Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Travel & Lodging in Paris

We were in Paris about 5 weeks ago. It's really taking us a long time to write about it cos Nee's primadonna recipes usually take center stage & for most of the time, the priority goes to that. But we know we need to finish the trip entries off cos it's partly for our own documentation, so that we can look back one day & remember it. Besides, if we don't do it soon, they'll start to grow mushrooms.

Anyway, our trip to Paris was DIY & it was an interesting experience, a different one, to have arrived at a foreign country for the first time underground. What greeted us was not the usual baggage retrieval carousal, nor the immigration officers, but the heart of Paris itself.

Arriving at an airport is like coming in through the front door. Arriving on the metro was like coming in thru the backdoor unsuspectingly, something like thru the butt of Paris.

Transportation in Paris is pretty convenient. The metro system works like clockwork right down to the minute despite the fact that it looks & feels old.

We got ourselves the Paris Visite tickets at Gare Du Nord basement, which was a 5-day pass (€27.50 per person) for unlimited usage on buses, metro, RER, & whatever else that was moving. If that scares you off, other 1-day, 2-day & 3-day passes are also available for your travelling pleasure.

But if travel is just within Paris, a Carte Orange will probably be more economical ~ €15 + €4 for photo ID for travel of 7 days. We really didn't know why we ended up with a Paris Visite. The lady at the counter recommended it to us, & we just took them quickly so that she doesn't start speaking to us in French.

We took the metro to Sebastopol station and then changed to the Arts et Metiers station one stop away. From Arts et Metiers, our hotel was just across the road at Rue Bailey.

Coming out from the Paris underground, we were immediately hit by the Parisian cafe culture, beautiful Parisian sunshine and fortunately, no Parisian dog poo.

This is where we stayed for 4 nights in Paris. If I remember it correctly, the rooms were about €105 per night, without breakfast.

The rooms here were huge compared to London standard. It was clean, bright and had all the usual basic ammenities like a long bath, security box, TV, airconditioning & free WIFI like what a standard hotel room should have.

Parisian hotels seemed more like the standard complete hotel, unlike the ones in London which were mostly refurbished town houses with limited toilets.

I guess it's pretty obvious that the tourism industry here is very much more mature.

Having said that, it still has its old charm & certain quiantness about it, like the pretty flower boxes on every window sill ...

.. and the elevator.

It had a wierd door that you had to swing open, step inside, & once you close the door, another metalic one will fold in mechanically.

The elevator had just enough standing room to fit the both of us. And that's only because we haven't started eating.

Oh, by the way, the best website to book Parisian hotels online would have to be here. It allows you to seach by district, read reviews, sort by price, & view the location map in 3 different formats:

Normal map

Satellite map

Hybrid map


Mom with a Mac said...

Such lovely typical Parisian pictures! Great work at capturing the place...the next we'll go is most probably to the South Coast of France, when we get over our nightmare :) am hungry now,...as usual from the food posts!

Greg Wee said...

Hi Sara. Thanks! We're actually quite thankful for all the advice that people have been giving us. I think that kept us out of trouble cos we were quite careful everywhere we go.

And Nee & I have been talking about dog poo in Paris for the past two days. We've come to a realisation that probably it's more common towards the end of the year when it's cold, & most people just don't bother to pick up their precious pets' products. :)

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