Thinking of going to Paris as your next travel destination??? Here are some practical tips for you to consider before booking your flight and packing your bags.
WHERE TO PARK YOUR CAR IN PARIS- FREE and SAFE
If you are travelling to Paris by car and planning to stay there for a couple of days, you are probably wondering where to park your car as not all hotels come with free parking. Looking for a parking space can be headache and if ever you find a good spot, chances are they are costly. There are some streets where parking is allowed but only for maximum of 2 hours, and charge from €1.20-€3.60 per hour (depending on the zone) from Monday-Saturday, 9am to 7pm. Nighttime and Sundays are free. In some streets, you can park for free during public holidays and on month of August, when you see a yellow sticker placed on the parking meter. Parking meters only accept ‘Paris Carte’ which can be bought on ‘Tabac’ stores. There are also lots of car parks around Paris but be prepared to pay a minimum charge of about €20 a day.
Now if you are looking for a free and safe place to park your car in Paris, park at Allée des Fortifications located in the Bois de Boulogne, the closest Metro station is Ranelagh (Line 9) at Rue de Ranelagh that is about 10 minutes’ walk from the parking lot. That's exactly what we did for the two times we were in Paris and worked well for us. Armin would drop me and our things off first to where we are staying (a.k.a. my brother's place) and drive there to leave the car for several days and then take the metro to get back.
BEST WAY TO EXPLORE PARIS
Finding a parking space could be a nightmare and not to mention, expensive and driving in Paris can be quite a challenge so you should think twice (or thrice) before using a car to explore the city.The best and cheapest way to explore central Paris is by foot but for those places that are a bit far, the best thing is to use the Metro or Bus. The first time we were in Paris, Armin and I mostly walked from one point to the next. It was nice and we were able to really see so much of Paris but last time, his mother was with us and we cannot walk as much so what we did was we bought day tickets (Mobilis) from the metro station, and we were able to access most of the places by hopping in and out the metro. If you’ll be traveling only within central Paris, zones 1 & 2 cover the entire Metro system and each ticket cost only €6.80 for unlimited one-day ride. This site: ParisbyTrain.com has useful information about which tickets to buy depending on where you plan to go.
If budget is not your concern, there is of course the Hop-In Hop-Off Tour Bus where you can get off at any stops and hop in again whenever and as many times as you like aboard an open-top double-decker bus. ParisMetro.com has for more information about the prices and schedules.
BEST TIME TO VISIT PARIS
We were in Paris twice over the last two years, the first was towards the end of July in 2012 and we thought then that there were too much tourists everywhere. Our visit last June made us realize we were wrong, as it was unbelievably more than the last time. Now, if you want to explore Paris without having to elbow your way through the throngs of both tourists and locals or having to line up on really long queues on entrances to museums; historical buildings and structures or even restaurants, come on the month of August, when most of the people of Paris are on their vacation away from the city. It is really easier to get around as it is not so jam-packed and maybe you can get away with using a car as parking on some streets ia allowed and free of charge on this month. Next time we go back for another visit, I will definitely heed my brother's and sister-in-law's advice, they should know about it as they live there.
That is it for now, I will be writing more about the sights to see and things to do Paris on my next posts.