France - Italy trip

Paris Travel Blog

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Sacré-Cœur Basilica

I first visited Paris in April, 1997. I had only a few days to spend in this magnificent city and vowed to return when I would have more time.

Fast forward several years to 2005. Over the course of three years, I desperately searched for information regarding my paternal family history. To my delight it all fell into place in one single day! After sharing this information with my sisters, we decided that it was time to plan a trip to the fatherland, France.

Unlike me, my sisters never had the chance to travel around Europe when they were younger. So it was up to me to create an intinerary that would wow them. Unfortunately when making this itinerary I was still in the mindset of a 19-year-old kid backpacking around the continent. I didn't take into account that we would be hauling 50+ lbs. of luggage on & off trains! Not a great idea, people. Those of you who are planning a multi-city vacation & traveling by train - DO NOT TAKE LARGE BAGGAGE! Stick to a backpack & a small wheeled piece of luggage. Or opt for the backpack/wheeled combo. Basically it's a backpack that can be taken off & rolled around like normal baggage.

Back to the trip. We started off our 3-week vacation in Paris. To save costs, we stayed at Le Regent Montmarte Hostel. A rather nice hostel indeed. Clean, great staff, easy access to metro & Montmarte district. We even had our own bathroom! There is also a small lift and internet access. One computer located in the lobby is available for guests. However you had to pay for internet time. I think it was approx. 4 euros for 30 minutes, but there is an internet cafe next door that is cheaper. Also good to note that breakfast is included so make sure to eat up before heading out. Another note - La Panorama cafe down the street has the best cappuccino in Paris! Believe me, I'm a coffee fiend.

Fortunately we arrived in Paris just before tourist season was in full swing. If you plan on visiting in May or later, please make reservations at any museum that you want to visit. My sisters stood in line at the Musee d'Orsay for 3 1/2 hours even though Paris was not too crowded at that time. You should also note that most businesses in France close around 1pm (13:00) for a 2-hour lunch. Wish we could do that here!

I hope that this information is helpful to those of you planning on visiting Paris. I've included some photos of my trip. Bon voyage!

travelman727 says:
Great information! Thanks especially for mentioning La Panorama. I'm always searching for a great cup of cappuccino! I'll be sure to go there the next time I'm in the "City of Lights."
Posted on: Sep 05, 2006
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Sacré-Cœur Basilica
Sacré-Cœur Basilica
photo by: Sweetski