Advice From Women Who Love Paris...
someone a birthday party...
out! That's my cure for loneliness. Travelling to Paris
by train I struck up a conversation with a young American
years my junior. She told me it was her birthday -- the
first one she wasn't celebrating with family and friends.
I invited her out to dinner and then to a French dubbed
Woody Allen movie with English subtitles (hilarious!).
We had a great time. It didn't make a huge dent in my
travel budget and I'll bet that she remembers that Paris
celebration as vividly as I do. I hope that one day someone
does the same for me.
for enjoying Paris...
a Journeywoman reader who has travelled to Paris and would
like to offer my tips for enjoying this wonderful city:
- Get a good map of Paris that includes the Metro.
My favorite is - a laminated map that folds nicely and
won't get ruined if it gets wet. Browse through library
books on walking tours of Paris. Even if you don't take
them with you, they can give you a pretty good idea
of how much you can accomplish in one day.
- Substitute a good pair
of walking shoes for those sneakers. Cobblestone and
uneven streets can be killers on thin soled shoes and
sneakers are a no-no.
- Buy a 3 or 5-day Museum Pass (Carte Musee).
It not only allows free entrance into many museums.
In several museums (including the Louvre and Versaille)
there are special entrances that help you avoid lines.
I bought mine at the Louvre the evening after we arrived.
The clock starts when you first use it. But make sure
you understand what the admission days and hours are.
Different museums are closed on different days.
- Don't be intimidated by the Metro, bus or train
(RER). I'd suggest walking early in the day and using
public transportation when you start to get tired. You
can buy tickets singly or in packs (which can be shared).
The same tickets are used by all.
- If you arrive in the morning (after a long night
flight) and find that your room is not ready, store
your bags and head for the Seine. A boat tour is a good
way to orient yourself and relax.
- I love Paris. I've never felt uncomfortable
being by myself (although I don't usually go out past
early evening). My preference is a small 3 star hotel
- the people are usually friendly and helpful. But expect
a tiny room. When I traveled with my 6' tall son, he
said the only place to get dressed was in the shower.
in the Latin Quarter...
when in Paris for several weeks, I stayed at the three-star
located at 13 Rue des Ecoles
(Maubert-Mutualite metro). I stayed there alone for three
one time, and with a partner for two weeks ten years later
(that was ten years ago but there had been little change
during that first ten years). The elevator is tiny but
reliable, breakfast is downstairs, with good quality petit
pain, tea, and coffee. There are several bistros, one
on the corner, another across the up hill intersection
and one directly across the street. There is also a "Chinese
take-away" at the Metro station, where the market is held
Tuesdays and Thursdays. I had a room "sur le cour" (actually
the lightwell) so there were some interesting night sounds,
but it was away from traffic.
note: I did some research on this
hotel and they have done renovations, have internet access
and they are air conditioned.
living in Paris...
just back from a trip to Paris and want to tell you about
I've stayed several times. The apartment building is located
one block from the Louvre and two Metro stops are a very
short two block walk away. Rates are reasonable (around
90 euros a night) and the area feels very safe. We were
on the 4th floor our first trip and the 2nd this time.
It is a walk up but the charming winding stairs make the
trip worth while. The apartment is an efficiency, but
very large by 3-star Paris hotel standards and is well
equipped with a stove, microwave, fridge , washer and
dryer, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board,
and a full size bath. The Apartment is very clean with
beautiful large windows that open onto rue Saint-Honore
where you can actually see the Louvre from the window.
The building has been in the family for 60 years and this
"pied a terre" was the idea of the young owner, Stelois
(who helped us in any way he could). This second trip
we felt as if we were visiting dear friends. I would stay
nowhere else in Paris.