Paris - Disneyland
Saint-Ouen - Paris
! You have to grab opportunities here or they will pass you by... make the most of everyday. Go to a jazz club, try to mingle, befriend a Parisian show puppy. Learning a language opens many doors and I guess I missed out by being a clueless foreigner. Dress well or don't bother at all. Like really, khaki shorts will not be tolerated. Paris is a little more reserved than Italian cities and a little more practical. It's still a mystery to me. Why all the hype? hmmm... to be continued.
is truly a beautiful city, give yourself plenty of time to see it or you'll miss out. Travel is easy with the Paris Metro, just grab yourself a map and you'll figure it out very quickly. Never be afraid to (politely) ask questions -- the rumors about the typical French coldness is decidedly untrue, and most people will be more than willing to help! The Arc de Triomphe is breathtaking when viewed during sunset, while the Eiffel Tower is best viewed at night. Take the stairs if you're looking for a bit of a workout! Most importantly, don't be afraid to try out a little French! You'll amuse the locals a little, and they will be a lot friendlier with you and overall much more helpful! Bonne chance!
You can't really go wrong as far as location goes when you're looking for a hostel in
. They're pretty much all within a few blocks of a metro stop, which means you're always about 10-15 minutes from anywhere in Paris. By the way, buy a multi-day metro pass rather than paying for each trip to save money.
Just two tips for
: Take a bottle of red wine, some bread, and cheese up to the top of Mont Martre to the steps of the Sacre Coeur at dusk and just gaze. And two: do a Fat Tyre night bike tour from the base of the Eiffel Tower, a great way to review everything you've seen that day as the sun sets in summer!! A truly beautiful city!
Montmartre is the best part of
, the true Paris, and the area by itself is secure. To stay in Montmartre is a must if you find a nice accommodation to stay -- don't do like me and read carefully the Paris' hostels reviews before you book online because, for some reasons, Paris is a uniformly horrible city for hostels. My parents, who backpacked in Paris in 1978, had warned me -- bad security, rip-off, showers full of mold. Trust me, it has not changed for twenty-nine years! Expect body fluids and dehydrated insects' carapaces on your bedding (not a joke, I saw that!). The area of Montmartre is absolutely gorgeous with its pedestrian streets and its famous basilica du Sacre Coeur. Go there at sunset with a bottle of wine and puckered lips. Relax as Paris lights up around you and enjoy watching people stroll by for hours.
I went to
last summer with few expectations, it was the last stop on a European vacation. I fell in love! Paris is beautiful. The Eiffel Tower was amazing especially at night with all the lights. Fat tire bike tours is a must -- four hours of touring around Paris on a mountain bike then a hour on a boat going up the Seine drinking wine! Wonderful. I only encountered two rude french people. One was on the overnight train from Basil Switzerland to Paris, the ticket guy made fun of my high pitched voice, pinching his nose to imitate me! The second was a waiter in a Paris cafe. The waiter was trying his best to be haughty, but he had a black eye and several scratches on his face and looked like he had been in a fist fight, he ended up looking silly. Everyone else I encountered was more than helpful and very friendly. Several people went above and beyond common courtesy to help when I was lost. I love Paris! Going back next year!
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