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5 days in Paris over the summer

Mandy Leigh

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  • Added on: February 7th, 2013
Hi all,

I'm going to be in Paris for a few days in the beginning of August, and I was hoping for some ideas of things to do. I've never been to France before, and I want to make the most of my time there. I'm really interested in history, so any historical sites worth seeing. Also any restaurant or hotel recommendations. I'll probably stay someplace on the smaller side. Any and all advice is appreciated!


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  • Added on: February 9th, 2013
Firstly if you're staying in Paris in August I highly recommend looking into and booking your accommodation well in advance. Paris is CROWDED in August! Likewise buy as many tickets as you can for things you're interested in in advance- you can do that for a lot of things these days and it can really cut down on lines.

I think most of the Paris stuff is obvious that you do when you only have 5 days, ie you're going to check out the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, etc. If you like history I would devote one day to going out to Versailles for sure- it's a really easy train ride from Paris, and is just absolutely magnificent- plus the gardens-now-park are great to wander around after touring the palace.


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  • Added on: February 14th, 2013
If you're looking to save money, I can't suggest CouchSurfing enough. I was pretty hesitant at first, but staying with "real" people that live in Paris was one of the best parts of my trip. A few even provided dinner.

As for historical sights, I thought the Catacombs in Paris were pretty neat. A lot of tourists in summer, but it's Paris. It will seem like less French people walking the streets than people from elsewhere.

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  • Added on: February 15th, 2013
Yes, August is when the French go on holiday and the foreign tourists invade. My last time in Paris was during the summer, and despite staying at my cousin's apartment in a less touristy part of town, I would say I heard more English being spoken than French.

The Louvre has its points, particularly if you locate the star attractions (Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo) on the map, and then go in the other direction. I don't find that seeing the original of something I've seen a million reproductions of to be in any way interesting, and it's surprising how empty the rest of the palace can be. That said, for an "art" day, I personally prefer the Musée d'Orsay.

Get your Louvre and Eiffel tower tickets in advance. Those lineups are hours long in the summer.

Best advise is to spend a day walking (bring good shoes!). Paris is very compact, and you can walk almost anywhere in under an hour.

If you're into history, I highly recommend anything that takes you underground. Paris is fundamentally a 19th century city, as the vast majority of its older fabric was plowed under during the Second Empire (1853-1870).

Mandy Leigh

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  • Added on: February 18th, 2013
Thanks for all the advice everybody!


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  • Added on: February 19th, 2013
Grand Hotel Nouvel Opera is a great little hotel that I've stayed at 3 times that I'd highly recommend. It's (for Paris) relatively affordable, clean, is pretty well located (right near a metro stop so very easy to get to all the spots you'd want to visit, but not right in the thick of it) and has great staff.

What I'd suggest being August is get a list of the places that you want to see. Tourist attractions are all open however food places and some boutiques are closed for the month so check to see if the places you want to go to are actually open.


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  • Added on: February 22nd, 2013
I have never heard of couchsurfing before. Where do you find out about these people that will offer to let you stay in their homes? I would be hesitate as well but it would be a great experience to see first hand how people of Paris do live. Do you pay them to stay in their homes, or what to the families that host you get out of it?


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  • Added on: February 23rd, 2013
August in Paris is nice because paris citizen are gone ! around August 15 is the better time to visit.

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