Paris, the City of Light. Without equal in beauty and iconic symbols, visitors to this historic city find themselves agape at every turn.
But the difficult thing is finding a decent hotel, with parking and wifi, and in a neighborhood that is well-situated and feels relatively safe.
Gentle readers, I have good news for you. I found it.
In spite of the lovely fact that I live less than three hours from one of my favorite cities and I usually visit it for the day, returning home to my snuggly pets by bedtime, my pal and I spent three days overflowing with activities and two nights bundled up in comfy beds in one of the most sought-after quartiers in Paris, the Saint-Germain-des-Près, in an American hotel: the Holiday Inn (Saint-Germain-des-Près). We paid only 240 euros for two days and two beds, and with free wifi (doubly fast if you are a IHG member) and parking for 18 euros a day, it is a deal!
Located a few steps, mere minutes from bus 92, metro stops Saint Placide and Rennes, the hotel has underground parking. Drive in, park, and don’t touch your car again until you leave. When you check out, feel free to leave your car there for the rest of the day, as the low 18 euro fee (most parking in Paris approaches or exceeds 30 euros) pays for the whole day, not just until you check out! Nice!
My friend and I enjoyed breakfast twice at the Trait d’Union, a little bar/café at the corner of Rue de Rennes and Rue Vaugirard, the street the hotel is on. At 3 euro 50, “le classic” provides a crunchy baguette with butter and jam and a coffee of your choice. Ask for milk and they bring it. Very friendly staff and a comfortable terrace if the weather permits. Across the street, a similar breakfast costs 9 euro 50! Seriously?
And what is Paris without a visit to the Louvre? Well, if you have been to Paris more than once and haven’t visited the most awe-inspiring museum in the world, shame on you! Did you know that 1) there is parking under the Louvre, but it is maybe the most expensive in the city at 50 euros for a 24 hour period and 2) the museum is open late, until 9:45 pm on both Wednedays and Fridays? Admission is 15 euros and worth every centime. The history of the building involves kings, queens, popes and revolutionaries dating all the way back to the 12th century. The collection includes peices from ancient Egypt to 20th Century USA, and from every continent. Fifteen euros? Really? I’d pay far more; I’m grateful for such a price.
And lest we forget, at 12 euros, admission to the Musée d’Orsay is also a bargain! The former train station houses the most intriguing selection of impressionist, post-impressionist and symbolic art in the world. Don’t think you’ll see the building and its collection in part of a day; it will take at least the day. Lucky for you, there are three restaurants in the building!
In spite of the fact that Orsay is just across the Seine from the Louvre, please don’t be tempted to see both in one day. You’ll be exhausted and forget what you’ve seen. The Musée d’Orsay deserves its very own day.
More to come on this lovely city. In the meantime, if you want to see more photos, please take a look at my most recent ones here .