Thursday, November 05, 2009

Tips for Paris

I've been back for almost two weeks and I have for sure neglected my blog-due to guest, catching up with my church assignments, Halloween parties and recovering from an intense dentist appointment.

I decided that it would be best to share some inside tips for Paris from yours truly.

1. Learn some French or Arabic. Most of the time I spoke in Arabic to figure things out. There are some English speakers, but don't count on it. French is good to know to understand the metro system and the announcements that are made.

2.Study the metro system like it's a med school final. I can't tell you how many times I took the wrong train. It will save you a ton of time that you can use seeing sites and eating yummy crepes.

3. Paris metro system is not made for the elderly and babies. They have very few elevators and carrying a stroller up and down stairs is really hard work.

3. If you belong to the European Union and you are 25 and under, you can enter most all attraction (famous or not famous) for free. Lucky duck.

4. If you are 18 and under, no matter your nationality, you can enter most attractions for free.

5. If you are 25 and under and don't belong to the European Union, you can enter most attractions at a discounted price.  I scored big time on this deal.

6. After 6 p.m. on Wed and Friday's the Louvre is discounted to 6 euros. This is a good option if you only want to see a small amount of paintings, otherwise I recommend paying the full price and spending the whole day there. The Louvre is massive and really overwhelming.

7. You can enter Versailles at a discounted price after 3 p.m. I choose this option because I really just wanted to see the Chateau and the gardens.

8. If you are really into museums, I recommend getting the Paris Museum Pass. They can be purchased for 2 days/32 euros, 4 days/48 euros or 6 days/64 euros and must be used on consecutive days. The pass lets you skip lines and gives you entry to 20+ famous attractions. It's really a great deal since it  pays for itself with four attractions in two days. This is the best option if you want to see a ton of stuff and you don't fit the age limits that I listed above.

9. On the first Sunday of the month, many of Paris' most famous museums are free. I love the idea of strolling in a museum on a Sunday afternoon.

10. Musee d'Orsay was my favorite museum. If you are a lover of Impressionism, go here and be stunned. I could have spent all day just sitting and staring at some of my favorite paintings.

11. For 1 euro, you can stroll around the Rodin's Museum's gardens and see some of Rodin's most famous works including the Thinker and the Gates of Hell. The best deal of my whole entire trip!

12. Eat as much chocolate as possible; it will change you. It has made me into a chocolate snob-I have yet to touch American chocolate.

13. I've also become a cheese snob. The cheese there is so divine.

14.You must see the Eiffel Tower during the day and at night. At both times it's stunning but at night it is so magical. It sparkles every 20 minutes.

15. The top of the mall across from the Opera House has the best free view (meaning you don't have to pay to go to the top) of all of Paris.

16. Don't step into any puddles, they could possible be urine. I learned that the hard way and my pants stunk for the rest of the day.

17. Sipping chocolate is a lovely creation.

18.You have to pay to go up the Eiffel Tower, but if you are willing to climb some stairs, you can do it for a discounted price. Stair climbers only get to the second level, you have to take an elevator to get to the very top. I didn't do it because I felt the the Eiffel Tower was very romantic and I wanted to share that experience with Brock.

19. Study up on all the art history that you can. It was brilliant to see all the paintings that I studied about in college, but really sucked that I couldn't remember any of their names. All of the paintings are only labeled in French so that didn't help me out much.

20. Take Paris in slowly and don't rush your experience. If you rush everything you will really hate being there. The first day I was there I did that and I just felt overwhelmed and anxious.

5 Grass Lovers:

Chris and Jonette said...

Here here... I agree with your list. Except for one... I think the best free view, while the mall next to the Opera House is cool (Is that the Galleries Lafayette?), the absolute best view is up at Sacre Coeur. You literally can see all of Paris. Its amazing. Plus, one the walk up Montmartre, there are all sorts of cool local art stuff.

Natalie | Make Today Great said...

ooh, I am bookmarking this!!

Layla said...

Chris, I am sure the view at Sacre Coeur is amazing, but in order to get to the very top of one of the dome's to see the view in entirety, you have to pay for it. That's why I said that the mall view was a good free choice (since it is on top of a building and you can be all high up and mighty). I didn't go to Sacre Coeur, but I've heard that the view was pretty good,I've heard you can see all of Paris from the steps.

Diana said...

Don't worry Layla--I have taken care of the chocolate portion that you have been missing.

I find it totally interesting that 25 and under is at a discounted price for many attractions. Why do they go older--or why does America stick with 18 and under?? not that I qualify for that anymore

gabriellevalentine said...

Those are great tips. I can't wait to go, one day! =)