Reasons for Visiting Paris

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Reasons For Visiting Paris

There are many reasons for taking a trip to Paris.

Paris is a city presenting many faces to different people.

According to Frederick Nietzche (1844-1900), “As an artist, a man has no home in Europe save Paris” (Ecce Homo).

Meanwhile, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) wrote in his preface to The Portrait of Dorian Gray: “When good Americans die, they go to Paris.”

Oscar Hammerstein in some of his unforgettable lyrics from “The Last Time I Saw Paris” presents the city as one for lovers.

In fact, Paris is a city of many facets and façades.

THE MANY FACES OF PARIS

You can easily divide Paris into the following basic categories for vacationers and other visitors:

  • Tourist or Postcard Paris – the picture-perfect concept including museums, strolling along the river Seine, visiting the Louvre,
  •  Historic Paris – museums, architecture, cultural monuments
  •  Fashion conscious Paris with couturiers and places to shop until you drop
  •  Bohemian Paris of the Left Bank
  •  Romantic Paris with walks in the moonlight, the smell of spring in the air and the feeling of renewal
  •  Artistic and/or literary Paris – museums and the homes of famous Parisians or exiles
  •  The Paris for fine wining and dining – restaurants and cafés
  •  The everyday Paris of markets and parks
  •  Paris – a paradise for all ranges of shoppers from expensive boutiques to open flea markets
  •  Paris of neighborhoods or arrondissements
  •  Special interests trips. These include cooking schools, music tours and language schools.

WHAT IS YOUR PARIS?

The question remains: “What is your raison d’être for going to Paris?”

Why are you planning to go to Paris?

What do you want to see?

How long do you have to see everything on your agenda?

This may seem frivolous. It is not.

If you have months to explore the city, you can see many of the sights and sites of the city. If you have only a few days or even a couple of weeks, you need to limit yourself.

You need to sit down and create a list of what you want to see in Paris. See if it conforms to a specific pattern.

If you are taking someone with you, make sure you know what he or she wants to see.

It may be the 2 of you have nothing in common.        If this is the case, it is best to find out ahead of time.                      That way, you can prepare separate agendas for your stay in Paris.

In fact, there are many types of Paris vacationers.

There are people who do not need to see the major sights of the city.

They prefer to familiarize themselves by wandering around a certain neighbourhood.

They may work their way neighbourhood by neighbourhood through a city.

Some vacationers only plan to visit the “must sees.” These tourists tend to follow a set agenda.

The “must sees” of Paris are discussed in the next article.

They include the more prominent sights of the city, e.g., the Eiffel Tower.

CONCERNS ABOUT “YOUR PARIS” TRIP

When looking at why you plan to go to Paris, you need to factor in several possible concerns.

  •  Look at your intent. Compile a basic chart of the attractions you wish to see.
  •  Consider what style suits you best. Are you an architectural junkie? Do you wish to shop until you drop?   Are you a grab-bag visitor, wanting to see everything and anything?
  •  Narrow your objective down. Look at where the concerns are located in terms of each other. Is there a   pattern? Is there a theme? Can you reach them easily or even visit several in a day?
  •  Consider such things as transportation accessibility to and from the site. Can you walk there?
  • Are there ways to easily arrive and leave from the attractions?
  • What is the relationship of the attractions to hotels, lodging and other forms of accommodation?

If you have a very tight schedule, you need to be very specific about your Paris agenda.

If you want to see specific attractions and visit certain monuments, shopping centers or entertainment venues, you need to plan.

You need to coordinate your desires within the time you have in the city. At the same time, do not overbook yourself.

As anyone who has gone on a 6-cities-in-4-days junket can tell you, places and attractions become a blur very quickly when you rush through them at top speed.

PLANNING FACTORS

When you plan your vacation, there are issues that extend beyond the budget. They will affect your ability to fulfill your main agenda in Paris.

  •  Museums hours In Paris –  museums close 1 day a week. If you are a museum fanatic, you need to take this into consideration. Check put opening and closing times as well as days when the facility is closed to the public.
  •  Shops operate on very different schedules than you find in places such as North America.                            Some do not open until after 10 or 11 in the morning. Other stores remain closed until 2 p.m.                     Often, shops will close in the afternoon for a few hours before re-opening for an evening stint.                         Be prepared for erratic hours.
  •  If you are going in season, be sure to take such things as  overbooking, delays and similar events into consideration.                                                                                                                                                                    While the longer days of June may help extend a day of sightseeing, this applies to the massive amount other people in Paris at the same time.  Paris is bursting at the seams in July.
  •  If you go during August, be aware that there are some closures of such things as restaurants.
  •  Although there are those who claim Paris is wonderful “every moment”, some may disagree.                       April tend to be rainy.     Past winters have been colder than expected.                                                              Check to see if the weather is agreeable with you and, just as importantly, adds to your experience of the Paris of your imagination.
  •  In terms of dress, Paris is still very fashion conscious. Check out the Parisian definition of casual.                   Of course, if you want to stand out as a foreigner or a tourist, wear what you would always wear.                     Be aware, however, that in some places the cost for an obvious tourist is higher than for a presumed local.
  •  Money in France is the Euro. If you are not from a European country, check the exchange rate.
  •  Dining experiences. Watch your table manners. Read up on French etiquette. This will help you fit in.           In the very least, it will indicate you are interested in learning what Paris can teach you.
  •  Dining in Paris is not a rushed affair If you are used to fast service, you will not be pleased.                            The pace is leisurely. It will take you longer to eat out in Paris than in New York or Toronto or London. Find out what is correct and try to adhere to it.                                                                                                                       The process may slow you down, but it will make the dining experience a pleasant adventure.
  •  Language barriers.  Not to worry, many Parisians speak English.                                                                           This is a good thing as Parisian French is a language unto itself.
  • If you speak rural French or French Canadian, you can get by but there are distinct differences.                      For your enlightenment and to further French-visitor relations try to learn some basic French phrases.
  •  Do not forget Paris has holidays and holiday hours.                                                                                                 Check and see if they will have an effect on your vacation.                                                                                           Peruse a Calendar of Events or of Holidays in a Paris guidebook in advance.                                                     These will tell you not only what is taking place when and where, but what you can expect to be opened or closed on certain major or minor holidays.

CONCLUSION

It is important to know why you are going to Paris. Once you understand your purpose, you can factor in possible impediments.

You may have a specific plan, including the exact amount of time you intend to spend her or there. You may feel you can do this and that within a set time.                                                                                                                                   In theory, this can work well. There are, however, factors affecting your overall Parisian plan.

Keep in mind you need to consider the flow of life in Paris. It is a city that exists outside your own existence.      Your time table may work well on paper, but faced with the actual life force of Paris, may prove to be inoperable.

That is why it is very important to know where you are going, when you plan to go, and how long you can spend in Paris.

It is essential to have these facts at your fingertips. You can then factor in such things as the location of the attractions, the hours they are open and the proximity to other attractions on your agenda.

The money required, the language used, the clothing you should wear and the city’s etiquette are all part of your initial planning process. If you want to have a truly memorable – for the right reasons, trip.

You need to be aware that Paris is an entity. It does not exist just for you.                                                                      With that in mind, we can now turn to what you really should look at if not visit or pay homage to during your visit, and we will cover this in the next article.

 

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