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Guide to Paris
Revised June 2009
Professor Stephen C. Solosky
©Stephen C. Solosky, 2009
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About the Author ................................................................................ 3 Introduction ....................................................................................... 4 My Favorite Museums, Monuments, and Attractions ................................. 4 Paris Museum Pass ............................................................................ 12 Favorite Dining Spots for Every Taste and Budget .................................. 14 Wine Bars ........................................................................................ 18 Concerts .......................................................................................... 18 Smoking .......................................................................................... 19 Flea Markets ..................................................................................... 19 Street Markets .................................................................................. 19 Shopping ......................................................................................... 20 Are Parisians Rude? ........................................................................... 20 Tipping ............................................................................................ 20 Language and Customs ...................................................................... 21 VAT-The Inside Scoop ........................................................................ 21 Handicapped Access .......................................................................... 21 Money Matters .................................................................................. 21 Transportation - Get to and From Everywhere Within Paris ...................... 22 Touring Paris by Bike or Bus ............................................................... 22 What You Can’t Get in Paris ................................................................ 23 Weather .......................................................................................... 23 Packing List ...................................................................................... 24 Meeting People and Making New Friends............................................... 24 Side Trips from Paris ......................................................................... 25 Other Useful Info .............................................................................. 26 Dangers and Warnings ....................................................................... 27 What To Do If You Lose Your Passport and/or Credit Cards ..................... 28 Where to Stay .................................................................................. 28 Paris With Children ............................................................................ 30 Traveler’s Resources .......................................................................... 31 CDG (Charles DeGaulle) Airport-The Ins and Outs ................................. 32 Jet Lag ............................................................................................ 33 Daily Travel Itineraries ....................................................................... 34 Trips Outside of Paris ......................................................................... 39 TravelingProfessor.Com ..................................................................... 43 Indexes ........................................................................................... 43
©Stephen C. Solosky, 2009
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About the Author
Stephen C. Solosky is a Professor of Mathematics/Statistics/Information Technology at Nassau Community College, in Garden City, New York. When he is not traveling, he splits his time between homes in Garden City, New York and the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. His favorite place to travel is Paris, of course. Other international favorites include Belgium, Spain, England, Germany and Italy. In the United States, he loves to travel to Baltimore, Annapolis, Chicago, New Orleans, Florida, and Las Vegas.
His guide to Paris has been distributed to thousands of people. He is also an engaging and entertaining speaker. He is widely sought after for his advice on traveling to Paris and to Europe. You may contact Professor Solosky at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website, www.travelingprofessor.com.
©Stephen C. Solosky, 2009
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This is my personal guide to Paris. It has been compiled through my many trips to Paris in recent years. Over time, I have made many discoveries and new friends in the City of Light. I have visited virtually every attraction, visited nearly every hotel, and dined at nearly all of the restaurants listed here. I give my personal recommendations as well as my opinions. In the few instances that I have not personally visited a place mentioned in this guide, the source of that reference is highly reliable. With this publication I show you some of my favorite spots. I give you valuable insight on how to make your vacation to Paris and France enjoyable and enriching. I have included useful time and money-saving tips that will let you relish this city without sacrificing luxury or comfort. This guide is brief and to the point. Not only does it include what just about any traveler to Paris needs to know, it leaves out what you probably don’t need to know. I have also included tips and pointers that you will not find in any other guide book. One of the great strengths of this book is the scores of useful links that will give you up-to-the-minute information on the topics covered here. Almost certainly, there is no other Paris guide book available that can provide the timely data that is offered through this guide book.
My Favorite Museums, Monuments, and Attractions
More than any city in the world, Paris is filled with a wide variety of quality attractions. Herein, I have noted the name of the site and the nearest métro station(s). Also noted is the day of the week (if any) the attraction is closed. I follow with a short description and my commentary (in italics). I also mention if the site accepts the Museum Pass, if applicable, for admission. In short, the Museum Pass is a pay-one-price card that gives unlimited access to over 60 museums and monuments in and near Paris. It is described in greater detail later on. The attractions are listed in alphabetical order, by keyword. For instance, “Musée de l’Armee” (Army Museum) is listed near the beginning because “Army” is the keyword that people most commonly associate the museum with. At the end of the guide, I have indexed all of the attractions into various categories in order to help you plan your visits. Most museums and monuments have individual admission charges of about 7-10 euros each. In general, churches, cemeteries, public places, and gardens do not have admission charges.
©Stephen C. Solosky, 2009
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Many museums don’t charge an admission fee on the first Sunday of the month. But beware, the crowds can be overwhelming. If you choose to visit museums on a free day, visit some of the lesser-known spots to avoid ultra-long lines and being squeezed. By and large, museums close one day a week, usually Monday or Tuesday. Generally, they also close on May 1, November 11, and December 25. A few museums like the Louvre and the Orsay maintain evening hours one or two days during the week. Some of the smaller museums may close for renovations or the installation of an exhibit. It is best to check the websites of museums you wish to visit so that you will not be disappointed when you arrive. Here are my favorite museums, monuments and attractions: American Cathedral in Paris Métro: George V or Alma Marceau Since 1886, this vibrant and lovely cathedral has served as a center of worship for English speakers in Europe. It is under the direction of the Episcopal Church. Inside, the flag of each state of the United States is flown. The cathedral maintains an active arts and social program – excellent if you are looking to meet other English speakers. Located at 23, avenue George V. Web site: http://www.americancathedral.org/index.html Arc de Triomphe Métro: Charles De Gaulle - Étoile Museum Pass: Yes This is one of the most recognizable monuments in Paris and in the world. Unknown Soldier is located here. It is the scene of U.S. soldiers liberating Paris and a symbol of victory for triumphant French troops. If you want a real challenge, try crossing the street to get to the monument (only kidding!). Actually, there are tunnels under the streets for you to access the arch. About 40 minutes. Web site: http://arc-de-triomphe.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/
The tomb of the
Musée de l'Armée (Army Museum) Métro: Varenne or La Tour Maubourg Museum Pass: Yes Closed: 1st Monday of Month (Winter Only) A museum dedicated to the French military. Military uniforms, weapons, and equipment from all eras of French history dominate this collection. This is a “do not miss” site. Go to the World War II exhibit and see how De Gaulle won the war. There is a very sobering exhibit in the World War II section on the horrors of the holocaust. 2.5 hours. Website: http://www.invalides.org/pages/anglais/menu_ang.html Musée des Arts et Metiers Métro: Arts et Metiers Museum Pass: Yes Closed: Mondays This museum contains artifacts of engineering, science, and technology. The first personal computer (so the French claim), the first automobile (so the French claim), and the first airplane (so the French claim) are located here. Foucault’s Pendulum, Edison’s machines, and TV’s from the 1930’s are just part of the fascinating collection. Essentially, it is a history of engineering and technology museum that is bound to surprise you with its amazing collection. Open late Thursday. 2-3 hours. Web site: http://www.arts-etmetiers.net/?lang=ang Basilique de Saint-Denis (Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis) Métro: Basilique de St-Denis Museum Pass: Yes It is the burial place of nearly all of the kings and queens of France. This is one strange place. You will see the tombs of people you read about in history books – Clovis, Marie
©Stephen C. Solosky, 2009
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the infamous Bastille prison is no longer here.Antoinette. some find it gruesome.5 hours. Web site: http://www. 2 hours. It is the residential neighborhood of hip bars and clubs. Website: http://www. For instance. It departs across the river from the Eiffel Tower near the Pont d’Alma. Lots of walking and steps. They also have a lunch and a dinner cruise that is enjoyable but pricey. People watch you as you pass through the locks. The collection here is quite varied.fr/english. 2009 Page 6 of 48 .htm Musée National du Moyen Age-Thermes et Hôtel de Cluny (Cluny Museum) Métro: Cluny La Sorbonne Museum Pass: Yes Closed: Tuesday This museum of medieval art is located in the heart of the Latin Quarter at the intersection of boulevards Saint-Germain and Saint-Michel.paris. 11 ½ hours. Web site: http://www.com/ Canal Saint Martin-Canauxrama Métro: Jaurès A lovely boat tour through the Canal Saint-Martin. Complete with historical commentary.vedettesdupontneuf. Sit at the very front of the boat. This is a good introduction to the city on your first day and a memorable farewell to Paris on your last night there. Solosky. Don’t miss this one for a relaxing day. Some people find it to be great. The artifacts and famous tapestries are impressive.fr/en/ Place de la Bastille Métro: Bastille Much to the surprise and disappointment of many tourists. I rest my weary legs on the day cruise. Located directly under Pont-Neuf at the tip of Île de la Cité. Bateaux Les Vedettes du Pont-Neuf Métro: Pont-Neuf An inexpensive one hour cruise up and down the Seine.lut?page_id=6468 Catacombs (Les Catacombs) Métro: Denfert-Rochereau Museum Pass: No Closed: Monday This is an underground quarry that holds about six million skeletons.com/ Bateaux Mouches Métro: Pont de l’Alma A boat ride down the River Seine. About 90 minutes. and personal effects of Marie Antoinette. 1 ½ -2 ©Stephen C. Take the opportunity to cruise through some of the most adorable neighborhoods in Paris.fr/portail/Culture/Portal.htm Musée Carnavalet Métro: St-Paul Museum Pass: Not Required Closed: Monday The museum of the history of Paris. Website: http://saint-denis. I highly recommend it. 1. Bring a flashlight and watch your head. An easy-going and worthwhile tour. It is a very relaxing and worthwhile tour.bateauxmouches. Check the website for sailing times and cruise discounts: www.canauxrama. Located in the Marais.catacombes-de-paris. there are dioramas of the Bastille. Depart from the Bassin de la Villette and end up at the Bastille. 30-40 minute métro ride from center of Paris.monuments-nationaux. It is absolutely fascinating. Website: http://www. it is an interesting exhibit. Louis XIV.com/e_saint-martin. Have a take-out lunch in the beautiful gardens. paintings of the construction of the Statue of Liberty. Not for the faint-hearted. Contained within are some unforgettable artifacts from the Middle Ages. It is on the site of ancient Gallo-Roman baths. I found it fascinating. This is one of my favorite hidden gems. In the evening I enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
louvre. Vermeer’s “The Lacemaker” and more. There is usually a special exhibit at the Conciergerie. Venus de Milo. Museum Web site: http://www. OK. Once hated by the Parisians.hours. Open late on Wednesday and Friday. if not a bit cheesy. Web site: http://conciergerie. The highlight is the massive.fr/en/ La Défense Métro: La Défense This is a business area actually located outside the perimeter of Paris at the end of the #1 métro line. but the great pieces get lost with within its massive space. Grande Arche. the Code of Hammurabi. especially on one of the “ponts” crossing the Seine. 2009 Page 7 of 48 . One hour. You have to go. Napoleon’s Apartments. The Crowning of Napoleon.fr/english_english. it is best viewed from afar at night.toureiffel. Currently the Musée de l’Informatique (History of Computing Museum) is located on the top floor of the Grande Arche. The collection is one of the most impressive outside of Asia. If you have lots of time and get a kick out of enormous buildings. Watch out for aggressive vendors and pick-pockets. Web site: http://www. it’s your first trip to Paris. Winged Victory of Samothrace (Nike). The famous glass pyramid that you saw in “The Da Vinci Code” is here. http://www. No doubt an extraordinary museum.fr/llv/commun/home.monuments-nationaux. The perfect ©Stephen C. Near Saint-Chapelle and Notre Dame. fit this one in. Web site: http://www.guimet. and I mean massive. it is now their symbol of pride. Web site: http://www. it’s masterpieces include Mona Lisa.php Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Métro: Bir-Hakim or Pont de l’Alma or École Militaire Museum Pass: No This is the most recognized landmark in the world. this museum should be on the top of your list.ladefense. Check out the marvelous sculpture. This large park is the home to royal gardens. Since it is a business center.5 hours.jsp?bmLocale=en Luxemborg Gardens Métro: Odéon or Cardinal Lemoine or Saint-Sulpice Located in the Latin Quarter. unless you go to the top which could take 2-4 hours. 45 minutes.html Conciergerie Métro: Cité Museum Pass: Yes This is a former jail that held famous prisoners such as Marie Antoinette and Robespierre during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. it is dead on the weekends and holidays.musee-moyenage. It was completed in 1889 for the Paris World’s Fair. Go at night – less crowds. Either get there very early in the morning or visit it in the evening.fr/-EnglishMusée du Louvre Métro: Louvre or Palais Royal Musée du Louvre Museum Pass: Yes Closed: Tuesday Perhaps most acclaimed museum in the world. Solosky. 1. In my opinion. The self-guided tour is interesting.fr/teiffel/uk/ National Museum of Asian Art Guimet Métro: Iéna Museum Pass: Yes Closed: Monday If you appreciate Asian art. You only need 2-3 hours here if you carefully plan it.fr/ang/index. The Louvre has an unparalleled collection of items covering the full spectrum of art through the ages. You can see Marie Antoinette’s jail cell depicted as it was while she awaited the guillotine.
Tours in English are held on Wednesday. Watch out for gypsies and pick-pockets. About 90 minutes to 2 hours. get there early.html Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris (Notre Dame Cathedral) Métro: Cité or St-Michel Notre Dame Museum Pass: Only for towers This cathedral is a classic example of 12th century Gothic architecture. A little bit out of the way. worn by Jesus. 2009 Page 8 of 48 . Web site: http://www.place for an afternoon stroll. 1-2 hours. The best kept secret in Paris. In my opinion. don’t waste your time or money on the show. It is helpful to have the audio tour. Combine with your trip to the Army Museum and Rodin’s gardens.com/uk/ Moulin Rouge Métro: Blanche This is the world-famous risqué cabaret house with the 19th century windmill atop of it. This attraction is in Montmartre and you may wish to visit during your trip to Sácre-Coeur. This is where I always start my trip in Paris. Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie are also in the immediate area. It has been entertaining audiences for over a century. and Sunday at 11:30 and 2:30.html Napoleon's Tomb Métro: Varenne or La Tour Maubourg Museum Pass: Yes Closed: 1st Monday of Month (Winter Only) The burial place of Napoleon and other famous French military heroes. Be like a real Parisian and have a picnic lunch here on a Sunday. you will notice a bronze marker from which all distances in France are measured from. You may recall it as the home of the “Phantom of the Opera”. Make sure you bring binoculars to view the stained glass and other objects. The Roissybus from CDG drops you here. It is a real tourist trap.fr/home-flash-gb. The Opéra is a gorgeous and romantic setting. It stands on Île de la Cité and is close to Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie. is put on display at Notre Dame every Friday during Lent and on the 1st Friday of each month. If you want to climb to the top of the cathedral. Île Saint-Louis is directly across the bridge from Notre Dame.marmottan.invalides.moulinrouge. Be careful. the Opéra Garnier is used primarily for ballet performances.fr/ Opéra Garnier (Palais Garnier) Métro: Opéra Museum Pass: No A romantic opera house located in the center of the city.org/pages/anglais/menu_ang.m. this is in a seedy area of Paris. Since the construction of the Opéra de Paris Bastille in 1989. Website: http://www. In the center of the “Parvis” (yes. The Crown of Thorns. the spelling is correct) or the plaza in front of the cathedral. ½ hour to 45 minutes. You may wish to visit the “Treasury” for a few euros inside the cathedral. before 9 a. The Museum Pass does not let you skip the line to climb the towers. A comprehensive collection of Monet’s paintings are displayed here in a relaxing atmosphere. Solosky. especially Monet. Web site: http://www.notredamedeparis. Website: http://www. quite different from what you will find at the Orsay. No photos. There is no admission fee to get into the cathedral itself. From July through August ©Stephen C. Musée Marmottan Métro: Muette Museum Pass: No Closed: Monday A museum containing some fabulous works of Impressionists. Don’t pass it by especially if you are an Impressionist art lover. Saturday.
l’Orangerie has re-opened and it is a triumph. the walkways are cobblestone and the terrain can be hilly. Dumas. Oscar Wilde. You need to consider that the cemetery is large and may take some time to cover. 1 ¼ hours. Maria Callas. Hugo and many more. Website: http://pantheon. authors. primarily because of its massive presence and grandeur. Web site: http://www. It is designed to display Monet’s wide paintings and the special exhibits downstairs are enchanting. politicians. It is a little bit out of the way from most other attractions. Gertrude Stein. Foucault’s Pendulum is on display and a video presentation (in English) is given. and artists. Restrooms may not be “modern”.fr/ Centre Pompidou . Website: http://www.fr/ Musée de l'Orangerie Métro: Concorde Museum Pass: Yes Closed: Tuesday Located in the Tuileries Gardens. this museum has an engrossing and varied collection of Picasso works.fr/ Musée d'Orsay Métro: Solférino Museum Pass: Yes Closed: Monday This grand museum is located in a former railroad station on the left bank. After many years of renovation.operadeparis. I found it to be quite interesting. Open late Thursday.fr/en/ Père Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetière du Père-Lachaise) Métro: Père Lachaise or Philippe Auguste Museum Pass: No Admission Fee This is a famous cemetery that is the final resting place of some legendary French and foreign writers. The sculptures are magnificent. The building is a work of art in itself. Buy the map at the entrance close to the “Père Lachaise” métro station. and many other recognized names are memorialized here. The museum is located in a 17th century hotel. Jim Morrison.com/perelachaise. The exhibits rotate on a regular basis.musee-picasso.fr/en/home. Keep an eye out for a few surprises too.html Panthéon Métro: Cardinal Lemoine Museum Pass: Yes The resting place of some of Paris’ most famous heroes: Curie.museeorsay.the tours are given every day. 2 hours. Start at the top floor where you will be surrounded by the greatest collection of Impressionist paintings in the world.htm Musée Picasso Métro: St-Paul Museum Pass: Yes Closed: Tuesday Located in the Marais. 2009 Page 9 of 48 . On permanent display are Monet’s Nympheas (Water Lilies). Web site: http://www.monumentsnationaux. Wear comfortable shoes. 1 hour. Have lunch in the restaurant in the museum. Crowded on weekends. This museum is a “must-see” for Picasso fans.pere-lachaise. Edith Piaf. There are many other works of art from a variety of artists on display. Web site: http://www. this museum is more enjoyable than the Louvre. It actually took me five trips to Paris before I visited the Panthéon. Solosky. musicians.Musée National d’Art Moderne Métro: Rambuteau or Châtelet Les Halles Museum Pass: Yes Closed: Tuesday ©Stephen C. Max Ernst. near Place de la Concorde. The works are constantly rotated and I never tire of visiting this museum. Voltaire. The video presentations are excellent. The web site is excellent: http://www. In my opinion. Don’t miss the moving holocaust monuments. You should spend two half-days here.musee-orangerie.
Watch for pick-pockets! To enhance your experience. Nearby is the Place du Tertre where you will see many portrait artists at work. Website: http://www.com/us/index. It provides a stunning view of the city. Combine with a trip to Napoleon’s Tomb and the Military Museum. they consistently ask to see this “memorial" more than any other site. Whenever I take people to Paris. Enjoy a “croque madame” at the Café du Musée on the corner. watch the movie “Amelie” before your visit. then there are times when it is nearly barren.htm Sácre-Coeur Métro: Abbesses or Anvers This 19th century basilica was built by on the highest point in Paris by the French government following the Franco-Prussian War. one short visit was enough. There are also regularly scheduled concerts here. Sometimes it is filled with tributes. This is another “can’t miss” place. the patron Saint of Paris. This church has the best collection of stained glass of the period. This is a delightful place for a quick rest after visiting the Panthéon. Web site: http://www.fr/en/?fl_r=4 Église Saint-Etienne-du-Mont Métro: Cardinal Lemoine Located behind the Panthéon. 1 hour. Open until 9 every night. Musée Rodin Métro: Varrene Museum Pass: Yes Closed: Monday This is the former residence of the famous sculptor. Website: http://www. This is one of the most popular visitor sites in Paris. the replica of the torch from the Statue of Liberty at the entrance to the tunnel where Princess Diana lost her life in 1997 stands as a symbol of French-American friendship. Despite its popularity. Upon her death. Very close to Notre Dame.monuments-nationaux. Bring a pair of binoculars. The bridges over the Seine.sacre-coeur-montmartre.fr/ Pont-Neuf Métro: Cité or St-Michel Notre Dame This bridge (pont) is the oldest in Paris and is depicted in paintings by many celebrated artists. especially those near Notre Dame. these areas are very safe at night.The Pompidou has an extensive collection of modern (20th century) art.musee-rodin.html Sainte-Chapelle Métro: Cité Museum Pass: Yes This is a church dating back to the 13th century. Take the funicular to the basilica.fr/welcome. A masterful collection of works of sculpture. For me.centrepompidou. 2009 Page 10 of 48 .5 hours. with a view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance. are most romantic at night. It is dedicated to St. Walk around the hilly neighborhood behind the church if you have time. Web site: http://saintechapelle. Impressive gardens and visitor center. this Gothic church stands on the site of an abbey founded by Clovis. Louis to house the Crown of Thorns. Generally. It was built by King St. Solosky. Princess Diana (Unofficial) Memorial Métro: Alma Marceau Officially. Home of “The Thinker”. people left remembrances and tributes to her at this site. Parisians have very mixed feelings regarding this museum. Genevieve. 1. The museum itself is a building that is inside-out. 2 hours. Admire the bright open space of this inviting ©Stephen C.
Website: http://www. Then. Often open until midnight. ½ hour.php?musee_id=23 Shakespeare & Company Métro: St-Michel This is an English bookstore located on the left bank on the Seine across from Notre Dame at 37. Website: http://www. Website: http://www. adults are astounded. Take the general tour and the special tours. I find the tour to be fascinating. Château de Versailles Métro: None.cite-sciences. The exhibits are very interactive and can be very contemporary.org/ Tuileries Gardens Métro: Concorde or Tuileries or Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre The Central Park of Paris.m. If you are in Paris in the hot weather. I would say most people visit about half a day. ½ to full day.com/ La Cité des Sciences et de l'lndustrie Métro: Porte de la Villette Museum Pass: Yes Closed: Monday A colossal science museum located on the outskirts of the city. rue de la Bûcherie. However.com/france/paris-st-etienne-du-mont. I understand the music museum is nearby. Solosky. take the RERC5 Museum Pass: Yes Closed: Monday A stunningly extravagant château and gardens just outside of Paris. ½ hour. It is near the Tower. Catch the renowned organ recitals at the Sunday 10:30 a.300 miles that make up the Paris sewer system. follow the crowd on a 15-minute walk from the station to the château. Appropriate for those interested in science and non-scientists alike. at the Pont de l’Alma. but I have never been to it.php Musée des Égouts de Paris (Sewers of Paris) Métro: Pont de l’Alma Museum Pass: Yes Closed: Thursday & Friday This is an hour-long tour of some of the 1.parismuseumpass.shakespeareco.sacreddestinations. others may not be so impressed. Martin. When you see the lines here. If you read The Da Vinci Code.châteauversailles. go here to cool off. It is perhaps the top science museum in the world. Website (not a good one): http://www. This is another one of the best kept secrets in Paris. It has gotten lots of tourists since the movie was released. you have heard of Saint-Sulpice.htm Église Saint-Sulpice Métro: Saint-Sulpice. Website: http://www.church before heading onto rue Mouffetard. I could spend 2 days here – seriously. mass. It was the palace of Louis XIV and a symbol of the lavish life he led. It is an interesting place and a great spot to meet other English speakers.com/en/musees_infos_pratiques. The grounds are perfect for a delightful stroll or a picnic.stsulpice. The best way to get to Versailles is to take the RER C5 train which takes about 30 minutes or so. The former prime meridian runs through this church. although not as big. 1 hour. Website: http://www. Located in front of the Louvre on the right bank. 2009 Page 11 of 48 . you’ll be glad you have the Museum Pass.fr/en/ ©Stephen C. Kids are amazed by this museum.fr/english/index. You can combine your trip here with a trip down the Canal St.
It is located in the 18th arrondissement.Place du Vert Galant Métro: Pont-Neuf or Cité This park is located right on the tip of Île de la Cité near Pont-Neuf. Visit Victor Hugo’s home at 6. This area is not known for quality hotels.hugo-online. Watch out for gypsies and pick pockets. Roosevelt or Champs-Élysées Clemenceau The Times Square of Paris.html Paris Museum Pass You must buy the Museum Pass (MP). A market is there on Sundays.Étoile or Franklin D.com/en/home. It is in a hilly and rural neighborhood near the outskirts of the city. they all have an element of charm that makes each one of them appealing in their own way. It comes in 2. cafés. Travelers under age 18 do not need a MP if they are accompanying an adult. shops. This is a great spot to watch the bateaux go up and down the Seine while enjoying a baguette avec fromage and a taste of wine. and bistros. Solosky. Champs-Élysées Métro: Charles de Gaulle . It is surrounded by picturesque 17th century townhouses. It has charming homes. You’ll save money too. Drop in on the splendid art galleries around the square. cafés. However. it is best to purchase it where there are fewer crowds (Cluny. Buy it anywhere that accepts the museum pass. some are smutty. and 6 consecutive day admissions for 32. A very Parisian type of neighborhood street. dine. some are cultured. 4. ½ to ¾ of a day if you go to Sácre-Coeur. Conciergerie. 48 and 64 euros respectively. Here are my picks for the best neighborhoods to visit: Rue Cler Métro: École Militaire This energetic cobblestone street has lively restaurants. and relax in. this is the oldest public square in Paris. Place du Tertre. and shops near the Eiffel Tower. In any case. and others are crude. place de Vosges. It extends from the Place de Concorde (at the end of the ©Stephen C. Montmartre Métro: Abesses or Anvers This is the most frequently visited tourist area in Paris. It can also be purchased at the orange Tourisme Information booths at the airport and at FNAC stores located throughout Paris. 30-45 minutes. Many Americans like this area to stay. Sácre-Couer is here as well as Moulin Rouge and Place du Tertre. Take the métro to Abbesses to start your visit. 2009 Page 12 of 48 .php Neighborhoods Each Parisian neighborhood has its own distinctive personality. Some are sophisticated.org/Paris/maison. and the surrounding neighborhood. Victor Hugo home website: http://www. The advantage to the MP is that it gets you into most of the attractions without having to wait in line. Some are chic.) so you don’t have to wait in line. Web site: http://www. Parts of Montmartre can be sketchy at night – especially Place Pigalle. Place des Vosges Métro: St-Paul Located in the heart of the Marais. etc.parismuseumpass.
There are many good. Afterwards. classic cafés. and theaters – Saint Germain des-Prés is for you. Solosky. but I certainly would not be unhappy being there. Cross the bridge (often you will see the street performers here) from Notre Dame to get there.Tuileries) to the Place de l’Étoile (where the Arc de Triomphe is located). Latin Quarter Métro: St-Michel. The Picasso Museum. This is by far my most favorite place to stay. cultural locales. I was pleasantly surprised. and due to the international air show. Have ice cream at Berthillon’s. bistros. Mouffetard Métro: Place Monge Rue Mouffetard is an old Parisian neighborhood full of charm. Bercy wouldn’t be my first choice as a place to stay. Île Saint-Louis Métro: No métro station on Île Saint-Louis. good shopping. moderately priced hotels in this area. 2009 Page 13 of 48 . gardens. I don’t particularly like this neighborhood. and Carnavalet (history of Paris museum) are in the neighborhood. Place des Vosges. It is a revitalized neighborhood that has regained prominence in the arts and culture and in dining. You get a true flavor of Paris while walking through this neighborhood. I reluctantly took a room in the outskirts of Paris in Bercy. Cluny-La Sorbonne. Place Monge and more The area on the left bank that has traditionally been the home of students. but some are impressed by its aura. and a lively village-like atmosphere. It is just over the bridge from Notre Dame and Île de la Cité. time-honored restaurants. It is the scene of wild celebrations following sporting victories. national accomplishments. It is the home of chic shops. not a bed was to be had near the center of town. It provides fast access into the center of Paris. Marais Métro: St-Paul This is the Jewish and the gay section of Paris. cafés. It is a charming walking neighborhood. Saint Germain des-Prés Métro: St Germain des-Prés Adjacent to the Latin Quarter on the left bank. Nearby Bercy Village has a nice collection of shops. and trendy art galleries. Bercy Métro: Cour St-Émilion Once I was in Paris. Cardinal Lemoine. shops. boulangeries and quaint shops. and galleries. If you want an area to comfortably walk to a mix of restaurants. A full day if you visit the museums. It is a great walking neighborhood. You will find glitzy stores. 3 hours. and restaurants. and special events. It lacks the glitz of Champs-Élysées but it is more of a traditional French neighborhood. I would compare it to the East Village in New York City. Located in the Latin Quarter. Eat a falafel at L’as du Fallafel on rue des Rosiers and have a pain au chocolate from one of the bakeries. ©Stephen C. Some charming small hotels and B&B’s are located here. Cité is closest This is a traditional Parisian neighborhood of cobblestone streets. bars. take a stroll down the Seine towards the Tour Eiffel. The Cour St-Émilion métro station is on what is called the “meteor” métro line. pâtisseries. cinemas.
2009 Page 14 of 48 .behind the Panthéon. but make sure that you get a confirmation of your reservation. By law. 1st arrondissement. 39.com/public_us/cest_aussi/fr_aulyonnais. Top! You need to reserve a day or two ahead of time. inexpensive ethnic restaurants. I think someone can even get away with spending under 20 euros for a decent meal by staying away from the tourist areas. 226. Reservations not necessary. Métro: Concorde or Tuileries. but most restaurants are open for dinner at 6 or 7 p. Angelina. or just stop by the restaurant a few days in advance. the price includes tax and tip. Place Andre Malraux. This restaurant is in the shadow of the great museum on rue de Rivoli.m. 28. there are plenty of places that you can eat very well for under 100 euros or even 50 euros (with wine) for two. rue de Rivoli. all restaurants must display their menus with prices outside the restaurant. A big. listed geographically: L’Ardoise. It is popular with the locals as well as the tourists. rue St-Marc. Located in the Hôtel du Louvre. This is a world-famous salon de thé on Rue de Rivoli near the Louvre along the Tuileries Gardens. See the section on “Tipping” later on in this guide. I like the traditional choucroute garnie dish with a bottle of ©Stephen C. Solosky. Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée. Some claim it is too touristy.com Aux Lyonnais. Then again. Favorite Dining Spots for Every Taste and Budget Parisians have dinner later in the evening than we do. See the notes I have made regarding reservations on some of my selections. this is an eclectic area of boutiques. This is a touristy place that reputedly serves the best hot chocolate in Paris along with divine pastries. If you wish.000 for dinner at places like l’Ambroise. or Le Grand Véfour. http://www. 2nd arrondissement.alainducasse. Métro: Bourse or Richelieu-Drouot. Métro: République. Métro: Palais Royal or Musée du Louvre. 3rd arrondissement. you always need reservations. Brasserie du Louvre. 1st arrondissement. The seating can be tight and you may have to wait for a table. by phone. Métro: Concorde or Tuileries. it is certainly worth a visit. At the top restaurants. and a typical Parisian market. In almost all cases.S. If you have in mind a place where you really want to dine. 32. you can easily spend $1. An Alain Ducasse restaurant for 100 euros for two? You bet.hoteldulouvre. Alsatian restaurants generally have hearty dishes.htm Chez Jenny. 1st arrondissement. I suggest you make reservations through your concierge. Dress is a little bit more formal (no jeans or sneakers) than in the U. http://www. but here are my picks. rue du Temple. Nothing special. rue du Mont-Thabor. lively Alsatian spot near the Place de la République. others love it. I have eaten at this bistro a few times and it is always good. You can also try requesting a reservation by e-mail. About 125 euros for two. bright. Reserve a day or two in advance. In any case. I just like it. I need to say that half the fun is finding and discovering your favorite restaurants on your own.
http://www. A Jewish deli-type of restaurant in the Marais. you don’t need a reservation. Web site: http://www. Métro: Maubert-Mutualite. Reservations needed for weekends.com/en/index. Métro: St-Michel. 4th arrondissement. Moderate. What a view of Notre Dame from the left bank! I have spent many a late evening sitting at this café with friends. 5th arrondissement. 4th arrondissement. rue de la Bastille. I found the management and waiters to be quite friendly and accommodating. The menu (except for the prices) has not changed in 75 years. I have heard the food is good too. rue Saint Louis en l'ile. Moderate (100 euros for two). http://www.berthillon. 5th arrondissement. Carrefour de l’Odéon. 151. Monuments. 29-31. If you are not conversant in French. It’s romantic. 2009 Page 15 of 48 . It is near the Cluny. try Chartier.lepreverre.lecoupechou.fr/ Café Le Petit Pont. especially the fruit flavors.html Bofinger. across the street from the Hôtel du College de France.html Brasserie Lipp. 34. Métro: Maubert-Mutualite. so it’s difficult to get a table immediately before or after the opera.gewurztraminer.ila-chateau. Website: http://www. A turn of the century Parisian favorite. Solosky.fr ©Stephen C. you might spot a celebrity here. If you want something on the same style. Métro: Odéon. I highly recommend this restaurant. It is very close to Shakespeare & Company bookstore (see entry under “My Favorite Museums. 6th arrondissement. 5. A great little take-away (“emporter” in French) place or fine for a sit-down lunch. The lunch formule costs half of that. Métro: Bastille. 8. Ask to be seated on the main floor. 4. 6th arrondissement. Some say they have the best ice cream in the world-try the pampelmousse.bofingerparis. Usually. Inexpensive.com/en/ L’As du Fallafel. The ice cream flavors are heavenly.com/lipp/ Les Éditeurs. Reservations a day or two before dining are recommended. http://www.com/ Le Coupe Chou. You need to reserve a day or two in advance. The menu is traditional French/Alsatian. I had my first meal ever in Paris here. Blvd Saint Germain. but less expensive. 9-11. Le Pré Verre.chezjenny. It’s near the Bastille opera house. You know it has to be good if the Parisians line up to get into the place. and Attractions”). I never had dinner here but I would rendezvous with my French friends for a café au lait or a light snack. Sometimes they have jazz in the evenings. If you look closely. 5th arrondissement.lesediteurs. I like it so much for their 5-7 euro falafels (they call them “Cocktail de Viandes” which literally means “Meat Cocktail) that I keep their business card tacked on my corkboard in my kitchen. Even though the crowd is mostly French. it’s very French. Métro: St Germain des-Prés. rue du Petit Pont. Americans seem to love this place located in the Latin Quarter. and the food is good. rue de Lanneau. it’s reasonable. Métro: St-Paul. They are closed in August – yes that’s right – closed in August. Dinner for two is about 125-150 euros or so. http://www. 4th arrondissement. http://www. 1. you might have some difficulty. They offer a prix fixe menu for about 30 euros each that makes it the best dinner bargain in Paris. rue Thenard. Berthillon.com/English-informations_r28. rue des Rosiers. Make a reservation a day or two beforehand. Métro: Cité This is a famous ice cream shop and salon de thé located on Île Saint-Louis.
6th arrondissement. with wine. he would love to chat with you.php A La Petite Chaise. It is authentically French. The place is hard to find.aspx Les Cocottes. It’s a lot of fun. No reservations. Métro: Grands Boulevards.restaurantchartier. trendy. but Pâtisserie Viennoise’s is better. This left-bank Guy Savoy restaurant is in the shadow of the Notre Dame Cathedral. and classic.. rue St. You can get an appetizer (called an entrée in Paris).alapetitechaise. 8. Dominique. 36 rue de Grenelle.S. it is casual and not expensive. It is good. 53. Quai des Grands Augustins.com/1. It is cozy. Métro: Rue du Bac. You can sit down inside with the Sorbonne students if you wish. 6th arrondissement. 7. Dominique. 7th arrondissement. My lunch (for 2) cost 54 euros with wine. This (not le Procope) is the oldest restaurant in Paris. 7th arrondissement. Don’t expect to find many tourists at this small Brittany restaurant. The tables are close. Chartier. What a classic pastry shop! I go out of my way to have breakfast here. rue Princesse. although I walked in with no ©Stephen C. 10. Métro: École Militaire. wine (or water) for about 20 euros. or Seoul. Métro: St Germain des-Prés or Saint-Sulpice This is a well-liked and friendly spot. The food is not the best.lesbouquinistes. charming.com/www/visit/filsdesans. but go here to eat as the Parisians have been doing for about 100 years. Métro: École Militaire. rue de Belzunce.cafeconstant. Website: http://www. 110 euros for two. just line up outside and chat up the friendly crowd as you wait to get in. I would reserve a day or two in advance.Bistrot d’Henri. You are most likely to see Chef Constant there. It is moderately priced and a prix fixe menu is available. 135.fr/english. 10th arrondissement. but that’s fine because everyone always seems to be social and willing to share their travel stories. rue St. The food is good. http://www.m. 16. Buenos Aires.htm Café Constant. a plat (what we call an entrée in the U. Warsaw. Near Champ de Mars and Rue Cler. dessert. but your taste buds will be rewarded for your efforts. Les Bouquinistes. and hip. Closed weekends. 2009 Page 16 of 48 . It should be less than 100 euros for two. and most likely. Métro: St-Michel. http://www. rue de l’École de Médecine. 9th arrondissement. 7th arrondissement. I found the staff to be obliging and the food to be good. rue Faubourg Montmartre.php Chez Michel. Métro: Odéon. I eat here at least once every time I go to Paris. Solosky. Set up almost like an American diner. I thought this restaurant was the perfect choice for a Valentine’s Day dinner I recently enjoyed here. About 200 euros for two. Another Christian Constant gem.com/en/accueil. Get the “Île Flotante” for dessert. Great food. Métro: Gare du Nord or Poissonnière. They stop seating at precisely 10 p. http://www. 139. 6th arrondissement. You may find your self sharing a water bottle and bread basket with a Parisian or someone from Finland. Pâtisserie Viennoise. Casual. Angelina may have the reputation of having the best hot chocolate in town.
Solosky. but everyone else I know of who has eaten here likes it. If you are in the area.nytimes.htm Le Buerre Noisette. it is the place to be. Chez Michel is one of my top choices. Website (French): http://www. • • • Also. if you look in the NY Times online. go over to rue Cler (métro École Militaire) with all of the other Americans to enjoy a good meal. There have been reports of unclean conditions and some cases of food poisoning. It is full of souvenir shops and lively. but the food is good.leon-de-bruxelles. address your server as “monsieur” or “madame”. Other Recommendations: • For a very romantic dinner. 15th arrondissement. the food was unexceptional. I have personally never had a problem here.. Make sure you tell Hakim that I sent you! Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter (métro Place Monge or Censier Daubenton) has an assortment of ethnic restaurants offering meals at popular prices. Métro: Lourmel or Porte de Versailles It is hard to get to and you won’t see many tourists either.php I can’t ever remember dining at a more romantic setting. s'il vous plâit?” ©Stephen C.com/1728_paris/restaurant. Métro: Concorde or Madeleine). The beauty and grandeur of this Belle Époque restaurant more than compensates for the mediocre food. This is a pedestrian street located in the Latin Quarter starting at Blvd. rue Grégoire de Tours. 68. There are some excellent reviews of inexpensive Paris bistros. A word of warning: rue de la Huchette. Germain and get off the Odéon métro station in the 6th. Service is casual. Léon de Bruxelles is a chain of inexpensive to moderate brasseries. rue Vasco de Gama. Expensive and you need a reservation. Le Train Bleu.le-trainbleu. downstairs for a communal environment. Ask to be seated on the main floor for a more intimate experience. It is less expensive than comparable restaurants. Saint-Michel (métro: St-Michel). go to rue Grégoire de Tours between rue de Buci and Boulevard St. My favorite is Au Beaujolais at 9. No air conditioning. your bill may not be brought to you unless you ask for it as in “Monsieur.restaurant1728.com/uk/navigation. Web site: http://www. About 100 euros for two. however I urge caution. inexpensive falafel shops and restaurants (mostly Greek and Asian). (www. Located in the Gare de Lyon train station in the 12th arrondissement. In general.com). I have eaten in nearly all of them. try 1728 in the 8th (8 rue d'Anjou. 2009 Page 17 of 48 . I was with a group of about 20 people and we ordered from a special menu. I like it for a quick and simple meal of moules frites (mussels and fries) and other Belgian treats. For a little bit more money. Cocktails were at an exorbitant 14 euros each. In all fairness. go to the Paris section of the travel section and look for an article “Does the Affordable Paris Bistro Still Exist? Oui” by Mark Bittman. l'addition.fr/ For a variety of inexpensive restaurants with good food and service. As I said. Website: http://www.problem. When dining. No air conditioning.
Once you get there you can browse for and buy tickets for virtually all concerts in Paris. Website: http://www. but easy enough to figure out. Wine Bars There are few experiences more Parisian than spending an afternoon at a “Bar à Vins”.com/ The FNAC site is mostly in French. 11th. this relatively new wine bar features organic wines. famous for its cheeses. The métro is Saint-Sulpice.com/. plat. Here are some of my favorite wine bars in Paris: Bistrot Melac. Website: http://www. They boast that over 600.Finally. hip crowd comes alive. It is filled with market traders and flea market shoppers during the day. 42 rue Léon Frot. the young.paris-update. There are several FNAC department stores located throughout Paris.htm Le Baron Bouge. it is a quiet spot for some good wines and relaxation. 1. enjoy some light fare (how about a dozen oysters and a plate of saucissons and fromage?).html Another good guide for finding all types of concerts is this website: http://www. I love to attend classical music concerts while in Paris. Taverne Henri IV.000 glasses of Bordeaux are served annually here. Métro: Ledru-Rollin This is what comes to mind when you think “Bar à Vins”. Wine bars are casual places for people to meet.com/restaurants/racines. At night. Solosky. Open weekdays. Métro: Cité or Pont-Neuf Conveniently located near the most popular tourist sites on the tip of Île de la Cité. Métro: St-Michel This wine bar offers delectable wines with simple. and drink wine.m. quai des Grands Augustins.leclusebaravin. There are also four other locations.htm L’Ecluse. rue Théophile Roussel. They sell tickets for all types of concerts and performances. Concerts ©Stephen C.com/Docs/concerts. In my judgment. you usually get an entrée. this is usually the best value. 1st. The schedule for concerts held at Sainte-Chapelle. many restaurants propose a “prix fixe” meal called a “formule” (usually for lunch) or a “menu” for dinner. Website: http://stsulpice. Passage des Panoramas. Métro: Charonne Since 1938 people have been discovering little-know wines from the Languedoc and Loire regions here.html Racines. 6th. seasonal cuisine. 13 place du Pont-Neuf. In essence. the American Cathedral in Paris can be found at http://www.melac.fnacspectacles.com/us/lecluse_1. mass that are quite grand. 2nd. Website: http://www. The menu features foods from the Aveyron region. dessert. Another venue is Église Saint-Sulpice which hosts organ concerts at the Sunday 10:30 a. 15. 12th.fr/pages/english. 2009 Page 18 of 48 . Métro: Grands Boulevards Located in an enclosed passageway.ampconcerts. and sometimes wine and coffee for a set price.
operadeparis. this is no longer the case. Even when the market is not open it is busy with interesting boutiques. Having such tempting produce. In some of the hotel rooms I have stayed in. Marché Mouffetard. You may wish to keep this in mind when booking a room. I have detected at a slight cigarette smoke odor. and shops. It is enormous. Open Saturday through Monday from 7:30 am to 6 p. and other delectable items at your fingertips makes you want consider cancelling your flight home and just stay here forever. Located near the Les Halles métro. Open weekend mornings. An organic food market on Sunday morning and on Tuesday. This is a smaller flea market but the vendors at les Puces de Paris can often be found here buying merchandise for their larger market. especially at the Palais (Opéra) Garnier.com/ Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves Located on avenue Georges Lafenestre & avenue Marc Sangnier. It is crowded with cafés and bars. Watch for pickpockets and scam artists at flea markets. The website is: http://www. Marché Montorgeuil. Website: http://www. Rennes or Babylone métro station. On Friday it offers a wider variety of products. Métro: Porte de Vanves. but savvy flea market shoppers will tell you to go to the smaller market at Porte de Vanves. Some people like this enchanting market best of all. Rue Cherche Midi/Rue de Rennes in the 6th. Some people think Marché Mouffetard is everything Paris should be. Rue Montorgeuil in the 2nd. items at Paris flea markets are rarely bargains. Street Markets One of the great pleasures in visiting Paris is in strolling through the charismatic street markets that are scattered throughout the city.m. you will still find a few people doing it.Paris has two major opera houses. ©Stephen C. Flea Markets There are quite a few flea markets all over Paris. The market is Tuesday through Sunday. It might just be the largest in the world. cheese. Bring cash and be prepared to haggle for the best price. meats. They host a wide variety of performances in addition to opera. 2009 Page 19 of 48 . Here are two of my favorite flea markets: Les Puces de Paris Métro: Porte de Clignancourt or Porte de St-Ouen This is the mother of all flea markets. However. This is a charming street market open Tuesday and Sunday.fr/cns11/live/onp/site/index. restaurants. Métro: Place Monge or Censier-Daubenton. Solosky. Although laws have been recently passed in an effort to ban smoking in restaurants.parispuces. Merchants offer products from all over the world.php?lang=en Smoking I used to say that Parisian restaurants have two sections: smoking and chain-smoking. I suggest that you visit these street markets: Marché Raspail. Happily for most. breads.
I rarely have an issue with Parisians if I follow their protocol. This is a compact market where I often start my day in Paris. they will back right down and quickly become your best friend. Solosky. Tipping In most restaurants. anything more is excessive. The menu will indicate this by stating “service compris”.html. a one or two euro tip after you have received your bill is very generous. If I find the concierge being helpful. gracious. The same applies for a taxi ride. If you use your concierge service at your hotel. Trust me. Americans sometimes feel very uncomfortable about leaving no tip or a small tip. be polite but firm to them. Paris does have some large department stores (les Grands Magasins). But that’s part of the reason why Paris is so much fun! Seriously. However. I am in their country. If you are in Paris from November through December. ©Stephen C. and a wide variety of shops and boutiques. I rarely shop while I am in Paris. Generally.net/France/Paris/Shopping/Paris_deptstores. and hospitable.discoverfrance. pâtisseries. Not only are there the traditional vendors but you will also find cafés. Parisians expect a greeting before a conversation is initiated. salon de thés. Open daily.shtml http://www. If you don’t. It is true that some Parisian waiters can be surly. I usually say “bonjour. All in all. a two euro tip per person is generous. Other popular shopping locations include le Bon Marché on the left bank. tip them. if you encounter a rude waiter. I will give a 10-20 euro tip at the beginning of my stay and another 10-20 at the end if he/she has been helpful. check out the jolly holiday window displays. The Champs-Élysées is a popular shopping spot where you will find contemporary chic fashions.com/Paris/Shopping/Department_Stores/index. and BHV which is a combination of a French Home Depot and Macy’s rolled into one. hello” to show them I appreciate their language but that I speak English. 2009 Page 20 of 48 . they may be impolite to you. Here are some links for you to investigate: http://www. the tip is included in the price of the meal. they may think YOU are rude and in turn. and Are Parisians Rude? When you walk into a shop or restaurant.10best.Marché Rue de Buci. After all. At a bar. I need to emphasize that the overwhelming majority of Parisians are friendly. In a moderately priced restaurant. Located near the Odéon or Mabillon métro. Shopping This is one area that where I have little expertise. bookstores. Along Boulevard Hausmann in the Opéra district you will find more traditional department stores like Au Printemps and Galleries Lafayette.
I ©Stephen C. There are plenty of ATM’s in Paris and an American-issued bank card will work with them. some streets are paved in cobblestone making walking on them difficult if you don’t have appropriate footwear. Each time. The commissions can be excessive. I always offer a lady my seat on a crowded bus or métro.hurktoilet. or works of art. VAT-The Inside Scoop The VAT (Value Added Tax) is like a hidden sales tax (about 19. does not provide the services and accommodations for handicapped or elderly that we have here in the U. most banks also charge a foreign transaction fee (about 3%) when you use it. The French tend to be a bit more formal than we are here in the United States. “merci”. One thing you may have trouble with if you don’t know ANY French is reading a menu. If you make a large purchase (over 175 euros) on items like jewelry. Here is a website for more info: http://www.6%) added on to just about everything you buy. ask the retailer about how you can get your VAT refunded. bank like Citibank or Chase.php Money Matters In France and in much of Europe. and “pardon”. Foreign transaction fees apply when you use an ATM. the exception is if you use the Capital One bank card. Some restaurants and facilities have Turkish toilets. if you don’t know what a Turkish toilet is. hello” before I begin a conversation. civil service workers. Try to avoid using currency exchange offices to change dollars into euros. Solosky. The exception is the Capital One credit card.com/ Handicapped Access Unfortunately Paris and Europe in general. “s'il vous plâit”. I always greet any Parisian. And. in the tourist areas of Paris.S. There are no foreign transactions fees. bring at least 2 different ATM cards with you with at least one of them being from a major U. you just might hear English spoken more than you would hear it on the streets of Manhattan.S. clothes. you should make an effort to use the French you already know as in “bonjour”. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to get a basic French language book describing what you might find on a menu rather than using the risky “point and pray” method when ordering. Also. Once again. As mentioned before. see this: http://www. In fact. In Paris. To be on the safe side. Please be aware that some buildings and public transportation have inadequate facilities for those who may be physically challenged. I advise that you use your credit card as much as possible to get the true conversion rate. I end my exchange with “merci” or “au revoir”.Language and Customs Do you need to speak French to get by? Absolutely not. or anyone else for that matter. If possible. including retail clerks. but it is not absolutely necessary. 2009 Page 21 of 48 .S. A good percentage of Parisians understand basic English and many signs are also in English. U. However. with “bonjour. bring some euros with you when you depart for Paris. dollars are not accepted. However.globalrefund.nl/hurk-en. the euro is the standard currency.
Get to and From Everywhere Within Paris If you ask me.fr/ Touring Paris by Bike or Bus I am not a big fan of organized tours. Rarely will you need to walk more than 5-10 minutes to find a métro station. designed well. there are times when an organized touring activity is fun and worthwhile. when I went to the Loire Valley.m. The métro system stops running at about 12:30 a. I always notify my bank that I will be traveling to Europe and using my credit or bank card on the trip. For métro/bus/RER maps. but it only starts on a Monday. métro. you would pay about $1. If you are taking a side trip outside of Paris. whereas a tourist is limited to only what is shown to him. Since about 2002. The public transportation system is so good. on weekends.m. Another option is to purchase the “Passe Navigo Découverte” commuter pass for about 16 euros a week plus a 5 euro fee to get your initial Passe Navigo Découverte.S.yahoo. take a train to your first destination then rent a car from there. there is no need to drive. The traffic is awful. American credit cards do not work here as they do not have a certain microchip embedded in them that the European cards have. clean. Transportation . or train station. It is safe. go to: http://www. every day.com/currency/convert?amt=1&from=EUR&to=USD&submit=Convert Before I depart for my trip. Here are my two recommendations: Fat Tire Bike Tours ©Stephen C. However. you will be unfamiliar with the roads. and it runs frequently. For the latest exchange rate. and the parking is a nightmare.40 to get a euro. It commences at about 5:30 a. In June of 2009. Usually. the dollar has weakened significantly against the euro.40 euros. check out: http://finance. The bus system is good too. The Paris métro system is one of the best in the world.60 euro per ticket. on weekdays and about 1:30 a. For instance. The same tickets are used for both the bus and métro system. 2009 Page 22 of 48 . You will also need a small photo (a reduced in size copy of your passport photo will suffice). Don’t get persuaded into buying the Paris Visite pass. It gives you unlimited access to the métro and bus system for a week. When you use individual tickets to travel. Solosky.ratp.had trouble getting money with an ATM card from my local credit union. A métro or bus ride costs the same. I took the train to Tours and rented my car there. It is rarely to your advantage to do so. you have to be out of your mind to be a tourist and drive in Paris. make sure you hold onto it until you exit the bus. or a “carnet” of 10 tickets for about 11. You can buy individual tickets at about 1. efficient. inspectors can fine you on the spot if you are not holding your ticket. regardless of distance traveled. Gas costs much more than it does in the U.m. It is my general philosophy that a traveler explores and discovers on his own. At train stations there are kiosks where tickets may be purchased. Although it is uncommon.
I love the FTBT. except on a smaller scale. etc. In January it can snow. If you want to blend in and look like a Parisian. the only thing you couldn’t get in Paris that you could get in the U. convenience stores. many of the best restaurants and a good number of shops are closed in August while many Parisians go on vacation.com/paris-opentour. I recall it being 70 degrees one day in February. they have everything in Paris that we have here in the U. It can be brutally crowded and expensive at these times. The weather can be cold in the winter (35-45 degrees). a nice scarf will do it.S. ©Stephen C. And remember.pariscityrama. Once I was there in late June and it was in the 50’s. In fact. the airfares are expensive. the hotels charge “peak” prices. I like traveling during the off-peak period which is from the middle of October until the middle of May. and the Orsay. the Louvre. A/C is not as prevalent in Paris as it is in the U. and you’ll get some exercise too. Yet. 2009 Page 23 of 48 . There are a couple of open bus tours but the one I like is the Paris l’Open Tour. it rains about 165 days per year. The cost is 29 euros for one day. t-shirt and anything with a logo on it.. In short. Children cost 15 euros for two days. A light jacket in the summer months might be a good idea. There are supermarkets. The day tour cycles by landmarks like Napoleon’s Tomb. detergent. If you take the evening tour you’ll see the sites as you pedal over to Île Saint-Louis. drugstores.com/paris Hop-On. Web site: http://fattirebiketours. I always bring an umbrella. Sometimes in the summer it can get into the 90’s. The tour is organized with a maximum of 20 bikers starting near the Eiffel Tower. Weather The inconsistent Paris weather never ceases to amaze me. wear long pants (jeans are OK). I know I am assimilating myself to the French culture when the French come up to me to ask me questions.S. you leave the bikes behind for a cruise down the Seine with a glass of French wine in your hand. Solosky. Be wary of traveling when special events like the Paris air show is going on (usually in June. And if you really want to fit in. They’re fun. was coffee in a paper cup! Sundry items like film.S. What You Can’t Get in Paris Paris is a big city. wear sneakers.S. Until the arrival Starbucks. You might consider carrying it along with you from the U. but rarely more than an inch or two. deodorant. Website: http://www. the city is crowded and the weather can be hot. and shaving cream can be expensive in Paris. you’ll meet people. 32 euros for 2 days (hint: get the 2-day pass). Hop-Off (HOHO) Bus If you are feeling a bit lazy and you want to leave the driving to someone else. dark shirt. Regardless of season. and comfortable shoes. try a HOHO open bus tour. Then. every other year) or during sporting events like major soccer tournaments. What to Wear If you want to look like a tourist. Furthermore. You get a better feel of the “layout” of the city as opposed to traveling underground. A lunch break at the Tuileries gives you the opportunity to relax and make new friends. shorts. When to Visit In the summer. It usually rains like cats and dogs in the springtime.
com. however. Plastic Shopping Bags – supermarkets can charge a fee for plastic shopping bags.fusac. especially in the springtime. Lastly. This usually involves having dinner or some other type of similar event with anywhere from 2-25 travelers. Two ATM Cards .The fall is usually mild. www. Bring some of your own from home if you plan to shop for groceries. In that situation. Paris does not have as many elevators or escalators as you’ll find in the U. where I do want to socialize and meet up with others. I’ve seen listings for people interested in getting together on www. Plastic bags also have many other uses beyond the supermarket. I can discover more.tripadvisor. here are some items that I bring on every trip: • Comfortable Walking Shoes – this is my #1 recommendation. snip the photo from your passport copy and apply it to your métro pass. In the U. Umbrella – it rains quite regularly in Paris.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/local/FRXX0076?from=search_city Packing List I recommend that you pack as lightly as you can. walking on uneven surfaces such as cobblestone. too. There are times.virtualtourist. In Paris you can find them at BHV (a department store near the Hôtel de Ville) or the 'Au Vieux Campeur'. just give them a photocopy.weather. • • • • • • • • • Meeting People and Making New Friends Most of the time.traveldaddy.org. it is much easier to replace if you have a copy. Métro/Bus/RER Map – available at http://www.php# Student/Teacher/Senior Citizen ID – lots of discounts are available if you fit into one of these categories. camera.. www. However. The websites www.S.com. I love the freedom to walk wherever I want to go and at my own pace. a camping store with multiple locations in the Latin Quarter. you’ll need a 2 pin 220 volt adapter. Solosky. I go on 14-day European trips with just a carry-on.ricksteves. In case your passport gets lost. For Paris weather.ratp. have enjoyed them. Make sure there is money in the checking account. Electric Plug Adapter – if you want to charge your cell phone. Not only will you walk a lot – but you will be going up and down stairs and on many occasions. Bring band-aids for those blisters. Passport – bring at least 2 color copies of your passport in addition to your original. pick one up at Radio Shack.com and www.info/informer/anglais/index. I do laundry in my hotel room or I find a full-service laundromat to drop off my clothes for pick up later in the day. I travel alone to Paris. As for clean clothes. and spend as much time as I like when I go solo. Sometimes hotels ask you to leave a copy of your passport with them. ©Stephen C.S.craigslist.com and www. Binoculars – great for close up looks at all of that stained glass. etc. You don’t want to be dragging bulky luggage up and down stairs or trying to cram it in small taxis.preferably from a major bank.com have listings of “meetings” where travelers can connect with each other. I’ve met some people that I have kept contact with over a long period of time. I’ve been to two or three of these gatherings and for the most part. some transportation options such as the “Passe Navigo Découverte” require a photo. check this link: http://www. Just reduce the size of the passport photo by about 40% when you photocopy it. Then. 30-50 Euros – just to get you started before you hit an ATM. 2009 Page 24 of 48 .
My favorite châteaux are Château de Chenonceau. For instance.relaischateaux. I stayed in châteaux that I found in the Relais & Châteaux guide. I have always been able to strike up a conversation at Starbucks.I drove from Paris to Chartres. Château de Cheverny. except in Bayeux (near the Normandy invasion beaches). I then embark on a 3-4 day road trip. But make sure that you do that in the beginning of your trip so that if you make friends. A trip to Orléans is very nice to examine the history of Joan of Arc. An alternative printed guide for less expensive accommodations is Pudlo France. I wind up with a stay in Paris for a few more days. Champagne Region – I took a day trip to Reims where I visited the “caves” of all the famous champagne makers like Pommery. Château de Chambord. have communal tables where I have met some interesting people. TGV (high speed train) to Tours. and Honfleur. Dinan. Piper-Heidseck and Taittinger. Solosky.jim-haynes. While in Bayeux. From there I drove up to Bruges in Belgium for a 2-day stay. Vilandry. 2009 Page 25 of 48 . There are no shortages of wineries to visit in the Loire Valley.com/. Generally. check his website: www.com Side Trips from Paris During longer stays in France (more than a week). Saint-Michel. Another way to meet people is to go where other travelers congregate.com/ ). An American ex-pat. I then flew home from Brussels. You can easily enjoy 7 days in the Loire. and Azey-le-Rideau. Rouen. be like the Queen of England or General Eisenhower and stay and dine at the Lion d’Or. From there I went to Bayeux from where I visited the Normandy Invasion Beaches and the American Cemetery. For details. A resource I use is for places to stay is the Relais & Châteaux guide. so I have never really had trouble finding a place to stay without a reservation. That visit literally changed my life. hotels and B&B’s outside of Paris are inexpensive. Jim Haynes hosts a dinner at his home for about 50-100 people on Sunday evenings. rented a car and spent 2-3 days visiting the fairy-tale castles and sampling the wines. Mt. I’ve never done either. I don’t usually travel to Paris in the summer. you will be able to enjoy each other’s company for the duration of your stay. You might be interested in taking a cooking or a language class while in Paris. Here are my favorite side trips from Paris: • Loire Valley – The châteaux here are like something out of a storybook. but a 2 or 3 day trip is doable. I attended one evening and met quite a few English-speaking guests and made some new friends. I took the • Normandy . • ©Stephen C. Web site: www. Some restaurants like Chartier.Use common sense and normal precautions when meeting strangers in Paris. Mumm.atelierdeschefs. but I have heard positive comments on L'Atelier des Chefs (http://www. I like to arrive in Paris and stay for a couple of days. Jim is very welcoming and makes you feel right at home.
on weekends. Luckily. The Bus: It uses the same tickets as the métro.fr/ and here is a link to the route of the #69 bus: http://www. s’il vous plâit”. you need to lift up a latch on the door in order for it to open. 2009 Page 26 of 48 . If you go. Web site for métro and bus: http://www. It is primarily designed to bring commuters from the suburbs back and forth from Paris. I especially like the #69 bus which passes through some of the most interesting areas of Paris. However. Closed Mondays and winters.m. The métro is like the NYC subway in that it provides transportation within the city. From any métro station you can get to any other station. Just say to the clerk at the window. I describe visiting Giverney as being in a Monet painting as opposed to looking at one. If you don’t. From the train stations or “gares” of the “Grandes Lignes” (the French national train network) you can access the high speed TGV and other rail lines to other parts of the country and Europe. Web site: http://giverny. rarely with no more than one transfer. It arrives in Vernon in 45 minutes. This was a one night trip and I enjoyed it very much although it was uneventful. the doors did not open up. Busses use métro tickets to board. The métro closes around 12:30 a. buy a “carnet” of 10 at a discounted price of about 11. during the week and about 1:30 a. Giverney – The gardens and home of Monet. If you take a train outside of Paris (other than the RER). Other Useful Info The Métro: When you use the Paris métro. Solosky. Photography not permitted in the house. • • Later in this guide book. The RER is like the Long Island Railroad and Metro North.gif The Trains: There are two commuter rail lines in Paris. Then. I have included further details on how to plan some of these trips if you wish to undertake them on your own.40 euros.ratp. “bonjour. Bring your camera to take photos of the gardens.ratp. un carnet. Watch out for pickpockets.m. ©Stephen C. I recall when I rode the métro for the first time. It can be arranged at the cathedral although he does not give tours in the winter months. When I arrived at my destination. a friendly Parisian showed me that on some métro trains. Get there early before the armada of tour busses arrive. you will ask yourself why all other subway systems can’t be this good. larger in size than Notre Dame of Paris.info/picts/plans/gif/bus_paris/69.• Picardy – This quiet and sleepy region is north of Paris and not widely visited. I visited Beauvais and the city of Amiens which was frequented by the author Jules Verne. Take the train from Gare SaintLazare. validate your ticket by stamping it in the yellow machine before boarding. it is beautiful country. take the short cab ride or the free bus to Giverney. The city has an impressive cathedral. It can be visited in a day. make sure you take the tour (in English) given by Malcolm Miller.org/gardens/ The Cathedral at Chartres – Visit on your way to Normandy or as a day excursion via train. The cathedral is beautiful as well as full of history. you risk being fined if confronted by an inspector. When you buy tickets.
Inquire if there will be renovations or construction going on inside or outside of your hotel during your stay before you book it. Near the Odéon métro station is a Starbucks (yes. Generally. or offers internet service. Louvre.The Neighborhoods: I very much like the Latin Quarter/St. has an elevator. However. The Airports: The RER is the most reliable method of getting back and forth to the airport. Germain on the left bank. 2009 Page 27 of 48 . The Hotels: Don’t assume your hotel has A/C. say nothing. Paris is full of them. The Phones: Get an international phone card before departing for Paris. It is a very nice “neighborhood”. The Supermarkets: Save money by buying things like bottled water. I suggest that you keep your distance from protests and demonstrations should you encounter one. supermarkets. wine shops. Take the normal precautions you would take when traveling anywhere else. Starbucks) where you can run into a lot of Americans to chat with. French workers go on strike. Monoprix and Carrefour supermarkets are my favorites. you must watch out for pickpockets and scam artists. Don’t fall for the tricks where someone drops change on a bus or asks you to hold something for them. for safety’s sake. It is very easy to get to the Notre Dame area. it happens) when your flight leaves in an hour-and-a-half. none of these events were enough to significantly disrupt my trip. The rue de Buci marketplace is nearby where there are some good breakfast places. positively must be on time. has an en suite shower and toilet. etc. not when it picks you up. It never hurts to ask questions. download and use Skype to make calls. if you are bringing a laptop computer. I would advise you to keep your valuables in a safe place. A trick I learned from my old days in Brooklyn: keep your wallet in your front pocket with a thick rubber band around it. If a taxi is called for you at a remote location. Don’t trust anyone who wants to give you something for free or tries to put jewelry or clothes on you. The minimum fare is 6 euros. college professors and students demonstrated in the streets. The Taxis: It is not customary to hail a taxi in Paris. Unfortunately. and personal sundries at local supermarkets instead of from your hotel or vendors in tourist areas. snacks. the flag is dropped when the taxi is dispatched. When someone comes up to you and asks you if you speak English. Germain area is more like the East Village in New York. police needed to disburse a crowd using tear gas. On a third occasion. Solosky. Orsay and many other attractions from here. Germain des-Prés area along Blvd. wine. The moral of the story is to take the RER back to the airport if you absolutely. Dangers and Warnings Paris is generally a safe city. out of the blue. is non-smoking. whereas the Latin Quarter/St. I have been in Paris when transport workers were on strike for a day. You may find it worth a visit but it is too much like Times Square for me. especially the ones who look a bit tired or disoriented. I stay away from Champs-Élysées. In any case. However. Job actions and demonstrations are almost always peaceful and they can last for as little as a few hours or they can extend for weeks. Why? Have you ever tried to pull a wallet out of your pocket with a thick rubber band around it? ©Stephen C. They prey on tourists. Better yet. especially as they travel from the airport. St. There is nothing more frustrating than getting in a 2-hour traffic jam (believe me. On another trip. Catch one at a taxi stand or have your hotel or restaurant call one for you. The Strikes: Every now and then.
I am staying here again. medical service. Regardless of class.22. The zone near the Louvre near the Tuileries gardens and along rue de Rivoli and rue de Castiglione is fine if you have the money. Then. 80-125 euros. Intercontinental.43. Take these copies with you or you may e-mail the copies to yourself. You probably don’t want to stay here either. Lotti. What To Do If You Lose Your Passport and/or Credit Cards Although this has never happened to me. 2009 Page 28 of 48 . 3 star – small.22 .S. When I am out for the day in Paris. 2 star – the better ones have private baths and are clean and comfortable. 1 star – probably no private bath. avenue Gabriel (Métro: Concorde). but maybe not A/C. embassy located at the Place de la Concorde. I have stayed here before and on my next trip. call the banks immediately and report them as stolen. etc. but a clean. Not every hotel. have A/C. if you lose your credit cards. Better yet. Solosky. I like staying in the Latin Quarter/Saint Germain des-Près area. I know of people who it has happened to.gov/) also has other resources for things like attorneys. I avoid large corporate owned hotels. Private bath. Paris hotels are government graded as: • • • No stars – you don’t want to stay here. Don’t book a 2-star unless it comes recommended to you. almost all Paris hotel rooms are smaller than what you would find in the U.com/. “Business class”. and emergency numbers. make copies of your passport and credit cards before you leave on your trip. close to the Hôtel de Crillon. Costes. As previously mentioned. 4 star luxe – The Ritz. Meurice. Where to Stay As I said. Most major. Good ones have hair dryers. http://www. The phone number is 01.usembassy. scan the copy of the passport and e-mail it to yourself so you can get the copy in an emergency. A lot of Parisians don’t clean up after their dogs. charming hotels.hotel-collegedefrance. a piece of ID. Watch your step.12. ©Stephen C.S. • • • My picks: Hôtel du College de France – Basic. An interior decorator has probably never seen the inside of these hotels. elevators. comfortable and quiet 2 star hotel in the Latin Quarter. I leave most of my valuables in the room safe and take only the cash I will need for the day. Usually a safe bet. The address is 4. Some of the best luxury hotels in the world. 275-500 euros. you must report to the U. The website ( http://france. If you lose your passport. 125-200 euros. No A/C. 4 star – good hotels. Bring with you any documents and anyone who can identify you. even the better ones. They will give you further instructions for having them replaced. and a credit card.Make a color photocopy of your passport and keep it in a safe place. international banks will replace them within 24 hours. 185-275 euros.
I have visited friends while they stayed at this hotel.com On a recent trip to Paris.A quality 4-star left bank hotel in a top location. It is rated as a 3-star hotel although I thought it was more of a 2-star. You will not have the services of a concierge or a desk attendant to ask the simplest of questions. Solosky.fleurie-hotelparis. The price is right.A charming. too. passage Jouffroy in the 9th arrondissement. http://www.com/ Hôtel Chopin . Since it is in a hospital. http://www. It is a top value for a 3-star hotel. anniversary. I have met people who stay here every time they come to Paris.hotelchopin. Also basic but it is a clean. A very good location. The hotel is located amongst antique and quaint shops in a lovely part of Paris. The staff is exceptional. The rooms are small but decorated with sophistication and taste.parishotel-mayfair. Jacques – A newly-renovated 2-star with a bit of charm located in the Latin Quarter close to the Panthéon. I have never stayed in a hotel where the personal attention and service has been better. Great location. Germain des-Près area. I rented an apartment from via the Internet.interconti. you may find yourself in an undesirable neighborhood or in a noisy area. It is often featured in packages offered by tour companies. It is like taking a step back in time. It is situated in the heart of Paris on the Île de la Cité in the shadow of the Notre-Dame cathedral. However. romantic. It is clean. this is the place to stay if you are looking for a relaxing sleep. 2009 Page 29 of 48 .Hôtel Saint Pierre – In the Latin Quarter.lutetia-paris. so they may have raised their prices considerably. all the rooms are smoke free and it is extremely quiet and clean. http://www.html Hôtel St. 2-star. I like this hotel very much. old-fashioned and basic 2-star hotel located in a pedestrian arcade at 46.com/ang/accueil. comfortable and quiet. Join their “club” and get upgraded rooms and use of their “club” floor. When I was there. http://www. Quasimodo’s bells will awake you each morning. http://www.92 euro to the dollar. Some rooms have A/C. Website: http://www. the hotel was being renovated. and friendly well situated 3-star hotel right off boulevard Saint Germain in the St. I don’t advise doing this unless you know Paris well.com/ Le Grande Intercontinental – A 4-star luxe hotel near the Opéra Garnier. www.htm Hôtel Lutetia . Very reasonable rates. comfortable and it is priced right for a hotel of its class. Views of the Eiffel Tower.hotel-hospitel. or special occasion.htm Hôtel de Fleurie . residential street in the 16th arrondissement away from the center of town.com/ Hôtel Hospitel Dieu –It is uniquely located on the top floor of a hospital.saintpierre-hotel. It is in a good location near the Place Vendôme. http://www. I advocate that you rent one that comes with ©Stephen C.com/en/? Hôtel Mayfair – 4 star. I did not stay here personally but my friends did and I visited them here at the hotel.foch-paris-hotel. if you do rent an apartment.This is a delightful. It is located between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Vendôme. I loved it here when it was . Website: http://www. The movie “Charade” with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn was shot here. but in any case.hotel-saintjacques.fr/ Hôtel Résidence Foch – Located on a quiet.com/uk/index. If you are unfamiliar with the area where the apartment is located. It is a good choice for a honeymoon.com/en/confort_en. I recommend it.
varenne-hotelparis.com Hôtel du Champ de Mars. 8. 7th arrondissement http://www.hotelamourparis.hotelmuguet. 7. 16. rue de Constantinople. 44. and a good value.fr Hôtel Eldorado. First. 17th arrondissement www.com/ Hôtel de Varenne. rue du Champ de Mars. 16th arrondissement www. I bargained a rate 60% off the owner’s asking price. 3. my reliable sources testify that they are charming. rue de Bourgogne. It is not uncommon for apartments to come without air conditioning or with portable heaters.fr Paris With Children There are some noteworthy options for children in and around Paris. I found that you can negotiate prices with the owner of the apartment. 2009 Page 30 of 48 .com Hôtel Amour. My experience tells me there are a couple of things to keep in mind when traveling with youngsters.com New Orient Hôtel. rue des Dames. Here is the list: Hôtel Sévigné. you are sending a deposit to someone you almost certainly don’t know. rue Navarin.com/ang_accueil.hotelverneuil.hotelgrandes-ecoles.eldoradohotel.hotel-langlois. rue Vital. I have not stayed in any of these. When you rent an apartment. Elevators might not be found in apartment buildings. 9th arrondissement www. 7th arrondissement www. Second. rue de Verneuil.a recommendation from someone who has stayed there. For instance.hotel-parisorient.fr/ Hôtel Windsor Home. 75. I found that it is good to negotiate with children regarding making the trip pleasurable for you and them. Rue Mahler. you may strike a deal by saying “Today we will go to the Musée Rodin but tomorrow we will spend the day at Disney”. 42 bis. rue de Rivoli.windsorhomeparis. 4th arrondissement www.com Hôtel Muguet. 63. There are other hotels that have come highly recommended to me. in February (off-season). 8th arrondissement www. 4th arrondissement. 18. particularly older ones. 7th arrondissement www. Solosky. For instance. However. 9th arrondissement www. Here are my top picks for children’s attractions: ©Stephen C. 7th arrondissement www. 8.htm Hôtel de Nice. 11. don’t be over-ambitious by doing too much in a day.com Hôtel Verneuil. comfortable.com Hôtel Langlois.hoteldenice.lesevigne. so a lot of trust is involved in the transaction. rue Chevert. the 5th arrondissement www.hotelduchampdemars. rue Cardinal Lemoine. 2. http://www. clean.com Hôtel des Grandes École s. rue Saint-Lazare.
paleontology. The cost is about 10 euros with a discount coupon you can obtain at: http://www. Life Sciences. www.fr – métro and bus maps • ©Stephen C.com – the best source anywhere for getting great info on any Paris topic. and restaurants are usually unbiased and right on the mark. It has quite impressive permanent exhibitions on minerals. Another good one is Paris for Dummies. Web site: http://www. Although the French parks are smaller and have a bit less magic than their Florida counterparts.tripadvisor. Of particular value are the message boards where you can ask just about any question and get an answer.xsp?cl=en Vedettes du Pont-Neuf Métro: Cité or Pont-Neuf An hour-long trip up and down the Seine is bound to entertain anyone. Rick Steves does a nice job with his guides as well. Web site: http://www.fr/english/index. Most everything is in English or translated into English. Recent special presentations have been on whales.mnhn. and evolution. The user reviews of hotels. Disneyland Park is similar to the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Florida. and North American geology.co.fr/museum/foffice/transverse/transverse/accueil.palais-decouverte.-Roosevelt This museum centers on six areas: Mathematics. Be aware that some attractions like Armageddon. Many exhibits are interactive. there is a good observatory/planetarium. I enthusiastically recommend this visit.S. Website: http://www. Most notable is the CinéMagique theater show mixing actors with a synchronized big-screen movie presentation.citesciences. 2009 Page 31 of 48 . attractions.php?id=accueil2 The Museum of Natural History Métro: Jussieu or Austerlitz This museum is located in the beautiful Jardin des Plantes.ratp. Astronomy. There are exhibits focusing on children from 2-7 years of age.php Traveler’s Resources • • I like the Frommer’s travel guides.fr/index. www. There are some attractions that you will not find in the U. It is interesting but not quite as well done as the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie. Walt Disney Studios Park is similar to Walt Disney’s Hollywood Studios.com/billet_en. and Chemistry.php Palais de la Découverte Métro: Champs ElyséesClemenceau or Franklin-D.disneylandparis. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful this website is in planning a trip. a day trip to the park is a good time. The RER A train ride to the park takes about an hour from the center of Paris. But all in all. may be terrifying to young children.vedettesdupontneuf. Website: http://www. they are enjoyable. There are also fewer explanations in English. It leaves from the tip of Île de la Cité directly under the Pont-Neuf. Geosciences. the Antarctic.Disneyland Resort Paris RER “A” Disneyland Resorts Paris consists of two parks. However. Snacks and beverages are not ridiculously expensive nor are they particularly good. It is a worthwhile trip for both children and grown-ups. Tickets cost about 60 euros each for adults to enter both parks.xhtml La Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie Métro: Porte de la Villette This is the largest science museum in Europe.uk/index. plants. Solosky. Physics.
Air France Bus (http://transfer. Website: www. Don’t be afraid to ask other travelers if they would like to share a taxi into town. Cost: 8. It takes 45-60 minutes. Only take a taxi from a taxi stand that is clearly marked as such.com/ My website. and hotel reviews. another 15-30 minutes or so to get your checked bags. and the food services are less than average. Registration may be required. Others go to Terminal 1.• • • Official Paris tourist website: http://en. but it’s free.m.com/air-france-coach-service. Travelers with heavy luggage. By the way. or families with small children in tow may find this option to be uncomfortable.airport-paris.ratp. It takes about 20 minutes before the time you get off the plane to get through passport control. . Upon arrival to CDG. There is an additional charge of a euro per bag for two or more bags.travelingprofessor. Bus There are two bus options: Roissybus (http://www. and every 20 minutes between 7 p. Most overseas flights arrive at Terminal 2. www.php ): Travels between CDG and Paris Opéra Garnier (rue Scribe and rue Auber). It runs every 15 minutes between 6 a. . It is consistently cited as one of the worst airports in Europe. not well laid-out.parisinfo. Pick up locations at CDG are close to gates B1 and C2.m.nytimes.com CDG (Charles DeGaulle) Airport-The Ins and Outs The airport is drab.m. disabled persons. You’ll need to take a taxi/métro/bus from Opéra Garnier to your final destination. ©Stephen C. restaurant.info/informer/anglais/aeroport_roissybus. it might take you 2 hours to get to/from CDG and the meter is running the entire time. 20 euros return (R/T).htm ): There are 2 routes to/from CDG: Route #2: CDG->Porte Maillot->Arc de Triomphe. 22 euros return (R/T).90 euros. Pay the driver in euros when you get on the bus. I frequently have been in taxis that had the smell of tobacco smoke. 2009 Page 32 of 48 .m. Route #4: CDG->Gare de Lyon->Montparnasse. During heavy traffic.7 p. get a taxi at one of the taxi stands.11 p. A taxi is a good option if you have a few pieces of heavy luggage.com The New York Times keeps an archive of its excellent travel articles including neighborhood descriptions. Solosky. There are signs in the airport as to where the bus will pick you up. Here are your transportation options to/from the airport: Taxi When you get to the airport. Cost: 13 euros 1 way. Fares can range from 38 euros (no traffic at all) to 75 euros or more if you are waiting in a lot of traffic. I have never been checked by customs. Cost: 14 euros 1 way.
2009 Page 33 of 48 . and Paris. reliable. Make sure that you have a firm agreement on the price before you contract with a private shuttle company. Several years ago. I have an acquaintance who is an international flight attendant. They are usually chauffeur–driven vans or min-vans that will take you directly to your hotel. For instance. and uncomfortable. The cost for a single person is usually about 30 euros with further discounts depending upon the number of people in your party. and this is her advice to assuage jet lag: ©Stephen C. to Paris are overnight flights. stressful. Departing for the U. it may not be a good choice.S. in New York. I get to the airport about 2 hours before departure. take the 10 minute walk down to the direction of the “gare” (train station). ATM’s in the city work fine. it is 2 a.Private Shuttle There are a variety of private shuttle operators at CDG. in Paris. There is a shuttle bus but it isn’t worth waiting for and dragging your luggage on and off. Hold onto your ticket. the ATM’s in the airport never worked or were out of money. Jet Lag When you consider: Most flights from the U. and most reliable option.80 for children 4-10). It is 8. Route: CDG Terminal 2->CDG Terminal 1-> Gare du Nord-> Châtelet-Les Halles>St-Michel-Notre Dame->Luxemborg->Port Royal->Denfert-Rochereau When you arrive at CDG. if it is 8 a.m. For a good portion of the year. The whole process takes about 40 minutes or less. Purchase your one-way or return RER ticket to Paris. Bring a back-up card in case of emergency. That problem seems to have been corrected. Go downstairs and you will see a ticket office with a line of other tourists waiting. until about midnight. depending upon your destination. The express trip is about 22 to 30 minutes.m. The upside of taking the RER is that it is cheap. you may need it to exit the station. Solosky. This all adds up to a serious case of jet lag for some travelers. but unless you have a credit card with a computer chip in it (American credit cards don’t have these). If you have lots of heavy luggage. Sometimes on the RER you will encounter beggars and buskers. you cannot buy your ticket at the kiosk.S. Make sure you have money in your checking account in order to use your bank card. fastest.m. The downside is that there is some walking and escalators/stairs involved. and quick.40 euros (5. sometimes with stops inbetween. involves checking your bags and going through security.S. It runs about every 15 minutes from 5 a. The ticket will give you a ride to the RER terminal in Paris and a métro ride (if necessary) to your destination. Today’s air travel environment is exhausting. RER Train This is probably the cheapest. Shuttles are good options for people with heavy luggage and/or limited mobility. It will get you close to your destination in Paris. It is important to make reservations with a shuttle service prior to departing on your trip. there is at least a 6 hour time difference between the U. You will see other people purchasing tickets at the ticket kiosk.
Take a nap if you can. Have your first Paris café experience. However. Germain des-Prés and the Latin Quarter. Walk along the Seine to the Tuileries Garden past the Louvre. Cross the Seine and walk through St. Get over to your hotel. Take a nap of about an hour or two on the plane. Daily Travel Itineraries Most people plan to visit sites in Paris according to their location. at home. 2009 Page 34 of 48 . they will visit the Latin Quarter on one day and perhaps Montmartre another. in Paris. adrenaline will sustain your excitement on your first day. If you regularly retire at 11 p.m. Try to take care of some business at the airport. For instance. get right on Paris time. Have no more than 1 or 2 alcoholic beverages during the flight. but in any case. ©Stephen C. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral.m. you will be a bit disoriented. You can also pick up your Museum Pass at the orange “Touriste Information” booth at the airport. Get a general idea of the layout of the city. You will: • • • • • • • Use the métro. go to bed at 11 p. in Paris. at home. check in and drop your luggage. the point from which all distances in France are measured.m. Here are my favorite daily itineraries: Itinerary #1: Your First Day in Paris Here is an itinerary that will get you started on the right foot when you visit Paris for the first time. if you normally eat dinner at 7 p. You’ll have at least half a day to get a general familiarization of the layout and transportation system of Paris. get on the métro (see the section on “Transportation”) and head towards the Cité métro station. some short steps one way or another you will recognize the towers of Notre Dame. To get to Notre Dame. grab something to eat. It is truly the center of France as indicated by the brass “Paris Point Zero” marker. However. a thematic touring plan can be very interesting and quite fun. View the Eiffel Tower and the Musée d’Orsay. Most international flights land in the morning at CDG airport.m. eat dinner at 7 p. The best place to start your tour is right smack in the middle of Paris in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral. It will help familiarize you with the city and you will get to see some great sites right away. You may or may not have jet lag. When you arrive in Paris. Solosky. When you awaken. For instance. As you climb out of the underground. You can withdraw some euros from the ATM.• • • • • Sleep in your own comfortable bed as late as you can until you need to leave for the airport. go to your hotel and try to nap again for a couple of hours.
you can enjoy rain or shine. Cross the Seine again at the next footbridge. after you’ve seen all the touristy stuff. many of the buried bodies were unceremoniously dug up and placed in a mass grave on the site. this is the place for you. As you stand on the Parvis facing away from the cathedral. Take a look at this plan of attack for a truly unusual experience. literally. you can continue your walk until you get to the right bank. Solosky. Keep walking past the Pont des Arts. Don’t worry about this tour being a stinker. Start the day at the Sewers of Paris (les Égouts de Paris) located in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Museum Pass: Yes Website: http://www. When you get back to Petit Pont. When you leave. However. walk away from Notre Dame and cross the first bridge to your left. It’s a great photo op. Walk down past the Pont Saint-Michel along the Seine. and Pont Royal. In any case. it’s cool and breezy deep inside. You will see the “bouqinistes” selling their ancient books and magazines from their metal stands. It’s an hour-long sub-surface walking tour of a small part of the 1. I suggest it to give your legs a rest and relax and enjoy the cruise. After you cross the Seine make a left. It is known as the “Parvis”. Métro: Alma-Marceau. It is one tour that.parismuseumpass. Louvre. During the French revolution. Again. the sewers flow like rapids and when it’s hot and sunny. 2009 Page 35 of 48 . By the way.php?musee_id=23 Next.monuments-nationaux.300 miles that make up the Paris underground sewer system.com/en/musees_infos_pratiques. at this point you can walk down the stairs to the point of Île de la Cité and take one of the Bateaux Vedettes du PontNeuf which is a boat ride that provides an absolutely lovely tour up and down the Seine. Itinerary #2: Offbeat Paris Paris has glamorous attractions like the Eiffel Tower. Don’t miss the mummified remains of the dauphin (prince) who would have been Louis XVII. Make sure you get the audio guide – it will greatly enhance your visit. carefully cross the street and look for the Café Petit Pont. but the monuments still remain. You will pass the Musée d’Orsay and walk back towards Notre Dame. get on the métro at Invalides for a 30-40 minute ride to the outside environs of Paris to the history-packed Basilique Saint-Denis. You are now on the left bank. The next bridge is Pont-Neuf. you will get a spectacular look at the Eiffel Tower. and the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The massive Musée de Louvre greets you on your right. It’s the perfect spot for a café and a lovely view of Notre Dame. If you like the macabre. On the other side is the right bank. As you cross over it. Take a visit inside the cathedral. Museum Pass: Yes Website: http://saint-denis. you will notice that you are on an island. it is the final resting place of monarchs such as Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. it’s time to do something out of the ordinary. it is really quite good and very entertaining. you will have a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower. On your right will be the Tuileries Gardens. When the weather is wet. Métro: Basilique de Saint-Denis.Walk in the direction of the towers to the plaza in front of the Cathedral.fr/en/?fl_r=11 ©Stephen C. Pont du Carrousel. Walk along the Seine. of course. Petit Pont. Otherwise. There is no admission charge. On your left across the river is the left bank where the Latin Quarter is. Make a left and continue walking down the Seine. It is the burial place of virtually all of the kings and queens of France since Clovis in 511.
the Coronation of Napoleon (painting) and the Greek & Etruscan Sculptures.htm Next. Make sure you visit the cemetery’s website or get hold of a map in order to plan your visit. Edith Piaf. Behind the cathedral is the Pont Saint-Louis leading to the charming Île Saint Louis. There is an admission charge of about 7 euros not covered by the Museum Pass. To get an invite. a visit to the cathedral on Île de la Cité is the perfect place to get your bearings and visit the center of Paris. it usually moves quickly. and it is open late on Wednesday and Fridays. Venus de Milo. check out his website. Seine Cruise ©Stephen C. No admission fee is required. Museé de Louvre Métro: Louvre You really cannot leave Paris without a smile from Mona. They will check you to make sure you don’t take any “souvenirs” upon your exit. 2009 Page 36 of 48 . Take the underground tunnels to get to the Arc de Triomphe itself. Usually he gets an eclectic bunch of 75-100 people to show up. Nike (Winged Victory of Samothrace). It is the final vacation spot of luminaries such as Jim Morrison. There is an excellent website that will help you plan thematic tours of the Louvre with specific directions: http://www. http://www. Most visitors look for these masterpieces: Mona Lisa. a visit to the Catacombs.fr/english. Prioritize what you wish to see.catacombes-de-paris.louvre. Max Ernst.htm If it is a Sunday night. and many more.pere-lachaise. there is usually a long and slow queue to climb the towers.com/perelachaise. Half of them are French but the other half are travelers just like you. The best place to buy the map is at the cemetery entrance nearest the métro station. When the cemeteries of central Paris became overcrowded and unsanitary in the 1700’s.fr/llv/activite/liste_parcours.The next stop on this “I See Dead People” tour is the famous Père Lachaise cemetery located at the métro station of the same name. check out the legendary Jim Haynes dinner at his private residence. Website: http://www. located near the Denfert-Rochereau métro station is as offbeat as you can get. It is the largest museum in the world and it is easy to find yourself wandering aimlessly unless you have a plan for your visit. Website: http://www. you must strategize your visit to the Louvre very carefully.jsp?bmLocale=en Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe Métro: Charles de Gaulle — Étoile If you have time. In any case. Solosky. It’s within walking distance of the Catacombs or take the métro to the Alesia station. The Louvre is open every day but Tuesday. walk through the Tuileries Gardens to the Concorde Métro station. so why shouldn’t you? Admission is free to the cathedral itself. The grounds are widespread and the paths are winding and made up of cobblestones.com Itinerary #3: Whirlwind Paris in a Day or Two What if you only have a day or two to visit Paris? What should you see? Where should you go? Here is my itinerary for a quick visit to see the highlights of Paris: Cathedral of Notre Dame/Île Saint-Louis Métro: Cité Over 10 million people visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame every year. Bring a flashlight and watch your head. they carted off the remains of over six million skeletons and placed them in this underground ossuary.jim-haynes. so you might choose to skip that part of your visit if time is short. However. However. If there is a line to get inside. Otherwise just take the métro directly to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt station and walk the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Climb to the top and get a panoramic view of Paris.
Itinerary #4: Fashion Tour of Paris Sometimes I think the city of Paris is a fashion show unto itself. On the way.000 per square meter. this is the heart of Paris. Around the corner is Montmartre’s Place du Tertre. observe how the French women wear scarves. Marais Métro: St-Paul A métro ride to the St-Paul station on line #1 drops you off in the colorful Marais section of Paris. Take the funicular to the top and get a fantastic view of the city. Roosevelt metró and spend your way down the “Miracle Half-Mile” down towards the Alma-Marceau station. Drop in on the art galleries surrounding the square. Solosky. It seems that Parisians have been born with a sense of style and panache. Notice how the children are neatly attired. L’Orangerie: home of Monet’s Water Lillies is located in the Tuileries adjacent to the Place de Concorde. Long known for its sculpture garden. Take away a falafel at L'As du Fallafel on rue des Rosiers and walk to the Picasso museum and Place des Vosges. take an outdoor table at the Café Petit Pont where you will have a million euro view while listening to some light music or jazz. Métro it to the Abbesses station and walk to the base of the hill of the basilica. You’ll see why they call Paris the “City of Light”. 2009 Page 37 of 48 . It is a square full of cafés and portrait artists. If you are a World War II buff. Here is my itinerary for Paris fashion lovers: Avenue Montaigne With shops and boutiques paying rents approaching $55. If You Have a 2nd Day: Montmartre/Basilique du Sacré-Cœur/Place de Tetre Métro: Abbesses This tour gives you a taste of Paris just as you think it would be. Café Petit Pont If you wish to have a nightcap. Start at the Franklin D. this is one of the wealthiest (and fashionable) streets in the world. take a cruise on the Bateaux Vedettes du Pont-Neuf that leave from the tip of Île de la Cité at Pont-Neuf. you will pass famous ©Stephen C. Rodin Museum/Napoleon’s Tomb Métro: Varenne or Invalides These two sites are conveniently close. if you can squeeze it in: Musée d'Orsay: located on the left bank of the Seine between Île de la Cité and Place de Concorde. It is open late on Thursdays. For instance. across from the Eiffel Tower. Another option is to cruise on the Bateaux Mouches from the Pont de l’Alma. And. Practically across the street is the domed Napoleon’s Tomb.After dinner. To many people. the Rodin Museum also houses other fine works of art. all for the price of a glass of wine. French men can dress casually and still seem to have that sophisticated sense of style. the adjacent Musée de l'Armée is not to be missed.
and engineering that will amaze and astonish you. Web site: http://www. Ferragamo.html Musée des Arts et Métiers Métro: Arts et Métiers or Réaumur-Sébastopol Not as entertaining as la Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie. just down the block at 64. Les Arts Décoratifs Métro: Palais Royal .canauxrama. Paris was the center of the industrial and scientific universe. “The Devil Wears Prada”. technology. Galleries Lafayette Department Store Metro: Chaussée d'Antin .printemps. However. boulevard Haussmann. and science.galerieslafayette.m. Nina Ricci and more.do?f=home_en&lang=en and http://departmentstoreparis. But a great idea is to take a relaxing mid-day cruise down Canal St. Children and adults alike will be astounded. The decorative arts collection is dedicated to the understanding of the evolution of human taste. stop at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée.com. informative. Martin to Place Bastille.lesartsdecoratifs.stargonaut. Dior. The fashion and textile museum presents temporary exhibits concerned with the history of garments.fr/english/index. Also stop in at Le Printemps. Therefore. accessories. at one time. All of the exhibits are temporary.La Fayette This famous grands magasin (department store) is located at 40. There are exhibits in science. It is the fashion museum of Paris. Chanel. technology.html Itinerary #5: Science & Technology Paris’ achievements and exhibitions in science. However. entertaining. I highly recommend a visit to this museum. It is modern. Web sites: http://www2. and interactive. style and crafts. technology. Celine. site of the last episode of “Sex and the City” and have a (pricey) Cosmopolitan with your lunch. At other times there might be an exhibit on a fashion era. Solosky. There is commentary in English. Sometimes a top name in fashion is featured. Website: http://www.fr/ Musée Galliera Metro: Iléna You saw this museum in the film. Each week they feature a 30-minute fashion show on Friday at 3 p. The museum is open every day but Monday and whenever there is a scheduled exhibit.com/museum-monuments/294/musee-galliera-musee-de-la-mode-de-laville-de-paris Check this website for a comprehensive listing of the top Paris fashion sites: http://www. You will be ©Stephen C. 2009 Page 38 of 48 .com/e_index. or perhaps a certain fashion theme will be featured. it is filled with fascinating historical artifacts of science. Two of the collections housed here are of special attention to those interested in fashion.com/international/goFolder.names like Bulgari. Speaking of Carrie Bradshaw. Web: http://www. They can be obtained by email at email@example.com You could spend at least a day at this museum and the surrounding park. Reservations are a must and should be done early. A famous designer is often asked to participate in the design of these exhibitions. You will see clothes. architecture. and engineering have long been overshadowed by its other charms. it is important for you to check the website before you go: http://en. and shoes that would make Carrie Bradshaw blush.com/. Valentino. boulevard Haussmann.parisinfo. La Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie Métro: Porte de la Villette This is one of the largest and most impressive science and industry museums in the world.com/fashion. Closed Monday. handbags.cite-sciences.Musée du Louvre This is the museum of French lifestyle is located in a wing of the Louvre.
There are also fewer explanations in English.obspm. ©Stephen C. Closed Monday.php?id=accueil2 Other sites of interest: Museé de Radio de France (French Radio Museum): http://www. There are exhibits on Astronomy. have a good observatory/planetarium. To get there.France/ Le Observatoire de Paris: http://www. Buy your ticket from a clerk at the RER station when you plan to travel.Roosevelt Geared more towards students. and Astrophysics.awed and surprised. There are also stunning views of Paris from the top of the Grande Arche. for the most part) are excellent. Physics. Solosky. as you need it to exit the train station. If you choose to drive while in Europe. you need to take the “RER-C Rive Gauche” (be careful not to take the “RER-C Saint Quentin”) train. Life Sciences.fr/index.ihp. There are displays of old computing devices and an exhibit on the history of the Internet and the World Wide Web.-Roosevelt This museum focuses on six areas: Mathematics. Life Sciences. Web site: http://www.shtml Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace (Air and Space Museum): http://www. except during special events or holiday periods. Avoid going to Versailles on weekends and on Tuesdays – it can get crowded. It is an easy and inexpensive trip. Here are my favorite short trips outside of Paris: Versailles Versailles is the most opulent of all French châteaux.org/ Institut Henri Poincare: http://www. No reservations are necessary. Remember to hold onto your ticket for the entire trip. Website: http://www.html Trips Outside of Paris Transportation systems and highways in France (and throughout Europe. it is located right off the Champs-Élysées.museeinformatique.fr/presentation. This is truly a hidden gem of Paris and if you have any interest at all in technology and science. A trip of a day or two outside Paris is relatively easy to arrange. and Chemistry. do not miss it.fr/ Palais Découverte Métro: Champs Elysées-Clemenceau or Franklin-D.net/Museé. Website: http://www. it is an exhibit on the history of computing.fr/index. this.paris. 2009 Page 39 of 48 . Geosciences.org/Musees/Radio.palais-decouverte. check with your auto insurance company regarding coverage. Mathematics.php?P=226&lang=ang&flash=f Palais de la Découverte Métro: Champs Elysées-Clemenceau or Franklin-D. Musée de l’Informatique Métro: La Défense In short. It is extremely interesting but not quite as well done as the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie.arts-etmetiers.mae. Physics. It is closed on Mondays. Chemistry. Geosciences. Astronomy. There is also a planetarium. They do however. Lodging outside of major cities is also generally inexpensive.jussieu. This requires a separate RER ticket purchase which is about 3 euros each way.en. Closed Mondays.
2009 Page 40 of 48 . Mumm. If you have any questions. You probably want the 12:53 or 2:53 back to Paris from Vernon. Pommery. The museum is closed Tuesdays. It is closed on Mondays. place your ticket in the yellow machine to validate it. It is about a 15 minute walk from the train station. You can take a taxi if you wish. you will see the (free) bus right outside the train station to take you to Giverney. The RER train ticket is flexible in that it is not necessary to take a particular train at a particular time. Tickets are about 40 euros R/T. the site of the surrender of the Third Reich to the Allies at the end of WWII. you avoid a 10 euro service fee for changing your ticket. A bus then picks you up at the train station to Giverney. That way. There is also the impressive Cathedral of Notre Dame. There is usually not a big crowd at Gare d’lEst. Giverney (Home of Monet) This is a trip not to be missed if you love Impressionist painting. Also of interest is the Musée de la Reddition (The Surrender Museum). Reims – the site of the coronation of most of the kings and queens of France. There is no open seating. The City of Champagne: Reims Reims is the Champagne city of France. Before you get on the train. You probably want to take the 8:57 or 11:27 TGV train to Reims from Gare d’Lest. Your train ticket will most likely be a “flexible” ticket that allows you to travel on either train. Before you get on the train. When you get to the Versailles train station. validate your train ticket by having it stamped by one of the yellow machines. Solosky. the conductors standing outside of the train before it departs are friendly and helpful. When you get to Vernon. ©Stephen C. so you can probably buy your ticket on the date of your travel. It is the home of some of the most celebrated Champagne makers in the world – Taittinger. Ask about a “flexible” return ticket if you are unsure of the time you want to come back. The comfortable TGV takes 45 minutes to get to Reims. the site of Monet’s home. Buy your ticket at the SNCF or “Grandes Lignes” desk at the station.Trains to Versailles leave about every 20 minutes and take about half an hour to get there. You may wish to purchase your tickets at Gare Saint-Lazare the day before since my experience has shown me that sometimes there is an hour wait at the ticket desk. just follow the crowds to the château. Seats on the TGV are assigned. Piper-Hiedsick and more. It will be posted if they are available. Monet’s home at Giverney is open from April through October. The automated kiosks don’t accept your non-European credit card. I suggest that you visit the château and after that take the mini-bus over to the Grand Trianon (it opens at noon). They sometimes have special visits of the private apartments for a separate admission. I strongly suggest that you take the early train from Paris (leaves about 8:20 and arrives in Vernon at 9:06). The trip involves taking a 45-minute train ride from Gare Saint-Lazare to Vernon.
Don’t hesitate to visit the others. Website: http://www. ©Stephen C. The soldier feigned death until the town was liberated the next day. I advise reading Stephen Ambrose’s “D Day: June 6. Most people speak English in Normandy since it is so close to Britain and because of the large number of English-speaking visitors. The tourist office staff will be happy to assist with reservations and call a taxi for you to get there. It is a relatively inexpensive hotel that is rich in charm and history. debris.liondor-bayeux. Solosky. 2009 Page 41 of 48 . There are many other hotels and B&B’s in the area that are inexpensive and welcoming. 1944. holiday. Others like to start at the closer. This is the place where the 2nd Ranger Battalion scaled the cliffs and overtook a German bunker placement. The brutal opening scenes of “Saving Private Ryan” are based upon the battle at Pointe du Hoc.memorial-caen.fr/le-lion-dor. I recommend the 40 minute drive from Bayeux to Sainte-Mère-Église. It is the best location as a command center to tour the Normandy beaches. I like the Pommery and Taittinger Champagne houses.php?lang=EN I then recommend that you rent a car for the 30-minute drive to Bayeux and check in at the historic Hôtel Lion d’Or. There are not many artifacts (equipment. hotels and B&B’s go begging for visitors.com/ Normandy Invasion Beaches Actually. I also suggest that you read a book or pick up some literature on the events leading up to June 6. To the left side and adjacent to the cathedral is the tourist office. I would not drive from inside the city of Paris.reims-tourism. I advise that you make this an overnight trip (2 nights if you are a real WWII buff) in the town of Bayeux.) left at the invasion beaches. Because I value my life. To start the tour of the invasion beaches. Pointe du Hoc. Reims is a lovely little city with plenty of restaurants.fr/fr/circuit_tour/index. At other times. You may recall Pointe du Hoc as the place where President Ronald Regan dedicated a memorial on the 40th anniversary of the invasion. bombcratered. a map. You can walk to the cathedral. etc. but you will find them on display here. Connecting trains run more frequently. 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II” for an in-depth understanding of the invasion and the areas that you will see. but I would take the 2 hour train from Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris to Caen at about $48 each way.Depending on the day you go. The well done Reims tourism office guide (with a list of champagne houses. Le Mémorial at Caen is an excellent museum. But there is usually a direct train at 4:15 and 8:15. to do justice to a visit to the Normandy invasion beaches. You may want to reserve your tours online a couple of days beforehand if you are going on a weekend. the town depicted in the movie “The Longest Day” where a paratrooper’s parachute was caught on the spire of the church. They each charge a fee of 12-18 euros. You may wish to rent the DVD’s “The Longest Day” and “Saving Private Ryan” also. particularly in early June. The website is: http://www. there are different schedules for return trains. or peak tourist times. One word of warning: during certain times of the year.php. I was stunned when I saw what these brave men had to overcome to be successful at their task. and other activities) can be downloaded here: http://www. it is nearly impossible to get a hotel reservation. about 165 miles from Paris. You need to have reservations at most champagne houses.
It was indeed a day that changed my personal outlook on life forever. There is no movie. However. don’t take a “packaged” tour. Bayeux is the perfect place to chill out.museearromanches. There are memorials and remembrances along the way. 2009 Page 42 of 48 . If you wish to speak with them. English is widely spoken. including a map. book. try this link: http://www. If you happen to be visiting in or about June. with bullets flying from the cliffs and explosions all around them. Everyone reacts differently to their visit to this cemetery. In many ways it is much different than Paris. I can recall encountering some surviving veterans who were revisiting the beaches as indicated by their VFW caps. All in all. It’s funky. and you just cannot beat the mussels and beer.fr/accueil/index. It is surrounded by guild houses. I can tell you that I personally do not have the capability to describe my emotions upon seeing the thousands of crosses and Stars of David on that field. and enjoy a fine meal. approach them with care and dignity. There is a good museum at Arromanches. the Musée du Débarquement which has some interesting relics.Further north. Solosky. ©Stephen C.com/ Here is what I recommend you visit and do on your day trip to Brussels: Grand Place (aka Grote Markt): I love to promenade around the grandest of all squares in Europe. Website: http://www. You must have a Belgian waffle and bring home some chocolate with you. It is important to remember that it was not just the Americans who participated in the invasion. It will be cold. It is a place that deserves to be taken at its own pace. Don’t pass it up.visitbelgium. For Brussels tourist info. exhibits and multimedia presentations. Another attraction in Bayeaux worthwhile seeing is the famous tapestry depicting the 1066 Normandy invasion of England. and the Musée de la Ville. drink some Calvados. As you drive further along the beaches. The round trip fare is less than $100 if you book in advance. the Hôtel de Ville. Brussels is a terrific walking city. The American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer overlooks the cliffs of Omaha Beach. There are memorials in honor of all of the forces who were involved in that fateful day. It is surely an emotional moment for them. Brussels Day Trip One my favorite day trips is to take the easy 1 ½ hour train ride up to Brussels (known as Bruxelles in French). But please. or tour guide that can substitute for the stories that these men will tell you. it’s gothic. Each time I visit I discover something new. you pass through Omaha and Gold beaches. Imagine how these men waded through these then blood-red waters in 1944.php?lang=uk At day’s end. take your shoes off and walk into the shallow surf. Trains run frequently from Gare du Nord into Brussels Midi station. a visit to the Normandy invasion beaches is very worthwhile. take your time.
language tutorials. but it might be Brussels most famous landmark. deals and discounts. The URL is: http://www. trade everything pertaining to Paris. you will have VIP access to certain areas of the site: • • • • Each and every link from this guidebook is listed. If you own a copy of The Traveling Professor’s Guide to Paris. Have a chuckle. articles. Website: http://www. It is certainly not in the class of the Eiffel Tower. No need to type in the links listed in this guide book. The Paris Forum where you can ask questions and get answers to what you want to know about Paris. Web site: http://www. travel related print articles.Com website is dedicated to those who love to travel to Paris. Links to lodging. reviews. It is only enhanced when it is paired with mussels (moules) and twice-fried fries (frites). Videos of Paris places of interest. 2009 Page 43 of 48 . and Rembrandt.com. Mussels and Beer: Beer is a high art form in Belgium. you’ll need some room for a Belgian waffle and mussels and beer later.Com The TravelingProfessor. A free subscription to my monthly Paris newsletter. take a snapshot. Late-breaking news on special events and happenings in Paris. both historical and contemporary. Don’t hesitate to sample the goods but don’t overdo it.travelingprofessor.be/site/EN/default. Indexes I have taken the entries in this guide and categorized them into different groups. It is the companion website to this guide book. sell. Hopefully.be/ TravelingProfessor. Just point and click to get the info you need. and more.Mannekin Pis: This is an irreverent statue of a young boy doing his business. You can always pack up some chocolate for later.asp Chocolate: As you stroll the streets off the Grand Place you will see chocolate boutiques sprinkled about. Special deals and discounts available only to those who own “The Traveling Professor’s Guide to Paris”.finearts-museum. Photos albums of my trips to Paris and Europe. and move on. public areas of the website you will find: • • • • • • • The Traveling Professor’s Paris blog. Updates to the guide. You will see works by such well-known artists as Rubens. ©Stephen C. Classfied Ads. Solosky. My little slice of heaven for this delight is La Villette.la-villette. drinking and dining. this will give you some good ideas on planning your trip. Van Dyck. Buy. In the free. Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts (Royal Museums of Fine Arts): This is a fine collection of mostly Belgian art.
Musée National d’Art Moderne Musée Rodin Château de Versailles Place des Vosges Musée National du Moyen Age-Thermes et Hôtel de Cluny (Cluny Museum) Conciergerie Panthéon Sainte-Chapelle Église Saint-Etienne-du-Mont Église Saint-Sulpice Military Exhibits Arc de Triomphe Musée de l'Armée (Army Museum) Musée Carnavalet ©Stephen C. Solosky. 2009 Page 44 of 48 .Musée National d’Art Moderne Musée Picasso Musée Rodin Musée d'Orsay Musée de l'Orangerie Panthéon Arc de Triomphe Free-No Admission Charge American Cathedral in Paris Place de la Bastille Musée Carnavalet Luxemborg Gardens Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris (Notre Dame Cathedral) Pont-Neuf Princess Diana (Unofficial) Memorial Sácre-Coeur Église Saint-Etienne-du-Mont Église Saint-Sulpice Shakespeare & Company Tuileries Gardens Place du Vert Galant Place des Vosges Art Exhibits Musée Carnavalet National Museum of Asian Art Guimet Musée du Louvre Musée Marmottan Musée de l'Orangerie Musée d'Orsay Musée Picasso Centre Pompidou .Most Popular Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris (Notre Dame Cathedral) Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Musée du Louvre Sácre-Coeur Princess Diana (Unofficial) Memorial Centre Pompidou .
©Stephen C.Conciergerie Napoleon's Tomb Panthéon Science and Technology Musée des Arts et Metiers La Cité des Sciences et de l'lndustrie Musée des Égouts de Paris (Sewers of Paris) Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Palais de la Découverte Museum of Natural History Cathedrals. Le Buerre Noisette. Solosky. and Memorials American Cathedral in Paris Basilique de Saint-Denis (Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis) Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris (Notre Dame Cathedral) Sácre-Coeur Sainte-Chapelle Église Saint-Etienne-du-Mont Église Saint-Sulpice Pére Lachaise Cemetery Princess Diana (Unofficial) Memorial Arc de Triomphe Panthéon Music and Performance Art American Cathedral in Paris Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris (Notre Dame Cathedral) Opéra Garnier (Palais Garnier) Sainte-Chapelle Église Saint-Sulpice Impressionist Art Musée Marmottan Musée d'Orsay Musée Picasso Musée Rodin Musée de l'Orangerie Place des Vosges Giverney A Bit Out of the Way. 2009 Page 45 of 48 . Religious Monuments. Cemeteries. But Worth It Musée Marmottan Père Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetière du Père-Lachaise) La Cité des Sciences et de l'lndustrie Château de Versailles Disneyland Resort Paris Basilique de Saint-Denis (Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis) Canal Saint Martin-Canauxrama Bercy Neighborhood Restaurants: Chez Michel.
L’Ecluse Wine Bar ©Stephen C. Les Bouquinistes. Mouffetard. Bistrot d’Henri. Au Beaujolais. Les Bouquinistes. Buci Market Shopping: Le Bon Marché Department Store Restaurants: Brasserie Lipp. L’Ecluse Wine Bar Hotel: Hôtel Hospitel Dieu Near Latin Quarter/Saint Germain des-Prés Bateaux Les Vedettes du Pont-Neuf Luxemborg Gardens Musée d'Orsay Pont-Neuf Église Saint-Etienne-du-Mont Shakespeare & Company Église Saint-Sulpice Panthéon Musée National du Moyen Age-Thermes et Hôtel de Cluny (Cluny Museum) Street Markets: Marché Raspail. 2009 Page 46 of 48 . Le Pré Verre. Le Coupe Chou. Café Le Petit Pont. Taverne Henri IV Wine Bar. Les Éditeurs. Café Le Petit Pont. Berthillon. Pâtisserie Viennoise. Angelina Hotels: Hôtel Mayfair Shopping: Rue Saint-Honoré Near Île de la Cité Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris (Notre Dame Cathedral) Bateaux Les Vedettes du Pont-Neuf Berthillon Conciergerie Musée du Louvre Pont-Neuf Sainte-Chapelle Shakespeare & Company Place du Vert Galant Île Saint-Louis Restaurants: Brasserie du Louvre. A La Petite Chaise.Near Champs-Élysées Area American Cathedral in Paris Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Princess Diana (Unofficial) Memorial Arc de Triomphe National Museum of Asian Art Guimet La Defense Hotel: Hôtel Residence Foch Shopping: Avenue Montaigne Near Place de la Concorde Musée du Louvre Musée de l'Orangerie Musée d'Orsay Tuileries Gardens Restaurants: L’Ardoise. Solosky.
Solosky. Hôtel des Grandes Écoles Near Opéra Area Opéra Garnier (Palais Garnier) Restaurants: Chartier. Le Grande Intercontinental Shopping: Galleries Lafayette. Aux Lyonnais.Musée National d’Art Moderne Place des Vosges Street Market: Marché Montorgueil Restaurants: Chez Jenny. Hôtel de Varenne. Pierre. Hôtel St. Near the Marais Musée des Arts et Metiers Place de la Bastille Musée Carnavalet Musée Picasso Centre Pompidou . Bofinger.Hotels: Hôtel de Fleurie. Hôtel St. Tours Bateaux Les Vedettes du Pont-Neuf Bateaux Mouches Canal Saint Martin-Canauxrama Père Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetière du Père-Lachaise) Fat Tire Bike Tours Hop-On Hop-Off Bus (Paris l’Open Tour) ©Stephen C. L’As du Fallafel Hotels: Hôtel Sévigné. Hôtel de Nice Near Montmartre Sácre-Coeur Place du Tertre Moulin Rouge Hotel: Hôtel Eldorado Cruises. Walks. Les Cocottes Hotels: Hôtel du Champ de Mars. Jacques. Hôtel Muguet. 2009 Page 47 of 48 . Hôtel Lutetia. Racines Wine Bar Hotels: Hôtel Chopin. Hôtel du College de France. Au Printemps Near Eiffel Tower Bateaux Mouches Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Princess Diana (Unofficial) Memorial Napoleon's Tomb Musée de l'Armée (Army Museum) American Cathedral in Paris Musée des Égouts de Paris (Sewers of Paris) National Museum of Asian Art Guimet Musée Rodin Fat Tire Bike Tours Street Market: Rue Cler Neighborhood: Rue Cler Restaurants: Café Constant.
2009 Page 48 of 48 .Meet Up With Other Travelers American Cathedral in Paris Shakespeare & Company Jim Haynes Dinner Fat Tire Bike Tours HOHO Bus L’Atelier des Chefs Cooking Class Traveler Friendly Restaurants Café Constant Les Cocottes Chartier A La Petite Chaise Le Coupe Chou 1728 Léon de Bruxelles Au Beaujolais Starbucks Any Wine Bar ©Stephen C. Solosky.
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