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