Monday, 2 January 2012

Where Michelle should go on holiday in Paris

Here's some notes for Michelle, who's soon to be visiting Paris, as well as other European hot spots, with husband and kids. She's an artist, as well as an engineer, and they want to find plenty of attractions that will satisfy the kids as well as the grow ups.

Meanwhile, I'm on holidays, and have time to look over my last Paris photos. Here's my notes on what an artistically inclined mum might like to see in Paris.

- Climb up Notre Dame catherdral to visit the rooftop and gargoyles. Do this first thing, it's very crowded later. Then feed the sparrows outside the cathedral.
- Go to Galeries Lafayette (the department store) to see the dome from the inside. Visit the toy department for fabulous Lego and Playmobil displays.
- Go to Printemps, the other department store, and travel up to the rooftop terrace for a great view. There's a cafe there (big and not posh, the kind of place office workers get lunch)
- Go to the zoo at the Jardin de Luxemburg - the are armadillos and flamingos!
- Buy some butter (the kind with salt crystals in it) at a supermarket, and some good bread, and eat it in your hotel or a park.
- Marche Aligre is a trash and treasure market, at least on some days (better check the days), and the rest of the time there's excellent things to eat. There's a park nearby for loo breaks, playground and drinking water, and eating the fruit you just bought. And there's free wifi in the park. And a splendid pastry shop called Sucre Ble just off the park has a fabulous sugar sculpture on display.
- I'd pass on the flea markets (gasp! And you know I love markets - I had a way better time at Aligre, and it's an easier visit)
- Go to the Pompidou art museum, and enjoy the buskers in the square at the front. Great gift shop too.
- There's a toy shop called Joue Club in an arcade. Each shop in the arcade is a department of the shop. One shop is all Lego!
- there's an awesome sculpture of a huge head at the front of St Eustache church - you'll get to use that great line "What's that in the road? A head?". Kids climb on the sculpture. It's near an amazing haberdashery shop called La Drougerie.
-Sainte Chapelle is one really amazing tourist attraction to see. Read up about it first, so you can tell the kids that THIS is what the king insisted on for his private chapel.
- walk up the steps to Montmartre, and enjoy the fabulous graffiti and yarn bombing along the way. Take in the view from Sacre Couer. Don't go in - there's a priest who spends his whole day telling people to shush, and it's too sad. Watch out for all kinds of cons and scams, and don't donate to the "deaf" girls!
- down the hill from Montmartre you will find the fabric district. Brilliant!
- take the metro out to La Defense to see the modern arch. Some cool modern public art, including a giant thumb. Places to run. A huge Toys r Us, which is worth seeing. Best Lego display ever! Then hurry back to real Paris.
- take the RER to Versailles, and you don't really need to pay to go into the palace. You can go into the gardens the back way - its free on non-fountain running days. AND stroll around Versailles the town. We saw some of the best baking there. Do go into the palace if you want to - its awesome, but allow heaps of time, and it's so crowded.
- take the RER to St Germaine en Laye - a smaller town not far away. Go on market day. There's a huge bookshop called Univers de Livre (I think). Art supplies upstairs.
- teach the kids to order their own Pain au Chocolat - quite cheap and delish.
- Order hot chocolate anywhere. Its honestly not that good everywhere, but the kids will love it. Go to Angelina's for a real treat, but maybe save that for another visit.
- Take photos of movie posters
- Take photos of interesting door handles
- order crepes with nutella or with cheese

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Thank you,Pauline. I will add this to my Evernote Trip list!