In - Part 1 - of this blog last week, I discussed speaking French and free things to do.
The classic Paris must-sees are -
- Centre Pompidou
- The Louvre
- The Arc de Triomphe
- St Germain-des-Pres
- Jardin du Luxembourg
- The Eiffel Tower
- Musee d'Orsay
- Versailles Palace
Most guided tours include a night at the Moulin Rouge which can work out very expensive with a meal thrown in. We found there are a few cabaret shows and you don't have to have a full meal. Don't be suckered into the expensive options. There is a cabaret at half the price of the touristy ones.
There are two airports in Paris. Charles de Gaul and Orly. I arrived at Charles de Gaul and took a train into the centre of Paris. One snag was that the rail staff were all on strike. So I couldn't buy a ticket to exit the station. I couldn't figure out how to use the auto ticket vendors either. Thank God my husband was meeting me at the station. He had spare tickets and he passed one over to me so I could exit through the turnstiles or I may have had to do like a couple of other people and jump over with my luggage. When we left Paris, the train staff were on strike again, so we both took the Roissy which is actually a better option.
My husband is a great planner and I leave him to plan things furiously. He does a good job and he seems to enjoy the planning as much as the holiday. He found us a self catering apartment via Loving Apartments in the Les Halles vicinity. Les Halles is located in the 1er arrondissement. Paris is divided up into arondissements or districts and each has a number.
|River tours of the Seine|
The smaller the number, the closer to the inner city. It follows that the bigger the number the further out the district or arrondissement. The great thing about being in Les Halles - it was central. My advice is to try and base yourself as close to the centre as possible. Acommodation in Paris is not cheap. Most places are minuscule. Our little apartment was the size of a small garage for a car yet it had a double bed, dining table, a kitchen and a bathroom. We were amazed at how they managed to make an apartment in such a small space. But it had all we needed and we were out most days anyway.
One piece of advice for Paris. Pack old tired walking shoes. You may be visiting the style capital of the universe but the streets are littered with dog mess. And if you come from a country like Australia where you have to make sure your shoes are clean before coming through the airport, rather buy a swanky new pair of shoes and toss your old ones at the airport. Much easier.
Part 3 - next week talks on eating in France and my recommendations for things to do.
Go to - My Holidays and Trips - at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on - this link.
Labels: blog, blogsherpa, Charles de Gaul airport, information, Les Halles, Lonely Planet, Paris, rail strike France, Roissy Bus, travel, travel blog