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Budget Trip to France

My trip to Paris

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I had always wanted to see Paris and last year we went in October of 2011. We did all our own arrangements and bought our Euro's ahead of time.
You can buy your museum passes and Metro passes right at CDG- Charles De Gaulle Airport. The come in 2,4, 6 days and some come in different day denominations so you have to figure how many days you need the metro and how many days you will be seeing the sites. Our plans were to fly to Paris and get our rental car then drive to Mont St Michel which is about 4-5 hours away but I feel is worth the trip. It is a monastery that was built back in the 1300's and when the time comes in it is surrounded by water and it has hotels, shops and restaurants all on the island. It it so cool . We stayed in this little hotel down the road . There is a few places to eat and in the morning you can go to Brioche Doree which is like a little fast food cafe. We then headed for Caen and the military museum which is very expensive and my husband who loves military history did not enjoy so save your money. We then headed to the American Cemetary and you would think it would be easy to find but it has only one sign and it was not even isted in our gps from the rental agency., If you see a big photograph of a church that was bombed and the church behind it that was rebuilt you know you are in the right area. It is called Coleville Sur Mer. It overlooks the British Chanel and it it very peaceful and somber and when you look around you see all the white crosses of the soldiers that lost their lives. We then made our way to our hotel in Marne la valley near Paris disneyland. We stayed in a nice budget friendly hotel named Hotel D'elysee which has a free shuttle to the parks and near by is a metro station and right across the street is a mall with a full grocery store. Disneyland Paris is very small and the food is pricey. We got 2 donuts and 2 hot chocolates and it was about $14.00. Most of the rides were closed. We took the metro out to Palace of Versaille which is included in the museum pass but the gardens are not. Marie Antoinette's apartment was included but you either have to pay for the gardens our walk around the gardens down the road for about 30 minutes. We did not do this since it was bitter cold while we were in Paris in October so bring a coat or some heavy sweaters and scarves to keep you warm as well as gloves. We made our way into Paris via the metro and we saw the Arc De Triomphe which has 300 some steps up a spiral stair case and you can't stop because people are behind you waiting to get up. We also went to the Military museum where Napoleon is buries and it really neat, We saw the Eiffel Tower and a word to the wise make sure which ticket counter you go to casue we got in the line that was the shortest but it also turned out to be stairs only line and we had to climb 720 steps to the second level and you can pay 5Euro to get up to the third which is worth it. It started to get dark and the lights came on and it was so magical . We found someone to take our photo . We also tried a croque monsier while there which is a grilled ham and cheese with the cheese on the outside and we had a waffle with powdered sugar very yummy. We went to the louvre which you could go to for several days not see everything. Make sure you give yourself a mental break while there. See the place for a few hours then grab lunch or take a walk outside to the fountains and see the obelisk and the place were Marie Antoinette was beheaded. The go back in a tackle the rest of what you want to see. Wed. and Fri they are open till 9pm so you can see the place in day at least what it is you want to see since there is so much. They have egyptian art that is from before christ. So much history is here. We went to the Hard Rock cafe one day for lunch and it's the only place I could find Ice tea. I was so excited and word to the wise they really don't have much in the way of diet soda in france. We visited the Notre Dame church which is include in the museum pass as well as the Louvre and the Arc De Triompe it is worth the money for the pass and you can avoid most lines . Also enter the Louvre from the mall on Rue de rivoli it saves alot of time waiting in line. Make sure you go up to the towers in Notre Dame becasue you get to go up to the bell tower and there are so many little passage ways and nooks and cranys and great views of the gargoyles. Near by the church is Gallery Lafayette which is a beautiful builing and a shopping store that has a great stained glass roof and a roof top terrace that you can overlook the city . You can see the Eiffel tower from everywhre. We had such a great time and because we stayed outside of Paris the hotel cost was cheaper and a little more to what we are used to in the US except they don't give you buckets of ice so everyday I took my big ziplock bag down to the bar and got ice for our drinks and to keep things cold . Buying the passes really does save you money and you can buy just for the amount of days you need., You just have to figure out how many days you need the metro and how many days you need the museum pass since they different days for the tickets. like 1,3,5 and 2,4,6. Also make sure you have euro's for tolls if you plan to drive outside of Paris. They really hit you with tolls and make sure you have a gps and get directions online use Michelin which is for european trips and it even tells you an estimate of tolls , gas and miles and directions and things to look for. Many places have wifi and there is an app for metro lines but you need to have wifi to use. Carry a bag or backpack with water and snacks to save money as well and watch out for picpocketers especially on the metro and the museums. You can use your us credit card at many stores and restaurants but it will not work in the machines to get the passes so you will need to get the tickets from the ticket agents to get your passes. If you attempt french the french will attemp to use their english and we did not find anyone that was rude to us . They were very helpful and friendly so brush up on some key frases and it will go along way. We booked our airfare from Aerlingus which has great rates to Paris. Happy Traveling and don't be afraid to go to Paris it really is a wonderful city a bit expensive but very magical.

Posted by boydsbears 15.07.2012 13:45 Archived in France Tagged france in sites

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