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Travelling to Paris with a grandchild

(121 Posts)
JaneAnn Mon 20-May-13 16:30:46

Hello everyone

I am planning to take my grandchildren to Paris - singly - starting with the 12 year old. I thought we would stay for three nights, in the centre somewhere and I would love to hear about other people's experience and to have some advice about things to do, places to stay, places to go etc. We'd probably fly as it would be from Newcastle.

JaneAnn Sat 25-May-13 11:09:57

I've booked for the end of July so we should also be able to go on the "beach" - I imagine it gets very crowded?

Stansgran Sat 25-May-13 17:57:52

I often collect my French DGCs from Paris. If you take them to eurodisney there is a bus from the airportCDG. The train into Paris can be crowded dirty and graffiti covered. The bus to me seems a better option. Anything popular is best done as soon as it opens before the coach parties arrive. There used to be a hospital on the ile de la cite( where Notre dame is) which became a very good value hotel. Bertillon on the ile St. Louis produce the best ice creams.

granjura Sun 26-May-13 12:02:39

Going to Paris on Tuesday for a few days- for our 42nd wedding anniv. Much prefer going by train than plane- arriving at Gare de Lyon with TGV, right in the centre and 2 Metro stops from our rented studio in the Marais. Can't wait, even if the weather forecast is not so good smile. The Marais is such a nice place to stay - we will be at the Citadines Bastille - great to have a little kitchen where we can make hot drinks, soups, etc. Will report back.

Stansgran Sun 26-May-13 12:44:58

Citadines or Novotel suites are ideal with children. We celebrate 44 years of marriage this year but not doing anything as glamorous . Have a lovely time.

granjura Sun 26-May-13 12:53:09

Thanks - we've never used those studios, but the reviews were good, price great and location perfect, as I love the Marais. They have twin bedrooms, and the kitchenettes are great with kids, so you can have breakfast there and make snacks, light meals if wanted. Really looking forward to it - hope you find something nice to do for your 44th Stansgran - no need to go far to have a lovely day smile

annodomini Sun 26-May-13 13:12:09

I like the sound of those studios, granjura. I am also very fond of the Marais and have twice stayed in small hotels there on my own and with my sister. I hope you have a good time - and good weather.

granjura Sun 26-May-13 14:27:56

Thanks Anno - friends told us today that the Marais is the gay quarter of Paris. Never knew or noticed - but I've never been there at night. Not a problem for me though ...

annodomini Sun 26-May-13 23:10:43

Can't say it bothers me either, granjura. I have fond memories of buying a snack from a Lebanese takeaway in the Rue des Rosiers and eating it on a bench in the Place des Vosges. I also enjoyed the Picasso Museum in the Marais.

JaneAnn Thu 18-Jul-13 16:34:26

Getting excited now - Paris next weekend... Have bought a Paris Pass for grandson and myself... I'll report back on the trip.

JaneAnn Tue 30-Jul-13 18:08:44

We are just back - my twelve-year-old grandson and myself. We had a wonderful time.

We travelled by Eurostar and stayed in a Best Western hotel in the Saint Cloud area - Best Western Auteuil Eiffel - for three nights. The weather was very hot and the air conditioning was not very effective but after the first night we were given a fan and slept well after that (my grandson slept like a log every night!). The people who worked there were terrific, very kind and helpful (even ironing my linen trousers and top for me). It had been newly decorated and was clean.

We could catch the 72 and the 22 buses outside the hotel to the Hotel de Ville. We had Paris Passes which were very convenient though we have worked out they actually cost more than paying separately for things would have done. If we had managed to get to the Musee d'Orsay (no time) and up to the top of Notre Dame (huge queues..) then it would have been a bargain.

We went to the top of the Eiffel Tower (as it turns out 3 hours after it had been struck by lightning!!), up the Arc de Triomphe, on the Bateaux Parisians, on the On/Off bus, to Notre Dame, the Pompidou Centre, the Louvre, the Orangerie, the Tuileries, Sacre Coeur, walked all the way down the Champs Elysees. We used buses a lot and the metro only a couple of times: once to go to the Catacombs - when we got there the wait in the queue was 2 to 3 hours and as they stop entries at 4 and it was already 2 we decided not to wait.

There is nothing I shan't do on my next trip, with my twelve-year-old granddaughter (assuming she wants to do these things) though I might try to find a hotel nearer the centre and I would certainly book early to ensure tickets for the Eiffel Tower, though as it turned out we didn't have to wait long.

At no stage did I feel anything but safe, I kept my bag very securely tucked under my arm and did not respond to any of the people with "petitions" who accost you. There are warnings about pickpockets everywhere.

Thank you all for the great advice. Let me have any more you have.

Nonu Wed 31-Jul-13 09:48:24

Janeanne , glad you and your GS back safe & sound , it sounds as though you had a first rate time . !!!!

Tegan Wed 31-Jul-13 10:01:02

We stayed quite close to the catacombs so I'm almost relieved to hear that the queue was so great as I'd planned to get up early on my last day and go there [but glad that I didn't now]. A lady on out coach trip did have her purse stolen in Versailles. There's so much more I want to do there I can't wait to go back. I want to spend more time walking round Ile de la Cite, and we couldn't face the queue to get into Notre Dame, so that's unfinished business. Glad you had a great time, JaneAnn. It was wonderful watching the end of the Tour de France and recognising all the places they showed. I'ts even magical leaving St Pancras [just imagine if the HAD pulled it down sad] and arriving at Gare du Nord smile. I've still got to rewatch Amelie [the S.O. has never seen it].

JaneAnn Thu 01-Aug-13 15:40:48

Hi Tegan

We too failed to go up Notre Dame - the queues were very very long! Maybe next time - 5 more trips with each grandchild so opportunities there. I like the idea about walking round the Ile de la Cite.

Tegan Thu 01-Aug-13 16:28:11

I got to the top of Sacre Coeur [dragged up by someone much much younger than me which made me join a gym when I got home so I now need to go back to see how much I've improved!]. I got a bit bored on the boat [I'm not a boat person] but am glad that I went on it as it somehow helped me to piece together where everything was, and I understood more that Ile de la Cite is actually an island. I loved all the little flower markets and the art nouveau metro stations.

JaneAnn Fri 09-Aug-13 08:25:07

Hi Tegan

We went on the boat on the Sunday early evening and saw people dancing on the banks (tango and ballroom), lying reading on the various sun loungers and on the "beach" - it gave us an idea of how some Parisians spend Sunday evening. Of course, it also gave me a chance to sit down!!

I'm very interested in your joining a gym and look forward to hearing how that goes on those pesky Sacre Coeur steps. I go to a gym specifically to be fit to run after grandchildren....

Linda1952 Thu 22-Aug-13 12:08:59

So glad to have found these comments, as I have promised No.1 grand-daughter,10, a trip to Paris if she passes 11+!! and she is already anticipating the trip! Thanks for all the tips, will let you know how we get on.

j08 Thu 22-Aug-13 13:13:45

You must be by the river near the eiffel tower when they make it sparkle! It is so pretty. And everyone claps.

It happens for about five minutes every night at 10 and 11. (not sure about that. We went home)

And do try driving your car round the Arc de Triomphe. It's very exciting. smile (we only got one rude gesticulation)

j08 Thu 22-Aug-13 13:14:14

I meant not sure about after that hmm

Tegan Thu 22-Aug-13 14:45:32

I would never drive a car round the Arc de Triomphe. There seem to be no rules whatsover and it's just a case of survival of the fittest. Jane; not sure about getting to the top of another cathedral but I can now walk up the steps at my cinema without stopping. If I duplicated it many times over I might get an idea of how fit I now am [but it's a good excuse to go back to Paris wink].

annodomini Thu 22-Aug-13 15:32:37

I wouldn't have the guts to take a car anywhere nearer to Paris than Dover.

Tegan Thu 22-Aug-13 16:11:12

You take your life in your hands crossing a road in Paris [even at a crossing shock]....

j08 Thu 22-Aug-13 16:26:03

I wasn't driving, son was. He was the only one not to see the rude guesticulation. grin

It was their idea, not mine!

Tegan Sun 28-Jun-15 00:34:57

Our trip to Paris has been cancelled so we're looking for alternative accomodation; does the Citadines Bastille have room safes [one of the things that we always like to have when we're away] and tea making facilities [the other important thing]. Or is there anywhere else that anyone can recommend?

granjura Sun 28-Jun-15 17:05:36

The Citadines all have mini-kitchens with a acouple of rings and a fridge- which is brilliant. No idea about safe, as we never use them. Why not Google them and ask direct?

Tegan Sun 28-Jun-15 17:23:44

Will do.