Going to Paris

In the spirit of the great Going to Berlin thread, a place to share ideas for visiting Paris.

I’ll be there in November (and Brittany too) with my wife and 12 year old daughter and very much looking for recommendations from the community. Thanks in advance for any personal suggestions!

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I’m going to recommend the same thing I recommend to everyone who visits Paris

The musse Gustave Moureau - which is a fun museum where you get to look around the combination flat/studio of a great symbolist painter who seemingly never finished any of his pictures.

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Brittany is beautiful in November. Be sure to enjoy lots of calvados and oysters.

November in Paris is my favorite month - calm, tourist-free, generally agreeable weather. Check out the marche on the Rue Monge then stroll up to place de la Contrescarpe and down Avenue de Mouftards, then down through the Luxembourg to La Closerie Des Lilas for coffee. It’s my Hemmingway walk. :wink:

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Père Lachaise cemetery is stunning in the autumn, especially the holocaust memorials, never mind the Proust and Piaf graves - and Victor Noir of course; but forget the Jim Morrison one as it’s covered in bad poetry graffiti.

Montmartre is also quite lovely, with or without the hordes of tourists, and even with the hundreds of silhouettists who will cut out a likeness of you as soon as you can blink.

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If you like cold weather that is!

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I do! I do! Cold weather in Paris in November is the best cold weather!

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The French are very competitive when it comes to food. So, when you get to Paris, look online for a current list of the best croissant in Paris, or the best baguette, or the best patisserie - hike to one of the top 5 - test to see if the listing is correct - repeat. You get to see very different sections of Paris and taste the best that the French have to offer.

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thinking of visiting the Carnac Stones… any experience?

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Yes. You cannot push them over no matter how hard you try. Also boring. There are so many beautiful sights in Brittany and Normandy better than them. Visit Quiberon and Quimper on the Brittany coast and buy some faience pottery! Visit the American cemetery on the Normandy beaches! Watch Tony Bourdain talk about the region! Drink Normandy cidre! Visit Mont St. Michel!

Also, don’t use too many exclamation points like I just did.

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Love the color of the walls there.

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The Catacombs are worth visiting (I still want to visit the off limits pieces at some point), and then there’s the art. Skip the Louvre in favour of Musee Rodin and Musee D’Orsay.

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Yup, the catacombs! But, go very early… like an hour before opening time.

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Musee Arts et Métiers is magic. Design, engineering, craft, materials, and you’ll get to see Foucault’s Pendulum. Can’t recommend enough.

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I you want to see a lot in one day, get a bike. It’s faster than the metro and fun. You can follow the canals, most of them have cycling tracks.

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You can also consider le jardin des plantes et le grand palais.

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The Métro is best avoided before around 09h00 and between ~ 16h30 and ~ 19h00 ; some lines and stations get horribly packed in the rush hour.

One of my favorite museums in Paris: Le Musée du Quai Branly. It is Arts Premiers, there’s also an excellent music program and library. The architecture is by Jean Nouvel, I wouldn’t miss it. In November there will be a big Francis Bacon retrospective at Le Centre Pompidou. If that is something that interests you you will want to get tickets ASAP as it will be busy and tickets are time slot specific:
https://billetterie.centrepompidou.fr/selection/timeslotpass?productId=101444552008&date=11.09.2019&_ga=2.242981506.123597719.1567695093-1216413982.1567695093&lang=en

La Fondation Louis Vuitton has had some amazing exhibits in the past, another very unique building worth visiting ( Frank Gehry architecture)

edit: Francis Bacon might not be ideal for a young child, missed that detail in your initial request for info… the permanent exhibit at the Pompidou might be better. Also La Cité des Sciences

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I understand the desire to warn people about how the Louvre is kind of problematic tourist wise because of how packed it is, and if all you want is to see La Joconde and La Venus de Milo then definitely don’t go there. But if you love art / museums, I would never advise anyone on earth to skip the Louvre, it’s probably one of the most wonderful museums in the world, I’ve been there I don’t know how many times and I still have hundreds of things to see so I’ll go there again for sure, many times.

What I would say though, is to not make the mistake to consider the Louvre as “one thing”, but more like an agregate of dozens of museums in one crazy place. So just decide to visit one space that fits your taste or your curiosity, and dedicate an afternoon or even a day to it and that’s that, don’t fall into the trap of wanting to see everything, you end up in a horse’s race that’s both exhausting and utterly pointless. This Museum has 35 000 pieces of art on display, around 600 000 in stocks which means it’s constantly renewed, it can’t be missed if you like museums, it’s just an endless maze of art history that you can get lost into for weeks.

So maybe skip the shiny superstar paintings / sculpture, erase the tourists rushing through the corridors from your mental picture of the place, but then, do go to the louvre, and take your time, it’s like a city inside the city, you just have to accept you won’t get to see / feel it all in the short amount of time of a day. And when you feel you’ve seen enough, be it after an hour, a day, a week, just leave, but that’s an advice I’d give for any museum, sometimes my desire for completion gets the better of me and I forget it’s not about that and I get too tired to enjoy anything.

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This is very true.

And of course there is the cinema in the basement too - I was lucky enough to see Zombie Zombie perform a live score for the films of Jean Painlevé a few years back, and it was an excellent venue.

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the best weirdo comic stores are aaapoum bapoum (two locations, real close to each other), un regard moderne, arts factory, and bdnet !

le champo is a cool place to see a movie - even cooler is le louxor, a stunningly beautiful egyptian-inspired theater. has a nice little rooftop terrace to enjoy an espresso on : )

parc des buttes-chaumont is my favorite park. and you can walk a few blocks to my other favorite, park de belleville, to have some beers and snacks while you enjoy the sunset. the surrounding neighborhood is lovely to walk around, too.

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