My tip is not to book this hotel. On the website it looks quite charming and the area near Place de Clichy metro is great and lively with lots of brasseries. But the hotel had ropey-worn carpets, tatty old furniture, noisy water pipes when the room upstairs flushed the loo and the hallway stank of stale tobacco. The beds were comfy and clean though, and it was only €90 for a triple room, so maybe I shouldn't complain and ask myself “what did I expect?”
Rue de batignoles, Paris 18
We booked a flat in Paris based on information on the website. When we arrived on a Saturday night the key was not available. With a lot of luck we were able to contact a local agent who was able to get us into the flat that Holiday Velvet had booked with them for us. it was not the flat shown on the web. It was small and cramped and cost two thirds of what we paid. We have been ignored by Holiday Velvet and have not received our deposit refund let alone any refund of the difference in the rental.
'Nuit Blanche' is an annual event in Paris, whereby (so rumour would have it) everything stays open all night for revelry and awe. Imagine touring the Louvre at 2am, followed by a quiet 4am brunch in a streetside cafe watching the crowds walk past, and the carnival-like atmosphere.
It would be great - if it were true!
Last year's was a shambles. The authorities didn't (wouldn't) release guides until the night itself (and then didn't explain how to get them) and most Parisians had no idea what was open, or where.
We joined the crowds milling outside the Louvre (closed), tried the Musee d'Orsay (closed) and settled for a Bateau Mouche - which turned out to provide the long awaited guidebook once you'd bought your ticket.
The boat trip itself was pleasant, during which we could read the guide - to discover few places indeed were open at all, and the promised 'all night opening' of the Metro only applied to certain lines in certain directions.
The only bar we could find open and not crammed with similarly baffled tourists was Australian (not very Parisian). When we finally gave up, we joined the thousands of others equally trying to desperately get a taxi home in the sub-zero temperatures, and ended up huddled in a Metro entrance (closed) for warmth until the hordes had thinned enough for us to try and get back.
It can't be blamed on our being tourists - as we have French friends who live in Paris and who we'd joined to spend the 'event' with!
Hopefully this year's will be better, but I'd definitely check every detail out in advance, just in case!
Do not get conned! The street vendor sells cardboard cut-outs of Mickey and Minnie Mouse that dance magically on the pavement.
Tourists buy them for five euros to take home to their children or grandchildren and find out later that they've been conned.
The figures are actually suspended on clear fishing line and are attached to the vendor's backpack on one side and to some other object on the other side.
There's a motor inside the backpack that jiggles the figures around so that they seem to dance.
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