevin. 2006 Tchitcha. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License.
Tuesday April 1, 2014
From Breton-style savory buckwheat "galettes" to nutella-drenched sweet crepes served warm straight from triangular paper holders on the street, there's no denying the allure of the French crepe. About.com Paris Travel Contributor Colette Davidson weighs in on some of the very best spots in Paris to procure une bonne crÍpe (of either variety).
Read More: Best Crepes and Creperies in Paris
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Image credit: Bing/Creative Commons.