Please note when you catch the eurostar from London Waterloo or ashford. and you have connect to another train at lille to eurodisney, please note there are no eurostar staff at lille to help you. where is the staff?
Unique Suggestions: .
Fun Alternatives: well to aviod travel probelms connecting to Eurostar. on the platforms there are normallly two trains comes to one rail line. and it a bigger platform. one goes south and the goes north check your train before travelling.
The Balloon (Quai André Citroën) : 10€ for 5 mn in the air.
It is too expensive and too short.
More they make an advertisement (previously for Fortis, now for Eutelsat) and receive fees for that.
Fun Alternatives: Have a look on the travelogue 'Paris viewpoints': you will find a list of viewpoints in Paris. Some are FREEEE... !
The Notre Dame and the Sacre-Coeur. Two beautiful churches in Paris. But the prices around these churches can make a huge difference.
I checked out a shirt at 300 metres from the Notre Dame. The price was € 30,-. I didn´t buy it. Later, at 300 metres from the Sacre-Coeur I saw exactly the same shirt for only € 15,-. Half of the other price!
So if you want to buy a souvenir, don´t buy it in the citycentre, but just go a little bit outside of the centre and buy it there.
Contrary to what everyone says, people in Paris will speak english to you as long as you make some sort of pathetic attempt in French first. The only place we went where no one spoke english was the McDonalds, which I found ironic.
Le Open Tour is a bus tour of the main sites of Paris. Admittedly, the day we went on the tour was freezing and this made it uncomfortable to sit on the top level. It cost 21 euros and did little more than take you to the main monuments of the city. The automatic audio guide had very little information and kept alternating from english and french.
Unique Suggestions: Choose a warm day.
Fun Alternatives: Much easier, and much cheaper to purchase a Paris Visite ticket which gives you access to the Metro, RER and buses for either 1, 3 or 5 days. We used the 5 day pass which cost the same as this one day tour. Check out my travel tips for more details on this.
I may spark the ire of many an art lover, but I find Musee d'Orsay a very claustrophobic space. The artwork is phenomenal, but the space itself is broken up into many rooms and is difficult to navigate, especially when crowded. Hallways end abruptly and I liken the rooms to cubicles.
If you meet people who try to sell you water, food, toys, in the street, don't buy anything. The prices are cheaper and it isn't legal.
Unique Suggestions: If the salesmen insist, make like the Parisian ones, are unaware of them!
Fun Alternatives: The best it's to stop in shops to buy anything. The law is: the prices must be visible.
We didn't want to get dressed up and pay big money to eat out on New Year's Eve so we headed to Champs Elysses with about a million other people. Anticlimatic is not a strong enough word for this street celebration in Paris, had I not looked at my watch, I would not have even known that midnight had arrived.
No countdown, no fireworks and the increase in noise level at midnight was imperceptible!
Another note, certainly not unique to Paris, virtually all of the restaurants increase their prices for NYE starting around dinner, some under the pretense of a price fixed menu, some blatantly gouging by plastering prices that are double over the usual price on the menus. The only restaurants that didn't seem to be gouging were fast food and the take away places (crepes, Greek, pizza).
Unique Suggestions: Stay clear of the metro close to midnight unless you want to be one of the sardines in the metro car.
The metro going back was very unpleasant, people pushing and shoving to get on the next train, I even thought their might be a possibility of someone getting trampled on. If you can avoid getting on at the stops on the Champs Elysses (FDR or Concorde) do it!
Fun Alternatives: Have a really nice lunch and then go to the supermarket like many of the locals seem to be doing, buy yourself a picnic dinner and a bottle of champagne and have your own celebration in the comfort and warmth of your hotel room.
It is on Ile St.-Louis, which is a hint right away that you should be very cautious. There was not a single French voice the night we were there. The service was adequate but the food was pedestrian at best. Not a good bargain, not a good experience. With so many fine eateries in Paris, it should be a felony to waste a meal here.
Unique Suggestions: It does have an interesting story, about recruiters for the French army shanghai-ing young men with food and wine. You start with a basket of sausages which were pretty okay, just not something I wish to fill up on in Paris
Fun Alternatives: Go a few steps down the street and have an ice-cream cone at Berthillion. That's authentic Paris, at least for me.
On the Place de la Concorde, just west of the Tuilleries, sits a ferris wheel - a BIG ferris wheel. To ride it, it costs 8 Euros and probably a few minutes waiting on line. A tourist trap - yes, but still worth the ride.
Unique Suggestions: If you decide to take a ride, do it on a less windy or cold day (believe me, it gets windy and cold up there), and maybe near dusk when the sun is going down. The views are wonderful!
Fun Alternatives: If you want some aerial views of the City of Light, I recommend this instead of waiting an eternity for the high vistas from Notre Dame, Tour Montparnasse or - the ultimate trap - the Tour Eiffel.
If you plan to get your duty/tax refund from purchases, when you get to CDG Airport (Paris), allow a LOT of time. The queue is very long and takes ages to process.
I'd have missed my flight had I stayed in the queue, so I missed out on the refund.
Unique Suggestions: Allow an extra hour or even more, if you want to successfully retrieve your refund before you leave France.
Many of the popular tourist areas in Paris have women begging you for money. They come up and ask if you speak English. If you say yes, they hand you a note which says they have kids and need money. Do not give them money. They work together and every last one that we saw looked able to get a real job.
Unique Suggestions: When they ask if you speak English just say, "Yes, get a job!" You will get a mean look and they will walk away from you and go to the next sucker.
The Stade de France has been inaugurated on January 28th 1988 with a France/Spain soccer game. It hosted the France 98 World Soccer Cup final on July 12th 1998 and saw the historic victory of France 3/0 over Brazil.
I was hoping to have a wonderful English stadium tour. In the end, the tour guide spoke French throughout the 1 hour tour. Moreoever, the stadium was under heavy renovation. (As seen in the pic)
Cost me 7 Euros. (Would have been 10 Euros if not for my Paris Visite pass discount)
A huge disappointment.
Unique Suggestions: Simply take a picture of the stadium exterior as a proof that you've been to a World Cup Final Stadium! Haha...
Don't waste your cash on a stadium tour.
Fun Alternatives: Maybe a tour of the stadium of Paris Saint Germain might be more enjoyable.
I had read about this scam, so I was fascinated to be able to see it in action outside the Musée d'Orsay.
The street vendor sells cardboard cut-outs of Mickey and Minnie Mouse that dance magically on the pavement. Tourists buy them for 5 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.
When a police officer started walking toward the Musée, the vendor quickly packed his things and melted silently away.
While it's not high on many peoples list, I think many people have heard of the Paris Sewers. I had dreams of some large catacomb type structure, something out of the “Phantom of the Opera”. But lo and behold it’s pretty much what it says, The worlds largest sewer. The most entertaining part was the gift shop and the end. I’ll leave it your mind to imagine what they were selling
Unique Suggestions: go on a cold day
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