Post # 1
We are considering direct flights out of chicago that arent too far. We only have 5 days and budget is 2500 but doesnt include food. Is this doable? I would like to know more about paris. Where to stay, any language barrier issues, time zone diff etc
Post # 2
I went to Paris, a lot of people there in restaurants and shops speak English so not to worry. I stayed at Mercure Paris Terminus Nord Hotel it is right across from the train station and on the corner is the subway station so it is great for convenience. There metro system is a little tricky. It is a ticket system so definitely look that up.
Post # 3
lrk1203 : Paris is very expensive and not as nice as you would hope (in many areas).. I would pick Iceland 😉
You probably won’t encounter any language barrier issues though as they are used to english tourists. If you do pick Paris I would do a lot of research on safe areas to stay in for tourists.
Post # 4
We several days in Paris and Reims on our honeyoon. We loved the subway (you can get anywhere in the city easily). Download a paris metro app on your phone. You can determine what train station you are closest to and how to get where you are going. It is a piece of cake. You can also get a pack of tickets (it is like 12 tickets for 14 dollars – buy them from the attendant at the train station)and you just use one everytime you go somewhere. You dont need to worry about what line you are going on, they are good for everywhere. We stayed at the Hotel International and got a great rate. Paris is shaped like a snail, the closer you are to the center the better you are. We stayed in the 11th (near Republic) and the area was fine. I am a big fan or Air BnB. Didnt do it in France yet but we will the next trip.
We took a few trains while we were there (Paris to Champagne and Reims to Epernay and back), again had great luck and it was very comfortable.
We did some very cool tours while we were there, one was a bike tour. So many things to see! You can also do a day trip to Versailles, we did a bike tour there as well.
2500 is definately doable, we spent less. You can spend a boatload of cash on food if you are looking for fancy dinners. You can get excellent food from less fancy places and get a better feel for the local culture. The best meal we ate was at Chez Immogene (a crepe place to die for). 3 courses of crepes for 18 dollars. It has about 7 tables and is about as French as it gets. 🙂
Post # 5
I just got back from a 7 city trip in Europe. Paris was the MOST EXPENSIVE by far, but top 3 of my faves. almost every tourist site charges $15-20, so it adds up fast. look into the Paris Pass if its worth the money for you.
going off season might help with lower hotel costs and crowds. we were there shoulder season oct/nov and weather was a nice autumn. our dinners were usually heavy with at least a bottle of wine and ran $150-200/nt. we definately did damage in food dept.
Post # 6
We did Paris and London for our honeymoon and had a wonderful time. We stayed at the Hotel WO in the 8th and it was excellent yet still affordable. Very close to a Metro station and super easy to get around. Everyone at the hotel spoke impeccable English, and most parisians in restaurants, etc do as well. I was nervous about the language barrier as well since my French is fairly rusty, but it was just fine.
Your budget sounds doable. We did 9 days, 8 nights and spent $4500 all in, including the train between Paris and London and $400 in plane tickets (long story). I highly suggest walking to the top of Notre Dame. It was easily our favorite part, and I’m atheist with an aversion to churches. That and eating snails and drinking wine in sidewalk cafes.
My only caution is to try to avoid Sundays. EVERYTHING closes in non-tourist areas and we had a hell of a time our first night there trying to find a place to eat. Monday was rough, too. If you’re going on the spring, bring a coat. We went at the end of May and it was like 40 and raining.
Post # 7
Check out airbnb! We rented a little studio in the 18th near Sacre Couer. I would definitely recommend staying closer to city center though if you are able to as Paris is absolutely massive and it takes a while to get around on the metro from some of the arrondissements.
I think you can make your budget work! We spent 4 days 3 nights there in June and spent way less than what you are budgeting and I don’t feel like we were overly cautious with spending.
We had no issues with language…I think I got to use my French twice as everybody speaks English there. Definitely worth attempting to speak French because they appreciate the effort!
As far as food goes, I think we spent like €100/day if that. You can get good deals on set menu meals so look out for those! 😊
Post # 8
I second the jacket or rain coat thing too! We were there in June and it was like 65 and drizzly most of the time.
Post # 9
We just got back from spending 9 days in Paris over the holiday. We did Airbnb which was amazing! For 9 nights for a 2 bedroom apartment with full kitchen and laundry we spent about $1k. We cooked a lot of our own meals (only ate out 1 meal per day) so that saved money. the metro system is super easy to use and goes everywhere! You can get a 5-day pass card which will give you unlimited rides for like $25 or something. A lot of restaurant ants have a “pre-fix” option where you can get appetizer+entree or entree+dessert for a prefix price (ours were $20-$25). We found that eating out a nice meal at lunch and then getting dinner at the grocery (usually quiche or cheese/bread fruit and wine) made things more affordable. There are also museum passes you can purchase that give you unlimited museum access for 2 or 4 days, so you don’t have to buy the tickets individually. (You can buy the passes at any museum, don’t get them ahead of time.) We felt safe the whole time! Pretty much everyone spoke English, but we tried to use basic French which I think makes a difference. Our Airbnb was in the Marais. We were near several major metro stops which made all the difference. Good luck!
Post # 10
Paris really depends on the time of year. I can recommend a hotel near the Gare Du Nord called the Astoltel Palm Opera. It is NOT a posh hotel at all, but it is clean and comfy and the breakfast is included and good. It is also quite good value.
I would also say look at airbnb and look slightly outside of the centre. If you are going in August look at citadine serviced apartments as well. Citadines are targetted to business travellers and work shuts down in August in France. When we were students hubby and I stayed in one near the Port de Vanves (I think) which was a really easy metro ride to the centre.
Food and drink are really expensive. Even lunch can set you back 50 Euros a pop. I would recommend staying somewhere with breakfast included so you can fill up on that and then just stop off a coffee mid afternoon (note in Paris if you sit on a terrace at a cafe it will cost you more than if you sit inside)
Language barrier is worth looking at. I am British, I have been to Paris loads of times and speak a bit of French. I am also a Londoner. Parisians in my experience are grumpy guts types. The particularly get arsey speaking English. You can do better if you at least start out in French. It would be worth learning some simple things like please, thank you, hello, I would like…. , I speak English, etc.
You do need to be aware of personal safety especially in certain tourist places. The Gare du Nord is HORRIBLE and I have seen SO many pickpockets around that station.
I will admit, I don’t like Paris that much, there are some much nicer places in France.