A Tour Guide and Moulin Rouge Dancer In Paris
Paris is celebrated as the ‘City of Light’, and is endowed with a rich history, stunning architecture, world-class museums and enviable style. This summer is going to be a fantastic time to visit the French capital as in just a few weeks the Euro 2016 final will be taking place at the Stade de France, with the whole city caught in rapturous excitement. Looking beyond that July and August are typically warm and dry months in Paris, making those long Summer days perfect for strolling down the boulevards and taking in the sights.
Sixt have teamed up with Greg and Megan from the well-known ‘Paris Journey‘ blog to give us a more detailed review of all things Parisian, building on our city snapshot in the Euros Guide. The pair have been living in Paris for several years now and between his job as a scooter tour guide and her work at the Moulin Rouge, they have garnered some great first-hand insights into this fascinating place.
- Where would you most like to watch the Euro Cup 2016 games?
I think the place that I would most like to watch a match of this year’s Euro Cup would be the famous Stade De France here in Paris. However following close behind in as a second choice would be the Stade De Nice, my reason for this is because it’s just so stunning down on the south coast of France and what could be better than a day of chilling out on the beach and watching some world class Football.
- Is there any important Parisian etiquette that visitors should know in advance?
There are so many French and Parisian etiquettes that you might experience during your stay however I think the most relevant would be in regards to the Paris road etiquette.
Keep Right – You may find yourself on a road which has a speed limit of 130kms per hour. If you are hanging out in the left lane too long you will notice that drivers will ride up your tail with their indicator on telling you to move over. So if you’re not over taking make sure you are in the right lane.
Roundabouts – Not everyone know that there are actually two types of Roundabout/turning circles in Paris and each of them have different rules. For example most of them within Paris such as the infamous Arc De Triomphe Roundabout are made for drivers to give way to cars which are entering the intersection. However for most outside of Paris normal rules apply and you give way to cars which are already on the roundabout. The best way to figure this out is to look at the road and if you see a dotted give way line then you need to give way to cars which are already on the roundabout. If there are no give way lines then merge onto the roundabout with care and give way to others entering the roundabout.
Parking – It is very common practice for Parisians to push other parked cars out of the way using their bumpers in order to squeeze into a tight parking space. I am unsure if it is 100% legal but its something to consider if you plan to park on the street in Paris and still want to get you security deposit back. The best place to park to avoid this is the underground paid parking which you will notice all over Paris indicated with the letter “P”.
- As Paris tour guide what is your top attraction that a first time visitor has to see?
That is a super hard question to answer but as a tour guide people love to be shown around to see the main attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame etc… However after seeing these things so many times I can honestly say that if you want to be wowed and have an experience of a life time then I recommend having a dinner cruise on the Seine River followed by watching The Moulin Rouge Cabaret. Both are a little pricy but I promise that you will never forget it, a true bucket list night.
- Likewise, what culinary treat is a must try in Paris?
The most popular to try would be French onion soup, beef tartar, frog’s legs and Escargot. I would recommend all of them accept for the frogs legs which had a terrible taste and texture. Make sure if you try Escargot it is without the shell and comes drenched in some kind of garlic sauce, it is exquisite.
- Finally – what is the best day trip outside of Paris for someone with a hire car?
There are so many day trips from Paris that I can recommend and if you want to see all of them I have an entire post which lists all of the popular day trips. If I could only pick one Paris daytrip destination then it would have to be Saint Michele.
Saint Michele is one of the most amazing old towns and its only about 3 hours drive from Paris. Many of the other day trips from Paris have a decent public transport option however if you want to experience the town of Saint Michele you are best off with some kind of group day tour or to hire a car. Personally I would hire a car as it gives you the opportunity to come and go outside of normal busy tourist times.
Drive safe and have a safe journey on the road to this year’s European Championships.
Megan and Greg Chadwick