Monday, December 19, 2005

Walking Tours


The first thing to do when visiting Paris or upon moving to Paris is get to know the city. The best way to get to know Paris is by walking around Paris. I will recommend several tips to get to know Paris quickly by foot.

The first tip is when taking public transportation, take the bus, rather than the metro, as you explore the city. Although the bus is slower than the metro, the advantage is that you'll actually be able to see much more and take it all in. I also recommend that you carry with you at all times a small, blank spiral notebook and a pen in which you can quickly jot down the addresses of interesting buildings or the names of interesting streets to visit later. In the evening, as you relax over a glass of wine, review the notes you have jotted down and correlate them with your guidebook to find out more about the places you have seen.

My favorite walking areas are:
  • Ile St-Louis (the isle in the middle of the Seine) -- the best ice cream, or "glace," is found here in several locations, called Berthillon
  • the Tuileries next to the Louvre -- look for the trampolines (great fun for the kids) and enjoy lunch or an early dinner at any of the outdoor restaurants in the Tuileries which are perfect in Spring, Summer or Fall
  • the Marais;
  • the 6th arrondissement -- I included a typical street scene from the 6th in this blog post;
  • the Jardin de Luxembourg;
  • Parc Monceau -- this is great park in the middle of a busy city that is a lot of fun with kids on weekends, we used to bring our scooters and roller blades and squirt guns and frisbees and footballs along with a picnic and enjoy some relaxed family time;
  • and last, but not least, the Champs Elysees
Make it a priority to take a walking tour of Paris. My favorite walking tours in English are led by this group:

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/pariswalking/

Each tour is about 2 hours. Try to do as many as possible – they are all great. The tour of the Marais is especially good. The cost is 10 euros (children and students are less) and you provide a tip at the end. The guide will occasionally sing opera or other antics. Also, you will meet lots of other interesting anglophiles who are touring by foot alongside you and you will pick up lots of good tips just hanging out.

2 Comments:

Blogger Luke said...

Whhere is that place in the picture? It looks familiar but I can't quite put my finger on it... Your blog looks really cool and organized but I haven't had time to read it... And what was that comment you posted on my blog? It didn't make that much sense...

10:06 PM  
Blogger kristen john said...

Where is this picture taken from?I am collecting pictures of all best of france tours

5:12 AM  

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