Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paris pass

Paris is a gorgeous City, it's a mixing of history, culture and modernity. The Paris Pass was created like a solution to allow travelers to save money during their vacation in Paris-France.

Between the transportation (metro, funiculaire, bus, rer...) and visiting all the attractions, it can cost a lot. The pass includes:

1) A Paris Museum Pass
You have a free entrance to over 60 most well-known museums, monuments, tourist attractions in Paris.

2) The Paris Attraction Pass
Free entry to Paris' most famous attractions (example a Seine River Cruise, Musée Grévin, Tour Montparnasse...).

3) The Paris Visit Pass
You have free and unlimited access on the buses, metro, RER in Paris (zone 1-3).

4) Paris Bus Tour
is also included in the Paris Pass, you will be able to unlimitedly use your ticket for the Paris City  Tour by ''the cars rouges'' for a period of 2 consecutive days. You are free to hop-on and off at any of the stops* and take the next one. You will have gorgeous views of Paris from the top floor of the buses. You will receive headphones for the recorded commentary (French, English, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, German, Japanese and Russian) when you use your ticket the first time. The ''cars rouges''  run every day of the year.
*Tour Eiffel -Champs de Mars -Musée du Louvre -Musée d'Orsay
Opéra -Champs Elysées - Etoile -Grand Palais -Trocadéro

5) A 120 page guidebook
It's a well documented guide which gives you all of the sights and landmarks in Paris, it includes also a map and directions as well as helpful tips and hints.

6) Special offers
Exclusive offers at restaurants and shops in Paris.

7) 100 % money-back guarantee with your Paris Pass.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Basilica of Montmartre- pratical informations

The Basilica of Sacred heart is free entry.
Opening Times:

The basilisa is open every day of the year, from 6am to 10:30pm, except during specials events. The last entry is until 10:15pm

You can also visit the dome from 9am to 7pm (6pm for the winter) and the crypt (opening times vary) for a small fee.

To go to the Basilica of Sacred-Heart you have numerous possibilities :

By the Montmartrobus - this bus runs from the Pigalle place to the city hall of Paris 18th borough, from 7h30 to 19h50, around every 12 minutes. You can stop to ''place du tertre-norvins''.
By the métro:
*line 12 (jules Joffrin stop) + Montmartrobus (place du tertre stop)
*line 12 or line 2 (pigalle stop) + Montmartrobus (norvins stop)
*line 12 (abbesses stop) + funiculaire.
*line 2 (anvers stop) + funiculaire.

By bus: 30, 31, 80 et 85 (arrive at the bottom of the hill).

By walking:
around 20 minutes to join the top.

By the lift:
For disabled people there is a lift located 35, rue du Chevalier de la Barre.

By the small train of Montmartre: every day from 10am to 6pm (nocturne for the summer)- cost : 6€ adults and 3.5€ for children. The starting place is ''place blanche''
I'ts a 40 minutes commented tour (french and english) around some important places.

By the funiculaire of Montmartre, opened from 6h15am to 0h45am, 7 days on 7.

Besides the wonderful visit, the Basilica of Sacred-Heart will also give you a paradisiacal plunging view of Paris.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Basilica of Montmartre- History

History of the Sacred-Heart basilica of Montmartre

The Basilica of Montmartre is located in a hill inside Paris, its location has always been a place of cult. Firstly with Gauls cults, also with Gallo-romans cults dedicated to ''Mercury'' and ''Mars''.
It became a place for christian cult after the martyr of the bishop Denis during the second century AD.

1870 was a terrible year for France, war, cold and hunger so a feeling of going back to faith appeared. Two men  Alexandre Legentil and his brother-in-law Hubert Rohault de Fleury then made a vow to built a basilica. For them the problems that France was undergoing was more spiritual than political. The idea was to build a basilica to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was a devotion to the Jesus' heart in penitence for sins.
The 24 of july 1873, a law of public utility regarding the chuch was passed, allowed the Archbishop of Paris to acquire the land on the butt of Montmartre by expropriation if necessary.

The cost of the basilica construction have fully been paid for by national subscriptions. Each subscriber had an engraved piece of stone with his name on the basilica, when you watched closely it's possible to see on the stones of the church the subcribers' names. 
Around 10 millions people contributed financially to the building of the Sacred heart of Montmartre on a period of almost 50 years. 

The architect chosen Paul Abadie won the competition to build the basilica. The construction started in 1875 and lasted until 1914. However the interior decoration ended in 1923. Paul Abadie, died in 1884, and never saw the dedication of the Sacred-Heart basilica of Montmartre in 1919.       

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Louvre Museum- Entrance

The Louvre Museum offers 4 entrances:
-The Pyramid entrance
-The Gallerie du Carrousel
-The Passage Richelieu 

-The Porte des Lions entrance

There are various cases and  things can be treacherous if you don't know what entrance to take: 

1- If you bought your ticket by phone with the Museum, you can pick it at the entrance (Pyramid entrance).If you bought it by one of the Museum Louvre partners (you have to check with them the different modalities to receive your museum ticket), you can't pick the ticket at the museum, and you must use the Passage Richelieu entrance.  

2- The Passage Richelieu entrance is for tickets holders, visitors who benefit from free admission, Friends of the Louvre, holders of the different carte Louvre (Louvre card), visitors who are members of partners organizations or companies.

3- The ticket holders (membership or visitors with advanced ticket) can enter the museum by the Gallerie du Carrousel, Passage Richelieu and the Porte des Lions entrances.

          4- Visitors without advance ticket or special pass must use the Pyramid, Gallerie du Carrousel and Porte des lions entrances of the Museum. 

          5- For disabled visitors and visitors with mobility impairments, they have the priority for the Pyramid entrance, they don't need to do the queue, they also have the priority for the other entrances.

          6- For groups, they can use either the Gallerie du Carrousel or Richelieu entrance of the Louvre. However for adults groups who have their own lecturer or guide, they can also use the Pyramid entrance after 6pm (the passage Richelieu is closed at 6pm).
          Related articles:

          The Louvre Museum - Tricks to know

          The Louvre Museum welcomes 8.5 millions guests. So sometimes, to enter the Museum it can be tricky, it's better to have some tricks if you want to avoid the long queue of the entrance.

          Generally the peak traffic is between 11am and 16pm, and it's worse during the school holidays. It can be a good idea to come before 11am, you will avoid a long queue and have more time to visit the museum.

          Also, there are some entrances, to name it, the ''Porte des lions entrance'' which is less frequented, so  the queue is shorter, instead of going by the ''Pyramide entrance''. Remember also that the ''Porte des lions'' entrance is closed on Friday.

          You can also buy your ticket online with the Museum Louvre partners:
          -Ticketweb - by typing ''Louvre museum'' you will have all the information regarding mailing (only for the USA) , the Museum tariff, and the different exhibitions, the site is in english.
          -Fnac- it's a good sit you can print your ticket, but it's in the french language.
          -Ticketnet- difficult to understand, it's in french for the most part.
          You can't pick up your ticket that you bought in advance in the museum, you have to check with the partner the condition of obtaining the ticket.

          You can buy ticket outside the Louvre, in some stores (Fnac, Carrefour, Extrapole, Le Bon Marché, Printemps, Géant Casino, Madisson Nuggets, Paroles et Musiques, Leclerc, Auchan, Cora, Cultura, Mediastore, Galeries Lafayette, Virgin Mégastore...).

          There are also some collections that every body wants to see, for example the Mona Lisa painting, the Vénus de Milo statue or the Nike of Samothrace sculpture, so it can be crowded sometimes and you can feel overwhelmed and stressed by the crowd.

          There are some aisles less crowded than others, some rooms less crowded also. So you can enjoyed your visit better.
          It can be a choice to do, famous and crowded or enjoyed your time.

          Be aware also that the rooms begins closing 30 minutes before the closing time of the Louvre Museum. And be aware also that some rooms of the Louvre Museum can be closed due to staff shortages, a yearly calendar lists the rooms closed for each day of the week.

          Related articles:

          The Louvre Museum- General informations

          Here are some general informations about the Louvre:The Louvre Museum Louvre is the most visited museum on the world, and is ranked number 1 in France. It's located in Paris and hosted 8.5 millions of visitors each year, in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
          • Hours and days of opening:
          -every day except on Tuesday and on december 25, january 1 and may 1-
          -from 9am to 6pm, except on friday and wednesday: 9am to 10pm.
          • Entrance
          You will have the choice between several entrances:
          - Pyramid and Galerie du Carrousel entrances: from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
          - Passage Richelieu entrance: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
          - Porte des Lions entrance: from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. except on Friday.
          • Free entrance or reduced rate
          The admission to the Museum Louvre is free on the first Sunday of every month and on July 14 (national holiday). It's free for those under 18 years old, free for students under 26 years old, disabled visitors and their helpers, and for some groups of people.  
          • The entrance fee
          It costs 10 euros- the ticket gives you full entrance to the Louvre (except for the temporary exhibitions and for the Eugène Delacroix museum). To be able to see the temporary exhibition it will be 11 euros, and if you want to access not only the permanent collection, temporary exhibitions but also the Eugène Delacroix Museum, it will cost you 14 euros.

          You may pick a map and you will have the different indications.
          You can also have access to a multimedia guide to help your during the visit, it will cost you around 6€ more, for an adult.

          Because of the size of the museum, you can't see all the arts, painting, collections, sculptures, exhibitions in one day. You may feel also overwhelmed and confused. So try to plan everything in advance.

          You can also take pictures (with no flash), and for your comfort, wear comfortable shoes for not to have to suffer during the long visit of the Louvre.

          Related articles:

          Thursday, March 24, 2011

          Eiffel Tower informations- part 3

          Eiffel Tower picsHere you will find some Eiffel Tower informations to help you during your visit.

          You may be aware that depending on the weather, some levels may be closed, so it's better to check the weather before buying a ticket.

          Also, you can buy your ticket online until the day before visiting the Tower Eiffel, if you are concern about the weather. Buying it earlier increase your chance to go the day that you desire. So you will have to juggle between the weather, the availability dates and your availability.

          One other thing to know, if you like skating, between december and february, it's possible to ice-skate on the first floor of the Tower Eiffel, at 57 meters (187 feet) above Paris. You will lended the skate (it's free).

          Beside wonderful views, you will find also and depending on the level, souvenir shops (floor, first and second floor), buffet, restaurant, champagne bar, animations.
          On the third floor, you will have a gorgeous view of Paris and will be able to take amazing pictures.

          If you want to have some nice pictures of the Tower Eiffel, while visiting Paris, when you get out of the Paris metro line 6 or the Paris metro line 9, at the Trocadéro station, you follow all the directions indicated.

          Below are some pictures of the Tower Eiffel:

          Direction from the Paris metro line 6 and Paris metro line 9

          Paris metro station

          Paris metro station trocadéro

          Different views of the tower Eiffel

          Eiffel Tower pics

          Eiffel Tower pics

          Eiffel Tower pics

          The Trocadéro station offers one of the best views of the tower Eiffel.
          1- 2

          Related articles:
          -The Eiffel tower
          -The Eiffel tower (entrance ticket)

          Wednesday, March 23, 2011

          The Eiffel Tower or La Tour Eiffel - part 1

          The Tower Eiffel or Tour Eiffel was inaugurated the 31st of march 1889 and was built by Gustave Eiffel for  the 1889 World's Fair, which celebrated the first century of the French revolution.

          It was a prowess not only technically but also architecturally and technologically, despite the fact that it stands criticisms during the 2 years, 2 months and 5 days of the construction.

          The Tower Eiffel was built originally for 20 years but the fact that it was used for  communications purposes prevented it to be dismantled. And today, it's among the firsts (if not the first) payed monument in the world with 7 millions visitors per year.

          Brief technical description of the Tower Eiffel:

          The number of stairs: 1665
          Height: 1,063 feet
          Number of floor: 3
          Elevators: 7

          The ''Tour Eiffel'' under construction (August 21, 1888), it's the building of the second platform.

          The Eiffel Tower is listed as historical monument since June 24, 1964 and is listed as World Heritage by UNESCO since 1991, along with other monuments in Paris.
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          Related articles:
          -The Eiffel tower (entrance ticket)
          -The Eiffel tower-practical informations

          Tuesday, March 22, 2011

          The Tower Eiffel ticket- part 2

          The Towel Eiffel ticket tariff depends on a lot of parameters (the age, physical mobility of the visitor, the level you want to reach, if you plan about using the stairs instead of the escalator). You can buy it online or on the ticket office locally.

          On the 1rst of april 2011, the tariff are as follows:

          A lift entrance ticket with access to the summit:

          Youth (12-24):11.8€
          Child (4-11)/ Disabled person/ Person assisting a disabled visitor:9.3€
          Baby - 4 years old:0€

          A lift entrance ticket:

          With this ticket, you have access only to the first and second floor of the Tower Eiffel via the lift.
          Adult:8.2 €
          Youth (12-24):6.6 €
          Child (4-11)/ Disabled person/ Person assisting a disabled visitor:4.1€
          Baby - 4 years old:0 €

          Stairs entrance ticket: 

          With this ticket, you have access only to the first and second floor of the Tower Eiffel.
          Adult:4.7 €
          Youth (12-24):3.70 €
          Child (4-11)/ Disabled person/ Person assisting a disabled visitor: 3.2 €
          Baby - 4 years old:0 €

          To avoid the long queue, it's better to buy the ticket online (until 1 day before visiting), however you can't buy online the ''stairs entrance ticket'', you have to do it locally.
          After choosing the ticket, you will have also to pick a day and a time. You will be presented the dates available closest to your choice, if the date that you chose is not available.

          To enter in the Tower Eiffel, you will need your e-ticket (with a code bar) that you can print or transfer on your cell phone.

          To have more information you can check the official website of the Tower Eiffel.

          The tariff may vary each year, I will do my best to update all the informations regarding the Tour Eiffel ticket tariff.

          Related articles:
          -The Eiffel tower
          -The Eiffel tower-practical informations
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