Travel, Teach, Live in Europe and Middle East

Things to Know Before Going to Paris France
By:Jim Ada

Paris is known as the "La Ville Lumiere" or The City of Lights. But beyond the lights, there's even more to this city. Paris, the capital of France is one of the most visited places and considered one of the best travel destinations as it has everything a traveler could possibly want for a dream vacation.

The City of Lights has a lot to offer and there is always something for every one of its visitors. But the five favorite things to do in Paris for any budget are, evening cocktails at the Eiffel Tower, crepes on the street for snacks, window shopping through the streets of St. Germain des Prés and the Marais, sunset mass at the Notre-Dame, and a bottle of champagne in the Galleries Lafayette.

If you don't have enough of a budget for all these paid activities, there are also fabulous Paris experiences that are for free. Meet the Parisians at Work, a program sponsored by the Paris Tourist Office is one free activity where fashion designers, chocolate makers, bakers, furniture makers, cheese makers and other craftsman share the intricacies of their art/trade. There are also free walking tours by experienced tour guides. A free 3.5 hour tour on foot through the heart of historical Paris through the Latin Quarter, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Tuileries Gardens and the Eiffel Tower, are offered by Sandeman's New Europe. If you don't know how to tango, you can also learn it for free by the Seine. If you are into music and concerts, you can also attend a free organ concert at The Saint Eustache Church. Their performers are known for musical traditions and famous choral performances. For fashionistas, this is also something to look forward to because the Galeries Lafayette department store showcases the latest designer trends and couture creations in a free 30-minute fashion show that happens every Friday at 3pm. But although some of these activities are for free, some of them live by donations and tips but there is really no fixed charge or amount for them.

In France, cooking is considered as a form of art. In fact, a lot of French chefs are celebrities at the same time. Paris won't be complete without a taste of Parisian food for the French are considered "masters of cuisine. " Some of Paris' favorite restaurants are L'Ambassade de Auvergne, Pizzeria Pepone, Pinxo, Laperouse, Fish La boissonnerie, Relais Louis XIII, Ma Bourgogne, Le Pamphlet, La Boussole and Au Clare de la Lune. Each restaurant features unique specialties and ambiance.

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