This is a website I just stumbled upon this morning, which is dedicated to Paris top restaurants. Worth a visit, especially for its list of the very top French cuisine restaurants and their worldwide acclaimed chefs (Michelin-starred, etc).
Hotel Gavarni is an old-fashioned-style hotel in the chic 16th arrondissement in Paris.
The owner is green and he wants his hotel to be the same. That's why organic food is served for breakfast, the water from the showers is recycled, the staff is trained to save detergent and water and so on...
5 rue Gavarni
75016 Paris - France
Phone:+33 1 45 24 52 82
Forget the big stuffy international hotels and book yourself into the Christian Lacroix designed Petit Moulin in the Mariais. It is a charming little hotel in a 17th century building that used to be a boulangerie and still has the old signage. There is wireless internet in all the rooms, and you are right in the heart of a very trendy district full of design shops and art galleries – getting into town isn’t difficult and the extra minutes spent traveling are well worth it for staying in such an original place, with none of the hollow impersonality of larger hotels.
Rather than lug your purchases around with you on your speedy business trip, why not pick them up at Gare du Nord right before Eurostar check-in? As you exit the Metro in the 'Magenta' part of the station, there's a small stall run by a chap from Provence, who dispenses great wine, cheese, pate and meats to those London-bound. Great for picking up some goodies before heading up to the Eurostar terminal.
Gare du Nord, Paris. SNCF says: France des Provinces Niveau -1 (Level -1) sous la verrière Transilien, face au couloir RER E
Forget buying a Paris Visite card for dashing around the city - it's only valid for 1st class metro which is not always convenient. Instead, buy a Mobilis card for unlimited public transport in central Paris, €5.50 per day. Or, for longer stays, a Carte Orange, €16.60 for a week's unlimited public transport in central Paris (photo required).
Hotel prices in Paris aren't cheap. In fact, they are surprisingly expensive. My recommendation would be to check in to smaller boutique hotels which may be just away from the main tourist attractions/streets. Take the hotel Vernet as an example. Just a few steps away from the Champs Elysee but benefits from great interiors and a equally great location.
The Roissey bus takes you in to the centre of Paris behind the Opera. It is not only a cheap form of transport (from a company perspective) but the bus ride helps you get your bearings and leads you into central Paris where you can shop and eat before going to your hotel.
Outside all terminals at CDG airport and at L'Opera
The catacombs of Paris were created to house the overflow of municipal cemeteries as the city was expanding and being developed. Visitors can go seven days a week to follow a 1.5 mile trail past the remains of six million former inhabitants. It is remarkable, not for its ghoulishness; once the initial surprise has worn off, it is a place which I find really thought-provoking, and is useful as a contextualisation of one's importance in the world (and perhaps one's work?). An unusual way to spend a couple of hours, but a worthwhile one.
Nearest metro stop is Denfert Rochereau; www.catacombes-de-paris.fr/english.htm
Great French restaurant full of locals and great atmosphere! It is massive with two floors and the menu offers many dishes at cheap prices. Great for families travelling on a budget who want to visit a traditional French restaurant. Go early to avoid queues, however it shouldn't be a long waiting time.
7 rue Faubourg, Montmartre, Paris
For your first day in Paris, take a classic walking tour with an English-speaking guide to take you to all the main sightseeing spots. It only costs about 20 euros per person for 3.5 hours but you get to see all of Paris on the first day and allows you to go back and re-visit any of the sights for the rest of your holiday or go elsewhere. Wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking and bring your camera!
It is very romantic for couples, also a great treat for the family. The four-course meal is fantastic, also you get to see all the Paris sights as you take your time eating dinner and drinking wine and listening to the sounds of the piano. A great way to spend lunch or dinner.
Go to Sacre Coeur for the best view of Paris. Take a walk up to it and you can visit the small shops and cafes on the way up. It is the highest point in Paris, also a visit to the church inside is absolutely beautiful. Bonus: no need to queue for hours to see Paris and it is free! You can also take your pets up as well.
Very nice French restaurant, grand and expensive-looking, like from a movie. They have a vast English menu, the salmon I had was fantastic, also a good range of desserts. Waiters were very friendly as well and spoke good English.
Opposite entrance of Gare de l'Est
While Paris is wonderful, if you want to spend a day in the countryside you can consider either Champagne or the Loire Valley. From Montparnasse to Tours it's 55 mins via TGV, so you can be ready to explore one or two chateaus in a day and return in the evening.
There are buses to take you to the chateaus from Tours Gare and cost around 49 euros per person for a full-day tour- you'll visit Chenonceau, Amboise then Chambord which is quite a lot in one day.
While I would recommend a full day for each of these attractions, if you haven't the time it's a great day for the whole family and no need to drive or hire a car. Lunch is usually at Amboise which has lovely cafes, nothing really really gastronomic but good for lunch.
You can probably organise tickets for the chateaux pick-up via SNCF (gare) or www.tourevasion.com for more Loire Valley activities
Paris-Tours 55 mins via TGV
You have never tasted anything like the unpasteurized bliss available in special Paris shops- check "points de vente" on pascalbeillevaire.com
Butter is not even mentioned on the website (merely their cheese) so go to the shop best suited to your whereabouts and buy a package or two of beurre cru croquant. Bliss bliss bliss.
Choose the shop that best suits your own Paris address via www.pascalbeillevaire.com
Thanks to John Brunton for his article on budget bistrots. I was so glad to see La Boulangerie on the little, not easy to find street as the number two in the area no one ever mentions, the great 20th arrondissement.
I do love La Boulangerie myself for its exciting food and wonderful atmosphere at remarkable prices. For as long as the bliss lasts - I fear it may get well-known.
Easiest to get to by bus 96 heading towards Porte des Lilas, get off at Julien Lecroix, walk downwards on that same side of the street and to your left is the little dwindling Rue des Panoyaux
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.
Since this was our first visit to Paris, we weren't sure how to best spend our time. We came across Aeon's site and ended up taking a tour. We were, all in all, pleased with our tour and guide. She was knowledgeable and willing to answer any of our group's questions - even our most ridiculous ones. And, trust me, we had a few since we were there during the Metro workers strike in 2007. She was willing to start our tour later due to us not being able to get to the meeting point in time.
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