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The First Time I Saw Paris

FRANCE

Never been? Come along on a tour of a city full of surprises, side shows and grand masterpieces.

August 22, 2010|Chris Erskine

HARRY'S NEW YORK BAR -- The Bloody Mary was born in this former Hemingway hangout; like home the second you set foot in it. (6)

NAPOLEON'S TOMB -- Beautiful and profound, housed in a glimmering church caked in gold. (7)

MUSEE DE L'ARMEE -- The greatest military museum in the world could use an editor. (8)

CHAMPS-ELYSEES-- Left me a bit cold, but a must for serious shoppers. (9)

THE LOUVRE -- The Mona Lisa in a mob setting (especially in summer). No matter what I say, you're going to go. So go already. (10)

PLACE DE LA CONCORDE -- Hardly worth a special trip; you'll probably pass it anyway. (11)

BUSTS

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If you go

THE BEST WAY TO PARIS

From LAX, nonstop service to Paris is offered on Air France and Air Tahiti Nui. Direct service (stop, no change of plane) is offered on United, and connecting service (change of planes) is offered on American, Delta, Lufthansa, Continental and United. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $959 until Aug. 28, then drop to $617.

TELEPHONES

To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 001 (the international dialing code), 33 (the country code for France) and the local number.

WHERE TO STAY

Victoria Palace Hotel, 6 Rue Blaise Desgoffe, Paris; 1-4549-7000, www.victoriapalace.com. Spacious and elegant rooms on the Left Bank and friendly, English-speaking staff. James Joyce a former resident. Doubles from about $400.

Renaissance Paris Vendome, 4 Rue du Mont Thabor, Paris; 1-4020-2000, www.marriott.com/hotels. Stylishly modern boutique hotel in downtown Paris, with excellent location near major attractions and shopping. Doubles from $400.

Hotel Langlois, 63 Rue Saint-Lazare, Paris; 1-4874-7824, www.hotel-langlois.com. Beautifully furnished former bank in culturally rich Right Bank location. Doubles from $185.

WHERE TO EAT

La Petite Tour, 11 Rue de al Tour; 1-4520-0931, www.lapetitetour.fr. Highly recommended neighborhood eatery. Try the crabmeat appetizer. Locals love the scallops entree. Dinner from about $30.

Les Fous de l'Ile, 33 Rue des Deux-Ponts; 1-4325-7667. Bustling little bistro with friendly, hardworking wait staff and delicious food at a fair price. Two-course lunch about $20.

TO LEARN MORE

Paris Convention & Visitors Bureau, 25 Rue des Pyramides; http://en.parisinfo.com.

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