Hi everyone - I'm thinking seriously of travelling with my 2 daughters to Paris next year, in April, and want to go the Untours route. I haven't really followed through with my initial planning/research until now. What's the best way to start? I've studied France/Paris for years, know the basic layout and what I want to do, and even speak a bit of French. I'd like to just go and soak up the atmosphere/museums/ boulangeries/people - but want to make sure my girls enjoy it too, without getting bogged down in expensive shopping sprees. What would two girls - ages 17 and 13 - enjoy in Paris most?
Wow, Michelle, what a great question! I think you should post it to our Paris Destination. Just click on Destinations and then choose Paris to post it. I can also help by emailing the members.
Given that I MOVED to Paris for half a year with my 15 year old daughter....I would say an enthusiastic yes! But like any world capitol it has so many aspects that it would be easier to advise you if you could give me some idea of what your girls like. Shopping IS fabulous, it is true. But cruising the Seine, strolling the cafes and sidestreets, riding the wonderful city bikes, oohing and aahing at all the magnificent architecture and famous sites, immersing yourself in the un believably good food, or tracing the steps of a famous artist, author or figure in history are also options I can imagine some, but not all teenagers would like. It is a city that, in my opinion, has so much joy and beauty infused into its soul that whether you are lofty (looking at the stained glass in Notre Dame) or funky (joiing in with the hoards of other young things at the Virgin store on Champs-Elysee), it is just hard to have a bad time. I suppose if you were a picky eater, and only liked American style malls, you might be bored, but you would have to work at it. (Does it help that the French boys are very cute?)
Thanks so much for joining the Cafe. DO post this question to the Destinations> Paris group...you will get a TON of sage advice.
You should definitely do a Paris Untour with your girls. Staying in their supplied apartments is so nice in compared to staying in hotels. Paris is so easy to get around with the metro and trains. So much to see and do there. Why don't you join the Paris Destination? Also, check out our blogs and photos. I have a Paris album in My Albums too. One place I just know your girls' will have great fun in is the Grevin Museum (wax museum). Frank and I had blast there last year with our cameras. They allow you to take pictures of each other with their statues. What fun!!! I must post an album soon just on the Grevin.
We are currently in our third week in Paris. I've posted some photos.
We are staying at the Marie Stuart apartment just off rue Montorgueil. This is away from the tourist areas. If you want fresh fruits and vegetables, this is the place. We have yet to buy a pineapple that hasn't been the sweetest we've ever tasted. And the Stohrer pastries are works of art! You have to speak French most of the time. But you learn as you go along. And the local merchants will progress from indifference to outright smiles when you become a regular and you master the proper greeting and farewell phrases.