Paris is the most publicized city in the world. We have long had a desire to visit Paris. But we did not have sometimes free time sometimes money. Circumstances have pushed realize this desire. Short about the short trip on this page: St Petersburg - Paris.
How to visit Paris?
To arrange a trip to Paris, it's best to go to any travel agency. Specialists will help you buy a ticket, choose and book your hotel and organize the transfer (transfer from airport to hotel and vice versa).
But you can do it all by yourself (this is likely to be a bit cheaper).
There are several online services that will help you buy a plane ticket. The most popular are Jetradar and Skyskanner. Ticket searching made by suggestions of a large number of airlines. You will be offered the cheapest option, as well as the most convenient flight option. You will need bank card to purchase a ticket.
Cheapest tickets are usually flights with transfers. But if a small difference in price has no value to you, it is best to choose a direct flight. It is much easier and faster.
For example. Two return tickets for the flight Saint Petersburg - Paris - Saint Petersburg AirBaltik Airlines with a change in Riga were purchased for 346 euros (for 173 euros per person). Flight with a change was selected for two reasons: it is cheaper, there is a possibility to visit Riga for one trip. (Start tickets searching here.)
The next stage of the travel preparation is finding a suitable hotel and a room booking for the chosen dates. Guides often called as the best districts of Paris for travelers living areas adjacent to the Champs-Elysees, from Notre Dame to the west and north-west.
Hotel de Paris Saint Georges is located in the 9th district of Paris, just south of the Boulevard de Clichy and Place Pigalle. (Hotel Address: 55 rue Jean Baptiste Pigalle, 9th arr, Paris, 75009, France) The decisive factor for choosing this hotel was that the room at the hotel was offered at a discount greater than 40% (out of season). The price is 165 euros for three nights per room.
Buying tickets for an airplane on the Internet is an easy matter, but you need to carefully perform all the stages of preparation for the flight. After choosing a flight and buying tickets, you need to register for the flight. This can be done at the airport, but some airlines have it as a paid service. On AirBaltic flights, you can register for the flight online for free. Registration starts five days before departure. On the airline's website, the registration procedure is organized quite conveniently.
You get the boarding pass by e-mail. It needs to be printed out. In some airports, mobile phones can be used for registration (for example, in Riga and Paris). QR code or file for the application for mobile devices will need to download to the phone (PassWallet / Apple Wallet).
You can get to Paris by RER line B train or by bus from Charles de Gaulle airport. There is enough information pointing the way to the type of transport you need in all terminals of the airport. The bus route 350 goes to the North and East railway stations. To travel, you need to validate three "t +" tickets. A set of 10 tickets costs 15.15 euros. Tickets can be bought at the tourist information point in the airport terminal. (Here you can also take a free map of Paris.) You can buy tickets from the bus driver, but it is a little more expensive. The bus stop is located next to the terminal.
Paris is the city of rains. Weather forecast promised rain at the beginning of March. Paris really met us with rain. The rain ended in the afternoon. On March 7, there was excellent, warm and dry weather. On the 8th of March sometimes it was raining, sometimes not. The air temperature was from 6 to 13 degrees. Those who are going to Paris in early March need to be ready for the rain, be sure to take an umbrella with them. But, if you're lucky, the weather can be very good and comfortable for walking.
Paris metro station located at a short distance from each other. There are more than 300 stations and 16 metro lines. Subway stations do not have such a beautiful design as in St. Petersburg or Moscow, but the metro allows you to get to the right place in Paris without the need to go on foot for a long time or go by bus.
Tickets can be bought in the machine at the entrance to the station. The machine accepts both bank cards, and banknotes and coins.
Entrance to the metro station on Pigalle Square is shown on the photo.
Navigation (signs of the route) along the lines and metro stations is quite convenient. But, in order to certainly get to the right place, you need to study your route, along which lines and in the direction of which station to move, where to make transplants. All the necessary information is available on the indexes.
This you will probably need: "Sortie" in French means "Exit".
Paris is a city of contrasts. Here you can see stylishly and fashionably dressed people (men and women), and people who clearly wear their old clothes and are dressed in what they could find at an affordable price.
There are many shops selling goods for the rich at a very high price in Paris, and also very inexpensive stores with clothes and shoes of unknown manufacturers at very low prices.
In the center of the city, there are many shops with goods for the rich. Passing late in the evening through the streets of Paris, you can see the homeless, sleeping on the sidewalk. We saw them in March, when the weather is not at all suitable for living on the street.
On the photo Opera Granier (Grand Opera). The building of the opera is located near the Galeries Lafayette department store. The cost of the ticket for the performance is from 90 to 200 euros. Tourists can take a walk through the building of the opera (self-guided tour) for 12 euros.
Many cities seek to attract more foreign tourists. For the convenience of tourists, information is duplicated in English there. In recent years, the number of tourists from China is growing in all countries. For the convenience of tourists from China at airports, shops and restaurants, information was also duplicated in Chinese in many cities around the world.
Paris is not like that. There is not enough information here, even in English. This is quite understandable. France is no worse than Britain and French language is no worse than English. And there are enough tourists here. Let the tourists learn French if they need it.
Therefore, it is sometimes not quite comfortable for tourists here. Going to a cafe or a restaurant, you can not understand what dishes are offered to you. There is a lack of information in other languages in shops and transport. Although in the Gallery of Lafayette (one of the most expensive and most famous stores) information in Chinese has already appeared and there are many sellers of Chinese origin working there.
The Hotel de Paris Saint Georges is quite convenient for tourists. The top of Montmartre can be reached on foot in just a few minutes. The distance to the Champs-Elysees is about 2.2 kilometers. You can walk or take the metro. Near the hotel there is a supermarket. In the evening, you can walk along the boulevard Clichy (if you are not confused by a large number of sex shops), or on the boulevard Roshoshuar (there are many shops with inexpensive clothes and shoes).
Boulevard Clichy stretches from Pigalle Square to the west, in the direction of the Moulin Rouge cabaret. Boulevard Rocheshuar passes from Pigal Square to the east.
In which area of Paris it is better to book a hotel for a tourist.
Cafes and restaurants
As in most popular tourist towns, Paris has so many cafes and restaurants that there is no need to try to give any recommendations. Walking along the streets simply pay attention to the situation in the cafe, try to understand what is offered in the menu and at what price. General dependence: if you are served by a waiter, then this cafe is more expensive than if you are serving yourself.
Including in Paris there are a lot of McDonald's and a bit less KFC.
If you are looking for a place where you can eat relatively inexpensively, go to one of Flunch's self-service cafes.
One of the cafes is located near the center of Pompidou (to north). Address: 21 Rue Beaubourg, 75003 Paris.
Another Cafe Flunch is located next to the Moulin Rouge cabaret (in the Castorama store). Address: 1-3 Rue Caulaincourt, 75018 Paris.
In addition to lunch, you can take a glass of wine.
A little "Lunch" shown in the picture cost about 8 euros.
Toilets in Paris can be found in almost all cafes and restaurants, shopping centers and on the street. Some of the toilets are paid, from 0.5 to 2 euros, but most are free.
There are quite often free automated toilets on the streets. The indicator at the entrance shows the status: free, busy, cleaning is in progress.
The toilet on the Lafayette Street was absolutely clean, without debris and smell.
Most of the tourists in Paris visit the same places. The most popular are the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees, the Louvre, Monmartre, Notre Dame, Marais. There are always many tourists here, especially at the height of the tourist season.
If you plan to take pictures at the Eiffel Tower, then look at it also from the other bank of the River Seine, from Palais de Chaillot (Metro station Trocadéro). It is better to take photos here (probably) in the afternoon, when the sun will shine from the west. In the morning the light on the tower falls from the side of the Champ de Mars.
Strikes can spoil vacation for tourists. You can not get to the right place (including the airport) because of the strike. It is difficult for foreigners to foresee this.
We took the bus to get to the Luxembourg garden from the Eiffel Tower. Bus number 82 departs from Avenue de Suffren. The bus drove two stops and stopped. From the announcement I realized that this was the "final" stop. All the passengers got out. Having talked with the driver, I found out that the bus will not go on because of the strike. Who and for what reason strikes, I did know.
Strikes are unpleasant for tourists, but the working people need to defend their positions. The French unions deserve respect.
- Some useful words in French:
- Bonjour - Hello.
- Salut - Hello.
- Excusez-moi - Sorry.
- Merci / Merci beaucoup - Thanks / Thank you very much.
- Oui - Yes.
- Sortie - Exit.
- Soupe à l'oignon - Onion soup.
- Plateau de fromages - Cheese plate.
You will certainly need the names of dishes in restaurants and cafes and products in stores during a trip to France. Prepare in advance. Look for information on websites and forums about France.
Three days is very little to get to know Paris. Paris is a big city. There are meny intersting places.
There are many interesting things in many European and Russian cities too. Paris is an interesting city for tourists, as well as Moscow, Petersburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, Rome, Barcelona.... Notre Dame Cathedral is of great importance for the French, but, for example, St. Peter's Cathedral in the Vatican or St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow (in my opinion) is more beautiful. Montmartre can be a sacred place for those who know and appreciate worcs of artists living here. But the old city in Tallinn can be more interesting for ordinary tourists.
This does not mean that you do not need to go to Paris. And I would like to come here again and for a longer time.
There are many negative reviews on the Internet about AirBaltic. We flew on the route St. Petersburg - Riga - Paris - Riga - St. Petersburg. Everything went exactly on schedule. Online services on the company's website (buying tickets, registering for a flight) worked flawlessly. The airline staff was friendly. There are many posts about the problems associated with exceeding the size of hand luggage. During our trip, there was no problems to the passengers. At the same time, the airline offered the cheapest tickets for the flight on the route we needed. Thanks to the airline staff for the service.
The photo shows the AirBaltic airplane at the airport in Paris.
Transportation of luggage in many airlines is paid separately. Therefore, most passengers take only hand luggage. The size of hand luggage is limited - no more than 55х40х20 centimeters. At the exit to the landing there is a frame of appropriate dimensions.
During our trip, many passengers carried suitcases with them to the plane, which clearly exceeded the permissible sizes. But no one has ever checked the compliance of the sizes of hand luggage. The weight of some suitcases was checked before boarding.
Nevertheless, you should carefully study the rules of transportation in your airline before preparing for the trip.
Search for airline tickets for all airlines.
The flight with a transfer in Riga gives an opportunity to visit the Latvian capital. The road from the airport to the Old Town takes about 30 minutes. The city center can be reached from the airport by bus number 22. The bus has two stops near the terminal. You can easily find a bus stop following the signs or by asking the airport staff.
Tickets for the bus can be bought from the driver (cost 2 euros) or in the machine at the busstop (a little cheaper).
Where to get off the bus in Riga? You will see the Old Town from the bus window. You need to get off the bus as soon as you cross the river Daugava on the bridge, or at the next two stops. Returning to the airport, taking the bus will be convenient at the stop opposite the Stockmann shopping center.
We liked Riga. Here is a pretty interesting Old Town, few tourists, friendly local people. Prices in cafes are comparable to prices in Russia. For example kebab in a Turkish restaurant costs 3 euros, cup of coffee 1 euro.
There were only positive emotions after a short walk around Riga. It would be nice to come here again.
The airport of Riga is clean and cozy. It's a little cleaner here than in Pulkovo airport. Prices in cafes and shops, as in Pulkovo, are indecently high. The cheapest little bottle of water costs 1.5 euros.