Paris Guide

Before you go – see my Paris Guide map

Download TripAdvisor guide to Paris. Has maps and reviews all offline. Suggested itineries.

Download OpenStreetMap for Android ( plus version – these guys deserve it) – download France map to use offline and world wikipedia to use offline. As you tour Paris click on wikipedia icon on map to get history or info on things around you.

Download Google translate and make sure the French language is stored locally ( click on pin). Translate anything.

Hotels

Ibis Budget Paris La Villette at Stalingrad and near the Paris canal is my favourite – £39 a night for 3 people and includes wifi but not breakfast. Plenty nearby cafes. Go to Novotel next door for family rooms of 4. If flying into Beauvais train from there arrives at station nearby.

Touring

To see the main sites a two day pass on the open top bus is good value as you travel overground, can get off at any stop and see all the main sights.

The Tripadvisor guide to Paris has suggested itineraries and to different tastes.

Restaurants

Chartiers – Since 1896 this restaurant has remained almost unchanged. Hidden in a back street it needs no advertising. Plain wholesome food, meat and two veg at very good prices and Parisian attitudes. This can be an experience – if they are busy you sit with others. The bill is written on your tablecloth and the moustached men in white aprons serve your table. Be warned you can hate this place – it”s an experience not fine dining.

Le Castiglione – Within sight of the Ritz this is fine dining in an oak panelled room. Lunchtime is best (cheaper) and ask to go upstairs by the window. Excellent service, superb surroundings and wonderful food. The Parisian prices are not the highest but you are round the corner from the Ritz..

Cafe Madeline – This simple eating place specialises in omelettes and Croque Monsieur. Not many tourists here. Simple fare and average prices. A good location as the tour buses change over here for the various routes.

Le Sancerre – One of my favourites where you sit outside in winter under overhead heaters on the busy street side. The world passes you by on a narrow pavement as you sit between the Pigalle and Montemarte. Open late but enjoyable for lunch too. Travel to Les Abbesses and climb the stairs to see murals. Take picture next to Wallace Fountain when you come out. There are many many fountains and Richard Wallace is a hero to the French fo providing clean water.

Bars

The Hideout – €3 a pint in crowded bar full of French students and occasional Irish. Not a place to use the toilets but god crack early evening

Willis Wine Bar – 250 wines to choose from where you sit at the bar and sip.Not a large place.

Juveniles – Scots owned wine shop/bar/tapas where you will find haggis on the menu an wine is on tap out a barrel.

Le HIbou – used to be called the Horses Tavern with British beers also in this French bar. There is Le Editeurs to the left and a nice wee bar to the right. Main attraction is sitting outside in lovely area

Cafes

Cafe Delmas – croissant and coffee here overlooks a small square. Walk Rue Mofftard afterwards and see the market.

Cafe Mabillon – The hot chocolate here is reputed to be the best in Paris. Go for it.

Unusual Things to do

Ride a bike round the Bois de Boulogne
Sail a model boat in the Jardins Tuilerres
Read a book in the Jardins de Luxembourg
Play chess in Jardins de Luxembourg
Sip fragrent tea in the Mosque de Paris
Climb to the top of the Arc De Triumph – everyone does the Eiffel
On a Friday night watch 10,000 rollerbladers skate round closed streets in Paris ( winter numbers far less). Find a bar on the route and watch the spectacle.

Shops

Quatres Temps – 100’s of shops under cover – biggest in Paris

Rue de Rivoli – lots of department stores

Many streets are lined with boutiques and area in Latin Quarter good to Paris St Germain.

Disneyland

Every hotel near and in here involves 100’s of people going for a buffet breakfast together like any Disney park in the world. So it can be stressful. The on park Western Town Hotel Cheyenne  is budget but appeals to adults too. The Explorers Hotel outside the park with a swimming pool is good too especially after a hot day trekking round the park. £115 a night in July for family of 4 Other options are the Val d’europe hotels and there is a shopping centre here. We stayed further down the train line at Noisy Le Grand one year. Much cheaper and hotel with swimming pool plus shopping centre. Book a character breakfast one day as on park it is difficult to get those photos. Pop into the Disneyland Hotel as you leave the park and you will find lots of characters walking around. Good for getting photos