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Homestay in Paris

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Located at 300 m from the métro line n °7 at the station 'Villejuif Louis Aragon', in the center of Villejuif
and 20 min from Paris Chatelet city-centre.

Beside a peacefull and sunny garden ...

les potirons bio de 2009
The hosts

A father and his daughter invites you into peaceful rooms to experience the lifestyle and culture of france by living with a safe host family sharing the products of their vegetable garden after your Paris trip...What else ?...

2 rooms, 16m2 each, on the 1St floor, with double-beds, wardrobes, desk and chair, family bathroom

1 indepedant studio, 15m2 /mezzanine, in the garden, with 1 double-bed on the mezzanine and 1 convertible good quality couch/double bed, independant kitchen, bathroom and toilets

we can exchange meals, or you can access to the kitchen, for you to prepare your meals.

  • You may use the washing machine,
  • We may smoke in the garden,

for futher questions : Call me +33 (0)6 22 40 12 24

Fees : 4 people max. occupancy / 2 nights min.

  • 1 pers. 1 Room : 40 € /pers. /night
  • 2 pers. 1 Room : 30€ /pers. /night = 60€/night
  • studio 120€/night

Contact me :
by mail :
by Phone : 33 (0)6 22 40 12 24

here are some tips for your trip :

tour eiffel




Here we are! You are travelling to Paris! Tickets are ready, the travel guide has been bought and your are preparing your stay. Of course your holidays must be successful because you have been waiting for a long time, and kids must not be disappointed... So here is a short travel guide. It consists of tips to give you some ideas, to gain time and to save some money.
see you soon...


Paris in 3 days
Paris with kids
Unusual Paris
Maps of Paris
Practical information



Paris in 3 days
Cheese or dessert?? With only a 3 day-trip this is the eternal question. One thing is sure you can’t do everything… Choose or give up… So to enlighten you I have prepared this short programme, packed & exhausting, which will allow you to discover the principal “High Spots” of the capital.   If you are with children don’t hesitate to add extra ideas from the section “Paris with children” and slow the pace down. Lastly a good tourist guide is essential for your stay (some are avaiable at home).

Day 1 : Louvre / Musée d'Orsay, Tuileries, Concorde, Champs-Elysées, Tour Eiffel.

- Take the underground 7& get off at 'palais royal musée du Louvre'

- Visit the Louvre. (See my advice in the section "Paris with the children"). If you prefer the Impressionists cross over the River Seine by the Pont Royal Bridge & visit the Musée d’Orsay just opposite

- Go through the Jardin des Tuileries and then the Place de la Concorde (The National Assembly is on your left & the Madeleine Church on your right)

- Walk up the Champs-Elysées to the place Clemenceau. Whatever you do don’t miss the expositions in the Grand-Palais. They are usually of superb quality (Wharol, Picasso etc) and the palace itself is wonderful. (

- Continue up the Champs–Elysées to no. 75 and stop at "Ladurée" for lunch or a snack. Their macaroons are famous, so is the price! (
  - Keep walking up to the l’Arc de Triomphe. You will see the Disney Store (at no 44), Sephora (no 70), Vuitton (no 101), Mercedes (no 118) & Peugeot (no 136).

- Take the underground (Métro) line 6 at the "Charles de Gaulle Etoile" station and get off at "Trocadero". Then visit the Eiffel Tower (see my suggestions in "Paris with the children")

- Take the RER line C at the station "Champs de Mars Tour Eiffel" and get off at "Musée d’Orsay". Walk along the embankment towards Saint Michel & the Académie Francaise.

- Eat dinner on a river boat the "Calife" (see my "Unusual Paris" suggestions)

- Take the bus no. 95 at the bus stop "Pont du Carousel Quai Voltaire". It will bring you back to the apartment.

Day 2 : Saint-Germain, Luxembourg, Sorbonne, Quartier Latin, Notre-Dame, ile de la Cité and St Louis, Bastille, Marais, Hôtel de Ville and Beaubourg

- Take the underground Line 7 & 10 & get off at "Mabillon". You will find yourself in the heart of the artistic and literary part of Paris. (libraries, publishing houses & the Café Flore)

- Now to return to "Saint-Michel" you have 2 choices either take the Boulevard St Germain, rue (street) de Bucci and rue St André des Arts (full of small cute boutiques) or the longer way via rue Bonaparte, Eglise St Suplice, rue de L’Odeon, rue de Médicis. Visit the Luxembourg Gardens, rue Soufflot, rue de la Sorbonne and finally Boulevard Saint–Michel

- Go through the "Latin Quarter" (why not eat lunch but be careful as it is full of tourist traps!) cross the River and visit Notre-Dame.

- Take the rue du Cloître de Notre Dame, the Saint-Louis bridge, and the rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile. Short stop highly recommended at Berthillon no 29. The best ice-cream in Paris (
  - Take the Boulevard Henri IV, cross the Place de la Bastille then Boulevard Beaumarchais et Place des Vosges. You are now in the heart of the "Marais" 

- Now take rue des Francs Bourgeois, rue Pavée, rue des Rosiers (Jewish quarter), rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie (Gay quarter), rue des Archives, Hôtel de Ville, rue du Renard

- Cross the esplanade in front of "Beaubourg" (Centre Pompidou) 

- You are two steps away from an adorable restaurant “Le Cochon à l’Oreille” see "My favourite restaurants" section)

- Take the Metro line 4. It will bring you back to the apartment where you will fall asleep in 30 seconds!!

Day 3 : Palais Royal, Opéra, Grands Magasins, Grands Boulevards, Passages, Montmartre

- Take the underground 7& get off at 'palais royal musée du Louvre'

- Go through the Palais Royal

- Make a detour through Galerie Vivienne then take the rue des Petits Champs

- Have a quick look in the passage Choiseul on your right

- Avenue de l’Opéra, rue Auber, rue Scribe

- Visit the department stores "Galeries Lafayette & Printemps" on boulevard Haussmann

- Continue on the boulevard Haussmann direction metro "Richelieu Drouot". At the corner of the streets Drouot & Rossini is the famous Auction House "Drouot". Don’t hesitate to go in it’s free and you will be immediately immersed into the atmosphere…
  - Take the boulevard Montmartre, make a detour at no 11 through the “Passage des Panoramas” and almost opposite by the passage “Joufffroy”. You will find the wax museum Grévin. (see my suggestion in “Paris with the children”).

- Continue along the boulevard Poissonniere, boulevard Bonne Nouvelle & take the street on the left "rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis". According to your tastes & your budget, I suggest you lunch either at "Julien" no 16 or "Chez Jeannette" no 47 (see "My restaurants")

- Take the line 4 at the station "Chateau d’Eau" change at "Barbès Rochechouart" and get off at "Anvers". Direct access up to the "Sacré Coeur" and "la Place des Tertre" or get off at Blanche for the Moulin Rouge, rue Lepic and rue des Abbesses

- Spend the afternoon wandering around "Montmartre"

- Come back on foot to the apartment (rue Lamarck, rue de Mont Cenis, rue du Poteau, avenue de la Porte Montmartre).

Versailles: Yes or No?

In two words my answer is easy “Forget it” ! Now logically you are saying “But why is he telling us not to go to the Wonderful Palace of Versailles?” So I will give you some very good reasons! 

First of all the trip to Versailles takes a whole day, most of which is taken up by the actual travelling. It’s a long journey either by car (25 km, most of which is full of traffic jams) or by public transport 1h15mins on the ”famous” line C of the RER. Once there allow a 1 or 2 hour queue to get in. (Tripadvisor is full of comments on this).

Secondly as I am sure you realise Versailles is a very popular tourist attraction. Packed every day. It is very difficult to avoid bumping into the hordes of tourists and undisciplined groups which flock to the castle. Not very glamorous.

Thirdly because of the previous events cited, the people have to be kept moving & often the visit is very disappointing because the castle is empty. But really empty! No furniture no costumes, no ornaments, nothing. Only wooden floors, chandeliers & paintings. For the housework I envy them but how can visitors get an idea of the period? Surely to feel the atmosphere of that time it’s essential no?

And finally the visit (which only lasts 1h30) is ridiculous compared to the size of the place, don’t even hope to see the kitchens, the stables, the splendid opera and who knows where the royal dungeons are hidden? The fabulous Gallery of Mirrors does not make up for the rest. faut.

  The castle is something but not everything:

- The gardens: very pleasant first thing in the morning but honestly there is better such as the Loire Valley ( or closer in Normandy ( I was disappointed by “The Musical Fountains” which should always be working & the classical music barely audible from the bad quality loud speakers hidden in the bushes.

- I have not visited the Grand Trianon or the Domain of Marie-Antoinette so I have no comment to make. 

- If however you still need to see a castle, the ”Vaux le Vicomte“ is the one ( This masterpiece of modernity and elegance was the inspiration for Louis XIV for … Versailles. A must for the kids: the guided tour by princes & princesses! They will discover daily life in the 17th century. Learn how to bow and be initiated into games from this era. 

Every Saturday evening from May to October the gardens are lit up by 2000 candles. I still have a magical souvenir of this. Vaux le Vicomte is located 65 km south of Paris. It takes about 1h15 by car.
Paris with kids

Where to go with the children is one of the top five questions I am always being asked. To answer this question, I chose to ask children themselves about what they preferred during their stay. Action!


Disneyland Paris

Mickey is without a doubt the winner of the category and this, I must confess, makes me a bit sad…am I already rigid at the age of 40? Anyway, the big mouse has a very detailed Internet where you can get information on opening hours (they change all the time!) and the works agenda of the rides.
Additional information: 
- do you need to go to Disneyland and/or Walt Disney Studios? Without hesitation, a day in Disneyland is more than enough. The crazy guys who went to the Studios said they were disappointed. Why is that? "Because Disneyland rocks". Kids…
  - what’s the damage? A full day ticket will cost 64 EUR per adult, 58 EUR for a child (between 3 and 11). If you buy online, at least 5 days before and for a specific date, you will get a unique price of 46 € (adult/child). It’s good value. There are other tariffs but they are either too expensive or not valid on weekends.
- how to get to Disney? All the information is here. The easiest way is to take RER trains (RER A) and get off at "Marne la Vallée-Chessy". The trip will take about 1 hour and it will cost you 14,60 EUR (return). During school holidays, there is less traffic and you can try to drive there: it should be a bit quicker, a lot friendlier, but the car-park costs 15 EUR. 
- one last detail I have read on their Internet site : "It is not allowed to bring any food or drinks in Disney Parcs". Surely their sandwiches are better than yours…

Eiffel Tower

Don’t think about leaving the Eiffel Tower out of your schedule. This amazing building really deserves a climb... so join the 7 million annual visitors! A word of advice:

- Things to know before going up
There are lifts at the feet of the North, South, East & West pillars of the Tower. No surprise, of course it is strictly forbidden to go up in the Tower carrying a knife or a parachute (really !). Bottles or cans are also forbidden and prams which cannot be folded up. Good to know. 

- Which floor to visit?
The Eiffel Tower has 3 floors: The first is the Tower’s Museum with a glass floor and is 57 metres above the ground. The 2nd has a panoramic view at 115metres and the 3rd has a very panoramic view & a champagne bar at 280 metres. Without wanting to encourage you to drink the view at the top is by far the most impressive.

- Lift or stairs?
The first 2 floors can be reached by using the 2 big lifts or the 2 flights of stairs. To reach the 3rd floor you are obliged to take the 4 yellow & orange lifts from the 2nd floor (there are no stairs). The lifts take 1 minute from the ground floor to the 1st, 1 minute between the 1st & 2nd floor and 4 minutes from the 2nd to the 3rd.
With the stairs allow 15 minutes from the ground floor to the 1st floor and 20 minutes from the 1st floor to the 2nd floor. 
If you are fit & in good health and you have a small budget I recommend the stairs. It is the only way to understand and experience Eiffel’s genius… And “the icing on the cake” is that I have noticed that the tickets are not controlled on the way down. So go up on foot & come down free in the lifts… 
If you choose to take the lift I would recommend that you come down by the stairs from the 1st floor. It is really very pretty! 

- Waiting time
To be honest this is the downside of the visit…
You will have to queue 4 times:

- On the ground floor for the lift or the stairs. The queuing time is minimum 30 minutes for the lift, much less for the stairs. Attention! The ticket "skip the line" sold on the internet only avoids the queue to buy the ticket, afterwards you join the line with the other visitors without any priority.

- To go up from the 2nd to the 3rd allow 15 minutes of queuing,

- To come down from the 3rd to the 2nd allow 0-15 minutes,

- To come down from the 2nd to the ground floor 0-15minutes. There is never a queue to come down on foot by the stairs. 

A small piece of advice: Always compare the queues. For some inexplicable reason the visitors seem to queue without any special order so sometimes you can save 15 minutes by just walking a few more metres. On the ground compare the queue at the North pillar to that of the West (lifts) and the South pillar to that of the East (stairs). On the 2nd & 3rd floor there are 2 queues for the yellow & orange lifts. And lastly to come down with the big lifts don’t forget that there are 2 queues per lift as they carry the visitors on 2 levels.

- when should you go ?
No need to say it’s better when it’s nice and warm. What really matters is the timing: without online booking you can shorten this waiting time at around 8 pm when everybody is having dinner. And if you get lucky, you can enjoy a beautiful sunset!

Eiffel Tower wait times forecast for 2014 

It is good to know that if you want to take some beautiful pictures: 20000 light bulbs twinkle 5 minutes before each hour, from dusk till 1 o’clock in the morning. 

- Lift entrance ticket
Valid to 2nd floor: Adult: 9 EUR, 12/24 years’ old : 7,50 EUR, 4/11 years’ old: 4,50 EUR.
To top: Adult: 15 EUR, 12/24 years’ old : 13,50 EUR, 4/11 years’ old: 10,50 EUR.

- Stairs entrance ticket
Adult: 5 EUR, 12/24 years’ old : 4 EUR, 4/11 years’ old: 3 EUR.

- Ticket office for a 2nd chance
You have bought a ticket for the second floor (lift or stairs) and you decide that finally it would be good to go to the top. The Eiffel Tower is prepared for this and has a ticket office on the second floor which sells a special ticket for 6 euros just to go the 3rd floor.

- Internet reservations
Buying tickets on the official site is strongly advised so you don’t need to queue for the 1st lift. The only available tickets are for the lifts from the ground floor to either the 2nd or 3rd floors.

If the official website is fully booked and if you are rich some sites like or resell full price tickets from 39 EUR.

Without booking on internet you can buy tickets at the ticket office at the base of each pillar but you will have to queue (see above).

- Can we eat or have a drink?
There are several restaurants, a self-service and a gastronomique restaurant but frankly everything is very expensive. Ex: A glass of Champagne is 12 EUR... Served in a plastic champagne glass! Everything goes up with altitude but one needs to know how to stay reasonable. 

- last but not least... 
The management heavily insists on the presence of gangs of pickpockets in and around the Tower. You have been warned...

More info:

Les Bâteaux Mouches

Paris is one the most beautiful city in the world, and what about enjoying its beauty from the deck of a boat? Kids definitely have good tastes... Several companies offer cruises on the river Seine and the best offer is to be found   If you book online (a one-hour cruise), it will cost you 10 EUR for an adult and 4 EUR for a child (Winter 2013/2014 promotion). Remember that the boats sail off until 10pm. The lights coming from the boats are just fantastic.

Renting an electric boat

When I discovered for the first time «Marin d’Eau Douce» in 2014, I immediately thought that the idea was great and how come nobody had thought of it before. Renting an electric boat without a license on the Canal de l’Ourcq. It is very successful and the boats (5, 7 & 11 people) are never empty. There are 40 kilometres of river routes which are accessible, with the Science Museum de la Villette in the East & The Bastille in the South. What a wonderful atmosphere!! Silently and at a speed of 8 km/h you can see some houseboats, go under the 1885 bridge which opens and even go through the locks of the Saint Martin Canal.   Some details to prepare you for your trip:
- Children are allowed on board from the age of 6 months,
- It is possible to have a picnic on the boat,
- You need to have a 300 EUR deposit. 

Open every day from 9 am to sunset.
The boat for 5 people costs 70 EUR to rent for 2 hours.

More info:

Le Musée Grévin

I am always stunned by the success of this museum. While the Playstation is today’s Star and wooden toys are on the wane, wax statues are loved by all! You will find practical information on and find out that tariffs are rather costly : 23,50EUR for an adult, 20,50 EUR for students and 16,50 EUR for children between the age of 6 and 14 (13,50 EUR for discount card holder).

Jardin du Luxembourg et Jardin des Tuileries

The younger ones love these gardens. Situated at the heart of the capital city, they can safely ride poneys (in a cart or on the animal’s   back), go on the rides, do trampolining, go on the swings, eat a crêpe, and will even ask for more.

This is the type of day-out children do not think about but just love once they have been convinced…

La Villette

The Parc de la Villette and its cultural infrastructures are definitely a success. Adults love le Zénith, the Grande Halle’s programme planning and the other events. They like to play and walk in the huge park. Children love the dedicated fun and educational areas. To name but a few activities : the Cité des Enfants (2/7 and 5/12),   Explora, the planetarium and the Géode, a cinema shaped like a ball. The Villette is a smart world that every member of the family will enjoy even the hard to please young ones. Needless to say tI suggest you check out the website on and leave the Palais de la Découverte out for good.

Le Jardin des Plantes

Everyone knows that children love plants and animals. Like the Villette, the Jardin des Plantes will work wonders with children thanks to the variety of its collections and its clear museography.   The living world is highlighted by the quality of the various sites: Grande Galerie de l'Evolution, Ménagerie, Galerie de Minéralogie etc. To find out more, check out their website

Le Louvre

Is taking the children to the Louvre a challenge? It depends on the tour you are planning for them…What they like best is usually the ancient Egypt period. The museum is great for this: mummies, sarcophaguses, sculptures etc. Egyptians were the fathers of design: even big bad wolves look like cute doggies… Some tips: 
- there are a dozen of entries to access the Louvre besides the
  Pyramide’s. So don’t waste 20 minutes of your time in the main courtyard and opt for the other entries as indicated on
- the museum is free for under 18s and EC nationals between the age of 18 and 25. It is free every 1st Sunday of each month and on July 14th.

Le Palais de Tokyo

To conclude, a good suggestion that I got from a family from Normandy. Their kids were delighted to go there so I am just forwarding this idea...
“The Palais de Tokyo is an emerging venue for contemporary art, striving to build up activities for the young visitors. Part of an original and fun approach to contemporary art, the Tok-Tok activities have
  been designed to place the children at the very core of currentcreation. There they can develop their observation, creativity and independent skills.” blablabla … "Through originality, humour and innovation, the activities offered attract both parents and children."
I suggest you have a look at their website www.palaisdetokyo.comas you need to enroll!
Unusual Paris
"Unusual, adjective. Different from others of the same type in a way that is surprising, interesting or attractive". The scene has been set… Even though Paris is a large city, rich with its mixture of inhabitants & seeped in history, the "unusual side" is a personal taste. The following propositions correspond to my idea of "unusual"   but knowing that I have not included short lived plans (my friends still remember an incredible underground (secret) restaurant which I discovered in Belleville), certain artistic squats or too "Rock & Roll" (trips on the old train track around Paris 

The Flea Market (Clignancourt)

Now last but not least as we say, I have kept the best for the end. On the Richter Scale this Market gets the drum roll ! And the good news is that it is just two minutes away from the flat. Imagine for one moment the biggest Antique Market in the World with 2500 antique dealers located in 3 hectares displaying the rarest, the   craziest & the most unusual furniture and, the 30’s, Louis XV, stuffed zebras, airplane engines & even cinema seats and of course a musical break at a bar well known for it’s live Gypsy Jazz music!!

The Catacombs

Let’s make things clear! Visiting the Catacombs means walking around a communal burial ground of the remains of 6m Parisians. Not very glamorous… but this visit deserves the detour as it is a fantastic discovery of Paris’ history, the building of the quarries &   some underground chef d’oeuvres. I highly recommend you to take the guided tour otherwise you will miss out on some precious information.

Discover Paris in a 2CV Citroen

As you have surely understood I have a certain weakness for the 2CV and I am far from being the only one! For several years now a young team full of ideas propose several trips around Paris: Paris Eternal, Paris Gardens, Paris Cinema, Crazy trips etc. Imagine yourself in the back of an old CV convertible, being driven by a   guide & chauffeur looking like a street urchin taking pictures on the Champs Elysées. Great stuff!! It costs for 1 car (3 passengers) 58 EUR for 30 minutes, 78 EUR for 45 minutes & 158 EUR for 1h30.
More info:

The Museum of Fairgrounds

This unknown museum hosts a superb collection of old fairground equipment & attractions from the period 1850 / 1950. Completely restored young & old will have great pleasure in trying them out: wooden horses, merry- go- rounds and waiter races. Lots of emotion, patina, magic & beauty and the observation that these apparently old & antiquated attractions take us straight back to our childhood. The visits are by appointment only & it is necessary to sign up for one of the guided tours.
  For your information the museum is situated next to Bercy Village. An area once used as wine & alcohol depots which has been renovated & turned into restaurants & boutiques. Finally the very nice park of Bercy is just two minutes walk away.
More info:


Since 1888 Deyrolle has been the most famous taxidermist & natural history shop in Paris. Halfway between a museum and a curiosity shop it allows you to take a fascinating voyage in time amongst its natural science collections. You will discover stuffed birds, multi-coloured insects, incredible sea shells, snake skeletons & other exotic animals.   During my last visit a full-sized mounted giraffe was being sold for 25 500 EUR, a lion for 29 000 EUR & some enormous trapdoor spiders at 200 EUR. No need for me to insist but I definitely recommend this visit which can then be extended by eating an excellent pastry at the "Patisserie des Reves" ( or "l'Epicerie du Bon Marché" ( 

For more info:

Dinner – Cruise on the Seine

Comfortably installed on this Riverboat from the year 1939 you will see passing before your eyes the Notre-Dame, L’ile de la Cité, The Invalides & the Eiffel tower… An atmosphere apart in a neat décor with musicians accompanying you at your table. Two hours in which to dream & why not make a romantic declaration.   Count 67 EUR per person and only one departure time per day. You can find less expensive elsewhere but it is like the difference between your favourite shop and the supermarket.
More info:

The Galleries

It’s raining and you don’t want to spend the day in the museum so why not discover the "Les Passages de Paris". I thoroughly recommend it. Dating from the end of the 19th century these glass covered alleys are a little like a Souk. An atmosphere very Parisian and really authentic. An excellent way to cross Paris away from the   cars and the noise and why not eat in one of the numerous little restaurants very lively during the day.
Don’t miss out on this website as it is the only one which gives a printable map of the routes to take.
More info:

Crazy bars

Back to the 21st century… L’Urgence Bar says it all: The bar for "the ill" next to the Medical School in St Germain. You can clink glasses in a hospital atmosphere (x-rays at the bar, anatomy boards in the toilets, waiters dressed as firemen and drinks served in Baby bottles) and the bill comes as a social security form!! A small dance-floor which fills up very quickly, cocktails at 10 EUR complete the successful formula!
For something completely different the "Ice Bar" where the
  temperature stays at minus 10. And I am not joking! Everything is made of ice the chairs the glasses & the curtains. Atmosphere to say the least… cold with neon lighting & flashy colours. The entrance is not cheap (38 EUR) but for this you can drink for 30minutes as many of the choice of 4 vodka based cocktails as you can. Fortunately the metro is not far.
More info: and

The "Galeries Lafayette" department store

Hey Bertrand! Since when has the "Galeries Lafayette" been unusual?
A little moment of weakness with this selection? What nonsense! Everything is under control. I just wanted to share with you 2 interesting events... 

1// Fashion shows
The store organises every Friday at 3 o’clock (except in August) a fashion show with professional models. Aimed more for a (rich!) international clientele the show lasts 25 minutes and allows you to discover the latest fashions. It is free but you have to reserve a place.

  2// Panoramique terrace
Surprising as it may be there exists a 7th floor of this store dedicated to fashion, with a very large terrace open to the public offering a superb view of 360° of the capital and it is possible to have a drink when the weather permits. The difference between this one and the terrace of the “Printemps” department store next door is that this one is much bigger and it is easy to find a seat. A little anecdote is that on January the 19th 1919 a small plane actually landed on this terrace, making this the first ever landing to be made on a building. It also picked up a 25 000 francs reward offered by the management of the store for a challenge made 10 years earlier to achieve this exploit.

The Galeries Lafayette Store, 40 bd Haussmann, 75009 Paris, open during the usual store hours.

Cruise on the Saint Martin Canal

Paris has 2 waterways: the Seine with the famous Bateaux Mouches and the Saint-Martin Canal. One is the Motorway and the other is the Country Lane… On the Canal don’t be in a hurry it takes 2h30 from Bastille to Parc la Villette a distance of only 9 km. The children and Lovers will adore it: locks, moving bridges, footpaths, 100 year old trees, preserved riverbanks and of course   the famous “Hotel du Nord”. A really nice way to discover the otherside of Paris full of greenery & very relaxing. Please note one daily departure each way at 9h45 & 14h30 (reservation obligatory from October to March) & one extra boat from June to September.
More info:

Conservatoire Citroën

If you love classic cars, the “Conservatoire” Citroën is the place to go. This private collection of 370 vehicles, inaugurated in 2001, is located in a building of the Aulnay production plant (between Paris and Roissy Airport). Don’t expect a conventional museum, because this is just an atmospheric carpark… but what a carpark!! Tractions, 2CV, DS, SM, CX, half-track and helicopter, models and prototypes, rally cars and other unusual cars like the “James Bond” 2CV or the 2CV “petition” (covered with signatures of fans asking   Citroën not to stop its production). for some pictures.

The “Conservatoire” is not open to the general public. It can
only be visited 2 weeks per month (Monday to Friday, 10am to 12am or 2pm to 4pm, entrance: 4 euros). Access is normally reserved for collectors, members of clubs, journalists and Citroën employees (children under 12 are not admitted). But I have arranged with Citroen to be able to make booking requests for my guests. Let’s go now!!
The Yellow Pages list 6 922 restaurants in Paris. No need to say that you won’t go starving…To spot the right place, the greedy (and gourmet!) guy that I am, have made up a personal list that meets all our needs:

- good value for money. Places where you can dine for 20 to 30 EUR per head (main course + dessert + a glass of wine) with good home-made dishes. You won’t leave these places with an empty stomach. 

- a nice atmosphere. For a couple of years, pseudo-design restaurants without personality have been mushrooming
  everywhere. There you can find sushi alongside coq au vin. This is why I am only suggesting full of charm and authentic places.

- a caring and welcoming service. The French waiters’ bad reputation is not a myth: coolness, indifference, way too long wait to order (or to pay!) and yet the staff always asks you whether you enjoyed your meal, without waiting for the answer…On very rare occasions, you can count on a warm smile and a little chat with the boss.

One last detail: you need to book your table…
So ready, steady, eat !

French cuisine

Le Cochon à l'Oreille
Imagine a roadstead as big as a handkerchief, picture a superb 1900 listed mosaic decor, imagine a few shining Orient Express- type of tables, imagine a traditional bistrot cuisine (onion soup, beef tartar, black pudding with apples, etc) and a good wine list, picture a young boss who freshly graduated from HEC, and you get this lovely café located in the Halles district!
Photo album on
15, rue Montmartre, 75001 Paris, 01 42 36 07 56, métro "Les Halles".
Open from midday to 10.30pm. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.
  Chez Julien
I love Art Nouveau. I love big Parisian cafes. I love Chez Julien. If you eat à la carte, it is about 40 to 50 euros per head. However, the menu is pretty reasonable (30 to 35 euros). To give you a better idea, have a look at their website and especially at their "coup d'oeil panoramique". It should get you going...
16, rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris, 01 47 70 12 06, métro "Strasbourg Saint-Denis".
Open every day from 12 to 3pm, and from 7pm to 1.

People often ask me if I know a non-touristic authentic place, where real Parisans go, situated in a popular and cosmopolitan area. Without hesitating I always answer: ”go Chez Jeannette". A fifties decor with old wallpaper, Formica tables and neon lamps from another age. The traditional « carte » has been modernized by the young team. It is simple and friendly. I like it there.
47, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris, 01 47 70 30 89, métro "Château d'Eau".
Open every day from 8 in the morning until 11.30pm.
  Tokyo Eat
Back from the Eiffel Tower, what about stopping to eat at the Palais de Tokyo’s restaurant? Situated within the contemporary museum, you will find that everything is very concept-style there from the menu to the DJ who is mixing live, bare concrete walls, flashy neon lights as well as flying-saucers types of lights. There is room for impatient children to stretch their legs and to make friends with fashionable kids.
13, av. du Président Wilson, 75016 Paris, 01 47 20 00 20, métro "Iéna".
Open every day but Mondays, from 12 to 1 am.
Tokyo Eat’s a look at the menu on

Musée d'Orsay
One small exception to the rule: I have not tried this restaurant yet. But I know for sure that it’s worth it... First, you need to take a ticket for the museum: Orsay collections are just fantastic. Then the restaurant is located in the listed Terminus Hotel’s old dining and reading room. A dream decoration, with gilt, frescos and 1900 mirrors. I look forward to your letting me know about the rest…
62, rue de Lille, 75007 Paris, 01 45 49 47 03, métro "Assemblée Nationale".
Lunch every day from 11.45 to 2.45, Tea lounge from 3.30pm to 5.30pm.

World food (back to top)

Krung Thep (Thailand)
Ask people who have been to Thailand : they miss the cooking-pots smoking at every corner of Bangkok’s streets, spellbinding spices, mangos’ delicate smells... There is only one way to make these nostalgists happy: invite them to the Krung Thep. The menu is long, the decoration is tacky and the dishes are amazing. Two small flaws: first, be on time as they won’t keep your table for more than five minutes (I have been there!). Secondly, besides throwing the dishes on the table, the manageress has a very unpleasant smile. Price to pay to be successful?
20, rue Julien Lacroix, 75020 Paris, 01 43 66 83 74, métro "Belleville"
Open every day from 12 to 3pm and from 7.30pm to 11.30pm.
  Le 404 (Morocco)
Wood, exposed stone walls, soft lights, semi-open kitchen, an authentic Moroccan style. “Le 404" is worth a visit. Delicious couscous and tagines, perfect barbecued lamb, so light that it is as if you are eating steamed carrots. A good idea if you are a table of at least 5, ask for the round table above the cloakroom (overlooking the restaurant). The only thing is it gets rather crowded and the sound level is high. Not the type of place for a wedding proposal. In the evening there are two services: 8 and 10.30. And don’t get offended if you get the bill with the dessert...
69, rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris, 01 42 74 57 81, métro "Réaumur Sébastopol".
Open every day for lunch and dinner, Berber brunches on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 4pm.

Unico (Argentina)
"Hi, I would like to book a table for tomorrow evening, please". "Sorry, we are fully booked." And for the day after tomorrow? "Sorry, but we are booked too". Well, as you have realized, you will need to book in advance to enjoy the fantastic Argentinian meat in Unico. Located in an old butcher’s shop, you will adore Unico and its magic barbecue. The manager is particularly nice. He took the time out of a busy service to explain the origin and delivery of the South American meat.
15, rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris, 01 43 67 68 08, métro "Charonne" ou "Faidherbe - Chaligny".
Open from 12.15 to 2pm and 8 until 10.30pm (11pm on Fridays and Saturdays). Closed on Sundays and Mondays.
  Curieux Spaghetti Bar (Italie) !! CLOSED RECENTLY !! 
The first time I have had lunch in the Curieux Spaghetti Bar, was in 2004, a day after its opening. I thought it was a brilliant restaurant which, like any trendy restaurants, would soon be « outdistanced » by smarter competitors. It would be a matter of time before it is transformed into a mobile phone shop! 6 years later, this restaurant is still here in Beaubourg, still modern, still fun and still fashionable... The atmosphere is relaxed and a mixed crowd goes there. As its name indicate it, you will eat spaghetti (price by the plate or you can share a cooking-pot!), but also bruschettas and classics (lasagnas etc.). On weekends, you can enjoy a ten-meter long buffet from 12 to 4pm. Feeling hungry now? 
14, rue Saint Merri, 75004 Paris, 01 42 72 75 97, métro "Hôtel de Ville". Open every day from 12 to 2am (until 4am from Thursdays to Saturdays).

Pink Flamingo (Italy)
Did you know gourmet pizzeria existed? I didn’t mean expensive pizza places. I meant a pizzeria managed by a young team who has decided to place quality above all: thin, crusty pastry made everyday only using organic flour and salt from Guérande, fresh toppings and vegetables cooked every day. Even the cheese is freshly grated every day... My favourite one is the "Basquiat": gorgonzola and figs with raw ham from Auvergne. For the people who want to eat in, the atmosphere is cartoon-like. For the ones who want to eat on a bench along the canal Saint-Martin, you will be given a party balloon for the waiter to find you…the kids love it! 67, rue Bichat, 75010 Paris, 01 42 02 31 70, métro "Gare de l'Est" or "Jacques Bonsergent".
Open every day except Mondays from 12 to 3pm and from 7pm to 11pm.
  Sale e Pepe (Italie)
Another Italian restaurant ? Yes but this is not any restaurant. Sale e Pepe is a trattoria situated on the lower part of the Butte Montmartre. First of all, it’s the Sicilian boss who welcomes you, advises you and serves you. It’s better to be friends with him... There is no menu there as it changes every day but it can be adapted to your taste. A rare thing in Paris: you can get another helping! It’s like being at grandma’s! In the restaurant, there are a lot of regulars and artists, typical of this area.
30, rue Ramey, 75018 Paris, 01 46 06 08 01 métro "Jules Joffrin" or "Château Rouge".
Open every day except Mondays and Sundays, from twelve to 2.30pm and from 7.30 to 11.30.

La Villa Toscane (Italy)
Lost in a small street of the 15th district, the Villa Toscane is the perfect place for romance. A few candlelit tables, a cosy and romantic atmosphere, Venitian mirrors and baroque paintings, this place feels like home. Classic Italian cuisine, where you won’t find any pizza. Well done.
36, rue des Volontaires, 75015 Paris, 01 43 06 82 92, métro "Volontaires". Open at lunchtime and dinnertime except Saturday lunch and Sundays.

Brunchs (back to the top)

Jacquemart André
On Sunday, you can get your brunch in the magnificent dining room of the Jacquemart-André museum. Louis XV console tables, 18th century tapestries, huge frescos on the ceiling, you get the feeling that you are eating in a cool castle... located a stone’s throw away from the Champs-Elysées and the department stores. It’s very good value for money for all the gourmets who wait in the entrance hall… as it is impossible to book!
158, bd Haussmann, 75008 Paris, 01 45 62 11 59, métro "Miromesnil". Lunch every day from 11.45 to 3pm, afternoon snacks from 3pm to 5.30pm. Brunch every Sunday from 11 to 3pm.

Underground & bus: Which ticket?

For occasional visits in Paris & the suburbs buy a "Ticket T+"each time (1,70 EUR) or a book of 10 tickets (13,30 EUR adults, 6,65 EUR children from 4–10, under 4 years old the children travel free). This ticket can be bought at the station and in the "tabac" (cigarette shops). The "Ticket T+" is usable for 1h30 with unlimited trips between metros only OR bus & tramways only. You can’t do metro & bus. The tickets have to be validated each time you get on.

For most of the stays buying a pass is the cheapest way. It is valid in the zones indicated for bus, metro & tramway, RER (regional railway) and also the cable car in Montmartre. They can be bought in the metro stations.

1) Adults
For a 4 to 7–day stay the most economical is the "Navigo Semaine". For zones 1 & 2 it is 19,80 EUR for the week.
Note: It is valid from Monday morning to Sunday evening and you will need to buy a "Passe Navigo Découverte" for 5 euros. This pass is for life & is rechargeable but you must provide a identity photo or a copy (3cm tall x 2.5cm wide).

For a stay less than 3 days or for a stay straddling the 2 weeks it is better to buy a daily "Mobilis" for zones 1 & 2 for 6,60 EUR (no picture required).

2) Children from 4-11: Choose "Paris Visite" zone "Paris Centre" at 5,25 EUR for 1 day, 8,55 EUR for 2 days, 11,70 EUR for 3 days & 16,85 EUR for 5 days (no photo needed).
Note: There is a ticket specially created for young people under 26 called "Ticket Jeunes".
It is valid only for Saturdays, Sundays & Bank holidays and costs 3,65 EUR zones 1-3, 7,85 EUR zones 1-5 (no photo needed).

Airports: This is more complicated… Roissy is in zone 5 and Orly is zone 4. For Roissy I would advise you to take the RER at 9,50 EUR (6,65 EUR for children, this is a train which serves Paris & the suburbs). At Orly there is the "Orlybus" which is 8,90 EUR.
Buying a pass should be cheaper. Up to you to decide the best option. Look closely as your pass can also cover Versailles (zone 4) & Disney (zone 5).
For your information:
- The weekly "Navigo Semaine" is 31,05 EUR zones 1-4 & 34,40 EUR for zones 1-5
- "Mobilis" is 10,85 EUR zones 1-4 & 15,65 EUR for zones 1-5 
- "Paris Visite" for Kids zone "Paris + suburb + airports" at 11,10 EUR for 1 day, 16,85 EUR for 2 days, 23,60 EUR for 3 days & 28,85 EUR for 5 days.

For more info:

Night bus

If you have missed the last underground train (1h30 Fridays & Saturdays, 00h30 weekdays) rather than take a taxi I would advise you to take the Night Bus called the "Noctilien". It is a network of 42 lines which run around Paris after the underground has closed.  

To get back to the apartment take the bus no N14 which runs every 10 mins Fridays & Saturdays & 30 mins the rest of the week.

For more info:


Every Parisien will tell you: if you don’t book in advance it will not be easy to find a taxi in the street. If the light on top is on & looks like this it is free.
If not don’t bother to run after it as it will be taken!

For your info : The minimum charge is 7 EUR.

The main booking center in Paris is « Taxi G7 » and covers 7600 cars.

There is a price calculator
The price from Roissy CDG airport to your apartment on a Friday afternoon is between 50 & 60 EUR, from Orly airport between 60 & 70 EUR, from Paris Nord or Paris Est train station between 20 & 30 EUR, from Gare de Lyon or Montparnasse train station between 30 and 40 EUR.

If you are between 5 and 7 passengers you have to ask for a « MaxiCab ». There is a 3 EUR extra charge per person beyond 4 persons.

dial 01 41 27 66 99 (service in English)
The reservation is free unless you book in advance for a pick up from Monday to Saturday between 7am and 10am, or between 4pm and 9pm. In that case the reservation costs 5 EUR (payment with credit card when booking).

PRIVATE SHUTTLES : Recently new dynamic hi-tech companies compete with taxis by offering new innovative services. And good surprise: the rates are good!

For example here are the prices with GLOBAL TRANSFER for a transfer to your property:
- from Roissy CDG Airport: 43 EUR (1/4 passengers), 47 EUR (5/7 passengers),
- from Orly Airport: 54 EUR (1/4 pax), 59 EUR (5/7 pax),
- from « Gare du Nord » or « Gare de l’Est » train station: 15 EUR (1/4 pax), 16 EUR (5/7 pax),
- from Gare de Lyon : 23 EUR (1/4 pax), 25 EUR (5/7 pax), 
- from Gare Montparnasse : 23 EUR (1/4 pax), 24 EUR (5/7 pax).

The one drawback is that you have to book at least 6 hours in advance.


How to get to Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is located 40 kilometres east of the city of Paris.
How to get there:

PUBLIC TRANSPORT (the best solution!)

- walk to "Porte de Clignancourt" metro station,
- take the line 4 and get off at "les Halles",
- take the RER (Regional Express Railway) A line to "Marne la Vallée - Chessy".

Duration: about 1 hour
Cost (one way): 7,50 EUR for an adult, 3,75 EUR for a child

Duration: between 45 minutes and 1h15
Cost : between 80 and 100 EUR for 1-4 passengers, between 90 and 110 EUR for 5-7 passengers. Please note that taking a taxi can be very expensive especially if you get stuck in a traffic jam.

Many companies offer a shuttle service on the internet. The rates are usually cheaper than with a taxi and are fixed. The fixed fee is charged even if there are traffic jams (not uncommon). The GLOBAL TRANSFER company charges 90 EUR (1/4 passengers) or 100 EUR (5/7 passengers).

During school holidays, there is less traffic and you can try to drive there: it should be a bit quicker, a lot friendlier, but the car park costs 15 EUR. 

- take the ring road "périphérique intérieur - Porte de la Chapelle"
- close to "Porte de Bercy" take the exit "A4 - Metz",
- take the exit 14 "Parc Disney" 

Duration: between 45 minutes and 1h15


Touristic tours

>> Coach & Bus tours with audio commentary ("Paris the Day", "Paris by night" etc) see the offers on
Not especially cheap or authentic but with frequent departures. Tours to suit everyone’s taste.

>> "Open tour" offers trips around Paris on double decker open top busses. With 4 circuits & 50 stops you can get on and off at your leisure. An amusing & supple formula which will delight the photographers. 1-day pass 31 EUR, 2-day pass 36 EUR, children 16 EUR for the 4-11 year olds for 2 days.
For more info:

>> Boat trips: "Batobus" (the aquatic version of Open tour Bus!). 8 trips along the river allowing you to visit all the principal touristic spots. Every 20 – 25 minutes according to the season.

Adults 1-day pass 15 EUR (7 EUR up to 16 years old), 2-day pass 18 EUR (9 EUR up to 16 years old).
For more info: 

Bicycle trips

Since 2007 the town of Paris has proposed the possibility to hire 15 000 velos (bicycles) in 1 000 different locations: This system is called "Vélib". This system was originally destined for short trips from home to work but they can now be rented for the day (pay by credit card from where you first take the bike):
- subscription is fixed at 1,70 EUR
- all trips less than 30 minutes are free
- the first additional half-hour costs 1 EUR
- the second additional half-hour costs 2 EUR
- over that it is 4 EUR for each half-an-hour

The Velib is a great way and cheap to discover the city of Paris.
Note: only credit cards with built-in chips are accepted by the terminals. Credit cards with magnetic strip are not accepted.

Without being a partypooper or a wet blanket!! (which is really not at all the way of the house! ) I must ask you to pay attention to the following:
- The velos (bicycles) are for adults & not children under 12, 
- Paris is not like Amsterdam & quite hilly & steep in parts (Montmartre & Belleville)
- the traffic is dangerous & each year dozens of cyclists are killed. You must use the cycling paths, & the pedestrian areas (Beaubourg, Les Halles) and special areas designated to walkers & cyclists on Sunday from 09h -18h ("Les Berges de la Seine" et "Canal St Martin").
For more info:

Maps of Paris

Maps & plans of Paris

>> There are several internet sites which have interactive maps. Personally I find the best maps on

>> It is not necessary to print out the plans as you will find in each apartment all the paper plans you need.

>> Driving in Paris. For the car the best one to consult Indispensable to know all about traffic, the time needed for a specific route & traffic jams.

Public transport

>> The "not to be without" plans of the underground, RER and the bus
Available for free in each metro station.

>> For the night owls a plan of the Night Bus


>> Map of all the taxi ranks    


>> Cycling paths in Paris
>> Touristic routes
>> Sunday pedestrian places

Practical information

Luggage lockers

A small locker costs 5,50 EUR for 24 hours [32 cm wide x 44 cm high x 82 cm deep]
A medium locker costs 7,50 EUR [32 cm wide x 60 cm high x 82 cm deep] 
A large locker costs 9,50 EUR [48 cm wide x 90 cm high x 82 cm deep]

Luggage lockers are available in the following train stations:

"Gare de l'Est" (7/7 from 6am to 11.45pm, main hall, level -1, opposite toilets),
"Gare de Lyon" (7/7 from 6.15am to 10.00pm, hall "extension Chalon", exit "place Henri Fresnay"),
"Gare d'Austerlitz" (7/7 de from 7.00am to 11.30pm, hall "cours Muséum"),
"Gare Montparnasse" (7/7 from 7.00am to 11.00pm, level +1),
"Marne-la-Vallée Chessy" (Disneyland) (7/7 from 7.00am to 10.00pm).

  At last there are now 2 more possibilities to leave your luggage somewhere in Paris:

- Musée d’Orsay: The left luggage is free (no required entrance ticket) and it is open every day except Monday from 9h30 – 17h45. The suitcase size must not be bigger than hand luggage.

- Musée du Louvre : an entrance ticket is required here, but it is free for 25’s and under living in the European Union. The cloakroom is open every day except Tuesday from 9h – 18h. No limit on the suitcase size. To enter the museum without queuing in the Pyramid take the entrance which is located in front of the Apple Store of the “Carrousel du Louvre” (underground shopping mall).

Wheater in Paris

What's the Paris weather going to be like? Find the answer here ! (climate in Paris - average data over the period 1951-1980)