"I love Paris every moment.
Every moment of
the year, I love Paris.
Why! Oh why do I love
Because my love is here..."
- Frank Sinatra
Courtesy of Paris Eiffel Tower News
Welcome to Paris! This
page was designed especially for you who may visit Paris for the
first time. The idea is to give you advices to acquaint you with the
City of Light, and help you prepare for this exciting trip. Read on!
Prepare well for a
Once you have settled
down in your comfortable hotel room and are getting ready to take
your first stroll, take some time to dress appropriately.
First, put on a really
good pair of walking shoes to feel comfortable in the Parisian
streets. Walking in Paris means stopping often to look at amazing
details and buildings. This constant stop-and-go will wear you down
if you aren't comfy in your shoes.
Visiting the Eiffel Tower
means waiting often over 30 minutes to gain access to the ticket
booth, then waiting some more for the elevator on the way up, and
waiting some more for the elevator on the way down. So to your feet,
a pair of good shoes will make a big difference!
is fickle in springtime and during fall: what starts out as a great
clear day can turn rainy and chilly in the afternoon. Pack a sweater
and a rain breaker if you are visiting during these seasons. Summer
is usually fine (70-85°F), August is generally hotter (80-95°F).
Winter is rainy and cold, almost as cold as in NYC.
In any case, take your
umbrella along, it may become your best friend -- especially if
you intend to take pictures of everything. Rain and camera lenses
don't like each other.
Now that you're dressed
and all ready to venture outside, here are a couple of useful
Avoid taking a taxi during the day, and
notably in the morning until 11:00, and in the late afternoon from
4:00 to 8:00. Streets are jam-packed during those periods, and
seeing the meter run while you're a sitting in bumper-to-bumper
traffic is a disheartening experience.
Taxi fares: taxi meters show your fare and
one of three letters: A, B, or C. If you are within Paris and on the
ring outside Paris (the peripheral boulevard), the A rate applies
from 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM, and the B rate turns on from 8:00 PM till
6:00 AM. When you leave Paris intra-muros, the driver will turn on
the B rate during the day and the C rate from 8:00 PM. If you are
far from Paris, the C rate always applies. You will pay extra for
every luggage you load in the trunk and if you take the cab from an
airport. Don't try to hail a cab in the street too close to a train
station: taxi drivers can't load passengers within a 100-meter
radius from the train stations. Go to the station taxi head instead,
or further away from the station.
French people do lunch between 12:00 and 1:30
PM, and dinner between 7:30 and 10:00 PM. If you wish to
avoid the crowd, lunch at 12:00 tops and dine out from 6:00 to 7:00
PM. Restaurants rarely serve between 2:00 and 6:00 PM.
Having a drink at the terasse of a sidewalk
cafe is a necessary experience in Paris (skip it between
November and March though,except if weather permits). However,
terasse drinks are often charged premium prices.
Although they are saddled with a reputation, cafe
waiters are not necessarily rude: they're just in a hurry. So
don't take offense if they are impatient with you. Smile and show
them what you want on the menu. They won't return the smile, but you
will get your order quickly.
In Parisian restaurants, it is not customary
for your waiter to come back to you once you are served to see if
everything is allright: they assume this is the case. So don't feel
you are ignored: just call the waiter when you wish to have your
bread basket replenished. If you dine out at an expensive
restaurant, waiters will tend your table diligently. Otherwise, it
won't be the case.
Gratuity: your restaurant/cafe check already
includes a 15% gratuity. If you feel like giving an extra tip to
your cafe waiter, leave EUR 1 ($.97) on the table. In a restaurant,
you may leave EUR 3-5 ($2.7-4.5, more if you are in an expensive
place) but again, that's not expected in either case. Your credit
card receipt won't show any gratuity line.
Armed with these few basic advices, you are ready to conquer the asphalt.
On to places to visit!
Paris monuments and
This world-famous landmark was built for the
Universal Fair of 1889, held to commemorate the centenary of
the French Revolution. It stands 1050 ft high. Admission
(elevator to the top) is EUR 9.90 for adults, EUR 5.30 for
children under 12. Opening hours: Jan 1-Jun 13: 9:30am-11pm
daily (stairs: 9:30am-6pm); Jan 14-Aug 31: 9am-midnight
Work on the Hunchback's gothic home began
in 1163 AD and was completed circa 1345 AD. The house of God
can accommodate over 6,000 worshippers. Admission in the
Cathedral is free, going to the towers costs about EUR 6. No
elevator, people with a heart condition should abstain.
Opening hours: 8:00AM-6:45PM daily. Towers: 9:30AM-6:45PM
daily. Masses: 8AM, 9AM, 12AM, 6:45PM.
Elysees and the Arch of Triumph|
The Champs Elysees avenue
probably only deserves its nickname of "most beautiful avenue
in the world" for its lower section, starting Place de la
Concorde and ending at Grand Palais. The rest of the avenue
mainly features overpriced shops and restaurants - with a few
exceptions in the side streets. Walk to the Arch of Triumph,
at the top of the avenue, and visit the 50-meter high
structure built to commemorate Napoleon's victories. Admission
is about EUR 6, and free for children under 12. Opening hours:
9:30AM-11:00PM daily from April to October, and
10:00AM-11:00PM daily from Nov-March.
|Montmartre and the Church of the Sacred Heart|
The Romano-Byzantine basilica crowns the Montmartre hill. Its
construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1914.
Admission is free, except for the crypt and dome (about EUR
5). For a fun ride, go to the Anvers metro station, walk to
"Rue Tardieu" and take the "funiculaire" (a one-car train
which brings you almost to the top of the hill). Montmartre
itself used to be a village outside Paris. The hill is famous
for its architectural landmarks, its artistic life, and more
recently, for 'Amelie'. It counts no less than 7
|Church of the Invalides|
Its building started
in 1671 under the reign of King Louis the XIVth, and about 30
years later. From its inception, the place was designed to
serve as a home to impoverished soldiers and wounded veterans
of the French army. It comprises the veteran hospital itself,
a church, several museums, and the tomb of Napoleon I.
Admission is EUR 6 for adults, and free for children under 12.
Opening hours: October to March 31: 10AM-4:45PM,
April-September 30: 10AM-5:45PM
Located on Ile de la Cité, the
construction of this gothic church started under Louis IX in
1240 AD to house relics believed to be Jesus's Crown of Thorns
and parts of the Holy Cross. Amongst other remarkable details,
the tall stained-glass windows which are mainly original work.
Admission is about EUR 6. Opening hours:
|Place des Vosges|
Its construction started in
the early XVIIth century under Henri IV. It was completed in
1612. Initially named 'Royal Square', it was renamed 'Place
des Vosges' by Napoleon I as an homage to the inhabitants of
the Vosges region who had been particularly quick to pay their
taxes. The square is remarkable both by its style (it is lined
with 36 buildings, all dating from Henri IV) and by its shops
and its little park where Parisians like to loaf on sunny
Find more comments on
Paris landmarks and monuments at http://www.paris-eiffel-tower-news.com.
Walking in Paris
Paris offers a number of
interesting itineraries for strollers. You can follow the waterways
(river Seine, St Martin Canal, river Bièvre) or the 17-km long
railway transformed into a most surprising walkway hung some 50 feet above the hustle-bustle
of the city. You can also spend some quality time in any of the
large public parks which the city counts (Luxembourg,
Buttes-Chaumont, Montsouris, Georges Brassens), discover the gardens of the 14th district, or else decide to
learn live history and architecture in areas like St-Sulpice and St
A lively and interesting
This is but a glimpse of
the many places you will want to visit during your stay in Paris.
Guests of the hotel are offered a Complimentary Pass to the
Members Only section of the Paris Eiffel Tower News
website, which features a lot more information on Paris.
The Complimentary Pass
can be retrieved from the Thank You page which displays after your
reservation request has been received by the hotel.
The hotel personnel
wishes to be of service to you during your stay in