Even in Paris, a capital city famed for its gastronomy, it takes a little planning in order to have the most amazing culinary experiences. Here are some hints on how to avoid the tourist traps, navigate the ‘dining rules’, and eat like a local in some of my favourite and best local restaurants in Paris.
How do you choose the best guided tour of Paris for you? There are hundreds of ways of finding out all about Paris, some free and some not so free. You can take a tour whilst walking, running, riding a bike, motorbike or a segway, taking a bus, a tuk tuk, a boat or whilst sitting down in a comfy seat watching a theatre performance to name but a few.
But if you only have an hour or three, here are my Top Choices for having fun and finding your best guided tour of Paris :
I love walking so for me this is the best : A great, and (technically) FREE choice is www.discoverwalks.com Take one of 5 trips round the Marais, Montmartre, ‘Parisian Landmarks’ The Left Bank (the South side) or the Islands with a young, bilingual Frenchman or woman, vividly – dressed in pink waistcoats or shirts so you can’t lose them. These are not history lessons, they are full of facts, very funny anecdotes and stories about current events. Great fun. Your guides exist on tips.
If you are a lot more energetic you could sign up as for the FREE running tours on Wednesday mornings at 10am. Your guide is Luke, an Australian, and you can meet him at the pointy end of Ile de La Cité opposite the Statue of Henri IV (right by one of my favourite restaurants, the Taverne Henri IV). Just turn up or sign up to his Facebook page. Please don’t think for one moment that I have done this, I have just got some mad friends!
Gorgeous guests Jeff and Laura suggested I tell all of you about the Left Bank Scooters who will take you on a 3 hour journey around Paris; one of you on the back of a motorcycle and the other in a sidecar, helmets etc provided. Both of them are tall but neither of them said they felt crushed and they came back raving, they loved it. These tours are only offered in the Winter months, from November to the end of March and for the braver, they offer Vespa scooter hire too.
Finally, so many of you have watched and adored the Theatre show “How to become a Parisian in one hour”. It is not a guided tour but it does guide you through how to understand the Parisians, their foibles and how we need to behave to get along in Paris. It was created and is performed by a Frenchman, Olivier Giraud, in English and has been a smash hit for years. A laugh a minute tho a little on the blue side perhaps. The theatre show is every Friday – Monday night and tickets cost from €24 – ask if you want me to book for you. And it is not far, go to Galeries Lafayette at the bottom of the hill and turn right!
I hope this will give you food for thought as to how to find the best guided tour of Paris for you and your family, whether it is your first trip or not and I look forward to your comments.
Yeh, I made it to number 5 this week!! Being ranked 5th on Trip Advisor means being 5th of all +/- 6000 listings in the Vacation Rental section of Trip Advisor Paris. Just type ‘Paris’ and then list by Traveller Reviews. No other filters needed :-).
I’m so happy I wanted to thank the people who made that happen, my gorgeous guests and all those who have at one time wanted to stay with me.
When I started I had no clue how important Trip Advisor was and even less clue how their algorithms worked. My first review was a 5 out of 5 so I jumped into the Top 500 ish. I remember I posted on Facebook just how happy I was to be ranked in the Top 100.
I was over the moon when I got into the Top 50 because that was technically page 1 of Trip Advisor ! That seems ages ago but as I only started in 2012 it can’t be !
Now the B&B has 126 reviews (of which only 9 are 4* peppered with ‘wonderful’ and ‘we will return’ statements). The apartment is lagging behind in 9th position with only 107 reviews!
So how to celebrate or offer a thank you ? Here comes the August Special Offer. Well actually there are 2; an August Special Offer and an August ‘Special’, Special Offer !
AUGUST SPECIAL OFFER : For anyone who wants to come to Paris between now and the 5th September I am offering a 20% discount for a 4+ night stay in either the B&B or the Apartment. Please share (those funny coloured buttons at the end) if you think your friends may be interested.
Temperatures on the balcony will be 80F/60F or 26C/15C. PERFECT.
August is my favourite month in Paris, the French are on holiday so the museums are open and quiet (except for the 15th August public holiday when a lot are closed but for those that are open PLEASE buy a museums pass), the shops are empty, most of the restaurants are open (just the mom and pop ones close) and the roads are EMPTY !
Come and see for yourselves.
The AUGUST ‘SPECIAL’ SPECIAL OFFER is only for my Gorgeous Guests who have already stayed at 52Clichy :
I want to go away for a short trip before September so if anyone wants to stay in the B&B or take both for up to 6 people, you can have the same Special Offer as above PLUS, although you won’t be getting my breakfasts, you will have the place to yourselves.
Just click the link to the B&B or the Apartment on Trip Advisor and pop in your dates or click on the 52 Clichy website, choose where you want to stay and click on the big purple “Check Availability” button.
Looking forward to seeing you or hearing from you soon,
Want to hear what previous guests have said, CLICK HERE…
I’m a fan of the Black Eyed Peas so when I heard last month that Will.i.am (founding member of the Black Eyed Peas for those over 30) was re-interpreting his “Mona Lisa Smile” video in association with the Louvre, my interest was piqued.
I love the new video which was entirely set in the Louvre. Throughout the song Will.i.am super-imposes himself on numerous of the Louvre’s most famous paintings, half of which I should know but don’t. Nicole Scherzinger plays La Joconde / Mona Lisa – but as I am over 30 I haven’t heard of her ;-(
I think it would be a great wheeze to wander round the Louvre trying to spot the paintings used in the song ! One way to interest the teens, I think.
I might have to find them in the correct order sequence though just because I am waaayy too complicated for my own good…
Click on the photo to see the video.
How many can you name off the top of your head ? If you need help this link shows the original painting, the video version and a bio !
Not content with this collaboration, Will.i.am has also produced a 12 minute documentary – Will.i.am at the Louvre – with the senior creator of the Department of Decorative Arts at the Louvre and the Editor of Wired UK discussing his passion for art and technology and his fascination with the Louvre, “the greatest museum in the World”. Some contents that particularly inspired him included one of my favourite subjects, Marie-Antoinette, his view of the parallels between creativity in the 18th century and today and the piece de résistance in his mind, Claude-Simeon Passemant’s 18th Century silver and gold “Pendulum of the Creation of the World”, which not only tells the time but shows precisely how the Earth tilts on its axis.
Click here to see the documentary.
The Louvre has a lot of Visitor Trails, maps with detailed directions and explanations of what you are seeing which you follow at your leisure and they have created a 90 minute Will.i.am at the Louvre Trail based on the documentary incorporating everything he talks about including the sumptuous Napoleon III apartments, the monumental white stone Lefuel double staircase and ‘that clock’ which I also think is amazing (I recently saw a smaller version in the Kings private state rooms in Versailles Palace but it is not on public display).
If you are up to it, and your teens aren’t yet dragging their feet and demanding to be fed, there is 90 minute themed tour about the Da Vinci Code called ‘from Fiction to Fact’ and just one guided tour in English – an introduction to the ‘Masterpieces’ at 11.30am and 2pm each day.
Happy Louvring !
WOW, I will be in another Frommer’s guidebook, Frommer’s Easy Guide to Paris, to be published in October 2016. Did you know there was a need for so many different guidebooks for Paris ?!
This is what Amazon says about the current Easy Guide to Paris (2016), written by Margie Rynn : ” In 288 pages of dynamic, thoughtful prose, she guides the intelligent visitor to all the storied wonders of a glorious city, stressing her preferences for the best in every category. ”
The big deal for me is that they have asked me for PHOTOS ! Particularly photos with people in them ! I sent her squillions, including the obvious balcony photo, but not many with people in them.
However, I thought I would give you all the chance to relive happy memories, look at your holiday snaps and send me some gorgeous ones of you in my living room, in the apartment, on the balcony, having breakfast but perhaps not tucked up in bed ;-). This will stop me scrabbling through my iphone on a Friday night !
Alternatively why not send some Parisian iconic scenes. I know some of you are wonderful photographers, and I always need photos that set the scene so that all you wonderful guests come to visit I can share my vision of this beautiful city.
Just a reminder from my last email, next week I am increasing my prices for July onwards (I have some space in May but June is completely booked). If you book before the end of May to visit Paris before the end of April 2017, then you can take advantage of my current prices.
This offer also applies to your friends if they mention they were referred by you or better still if they joined my mailing list at the bottom of my website homepage www.52Clichy.com! So do share this with them and have a look at my calendars below the slideshow of both the B&B and Apartment pages of my website.
This offer lasts only for the month of May and I can’t wait to hear from you.