Paris tips

Another wonderful week in Paris with several tips for you.

Louvre Museum

Tickets

Buy tickets online to avoid huge waiting
lines in front of pyramide:

  • buy them at TicketNet,
  • select tourist services as your withdrawal point
    (31 rue du Pont Neuf, Les Halles metro station),
  • go there with order number and credit card you did use and they will
    print these tickets for you for free.

If you didn’t manage to buy them in advance go there anyway. You can use their
computer to buy tickets and they print them immediately for you.

Feel free to use priority line now.

Entrance

Do not use pyramide to enter Louvre. Go to the Carrousel de Louvre shopping center (99 rue de Rivoli). Less amount of people and entrance is in front of the Apple store. Buy yourself some Apple
stuff as well 🙂

First time visitors

Get museum map. Really. Or you’ll be lost. Also consider free Guided Tour. 90 minutes and you’ll get a clue
what’s inside. It’s huge, really huge, …

Thousands of bicycles

Don’t use subway. Velib is much better. Hundreds of
bike stations with small proximity between them. Get free velib.app to locate
stations, check status (number of bikes, number of free parking slots, …).

You can buy 1 day subscription for 1.7€ or 7 day subscription for 8€. First 30
minutes of each bike trip is for free and then 1€ for additional 30 minutes. You have
two options:

  • buy online at Velib,
  • buy directly at any bike station.

Buying directly at a bike station has some disadvantages:

  • you can’t select subscription starting date and time,
  • 150€ is charged (deposit) immediately for every subscription,
  • you need credit card with chip.

Three one day subscriptions per person, two persons and you have blocked
900€ on your card. This amount (minus subscription and bike usage costs) will be
returned to your account. When? Depends on your bank. Go online, you’ll be charged for 1.7€ only per one day subscription.

One day subscription is 24 hour subscription. You can repeatedly take a bike from 2pm
to 2pm, 6pm to 6pm, … or whatever time suits your needs. You get unlimited number of bike trips per subscription.

To take a bike you just need your subscription number and PIN (created during
order). Keep it in your phone somewhere.

And no, you can’t take two bikes with one subscription.

Eiffel tower

You can buy tickets in advance
as well. If you didn’t manage to buy them, just do this:

  • go to the south (sud) gate,
  • it’s stairs only gate, but you can buy tickets to the summit (top) as well,
  • use stairs (just 704 steps) to get yourself to 2nd floor,
  • use lift to the top.

Small amount of people there, because south gate is marked as stairs only. But
stairs only to the 2nd floor. Then you can use lift to the top. Don’t be afraid,
easy going stairs and lot of children there.

Get some cash and enjoy overpriced champagne at the top 🙂

Accommodation

I decided to use Airbnb this time. It’s about 30-50% cheaper
compared to hotels with the same quality. Even in the center (our apartment was located
on the Avenue de l’Opéra). Two things
to keep in mind:

  • lot of buildings without lift,
  • lot of apartments without real bed (pull out sofa).

Pull out sofa is horrible, go for real bed if you would like to sleep well.

Restaurants

I never eat in restaurants located near tourist attractions. Overpriced, sometimes
disgusting food. This time we violated my rule and tried one near Notre Dame, because we were really hungry. Confirmed

  • overpriced, disgusting, rotten orange juice, …

Nothing new, same everywhere. So, just go few streets away, look for restaurant
full of local people and you can’t miss. Don’t forget dictionary, because these
restaurants don’t provide menu in English. Or learn French language.

Bon voyage 🙂