We have some fantastic travel tips for those of you visiting the beautiful city of Paris. Escape Travel’s general manager of marketing, Colin Bowman recently spent some time in Paris and who better to ask for handy tips! Colin has advice on transport, dining, accommodation and sightseeing and mentions some sneaky pick pocket tricks to keep your eye out for.
Out and about in Paris
Moving around Paris is not all that difficult – if you can read a map ! The subway system is fantastic with trains at least every 5 minutes. You can plot your way around the city and walk between lines pretty easily. Get a good map of the system, understand which metropolitan stations are close to the different attractions and go for it. I recommend you buy a “carnet” which is 10 tickets. They can be used for trips of around a half an hour – more than enough time to get from one side of te city to the other! A carnet of 10 tickets will set you back 12 -13 Euros.
Watch out for the pick-pockets. A couple of common tricks are the one where a person pretends to pick up a ring from the ground and ask if it is yours in order to get you to stop. Once they have stopped you they’ll try and pick your pocket or if no success, sell you the ring on the pretence it is valuable. The other trick is pretending they are deaf and asking you to sign a petition. Again while they have you stopped they try and lift your valuables.
There are many great places to eat. If you are staying over by the Trocadero try La Stella on Avenue Victor Hugo – a busy little place frequented by locals. Be ready to order when the waiter arrives! Over near Sacre Coeur there is a great little restaurant at Montmartre called Mere Catherine. It’s right on the square so you can sit there and watch the tourists having their pictures sketched by the many artists operating in the Place du Tetre.
If you feel like a bit of a splurge then it’s Le Maurice. Book for lunch – it’s a set lunch at 90 euros per person, about 1/3 what you will pay at dinner. It’s 3 Michelin stars and is a once in a lifetime experience.
Most attractions are closed on Mondays so if you are visiting on a Monday you will be limited to the Louvre and a few others. If you are going to Musee D’orsay make sure you get in the right queue. There are doors for prepaid ticket holders and others for walk up customers. If you can, book your attractions in advance – you can get some discounts for three attraction tickets and you can shorten your time in the queues. You will also save money, and get to know the city well by pre booking on a tour.
At the nice end of town try the Raddison Blu Le Dokhan’s Hotel at rue Lauriston. A great location close to the Trocadero, Eiffel Tower and great restaurants. It’s what I’d call a boutique hotel, six floors of eight rooms each. The porter Franco was very helpful with directions, suggestions on places to eat and things to do. The lift is tiny (will get you and a friend and a suitcase each in) and is an old Louis Vuitton travel case from the 1930′s – amazing! Rooms start at 450 euros in peak season.
At the more budget end is the Hotel Nord-Est. Very close to the Place de la Republique it’s a short walk to the Seine, major department stores and the Latin Quarter. The rooms are pretty basic but clean and prices to match.
Is it time for you to wander the streets of Paris and discover why so many people fall in love with this city? Contact your local Escape Travel consultant today for fantastic deals.