Paris the perfect city break
City breaks can be a bit daunting if you've never done one. Flights to Paris are reasonable along with a basic hotel room. The recent trip I had there was different to my visit twelve years ago. Showing Paris in a whole new light.
The Hotel Prince Albert Wagram
This comfortable hotel is situated in a side street close to the Villiers area of Paris. Rooms are simple enough, with an en suite bathroom, clean towels every day and continental breakfast. Which included coffee, croissants, pain au chocolat, fresh bread rolls with a choice of jam, butter and orange juice. A great location for visiting the well known landmarks.
When you look at a map of any place it can be difficult to judge just how far apart everything really is. We took the decision to use a two day three zone ticket, on the metro system. The staff are very helpful, so its always worth asking if you get stuck. You really can walk for miles, and its so easy to get lost, don't worry if you do get lost, because there are maps scattered all over the city showing your exact location. Using the metro system is also a very quick way to get around the city. Its both quick and efficient, and can take you out to Versailles if you want to visit the Palace there.
We started our break by visiting the Sacre Coeur, which has a beautiful view over the city. We then went on to MontMatre where the artists paint on the streets, and will offer to paint or draw your picture for a handsome price. Don't get caught out with the price of drinks like we did. A lot of restaurants won't give you the menu with the cost of soft drinks etc, and very easy to get caught out when your about to pay. Make sure you see the menu first. After MontMatre we went on to the Moulin Rouge. If you have a lot of spare change (and I mean a lot), shopping can be a little bit expensive, but you get to see how the other half live. Couture houses such as Chanel, Dior, Hermes, Gucci and Louis Vuitton to name a few can easily be found in and around the Champs Elysees. Department Stores such as Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, if you're into couture and designer labels or maybe just want to browse around out of curiosity, they're well worth looking around.
Restaurants in Paris
Like any city, eating around the main tourist areas and attractions can be quite expensive. Staying off the beaten track, down the side streets is always a good option. Although at times even snacking at Starbucks can seem pretty reasonable these days. So look around before you decide. We ate in a few different places, a Chinese restaurant off the Champs Elysees, a local pizzeria. Then we decided to eat on the Champs Elysees for our last evening. I highly recommend Vesuvio Pizzeria, 144 Avenue Champs Elysees. The most mouthwatering food and delectable deserts. The chocolate mousse is soooo good. Heavenly in fact, really light and smooth.
The next time you want a short city break, why not try Paris. You won't regret it!
© 2011 Helen Bolam
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