To second, (third?) GO and Ursus. Do not try to buy metro tickets in stations. Not only are carnets cheaper but there are only ever two working ticket machines at any mainline station. And the ticket machines are so slow that it takes about 10 minutes to get a ticket.
We were on our way to Avignon a couple of years ago and thought we'd buy two tickets to get the metro between Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon. We had an hour and a bit to make the transfer. 50 minutes of that was spent buying two metro tickets.
We're in Montmartre, linus. And I don't have a clue what 10^7 guests is complaining about above, we bought ten Metro tickets at a station yesterday from a machine without any problems (once the girl behind the counter had pointed us towards the machine that took notes, and had told me the 50 euro note I wanted to try and break into was too big for the machine to accept).
So far it's been lovely. We spent all of today (Wednesday) walking, from about 10:30am until 7pm with an hour break for lunch. The views from Sacre Couer are quite something, and we got a 3-course lunch for under €15 thanks to the tip (from ursus?) of checking the fixed menus above.
Tomorrow we're doing the Pompidou and the Louvre. Apparently queues for the Louvre aren't so bad if one enters through the Gallerie du Carrousel, so we're going to try that. And then a walk along the Seine, which we've managed not to see yet. I think having lived in BA all her life, Ale's interested in the idea that the far side of a city's major river might in fact be visible.
I've only been in Montmartre a couple of times in the last 10-15 years, it's a bit of a blind spot along with many parts of the east side.
You have to check out the left bank, the 6eme is the nicest neighborhood in town, with lots of bookstores, rep theaters, good atmosphere. For cheaper eats, there is a good creperie with a selection of boutique ciders from brittany in one of the small roads off blvd St Germain (just past Rue de Bucci, which is a great spot with plenty of nice shops and cafes)
If you want to have a parisian steak-frites, l'Entrecote a block west of St Germain church, 20 rue st Benoit but it's pretty crowded on weekends if you don't go there early. This is a newer outlet but it looks the same as the older ones and the service is very good (as are the house reds and desserts)
I say it on every thread*, but going to the top of the Arc de Triomphe is well worth it if you want panoramic views of Paris (inc the Eiffel Tower). Especially to work off a hearty lunch, it's about 600 steps to the top.
*about visiting Paris
Last Edit: 08 Dec 2012 13:07 by Rogin the Armchair fan.
We did several more than 600 steps going up the Eiffel Tower today, but I doubt we'll get to the Arc De Triomphe again. When we saw it before we couldn't work out how the bloody hell to get up to it - is there a crossing somewhere on the roundabout?
Anyway, last night tonight, so we're tucking into a pain au chocolate and an eclair before heading to a jazz manouche evening. It's been a lot of fun. Mixers are incredibly fucking expensive here though, aren't they? As a non-beer-drinker I'm looking forward to getting back to Somerset tomorrow evening, where a pint of decent cider costs 'only' 3-quid-something...
I must have driven by car or motorcycle and walked by hundreds of times past the Arc, but have never actually been under it or inside. I would guess It's an activity that few Parisians ever do, as opposed to going up the Tour Eiffel, which you do every few years to take up visiting friends or relatives. But yeah, you should be able to get to it pretty easily from the tunnels across on the Champs Elysees or Grande Armee Av. The Champs Elysees experience has gone downhill ever since the early 90s when the RER (suburban commuter train network) opened up and as the number of tourists kept increasing, closing down some fo the few remaining non-chain stores. It's still a great avenue to see for a visitor, but not to hang out too long.
Sam, at least wines are relatively cheap (actually very reasonable in most restaurants), and ciders at the occasional creperie even cheaper.
If you think wines are 'relatively cheap' in Paris, you clearly aren't talking relative to Buenos Aires... I realise that at the high end, France is still ahead of Argentina, but if we're talking about the quality stuff one can buy in a supermarket for under twenty euros... well, it's no contest. Really.
Anyway, arrived in England this evening, and I'm now enjoying my first really decent couple of pints of cider in two years thanks to my dad's trip to the off licence yesterday (the stuff on tap in my BA local is English-style and isn't bad, but it isn't truly delicious either). Thanks all for the recommendations, and we'll probably use one or two of the unused ones for our final night in Paris, in mid January prior to our flight back to BA. Next thread will be asking for Berlin/Prague/Budapest tips (with the rider that I've already been to the first and last). But that's not for a month yet.