Paris

Lodging

  • Hotel Du Brasil [10 Rue le Goff / tel: 01-43-54-76-11 / fax: 01-46-33-45-78 /email: hoteldubresil@wanadoo.fr]: This is the hotel that we use for Molly students and faculty when we are in Paris. The rooms are very tiny but clean and the price is more than reasonable for Paris. The best part, however, is the location: the hotel is only a few blocks from the Luxembourg Gardens (a great place for picnicking in the summer) and a short walk from the Seine, Notre Dame and other great sights.
  • Hotel Senlis [7 rue Malebranche / tel: 01-43-29-93-10 / fax: 01-43-29-00 / email: hoteldesenlis@wanadoo.fr] Located two blocks from the Luxembourg Gardens, the hotel is about the same price as the Hotel du Brasil and equally modest.
  • Hotel du Champ de Mars [7 rue de Champ de Mars / tel: 01-40-62-67-00 / fax: 01-40-62-67-13 / www.cadran.com]. This inexpensive hotel is located near the Eiffel Tower and has English speaking owners.
    Familia Hotel [11 rue des Ecoles / tel: 01-43-54-55-27 / fax: 01-43-29-61-77 / email: familia.hotel@libertysurf.fr / web site: www.hotel-paris-familia.com/] This Left Bank hotel was recommended to Meritta Cullinan by Paris locals as a good deal. It's location can't be beat.

Dining

  • One of the most charming dining experiences in Paris is also one of the cheapest. If you are saying at the Hotel Du Brasil or the Hotel Senalis, go around the corner to St. Jacques, where you will find a number of wine, cheese, meat and bread stores. You can purchase all the food you want and then go to the Luxembourg Gardens to consume your feast. Nicolas [198 rue Saint-Jacques] sells it own wonderful wines from vineyards all around France at ridiculously cheap prices.
  • One of the best spots for inexpensive dining on the Left Bank is the area around St. Severin Church (between St. Michele and St. Jacques just north of the Cluny Museum and south of the Seine). Although the area is a bit touristy, you have a wide variety of dining options at various prices.
  • Restaurant Polidor [39 Rue Monsieur Le Prince / 1 bl north of Luxembourg Gardens] is recommended by Brian and Lisa Cogan as a charming French restaurant catering mosty to locals. Try the snails as an appetizer. On the same street at 34-36 Monsieur Le Prince is Restaurant Le Mechoui Du Prince, which offers more Moroccan cuisine (cous cous and tangine) in an elaborate setting.
  • Rue Boutebrie off St. Germain [1 bl north of Cluny Museum and 1 block south of St. Severin] has a number of inexpensive Moroccan and Tunesian restaurants specializing in cous cous.
  • The Rue Cler, just to the west of the Hotel des Invalides and east of the Champs de Mars off Motte-Picquet has numerous restaurants catering to locals. Recommended for lunch is Café du Marché (39 Rue Cler). If you want to save money, buy some food at one of the fabulous stores on the Rue Cler and have a picnic in the Parc du Champ de Mars with its view of the Eiffel Tower.

Sights: The Standard Molloy Tour of Paris:

  • Left Bank and Cité: Start at the Luxembourg Gardens, which is a wonderful place for hanging out in the summer. Walk up the Blvd. St. Michele, the heart of the Latin quarter. Cross over the Seine and you will see the 700 year old Notre Dame Cathedral to your right. If you have the energy, you should climb to the top of the Cathedral (€5.50), where you can get a great view of the Ile de la Cité. Behind Notre Dame is the Deportation Memorial (Memorial de la Déportation), which is free and an extremely moving place to visit. Just west of Notre Dame is the impressive Sainte-Chapelle with its magnificent stained glass windows (be sure to see it on a sunny day). Also on Cité is the Conciergerie, the former prison of Marie Antionette, which is worth a visit if you have time. At the western end of the Ile de la Cité is the Ponte Neuf, where you can end your day with a boat tour of Paris.
  • Right Bank: Start you day as early as possible at the Louvre (free on the first Sunday of the month). Since the museum is so huge, you will have to be selective in what you choose to see. Walk through the Tuileries Gardens and the Place de la Concorde, where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were guillotined. At the end of this square the Champs-Elysées begins. As you walk down the Champs-Elysées, with its endless collection of expensive stores and restaurants, you will see the Arc de Triomphe in the distance, which you can climb if you would like yet another good view of Paris.
  • Southwest Paris: Start at Napoleon's Tomb and the Army Museum (Hotel des Invalides). Located one block north of Invalides is the Rodin Museum (at 77 rue de Varennes). Walk along Ave. de la Motte Picquet to the Champs de Mars park, where you will get a great view of the Eiffel Tower. You can walk to the second level of the tower (where the best views are anyway) or take an elevator to the top. If you still have energy, walk along the left bank to Pont de l'Alma for the Paris Sewer Tour (Sat-Wed only 11am-5pm). Afterwards cross the Seine and walk south along the right bank to Trocadero Square for a great view of the Eiffel Tower (for another good perspective, walk along the right bank of the Seine from Trocadero to the Bir-Hakeim bridge. You can then cross over the bridge to get the Metro at Bir-Hakeim station).
  • Paris at Night: One of the best places to be at dusk in Paris is on the steps of Sacré Coeur. You get a great view of the lights turning on all over Paris, and, best of all, it is completely free. The Church itself is open until 11pm and is best seen at night when it is dark and mysterious. Around the corner from the Church is the touristy but charming heart of Montmartre, the place du Tertre, the famous haunt of the 19th century Paris bohemians. [Take the metro to Anvers and either climb the stairs up to Sacré Coeur or take the funicular for the price of a metro ticket.]
  • Other Interesting Sites: Père Lachaise Cemetery has the graves of Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Abelard and Heloise and Jim Morrison, among others.

Other Museums:

  • Cluny Museum (Musée National du Moyen Age): contains wonderful works of Medieval art, including the Lady with the Unicorn.
  • Orsay Museum: This museum, which is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay train station has one of the best collections of Impressionist art in the world.
  • The Pompidou Center: houses a great collection of modern art on the top floor. The building itself it worth seeing even if you don't go to the museum. The square in front of the center is also quite lively and a good place to stop for a rest and/or snack if you are a bit tired.

Day Trips from Paris

  • Versailles: To get to the Palace take the RER-C train to Versailles R.G. (Rive Gauche). A self guided tour costs €7.00.
  • Chartre: Take the one hour train from Gare Montparnasse There is a wonderful "Appreciation of Gothic" tour offered in English Mon-Sat at noon and 2:45pm.
  • Giverny: To get to Monet's gardens and house take the Rouen-bound train from Gare St. Lazare to Vernon (€11.00 round trip). A bus goes from the Vernon station to the gardens.
  • Train Travel: Paris has six major train stations, each serving different regions: Gare de l'East (east-bound trains, including Strasbourg [4 1/2 hrs], Munich [9hrs], Zurich [7 hrs], and Prague [14 hrs]), Gare du Nord (north-bound trains, including those going to Brussels [1 1/2 hrs], Amsterdam [4 hrs] and London via the Eurostar [3 hrs]), Gare St. Lazare (upper Normandy, including Rouen [1 1/2 hrs], Honfleur [3 hrs], Bayeux [2 1/2 hrs], Caen [2 hrs]), Gare d'Austerlitz (southwest France and Spain, including Barcelona [9 hrs], Madrid [15 hrs]), Gare de Lyon (southeast France and Italy, including Fontainebleau [1 hr], Lyon [2 1/2 hrs], Avignon [2 1/2 hrs], Nice [6-7 hrs], Rome [17 hrs]) and Gare Montparnasse (serves western France, lower Normandy and Brittany, including Chartre [1 hr], Pontorson-Mont St. Michel [4.5 hrs], Bordeaux [3.5 hrs]).
  • For details about the Eurostar to London call 1.800.EUROSTAR from the U.S. or check out www.raileurope.com.