Good Spots In Paris

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Friday, June 5 2009

Hotels in Paris

Hotel As I promised : here's a little post about how much a hotel may cost you if you plan a trip to Paris :) You'll see the cheapest ones (and were you should avoid going anyway), the average ones (which are usually good spots, where you'll have a good quality for the price you pay), and of course a quick tour of the "upper class" hotels without which Paris would not be Paris ;) !

The cheapest

Before I really starts lets make it clear : by "the cheapest" I mean "the cheapest hotels", you can find places where to sleep for fewer bucks, but those are no more hotels but hostels ("backpackers" for our Australian friends ;) ).

In France the most famous brand in the "cheapest hostel" industry is "Formule 1". As it is a famous brand you're sure it's cheap but clean. Only problem : they are "cheap" oriented, and because of the real-estate average price in Paris they have no hotels within the city so you'll have to be around Paris, not in it (no big deal, there are still public transports and others easy ways of reaching the center of the town). So, the price for this : it starts between 38€ ($53) and 48€ ($68) for a night. I checked other cheap hotels, they are in the same range of price (but some are in the inner-city)

To sum it up : A cheap night is worse a little more than 42€ (around $60)

The average

If you plan to go to Paris with your beloved one you might want a bit more than "the cheapest decent hotel in Paris", so let's have a look at what's more average :) I know two major brands for "average" hotels : Ibis, and Mercure (in fact those used to be two different brands but now that's the same big firm...well we don't care, the brands are still here!).

What you need to know is that "Mercure" is upper class then "Ibis". Knowing this you won't be to much surprised when I tell you that you can find Mercure hotels in the very center of Paris, but no Ibis ones (make no mistake : you can find Ibis hotels in Paris, not like Formule1, but they are not located in the very center of it, that's all). As I told you those are average hotels (meaning two and three stars) so they're more expensive than the "cheapest hotels" we just saw earlier (which are barely one star) : count between 60€ ($89) and 90€ ($127) for Ibis, and between 110€ ($155) and 200€ ($283) for Mercure. As a matter of localisation : Mercure can be found everywhere (even in the very center as I told you), and Ibis are everywhere but in the center. Both are usually in cool spots you'd like to hang out :)

To sum it up : An average hotel night is worse 75€ ($106) for a two stars hotel or 150€ ($212) for a three stars one.

The upper class

And now : the upper class ! But let me warn you already. I'll be very brief (and incomplete) on this topic for two reasons :

  • I don't know a lot about those hotels (I'm not that rich :p )
  • It may be a good idea for a future complete post ;)

So, let's just talk about a couple of "upper class" hotels

First the Crillon. Very nice hotel, 770€ ($1090) for a night. To give you an idea of the spirit of this hotel let me tell you that for events such as the return in France of the national soccer team (world champion in 98 :p ) the private party takes place there :)

Then the Georges V, near the Champs Elysés, starting at 730€ for a night.

One I can't skip : "Le Bristol" starting at 750€ for a night

The famous Plaza Athénée, even if they did not dare putting the price on their website (and I did not dare calling to ask ;) )

And now, even if there are many more of them (after all : Paris needs room to supply shelter to the celebrity herd that rush into the town from time to time) I'll stop here. Maybe there'll be more in a coming post ^_^ !

Tuesday, June 2 2009

The price for living in Paris

Key Looking for a flat took quite a lot of my time lately (and it will surely keep taking some in the coming months) and as it really took a LOT of time I posted fewer articles on this blog. Today, as I was still searching for a flat, I realized I could make blog post out of my search :) ! After all, when I look for a flat I definitely go for a walk in the neighborhood (even if I've been living for more than 20 years in Paris there are still some area I barely know) and that would make quite a good post topic, don't you think ?

For this first article about buying a flat in Paris I won't do a specific neighborhood review but I'll just start drawing the big picture. First figure : the average price for a meter square in Paris is 6360€ (which is $833 per sqf). As a comparison :

  • in New-York City it's $1193/sqf
  • in Miami it's...$132/sqf !!! Damn, I've always believed it was a super expensive city O_O
  • Los Angeles is $251/sqf
  • San Francisco is $510/sqf

(all figures for the USA are from here )

Of course this average price includes areas in Paris where I will never ever accept to live (North East of Paris mainly). If we now take a more targeted look the average price in the areas I'd like to live are between 7000€ and 8000€ per meter square (which are $917/sqf and $1048/sqf)...and believe me : it's not the most expensive areas :( (just for fun let me tell you the average price for the center of Paris : 11830€/m² in the area of "Odéon"'s $1549/sqf ...more than 10 times the Miam price :( )

So, what's the conclusion of all this :

  • Living in Paris is very expensive, but don't worry : I know that only very few of you may consider buying a flat in Paris someday, so I'll make a blog post about the price of hostels soon, and the next posts of this serie are definitely going to talk about the spirit of neighborhoods more than about their precise prices ;)
  • I'm not rich enough to buy a decent flat, and as any penny is good to take I added a new ad spot in the left sidebar of my site using this ad network. Who knows, I may earn enough bucks to buy me a coffe some day (if it ever happens I'll let you know ^_^ !)

Monday, October 6 2008

The Hideout

TavernAs you should know by now there are many pubs and "cafés" in Paris. Some even say there are more than one for each Parisian ;) But yet I haven't talked to you about any of them in Particular. I shall then start by one of my favorite night pub : The "HideOut Odéon" !

First of all its location : 32 rue Dauphine (Dauphine street) in the 6th quarter of Paris. If you remember well what I learned you in the previous posts you should know it's not far from the Latin Quarter (a great area to party) as it's in the 6th quarter. What you may not know is that it's near the river Seine, near the "Pont Neuf" bridge (one of the coolest bridge in Paris according to me), and near "Notre Dame" cathedrale (quite nice to see at night). So to say the least : it's very well located. Moreover it's easy to reach as there are two different lines of métro going there : 4 and 10 (station "Odéon" )

Now the pub itself ! It's a pub, and people are here to have fun and party together, therefore : the music is loud, and you should expect to meet new people :) About the music it's just what you listen at home :) ! Seriously ! long as you are French ;) If you're not French you may hear a couple of songs you don't know, but don't worry, there are still a lot of ACDC, Rolling Stones, ... What about the drinks will you tell me ? I strongly advise you to take beers :) ! The HideOut really looks like a pub, or an old tavern, so beers are definitely the good choice :) (and the cheapest choice, they have 50cl beers at only 3,50€ !!!). If you are such an alcohol lover that beers are too light for, you no problem : they have cocktails (may I suggest rum based cocktails ?)

So, here's the summing up : well located, good ambiance, cheap beverage, good music...All good :) ! Well, not exactly all good. There are some minors drawbacks. The worst of all : it's damn warm in there :( The place is quite small, and often almost crowded, so it's really hot...Second drawback : the music is cool, but loud (as I told you earlier), so you may have troubles speaking with your friends (the ones you went there with, and the ones you'll meet there ;) ). Put aside those drawbacks I highly recommend it (and last bonus point, for smokers : there is a room at the back of the pub for smokers, so you don't have to go smoking outside like in every other pub in Paris, highly appreciable when it's rainy :) )

Saturday, October 4 2008

My shops

Cart Damn...I just noticed that my favorite RPG shop was closed :( ...hopefully it's just to repaint the walls and stuff, and not a definitive closure. And realising this, as I was standing in the middle of the street in front of a closed shop I thought : I haven't talked to you, yet, about shopping in Paris :) And that's a BIG mistake !

So I think I may soon create a new category : shopping (because I think "tourist" does not fit that well). Shopping is, indeed, something you must not miss if going to Paris ! If you do not know : Paris has ones of the biggest (and most expensive :( ) fashion shop of the world :) (I do not do my shopping in those places, but still can talk to you about them ;) ). So keep an eye on the blog, I'll soon had articles about shops I like (and maybe shops I do not like). Clothes shop, book shops, souvenir shops, ...

Just to give a little tease, here are some pictures, to watch while you wait for the articles ;)

Louis Vuiton store Louis Vuiton store, on the Champs Elysees

Rivoli street Rivoli street, going all the way from the Louvres to the city hall (I may replace this picture with a prettier one if I have the time to go there today, because on this one you do not see that it really stuffed with clothes shops :) )

Gibert - Book Store Gibert book shop, in the Latin quarter (I already talked about this area)

many more to come, check the RSS :)

Saturday, September 27 2008

How do I get home now ?

I I often talk to you about good spots in Paris you should go at night but I haven't yet told you how you can go back to your hotel once the normal bus & tube service is over. It's high time to tell you more about this :) !

The first to be shut down are the buses (at about 23h there are no more of them), then at about 1am the metro's shut down too...So how are you going to get home ? You've got 4 big solutions :

Use your feet

Paris at night is quite secured (except for some areas in the North, but anyway it's far from the touristic places ^^) so you can walk home. The only issue is that you may get lost if you don't know Paris, and you won't find many friendly sober Parisian to guide you at this hour so be sure to know where you are going before leaving the pub, and be sure to have a map in your pocket :)


Paris is a touristic town, you will have no problem finding taxis to go back home ( fact you may have problems getting one around 1am because a lot of people want to get back home at the very same moment, but you'll always end up getting one :)). Paris is not a very large city, so do not be afraid to take a taxi, you won't be overcharged.


What's a "noctilien" ? It's the name of the night buses :) ! I told you that buses are the first public transports to be shut down at dawn, but that's for the regular lines. Other lines of buses starts at around 2am all over Paris :) Check the maps before going out though because the lines are different during day time and at night, so reaching a club from your hotel with a bus at 10pm does not mean you'll be able to go back to your hotel directly by bus at 5am ;) (you may have to change bus once or twice before reaching your goal)


Velib's are, basically, public bikes :) ! Very useful to get back home at night (if you know the way)...Watch out : they're free of charge only if you use them for less than 30mn, so don't get lost on your way or you'll have to pay a little something :) (by the way : you must have your credit card to take one, they're self service, but a credit card's required). Of course at night be very careful while riding a bike : don't forget that cars might not see you.

Monday, September 15 2008

Wanna ride a rollercoaster ?

Roller Coaster The main interest of Paris is, of course, nice monuments and a romantic atmosphere but I you feel like riding a roller coaster you can two. There are some big parks around Paris, very easy to reach (even without a car) and I bet you know only one of them ;) Don't worry I'll tell you about the others !



This is the one you may already known (at least you should know its name). Disneyland is one of the two most well known parks in the area of Paris. It's very easy to reach as it basically has it's own subway station (take the underground "RER A", 35mn from the very center of Paris you're at the gates of Disneyland !!). As far as I know they even used to sell tickets including the park entrance and the RER ticket :) Let's talk money by the way : it's about 50euros a day per person (of course it's "around" this, I'm not going to sum up here all their offers, if you want a complete sheet, check the official site ). The main characteristics you should remember are : it's easy to reach without a car, it's Disney (so kids will love it), and the only drawback is that some may find it a bit too much kid-oriented.

Parc Asterix

Asterix Park

I bet you do not know this one yet :) ! It's the other one of the two most known parks around Paris (it's a draw with Disneyland). Maybe you already know who Asterix is ? If not : Asterix is a cartoon character, a French cartoon character, known worldwide. He lives at the time when the Roman empire had vanquished almost all Europe (but not his little village :) ) and he is damn funny ^^ ! What are the differences between Asterix park and Disneyland will you ask ? The first one is how you'll go there. To go to the Asterix park you have to have your own car, or to take the special bus that takes you from the center of Paris directly to the park. It's still very easy, but a bit less than going to Disneyland. Second major difference : insane roller coasters :) There are many things for kids, but they did not forget the adults (what Disneyland seems to have done sometimes). I highly recommend you the "Tonnerre de Zeus" which is supposed to be the highest/fastest/scariest roller coaster of the park :) ! And finally the best difference : it's cheaper than Disneyland (around 40 euros). To be honest with you, although in my heart it's a draw between the two parks (Disney and Asterix), if Asterix park had a subway station two, it would be my favorite one ;) ! Check their website for yourself to find pieces of information I would not have given you here :)

The "Foire du Trone"

Foire du trone

And finally the "Foire du Trone". Watch out : this one is not a park (i.e. : you'll pay for every attraction you'll do and not just one big fee at the entrance). It's quite known in Paris, as far as I know it's very very easy to go there (even more thant to Disneyland, I guess it's closer to the center of Paris). The only little problem is that I've never been there, so I can not really talk to you about go and try it (only advice I can give you : be careful, some say that there are many pickpockets around there). Check the official site for yourself if you want to know more :)

As a conclusion I'd say that you really should go to one of the two big parks if you are around for more than a week, but do not forget that in parks food is always very expensive, so it may be a good idea to bring your own sandwiches (and if you want to warm up your sandwich making skills before you go, why not go to some good pick nick spots in paris some day before ?)

Saturday, September 13 2008

The Pope and the Dalai Lama

Yoda This week the Pope is in Paris; last month the Dalai Lama was. One of them was received by the President, not the other one. Any idea of which one was, which one was not, and why ? In this post I'll give you my view on it (and introduce you some good spots in Paris at the same time ;) ).

Last month the Dalai Lama was in France. He basically went there to meet French Buddhists and give some speeches about Buddhism.

Dalai Lama

For those of you who do not know (yet) : the Dalai Lama is not only the head of the Buddhist Church but also a key piece of the political field in Tibet. Let's sum it up quickly : Tibet used to be independent, in the 50's (1950-1951) China invaded it and decided that the Dalai Lama would be the head of it as a province of China. As the Dalai Lama was finally not communist enough rumors about the Chinese army wanting to arrest him spread in 1959 and a huge riot occurred in Tibet. The riot was repressed mercilessly by the Chinese army (unofficial documents relate that about 87000 Tibetans died). Fearing that the Chinese army would kill him the Dalai Lama went to exile in India and asked members of the former government of Tibet to follow him. Since then there is a totally unofficial government of Tibet in India, gathered around the Dalai Lama. Officially the Tibet is still a part of China, and riots are still fiercely repressed (the last one was about 6 months ago).

Knowing this you easily understand that China is not really in love with the Dalai Lama ;) the point that last month, as the Dalai Lama was in France, China officially announced that there might be "big consequences" if the French president was to meet the Dalai Lama...Nice isn't it ? Only a few days before the beginning of the Olympics what a pretty picture of itself China gave. Anyway the French president then said that he would not meet the Dalai Lama during his stay in France and that the Dalai Lama had, very wisely, not asked for such a meeting anyhow. But make no mistake, it's not a complete Chinese victory : the French president added that he would definitely meet the Dalai Lama later, and the French first lady attended a Buddhist ceremony led by the Dalai Lama to inaugurate a big Buddhist temple.

What about the Pope now ?

Benoit XVI

One again let's start about a bit of teaching : In France religion and politics are supposed to be two very very different things (According to google translator the correct word for it is "secularism" ;) ). Politicians, representing the French government, are not supposed to show any obedience to any religion publicly. They must respect every religion but hide as much as possible in public if they believe in one (it's very different than in the US where you hear about "God" every 5mn in every politicians' speeches). It's so true that a little polemic exists now in France because we find that the president shows a little too much that he is catholic (even if catholicism if, by far, the most common religion in France). As an example : although the French president did not meet the Dalai Lama (we explained why earlier) he welcomed the Pope directly at the airport (what he only did before for Nelson Mandela in 2007). Another example : he made the sign of the cross once during an official ceremony (and did not escapology for doing so after...).

Anyway, I think it's a great chance we have, here in France, to have had two great religious leaders teaching peace here in less than two months :) And it's a cool opportunity to have a look at where they've been in Paris, don't you think we could find some good spots within those ;) ?

Let's start with the easiest one : The Pope. He's been to many places, but we'll focus only on two of them : "Notre Dame cathedral", and the "Invalides"". I've already talked a bit about "Notre Dame" cathedral in a post about sightseeing spots you must see if you're in Paris so I won't add to it here. Let's then see what is the "Invalides" ! To be honest, the first thing I think of when talking about the "Invalides" is rollerblading :) ! The Invalides is in fact a nice old military monuments (I believe it was built during the 17th century) which, nowadays, mainly hosts museums. But it's also big lawns and a big place just in front of it, leading you to the nicest bridge in Paris (the bridge "Alexandre III" ). And why do I think "rollerblading" when someone says "Invalides" then ? Simply because the place is quite big and is therefore a great spot to rollerblade on (you'll almost always find people rollerblading there :) ). My advice then : if you have enough time, go and see the Invalides from the outside, and head toward the bridge, it's really a beautiful one (I mean it !) Invalides

Now that's we're briefly done with the Pope, where did the Dalai Lama went ? Well the issue is that he moved a lot :) ! He's been in France for more than twelve days (as far as I know) and moved a lot during his whole journey, so I could not find any exhaustive list of places he's been to. So you know what ? I just won't introduce anymore spots in this post, and I will, instead, add links in this posts when, in the future, I'll talk about places he's been to :) (tip : I think the next one is going to be about the city hall of Paris, which is really worth it...subscribe to the RSS feed, so you won't miss the coming review of good spots in Paris !).

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