Trip Coach: October 23, 2007
Sandra Gustafson, author of "Great Sleeps Paris" and "Great Eats Paris," answered your questions on Paris.
Sandra Gustafson: Bonjour! This is Sandra Gustafson here to answer your questions about Great Eats and Great Sleeps in Paris. My purpose during this time with you is to help you select well-priced hotels, restaurants that will make your stay in the City of Light truly memorable. So, let's book a flight, pack our bags, and go to Paris.
Milwaukee, Wisc.: We are a family of 5 who are hopefully traveling to Italy this June and back through Paris for 2 days on the way home. Is there a cost-effective place to stay in Paris that will accommodate all of us?
Sandra Gustafson: Try the Port Royal Hotel in the 5th, an amazing value for a one star hotel.
Denver, Colo.: What Paris hotel would you recommend for 2 young-middle age single women near the D'Orsay museum area, that will not be outrageously expensive, and easy to get to the Metro and bus lines?
Concord, Ohio: My husband and I are going to Paris next July. With the exchange rate being so bad for Americans (hopefully it will improve by the time we go), we will most likely want to have most of our dinners in modest restaurants that are a good value. We are staying at the Marriott on the Champs Elysee, so what are some small moderately priced restaurants within walking distance of that area? Thank you.
Sandra Gustafson: You are staying in one of the high rent districts of Paris, but that does not mean you can't have a well-priced meal in the area. Aux Amis de Beaujolais at 28, rue d'Artois is a family run restaurant that is filled with locals for lunch and dinner. The terrace at Laduree, 75, avenue des Champs-Elysees is nice for a light meal. If you go upstairs, the food and the final bill will be much more elaborate. Finally, the wine bar chain l'Ecluse at 64, rue Francois 1er is a casual choice.
Cambridge, U.K.: As an American living in the UK for a few years, should my wife and I consider Paris for Christmas, New Year's or a non-holiday break? We want to take advantage of the new Eurostar connection at St Pancras but aren't sure what's the best time in Paris.
Sandra Gustafson: I vote for all three! Christmas in Paris is beautiful. The Champs-Elisee is lighted with masses of white lights, the stores are aglow both inside and out, and neighborhoods all have their own decorations. New Year's is party time, the metro is a mob scene, many restaurants have special meals complete with champagne and hats. If you go at other times, Paris is still beautiful, you just won't have the whistles and bells of holiday celebrations.
Fayetteville, Ark.: When we are in Paris, we often stay on or near Rue Cler, a market street. We would like to stay in other parts of the city. Are there other market streets in Paris that have reasonably priced hotels nearby?
Sandra Gustafson: My favorite market street is rue Montorgueil in the second. This is a happening area with the side streets full of funky boutiques. The only hotel on the street is the Hotel Victoires Opera. It is a 4-star, but they often have promotional prices. Hotel du Cygne is a budget choice about a 5 minute walk away. Mid-range is the Hotel Britannique. It is a 10-minute walk.
Eustis, Fla.: Our family is traveling to Paris next May. I would like to buy euros now and throughout the coming months to hedge the expense. Where is a place to get them in Florida? Or elsewhere? Also any suggestions for a more frugal trip?
Thanks for your help,
Sandra Gustafson: It is a good idea to stash some euros now. Who knows what the rate will be next spring! Contact Travelex/Thomas Cook, 800/287-7362, travelex.com. They should be able to help you.
Manhattan, Kans.: My husband and I are planning a trip to France next summer at the end of June. What kind of clothing would be appropriate to take? I always here that Europeans think Americans are bad dressers--I'd like to look nice and be comfortable. Any suggestions?