pourquoi je n’aime pas …

Paris !!!! Couldn’t say how many times I been in Paris total – mostly through my former director and friend + 2 times privately … and we still don’t agree! Our director he always took us to Paris for our Christmas Party that lasted in 3 days … Claes said it cost the same to be bored as it does to have fun. Fun we had and plenty of it, but we would had fun any where *smile Paris for me is very unfriendly – it’s one of the biggest con-cities in the world … you never know what you get for your money. So unpredictable and arrogant!!!!! Last time I was there was 2009 and I went because my best friend wanted to go – wasn’t to keen to go, but why not. I’m glad that I went, because Paris has changed a bit – they smiled in 2009 when they took my Euros and it also has become a lot more English spoken. Had a really good time, even if it’s still very unpredictable – or maybe it was for all the ½ price Mojito’s at “le Paris Halles”. That made it so much more fun and pleasant – and the company of course – my friend are a brilliant company anywhere.

I can’t deny that Paris is a very beautiful city – and so much to see and do. It’s a stunning city – only the package it comes in that I don’t agree with. During my 8 years with my German finance, Hans-Jochim – we went to France every year for holiday, but he refused to go to Paris with me – he said for the money we will spend there in a couple of days – we can go somewhere else in France for double the time. So the first time I went to Paris was many years later with my Swedish finance, Torbjörn … and wasn’t Hans right. So then in 2009 I gave in to my girlfriend and off we went and I’m glad that I went back, because I have now a much more pleasant memories from Paris, not that I’m longing to go back! Have done my Paris.

Been in Paris during public transportation strike – been in the autumn  … been in the spring … been before Christmas  … been freezing … been sick … lost my passport … and been with my Garmin.  When we had our Christmas’s trips we stayed most of the time out in La Défense, the new build office and shopping area and a bit of distance from the city centre, with metro it goes quick – Sofitel Hotel – stunning hotel with beautiful rooms, excellent service and outstanding breakfast buffet. We where always transferred with hire buses for our dinners and shows. Also out in La Défense – there is a massive shopping centre. 

With Paris … you pay an arm and a leg for a 2* dodgy hotel – up to €300 per night for some of them. So when we planned to go to Paris in 2009 I decided we are not going to pay more the €120 max. And it took some doing to find something – but I found a really nice little hotel – not very fancy, but so friendly and helpful – will come to this later. I recommend that you look up the hotels on the big hotel websites and then compare with the hotel’s own – because in Paris they are often cheaper on their own websites.

Regarding eating – you would think – Paris … great food everywhere – NO! It’s like gambling on the lottery. You read about a place that has great local reviews and you walk out with a big disappointment and an empty wallet. Have been on a couple of 3* Michelin Restaurants (haven’t been paying) and left so disappointed. Only one restaurant lived up to it’s reputation, will recommend it later – not a star restaurant.

What to do in Paris ????? What ever you fancy is there for you. Shopping to you drop – not in my sizes, neither clothes nor shoes – too big for the French market, but loads of window shopping and watching the French ladies, always so chic.

Avenue Montaigne, 8th arrondisement – a side street to Champs Élysées, or we can say it finish at Champs Élysées. This is THE STREET for high fashion – such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Fendi, Valentino and Ralhp Lauren – but also my favourite jewellery shop Bulgari (only for looking) and the beautiful famous Plaza Athénée Hotel, an other Carrie moment – where she stayed in Paris. Not many shops on Champs Élysées – mostly Mc Donalds, Automobile showrooms, couple of cafés and Lido of course.

Not a fan of maps – hate them .. really, so I bought a Garmin for our Paris trip and download their Cityxplorer – cost £10.00. Fantastic idea. Instead of having a map to fold out every time and even worst – have to fold back .. walking with this Garmin where so easy and neath. The only thing is that it’s not talking to you – while you’re on pedestrian mode. Also a bit confusing when we came to a crossing – if it showed to left – it meant going to the right. Have to hold it upside down. We learned that very quickly.

I guess I don’t have to tell you about the sights – in Paris. Use the  “Les Cars Rouges”– jump on and off, day ticket €26/£22/$34.50. Make sure you jump of for the Eiffel Tower on the stop at the corner of Ave. Paul Doumer at Trocadéro and not wait to the Eiffel Tower stop.  Because you miss the most stunning view and all the fountains – just to walk down the steps and you’re at the tower.

What I heartily recommend is the dinner cruises on Seine – really good value and the food is really good for being a tourist attraction. Stunning view, but best during the slightly darker months when all the  illuminated beautiful buildings shows better during the cruise – never been in Paris in the summer. Dinner Cruise + show  – we took it with a Lido show; €145/£121/$193 and they pick up and drive you back to your hotel for extra €15/£12.40/$19.40. You can also have the same cruise in combination with Moulin Rouge or you can do them separate – an option is dinner at the Eiffel Tower.

What I also don’t want you to miss out on – is the artist’s square, Place du Tertre – behind Sacre Coeur. A lot of tourists don’t know it’s there – still a lot of tourist there. Montmartre is my favourite district of Paris, 18e Arrondissement – with it’s hills,  small shops, narrow streets, cafes and restaurants.  From Scare Coeur you will have the most stunning views over Paris roof tops, love it up there. The little square if full of restaurants and cafes – and of course all the painters and their art, that you all can buy. Lovely place to spend some hours at.

Now to what is done very little of when in Paris – sleeping!!!

Hotel Audran
7 Rue Audran,
Sacré-Cœur /Montmartre,
75018 Paris Tél. :
+33 (0)1 42 58 79 59.
2-stars, 30 rooms – in May; €80-90/£66.00-75.00/$105.00119.00 – breakfast not included
When in Paris first time (no company party time), can’t remember what year – we where staying at Audran Hotel – just a basic hotel with a pretty courtyard – rooms very small, but that’s Paris standard. We had to walk over the bed to get to the window and the view or the courtyard, otherwise great location just below Sacre Coeur and with metro station just outside the door. Nothing wrong otherwise – never had breakfast on the hotel, we always went to a cafe up the road. Today free WiFi in all of the hotel.

Hotel Soft
52 bis rue des Vinaigriers,
75010 Paris, France
Tel: +33(0)1 46 07 93 16
3-stars, 31 rooms- ranked as #282 – very good for a small hotel like this. 3 night package, room per night €128.00-142.00/£106.00-118.00/$169.00-187.00
Breakfast €10.00/£8.30/$13.20
In 2009 we stayed at Hotel Soft, when arriving there was a hick up with our booking – we had booked twin room, but booking said – grand-lit and with only 31 rooms there was a problem, but it only took about 15 min it we had a twin room. Bathroom a bit small, but we survived. Very helpful, clean and charming hotel – just by Saint Martin Canal – very vibrant area – but don’t bring a car. Very close to Gare du Nord. We had all breakfasts at the hotel, very French – but it was okay.

Hotel Sofitel Paris La Defense
34 Cours Michelet
92060 Paris La Defense
Tel; (+33)1/47764443 5 stars; 135 rooms & 16 suites – in May: €225-295/£187.00-245.00/$296.00-389.00
Breakfast not included – Free WiFi in all of the hotel.
Stunning hotel … have only stayed in for “business” – top class and when I couldn’t find my passport the day before the departure – they helped with all the arrangements with the Swedish Embassy and taxi – where to take a photo – excellent. The best breakfast in France EVER on top of it. Plus I had an extremely bad cold while staying there, the hotel was so caring and helpful with doctor and medicine – had a very high fever and that’s why I misplaced my passport – found it in Sweden when I unpacked.

Hotel Taylor
6 rue Taylor
75010 Paris
Tel: 33(0)1 42 40 11 01
3 stars – Ranked #677 – 36 rooms,: €117.00-176.00/£97.00-146.00/£134..-232.00        Breakfast €15.00/£12.40/$19.20
Also want to recommend a little hotel I never stayed on myself – but if I go back again for some reason – I will stay here. Friends have stayed and they said it’s absolutely adorable.
Lower ranked then Hotel Soft – but they loved it and the rooms where so romantic. They where over the moon, they said that location was great – not fare from Les Halles, but the neighbourhood a bit dodgy. Plus that the beds are so comfortable.

Eating in Paris, should be easy – but NOT! Have been disappointed so many times – but I will share mine and my friends highlights.

Cafe le Bistro
32 Boulevard Magenta,
75010 Paris, France
Tel; 01 42 06 17 16
Just around the corner from Hotel Soft – on Boulevard Magenta – excellent dinner – been once – friendly staff, a bit small inside – but worth the visit and prices great. All evening with jazz. We had a great evening with great food.

51 Rue Saint Louis en l’Ile,
Paris, 75004
+33 1 43 54 78 62. – reservation necessary
One of the best meals I had in Paris, very small restaurants – maybe 25 seats on Isle St. Louis.- very busy. Had a double baked goat cheese soufflé as starter and lamb shank to die for as main. 2 very pleasant girls where running the place, but not one French person in that evening we where there. This is the restaurant that kept what it promised !!!!!

26-30 place de la Madeleine, 8e, Paris
Tel; 01-70-39-38-00
Really the most famous delicatessen /grocery shop in Europe, maybe in the world – also two restaurants; “ La Cantine” – for casual basement lunches and “Le Café” for formal dinner. All the dinners we had during our Christmas Parties – this was without any doubt the best. Their website can’t be reached by Google Chrome for some reason. The most beautiful website – you can reach through Explorer or Firefox. Can’t figure out if they still have the restaurants. The formal restaurant doesn’t come cheap if it’s still open, but fantastic food. Had a tuna starter I will never forget – main course forgotten – and a trio of 3 nutty desserts. Plates where like art. Just to visit their website all senses are on the go *smile – click here FAUCHON

Hotel Balzac
6, rue Balzac
Paris 75008
Phone: 01 58 36 12 50 – Reserve – dress code; formal
Never been here myself – but my friends went here and they are still talking about their meal they had over a year ago, but maybe where the price of their evening that make them remembering. *smile – they are big time foodies and if they say something is outstanding – it’s.

1, Rue Du Pon Neuf
75001 Paris
Tel. (0)1 40 390900
The restaurant from “Sex and City” – never been there … totally forgotten and we where sipping drinks just down the road. Something I regret today. My friends went and they said the atmosphere was amazing,– food average and service very Paris (means not the best), but I put it here because of the interior and for have to be or not been there . They booked through friend living in Paris and manage to get a table on the second floor right in front under their famous glass rooftop and with a stunning view at the Parisian scene below. Just to go and soak in the Carrie experience.

Saved the best thing to last; our favorite waterhole

Cafe le Paris Halles
41 Boulevard de Sébastopol,
75001 Paris,
+33 6 61 36 78 55 ‎
Great drinks – great people watching …. and happy hours with ½ prices. Never missed out one day. Never eaten there – no website, but found this on youtube – link here: Cafe Paris Halles . 5 great afternoons after sighting – and at least 5 drinks, some evening we didn’t make it back to the hotel for a change before dinner. Very busy place. Sorry, about the watermark in this photo – only one I could find on the net.

My friend she want to go back to Paris, but I have other places on my list before I go back – if I go back at all. It doesn’t feel like my senses need anymore of Paris.
When it comes to hotels and restaurants – I use photo’s from internet – but all others are my own. My view on and of Paris – hope you enjoy them.

Sure that you will have a different view on this magnificent city … most people have – maybe I’m a bit spoiled. As I said don’t expect things to be as the should be and don’t expect smiles everywhere … even if we got plenty. Paris is slowly changing. I THINK!!!!!!

“Lunch kills half of Paris, supper the other half”
Charles de Montesquieu

Photos provide by; travelrepublic.co.uk/paris-reservations.com/trivago.fr/
easybook.com/tripadvisor.com/ blog.anytrip.com/panoramio.com/skytours.ws/objetdeco.com/

18 thoughts on “pourquoi je n’aime pas …

  1. Oui, Paris is tres beau. This autumn my husband and I stayed in a small hotel called Hotel Caron de Beau Marchais in the 4th. Very atmospheric and evocative of old Paris. Not too pricey and the staff was very helpful.

    A bientot, Lisa, La Dolce Villa

    • Yes, Paris is beautiful city – totally agree, but … Paris is Paris and they don’t really like their visitors – even if it has become a lot better. Will check out your hotel – very Paris and lovely . Excellent ranking too #99 – will recommend it to friends. Thank you so much. By the way I like your blog – living in Italy never wrong.

  2. Oh, what a lovely post. I have never been there, but adore everything French : )

    Do you think I’ll ever be able to get on a plane back home once I visit Paris? ..

    Untill then, I’ll just be reading your posts..


    • I’m not too keen on Paris, but adore France … I know you will love Paris – you are made for that city. Only thing is that they don’t like their visitors and it’s fare too expensive for what you get and the worst bit is that you don’t know what you are getting. Paris for you is a MUST! I would rather recommend Biarritz – that you would love. Have made a post about my favorite place in the world.

  3. Ok, I take your point. I was only in Paris once, aged 20, so maybe have foolish romantic memories. I didn’t see much more than Sacre Coeur and walking, walking, Ile de la Cite, no money… not so different now. 🙂

  4. Timely post Viveka. We are staying in a quiet street in the Marais district this time. Noting down all your restaurant recommendations. Shall report back on my return 🙂

  5. No wonder why you love Chicago, Viveka. They are so much friendlier than Paris. This is another reason why I don’t like living in Florida … people aren’t friendly, also, their food is not good here like in Chicago. I do know that Paris has some awesome sights to see (and good food), like you shared here, maybe the city is improving now too. The photos are lovely.

    • I know – Chicago is so friendly. But I love France otherwise, wouldn’t mind living there. They have a great quality of life. Food in Paris, is the worst in France … you never know what you get for your money. Beautiful city, but still with a bad attitude. Chicago first class… food, people, sights …

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