What woman could possibly visit Paris without wanting to experience the
joy of shopping? I sure didnít as I roamed among different neighborhoods
to visit boutiques and cafťs. Le Marais district is best to explore many
fashion and design boutiques. Itís hard to resist making a purchase of
some sort along the way! A unique cafť youíll want to check out is Pomze
in the Opťra/Grands Boulevard area, which offers apple-themed cuisine.
I thought the view of some historical landmarks along the Seine River
while on a night-time dinner cruise was stunning! The Bateaux Parisiens/Seino
Vision cruise is unforgettable. I saw the spectacular night view of
Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower (nicknamed the "guardian of Paris in golden
apparel"), the Musťe du Louvre (The Louvre Museum), and more historical
landmarks of France.
You absolutely donít want to miss visiting the Eiffel Tower in the day
as well. A 59-foot trek up the tower takes you to the top to overlook
the city of Paris that will leave you breathless!
During the day, the Louvre Museum was just as delightful. As a former
royal palace, it features a large, glass Crystal Pyramid near the front
entrance. The museum itself features paintings and artifacts of
architecture, history, and archeology of Franceís rich heritage. The
Louvre hosts the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, the Mona Lisa.
The palace was first opened to the public during the French Revolution.
In July you donít want to miss the famous bicycling race, Le Tour de
France (The Tour of France). Even though Lance Armstrong may not be
entering the race again, it is worth experiencing the national identity
and pride of France.
But before youíre able to experience Paris to its fullest, I strongly
recommend not leaving home without planning well in advance. Advanced
lodging accommodations are much needed. Booking travel dates ahead of
time and your hotel stay will save you hours, if not days of stress
headaches while trying to plan the perfect Paris vacation. Since the
summer weather in Paris ranges from fairly cool in the day (lower to
mid-70s) all the way up to 95 degrees, plan to bring a variety of
apparel to keep cool and warm. A few light sweaters, jeans, shorts, and
cotton shirts would work best. For the colder evenings (mid- to
upper-50s), plan to bring a coat to keep warm. Other essentials to pack
before leaving Paris include:
* a digital camera
* a small bag to carry a water bottle, maps, paper and pen, and the
* comfortable walking shoes
* a light rain jacket (just in case)
Besides the typical items you should bring with you, an absolute
consideration must be made when planning to travel overseas; knowing
what type of ID you will need while in France is most important. Only a
passport is required for entry into France. For stays up to 90 days, a
visa will not be needed.
Understanding at least some of the "language of love" is most
appreciated by the French. So, taking some beginning French lessons
before you leave for Paris would be useful or simply finding a good
English-French dictionary may work well to start. Learning some basic
phrases helped me around the city or guided me to someone who spoke
English. For example, there were several friendly question and greeting
phrases I used repeatedly throughout my trip:
* Hello (good day). --> Bonjour.
* Good evening. --> Bonsoir.
* Excuse me, do you speak English? --> Excusez moi, parlez vous anglais?
* Where is -? -->Oý est -
* In what direction do I have to go? --> Dans quel sens dois-je
* How much is it? --> Combien est-ce?
* No, I donít understand. --> No, je ne comprends pas.
* Thank you. --> Merci.
* Bye. --> Au Revoir
And when you do get to Paris, itís best to do three things to make your
trip most enjoyable. First, knowing that Paris is partitioned by
districts, which are located on the street signs, will make your travel
easier. Second, for a very low price, purchase whatís called a "Paris
City Passport" from the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau which
includes over 45 museum, attraction, excursion, and shopping discounts
and also includes a map of all Paris districts. Third, knowing a little
about all transportation options would be ideal, usually the Metro bus
or taxi are good choices. Knowing what district your hotel is in also
helps. And donít forget to use your new French skills!
To endure the everlasting spirit of Paris is not difficult. Once I
visited Paris, I never knew such beauty could exist in a thrilling
European adventure like this. I have not left the memories behind me and
I have not forgotten the experience of falling in love with a city.
Paris will continue to fascinate you too, even after youíve said, "au
By H.A. Brempell
This article was written by H.A. Brempell sponsored by
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