by Julianne Mercer, Negosentro.com |
Paris is a very popular destination, in 2013 the city had 32.3 million guests based on hotel occupancy rates. It is a city rich in history going back to the third century BC when the area was inhabited by the Parisii, a Celtic Iron age people. There are many well known attractions in Paris; The Lourve is the most visited museum in the world, the Eiffel Tower, the Catacombs are all well known to most people.
Paris has many ways to get around. Driving a car in Paris is a very bad idea. It is a very old city and has many small narrow streets, parking is very expensive and street parking nearly impossible to find. A much better plan is to use public transit. The Metro (underground), RER, and the buses all use the same tickets, 1.80 Euro is the cost for a single trip. Remember to keep you ticket handy the entire trip as you can be fined if you do not have it when they check for them. The metro is generally safe but there are pickpockets. Like in any big city use precautions such as not having your wallet in your back pocket, hold your bag in front of you while seated or standing.
Paris even has a public bicycle sharing system called Velib “bike freedom”. You can buy a 7 day ticket online for 8 euro. It is the largest such system in the world with 20,000 bicycles located at stations spread across the city. Taxis are available and always have a lighted taxi sign on top of the vehicle and a meter inside.
The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau offers visitors passes that you can purchase on-line for discounts on museum entrance fees, public transportation, sightseeing buses, and cruises. Check out this web site: http://www.parispass.com/
Paris is a relatively expensive city to live in and to visit. It is a really good idea to research and book accommodations before your trip. Quality hotels and hostels fill up fast in the high season. Prices for one night during the summer season range from 40 euro for a dorm bed in a hostel room to 2000+ euro for a nicely furnished 3 bedroom apartment. While it is nice to remain flexible in your travel plans it is by far better to plan ahead. Think about what you plan to do and see, then look at your options for staying taking into consideration many factors:
Distance to the places you plan to visit
Public transit there is fast and plentiful, but if you are here only a short time you want to make the most of it seeing the sites and not the metro lines.
The amount of time you are staying
If you are staying a week or more looking at places with a kitchenette, laundry facilities, and other amenities included that you might need in the longer term is a good idea.
Some places may have a better rate for a weekly stay if you ask.
If you are traveling on a budget you get what you pay for, sometimes a little more or less. The cheapest accommodations are hostels with dorms and shared bathrooms. These usually cater to students and backpackers. Some are quite nice. If you are traveling as a group of friends or family you can rent a whole dorm room and save quite a bit. They usually provide some sort of breakfast.
The most difficult choices are those low to middle range hotels. The photos on the booking websites may look nice but if you do not look over the amenities and extras well you might find you would have been better off paying a little more at another establishment. Look at the fees, some charge extra for internet access. Some include breakfast, you should list the ones that look good to you and then add +/- checks next to them according to the extras that will save or cost you. You can balance the equation according to your needs.
An excellent web site for hotel bookings suitable for all kind of travellers you´ll find here: http://www.popularhotels.com/en/paris