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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Vancouver LifeStyles (VLS) > Vacations and World Travel

Vacations and World Travel Visiting our beautiful city? Come stay at the Arbutus Vista - Vancouver's Bed & Breakfast.
How was your trip? Which tour packages would you recommend/avoid? Must do's and must eats? Share tips, photos and experiences with other senior RS members who just want to get away..

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Old 09-03-2009, 08:16 PM   #1
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euro trip!

heading to switzerland (zurich), italy (milan, florence, venice) and france (paris) in a few weeks. Has anyone been to any of these cities before? What attractions should i look at? Any restaurant recommendations, nothing expensive/fancy required. Just a good casual place to sit and chow down.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:03 PM   #2
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Paris is my favourite city in the world. Thus far, anyway. There are a million things to see and do. On your first day, I recommend taking a bus tour around the city. This gives you a much better idea of the layout of the city, and will help you decide what you want to do on the rest of your time there.

The Eiffel Tower is obviously a must, although it's a bit pricey. The Arc de Triomphe is equally "must do." Spend some time in the area immediately surrounding the Arc de Triomphe, and on the Champs Elysée, where you'll find some of the world's trendiest shops and fashion stores.

The Louvre is obviously equally important, although if you're not into art (I'm not really big on it) you may only want to budget an afternoon. There are some really nice gardens around the Louvre where you can chill out and read a book, slam a bottle of wine, etc.

The Notre Dame and all the bridges (particulary Pont Neuf) are interesting, but nothing that can't be seen in a couple of hours. Spend some time in the area of the Bastille, though - this is where you'll find a lot of great cafes and shops. If you're heading here for dinner (and you should!) remember not to go before about 8pm, because the French do dinner very late.

If you have time, you MUST see the Palace of Versailles. This is where they signed the Versailles treaty (duh) and it's just a massive fucking palace that is insanely baller. The gardens are STUNNING and absolutely massive. It blew my mind, even though I'm not really into art or gardens. Still incredible and worth the train ride out there.

Lastly, the area around Montmartre is very cool at night. This is where the Moulin Rouge is and also a lot of funky bars and cafes. I stayed in this area last time I was in Paris, and it was awesome. A bit less touristy but still right in the heart of things. I stayed in a small boutique hotel called the Hotel Hippodrome. Like everywhere in Europe, the rooms are fucking tiny, but it's a nice place for a good price. In the trip prior, about five years ago, I stayed in an apartment style place in the Bastille area... can't remember what arrondisement it was. Maybe the 7th. It was good too, but I prefer Montmartre.

If you plan on going clubbing in Paris... good luck. It helps to have girls - try to chat a few up on the way to the club. Offer them a drink if they'll let you go into the club with them. In my experience (albeit limited) it's hard to get in to these places. Maybe try to find a VIP handout or something in the street.

I've never been to Zurich, and I'm heading to Italy for the first time next week.

Have fun.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxxrsxxx View Post
heading to switzerland (zurich), italy (milan, florence, venice) and france (paris) in a few weeks. Has anyone been to any of these cities before? What attractions should i look at? Any restaurant recommendations, nothing expensive/fancy required. Just a good casual place to sit and chow down.
Ah Milan. I had the best mussels in my life in Milan at a small restaurant a few blocks from the Central Station. I guess it's gotten much popular with tourists now since it's got an English website:

http://www.portarenza.com/our_location.php

Vongole Napolitane. A large bowl of tender mussels in a perfect Napolitane broth. Cost like 7 Euros back in 2006. Now it's advertised as Vongole alla Marinara. Hopefully it will be as good.
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:45 PM   #4
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Amaru did Paris pretty well there, so I'll skip it.

Florence: you MUST watch the sunset from the Piazzale di Michaelangelo. The duomo is a can't miss site, but don't forget to check out the Gates of Paradise, on the outside of the little building in the same square as the duomo.

If you want to see the real statue of Michaelangelo's David, go early to the Galleria Accademia. Check out the statues at the outdoor Loggia dei Lanzi gallery, which is free. Walk through there, to the Galleria degli Uffizi (or past it if you're not interested) to the river, where you'll see the Ponte Vecchio, one of Italy's most famous and recognizable bridges.

Venice: spend an afternoon lost in the maze of streets. Maps are hard to read, so don't get flustered. Instead, enjoy the little alleys of this unique city. Of course, don't miss the major attractions: St. Mark's Square (San Marco) and the Rialto Bridge. Buy a day pass and travel on the vaporetto and explore Venice from the canals. If you want to beach out, take the vaporetto to the Lido.
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