June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

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charleshugh
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June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by charleshugh » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:21 am

My wife and I are celebrating our 40th anniversary in France. I am curious about whether shorts and collarless shirts are ok for men? Are shorts ok for women? We will be in France (mainly Paris) and I would appreciate some suggestions for some offbeat things to see or do.

Glockenspiel
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by Glockenspiel » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:00 am

Shorts and shirts without a collar are fine but you’ll stand out as a tourist. Most of the locals wear long pants. No suggestions beyond the normal Paris attractions.

livesoft
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by livesoft » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:17 am

You'll probably stand out like a tourist no matter what you wear. :) But if you want to get asked directions often in French or German, just wear Navy blue Burberry trench coats.

None of these models are wearing shorts:
https://www.google.com/search?q=burberr ... 36&bih=709
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MikeJoe1962
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by MikeJoe1962 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:25 am

Culturally, shorts will be fine. But weather-wise, you might be cold. Paris is generally not warm and sunny. Expect drizzly rain. If you get sun, consider yourselves lucky.

I have spent a lot of time in Paris over the past 20 years for business and have developed some strong opinions about what to see and what not to see. They are just mine; others may feel differently.

1. Avoid the Louvre. Too big, long lines, The Mona Lisa was disappointing and is usually surrounded by a huge crowd. Instead, visit the Musee d’Orsay on the other side of the Seine. They have a lot of Impressionism. You can spend a couple hours there and, unless you are art buffs, you’ll feel like you saw a lot of famous painting. Also visit the Rodin Museum. It feels intimate and you can get very close to some of his incredible sculptures.

2. TheEiffel Tower is great to look AT. Don’t bother going to the top and taking in the view from there. Lines are long. You spend a lot of time waiting. And it’s really too high relative to the rest of the city. AFter dark go to the Troccadero and take in the view of the Eiffel Tower. They light it up on the hour. Very cool.

3. The better views of the city are from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Beware: lots of steps! Your are just above the other buildings and you can get a cool view! The other view is from Sacre Coeur. Again, it’s a high getting up there, but you’ll love it.

4. Food: l’avant comptoir is a very fun place to have lunch. Tiny! Standing room only. Check out the website and reviews. We loved the food and the experience.

5. In French the word menu means something different than inEnglish. What we call a menu is a carte. In French menu means a fixed, multi course meal. I’ve been in restaurants several times when the American tourists asked for a menu (list of food items for purchase) and got the menu (fixed meal.). The “menu” (French meaning) is often the best, freshest, etc. item on the menu (English meaning.) you will likely have a couple options to choose from for each course.

6. Service is differnet in France. The ratio of waiters to customers is much lower. They won’t come by to refill your water or ask you how everything is. You’ll have to flag them down for anything - even the bill! Don’t be offended, just go with the flow. And they’ll almost never try to rush you out the door either. You’ve got the table for as long as you want to linger.

7. If you just drink tap water, ask for a ‘carafe d’eau.’ Never had bad tap water in Paris and it’s FREE (by law in every restaurant isn’t he country)! Bottled water can add up.

8. Fun day trips: Versailles, of course. It will be crowded, but there’s a lot of cool things: palaces, houses, gardens... Another trip would be Reims (pronounced in French something like runce.). The train from Gare d’est takes about an hour. It’s isn’t he champaigne making region. You can tour the cellars of several champagne makers. Google it. Find a website that offers English language tours. The cathedral in Reims is actuall pretty cool too. Very much like Norte Dame in Paris, but no line to get in! (In Paris, you’ll wait for a LONGtime to go inside and see where Quasimodo lived.)

9. Download google translator app on your smart phone before you go. It will be very helpful. Also get an international data plan from your cell provider. Use the ATMs there for cash. Your American card will work.

10. Have fun!

Mike

bogglizer
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by bogglizer » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:12 am

I like going to the Louvre, but not going inside the museum. The courtyard itself is worth the visit. If you go inside, there will be 1000 people between you and the Mona Lisa.

Another attraction I like is the catacombs ("sewers of Paris"). That has a lot of steps also. Get there 1/2 or more before it opens, or expect a long line.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by jebmke » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:17 am

Place des Vosges has always been a destination for us on nice weather days in Paris. There are a handful of cafes facing the place and often when we were there we would find small musical groups (like string quartets) from a nearby music school playing near the square.
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TravelforFun
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by TravelforFun » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:22 am

There was a comment about not going to the Louvre but if you've never been to Paris before, you should go see the Mona Lisa but buy advance tickets so you can skip the line at the Louvre. So many things to see and do in Paris including lounging around sidewalk cafes. I'd take a day trip to Giverny to see the Monet Garden, and the Versailles outside Paris.

Enjoy. We'll be back there in August to celebrate our friend's 40th as well.

TravelforFun

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danielrhall
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by danielrhall » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:39 am

bogglizer wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:12 am
I like going to the Louvre, but not going inside the museum. The courtyard itself is worth the visit. If you go inside, there will be 1000 people between you and the Mona Lisa.
And there will be a prominently-displayed sign stating No Flash Photography and, in spite of that, the camera flashes will be occurring a few times per second.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by jebmke » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:41 am

TravelforFun wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:22 am
We'll be back there in August to celebrate our friend's 40th as well.
A lot of stuff is closed in August. Still doable but options will be more limited.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by Mel Lindauer » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:52 am

Be very alert for pickpockets. They sometimes use children for distraction
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by Cheyenne » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:55 am

We were in Paris last month. T-shirts and athletic shoes are commonplace but shorts are not. We found Parisians the be very friendly and helpful. If you don't speak French all you need to do is say: S'il vous plaît, je ne comprends pas le français. Anglais? (If you please I don't understand French. English?) and they were happy to try their English unless they didn't speak it at all of course, which was rare. They just want you to try speaking they language, that's all. Also, watch out for groups of young girls who crowd around you and ask you sign petitions to "help the children" because they're pick pickets. They're all over the place. Keep your valuables in buttoned or zippered pockets.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by 2comma » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:32 pm

My experience in Paris was everyone who could speak English did from the get-go - somehow they just know. I don't think it was the clothes that gave me away but I do sometimes notice a style difference between US and European clothing. If that what tips them off I'd guess the only way you might fool them is by buying some clothes in Paris. They also started with English with my wife and she is Greek!
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by Zombies » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:36 pm

There are a lot of suggestions in the thread to skip popular places because of lines, but most (almost all?) tourist attractions in France (and to a lesser extent, throughout Europe) now allow you to buy timed entry over the Internet. Do this in advance before you go on the trip, but with a pre-bought pass it’s simple to get into the Louvre, the Catacombs, and more. Last time I was there the Catacombs line was 3 hours (wrapping around multiple blocks) if you just walked up, but you could just have pre-bought on the Internet and had no problem. Florence and Barcelona are the same way — buy ahead of time, no problem.

If you’ve never been to the Louvre I would argue you absolutely have to go. The Mona Lisa is extremely crowded, but that’s just one piece among tens of thousands of great pieces, many of which are in areas with just a few or no people at all.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by Zombies » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:39 pm

2comma wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:32 pm
My experience in Paris was everyone who could speak English did from the get-go - somehow they just know. I don't think it was the clothes that gave me away but I do sometimes notice a style difference between US and European clothing. If that what tips them off I'd guess the only way you might fool them is by buying some clothes in Paris. They also started with English with my wife and she is Greek!
When I was a teenager, I went to Paris with my parents. My father was proud that he had studied French, so he walked up to a police officer and in his best French accent asked directions to a particular restaurant.

The officer pointed, and replied in English, “Just walk that way.”

To this day, my father is still disappointed he failed to pass as a local.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by jebmke » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:42 pm

2comma wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:32 pm
My experience in Paris was everyone who could speak English did from the get-go - somehow they just know.
They can spot Americans easily. Probably a lot of factors.

I lived in Brussels for a few years. My wife is fluent in French but they would immediately start with English, even if she started the conversation in French. In some cases, they saw an opportunity to speak with a native English speaker.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by WhyNotUs » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:52 pm

charleshugh wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:21 am
My wife and I are celebrating our 40th anniversary in France. I am curious about whether shorts and collarless shirts are ok for men? Are shorts ok for women? We will be in France (mainly Paris) and I would appreciate some suggestions for some offbeat things to see or do.
I am a shorts kind of guy but only wore them one time in Paris, felt like I was wearing a sign that said "Howdy". The collarless shirts that you will see in Paris are not likely to have a goofy picture or saying. Having said all of that, it is your vacation.... The French will respond accordingly :-)

The markets are a treasure and which to attend will depend on your lodging. Spending a couple hours at a cafe can be lovely. The bike share program is really nice. Luxembourg Gardens are great people watching and walking. Sunset at Sacre Coeur is a fun carnival-like evening with a view. Another fun thing for a little adventure is to take the train to one of the outer arrondissements and just get off and explore.
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Watty
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by Watty » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:07 pm

Seeing the Mona Lisa was very interesting just for the people watching.

As to a painting it could be that I just don't "get it" but even I had the room to myself I would not find it all that interesting compared to a lot of the other art work.
2comma wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:32 pm
They also started with English with my wife and she is Greek!
English is often used as a default because that is the most likely language they would have in common.

It is also likely that the local French person only knew French and English so they would try speaking English to anyone who did not look French, including oriental tourists.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by rocdoc1 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:17 pm

Went with my wife on our 30th, 2 years ago in June,had a great time.
Used this service and they were beyond excellent in getting access to anywhere we wanted to go:
www.ultimateparisguide.com
Pricey but was worth every penny

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tadamsmar
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by tadamsmar » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:21 pm

The museum pass is good:

https://booking.parisinfo.com/il4-offer ... gLuqvD_BwE

Save some money, and you can use the group entry points an bypass somelines.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by xenochrony » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:56 pm

Will add another vote for Versailles, absolutely spectacular. Also really loved Musee de Cluny. As a lover of fine cheeses, I never got tired of touring the Frommageries lining the streets, works of art to be sure.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by HongKonger » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:09 pm

Get a carte d'orange weekly pass for the metro.
Visit Pere Lachaise cemetery. Have your portrait sketched by a street artist. Visit a flea market.
Forget about clothing other than dressing for the weather - us Europeans can spot an American a mile off no matter what.
Turn down your volume when you talk in restaurants.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by bradpevans » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:18 pm

If you arrive early in the week, you may be able to get a pretty good deal on unlimited subway card. Google orange card Paris

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by jebmke » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:19 pm

The metro pass is a very good value. You can get pretty much where you want to go on the metro.

On a couple of trips we took an evening cruise (after dark) on the Seine. I was skeptical at first but it was pretty good.
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by HongKonger » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:23 pm

bradpevans wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:18 pm
If you arrive early in the week, you may be able to get a pretty good deal on unlimited subway card. Google orange card Paris
Is carte d'orange too French for a non speaker to understand? :P

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by apex84 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:49 pm

Mel Lindauer wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:52 am
Be very alert for pickpockets. They sometimes use children for distraction
Good advice. We were swarmed by kids when we got off the train from London to Paris. Were hassled again in the Place de la Concorde. We didn't get anything taken in Paris, but did on another trip in Rome when we deviated from our usual procedures (I wore jeans and had my small wallet in the front pocket instead of in an internal zipped pocket like usual).

This is what we did successfully.
  • Most of our cash was in a zippered pouch on a tethered strap inside my wife's purse from Pacsafe which has security features including a zipper with a little clasp.
  • For small purchases & our subway passes, I kept a nylon wallet in my travel pants in an internal zippered pocket. These are old REI Adventures pants, but they make others that have an internal pocket. The right front pocket has a zipper in it that conceals another compartment. Wearing pants is probably better than shorts.
  • We avoided taking the pouch out of the purse while out of the hotel, it was our backup.
  • With a small amount of cash, a single credit card, and subway card in my wallet, we rarely opened the purse at all.
https://www.pacsafe.com

https://www.rei.com/product/119221/rei- ... pants-mens

https://blog.ricksteves.com/blog/pickpocketed-paris/

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tadamsmar
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by tadamsmar » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:18 pm

HongKonger wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:09 pm
Get a carte d'orange weekly pass for the metro.
Visit Pere Lachaise cemetery. Have your portrait sketched by a street artist. Visit a flea market.
Forget about clothing other than dressing for the weather - us Europeans can spot an American a mile off no matter what.
Turn down your volume when you talk in restaurants.
Avoiding sneakers and shirts with English logos seems to work for blending in (till you speak) in cities without too many tourists. But what we call "Paris" is largely just an historic tourist district. La Defense is the modern Paris business center, you can see the sky scrapers of La Defense from the base of the Arc de Triomphe.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by livesoft » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:24 pm

Watty wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:07 pm
2comma wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:32 pm
They also started with English with my wife and she is Greek!
English is often used as a default because that is the most likely language they would have in common.
Right. Did you expect them to respond in Greek? :)

I learned some Italian after learning some German. I spoke Italian with a German accent, so in Italy where there are plenty of Germans, the Italians often responded to my Italian with their German.
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by MJS » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:51 pm

Visit food stores - markets, shops, supermarkets - and put together a picnic. Bring a shopping bag. Take the picnic to Jardin des Plantes or another public garden.

Say: S'il vous plaît, je ne comprends pas le français. Anglais? ... Sil vu play, zhe ne[r] compren pa le[r] fransay. Anglay?

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by bradpevans » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:57 pm

HongKonger wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:23 pm
bradpevans wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:18 pm
If you arrive early in the week, you may be able to get a pretty good deal on unlimited subway card. Google orange card Paris
Is carte d'orange too French for a non speaker to understand? :P
Touché. Actually I missed your post. I believe you must buy on M/T/Wednesday

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by killjoy2012 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:09 pm

Sneakers are fine, but I'd personally avoid white ones. White Nike/Adidas/etc shoes scream - American. Darker the better. A better option would be casual leather shoes, Merrell's, etc.

I think shorts would fine on hot days, culturally, but the Paris climate is more geared for jeans or pants. Might also need to check dress code for any churches (e.g. Notre Dame) - I don't think they'd kick you out, but you'd probably get some smirks.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by JaneyLH » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:33 pm

Download the Rick Steves Louvre tour on your smartphone. Get a headphone splitter so you can both plug in earbuds at the same time. You will see all the “must see” treasures in the most logical way and hear a very entertaining narrative. You can cover the highlights in less than 2 hours without getting lost!

Père Lachaise Cemetery is a short subway ride from central Paris and a fabulous place to visit. Not only are the famous graves worth a visit (be sure to get a map), but this is truly a city of the dead with towering monuments, chapels, and family mausoleums. It is an incredibly beautiful and peaceful place.

If it’s warm, skip the sewer tour!

Be sure to see the Monet Waterlillies at the Musée de l'Orangerie... just stunning!

See a concert at La Sainte Chapelle on the Île de la Cité in the center of the city.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by jminv » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:49 pm

I would suggest buying a data pack for your phone so that you can use google maps to navigate around the city (gives you walking and metro directions) and tripadvisor for nearby attraction and restaurant reviews. You can also get a data plan sim at the airport, I've seen the Orange Holiday Pack selling at the Relay shops in Charles De Gaulle airport. Having cell service can let you spend your time more efficiently.

You can buy the different daily, multi-day, and weekly metro passes, depending on what day of the week your arrive, or you can buy books of 10 single use tickets (metro/rer machines for daily and multi-day, weekly you could buy a navigo decouverte pass for the week if you're coming near the start of a week at metro agent window, if you get this don't forget to attach photo which you can get cheaply at photo booth in many metros, malls).

Since it's your 40th,you could go to the Wall of Love for a photo, walk along the river at water level, take a nice dinner cruise. Although it's touristy, I like walking around the Latin Quarter at night and having snacks and drink followed by dinner nearby. Your wife would probably enjoy Galeries Lafayette which would also let you knock out all your major shopping in one go. I also like Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine which is located at Trocadero, directly across the river from the Eiffel tower and is usually not very busy. The museum has very large models of Parisian buildings. But most of all, you should explore and enjoy yourselves.

If you go to the Louvre, avoid the main line that forms on ground level near the glass pyramid and use the other underground entrance that's at the end of the underground mall, which will save you a lot of time. There are other attractions with alternate lines as well and many that you can book online.

In general, if you need someone to take a photo of you in Paris, I would suggest asking a families of Asian tourists or people who are clearly Americans (older is preferable) who are taking photos due to theft concerns. You can offer to take pictures of them in return. Pickpocketing is a serious problem in Paris and to reduce the risk your wife should bring a purse that zips, not open or one that just snaps shut, and never leave your wallet in your back pocket, really best to leave wallet in hotel/apartment. Be particularly careful around crowds at attractions, crosswalks, and in the metros. At the Sacre Coeur you have the string man scam, so don't let them put string around your wrist (they then demand payment). There's also the petition scam which is someone who is holding a clipboard, asks you if you speak english, then tries to solicit a donation and/or uses the clipboard ruse to distract you while a colleague pickpockets you.

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JMacDonald
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by JMacDonald » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:45 pm

The Louvre is worth seeing if you have an interest in art. The is a lot more there than the Mona Lisa.
Here is my favorite at the Louvre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winged_Vi ... Samothrace
The Louvre is open some evenings. When I was in Paris a few years ago, I found it less crowded then. Get a museum pass, then you can avoid the line at the main entrance and use the underground entrance. I bought my pass at one of the less crowded museum. http://en.parismuseumpass.com

Rick Steves said there are two types of tourists in Paris: those with a pass and those without a pass.
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by apex84 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:10 pm

Another tip, if you have an iPhone you can download a Rick Steves app with tours (take your headphones) of all kinds of sites in Europe. We didn't do that in Paris, but was great for the major historical sites in Rome & Athens. Next time we go anywhere in Europe, we'll be sure to check for tours on the app. Be sure to download them at home on Wi-Fi before you go.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by Misenplace » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:17 pm

Someone on our travels recommended that we dine at the RESTAURANT GEORGES at the top of the Centre Pompidou. So the next time we were in Paris we did. Highly recommend it. The decor of the restaurant (indeed, the whole building) is a funky ‘Austin Powers ‘ type of place. So that alone was fun. But the panoramic nighttime views of Paris were amazing. And we enjoyed our meal.

Enjoy!
Misenplace

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by CookEMstr » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:37 pm

The Louvre (Mona Lisa was worth the wait in my opinion), Notre Dame (also enjoyed shopping all the little souvenir type shops around Notre Dame). Versailles is amazing. Seeing the Eiffel Tower light up at night was a highlight for me. I agree with another post on visiting Giverny to see Monet's home and gardens.

The next visit to Paris I would like to do a bike tour of the city, and also a food tour. TripAdvisor is a good place to look for reviews on both.

Enjoy! Paris is a beautiful city!

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by whodidntante » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:26 pm

The standard issue uniform for an American tourist includes athletic or ridiculously comfortable shoes, shorts, something made by Under Armour, and an unfashionable hat. Also, their clothes are too big. And they take a lot of pictures, sometimes for no apparent reason. They'll know before you open your mouth.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by criticalmass » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:20 am

tadamsmar wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:18 pm
But what we call "Paris" is largely just an historic tourist district. La Defense is the modern Paris business center, you can see the sky scrapers of La Defense from the base of the Arc de Triomphe.
Having lived in Paris, I disagree with that statement and it is factually incorrect. La Defense is well outside the Parisian city limits, although inside Il-de-France. The City of Paris is not merely a "historic tourist district" but a major capital city, a city of over 2 million people (not including suburbs), and the most populous city in France, comprising of 20 arrondissements.

criticalmass
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by criticalmass » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:47 am

MikeJoe1962 wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:25 am
Culturally, shorts will be fine. But weather-wise, you might be cold. Paris is generally not warm and sunny. Expect drizzly rain. If you get sun, consider yourselves lucky.

I have spent a lot of time in Paris over the past 20 years for business and have developed some strong opinions about what to see and what not to see. They are just mine; others may feel differently.

1. Avoid the Louvre. Too big, long lines, The Mona Lisa was disappointing and is usually surrounded by a huge crowd. Instead, visit the Musee d’Orsay on the other side of the Seine. They have a lot of Impressionism. You can spend a couple hours there and, unless you are art buffs, you’ll feel like you saw a lot of famous painting. Also visit the Rodin Museum. It feels intimate and you can get very close to some of his incredible sculptures.

2. TheEiffel Tower is great to look AT. Don’t bother going to the top and taking in the view from there. Lines are long. You spend a lot of time waiting. And it’s really too high relative to the rest of the city. AFter dark go to the Troccadero and take in the view of the Eiffel Tower. They light it up on the hour. Very cool.

3. The better views of the city are from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Beware: lots of steps! Your are just above the other buildings and you can get a cool view! The other view is from Sacre Coeur. Again, it’s a high getting up there, but you’ll love it.

4. Food: l’avant comptoir is a very fun place to have lunch. Tiny! Standing room only. Check out the website and reviews. We loved the food and the experience.

5. In French the word menu means something different than inEnglish. What we call a menu is a carte. In French menu means a fixed, multi course meal. I’ve been in restaurants several times when the American tourists asked for a menu (list of food items for purchase) and got the menu (fixed meal.). The “menu” (French meaning) is often the best, freshest, etc. item on the menu (English meaning.) you will likely have a couple options to choose from for each course.

6. Service is differnet in France. The ratio of waiters to customers is much lower. They won’t come by to refill your water or ask you how everything is. You’ll have to flag them down for anything - even the bill! Don’t be offended, just go with the flow. And they’ll almost never try to rush you out the door either. You’ve got the table for as long as you want to linger.

7. If you just drink tap water, ask for a ‘carafe d’eau.’ Never had bad tap water in Paris and it’s FREE (by law in every restaurant isn’t he country)! Bottled water can add up.

8. Fun day trips: Versailles, of course. It will be crowded, but there’s a lot of cool things: palaces, houses, gardens... Another trip would be Reims (pronounced in French something like runce.). The train from Gare d’est takes about an hour. It’s isn’t he champaigne making region. You can tour the cellars of several champagne makers. Google it. Find a website that offers English language tours. The cathedral in Reims is actuall pretty cool too. Very much like Norte Dame in Paris, but no line to get in! (In Paris, you’ll wait for a LONGtime to go inside and see where Quasimodo lived.)

9. Download google translator app on your smart phone before you go. It will be very helpful. Also get an international data plan from your cell provider. Use the ATMs there for cash. Your American card will work.

10. Have fun!

Mike
These are all good suggestions. No matter what you do, you will likely look like a tourist (unless you get a French woman (or man) to dress you, which I also recommend BTW :) But avoid white sneakers at all costs. Try to wear dark shoes, comfortable leather brown/black shoes will go a long way. Shorts are ok during the day, but try to over use them. As a nod to another thread: A word about tipping in France: US style restaurant tips are unheard of in France (EXCEPT in cities with a lot of American tourists throwing tip money around.) Some waiters seem to now expect tips from Americans, but would never expect them from French customers, or even Europeans. Don't think for a moment you are being cheap by not tipping, the price of service is built into your bill, and restaurant employees are paid a real living wage. Tip a taxi driver by rounding up to make the change easy, and tip someone who handles your bags a euro or two per bag.

Lots of suggestions for art museums, but think twice if you really want to be inside another art museum instead of exploring a neighborhood in a masterpiece of architecture, or finding a new café with wonderful smells and treats inside. An early morning trip to a boulangerie anywhere in France is not to be missed. I always recommend that if someone really wants to see a big art museum, go to the Hermitage.

Also, always politely greet a shop keeper with bonjour [rhymes with long tour without the g in long] (or bonsoir in the evening). They will do the same to you. When leaving, say bonne journée (have a good day) or bonne soirée (have a good evening).

S'il vous plaît is a formal way to say please, although in a crowded restaurant this gets informally/quickly shortened to s'il 'plaît. When talking to youth or someone you know well, it becomes
s'il te plaît
(singular 2nd person is informal in many Latin languages).

The biggest advice I can give you: If you don't speak French, please consider taking a few minutes and getting In Flight French or similar from your library...you can also download the audio and listen on the airplane. It won't make you conversational in the language, but it will got a long long way toward being polite. And it is fun!! Even knowing how to say Where is the restrooms (Où sont les toilettes, s'il vous plaît?) in a local language is very helpful. French is actually simple to pronounce when you know a few rules, and there are no syllable accents like many languages have (e.g. English). Even if French people respond in English, they deeply appreciate you speaking a little French to them, even if just trying.

As always, have 2 debit cards and 2 credit cards in case something goes wrong with one. Schwab/Fidelity debit cards are great because there are no international fees, and they reimburse any surcharges (you shouldn't encounter surcharges in France but who knows). Any credit card without an international fee is good, plus the rewards of your choice.

Be very careful whenever making a purchase or using an ATM that you get charged in Euros and not in Dollars. Otherwise you will pay a steep conversion rate (and if your card charges international fees, you still pay them even in dollars). The evils of Dynamic Current Conversion....

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by HongKonger » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:23 am

whodidntante wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:26 pm
The standard issue uniform for an American tourist includes athletic or ridiculously comfortable shoes, shorts, something made by Under Armour, and an unfashionable hat. Also, their clothes are too big. And they take a lot of pictures, sometimes for no apparent reason. They'll know before you open your mouth.
When I lived in Southern Italy, I thought it was a joke that my male friends would say they can tell the nationality of a woman by the shape of her backside...it only took me a couple of weeks of high season tourism and I could do it with about 95% accuracy too. The white trainers with socks pulled up and capri pants for women/beige shorts with front pleats for men, and that dreaded money belt/bumbag/money holder thing on a string that everyone advocates on here is a total giveaway though too. Lol.

tigermilk
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by tigermilk » Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:55 am

Two othersmentioned Giverny. Absolutely a must go. Rent a car or take a tour bus to get there. Whileit is wonderful to stand 2 feet from an original Monet, it is quite another to travel to the gardens that inspired him. I must have taken 1000 photos during our day trip there. If you do rent a car, go to Les Andelys. Pretty town with talll bank's of limestone on the Seine and the castle ruins of Richardthe Lionheart. And then just keep on driving to Normandy...

Paris is great, but the countryside west of Paris is stunning, in my opinion.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by livesoft » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:35 am

whodidntante wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:26 pm
The standard issue uniform for an American ....
Well, it's not something to worry about, is it!? Essentially every tourist in every foreign country looks like a tourist. It's part of the deal.
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TN_Boy
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by TN_Boy » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:18 am

livesoft wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:35 am
whodidntante wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:26 pm
The standard issue uniform for an American ....
Well, it's not something to worry about, is it!? Essentially every tourist in every foreign country looks like a tourist. It's part of the deal.
+1

I don't understand the I'LL LOOK LIKE A TOURIST angst. Of course you will look like a tourist. You are in an unfamiliar city in a foreign land where you do not speak the language, and you are dressed for vacation versus working and living there. In Paris we wore running/walking shoes because we were walking miles on hard surfaces, along with our daily casual clothes (wallets secured in zip pockets for security). The French are used to tourists. Really.

Personally I think trying to learn a bit of French is a waste of time, other than a polite greeting and learning how to ask if someone speaks English, as a poster suggested. Should you actually trick someone into thinking you speak French, they will start talking to you in rapid conversational French and you will .... have to ask them to speak English. In Paris, you won't have trouble finding someone who speaks English, and many restaurants have English language menus.

If you like museums and art, obviously there are many, I think the Louvre is awesome, and I don't understand the fixation of some posters in this thread on the crowds around the Mona Lisa. There is lots to see in the Louvre, not just the Mona Lisa.

Personally I thought the best view was OF the Arc de Triomphe FROM the Eiffel Tower, but that's just me.

Lots of other good suggestions on places to visit, how to get tickets to things, and how restaurants work.

The Normandy countryside is very pretty, if you want to venture outside the city.

rennale
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by rennale » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:11 am

Re: ....I would appreciate some suggestions for some offbeat things to see or do.

Have dinner at Nos Ancêtres les Gaulois at 39 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île (https://www.nosancetreslesgaulois.com/en)

I've been a couple of times, although not for several years, and, yes, it's clearly a tourist & after-business-meeting place, but they manage it well (or used to). As long as you take a sense of humor you won't fail to have a fun and memorable time there. It's better in a group. The location alone is worth the walk.

And as for classic tourist places I am always amazed how I overlooked Sainte Chapelle for all my early trips to Paris. It somehow never got to the top of the to-do list. Big mistake. Go early, miss the lines. It's all about architecture and stained glass, so make sure to only go when the sun is shining.

Have a croissant or two for breakfast, and a baguette with cheese or street vendor crepe for lunch and life won't get any better.

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pezblanco
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by pezblanco » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:38 am

TN_Boy wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:18 am
livesoft wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:35 am
whodidntante wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:26 pm
The standard issue uniform for an American ....
Well, it's not something to worry about, is it!? Essentially every tourist in every foreign country looks like a tourist. It's part of the deal.
+1

I don't understand the I'LL LOOK LIKE A TOURIST angst. Of course you will look like a tourist. You are in an unfamiliar city in a foreign land where you do not speak the language, and you are dressed for vacation versus working and living there. In Paris we wore running/walking shoes because we were walking miles on hard surfaces, along with our daily casual clothes (wallets secured in zip pockets for security). The French are used to tourists. Really.
I've lived on and off for extended periods in Europe (Spain) and while there traveled frequently to other European countries. You really have two options as a tourist in Europe:

1) You can put on the white tennis shoes, the shorts, the loud shirts, and (god help me) the kangaroo pouch and march out on the streets. You are basically announcing to the world: I am a tourist AND a completely clueless cretin. You should treat me as such.

or

2) You can wear long trousers and a comfortable shirt with a collar (depending on age ... ) and comfortable shoes and by your clothes you will still be recognized as a tourist but you're saying: I am a tourist but I know enough to dress myself appropriately to be seen in public and I expect you to treat me as a respectful guest in your country.

My experiences observing the Europeans (especially the Spanish and the Italians) with the first kind of tourist is that just by their basic generosity, they will be kind and patient but they will still think that the way you are dressed is ridiculous.

TN_Boy
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by TN_Boy » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:26 am

pezblanco wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:38 am
TN_Boy wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:18 am
livesoft wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:35 am
whodidntante wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:26 pm
The standard issue uniform for an American ....
Well, it's not something to worry about, is it!? Essentially every tourist in every foreign country looks like a tourist. It's part of the deal.
+1

I don't understand the I'LL LOOK LIKE A TOURIST angst. Of course you will look like a tourist. You are in an unfamiliar city in a foreign land where you do not speak the language, and you are dressed for vacation versus working and living there. In Paris we wore running/walking shoes because we were walking miles on hard surfaces, along with our daily casual clothes (wallets secured in zip pockets for security). The French are used to tourists. Really.
I've lived on and off for extended periods in Europe (Spain) and while there traveled frequently to other European countries. You really have two options as a tourist in Europe:

1) You can put on the white tennis shoes, the shorts, the loud shirts, and (god help me) the kangaroo pouch and march out on the streets. You are basically announcing to the world: I am a tourist AND a completely clueless cretin. You should treat me as such.

or

2) You can wear long trousers and a comfortable shirt with a collar (depending on age ... ) and comfortable shoes and by your clothes you will still be recognized as a tourist but you're saying: I am a tourist but I know enough to dress myself appropriately to be seen in public and I expect you to treat me as a respectful guest in your country.

My experiences observing the Europeans (especially the Spanish and the Italians) with the first kind of tourist is that just by their basic generosity, they will be kind and patient but they will still think that the way you are dressed is ridiculous.
I've lived in the US for a long time :-) If I see foreign tourists (yes, we have tourists in the US also!) dressed differently from me, I treat them with respect, just like I hope to be treated with respect when I am traveling aboard. Sometimes I think the foreign tourists are dressed "ridiculously." But I really don't care, they are not from the US, why should I expect them to conform to my clothing norms? I have seen some very nice people wearing clothes I find "ridiculous." I try not to assume too much from clothing. Behavior yes. Clothing not so much.

And there is a difference between loud shirts* (and behavior) and just laid-back vacation wear. I will for sure wear shorts if it is really hot unless there is some serious taboo against it. Have you found that shorts are somehow inappropriate (for people not at work) when the weather is hot? Where? What the heck do people from France wear when they are on vacation :-).

* for the record, I don't wear loud shirts anywhere. But I do carry the camera around on trips, pegging me as a tourist no matter what I wear.

jebmke
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by jebmke » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:52 am

TN_Boy wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:26 am
What the heck do people from France wear when they are on vacation :-).
My reference is from 2003-06 when we lived in Brussels and traveled frequently to France. Generally I would say long, lightweight slacks (women wore capri style pants or dresses) unless at the beach or cycling. The is what I recall and can tell from our vacation photos.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:57 am

You will look like a tourist no matter what you wear, but you don't have to look like an extreme version of an American tourist. No shorts, but dark colored jeans are fine. You can wear a tee shirt, it should be a dark solid color without words or pictures. Comfortable leather walking shoes are better than athletic shoes. No sandals for men. No fanny packs or money pouches on a string. No baseball caps (or any hat for that matter). Bring a waterproof windbreaker and a folding umbrella.

straws46
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by straws46 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:17 am

The subway is great in Paris. We were there long enough that we often just went to different neighborhoods to walk and explore. It may be morbid but strolling through the cemeteries in Montparnasse and other neighborhoods was very interesting and we saw a few famous resting places. Versailles is amazing but Chateau de Chantilly may be as interesting, especially if you're a James Bond fan, and is less crowded.

TN_Boy
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Re: June in Paris: What to (or not to) wear, see and do?

Post by TN_Boy » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:26 am

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:57 am
You will look like a tourist no matter what you wear, but you don't have to look like an extreme version of an American tourist. No shorts, but dark colored jeans are fine. You can wear a tee shirt, it should be a dark solid color without words or pictures. Comfortable leather walking shoes are better than athletic shoes. No sandals for men. No fanny packs or money pouches on a string. No baseball caps (or any hat for that matter). Bring a waterproof windbreaker and a folding umbrella.
As another data point, I looked at some pictures I took in Luxembourg Gardens* on a March day. Obviously, the time of year takes "shorts" out of the equation. That said, athletic shoes were ubiquitous. Lots of jeans. In fact, from those pictures you would have trouble telling it was not in some similar garden/park in the USA in a similar climate. It's possible that 100% of the people wearing athletic shoes were American tourists, but somehow I doubt that.

I did not see many baseball caps, for what that is worth.

I have noticed that for menswear, in France they tend to wear both shirts and pants fitted smaller than in the US. That is partly I assume just preference, and likely partly because Europeans are thinner than people in the US :-). They do lean to darker colors, at least when I was there.

All that said, to the OP, you would be fine walking around in jeans (including regular blue jeans), or decent looking nylon pants. "Nice" t-shirt or polo would be fine. And yes, athletic shoes are okay; they are quite common. I don't know about the shorts; I would still think that on a hot summer day, plenty of locals bow to comfort and wear shorts. But I could be wrong; I haven't been there in summer. I will say the warning about athletic shoes being a little iffy bad advice, looking at the huge number of people wearing such shoes in my pictures. If I'm walking 6 or 8 miles a day, I'm wearing athletic shoes.

*picked because I believe there are a lot of locals there, not just tourists.
Last edited by TN_Boy on Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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