Paris - Disneyland
Saint-Ouen - Paris
You could stay in
forever — if you can afford to — and still not get enough. I ran the whole time day and night and did not see the half of it. And remember, please at least try to speak a little French and you will be surprised how pleasant Parisians will be—don’t try and you will experience the stereotypical aloofness. My advice, buy one of those language learning cd’s at your local book store before you leave home and get the basics like “Ou se trouve le WC”, the last part is pronounced VC (Where’s the restroom.)
Be very careful when you choose your hostel in
! 80% are old and ruined by time and very poor maintenance. I've heard that some even have rat baits under the bunks, and that it seems totally normal to the owners, so don't expect any help in case you wake up during the night hearing "something" scratching into your backpack. Always go for the top three, this will avoid bad surprises.
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!
If you stay in the centre of the city you'll have no problem finding a hotel that's close to the metro. Like in any big city, some neighbourhoods are better than others. I would highly recommend St. Germain or the Marais, both of which are really charming areas in
-- central, easy to reach the big attractions, plus near restaurants and cafes. And they are safe for females on their own.
Walk everywhere when possible. Go to all the major tourist stuff - the reason these things are so popular is because they really are that beautiful! But don't forget the rest of
. Spend some time down by the canal, go to the Parc de Belleville & Buttes Chaumont, Chinatown in the 13th etc. Look up - or you'll miss a lot of the architecture. Sounds dumb I know, but you'd be surprised... Smile at people and make an effort to speak French. Enjoy!
, it was as beautiful as everything I had read. I just returned from Paris and I am in love. Everything is within walking distance from the Metro/RER system. The Parisians are very warm, friendly, and helpful (especially the police). It is true that Parisians dress well, but that can be said for most of Europe, so if you go to Europe in general, try to dress a little better than you usually do. I fortunately wore black most of my stay, so I fit right in. As far as the "snobbiness" - I did not encounter any. The French were most charming and happy to help me. (I do speak French, so perhaps that was my ticket). I took a night train from Paris to Rome and made some great friends! Train is the way to go - buy one of those Eurail passes! They are well worth the money! Ciao!
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