We all Know Paris as „the city of love“ but most of the French people would laugh about it… In addition to the naming „city of love“, we could call Paris „the rip off City“ or „the dirty city“. Here are some insights of a French guy about how not to fall in touristic traps while visiting Paris. By Alexandre
1. The districts.
Depending on the district your hotel is located; you will have a totally different experience of Paris. If you feel like sight seeing and party a bit, I would advise you to find an hotel in the 8th district (Champs-Elysées, Arc de triomphe, shopping centres…), you will find many fancy lounges and clubs in this area (rather expensive). Take care after the streets that are parallel to Avenue. You are moreover very close from „Le sacré Coeur“ (in Montmartre, 18th district) or „musee du Louvre“ (1st district).
Only for a romantic sight seeing stay in Paris, pick an hotel in the 7th district (tour Eiffel, Palais des invalides…) you will not be far from „musée du Louvre“ and „notre-dame“ (4th district). This is a super safe area because all the embassies are there. You will find nice French restaurants but no club…
If you wanna party hard, pick a spot around Pigale (9/18th district). Pigale is not what it used to be, it’s a cosmopolitan area where you will find cool hipster bars and clubs. If you are more an alternative person, pick an hotel in this zone.
Even if you get cheap offers, DO NOT pick an hotel in the suburbs, this will save you a lot of stress. Moreover the taxis are very expensive in Paris so what you’ll save with your hotel will be easily spent in taxi drives.
2. The transports
About the transports, you can easily travel with the subway (from 1€30 per ticket). If you land in Paris Charles de Gaule, use the subway as well (RER B) get out it „Chatellet“, you are 300m away from „Notre Dame“, in the first district.
To move inside Paris, you can also go for the „velib“, an on demand bike rental service that costs around 40€ for the entire year.
3) Eating and Drinking
Finally, for eating and drinking, you will find a lot of restaurant with a menu written in English, if it’s the case RUN away ;-), you will pay the full price for average food. Try to go out of the touristic areas and try the little cafés or restaurant. On champ Elysées or near the river „la seine“ you will pay 4€ for an expresso or 6€ for a cola.
Info: Security in public transports.
If you stay in the centre of Paris, it is most likely that nothing will happen. In the suburbs, take care after your stuff (smartphone, wallet…) and do not wear a fancy watch. If someone weird asks you anything, tell this person that you don’t know and do not carry on the conversation.
Gastbeitrag: Alexandre Davin, Grenoble