Paris.….is always a good idea…..
When traveling to Europe, there are a lot of things to consider….the time of year, the weather you wish to experience, and whether you are on a budget.
I have been to France around 10 times and have fallen more and more in love each time. This post will cover information on a few areas of France: Paris, Nice, Cannes, and Monaco.
Tip 1: Pack a carry on in case your luggage goes missing.
Thankfully on this trip my first day in Paris; I arrived 6 hours late after missing a connection in Philly due to weather. When I was at the airport; I made a report and my luggage was missing for 2 solid days. On the third day, we were headed down to the South of France and my luggage happened to show up 47 hours later to my hotel. In my shop are the Columbia Convertible Pants that make life a lot easier Similar Columbia Pants
Tip 2: Concorde La Fayette is a great place to stay for 3 reasons: Reason 1: Take Air France Bus 2 directly to this hotel which is Porte Maillot. It stops at Etoile, Porte Maillot, and Rossy CDG Reason 2. This hotel has a subway/metro in the hotel (go down the stairs through the tunnel and you are there) Reason 3: cheap transportation Paris Metro Map
Tip 3: Prepare to Walk
Staying at the Concorde La Fayette (2 miles south of the Arc de Triomphe) to the Notre Dame Cathedral, Musee D’Orsay, Centre Pompidou, Louvre, and of course the Eiffel Tower and back without the use of a subway.
Tip 5: Visit Versailles at least once in your life.
Take the 45 minute RER train ride to see the great palace. It is something to see- gold embossed tips to the palace and the grounds are just gorgeous.
Tip 6: Plan to arrive at Versailles in the morning before 9 AM to queue
Lines develop way before the entry time and the wait can be hours; so get up early and sleep in another day.
Tip 6: Many Museums are closed on Mondays- Weekly Closing Days of Paris Museums
Before you visit make a list of the places you want to visit and check hours, holidays, and days closed.
Tip 7: Hop On, Hop Off Tour Bus is a great deal: 4 bus lines averaging an hour each route approximately 25 euros per person.
Allows you to see everything from a visualization standpoint and the proximity of things when you are in a double decker bus going around the city. Many of these include a boat ride.The hop-on/ hop-off bus is called L’Opentour …50 stops, 4 routes, and 1 ticket (I would suggest the 2 day pass) One day pass is 29 euros; 2 days is 32 euros and kids are 15 euros ages 4-11.
-Boat hop on, hop off- batauxbus Paris
Tip 8: If you use the metro a booklet of 10 tickets is a good deal: you get 10 tickets for the price of 8. (over time this may change)
Great if you want to quickly zip around the city or know where you want to go in a hurry.
Tip 9: Bring water everywhere with you. You will need it.
Prepare for standing and walking a lot. A few snacks would also be good if you think about it (especially with wait times in line for certain places)
Tip 10: Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night is the best; especially around 11:30 PM
Again, check on the times of closing and if you can get tickets in advance
Tip 11: A pullstring bag is essential because at times you will have a lot of snacks but you can fold it into your pocket when you have nothing.(Backpacks are too cumbersome)
Tip 12: Know the exchange rate
Exchange rate was 1.60 US dollars to 1 euro and at times is 1 USD to .85 Euros; fluctuations occur often so know what you are paying.
Tip 13: Use points for hotel stays instead of money if you can
Tip 14: Bring an umbrella or Package of 5 ponchos
This comes to personal preference. I like carrying a poncho (1.99 at Walmart) more than an umbrella, but whatever you have to keep you dry is a must.
Tip 15: Bring Clip on Hand Sanitizers
Many places in France have “ran out of soap” or is just not available. Be prepared.
Tip 16: Remember that Air conditioning is not good anywhere in Paris unless you stay at the Charles V
Tip 17: Build in time to just sit, relax, and have no real plan for at least one day in Paris. A Place to Stroll
Tip 18: You must have lots of money to go into the Casino. Everyone can walk on the grounds and go in the doors, but to actually play in the Casino; you must be independently wealthy or have wealthy friends. Regardless, it is fun to walk around the area. You never know who you will see.
Tip 19: You must be in a coat and tie to get into the Automobile Club in Monaco.
We were wandering around the Grand Prix area and found the Automobile Club; shorts will not work.
Tip 20: Treat yourself to ice cream while you people watch in Monaco
Tip 21: Remember that you are a 45 minute train ride from Nice, 30 USD round trip You can get tickets on the day you travel
Tip 22: Trains to Monaco are every 30 minutes from Nice.
Tip 23: Once you arrive in Monaco, you can walk everywhere (the Casino and the Palace are on different cliffs-40 minute walk uphill both ways) I recommend a taxi based on time and getting to see things. There is quite a distance between these areas; there is also the Monaco Bus Service which was $4USD each way depending if you mind stops every 4 minutes.
Tip 24: Little train ride at Oceanographic Museum: 30 minute ride takes you by the Casino and by the Palace, but you must stay on the train, no stops cost 7 Euros for adults, 4 euros for kids.
– Go to Oceanographic Museum first…………if you exit the train station…..go to the right and follow the signs.
-You can walk the grounds of the Prince’s Palace without paying; 4 euros for an inside tour (not worth your money imo)
Tip 25: A 30 minute ride from Nice to Cannes via train. Once you arrive in Cannes from the train station walk 1/4 mile to the beach.
Tip 25: When you are in Cannes, take the little train ride to see the city. 10 euros for the big tour
The narrator does a good job of explaining the town; the little train allows you to enjoy the sights.
Tip 26: When you think of Cannes, many think of the film festival. Check out the Red Carpet.
Tip 27: Nice has rock beaches and Cannes has sand beaches and so does Antibes (sand beach) Know and plan accordingly.
Tip 28: Walk around the harbor- gorgeous yachts
Tip 29: Long promenade to walk
Tip 30: Good for a day trip; no more than a day would be advisable here.
Tip 31: Shopping name brands is good: Chanel, Gucci, Prada; all the good brands!
Tip 32: Likely to see famous people walking around.
Tip 33: Haagan Dazs located across from the red carpet..another 15 USD for 2 sundaes.
C’est la vie……………………
Tip 34: Stay at Le Meredien
Use points to stay here (Starwood) Our room was 425 euros a night with an exchange rate of 1.5-1.6…..you do the math! We were able to stay 3 nights and get the 4th night free using points for the three nights.
Tip 35: The promenade is about 10 miles long and continues toward Monaco. Wonderful shops, hotels, and exercise along the water.
Tip 36: The train station is about a mile from Le Meredien (centrally located on the promenade)
Tip 37: Le Meridian is the only one with a beach pool and a pool on the top of the hotel (uncommon in France)
Tip 38: Wireless is 30 euros a day at the hotel (go downstairs and get it from the McDonalds for free; the lobby area you can access the wi-fi)
Tip 39: Just about all McDonald’s in France have wi-fi
Tip 40: Walking to the waterfall is about 3 miles from Le Meridian hotel.
Tip 41: The airport is about 7 miles away, but will cost you a whopping 40 euros! Consider negotiating with the taxi driver before getting in.
Tip 42: If you fly Easyjet (remember that every bag is 22 euros) one carry-on only and no more than 20kg or 44 pounds
Tip 43: If you miss your flight on Easyjet you have to rebuy another one unless you bought insurance
Tip 44: Bus service is a good option from the airport to your hotel. This is not always possible.
We took a bus from the airport to the hotel, but our return flight was super early and the bus was not running. (Bus fare is 7 euros per person, but you must know what stop to get off at)
Tip 45: People do not speak good English here……….especially at the airport.
In Paris, many people speak English and speak it well. As you go to the South of France, many young people speak English but some store owners, airport employees, bus drivers, taxi drivers may speak French only.
Tip 46: Use credit card for transactions.
Tip 48: On the promenade there are music groups, dance groups, and rollerbladers, segways, and bikes all day long. It is approximately 4-5 lanes across and next to the beach so you do not cross roads. Performances all the time.
Tip 49: Make Nice your home base.
We stayed for 5 days and 4 nights on this trip and visited Cannes, Monaco, and Nice.
Tip 50: Should you have extra time, stop off in Eze or Grasse and visit the Fragonard factory.
**Always book travel insurance**