The Chateau de Vincennes allows you to understand the historical diversity of this city-museum that is Paris. In Vincennes, next to Paris, on the east side, at the metro stop of the same name, stands the Castle of Vincennes, built in the fourteenth century by the kings of France. Surrounded by a wall, which encloses the town in the style I studied in school ;), There are different buildings (a chapel, a tower, several outbuildings), recent renovations allow you to enjoy the town which I loved for its cleanliness and grand appearance . For the normal price of 8 euros, unfortunately the visit (at least when I went) only includes a visit to the tower, and outdoor patios - some buildings are now occupied by the department of defence and other public institutions which restrict access . If you are lucky one of the side doors in the wall may be open, and you may be able to enter the courtyard without paying an entrance fee (who knows ;) Still, this offer another point of view on the history of the capital, and the Bois de Vincennes is just beside to enjoy a picnic or a walk. This is an excellent way to spend a day off!
The city of Vincennes, attached to the east side of Paris is quite buiorguois. There are tall buildings on a peaceful street. It is a peaceful place to stay, and it's a quick and cheap underground ride to Paris, or take the train (RER A). The city also has several places of interest (tourist office, located at 11 avenue de Nogent, I can give many more details), among which the famous "Bois de Vincennes" giant and quiet kms to go, and Vincennes Castle. It has been a royal City for hundreds of years, Vincennes became the nineteenth century garrison town, and still may be crossed with military training in the woods, or marching in military buildings that border it. To discover details that go beyond the castle, the tourist office is a great place for information on where to go. The bicycle rental system Velib is in Vincennes: for those who are fans of bikes, it can be an interesting option instead of walking Paris! This city obviously can be a good option to stay: There is a list of hotels (http://tourisme-vincennes.jimdo.com/s% C3% A9journer /) so you can find one that suits you!
The city of Creteil, a suburb southeast of Paris, is not worth a detour from the road if they're short on time or wanting to get to Paris. Now, if you stay close and are fans of architecture 70, Créteil can make you happen. It is off the metro line 8, about 25 minutes from the Bastille or Republique Paris, Créteil gives examples of what these cities were like in the 60s and 70s around Paris. One of the landmarks of this era is the set of towers, similar to pure flowers round balconies. If staying at Creteil for 1 reason or another, there is a big shopping center (metro Prefecture), with supermarket, cinemas and many stores, and smaller ones in other subway stations with a supermarket and fewer stores (eg Université meter , the shopping center le Palais). The city has a lake and park (near the mall Creteil Soleil), which between buildings and residential towers there is no way to take a break in a corner of nature. The University, the Court, the shopping streets, a small town on, a bit far from Paris but with all the amenities needed!
Ivry is a town next to Paris in the south. The number 7 subway line is very close. It's a good option when visiting Paris on a budget. There are some hotels, which are usually cheaper than inside Paris, and line 7 takes you to the center of Paris in 25 minutes. Most students look for a flat Ivry because line 7 goes by Sorbonne and several universities. Ivry has a small, pretty center with a church and town hall. Then there is also an ugly part where officially protected buildings were quickly constructed in the 60s. The residents are a mixture of people that have spent 50 years living in Ivry, and people of all countries who arrived recently. For going out and leisure activities, there are many shopping centers in Ivry because the rent is cheaper than in Paris.
The mall is Marat Hachette off the 7 train "Mairie d'Ivry". This center was built 30 years ago, and because it is outside the city, it is quite ugly. It has a Carrrefour and several home stores, as well as African and Chinese shops which are cheap and more original. There are a couple of restaurants inside, and a French steakhouse downstairs. Since it is easily accessible via the underground, it is a good place to shop if you want to avoid the center of Paris. People appreciate the Paris Ivry because it doesn't fill up like the other malls. Two other centers are next to it, Quai de Seine and Bercy 2.
The Marat Hachette Mall is located off line 7 of the metro "Mairie d'Ivry". This center was built 30 years ago, and the exterior is ugly. It has a Carrrefour and several home stores, also African and Chinese shops that are a little more original and cheap. There are a couple of restaurants inside, and below a French steakhouse. As it is easily accessible by metro, it is a good place to avoid the center of Paris if you want to shop the sales eg. People of Ivry like to go into Paris, so the mall is not as full as other malls. There are two more centers next to this one, Quai de Seine and Bercy 2.
The commercial center of Bercy 2 is one of the largest in Paris although it's a little tricky to get to with public transport as there's no metro, and one bus from the line 14 "bercy" and takes you to the front of Bercy 2. This center is organized around a large Carrefour, and then you have 3 floors with shops, cosmetics, glasses and more. There are several restaurants including a Paul, a Chinese restaurant, a Mc Donalds. Brands include BHV, Celio, H&M and C&A. It's also a place where you have shops with small brands with affordable prices.
Créteil Soleil is a mall created in the 70s: As I am not a specialist in architecture, I couldn't tell you if the architecture is characteristic of that period! Interestingly, the center was and remains one of the biggest in the South of Paris: It features Carrefour supermarket and Fnac, several clothing stores, 20 restaurants, a store for adventurous sports and hiking equipment ... and an UGC cinema! It really is a good spot for those that need to shop around this area. Everything is at hand and it's just 2 minutes from the Metro exit Creteil Prefecture (line 8).