Paris 101 (5) Website Guide to Paris

I would recommend everyone to do your own reading first. Get hold of any travel forums,travel blogs or private travel agencies so that you can get to get an overall picture of the place. The tourist attractions.

Why do you need to do so?
1. Compare their experiences if it is worth the time, or how early should you arrive to skip the queue
2. Check on which mode of transportation which will suit you, and the problems they've faced with that mode. Perhaps you may need to change
3.How to either cramp the trip just nice or to space it out. Some people come out with itenaries that they've gone thru. My itenaries will be featured in : Paris 101 (6)

I would suggest :

1.Trip advisor
They also have a free app for phones to download. So while you are in that city. You can check out what's closest to you. They also feature the tour buses, prices, operating hours of tourist attractions. 
I have also chosen the hotel that I stayed in according to the reviews found here. 

2. Personal Travel blogs
Most blogs will of course indirectly brag about how much they have saved on the trip, the best places to eat by the road side or fine dining. Extensive planning doesn't hurt a bit. In fact, you will realise no matter how your plan is runied by the weather or traffic, there will still be things to do at that point in time.
They will talk about the different ways they travelled,  by public transport, bicycle, cab, bus or even walk.

3 . Photography blogs
For those who travel to capture amazing pictures should also do their homework. I am also a big fan of lomography. So I visit their site to check on the cool pictures taken there to inspire me during my shots. Some of the pictures I adore is featured in this blogger's site- faizakhbar.blogspot.com

4. Food blogs
You would not want to have been in Paris without tasting the best in Paris.
Rely on food blogs, where to get good escargots, French pastries ( most pastries are lovely anyway).
As for those who are searching for Halal food, it is important that you find hotels which are close to Halal places as they are hard to come by. You may have to opt for an apartment instead if you would want to cook your own food.

5. Accomodation
Type 'apartment for rent'  in your Google Search and a whole list of websites will come out. So in these websites, local Paris people will be renting out their apartments to you for a fee. Rental however comes with a few conditions such as minimal stay- 5 days.

As for the hotels, choose Trip Advisor or Agoda. Find for promotions and look at the maps, it's proximity to public transport, food, Hop On Hop Off Tours. No point getting a cheap place if facilities are far away. I stayed in a Holiday Inn just opposite Gare du Nord Station and close to the Hop on Hop Off Tour Bus stops. It is also about 10 minutes walking distance from the Gard el'Est

6. Local tourist guides
A lot of searches will also come out on Google. Some do it individually, on a part time basis, while some do it as a group of friends. I've come across a few guides that bring you on long walks around the city or on a bike tour. Some even offer their own cars to bring you around. I came across this site where they have local guides certified by the town council. Their fees are cheaper than guides travel agencies.

7. Transportation
There are many ways to get to Paris, by plane, ferry( vehicles go on the ferry) and train. The trick to find the cheapest tickets is by booking way ahead for any modes of transportation. Booking a midnight journey would also cheaper. In fact, you save on a night's accomodation. http://www.eurail.com/.
I booked my train tickets 2 months ahead, and I did save about 20 Euros.Imagine going with a family of 6, you would have saved 120 Euros! In fact, you could also look at packages of hotel acccomodation together with the train tickets. The total is definitely a lot cheaper too, but it depends on the hotels. Some may be expensive when combined with the tickets.



As for the Phone Applications ( Android) that came in handy to me was the :

1. Trip Advisor-- Free. On the spot review of the place. They provide a map and also the nearest Metro station to the place of attraction

2. Metro 01- This app is also free. Most staff at the ticketing counter or even the ones sitting at the enquiry do not understand English, or maybe they just refuse to. ( To them, French is always superior and they won't resort to holding a conversation in English no matter how desperate we are).

There will be two blanks to enter- the top is the station that you are coming from; and the bottom is to the station you are heading to. Then click Search.
In the results section it will show you either to take the Metro/ RER/ Tramway/ Transilien to get there. Each option also has different coded lines. All these are shown in detailed in this app. It helped me a lot in finding places, with almost no French. Please also take a map of the whole railway line to know where you are going.  


XOXO,
Princess

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