Paris + Day Trips

  • Mysteries of Paris Ghost Tour: Seeking Nicolas Flamel of Harry Potter Fame

    By Dennis Jacobs

    Side window, Notre Dame. Photo credit: Dennis Jacobs.

    Want to live forever? Nicolas Flamel did.

    Yes, Nicolas Flamel of Harry Potter fame was a real person. Some believe he is a real person.

    Flamel was born in 1330 in Paris or its immediate environs. He achieved success as a scrivener and book seller in Paris. He and his wife, Pernelle, spent their later years in a house at 51, rue de Montmorency. Built in 1407, the house is the oldest in Paris still standing. You can literally get a flavor for Nicolas Flamel’s home by dining in the restaurant that occupies the building’s ground floor, the Auberge Nicolas Flamel.

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 10 September 2011 )
  • Day Trip from Paris: Fontainebleau and Barbizon

    By Arnie Greenberg

    Château de Fountainebleau ©Château de FountainebleauWhile there’s enough to keep travelers busy in Paris for weeks at a time, a day trip south to Château de Fontainebleau and the neighboring village of Barbizon are well worth the effort. Whether you drive or take a train from the Gare de Lyon, your efforts will be rewarded.

    Last Updated ( Sunday, 16 September 2012 )
  • 4th of July in Paris

    By Hannah McDonald-Moniz

    Nothing to do in Paris on the 4th of July?  Au contraire. July 4, 2009 was packed with interesting and unique Parisian festivities, albeit completely unrelated to the American Independence Day.  First, the annual Chasse aux Trésors, or scavenger hunt, began at 10am.  This event has been organized by La Mairie de Paris for the past four years and is hosted by a number of arrondissements, which this year included the 3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 16th, 18th, 19th, and 20th.  Teams could register on the website or in person, between 10 and 1, in front of the mairie (town hall) of their chosen arrondissement.

    Last Updated ( Friday, 17 July 2009 )
  • Navigo like the natives through the Paris Métro

    By Lanora Mueller

    I am the proud owner of a Navigo card for the Paris RATP that I will keep safely stashed with my passport for my next Paris visit.

    Last Updated ( Friday, 04 March 2011 )
  • The Age of Bicycles: City travel in Paris

    By Arnie Greenberg
    A great change is taking place. With gas prices the way they are and the increased number of cars in inner metros, cities the world over are setting up public bicycle rentals to save people the expense of driving a car. Plus, it’s healthier and pollution free. Last Updated ( Sunday, 21 September 2008 )
  • Mon Montmartre

    By Suzy Gershman

    "I've never been to Montmartre" Sarah confessed while we were in Paris a few weeks ago. "Can we go together?" Sarah Lahey is the Editorial Director of Born to Shop and goes on most of the research trips with me. We were in Paris to revise Frommer's Born to Shop Paris.

    Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 May 2008 )
  • Paris From Above

    By Arnie Greenberg

    A wonderful way to see Paris is from the air. While that is not readily possible, most people choose to climb to Sacre Coeur, especially as night falls over the city of lights or to go atop the famous Eiffel Tower for a view that’s hard to beat. I’ve even walked to the top of the Arc De Triomphe where a view of the cars rounding the Etoile without stop signs or traffic lights is a miracle looking for a disaster. It reminded me of ants scurrying to and fro without collisions. I traveled to the western Peripherique and ascended the arc shaped office building at La Defense.

    Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 May 2008 )
  • Paris Reflections Montparnasse

    By Monique Y. Wells
    In this excerpt from Paris Reflections: Walks Through African-American Paris, our Culture and Lifestyle editor reflects on the era when Montparnasse was home to many African-American artists. A Multicultural France feature. Last Updated ( Monday, 30 March 2009 )
  • Godzilla in Paris

    By Jacqueline McGrath

    Hardly. But a bigger-than-life, building-hugging salamander—one whose very presence is shrouded in mystery—oh yes. The 10-foot-long beast, sculpted in bronze and now fittingly blackened by the elements, is mounted astride an old masonry apartment building in the 20th arrondissement at the corner of Rue Vitruve and Rue Albert Marquet. Beside a trail of the creature’s footprints on the lower half of the wall is inscribed (in French) a disconcertingly brief reason for the salamander’s being there: “It has stopped to rest.”  Rest from what? Coming from where? Headed where? Stuck, for what earthly reason, on a wall in a working class district of Paris?

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 10 September 2011 )
  • The Quieter Attractions: Three Paris Libraries to Visit

    By Paul Boswell

    Like in any big city, a weary traveler might be hard-pressed to find a place to take a load of his or her legs in Paris. Sure, you’ve always got your hotel room or apartment, but why stay there all day? So you head over to the Champ de Mars to find some shady bench where you can read or simply enjoy the day. Unfortunately, you chose a sweltering, tourist-filled day in July when the fumes from the tour buses offend your nose and the fact that you have heard every language but French in the past half-hour begins to offend your ears.

    Last Updated ( Friday, 09 September 2011 )

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