Paris, Texas--no, make that France...
September 16, 2005 9:03 AM   Subscribe

My friend Tina is currently in Paris to help settle in her daughter, who will be living and working there for some time. How about some tips for both ? [+]

For Tina, the best things to cram into a visit plus, in detail, best record stores; best bookstores; best place to see Bouguereau's and so forth; best must sees, hears and tastes; best inside offbeat must sees, hears and tastes--the more offbeat and arcane, the better--and best whatever-else-I-can't-think-of-right-now's that you can suggest.

For her daughter, all of the above plus best tips and advice for settling in and staying there which you world travelers and ex-patriates who have lived there can give.

Give them the best--I will sending them this link. Much appreciation and thanks,
posted by y2karl to Travel & Transportation around Paris, France (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Since it's impossible to provide all that info for a city like Paris, I'll just say that the Time Out: Paris guidebook (not the magazine) should be a great starting place for the daughter. They're great guides -- they get into the nitty-gritty of living in a place (like, where's a good dry cleaner, how do I get a visa, etc.) as well as the restaurants, museums, and hotels.
posted by occhiblu at 9:08 AM on September 16, 2005

The Culture Shock guides can also be helpful and are designed specifically for expats, but the series is a bit uneven and I haven't read the Paris guide.
posted by occhiblu at 9:11 AM on September 16, 2005

Response by poster: Ooh, add live music venues and events to the above lists!
posted by y2karl at 9:14 AM on September 16, 2005

Falafel in le Marais, north of Place des Voges. There is a famous open-air falafel stand there and it is delicious. Not sure exactly where. Just look for the crowds.
posted by nyterrant at 9:28 AM on September 16, 2005

I'm having Paris recommendation burnout so I'll just pass along which has 9 years of archived writing about living in and enjoying Paris and everything it offers. That should provide plenty of everything, both mainstream and off the beaten track. It also has pages of up to date useful contact information for all major tourist attractions. The site is updated weekly with what is going on in the city and they also have regular meetings in Paris for old and new readers. I've found it pretty indispensable in the past.

Despite being ugly and confusing this site has a lot of good information and some of the best freely available walks I have seen. Worth poking through it because there are plenty of gems in there, like Secret Spots in Paris. Some more "secret" than others...I think everyone has been to Deyrolles these days!

This is also a really good site - The ratings are fun and in my experience their reviews are pretty accurate. Handy, because some places can be both expensive and crappy.

A search here will also yield a lot - I know I've passed on a few tips in the past. I'll try and return to this thread when I'm less tired to bust out real advice-a-gedden.
posted by fire&wings at 9:54 AM on September 16, 2005

Musical venues : should stay away from Bercy (Palais Omnisport Paris Bercy/POPB) and obviously the Stade de France. They are waaaaay to big to really get into the music.
The Zenith might also be called too big, but it's the limit for me.
Nice venues are Café de la Danse, Batofar, Guinguette Pirate, La Cigale, Elysées Montmartre, Rex.... plus a hell bunch of others. A lot of bars have bands many nights of the week (Caf' Conc', for Café Concert). So you never what you might stumble upon :)

I'd recommand buying the weekly Zurban, which has a nice selection, Aden which is inside one of the daily editions of Le Monde, and Pariscope for a wiiiiiiiiiide range of concerts, movies, theatres....

The web site is a must read.

Oh hell, I live near Paris, tell them to mail me about some specifics, I might be able to tell them.

Hope they'll have one hell of a time around here :)
posted by XiBe at 10:23 AM on September 16, 2005

The best food, IMO, is on the street- there are published schedules of open-air markets, which happen once or twice a week in each neighborhood.

Falafel in le Marais.

Agreed, and along those lines, Paris has a very good Asian district (not quite "Chinatown" since it's got a lot of Vietnamese). Don't forget that they once ruled a vast empire.

Biggest waste of time and money- Eiffel Tower.

Best museum most people miss- The Orangerie.

A day trip to Versailles is worth it.

You can't see the entire Louvre. Don't even try.

Most overrated painting in the Louvre: The Mona Lisa.

Best enormous painting in the Louvre, usually ignored because it happens to be next to the Mona Lisa: Wedding of Cana (Veronese).
posted by mkultra at 12:30 PM on September 16, 2005

Hot chocolate at Cafe Angelina--they'll give you whipped cream, but don't succumb; it gilds the lily.
posted by brujita at 12:09 AM on September 17, 2005

AFAIK the Orangerie is closed until 2006 at least.
posted by fire&wings at 2:47 AM on September 17, 2005

At the risk of being a broken record on the subject of the Henry Holt walking tour series (which I recommend every time someone introduces the subject of Venice, London, Paris, or any other city for which a Henry Holt guide is available)... ParisWalks is a great guidebook. Rather than try to give you an overview of the city as a whole, it takes a few specific neighborhoods and takes you on very detailed block-by-block walking tours. It's fabulous.

It was out of print for years, but I see they've just released a new edition. Woohoo!
posted by yankeefog at 6:34 AM on September 20, 2005

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