first visit to Paris was on my honeymoon. That visit sealed my
fate. I was in love and in Paris and there isn't a more romantic
place in the world to stroll with the one you love.
been back many times - for pleasure and business - and stayed
in hotels and rental apartments. The memories of that first trip
have never brought disappointment. Each visit to Paris is as magical
as the one before.
few hints to win the hearts of the Parisians and enjoy your Paris
a little travel French... I can say "Bon Jour"
with the best Parisian accent. I always lead off with that. Sadly,
my ability to speak French ends there. I've found that my cheery
hello breaks many barriers. Waiters, shopkeepers, taxi drivers
and Metro clerks... all are happy to help this fumbling English
speaker. Either that or the few words I do try to say in French
sound so awful that it is just less painful to speak English.
I do know that not speaking French has never been a problem in
my Paris adventures. I do point a lot, that helps. Always remember
to say hello ("bon jour") BEFORE you ask if anyone can speak English ("parlez-vous anglais?") Politeness
Your Paris Arrondissement...
Paris is divided into 20 neighborhoods called Arrondissement.
If you get a good idea of where each of them are, you'll have
no trouble navigating around the city... and finding your way
back home. Each one has a character that distinguishes it from
the others and finding the right district to stay in is an important
part of planning your trip.
the nearest Paris Metro...
You can always discover your starting point by asking for the
nearest Metro stop. The metro allows you to travel all over Paris
quickly and cheaply. The stations are mostly clean and safe, although
some areas do take a little watching. Paris does have some seedy
neighborhoods. A word of caution. The Metro closes at 11 PM. Plan
your trip home so that you are not caught in the station as they
lock the gates or be prepared to spend the night!
your time... The wait to climb the tower at Notre
Dame or the Eiffel
Tower or to gain entrance to the Louvre can be long. Try to
get an early start to spend more time seeing the sights and less
time waiting to get in, but be prepared to waste some time on
lines. If you bring along a guide book you can read a bit about
the things you want to see inside while you're waiting. Don't
try to see everything in a day or two. The
Louvre takes a full day to get to see just the spectacular
exhibits - it really needs more than that to visit the best offerings.
I don't think a lifetime is enough to get to know the whole museum.
the local food shops... The bread in Paris is impossible to
resist - bakeries will sell you one ridiculously long Baguette that will be half eaten before you get it home. Paris
markets are wonderful places to shop for the freshest foods,
flowers and lots of other interesting things.
time to stroll... Along the banks of the Seine is a good place
to start, but go and explore. You'll find many areas like the Marais
District or the Latin
Quarter that invite hours of wandering - with or without shopping!
remember when it's time to come home and you realize that you'll
need months to taste every delicious dish and get to see and do
all you wanted to... Paris will still be there next year - and
each visit is more wonderful.