Residence Pacific Hotel

77 Rue du ruisseau, Paris, 75018, France
Ibis Styles Paris Montmartre Nord
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More about Paris


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The street comes to life in the evening!The street comes to life in the evening!

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Forum Posts

General customs questions

by eliza61

So I've gotten my "French for Dummies" tapes and diligently learning a few phrases. Do you guys have any other suggestions on "must reads" before a newbies first trip to Paris. Any local customs I should know about?
I'm making my way through various Paris pages here but any other helpful hints would be great. I have the visions of "Opening my mouth, inserting my big foot"


Re: General customs questions

by leics

Have you checked through the Paris 'Local Customs' tips?

'Warnings and Dangers' are useful too.

It's been too long since I visited Paris, so I can't give you anything more specific...but do try and speak at least a bit of French (even if you get a reply in English!). :-)

Re: General customs questions

by Andrew_W_K

If you take the train back to the airport make sure you buy the correct ticket. The problem is the tickets are the same size and colour as the ordinary metro tickets and people (like me) make the mistake of thinking you have a valid ticket for the airport. When you get on the airport train they check your ticket, politely tell you it is the wrong one then fine you 30 Euros. Ouch! And they take all major credit cards too.

Re: General customs questions

by Maryimelda

If you can say:
Thank you

in French and try to remember to do so whenever appropriate, you should have little trouble with the Parisiens. They just like us to make a little effort to speak their language.

Re: General customs questions

by hawkhead

And how about "pardon" and "excusez-moi" for sorry and excuse me?

Re: General customs questions

by leanneedwards

You will be fine!! If you try it is amazing how quickly you will get help in english even if it is as bad as your french ha ha... I love the Eye witness books and always take it with me or I know this is hard "rip out the pages you want" have a good Map it is necessary... I have several sizes and always hang the big one on the wall when there and mark our daily walks on it... take your time to look up and see what wonders are above eye level... besides the Eiffel tower... just interesting architecture....beware of the woman who finds the ring on the ground and trys to give it to you.... they change there little scams from time to time... they will offer you a paper in english about how they have escaped from somewhere... just be polite and keep moving... usually around the Tuilleries or Sacre Coeur... we sat at the bottom of the hill having a glass of wine and watched several men "search" bags at the gate going up to sacre coeur... as this happens in most museums tourist allowed it... even though they should have realized it is an open area .... Don't worry about making a mistake... if you can laugh at yourself they are happy... it is to me the Most Beautiful City!! Enjoy..

Re: General customs questions

by kathymof

I read a book called "The Seven Ages of Paris" before I went and was glad I did. it is a history of Paris and made many places come alive for me.

Re: General customs questions

by vinc_bilb

Hello, OK, most of the good idea's were listed. Just try also to avoid some direct translation trap which could be very confusing ...

More under

or my local customs section (I'm French)

Enjoy your trip and don't worry: English level is not as bad as decribed sometime ... Bonne jounrnée à vous :)

Re: General customs questions

by vinc_bilb

Thanks Pedro! I'm blushing right now ...

Travel Tips for Paris

Of course, 'La...

by SirRichard

Of course, 'La Tour', well, what can I say? How to get there?: Metro : Bir-Hakeim, Trocadéro, Ecole Militaire / RER : line C (Champs de Mars, Tour Eiffel) / BUS : line 42/69/72/82/87
Opens from 9 to aprox. 23-24, depending on dates
Rates with elevator: 1st floor : 20 FF, 2nd floor : 42 FF (change elevator on 2nd floor), 3rd floor : 59 FF. If you wanna use the steps you can save some money: 14 FF for the 1 or 2nd floor: you have to take the elevator to the very top anyway. Go up and see Paris from the air!!



Go to Montmartre (Sacré Coeur, Place du Tertre, Square Willette, the Village and its narrow streets)
Métro : Abbesse, then the funicular to reach the Montmartre Hill. Rue des Saules, there is the Montmartre vineyard which is all it remains of the famous vine which covered the hill between the windmills during the 19° Century and before.
Walk in the narrow streets, sit on the banks, look at the shops, take a drink in a 'bistro' (when the Polish troups came to Paris in 1815, the soldiers asks for a 'bistro', such as a coffee shop. The word is remained).
The photo was taken in 1971. It is now a restaurant named the 'Maison Rose', rue de l'Abreuvoir. Have a look at the building and at the neighborhood, It worths to be seen.

Le quartier de La Défense

by Klod5

At the end of the first World War, plans were made to develop the axis from the Arc de Triomphe at the Etoile to La Defense. Numerous plans were submitted for the Voie Triumphale or Triumphal Way as it was known, most of them with endless rows of impressive skyscrapers in mostly Modernist style. Many of the plans which were submitted in 1930 came from renowned architects like Le Corbusier and Auguste Perret. None of these plans were realized, mainly due to the Great Depression in the 1930s.

In 1931 though, the authorities organized a new competition, but the intent was to limit the height of the buildings along the Triumphal Way. Only at the end of the long avenue, at the Défense, were towers allowed. This was recommended by the authorities as towers close to the center would obstruct the view on the Etoile. Most of the 35 (French) entries in the competition were either classical or modernist style, but again none of the plans were actually realized due to lack of funding. The main focus now moved from the Triumphal way to the Défense area, or La Défense. The name défense originates from the monument 'La Défense de Paris', which was erected at this site in 1883 to commemorate the war of 1870. In 1951, the Défense site was chosen as an office center. In 1958, development of the area was started by a special agency, the Etablissement Public d'Aménagement de la Défense. The first plan had 2 rows of skyscrapers of equal height. In 1964, a plan was approved to have 20 office towers of 25 stories each. Little of the development on the Défence was actually built according to this plan, as most companies started to press for taller office towers. The result is a mix of mostly cheap towers of different heights. The tallest of them, the GAN tower, measured 200 meters.The height of several towers, and in particular the GAN tower caused a public outcry as the 'forest of towers' disturbs the view on the Arc de Triomphe as seen from the Etoile. Partly in response to this criticism a new monument was built at the entrance of the Défense as a counterweight for the Arc de Triomphe: The Tête Défense , also known as the Grande Arche de la Défense.

The project to build the 'Grande Arche' was initiated by the French president Mitterand. He wanted a XXth century Arc de Triomphe. The design of the Danish architect Otto van Spreckelsen looks more like a cube-shaped building than an arch of triumph. It is a 106 meters white building with the middle part left open. The sides of the cube contain offices. You can take a lift to the top of the Arche de la Defense, from where you have a nice view on the city center which is only 4 km further.

The older generation...

by nicolej

The older generation Parsiennes don't seem to like to speak English or really associate for very long with Americans and/or English people. The younger people are much more interested in meeting Americans and other travelers and speakig English. You just really have to try and respect that the older French don't particularly enjoy speaking English, even if they know how to!

Most restaurants do carry English menus so just ask for one. Bring your dictionary with you everywhere.

Even as open, amiable, etc. as you can be, many French just get annoyed easily with Americans who won't try to speak French, so TRY TO SPEAK FRENCH as often as you can. They really appreciate it quite a bit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shakespeare and Co. a Literary Must See

by jcwarrior50

Well, Shakespeare and Co. in the heart of Paris was a must see for me. It was at the top of my list ever since I found that Hemingway had spent a lot of time there and it was one of the only bookstores in Paris where you could find English books at the time. It's crammed full of books and great for those of us who dwell in literary places. But, hands down, the best trip I made was the climb up the steep, rickety stairs to the upstairs where there was a ton more books, little nooks to sit and read and a couple of offices where people would sit and talk about literary matters. Study its history before you go and then sit and read and partake in one of the richest holes in Paris


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