Is there anything more romantic than Paris in the springtime? Marla and Erik Decker returned yesterday from their first-ever trip to the City of Light. They had a wonderful time staying at the Hotel D’Aubusson, a charming boutique hotel in the 6th arrondissement, just a short stroll to the Notre Dame. Here, Marla shares her impressions and gives advice so you can plan a fabulous vacation to Paris too.
Favorite Activities: Erik loved the size and grandeur of the Louvre, and seeing the I. M. Pei pyramid in person did not disappoint. I loved walking the streets of the Ile Saint-Louis and visiting the quaint shops along the way, as well as stopping in for sorbet at the famous Berthillon. We also enjoyed a great meal at the “hidden” square on Pont Neuf.
The Friendly French: The French people were far friendlier than their reputation suggests. We had no problem not knowing a word of French aside from “merci” (which seems to go a long way). We came across English speakers in
pretty much every capacity that serve tourists — waiters, shopkeepers, taxi drivers, etc. We even had a French man approach us and offer us help reading a map!
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Even though you can’t smoke inside the restaurants anymore, you can still smoke at the (closely placed) outdoor tables, which is of course where you want to be. I was sitting elbow-to-elbow with a woman at the next
table, who smoked a cigarette right in my face while I was eating. We
found that to be quite unpleasant. Unfortunately, we had to sit inside to
avoid the smoke on other occasions.
Consider the Paris Museum Pass: We didn’t get the museum pass, which allows you unlimited access to the museums for a set price, but I wish we had. There were some museums we would have dropped into if we had the pass, but
didn’t want to pay the extra admission for what would likely be a short visit.
Drink Wine to Save Money: At the first cafe we went to, we ordered a Coke — and then found out it cost 7 euros. Ordering a glass of wine would have been cheaper!