THE MOST VISITED EUROPEAN COUNTRY
When France is mentioned, images of romance, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triomphe comes to mind. Add in the cuisine, culture, history and not forgetting the shopping gives you the perfect vacation. You could visit France on numerous occasions and still not do the country justice. Apart from Paris being the heart of the country’s tourism, the other real beauties are to be admired.
It is sometimes described as “the whole of Europe in one country” from Strasbourg known for its Riesling to Basque Bayonne known for its stuffed squid, cured ham and berets, France shares its border with eight different countries. This makes it easy to cross each border and visit the other countries while on vacation. But would you want to? As mentioned before there are other beautiful places in France that is worth a visit; Burgundy, Lyon, Bordeaux (I know I am mentioning the wine areas), Loire valley, Provence and Marseille to name a few.
The climate is mild in the spring, summer and autumn making beach vacations a possibility.
My favourite place in France apart from Lyon is Paris, known as ‘the city of lights’ and believe me it is. There are lots of things to see, eat and do but you must be smart about it. Really think about it and make a list that can always be amended. I did this and made the choice to see a bit at a time because I knew I would have an idea of what I wanted on my return. I started with a must and my favourite, shopping and I ‘shopped till I dropped.’
SOME OF THE INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCES
YOU'LL REMEMBER FOREVER
The best place I found while exploring the shopping areas was the Place De la Madeleine. It is not just department stores and boutiques, but cafes and gourmet food shops. It is a place where one day might not be enough. Every street leads to another with a variety of department stores, cafes and boutiques. Prices can range from very expensive to bargain basement. If you love shopping, Paris will be your paradise.
It is an almost impossible task to choose where you want to dine. Everywhere you go it seems that there is another set of excellent picture-perfect cafes and restaurants. Although France is famous for its fancy and complicated cuisines, not all of Paris restaurants will take your vacation money in one go. You can enjoy experiencing new cuisines such as escargot without blowing your budget.
Oh! You must try the crepes with its range of toppings and syrups.
Be vigilant when sightseeing and touring and especially on public transport.
Keep your valuables safe and secure.
When using the ATM, beware of your surroundings and keep your pin number secure. Put your cards and money in a safe place before walking away from the ATM.
Always collect your receipts and check your purchases before leaving the shop/cafe etc.
Be extra vigilant at night.
PHONE NUMBERS AND PHRASES
AMBULANCE : 15 or 112
DENTIST : 01-43-37-51-00
SOS MEDICINE – HOUSE CALL SERVICES: 01-47-07-77-77
PHARMACIES : 3915 - these are usually open 24 hrs; 7 days a week.
Outside of Paris, there is difficulty in finding an English-speaking doctor.
You can ask for assistance with this at a pharmacy.
AU SECOUR: HELP
PREFECTURE DU POLICE: POLICE STATION
You have explored the shopping and dining but you still want more cultural experiences. There are so many choices that will leave you excited and wanting more.