Anyone been to Zurich or Paris?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by oneguy67, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. oneguy67

    oneguy67 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    midwest
    I've got a trip coming up (leave Saturday) that starts in Zurich for work and ends in Paris for pleasure.

    It's my first real vacation in almost 10 years. (Visiting my family doesn't count as vacation, even if it's near a beach.)

    Anyone have any must-see recommendations for either city? I really only have one day free in Zurich but I have 3 days in Paris.

    I went to Paris in high school but it was kind of a blur. Any recommendations would be appreciated!
     
  2. SpeedoGuy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Messages:
    4,229
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Haven't been to Zurich but I've visited Bern, Basel, Montreaux, Lausanne and Geneva. This is what was common to all of them:

    Switzerland's expensive!

    But have fun anyway and good luck.
     
  3. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Messages:
    6,378
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    where the sun never sets
    I love Paris. What do you like? If you are into art, history or arhitecture I would highly recommend the Louvre, probably the best museum in the world. a train trip out to Louis' palace at Versailles is definitely worth it. Notre Dame and some of the other cathedrals around the city are also very beautiful.
     
  4. oneguy67

    oneguy67 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    midwest
    Fortunately that's the part for work and that's paid for. :smile:

    Paris (which probably isn't much better) is my dime. :eek:
     
  5. oneguy67

    oneguy67 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    midwest
    Definitely a museum person...we did the Jeu de Paume and some of the Louvre in high school (saw the Mona Lisa) but I know there's lots more to the Louvre. Plus, my visit pre-dated the Pei glass pyramids.

    I'd like to see the Musee d'Orsay.

    I'd like to experience more of the neighborhoods (Les Marais? Montmartre?) wander around in and out of shops and practice my French a bit. Just kind of relax and bum around.
     
  6. eddyabs

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,566
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    45
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Little cottage in the stix
    My number one recommendation would be (whilst in Paris)...to check out [SIZE=-1]Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, it's an amazing place, full of cobbled 'streets' with extravagant mausoleums. There's a real vibe, and my number one reason for visiting there was to go pay my respects to Oscar Wilde....his tomb is covered in Lipstick kisses....and he's amongst illustrious company, you'll find Maria Callas, Edith Piaf, Sarah Bernhardt, Frederic Chopin, Jim Morrisson, amongst many others. I really recommend you pay a visit!
    [/SIZE]
     
  7. lafever

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,179
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    82
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    U.S.
    Paris is awesome, don`t hang your wallet out on the subways. The red district is cool, as is walking along the river, they`re many artists who will do a portrait for almost nothing, Notre Dame is alright, when i went you couldn`t take pictures, that sucked. The eiffel tower will give you a birds eye view but don`t get any ideas about walking down it, i did and my legs gave out at the bottom. Don`t hang out too late, or get to drunk around strangers, always call it an early nite, and wake early. The best stuff to do is during the daylight hours.

    lafever
     
  8. chico8

    chico8 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Chico
    The Musee Rodin is wonderful. It's not huge but has some wonderful stuff. My favorite is the Gates of Hell.
     
  9. sargon20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    11,369
    Likes Received:
    2,099
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Atlantis
    Beautiful city, beautiful country. Open your purse or wallet. It's not cheap. Great airport too.
     
  10. simcha

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over The Rainbow
    As for Paris...

    If you are at all a Roman history buff, like I am, you will love finding Les Arènes de Lutèce. And to get a feel for how Paris was build go down to Les Catacombes. If you like parks, don't forget to see the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. All of these things are off the beaten path of the typical tourist and are worth your time.

    Don't forget to go up Montmartre and see the Basilique du Sacré Coeur. The Basilica is especially beautiful and the view from the top, if you choose to climb up there, is amazing.

    Of course the Jardin des Tuileries is amazing and everything along it, Le Louvre and La Musée de l'Orangérie and at it's foot and the beginning of Les Champs Elysées - La Place de la Concorde. The other garden worth your time is Le Jardin du Luxembourg.

    And if you want to see one of the most wild things in Paris you need to see Le Centre Georges Pompidou.

    If you have some specific interests pm me and I'll get back to you. I used to live there and I love that city.

    I've never been to Zurich. I've been to Lucerne and Lugano and both were amazing.
     
  11. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,724
    Likes Received:
    386
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    Research and plan your three days - there is so much to see and do.

    Familiarise yourself with the metro (subway/underground) system. Buy un carnet, which is a book of ten tickets and the cheapest way to get around. I hope the weather is good for you because Paris is also a great place to walk.

    If you are going to the big attractions, Louvre and Musee D'Orsay (a must see), get there when they open, otherwise queue and fight your way through tourists who are just being herded around.

    I always go here FLO Brasseries : Les brasseries for a classic French Bistro/Brasserie dinner, but of course there are hundreds of great places to eat Paris Restaurants | Fodor's Travel Guides

    Have a great time.
     
  12. JustAsking

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,249
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ohio
    oneguy,
    All the recommendations above are excellent for Paris. One thing my wife and I learned about eating in Paris. There are some 15,000 bistros or brasseries in Paris scattered all over the city in every neighborhood. Parisians eat out about 3 nights per week, and they go to one of their local bistros. A Bistro is roughly equivalent to a diner or a neighborhood restaurant.

    I say roughly equivalent because the atmosphere is quaint and informal, the food reasonably priced, but that is where the similarity ends. The quality of the food is out of this world, because these bistros are vying for the local clientelle, and being Parisians, they have very high standards on food.

    So you go to one of these bistros and order La Prix Fixe, which is their special that night. It will be a number of courses of different French country style dishes, all with fresh ingredients trucked in from the countryside that day, and cooked into something that is out of this world. The actual dishes will vary from night to night and from bistro to bistro, but it doesn't matter. It will all be the best stuff you have ever tasted.

    My wife and I were there for about two weeks and except for one evening at a restaurant with white table cloths and snooty waiters, it was all bistros and all prix fixe for us. We just picked out the place from a good book called Cheap Eats in Paris, we ordered the Prix Fixe, and the house wine and have never eaten better.

    Places I can recommend:
    Allard
    L'Ami Louis
    Aux Lyonnais
    Le Bistrot de Cancale
    Le Bouclard
    Le Comptoir du Relais
    Chez Georges
    L'Oenotheque
    Au Petit Riche
    Chez Rene

    These are all very well known ones and they are scattered all over the city in the different arrondissements (districts). But if you happen to strike up a conversation with a Parisian, ask him what Bistro he goes to on a given night.

    One more thing that helps in Paris. Keep in mind that being a waiter is a very noble profession in Paris. Its not like America where your waiter is probably an out of work actor moonlighting for some bucks.

    So when in Paris, ask his advice and treat him like a respected friend. In the Bistros the waiters will be pretty young and informal, but they still see themselves as professional waiters. When you treat them right, you will be rewarded with good service, very helpful advice, and you will get a pass on your bad French. In fact, the younger waiters might want to practice their English.
     
  13. JustAsking

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,249
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ohio
    Rereading the last few posts, its obvious that Drifterwood and Simcha must know some good bistros. They might be more interesting than the very well known ones that I mentioned.

    Another thing that is fun, if you want a break from sightseeing. Go to a cafe in the afternoon and sit outside with some capuchino or an expresso. Bring a good book and read for while and watch the world go by. In Paris it is a very interesting world indeed. On a nice day, everyone is out and walking around the city.

    Oh, in an outdoor cafe, there are tables with white tablecloths and tables with none. The secret code is that the white tables are for people who actually want to come, sit down, eat something, and leave. The non-white tables are for people to come and drink coffee and loiter as long as they want.

    You can come and drink one cup of expresso and sit for hours and they won't care.

    Also, make sure you go down to the Seine river around twilight. Parisians are magicians with light. The subtle lighting, the river, and the cool evening air will transport you. You will really feel like you are in Europe.
     
  14. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,724
    Likes Received:
    386
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    Good advice from JA.

    I always pop in here for a few snifters Harry's New York Bar

    Have a walk around Pigalle in the evening, but I wouldn't bother with any of the shows or bars.

    Oh yes - shopping, you could remortgage for Hermes et al

    Take a good camera.
     
  15. simcha

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over The Rainbow
    JA has some excellent advice. I have some favorite bistros located around Place St. Charles in the 15th Arrondissement where I lived and worked. I wouldn't imagine ruining it for you to go and find your own but at Place St. Charles there was a little bistro called Le Linois that I especially liked. And of course, there are excellent patisseries (bakeries) there that are the real deal where regular Parisians buy their baguettes... You definitely want to visit patisseries and fromageries (cheese shops) in Paris because you won't find anything like them anywhere else.

    Also in the 15th they have an open market for food called the Saint-Charles Market on Rue St. Charles between Rue de Javel and St. Charles roundabout every Tuesday and Friday from 7:00am to 2:30pm. If you want a real Parisian experience of shopping for fresh food go, go, go! I have many fond memories walking to work on those days in the morning and buying breakfast and maybe something for lunch on the way to work.

    If you want to find other markets look here.

    There's too much to do and see. Don't pressure yourself to see it all, because you can't. Leisurely see what's most important to you, take your time and enjoy it. Remember you can, and most likely will, come back many times to see what else you want to see.
     
  16. oneguy67

    oneguy67 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    midwest
    In Zurich, I'll be exploring with a co-worker and he's pretty adventurous, so I think we'll be fine. But in Paris, it's all about me--all by myself. :biggrin1:

    So, thank you everyone for your great suggestions! I'm definitely looking for a wandering vacation and these are just what I need. And of course I'll go back and see more next time. This is one of those trips that I've put off and here it is 15 years later and I'm wondering what I was thinking.

    I think it will all turn out fine, but here I am at nearly 40 and my self esteem demons are telling me "you don't deserve to go". But we know that's all silliness, right? Or at least so say my therapist, family, friends, and every co-worker who knows where I'll be. And they all can't be wrong. :smile:
     
  17. JustAsking

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,249
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ohio
    Oh, one thing that screwed us up for a day or so was that the map of the public transportation routes had the bus and the subway lines overlaid on each other. Until we decoded the colors, we ended up getting lost plenty of times.

    Once we figured that out, we buzzed all over Paris walking and riding the subway and the buses and had a wonderful time. Don't even consider driving a car, anyway. You won't need it.

    Buy the carnet like the other poster suggested and you have yourself a license for days of great adventures.
     
  18. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Messages:
    6,378
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    where the sun never sets
    Must agree with JA, the public transportation is great in Paris. I picked it up very quickly, perhaps because the metro system in Washington DC was modeled after it. I wouldn't want to drive in Paris. Parisians can't drive for shit. For an amusing afternoon sit around the Arc de Triomphe and you'll see a little fender bender on average about 1 every 30 seconds or so. Traffic lanes haven't caught on everywhere yet.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted