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ah_long

Paris in a day..

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I am leaving for Paris tonight and I'll be staying there for 24 hours..

I'll be staying @ Le Meridien Etoile

what can I do in 24 hours?

I would like to do some shopping if possible, and some photography.

thanks in advance

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The usual suspects for shopping are Colette, which coincidentally is just round the corner from the only 45rpm shop in Europe. Merci is also really worth checking out; it's like a bigger French version of the shop at Bluebird. All the usual major luxury brands have big stores in Paris; if Hermes is your thing, it's definitely worth visiting their flagship. If you're staying at the Meridien Etoile (which is a bland business hotel - no hate, it's where I always stay when I'm in Paris, because it's close to our office; don't eat there), then you're really close to the Champs Elysees, which is corny, but you've got the shop in the Publicis offices towards the top of the Champs (unless it's closed - haven't visited it in a while), and it's quite fun just to stroll down the street there; there's a massive 24-hour Sephora there if you need cosmetics/mainstream perfume (if you're into perfume, then don't miss Serge Lutens shop, which is the only place you can get his special stuff that he does for Shiseido). If you're not super-rushed, you can walk down the C d'E, past the Crillon Hotel, along the rue de Rivoli, then up on the rue St Honore, to go to Colette, buy expensive chocolates etc. Along the way, you can stop in Laduree to eat overhyped macarons, or drink amazing hot chocolate at Angelina's. All a bit touristy, but hey, why not? Around the Jardin du Palais Royal, there are some dusty old shops selling all kind of crazy shit, and the Galerie Vivienne is nearby, which is one of the old Victorian galeries, which is well worth strolling through if you're in the area (Gaultier's flagship store is there, if you're having an 80s flashback). Of course, all of that (apart from Merci) is north of the river, which leaves another whole world to explore.

Worth checking to see what's on at the Pompidou Centre and the Palais de Tokyo, for exhibitions. Even if there isn't a show on at the Pompidou, the permanent collection of 20th-century art is great. There's also the Contemporary art museum of Paris, right next to the Palais de Tokyo, which also has a great 20th-century collection.

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thanks for your reply man.. I didn't get to choose the hotel.. company pays for it.. can't really complain

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I'm also going to Paris, but for 4 days, and am totally clueless about:

where to go

how to get there (not to get to paris, i know that much)

best way of getting around

best areas to stick on foot

places to eat (im looking for more traditional/homely spots, not Alan Ducasse $$$$ establishments)

I'm staying near 10eme Arr/Saint Laurent/Chateau d'Eau... is this near anything, or will i be spending a bit on metro trips?

cheers

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The 10th is a bit of a khazi, in my opinion; but others think it's up-and-coming. Good for kebabs, I'll say that. So, yes, you'll want to move around a bit.

The metro is the best way to get around; avoid taxis unless you like sitting in traffic. The metro is cheap - just buy a 'carnet' of ten tickets and keep them in your wallet. You can travel any distance with one ticket and it works out just over a Euro per trip.

Having said that, Paris is a great city to see on foot, if the weather is good. There aren't any 'no go' areas in the city itself, but there are plenty of parts that are a bit dull and either residential or full of strange crappy shops that leave you wondering how they survive; and there are places in the suburbs (which you're unlikely to visit) where you probably wouldn't go on your own if you weren't a local. You might want to avoid the Bois de Boulogne at night too... Worth taking a taxi around the centre at night - driving down the Champs Elysees and around the Concorde when everything is lit up is just fantastic, especially if you've got a big buzz on.

It's really worth picking up a Paris guidebook. One of the great strengths and weaknesses of Paris is that is absolutely and categorically unhip; it really doesn't change much. So there isn't ever a 'hot new area' to explore. It's always the same places worth checking out: the Marais, the Left Bank, and so on. It all depends what you're after.

If you want traditional food, there are two places that, while a little touristy, can be relied on: Bofinger, and Chartier. Both old-school French, the first a traditional brasserie, the second an old working-man's canteen, although it's obviously not that now. Also, slightly corny, but a long-standing favourite of mine, is Au Pied du Cochon, in the 2nd; it's a 24-hour brasserie, and nothing beats their onion soup (which is a meal in itself) at 4 in the morning.

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