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Hello Chows, my husband and I value your opinions and have been led by your suggestions to new and unusual places and local food sites. This time we are staying 10 nights in April at the Hotel Caron de Beauchais, rue Vieille du Temple , Paris. We are both in our early seventies, but, I must say fit and able to walk great distances and have stamina, also, enjoy tasty food and french wines. This is the first time we have traveled together to Paris, myself 20 years ago for 9 days studying architecture and art. We are looking for suggestions to: get from CDG to our hotel, small bistros and restaurants in Marais, the 3rd, 4th , 5th , 6th , districts and other places to eat that are local, charming and not over the hill pricewise. I did read that for museum fare the Pompidou is very good. Opinions? Years ago, one of the Paris museums that I found most interesting was the Cluny. Although, when there, the Roman part was not open. Maybe someone can answer this. Near the Cluny there is a medieval charnel house preserved wonderfully, the post and beams are carved with scull and cross bones. I just can’t find a mention of this on the Internet, alas, my notes are lost forever. We appreciate all replies, Thank you, bebe22

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  1. I am a frequent visitor to Paris and will also be there in April. I promised to provide directions to the Marais for a friend who is visiting, so will give them to you as well. The rapid RER train service links Charles de Gaulle Airport with central Paris . Trains run every 15 minutes (eight minutes in peak periods) and the journey takes approximately 35 minutes. Line B runs from the TGV station at Terminal 2 to Gare du Nord, Châtelet-les-Halles, Saint-Michel and Denfert-Rochereau, with connections to the metro. Depending upon where you're staying in the Marais, the Châtelet-les-Halles stop is most likely the best stop to get off at.

    For a great local cafe in the Marais try Les Philosophes. It's wonderful to sit outside and watch all that is going on around you while having a coffee. A must in the neighborhood is Au Gamin de Paris on rue Vieille du Temple. Perfect spot for lunch or dinner by candlelight and very reasonably priced. Also, I love Falafel and some of the best Falafel I've ever had was in Paris in the Marais...at L'As du Falafel at 34 rue des Rosiers. Have a wonderful trip!

    2 Replies
    1. re: love2eat75

      Thank you for your kind suggestions. We are also falafel lovers and will most definitely eat at L'As du Falafel. bb22

      1. re: love2eat75

        I had falafel there, but three years ago it was better down at the end of the street in a place on the corner. Really, they were both better than anything I can get here.

      2. Le Dome du Marais is a beautiful place with excellent food and is moderately priced. I would also venture over to Ze Kitchen Galerie. If you don't mind going out of your way a bit, L'Os a Moelle in the 15th is very easy to reach by Metro. The food is very creative and contemporary though the setting is simple bistro, as are the prices. We are not supposed to give general travel advice on this board but since you asked about museums I will just mention the Jacquemart-Andre and the Nissim de Camondo.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rrems

          My husband and I have decided to put L'Os a Moelle in the 15th on our dining list, also, thanks for the other suggestions, bb22

        2. I am in my 60s and can not suggest the RER as steps are involved as are strikes and other inconveniences we have lived too long to suffer. Google on "paris airport shuttle" and preplan a shuttle to pick you up at CDG and take ypu to your stay. EU31 for two in cash each way (they'll wait while you work the ATM near your destination.)

          We have stayed close to where you will be and there are SO many great places I will let others tell you about. I'm kind of a "good and plenty" guy, so my selections are probably not what you want to hear. We stay in apartments so as to be able to cook about half the time from the great markets I like to visit and deal in with people who don't speak English while I don't speak French or anything else. It's an excercise of emotion and senstivity that I actually love. My wife could make a feast of a shoe, so I can't miss. We do eat out, too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hychka

            Thank you for your shuttle suggestion, we have arranged a shuttle from CDG to our hotel. I'm still thinking of your phrase "My wife could make a feast of a shoe"! Lucky you, bb22

          2. Cannot really recommend on transportation but if you are looking for an authentic bistrot where the locals go to I can suggest "Aux Fins Gourmets" at 213 boulevard Saint-Germain in the 7th arrondissement (Metro Rue du Bac). Until last month, when the founder's son retired, it had been in the same family for over 60 years. The food is simply prepared, using fresh ingredients and the I find the prices reasonable for the neighborhood and the quality.
            Reservations are essential:

            1. Try "Aux Fins Gourmets" at 213 Boulevard Saint Germain 75007 (tel:
              It is what you are looking for: local, charming and reasonably priced.

              1. You will find many answers to your questions on Slowtravel.com.It's a great site I recently discovered while doing research for our own April trip!

                Not to take away from Chowhound at all. It's just another place to look! Especially for those general questions.

                1. While I love the Pompidou and the Restaurant Georges at the top of it, given your preference for local, charming and not over the hill prices, I can't say it fits that description. Probably the best value experience is to have a drink there (or drink and dessert), to appreciate the view and the surroundings. The other eating place that I remember in the open mezzanine area I don't remember as anything special. I think you can find many better value options on surrounding streets, particularly on the rue Rambuteau.

                  While you didn't list the 2nd arrondissement, you might enjoy a visit to the Legrand store and wine bar not too far from the Place des Victoires and Palais Royal. Since you have last been, they have added the wine bar which is adjacent to the lovely passage Vivienne. The store itself has a wine cork ceiling which must be seen to be appreciated and is one of the oldest wine stores in Paris.

                  About your charnel house request- is it part of Saint-Severin? This is the only existing charnel house that I can remember, but your description of the carvings on the post and beams doesn't sound right for that building. I have a memory of seeing a medieval building with carvings that might be what you describe but cannot pin it down.
                  It may be too late for you to get it, but given your interest in architecture, I have what I think is a wonderful reference book on Parisian buildings in the historical heart of Paris (sorry chowhound team, I hope you don't remove my post for straying off the food path):

                  1. Ny the way, nice title! I love the Count Basie version!

                    1. HI Bebe,

                      I think you might be talking about St. Severin. The skulls are not just carved on the posts and beams--actual bones are embedded into the arches.

                      Further away from the Cluny, but also a charnel house is the Galerie des Charniers in the church of St. Etienne du Mont. Not well preserved though. In fact, not much left at all.

                      I am glad you are taking a private shuttle instead of the RER. Pickpockets prey on tourists, tired from long flights and loaded down with luggage. As a matter of fact, you should be aware of pickpockets anywhere you go. Wear a moneybelt and hang onto your purse. And dont let buskers tie a string on your wrist or finger.

                      1. hi, i saw a cooking tour that makes you prepare a menu related to architecture and then takes you on a tour of some important building in the neighborhood where the cooking studio is. check out a world in a pan