AtHome-Hotel - Rent a boutique apartment in the heart of Paris...

Paris tricks and tips

AtHome-Hotel gives you the keys to Paris, how to live Paris to the fullest...

You just rent or you want to rent a furnished apartment in Paris. The success of your stay depends on the knowledge of Parisian lifestyle.

On this page you will find our recommandations sorted in 3 chapters:

  1. Moving around in Paris,
  2. Do shopping in Paris,
  3. Have fun in Paris.

Of course our team is available if you need any further recommandations for your stay. We live in the capital of France and our only goal is to make sure you will make the most of your stay and that you will enjoy not only the apartment you rented with us but also our city.

At the end of your stay, hopefully you will want to come back again soon. It will be your turn to recommend places you liked. Your feedback and additionnal information will be welcome.

During your stay in Paris, you will have to move around. In Vélib (bike), bus, metro, taxi or tramway. You will find in this section all the informations in order to move quite feely in Paris.

Getting around Paris is quick and easy thanks to an excellent public transportation system which includes the metro, RER suburban trains, buses, tramway...

Métro Ticket

During your stay in Paris, you will have to move around. In Vélib (bike), bus, metro, taxi or tramway. You will find in this section all the informations in order to move quite feely in Paris.

The métro

Created in 1900 by the engineer Fulgence Bienvenüe, the Parisian metro now consists of 14 lines two of which are elevated or above ground in places. With over 350 stations, the metro is open from 5:30 am to 1:00 and conveniently serves every corner of the capital. A multi-language system map (or “plan du metro”) can be easily obtained in any station. More than 3.4 million passengers use the metro each day. The system is famous for its Art Nouveau entry ways which were designed by Hector Guimaud and incorporated in 84 stations. Over the years, many of the stations have been overhauled and re-decorated according to various themes. This tradition began in 1967 when the Louvre station became an underground gallery resembling the museum itself, just above.

plan-de-metro-de-paris

Tips

Metro stations are extremely well marked. But if you do not speak French, here are some tips which may help you navigate your way in the metro. First, each line is known by both its number and two end-point stations. To get to where you are going, simply look at a metro map and determine the direction in which you are travelling and the end point for that line (for example, M1 Direction: La Défense). Signs in each station will guide you to the correct platform for your train. In the metro, all trains from any given platform serve all downward stations in that direction. If there are multiple street exits at your stop, they will be indicated once you step off the train with blue “SORTIE” signs. There will also be a local map (“plan du quartier”) on the platform to illustrate exactly where each exit leads.

Rates

Metro tickets cost 1.60 euro a piece or 11.40 euro for a book of ten. Only one ticket is needed to reach any destination within the city limits (zone 1), regardless your of itinerary. Instead of purchasing individual tickets, users may opt to buy passes which permit unlimited metro, RER and bus travel over a specified number of zones. As a guideline, Zones 1-3 include Paris and immediate suburbs, a Zone 1-5 ticket includes the outer suburbs and both Orly and Charles-de-Gaulle airports. A Zone 1-8 ticket provides access to other outlying areas.

For tourists, the “Paris-Visite” pass covers either 3, 5 or 8 zones and is valid for up to 5 consecutive days. It also includes a number of visitor discounts for various sites and department stores. The “Mobilis” Card is another practical and inexpensive option which provides unlimited, single-day use within Paris (Zone 1) and up to all 8 zones based on. It does not include any special promotions or discounts. You can also purchase a “Navigo Découverte” Pass. It costs 5 € for people that don’t live in Paris to create, and then you only pay 16.80€ for a week (for zone 1 and 2), or 22.30€ (for zone 1 2 and 3). You can make those passes at any RATP agency in the metro. With this pass, you have an unlimited access to Paris transportation for a week.

The Tramway

Transports en commun - Tramway

Tramways are operated in Paris by its public transport authority, RATP, which also operates the Paris Métro and most bus services. The city currently has four lines and is planning an additional one.From 1855 to 1938, Paris was served by an extensive tramway network, predating the Metro by nearly a half-century. The last of these first generation tram routes, to Versailles, was closed in 1957.

Originally horse-powered, Paris trams used steam, and later pneumatic engines, and electricity.
The funicular that operated in Belleville from 1891 to 1924 is sometimes erroneously thought of as a tramway.
The first of a new generation of trams in Paris, line T1 opened in 1992, with line T2 opening in 1997, line T4 on November 18, 2006, and line T3 on December 16, 2006. As of January 2007, construction on the line T8 has not yet begun.

The RER

Go shopping

Food Stores

Having your own apartment means you will likely find yourself shopping for some basic food items at one point or another. One of the first things you should know is that there are no all-in-one supermarkets within Paris. Therefore, Parisians tend to visit small grocery chains for staple items and favor neighborhood markets or vendors for fresh meats, cheese, vegetables and, of course, bread.

What’s nearby ?

Though immense supermarkets are unheard of, Paris’ grocery chain stores are plentiful, convenient and well-stocked. There are three principle outlets: Monoprix, Franprix and Marche U. There is sure to be one in your neighborhood and they are normally open from 9-9 pm, with some exceptions. Monoprix has particularly developed itself in the recent years. The company has created two other brands to be part of the daily lives of people in big cities. You will find several Monoprix in each arrondissement, which offer you an average of more than 60 000 different products. Monop’ will offer you the possibility to to buy fresh food on a self service basis, plus to buy everyday products. Open from 9am to midnight. Daily Monop’ will offer you self catering that you can eat directly in the store.

If you find yourself searching for an item beyond these hours, there is likely to be a small épicierie around the corner which will stay open until 1 or 2 am. These small stores will have dry goods and a limited supply of fresh products. Another option is to visit a local traiteur for pre-made dishes, meats, pastries and desserts. One of our favorites is the chain Flo (or la Durée). While definitely a more costly option than cooking at home, the quality in these stores is fantastic and you get what you pay for in terms of convenience.

Market streets and neighborhood vendors

Normally, fresh food vendors are all located on the same street within a particular neighborhood. Each different vendor will have a selection of fresh basic products as well as some homemade specialities (“fait maison”). Your local “boulangerie” will have fresh baked bread, pastries and desserts. For dairy products and farm-fresh cheese from every region of France, visit a local “formagerie”. Looking for wine? Go to a “caviste”. A “boucherie” will have freshest cuts of meat and poultry available. Finally, local produce vendors will have fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables year round.

There are several major market streets which are frequented by Parisians every day of the week except Monday normally. One of the most popular on the right bank, rue Montorgueil, is closed to traffic which makes it a haven for food shoppers. It is located just north of Les Halles and St-Eustache church in the 2nd arrondissement. Even if you don’t have shopping to do, this area is a great place to have a seat in a local café and experience the neighborhood culture for which Paris is famous. Another right bank option is rue de Bretagne, just north of the Marais and near the Mairie of the 3rd arrondissement. In addition to these market streets, there are over 50 open-air market locations which rotate in and out of each neighborhood, once or twice a week and only in the morning. If you want to have a coffee, don’t hesitate to go in any bars, brasseries, cafés or bistrots. They have established themselves in every street.

Fashion shopping

Paris is one of the fashion capitals of the world, thus shopping is an unavoidable pleasure during any visit to thecity. There areseveral well-known areas where this mission can be accomplished.

Fotolia 8213504 XS

World-renowned brands and luxury items

They are on Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré (  Tuileries) has a collection of boutiques of a number of well-known fashion houses. Lanvin can be found at number 22 while Hermés showcases its products is just across the street at no. 24. The main Christian Lacroix store is at no. 73 and new arrivals include John Galiano at number 384. Virtually every fashion designer in the world seeks to have an address on this street. One of the most interesting shops is that of Colette, at no 213 Faubourg St Honoré. This is THE place to find a selection of everything that is cutting-edge in fashion, furnishings or otherwise. Another major round-up of famous international designers can be found near the Champs Elysées on Avenues Montaigne and George V ( Franklin D Roosevelt or George V). Several well-known haute-couture designers can be found there, including Prada, Gucci, Dior, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

Department Stores

shopping grand magasin

Just north of the Opéra on the right bank, the city’s two most famous department stores, Printemps et Galleries Lafayettes stand side-by-side on Boulevard Haussmann (Metro line 9, station Chaussé d’Antin). Printemps pour Homme, the Men’s Store contains a vast and comprehensive array of men’s fashions. Recently redesigned, the store contains brands from many world designers, both new and old. Other department stores include La Samaritaine on Rue de Rivoli ( Châtelet station) in the 1st arrondissements (close at the moment for security work) and the Bon Marché ( Sèvres Babylone) on the left bank.

Cutting edge jeans and street wear

mode 23

Rue Etienne Marcel ( Etienne Marcel) between Les Halles and Place des Victoires contains a variety of internationally known boutiques popular with the new generation. Among them are Diesel and Diesel Style Lab, Energie, Replay and G-Star. The Shop is an agglomeration of urban wear labels (such as Carhartt and 2 High) where you can shop to the sounds of a live DJ. The other large multi-brand store in the neighborhood is L’Eclaireur (10, rue Hérold, 5th arrondissement). Here you will find a, exclusive line of hot items is a cool, low-key setting. The boutique is actually located at street level in a loft without any sort of markings or indications. While it is rather obscure, do not hesitate to ring the bell to be buzzed in.

Gay Shopping

shopping gay

Our last shop-stop takes us to the Marais ( Hôtel de Ville or Rambuteau) where a host of small boutiques are sure to please a wide range of gay clients. There are several clothes shops which are noteworthy, however the best selection is undoubtedly found in the Boys Bazars. Three shops are all located a few steps in either direction from the corner rue des Archives and rue Ste Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie. Each shop contains a line of goods sure to suit all ages, styles and budgets. A bit further on rue des Rosiers, L’Eclaireur, offers a selection of cutting-edge clothing and accessories presented in much the same way as the Collette shop on rue Faubourg St Honoré.

Fresh and Inexpensive

shopping jeune

A lot of good buys on unique items are to be found in the shops around Les Halles. In the Forum des Halles itself you will find an H&M shop which contains a hip selection of tops, bottoms and accessories. Numerous other small vendors in the area have everything from jeans to one-of-a-kind t-shirts and the latest footwear: your will find on 22 boulevard Sebastopol (4th arrondissement) the largest Puma Store of Europe. On 150 rue Rivoli, you’ll see one of the biggest Adidas store.

 

Entertainments

Enjoy your stay in a furnished apartment in Paris to entertain you. Why not the Paris Opera and the cinema...

Operas and Concerts

Like all world capitals, Paris offers a vast, year-round selection of operas, concerts and theatre performances.

There are two spectacular opera houses in Paris, the traditional Opéra Garnier and the modern Opera Bastille which can accommodate over 2700 spectators and features a more contemporary repertoire. For detailed information concerning the Paris Opera, visit their website www.opera-de-paris.fr.

A number of concerts take place in Paris year-round. There are several venues which host an eclectic variety of performances. These include the Élysée-Montmartre (72 boulevard Rochechouart, 18th arrondissement, Pigalle), the Olympia (18 rue Caumartin, 9th arrondissement, Madeleine) and the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy (8 boulevard de Bercy, 12th arrondissement, Bercy). For all types of performances, tickets can be reserved and purchased at any FNAC location.

For information about shows and performances via the Internet, consult the site www.concertandco.com or www.rockinfo.com

For information concerning shows at the Olympia, telephone 0892 68 33 68.

For information concerning shows at the Elysée-Montmartre telephone 01 55 07 06 00.

For information concerning shows at the Palais Omnisports-Paris Bercy telephone 01 40 02 60 60.

Cinemas

Thanks to the presence of a relatively big film production industry, Paris has a large number of excellent cinemas, 373 to be exact. A majority of films in the bigger cinemas are in English, so it should not pose a problem if you would like to see a film while visiting. One of the best places to see a wide variety of current, mass-market films is UGC Ciné Cité in the Forum des Halles (located on level -4 of the Forum des Halles, 7 Place de la Rotonde, 1st arrondissement, Châtelet-Les Halles). For a variety of independent and European films, there are several smaller cinemas along the streets of the 5th arrondissement.

For a city-wide list of films and start times, you can purchase the weekly publication L’Officiel des Spectacles at news stands for 0.35 €.

You can also consult the website www.allocine.fr.

For all inquiries and reservations concerning UGC Ciné Cité / Les Halles, telephone 0892 70 00 00 or consult their website, www.ugc.fr.

Museums of Paris

Paris features the best selection of museums and galleries in France, with over a hundred in the city itself and the same number again in the surrounding area. But it’s the quality and the diversity that counts, not the quantity. Here’s we run-down of the city’s must-see museums …

The Louvre

Pyramid at Louvre Museum, Paris, France

The nine million visitors who flock to the Louvre every year make it the world’s busiest museum, and, with over 210 000 m² of gallery space, it’s also the largest.

The Louvre is housed in a former royal palace in the first arrondissement, situated between the right bank of the Seine and the rue de Rivoli. For over twelve centuries, it’s enjoyed a reputation for preserving historic artworks.

Its broad-based collection covers a large sweep of history, reaching from ancient times to 1848 in eight thematic departments: Egyptian Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculpture, Decorative Arts and Paintings, Prints and Drawings. Over 35 000 items are on show at any one time.

The Louvre’s varied collection includes sculptures, paintings, drawings, ceramics, archaeological finds and more, and features some of the world’s most famous pieces, such as the Code of Hammurabi, the Venus de Milo and—of course—da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Pompidou Centre

Le centre Georges pompidou

The national artistic and cultural centre named after Georges Pompidou is a unique cultural institution in the third arrondissement’s Beaubourg neighbourhood, situated between the Halles and the Marais.

A personal project of former French president Georges Pompidou, the museum was designed to be a new kind of cultural space, entirely devoted to modern and contemporary art, with the visual arts, design, literature, cinema and music all side by side.

First opened in 1977, the Pompidou Centre now attracts over seven million visitors a year, making it the third most popular attraction in France, after the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

After the Museum of Modern Art in New York, it boasts the second largest collection of modern and contemporary art in the world and regularly organises important temporary exhibitions. The complex also includes a cinema and the largest open-access library in Europe.

Musée Grévin

Decor Theatre Grevin

The Musée Grévin threw open its doors to the public on 5 June 1982 and was an immediate success. Visitors to the city’s ninth arrondissement can call in to see waxworks of important figures, and they’ll also get a chance to visit the Grévin Theatre and an optical illusion show in the Hall of Mirrors.  The Dome Room and Column room both feature incredible baroque details dating back to 1882.

The collection features no less than 300 famous figures, ranging from French president Nicolas Sarkozy to Mahatma Gandhi, with room for cultural figures like Michael Jackson and Alfred Hitchcock. Several scenes from history have been recreated, including man’s first visit to the moon, the fall of the Berlin wall or the execution of Joan of Arc.

New figures are regularly added to the display. Barack Obama arrive in June 2009, and French designer Philippe Starck joined him the following year.

Musée d'Orsay

musee orsay 2

The Musée d’Orsay is on the left bank of the Seine in the seventh arrondissement, and occupies a former station first opened in 1898. It features paintings and sculpture from the period 1848—1914, and also covers decorative arts, photography and architecture from the same period.

The permanent collection includes masterpieces like Manet’s Olympia, Dégas’ Little Dancer of Fourteen Years or Courbet’s The Painter’s Studio.

Temporary exhibitions examine the work by a particular artist or from a specific movement or period, while an auditorium plays host to concerts, conferences and performances designed for younger visitors.

Musée du Quai Branly

Musée du Quai Branly

The Musée du Quai Branly opened its doors on 20 June 2006, the result of an ambitious move by former president Jacques Chiarc and architect Jean Nouvel. The complex includes five buildings covering a total surface of 40 600 m².

Since opening, the museum has brought together objects from the ethnology collections of the former National Museum of Art from Africa and Oceania and the Museum of Mankind. Around 3 500 objects are displayed in the permanent collection, a large, open space with ‘zones’ featuring objects from four continents: Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.

Alongside the permanent collection, the museum organises ten temporary exhibitions per year on more specific themes. These are displayed either in the main gallery or in the Garden gallery.

Picasso Museum

Musée picasso

The Picasso Museum on the rue Thorigny in the heart of the Marais is dedicated to the artist’s life and work. It was opened in 1985 in a former private residence built between 1656 and 1659 by Jean Boullier de Boruges.

It features the world’s largest collection of Picassos and has works from every stage in the artist’s career. It currently contains 251 paintings, 160 sculptures, 16 collages, 29 decoupages, 107 ceramic works, 1 500 drawings and 58 sketchbooks, alongside all of Picasso’s engravings.

Your travel cart