Please help me make this a trip to remember!
January 4, 2010 7:22 PM   Subscribe

First, thank you to everyone who has pitched in so far. Headed to Paris in three days to propose!! I have a number of specific Paris questions inside.

Meta Filter is all over this question generally, I know. Here are a couple of final specific questions I have.

1. I read online that there was a small ice skating rink within the Eifel Tower. See:
After some more research, it appears that this was only a one time thing and is not done anymore. However, I read a travel guide authored in 2009 that included the rink as a "must do". Can you please tell me once and for whether there is a rink there? And, if not, are there any romantic ice skating rinks open next week that you can recommend?

2. Are there any specific shows that you can recommend, that are playing this week or next week, and that I should be able to get tickets to?

3. Will it be incredibly difficult for us to catch the BCS Championship game? We are staying right next to the Louvre, if there are any sports bars nearby, that would be great!

4. Generally, is there anything going on this week and/or next week that we should make sure we do?

5. If I splurge on just one place from the top ten restaurants on TripAdvisor -which one should it be?

Thank you again to all of you who have helped me through this incredibly exciting and happy time in my life.
posted by 2legit2quit to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ice skating is at the Hotel de Ville which is the mayor's building, it's gorgeous. No idea if the Eiffel Tower still has a rink.

For shows I would recommend just stopping at a kiosk and picking up Time Out Paris or I guess you could check the website, the print edition has English pages in the back with listings of interesting events, concerts, films, etc.
posted by citron at 10:31 PM on January 4, 2010

(I've spent a few years in Paris a while ago)

For eating I don't know your style nor expectations so I couldn't pick a single choice but here is my tuppence:

- La Tour d'Argent (also here) has exceptional gastronomy, and is the most renowned place in town by Parisians themselves and most French people in the entire country. It is usually not favored by foreigners (no idea why, I heard they have poor internationally-oriented marketing), but the quality and taste is top.

- Guy Savoy enjoys internationally the same kind of reputation that the Tour d'Argent enjoys locally (hence the #1 position in TripAdvisor). Service and gastronomy are also top.

- Berthillon (here) has indeed probably the best ice cream in town and is in a very romantic location. This combines well with a romantic walk around the island before or after.
posted by knz at 2:05 AM on January 5, 2010

1. The Eiffel Tower rink ran for a couple of years but I'm not sure it's still going. As mentioned there is one outside the Hotel de Ville which is very nice, and one in Montparnasse at the station - info.

3. Take a walk around the Latin Quarter (not far from the Louvre) and pick up a Funky Maps (or similar) bar map from one of the bars there, it will show you the Irish/Australian/US/Canadian bars, of which there are several in the area. They are your best bet for sports.
posted by fire&wings at 2:16 AM on January 5, 2010

Did you consider instead of splurging on one fab "name" restaurant, instead finding interesting bistros and having fabulous meals each day of your stay? I live in Paris and find great recommendations via blogs like this and this. You can find lunch set menus for under 20€ per person, not including wine, for example. Have a lovely trip.
posted by bwonder2 at 4:10 AM on January 5, 2010

Oh, Berthillon is so freaking delicious. If there's a gigantic queue at the actual shop, there's heaps of places on the island that sell their ice-creams so just stop at one you walk past and then eat as you wander. There's one I remember with a black, yellow and green sign that had a good range of the flavours.
posted by Emilyisnow at 4:12 AM on January 5, 2010

I was living in Paris last winter and there was no ice rink at the Eiffel Tower, there was a wicked carousel at Concorde, which is 1.4km from the Louvre area, and is a lovely walk through the Jardin des Tuileries. Like bwonder2 says, the game you want to see is likely to be on at a theme bar, there are also lots in the St Michel area, which is 1km from the Louvre.

Can't help with the swanky restaurant recommendation as I was a poor student while I lived there, however for afternoon tea you can't go wrong with Ladurrée on the Champs Elysée.
posted by ellieBOA at 5:24 AM on January 5, 2010

The ice rink at the Hotel de Ville is definitely there this year (I skated on it!) and it's a lovely place to go, especially in the evening when all the lights come on. The rink is free, and open M-F from noon to 10pm, and from 9am to 10pm on the weekends. They rent skates for 5 euros as you'll likely not have your own. Here's the info page (in French, but with some good photos).

I second the recommendation to stick with smaller, more intimate/cheaper restaurants. There's an incredible wealth of places to eat. I've yet to be steered wrong by Clotilde, whose book lists many restaurants by arrondissement, as well as shops and markets. David Lebovitz has a good blog to peruse for ideas on restaurants, activities, and tips on getting around and how to act. If you love food, be sure to read his list 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn't Miss in Paris.

I recently went to see an opera at the Opera Garnier (official name: Opera National de Paris -- not to be confused with the opera at Bastille) which is worth going to see just for the building itself. The exterior is so over the top that you think it can't go further, then you get in to the lobby and the staircase blows you away, and then you get into the theater itself... There are rush tickets sold on the day of the performance, and if you want to buy in advance I suggest one of the boxes really high up towards the top. You might end up being the only two in your box (romantic!) and you'll sacrifice a bit in terms of the performance, as the sight and sound quality will be not as good as down in the loge boxes, but it's an incredible experience and from the top you can see the whole theater in its glory.

Have a great time!
posted by tractorfeed at 7:29 AM on January 5, 2010

Hey all, thanks for the replies, and I really do prefer doing more restaurants at a lower price range as long as I can walk away saying that I tried the best of French food! Please keep the suggestions coming!!
posted by 2legit2quit at 8:39 AM on January 5, 2010

If you're looking for somewhere to watch the BCS game, I would check out the Highlander, which is located right at the south end of Pont Neuf. I was able to watch the American presidential elections when I was there in 2004, and I think my friend was able to watch the World Series there. If they're not planning on showing the game, you could always ask them to, and even if they don't show it they might be able to tell you where you can go. Here's their Web site.
posted by ekroh at 8:47 AM on January 5, 2010

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