I visited the City of Light a few years back and very much by accident. With a ticket to Oslo in my pocket, I arrived in Dublin airport only to find out that my plane had already departed. I quickly rescheduled and ended up in another city altogether, the one which so often gets depicted on the silver screen.
To my surprise, Paris turned out to be nothing like its cinematic image. With a sad sigh, I took off my rose-tinted spectacles and settled on collecting memories of the City of Light sans enchantment.
We came away from Paris decidedly underwhelmed, with no desire to return, ever. So glad to encounter someone who wuoldn't think us nuts for saying so.
I'm not planning to get back to Paris any time soon but if I ever do, I will follow your tips - thank you :)
Timhotel Montmartre near Sacre Coeur is the best place we found. All you can eat breakfast to keep you going all day. Post'Cafe (70 Boulevard de Rochechouart) best place for cheapish bistro supper food and good wine.
We walked a LOT in those days in Paris. All the way up the Champs Elysees from the Arc de Triomphe and all the way home to Montmartre through the Tuilleries one day. We had a 48 hour hop-on-hop off tourist bus pass for when our feet gave out.
Didn't go into Notre Dame, but the walk from there back through the Jardins du Pompidou was wonderful. As was the croque monsieur at the cafe by the side of the cathedral too. The Tour d'Eiffel was where I had my mad moment with the beggars. An eastern European woman pursued us across the square, entreating us to help her. I eventually had to turn around and tell her to GO AWAY! in loud and very indignant English. Not that I don't speak other languages, but as she addressed us in English, I replied in the same language.
The only tourist tat I came back with from Paris was a Tour de France T-shirt, bought on the Champs Elysees. I also bought a china spoon rest (which did not survive the journey home, regrettably) and a pair of coffee mugs for my parents. Spoon rests were not available in the UK at that time. Nor was the expensive set of kitchen scales we bought for our friend, who still uses it today.