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This medieval monastery was built on top of a Roman baths complex, remnants of which are still visible on the grounds outside and in the huge preserved frigidarium the cold-water bath that is now a room of the museum.

The museum itself also contains ancient statuary. The Romanesque style took its inspiration from ancient Rome hence the name. Early Christians in Italy had adapted the basilica ancient Roman law-court buildings to become churches.

Few examples of the Romanesque style remain in Paris, however, with most churches having been rebuilt in later eras. These load-bearing architectural devices allowed the architects to open up wide naves and spaces, channeling all the weight of the stone walls and ceiling across the curve of the arch and down into the ground via the columns or pilasters.

These were necessary to support the weight of all that masonry, giving Romanesque churches a dark, somber, mysterious, and often oppressive feeling. This rounded space behind the altar in many Romanesque churches opens up the holiest, east end of the church. These smaller chapels began to sprout off the east end of the church, especially later in the Romanesque period, often in the form of a fan of minichapels radiating off the apse.

This curving corridor separates the altar and choir area from the ring of smaller, radiating chapels. This, too, was a convention of the later Romanesque period and carried into the Gothic style. The overall building is Romanesque, including the fine sculpted column capitals near the entrance of the left aisle; only the far left corner is original, the others are copies.

By the time builders got to creating the choir, the early Gothic style was on—note the pointy arches. Over the early Renaissance portal is a Romanesque carving of the Last Judgment.

This small church has a general Romanesque plan overwritten by later Gothic embellishments, including the facade. GOTHIC — By the 12th century, engineering developments freed church architecture from the heavy, thick walls of Romanesque structures and allowed ceilings to soar, walls to thin, and windows to proliferate.

The squat, brooding exteriors of the Romanesque fortresses of God were replaced by graceful buttresses and spires that soared above town centers. The most significant development of the Gothic era was the discovery that pointed arches carry far more weight than rounded ones. Instead of being flat, the square patch of ceiling between four columns arches up to a point in the center, creating four sail shapes, like the underside of a pyramid.

As the Gothic style progressed, four-sided Cross Vault cross vaults became six- or eight-sided as architects played with the angles. These freestanding exterior pillars, connected by graceful, thin arms of stone, help to channel the weight of the building and its roof out and down into the ground. To help counter the cross forces involved in this engineering sleight of hand, the piers of buttresses were often topped by heavy pinnacles, which took the form of minispires or statues.

These pinnacles of masonry seem to defy gravity and reach toward heaven itself. Disguised as wide-mouthed creatures, gargoyles are actually drain spouts. These lacy spider webs of carved stone grace the pointy ends of windows and sometimes the spans of ceiling vaults. Because pointy arches Cross Section of Gothic Church can carry more weight than rounded ones, windows could be larger and more numerous. They were often filled with Bible stories and symbolism writ in the colorful patterns of stained glass.

The Gothic style made much greater use of this corridor of space wrapping behind the apse and often around a choir the boxed-off area, usually behind the altar, where the choir sat and sang. Serving as the inner wall of the ambulatory and the outer wall of the choir section, choir screens are often decorated with carvings or serve as tombs.

This Gothic masterpiece boasts good statuary, a soaring spire, and some glorious stained-glass windows. As in painting, its rules stressed proportion, order, classical inspiration, and precision to create unified, balanced structures. Other than a close eye to these Renaissance ideals, little specifically identifies buildings of this period. Many roofs are of pale stone with dark gray tiles. This feature is a throwback to medieval sensibilities, but because almost no medieval mansions survive in Paris, the buildings that do sport steep roofs tend to be Renaissance.

These tend to be tall and made of stone, which differentiates them from the less extravagant, wooden ones of later periods. This Renaissance mansion is the only 16th-century hotel left in Paris.

This square is lined by Renaissance mansions rising above a lovely arcaded corridor that wraps all the way around. During the reign of Louis XIV, art and architecture were subservient to political ends. Buildings were grandiose and severely ordered on the Versailles model. Opulence was saved for interior decoration, which increasingly especially —50, after the death of Louis XIV became an excessively detailed and self-indulgent rococo rocaille in French.

Externally, this later style is only noticeable by a greater elegance and delicacy. French classicism concentrated on horizontal and vertical lines and simple proportions. Classicism was favored for the very fact that it brought back such elements as classical orders Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian and projectMansard Roof ing central sections topped by triangular pediments.

Unlike the larger Renaissance ones flanked by showy stone scrolls, later dormers tended to be lower, less extravagant, and wooden. Rococo interior decoration is often asymmetrical and abstract with shell-like forms and many C- and S-curves. Naturalistic flowers and trees are sometimes playfully introduced. A collaborative classical masterpiece, the Louvre was designed as a palace. The structure subsequently had several purposes see chapter 8 for the complete history before becoming a museum.

The Clock Room is a good example of rococo interior decoration. This Left Bank monument is a perfect example of the strict neoclassical style. Paris owes much of its remarkably unified look to Haussmann, who drew his beloved thoroughfares directly across the city, tearing down existing structures along the way. He lined the boulevards with simple, six-story apartment blocks, like elongated 18th-century town houses with continuous balconies wrapping around the third and sixth floors and mansard roofs with dormer windows.

Expositions in , , and were the catalysts for constructing huge glass-and-steel structures that showed off modern techniques and the engineering prowess of the Industrial Revolution. These architects and decorators rebelled against the Third Republic era of mass production by stressing the uniqueness of craft.

They created asymmetrical, curvaceous designs based on organic inspiration plants and flowers in such mediums as wrought iron, stained glass, tile, and hand-painted wallpaper. Napoleon spent his imperial decade —14 refurbishing his quarters in this palace in First Empire style.

Under the Third Republic, the French wanted to show how far they had come in the years since the Revolution. Everyone agreed it was tall; most thought it was ugly and completely lacking in aesthetics. Art Nouveau was less an architectural mode than a decorative movement.

A recently renovated entrance is at the Porte Dauphine station on the No. The majority were considered controversial or even offensive when completed. Over time, a lucky few may even become as beloved as the once-despised Tour Eiffel.

Britisher Richard Rogers b. Exposed pipes, steel supports, and plastic-tube escalators wrap around the exterior. Chinese-American architect I. Pei b. Unfortunately, the acoustics have been lambasted. Michigan Ave. McGill College, Suite , Montreal,. State Department. All nonFrench nationals need a valid passport to enter France check its expiration date. Passport requirements for children are the same as for adults.

If your passport is lost or stolen, go to your consulate as soon as possible for a replacement. The French government no longer requires visas for. For longer stays, they must apply for a long-term visa, residence card, or temporary-stay visa. Each requires proof of income or a viable means of support in France and a legitimate purpose for remaining in the country.

Visas are required for students planning to study in France even if the stay is less than 90 days. Citizens Returning U. Be sure to have your receipts handy. With some exceptions, you cannot bring fresh fruits and vegetables into the United States. You can also bring in 2 liters of liquor, and 50 cigars. All valu grams of tea.

Customs offi- own, such as expensive foreign cameras. Citizens Citizens of the U. In essence, there is no limit on what you can bring back from an EU country, as long as the items are for personal use this includes gifts and you have already paid the necessary duty and tax. However, customs law sets out guidance levels. If you bring in more than these levels, you may be asked to prove that the goods are for your own use. Guidance levels on goods bought in the EU for your own use are 3, cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, 3 kilograms of smoking tobacco, 10 liters of spirits, 90 liters of wine, 20 liters of fortified wine such as port or sherry , and liters of beer.

Citizens can bring in cigarettes or grams of loose tobacco and 1. New Zealand currency does not carry import or export restrictions. Fill out a certificate of export, listing the valuables you are taking out of the country; that way, you can bring them back without paying duty. Exchange rates of participating countries are locked into a common currency fluctuating against the. For up-to-theminute currency conversions, go to www. For more details on the euro, check out www.

Most banks in Paris are open Monday to Friday from 9am to pm, and a few are open Saturday; ask at your hotel for the location of the one nearest you. Most post offices will convert currency, and exchanges are also at Paris airports and train stations and along most of the major.

Taxi from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the city center They charge a small commission. Some exchange places charge favorable rates to lure you into their stores.

Its rates are a fraction less favorable than those offered for large blocks of money as listed by the Paris stock exchange. Worldwide, its prices. You can exchange money at your local American Express or Thomas Cook office or at your bank. Be sure you know your personal identification number PIN and daily withdrawal limit before you depart. If you have a six-digit code, you may want to consider getting a new one for your trip.

In addition, the bank from which you withdraw cash may charge its own fee. For international withdrawal fees, ask your bank. They also provide a convenient record of all your expenses, and they generally offer relatively good exchange rates.

However, the frugal traveler still carries them because they are cheaper than withdrawing money from the ATM every day. The convenience of withdrawing from an ATM has a downside: fees are charged.

The credit card companies may block your charges in such an instance. But perhaps the most important lesson here is to carry more than one card with you on your trip; a card may not work for any number of reasons, so having a backup is the smart way to go.

July has also become a popular vacation month, when many restaurateurs take holidays. Hotels, especially first class and deluxe, are easy to come by in July and August. Budget hotels, on the other hand, are likely to be full during these months of student invasion. You should also try to avoid late September and the first 2 weeks in October, when the annual auto show attracts thousands of enthusiasts.

Balmy weather in Paris has prompted more popular songs and love ballads than weather conditions in any other city. But the weather here is actually quite fickle. Rain is more common than snow throughout the winter, prompting longtime residents to complain about the occasional bone-chilling dampness. What will most likely. Shops and banks are closed, as well as many but not all restaurants and museums.

Hall 7 , 15e. A mammoth amusement park unveil their visions hallucinations? This high-tech continuation of ists, and industry professionals, but for that tradition, held on the lawns of the the merely fashion-conscious, the rules Pelouse de Reuilly, has a Ferris wheel, are usually bent.

For to midnight. End of January. International Marathon of Paris. Early April. Les Grandes Eaux Musicales, Versailles. These musical events are intended to re-create the atmosphere of the ancient regime. The events occur every Saturday and Sunday from am till noon and pm till 5pm between April and early September. Pro-American sentiments are probably higher during this festival than at any other time of year.

May 5 to May 8. In this equestrian event, obstacle courses at both Auteuil and Longchamps racetracks are laid out to incorporate hurdles and crossings over streams. The result is a rougher, more rustic counterpoint to the flatbed races conducted at Chantilly see below.

Late May to early June. This series presents a month of artfully contrived music in the burial place of the French kings, a grim early-Gothic monument in this industrialized northern suburb. Early June to July. Paris Air Show, Le Bourget. Musicians and wannabes pour into the streets, where you can make music with anything, even if it means banging two garbage cans together or driving around blowing your car horn illegal otherwise. You might hear anything from Russians playing balalaikas to Cubans playing mambo rhythms.

Hear all the Chopin you want at these piano recitals from the works of the Polish exile who lived most of his life in Paris. Mid-June to mid-July. Month of July. Late June to late August. Although it has and ends with fireworks in Montdiminished somewhat in importance martre.

A Sunday in the last week of orchestral concerts. The dozen or so June or first week of July. For more inforGardens. Mid-July to mid-August. Late June. Early September. The race is neighborhoods of this Paris suburb.

Early minating the equine season in Europe. Early October. Antiques dealers and lovers from all November Armistice Day, citywide. The signing of over gather at this gilded event in eventhe controversial document that ended numbered years. November A series of classical concerts is held desantiquaires. Usually third in five of the oldest churches of Paris.

Next event: Mid-November to mid-December. Paris welcomes the return of Release of the Beaujolais Nouveau, its residents from their August holidays citywide. Parisians eagerly await the with an ongoing and eclectic festival of yearly release of the first new beaujolais, modern music, ballet, theater, and art.

Signs Venues include art galleries, churches, are posted in bistros, wine bars, and concert halls, auditoriums, and parks cafes—these places report their heavicitywide. For Parc des Expositions, 15e. Glitzy attendees and lots of Web at www. In addition, a permanent brated in the Latin Quarter around the exhibit on French auto design at the Sorbonne. Strangers kiss strangers, and upgraded and enriched during October. Late malls.

December September to mid-October. Check your existing insurance policies and credit card coverage before you buy travel insurance. You may already be covered for lost luggage, cancelled tickets, or medical expenses. You can get estimates from various providers through InsureMyTrip. Enter your trip cost and dates, your age, and other information, for prices from more than a dozen companies. Permissible reasons for trip cancellation can range from sickness to natural disasters to the State Department declaring a destination unsafe for travel.

If your luggage is lost, immediately file a lost-luggage claim at the airport, detailing the luggage contents. Most airlines require that you report delayed, damaged, or lost baggage within 4 hours of arrival. The airlines are required to deliver luggage, once found, directly to your house or destination free of charge.

It is easy to get a prescription although problems can and do occur filled in Paris, and nearly all hospitals. During a flight especially a long-haul flight , get up, walk around, and stretch your legs every 60 to 90 minutes to keep your blood flowing. Other preventative measures include frequent flexing of the legs while sitting, drinking lots of water, and avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills.

If you have a history of deep vein thrombosis, heart disease, or another condition that puts you at high risk, some experts recommend wearing compression stockings or taking anticoagulants when you fly; always ask your physician about the best course for you.

Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include leg pain or swelling, or even shortness of breath. In other words, France is part of the civilized world.

The website www. You can find listings of reliable clinics overseas at the International Society of Travel Medicine www. In most cases, your existing health plan will provide the coverage you need.

But double-check; you may want to buy travel medical insurance instead. Bring your insurance ID card with you when you travel. Some large Paris hotels have a doctor on staff. You can also try the American Hospital, 63 bd. The bilingual staff accepts Blue Cross and other American insurance plans.

For emergency dental service, call S. Dentaire, 87 bd. Staff members will arrange an appointment with a qualified dentist either on the day of your call or for early in the morning of the following day.

You can also call or visit the American Hospital. If you suffer from a chronic illness, consult your doctor before your departure. Pack prescription medications in your carry-on luggage, and carry them in their original containers, with pharmacy.

Healthy Travels to You The following government websites offer up-to-date health-related travel advice. Carry the generic name of prescription medicines, in case a local pharmacist is unfamiliar with the brand name. For travel abroad, you may have to pay all medical costs upfront and be reimbursed later. A band of these young thieves can clean your pockets even while you try to fend them off.

Their method is to get very close to a target, ask for a handout sometimes , and deftly help themselves to your money or passport. Never leave valuables in a car, and never travel with your car unlocked. State Department travel advisory warns that every car whether parked, stopped at a traffic light, or moving can be a potential target for armed robbery.

In these uncertain times, it is prudent to check the U. The government of France maintains a national antiterrorism plan; in times of. In recent years, Paris has experienced political assassinations and random bombings.

One U. All passengers on subways and trains are urged to be aware of their surroundings and to report any unattended baggage to the nearest authority. Violent civil disorder is rare in France. In the past, however, student demonstrations, labor protests, or other routine demonstrations have turned into violent confrontations between demonstrators and police.

Americans are advised to avoid street demonstrations. Gangs of thieves operate on the rail link from Charles de Gaulle Airport to downtown Paris by preying on jet-lagged, luggage-burdened tourists. Often, one thief distracts the tourist with a question about directions while an accomplice takes a momentarily unguarded backpack, briefcase, or purse. Thieves also time their thefts to coincide with train stops so that they may quickly exit the car.

Travelers may wish to consider traveling from the airport to the city by bus or taxi. Although public safety is not as much a problem in Paris at it is in some large American cities, concerns are growing. Robbery at gunpoint or knifepoint is uncommon, but not unknown. Be careful, especially late at night. There have been a number of violent armed robberies, including knife attacks, in the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower late at night.

Thieves on motorcycles have been known to reach into moving cars by opening the car door or reaching through an open window to steal purses and other bags visible inside. Those traveling by car in Paris should remember to keep windows closed and doors locked. The No. Gare du Nord train station, where the express trains from the airport arrive in.

Anyone who might be taken for an immigrant often illegal from Africa is subject to verbal abuse. Racism is more prevalent in the southeast of France than Paris. So far, there has been almost no harassment of AfricanAmerican tourists to Paris or France itself. Many expatriate Americans, in fact, including such cultural figures as Josephine Baker and author James Baldwin, fled to Paris in decades past to escape the racism of America.

Racisme, 51 av. Paris, is also a high-risk area for pickpocketing and theft. Many thefts occur at the major department stores Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, and La Samaritaine , where tourists often leave wallets, passports, and credit cards on cashier counters during transactions. In hotels, thieves frequent lobbies and breakfast rooms, and take advantage of a minute of inattention to snatch jackets, purses, and backpacks.

Also, while many hotels do have safety latches that allow guests to secure their rooms while they are inside, this feature is not as universal as it is in the United States. If no chain or latch is present, a chair placed up against the door is usually an effective obstacle to surreptitious entry during the night.

Regrettably, anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Europe, especially in France, which has registered a significant increase in incidents against Jews. French Jews not visitors from abroad have suffered assaults and attacks against synagogues, cemeteries, schools, and other Jewish property. Officials say they believe that attacks in France are linked to the worsening of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some sources—none official—recommend that travelers conceal Star of David jewelry and such items to ensure personal safety while traveling in France.

Officially, the government of France welcomes Jewish visitors and promises a vigorous defense of their safety and concerns. The French Government Tourist Office website www. There are more options and resources out there than ever before. Nearly all modern hotels in France now have rooms designed especially for persons with disabilities.

Older hotels, unless renovated, may not provide important features like elevators, special toilet facilities, or ramps for wheelchair accessibility. Most high-speed trains in France can deal with wheelchairs, and guide dogs ride free. Older trains have compartments for wheelchair boarding. Many travel agencies offer customized tours and itineraries for travelers with disabilities. Organizations that offer assistance to travelers with disabilities include MossRehab www.

The community website iCan www. Check out the quarterly magazine Emerging Horizons www. It has reviews of wheelchair- and crutch-dependent accessible hotels, restaurants, attractions, and modes of transportation, and it was researched by travelers with and without disabilities.

The Marais has become a favorite area for gays to live and socialize in Paris. The phone is staffed every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 6 to 10pm by volunteers, some not as helpful as others. Call anytime for a recorded announcement about the hours when someone will be available in that particular week.

Lesbian or bisexual women may also pick up a copy of Lesbia, if only to check out the ads. Hours are Monday to Saturday from 11am to 11pm and Sunday from 2 to 8pm. Both Frenchand English-language publications are available. It provides regularly updated information about gayowned, gay-oriented, and gay-friendly lodging, dining, sightseeing, nightlife, and shopping establishments in every important destination worldwide.

In most cities, people over the age of 60 qualify for reduced admission to theaters, museums, and other attractions, as well as discounted fares on public transportation.

At any rail station in France, seniors 60 and over, with proof of age can get A La Carte Senior, available online at www. The carte also offers reduced prices on some regional bus lines and half-price admission at state-owned museums. Anyone over age 50 can join. Many reliable agencies and organizations target the plus market. Recommended publications offering travel resources and discounts for seniors include the quarterly magazine Travel.

For changing details on entry requirements for children traveling abroad, keep up to date by going to the U. State Department website: www. To prevent international child abduction, EU governments have initiated procedures at entry and exit points. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, facilitates entries and exits.

All children must have their own passports. To obtain a passport, the child must be present—that is, in person—at the center issuing the passport. Both parents must be present as well. If not, then a notarized statement from the parents is required. Also avoid ghettoized or seedy districts of the city. If you travel in the neighborhoods previewed in this guide, you should avoid trouble. Of course, proper dress is always discreet.

Women in Paris face some additional safety concerns, but less so than in most of the rest of the world. The usual precautions are advised—that is, to stick to secure hotels in the major tourist districts and avoid late-night walks along the Seine or through the relatively deserted back streets of Paris.

As the world grows more politically correct, the old macho attitudes of cat-calling at an attractive woman are dying out, though still prevalent among many of the newly arrived immigrants from less developed countries.

Carry a purse with a zipper and. It also provides you with basic health and life insurance and a hour help line. To avoid it, you can agree to room with other single travelers or find a compatible roommate before you go, from one of the many roommate locator agencies. In addition, most airlines now offer online-only fares that even their phone agents know nothing about. The Single Gourmet Club www.

Many reputable tour companies offer singles-only trips. To find cybercafes in Paris, check www. The latter lists 20 such cafes scattered throughout central Paris.

The most popular in Paris seems to be Luxembourg Micro, 81 blvd. Aside from formal cybercafes, most youth hostels and public libraries have Internet access. Most major airports now have Internet kiosks scattered throughout their gates. TMobile Hotspot www. Boingo www. IPass providers see below also give you access to a few hundred wireless hotel lobby setups. To locate other hotspots that provide free wireless networks in cities around the world, go to www. For dial-up access, most business-class hotels throughout the world offer dataports for laptop modems, and a few thousand hotels in the U.

In addition, major Internet Service Providers ISPs have local access numbers around the world, allowing you to go online by placing a local call. The iPass network also has dial-up numbers around the world. For a list of iPass providers, go to www. Wherever you go, bring a connection kit of the right power and phone adapters, a spare phone cord, and a spare Ethernet network cable—or find out whether your hotel supplies them to guests.

In the U. If your cellphone is on a GSM system, and you have a world-capable multiband phone such as many Sony Ericsson, Motorola, or Samsung models, you can make and receive calls across civilized areas around much of the globe.

For many, renting a phone is a good idea. Even worldphone owners will have. Veteran travelers usually carry some essential items to make their trips easier. Following is a selection of handy online tools to bookmark and use.

While you can rent a phone from any number of overseas sites, including kiosks at airports and at car-rental agencies, we suggest renting the phone before you leave home. Cellhire, av. A lot of upscale French hotels also rent cellphones. Because of security concerns, it is now illegal in France to rent cellphones at airports. However, Cellhire see above will deliver rental phones to your hotel. Buying a phone can be economically attractive, as many nations have cheap prepaid phone systems.

France shuttle operates between the two every 30 minutes, taking 50 to 75 minutes. Transatlantic flights land at Charles de Gaulle, with Orly used for domestic and charter flights.

For information on both airports, go to www. This is the most expensive and most crowded time to travel. Low season is November 1 to December 14 and December 25 to March Delta also operates daily nonstop flights to Paris from Cincinnati and New York.

Continental provides nonstop flights to Paris from both cities. In the lifetime of this edition, KLM and Air France will begin coordinating their schedules and fares, acting as a unit. Airline spokespersons predict that the merger in time will lead to lower costs, lower fares, and better connections between flights.

Nonstop flights from Montreal and Toronto depart every evening. Many commercial travelers also use regular flights from the London City Airport in the Docklands.

There are also direct flights to Paris from major cities such as Manchester,. Curbside check-in is also a good way to avoid lines. Children under 18 do not need government-issued photo IDs for flights within the U. In addition, remove metal objects such as big belt buckles. Look for Travel Sentry certified locks at luggage or travel shops and Brookstone stores or online at www. Edinburgh, and Southampton. Consequently, on virtually any route, and with any airline you take, you have to change planes at least once en route.

A shuttle bus navette links the terminals. You can also take either of two Air France shuttle buses, both of which depart from Roissy for points within central Paris. The cost for the 50minute ride is 8. A free shuttle bus links them. The Orly Val makes stops at the north and south terminals, and continues at 8-minute intervals for the minute ride to the Anthony RER station.

Returning to the airport, buses to Orly leave from the Invalides terminal to either Orly Sud or Orly Ouest every 15 minutes, taking about 30 minutes. Find more details about U. For international airlines, the research firm Skytrax has posted a list of average seat pitches at www.

You can also call and reserve by phone before your arrival in Paris. PariShuttle will take you to your desired address in Paris, and service in the eight-seat minivans is 7 days a week. Many passengers find that bulkhead seating the row facing the wall at the front of the cabin offers more legroom, but keep in mind that bulkheads are where airlines often put baby bassinets, so you may be sitting next to an infant.

To have two seats for yourself in a three-seat row, try for an aisle seat in a center section toward the back of coach.

Ask about entertainment options. Many airlines offer seatback video systems where you get to choose your movies or play video games—but only on some of their planes. Boeing s are your best bet. To sleep, avoid the last row of any section or the row in front of an emergency exit, as these seats are the least likely to recline. Avoid seats near highly trafficked toilet areas. Avoid seats in the back of many jets—these can be narrower than those in the rest of coach. You also may want to reserve a window seat so you can rest your head and avoid being bumped in the aisle.

Get up, walk around, and stretch every 60 to 90 minutes to keep your blood flowing. Drink water before, during, and after your flight to combat the lack of humidity in airplane cabins. Avoid alcohol, which will dehydrate you. Parking is difficult; traffic is dense; and networks of one-way streets make navigation, even with the best of maps, a problem. Avoid rush hours. Few hotels, except the luxury ones, have garages, but the staff will usually be able to direct you to one nearby.

Buses operate between rail stations. Taxis are also available at designated stands at every station. Be alert in train stations, especially at night. Most ferries carry cars, trucks, and massive amounts of freight, but some hydrofoils take passengers only.

The major routes include at least 12 trips a day between Dover or Folkestone and Calais or Boulogne. Hovercraft and hydrofoils make the trip from Dover to Calais, the shortest distance across the Channel, in 40 minutes during good weather; the slower-moving ferries can take several hours, depending on weather and tides. Timetables can vary depending on the weather and many other factors.

It operates car and passenger ferries. The most popular routes are between Dover and Calais, France 25 sailings a day; 75 min. The shortest and most popular route is between Calais and Dover. Hoverspeed operates at least 12 hovercraft crossings daily; the trip takes 35 minutes.

It also runs a SeaCat a catamaran propelled by jet engines that takes longer, just under 1 hour, between Dover and Calais. If you plan to transport a rental car between England and France, check in advance with the rental company about license and insurance requirements and additional drop-off charges.

Be aware that many car-rental companies, for insurance reasons, forbid transport of one of their vehicles over the water between England and France. The 50km mile journey takes 35 minutes, though actual time spent in the Chunnel is only 19 minutes.

Stores selling duty-free goods, restaurants, service stations, and bilingual staffs are available to travelers on both sides of the Channel. In Great Britain, make. Chunnel train traffic is roughly competitive with air travel, if you calculate door-to-door travel time.

The tunnel also accommodates passenger cars, charter buses, taxis, and motorcycles, transporting them under the Channel from Folkestone, England, to Calais, France. It operates 24 hours a day, running every 15 minutes during peak travel times and at least once an hour at night. Before they board Le Shuttle, motorists stop at a tollbooth and pass through British and French immigration at the same time. During the ride, motorists stay in air-conditioned carriages, remaining inside their cars or stepping outside to stretch their legs.

When the trip is completed, they simply drive off. Total travel time is about an hour. Once on French soil, British drivers must remember to drive on the right-hand side of the road. Package tours are simply a way to buy the airfare, accommodations, and other elements of your trip such as car rentals, airport transfers, and sometimes even activities at the same time and often at discounted prices.

One good source of package deals is the airlines themselves. The French Experience, Lexington Ave. In addition, it takes reservations for about 38 small hotels in Paris and arranges short-term apartment rentals in the city or farmhouse rentals in the countryside, and offers all-inclusive packages in Paris and prearranged package tours of various regions in France.

Tours can be adapted to suit individual needs. Travel packages are also listed in the travel section of your local Sunday newspaper. The price usually includes everything from airfare to hotels, meals, tours, admission costs, and local. The differences are mainly in hotel location and the number of activities. Brochures are available at travel agencies, and all tours must be booked through travel agents.

Despite the fact that escorted tours require big deposits and predetermine hotels, restaurants, and itineraries, many people derive security and peace of mind from the structure they offer. They take you to the maximum number of sights in the minimum amount of time with the least amount of hassle. The tours can be jampacked with activities, leaving little room for individual sightseeing, whim, or adventure—plus they often focus on the heavily touristed sites, so you miss out on many a lesser-known gem.

For a city as diverse and popular as Paris, there are only a few specialty tours. One outfit that coordinates hotel stays with major musical events, usually within. Stays in Paris last between 3 and 7 days and, in many cases, are tied in with opera performances in other cities usually London, Berlin, or Milan as well.

Expect accommodations in deluxe hotels such as the Grand, the Louvre, or the Scribe, and a staff that has made arrangements for all the nuts and bolts of your arrival in, and artistic exposure to, Paris.

Packages usually include either 5 or 6 nights of hotel accommodations in Paris, 2 or 3 days on Center Court, the organizational skills of a bilingual hostess, and a chance to meet and mingle with tennis fans of many different nationalities during at least one catered lunch. There will even be an opportunity to grab a racquet and play some tennis on your own, in between bouts of sightseeing.

Pinkney Forum Press, , is a comprehensive history with illustrations and plenty of obscure but interesting facts. Larry Collins and.

Dominique Lapierre have written a popular history of the liberation of Paris in called Is Paris Burning? Warner Books, This book takes a fresh, social, cultural, and political look at this City of Light. Knopf, Dee, Another interesting read is The Autobiography of Alice B.

Toklas, by Gertrude Stein Vintage Books, With these ready-made itineraries, you can have a complete, unforgettable trip, even though time is short. Actually, seeing Paris in 1 to 3 days. Start your voyage of discovery right outside your hotel door. On virtually every street in Paris, there is usually more than one cafe. Any neighborhood will provide a slice of Parisian life, so order breakfast as thousands of locals do.

Sit back, enjoy, and breathe deeply before beginning your descent on Paris. You know you must see the Louvre, perhaps the greatest museum of art in the world.

Since it opens at 9am, be among the first in line. This palatial treasure trove is richly endowed, and some of its art is the most acclaimed on earth. Victory alas, without a head. Try to allot at least 2 hours of viewing time for some world-class masterpieces. Around 11am, go for a walk along: 2 The Quays of the Seine.

After leaving the Louvre, walk south toward the river and head east for a stroll along the Seine. Trees shade the banks of the river, and 14 bridges span the Seine.

Taking Cross over the: in the deep glow of these astonishing windows is one of the great joys of a visit 3 Pont Neuf to the City of Light. The windows, the The oldest and most evocative of the oldest in Paris, are known not only for bridges of Paris, Pont Neuf p. From vitality of their characters, including the bridge, the view down or up the everybody from Adam and Eve to St.

Galant p. The square, if you liken the island to a giant ship. It faces the towering mass of La Conciergerie p. This Seine-bordering quay leads east to Notre-Dame. It was the former market of the jewelers of 17th- and 18th-century Paris.

The quay leads you to: 7 Sainte-Chapelle. This Gothic chapel p. A bronze statue depicts Saint Michael fighting the dragon. Why not do lunch in one of the most evocative of all Left Bank bistros? You can easily get lost in the narrow maze of Left Bank streets. Little has changed at this classic bistro with its mellow decor and traditional menu. After lunch, walk back to place StMichel. Then cross the bridge, Pont au Double, to visit the cathedral itself. In so many ways, the exterior is more exciting than the vast and hollow interior that, since its denuding during the French Revolution, is almost tomblike.

You stand in awe, taking in the majestic and perfectly balanced portals. Place de la Concorde. This octagonal traffic hub, built in , is dominated by an Egyptian obelisk from Luxor, the oldest manmade object in Paris, circa B. In the Reign of Terror at the time of the French Revolution, the dreaded guillotine was erected on this spot to claim thousands of heads. The grandest walk in Paris begins here, leading all the way to the Arc de Triomphe see below.

Roosevelt and continuing west from there. Louis XIV ordered the construction of the 1. Without worrying about any particular monument, stroll along its avenue of sidewalk cafes, automobile showrooms, airline offices, cinemas, lingerie stores, and even hamburger joints.

At the end of the broad boulevard, you approach:. The arch marks the intersections of the 8th, 16th, and 17th arrondissements. A close encounter with this tower, a 10,ton dark metal structure, is more inspiring up close than when seen from afar. A source of wonder since the World Exposition, this m 1,ft. The greatest triumphal arch in the world, If the afternoon is clear, you can see for the 49m ft.

Beautiful antique town houses with charming courtyards, tree-shaded quays opening onto the Seine, mansions that once housed such famous literati as Voltaire and his mistress, antiques shops, and little restaurants and cafes fill the narrow streets on this island of platinum real estate. A great way to break in your second day in Paris is by wandering the streets and quays in the early morning before the museums and attractions open.

Cut immediately to your. When you reach square Barye in the far southeastern corner, take in the scenic view down river before crossing by Pont de Sully. This former railway station also presents a vast array of sculpture and decorative arts, with other departments devoted to architecture, photography, and cinema. Most of the works span the period from to and the beginning of World War I. To speed you on your way, English-language information is available at the entrance. Audio guides offer analyses of more than 50 masterpieces on display.

Gabriel Ferrier designed this Belle Epoque room with its panoramic vista of the Seine and its splendid chandeliers. Lunch is also served Tuesday to Sunday am to pm, afternoon tea from Friday to Wednesday to pm, and dinner only Thursday 7 to pm. Still beloved by many French people, the little megalomaniac who tried to conquer Europe lies locked away or at least his remains are with some of his family members in six coffins of red Finnish porphyry.

This is a gaudy celebration of French military history, but most firsttimers to Paris skip it. Here, you can embark on one of the: 5 Bateaux-Mouche Cruises of the.

We know of no better way to enjoy Paris than on one of these scenic boat tours from the riverbank point of view. They allow for one of the most dramatic vistas of Notre-Dame. Tours depart every 20 to 30 minutes during the day and are in English, lasting about 75 minutes. This may sound corny to sophisticated travelers, but thousands of visitors consider these portraits their most memorable souvenirs of Paris. Ascend to the dome at 80m ft.

After dinner, perhaps in one of the little bistros that surround place du Tertre, head for a Paris landmark for your final toast to the City of Light.

This is the official headquarters of the International Bar Flies p. The bar looks much as it did at the time of the Liberation, when Hemingway was one of its patrons. The main bar attracts sports fans, especially rugby rooters, but the downstairs piano bar is more attuned to a romantic conversation over a cocktail. Dozens of young. There is nothing in all of Paris to equal this regal wonder, former stomping ground of everyone from Madame de Pompadour, the royal mistress, to Marie Antoinette, the Austrian princess doomed to marry a French king who lost his head.

The palace opens at 9am, so try to arrive at that time because it will take a minimum of 3 hours to see just some of the highlights. A first-time visitor will want to concentrate on the Grands Appartements , the glittering Hall of Mirrors , and the Petits Appartements where Louis XV died in of smallpox. The choice of ingredients is skillful and the preparation inventive.

The menu is adjusted to take advantage of the best produce of any season. Note: Should your time be too precious for a sit-down meal, you can have a fast lunch on the run and save those dwindling hours to see more of Paris itself. You can visit a deli in the morning before leaving Paris and secure the makings of a piquenique, which you can enjoy by the canal in the Gardens of Versailles after.

Amazingly, more art lovers visit Pompidou per day than they do the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower. Allow at least 2 hours. But most 3day visitors, especially if they visit Versailles, will not have time to see the entire district. The oldest square in Paris is flanked by 36 matching pavilions with red-and-gold brick-and-stone facades.

Architecturally, this square represents the first time in. Paris that an arcade was used to link houses. Balconies were also designed for the first time—not just for decorative reasons, but to be used. The most famous resident of this square no. His home is now a museum p. Arm yourself with a good map and spend at least an hour wandering the narrow Marais streets to the west of place des Vosges. You can make discoveries on every block as you explore trendy cafes and funky shops.

At the northern tier of the place des Vosges, head west along rue des Francs Bourgeois, one of the most historic streets. At some point, dip south to visit the parallel street: 5 Rue des Rosiers. The street, deep in the heart of the Marais, is still packed with kosher butchers, bakeries, and falafel shops.

In the s, the waves of North African Sephardim radically changed the street. A synagogue is at 25 rue des Rosiers. One more famous neighborhood awaits discovery. Montparnasse was once the retreat of bohemian artists and the working class. The district teems with cafes many of literary fame , cinemas, and nightclubs, along with artisan shops and bars. For a description of some of the. If you know of things missing or have corrections, please log in and submit them.

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