Paris like a local – insiders tricks

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I’ve been to Paris many times and after many requests from my friends I put together this and a few more blog posts on Paris with lots of tips including restaurants Parisians frequent where you get great food without outlandish tourist prices.

Paris RoissyBus

 

Paris from the airport

1) The green Roissybus is the one to take going to and from the airport. Do not get into the hideously expensive white Air France buses waiting close by. The bus stops at the Paris opera – at the back of which you have the two big department stores.  http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/r_61852/roissybus/

Paris views for free

2) Remember, when strolling go inside the Printemps department store. Take the elevator as high as it goes then the escalators further up to the TERRASSE.  You sit free of charge on the roof of the Printemps with Paris at your feet.

paris3) Also take the city bus. Ask for the free map of the bus lines the “carte de bus” at the metro station. This is by far the best way to see Paris and the Parisians regardless of weather and season. You will have great fun.

4) Travel on your Paris Visite card bought at the metro station. Buying tickets on board is not economical. You can also buy online before you travel if you are very organized.  This card gets you discounts and even free entry into several museums.

Try to speak some French

5) Remember the formal ways: Parisians are very helpful when you show awareness. ALWAYS say BON JOUR MADAME or MONSIEUR when addressing someone whether asking at the metro ticket counter, the nearest policeman, a taxi driver, bus driver or sales lady. And AU REVOIR when leaving. Be sure to say EXCUSEZ – MOI and MERCI plentifully at all other times.

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French Decadence

6) If you like the romance of those legendary grand luxury hotels and their rest rooms. Here’s how to indulge at bargain price. Enter and head to the bar.  My favourite is a hot chocolate (about 15 EUROS) at the Bristol. It was also a favourite of Woody Allen. The flower loving lounge bar of George V (not “five” but CINQ). The ravishingly elegant Plaza Athenee. The beauty of the Meurice and the famous Ritz etc.

7) Ecologistas: get yourself to that tourist-free marvel of the grand green majestic with artificial water fall, grotto and lake of the Buttes Chaumont park in the 19th arrondissement, northeastern Paris, and admire its flower bed compositions and its beautiful collection of rare trees.

Paris Canals

8) and then a little bit away you have the pleasures of the Paris canals lovely not only on a hot day beginning at the Bassin de la Villette in the same area.

paris-concert-hall-jean-nouvels

Know your Paris address

9) Further on, Paris‘ newest marvel, the extraordinary concert hall for heavenly summer nights as bonus!  Taxis are NOT expensive when hailed in the street. Do remember to write down destination always having the proper arrondissement number to street address. Show driver before getting in. Pay cash as very few take credit cards.  Taxis in Paris are very honest unlike the horrors of Nice and Marseille.

Paris Legend

10) And by the way, get yourself to the legendary writers’ brasserie Le Select located in Montparnasse just opposite expensive La Coupole restaurant. Lunch on their Croque Monsieur made with the heavenly Poilane bread. You get a lot for its modest price. Drink plain water as Parisians do as for une carafe d’eau. Paris Le_Select_—_Montparnasse_France


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About Sandra

Just a girl from Ireland who wants to live everywhere. Not a planner, a winger when it comes to travel. I don't even like people who plan too much. Without spontaneity there is no depth. A jack of all trades. A great friend, loyal and passionate and I expect the same in return. Always ready for the next adventure at a moments notice.
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