Courtesy of Paris
Eiffel Tower News and Monument
Welcome to Paris!
This page was designed especially for you who may visit Paris for
the first time. The idea is to give you advices to acquaint you
with the City of Light, and help you prepare for this exciting
trip. Read on!
Prepare well for a stroll
Once you have
settled down in your comfortable hotel room and are getting ready
to take your first stroll, take some time to dress appropriately.
First, put on
a really good pair of walking shoes to feel comfortable
in the Parisian streets. Walking in Paris means stopping often
to look at amazing details and buildings. This constant stop-and-go
will wear you down if you aren't comfy in your shoes.
Eiffel Tower means waiting often over 30 minutes to gain access
to the ticket booth, then waiting some more for the elevator on
the way up, and waiting some more for the elevator on the way down.
So to your feet, a pair of good shoes will make a big difference!
Parisian weather is
fickle in springtime and during fall: what starts out as a great
clear day can turn rainy and chilly in the afternoon. Pack a sweater
and a rain breaker if you are visiting during these seasons. Summer
is usually fine (70-85�F), August is generally hotter (80-95�F).
Winter is rainy and cold, almost as cold as in NYC.
In any case, take
your umbrella along, it may become your best friend -- especially
if you intend to take pictures of everything. Rain and camera
lenses don't like each other.
Now that you're
dressed and all ready to venture outside, here are a couple of
Avoid taking a taxi during the day, and notably
in the morning until 11:00, and in the late afternoon from 4:00
to 8:00. Streets are jam-packed during those periods, and seeing
the meter run while you're a sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic
is a disheartening experience.
Taxi fares: taxi meters show your fare and
one of three letters: A, B, or C. If you are within Paris and on
the ring outside Paris (the peripheral boulevard), the A rate applies
from 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM, and the B rate turns on from 8:00 PM
till 6:00 AM. When you leave Paris intra-muros, the driver will
turn on the B rate during the day and the C rate from 8:00 PM.
If you are far from Paris, the C rate always applies. You will
pay extra for every luggage you load in the trunk and if you take
the cab from an airport. Don't try to hail a cab in the street
too close to a train station: taxi drivers can't load passengers
within a 100-meter radius from the train stations. Go to the station
taxi head instead, or further away from the station.
French people do lunch between 12:00 and 1:30
PM, and dinner between 7:30 and 10:00 PM. If you wish to
avoid the crowd, lunch at 12:00 tops and dine out from 6:00 to
7:00 PM. Restaurants rarely serve between 2:00 and 6:00 PM.
Having a drink at the terasse of a sidewalk cafe is
a necessary experience in Paris (skip it between November and March
though,except if weather permits). However, terasse drinks are
often charged premium prices.
Although they are saddled with a reputation, cafe
waiters are not necessarily rude: they're just in a hurry.
So don't take offense if they are impatient with you. Smile and
show them what you want on the menu. They won't return the smile,
but you will get your order quickly.
In Parisian restaurants, it is not customary
for your waiter to come back to you once you are served to see
if everything is allright: they assume this is the case. So don't
feel you are ignored: just call the waiter when you wish to have
your bread basket replenished. If you dine out at an expensive
restaurant, waiters will tend your table diligently. Otherwise,
it won't be the case.
Gratuity: your restaurant/cafe check already
includes a 15% gratuity. If you feel like giving an extra tip to
your cafe waiter, leave EUR 1 ($.97) on the table. In a restaurant,
you may leave EUR 3-5 ($2.7-4.5, more if you are in an expensive
place) but again, that's not expected in either case. Your credit
card receipt won't show any gratuity line.
these few basic advices, you are ready to conquer the asphalt.
On to places to visit!
Paris monuments and hallmarks
Eiffel Tower - Tour
landmark was built for the Universal Fair of 1889, held
to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution.
It stands 1050 ft high. Admission (elevator to the top)
is EUR 9.90 for adults, EUR 5.30 for children under 12.
Opening hours: Jan 1-Jun 13: 9:30am-11pm daily (stairs:
9:30am-6pm); Jan 14-Aug 31: 9am-midnight daily.
Dame Cathedral - Notre
Dame de Paris
Work on the Hunchback's
gothic home began in 1163 AD and was completed circa
1345 AD. The house of God can accommodate over 6,000
worshippers. Admission in the Cathedral is free, going
to the towers costs about EUR 6. No elevator, people
with a heart condition should abstain. Opening hours:
8:00AM-6:45PM daily. Towers: 9:30AM-6:45PM daily. Masses:
8AM, 9AM, 12AM, 6:45PM.
Elysees and the Arch of Triumph - Champs élysées
et l'Arc de Triomphe
The Champs Elysees
avenue probably only deserves its nickname of "most beautiful
avenue in the world" for its lower section, starting
Place de la Concorde and ending at Grand Palais. The
rest of the avenue mainly features overpriced shops and
restaurants - with a few exceptions in the side streets.
Walk to the Arch of Triumph, at the top of the avenue,
and visit the 50-meter high structure built to commemorate
Napoleon's victories. Admission is about EUR 6, and free
for children under 12. Opening hours: 9:30AM-11:00PM
daily from April to October, and 10:00AM-11:00PM daily
and the Church of the Sacred Heart - Montmartre
et le Scrée coeur
basilica crowns the Montmartre hill. Its construction
began in 1875 and was completed in 1914. Admission is
free, except for the crypt and dome (about EUR 5). For
a fun ride, go to the Anvers metro station, walk to "Rue
Tardieu" and take the "funiculaire" (a one-car train
which brings you almost to the top of the hill). Montmartre
itself used to be a village outside Paris. The hill is
famous for its architectural landmarks, its artistic
life, and more recently, for 'Amelie'. It counts no less
than 7 museums!
Its building started
in 1671 under the reign of King Louis the XIVth, and
about 30 years later. From its inception, the place was
designed to serve as a home to impoverished soldiers
and wounded veterans of the French army. It comprises
the veteran hospital itself, a church, several museums,
and the tomb of Napoleon I. Admission is EUR 6 for adults,
and free for children under 12. Opening hours: October
to March 31: 10AM-4:45PM, April-September 30: 10AM-5:45PM
Germain des Pres / Quartier
Latin - Latin Quarter
Even today this quarter is associated with the existentialism
of the 1950's, with Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de
Beauvoir writing at the Cafe Flore, and with Boris Vian
Queneau. The "invasion" (over the past 30
years) of luxury boutiques is replacing the book stores
cinemas from this aera, although a historical preservation
association has now been created to preserve that which
started in the early XVIIth century under Henri IV. It
was completed in 1612. Initially named 'Royal Square',
it was renamed 'Place des Vosges' by Napoleon I as an
homage to the inhabitants of the Vosges region who had
been particularly quick to pay their taxes. The square
is remarkable both by its style (it is lined with 36
buildings, all dating from Henri IV) and by its shops
and its little park where Parisians like to loaf on sunny
comments on Paris landmarks and monuments at http://www.paris-eiffel-tower-news.com/ discover-paris.html and http://www.monument-paris.com/monument-selection.htm
Walking in Paris
a number of interesting itineraries for strollers. You can
follow the waterways (river Seine, St Martin Canal, river Bi�vre) or the 17-km long
railway transformed into a most surprising walkway hung some 50 feet above the hustle-bustle
of the city. You can also spend some quality time in any of
the large public parks which the city counts (Luxembourg, Buttes-Chaumont,
Montsouris, Georges Brassens), discover the gardens of the 14th district, or else decide to
learn live history and architecture in areas like St-Sulpice
and St Germain-des-Pr�s.
A lively and interesting city
This is but
a glimpse of the many places you will want to visit during
your stay in Paris. Guests of the hotel are offered a Complimentary
Pass to the Members Only section of the Paris
Eiffel Tower News website, which features a lot more information
Pass can be retrieved from the Thank You page which displays
after your reservation request has been received by the hotel.
personnel wishes to be of service to you during your stay in