Clued In Paris – The Concise and Opinionated Guide to the City
What’s inside that building over there? – May 2022
If you’ve stood in Paris’ Place de la Concorde before you may very well have asked that question yourself, like just we have. Along the north side of the infamous plaza is a columned palace of gargantuan dimensions but little explanation as to its history or purpose. Until now that is. This architectural beauty has elegant interiors to match but has spent its years as the Hôtel de la Marine, the French naval offices. Now, after a thorough steam-cleaning and a restoration of its sumptuous décor, it is now open for the enjoyment of the visiting public. We love it when we can visit a palace without even leaving the center of town! (For novices, a hôtel is not a hotel.) This glorious new sight is currently open everyday and is definitely worth your time. Find all the pertinent details at the website above.
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Yes, you really do deserve one. Grab a copy of our Clued In Paris interactive ebook today. It’s easy when you download the free Amazon Kindle app first so that your ebook “knows” where to go. This app enables you to actually read the book, turn the pages, connect to the live links, and even adjust font sizes to your preferences. It’s so fun! Note: If you already have this app on your smart phone (or have a Kindle device) then you’re all set.
A visit to Versailles just got even better – April 2022
As if the Great Stables across from the palace gates weren’t opulent enough, they now house the newly opened Gallery of Coaches. Majestic coaches both large and small, grand sedan chairs, and even petit carriages for Marie-Antoinette’s children make up this strange and wonderful collection. And it’s free to visit, even without a ticket to the Chateau de Versailles itself. Built between 1679 and 1682, the twin buildings were the best ever designed for the comfort and care of the royal steeds who lived there. The coaches on display are works of art unto themselves, lovingly carved, upholstered, and gilded by the best artisans of the day.
The new Coach Gallery (Galerie des Carrosses) is currently open on Saturdays and Sundays only from 12:30pm to 6:30pm through October 30th. It is set to reopen for the Christmas Holiday as well, and then in the spring again as a seasonal treat.
France removes Covid restrictions for American visitors – March 2022
It’s time to plan that trip to Paris! We are happy to report that France has finally removed its “health pass” requirement and lifted nearly all of its mask mandates; the only place where masks are still required is on public transportation. The inconvenient health pass was formerly required to enter all restaurants, museums, theatres, and trains.
France has suddenly eased its border restrictions as well. The US has now been re-classified as a “green” country so that fully vaccinated travelers can enter simply by showing their proof of vaccination. (Unvaccinated travelers are also welcome if they show proof of a negative Covid test taken within 48-hours of their departure.) Alternatively, travelers may show proof that they contracted Covid-19 and recovered within six months of their trip! Children under age twelve are exempt from all the entry requirements.
Grab our new “fun guide” to the French capital! March 2022
Our new companion book to Clued In Paris is finally here. Get your copy of Bored in Paris – Awesome Experiences for the Repeat Visitor before you wrap up your plans and itinerary for that trip to France. It’ll change the way you think about how you’re going to use your time while you’re here. We think it’s a must-have, even for first-timer visitors and we offer it in both paperback or eBook.
Fondue in Paris is beyond your expectations – February 2022
The coldest months just beg for warm, comforting food and nothing fits the bill like a pot of savory cheese fondue. While there are many restaurants here that specialize in it, only a handful are centrally located. Our favorite is Le Chalet Savoyard at 58 Rue de Charonne in the 11th arrondissement. This friendly restaurant will spiritually transport you and your taste buds to the French Alps and leave you sated and satisfied. They also feature raclette, the gooey, melty cheese that’s dripped over just about anything you want. If you love cheese or just want to try something fun and different, this is your place.
Plan ahead for the trip of a lifetime – January 2022
You might not think so right now, but travel will be returning in a big way and those who plan now will reap the benefits. As the pandemic fades, try to be one of the first to make a trip to Paris and enjoy it in a blissfully uncrowded way. Try making a detailed yet fluid itinerary without precise dates. Pencil in the days of the week only, noting which of your preferred sights are closed on Sundays or Mondays, etc. This will give you a basic framework on which to build your dream journey.
The more you can plan beforehand, the better it will be. At Clued In Travel Books we are big believers in having reservations at the restaurants we most desire rather than settling for our second or third choices. Dinner reservations are especially likely to fill up if not made in advance. As for the best sights, well, these must be booked ahead (due to the requirements of contactless service.) And with absolutely everyone now booking ahead, these too are more likely to sell out.
Travelers visiting our particular website probably understand this so we won’t beat a dead horse. If you are the type of traveler who likes to go somewhere with no plans or reservations in order to just see where fate takes you, we say, “Good luck and bless your heart.”
So, grab one of our travel books and peruse through it to the end. You’ll be shocked at how a city you knew nothing about is suddenly as familiar as can be. It’s almost magical.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
The folks here at Clued In Travel Books wish you and yours a wonderful and safe holiday season filled with lots of love and lots of food. If you avoid conversations about religion, politics, and mask mandates you’ll be just fine! Let’s hope we get back to some normalcy in 2022, especially in regard to travel. It’s what we live for.
All the best to all of you, Dean & Andie
Our brand new edition for 2022 is on Amazon now! – December 2021
Some things have changed in France, but much has stayed the same. We think it’s actually better than ever and are very happy to announce our brand new version of Clued In Paris for 2022. Use the link above to see its dedicated product page because it’s super-fun and has some new surprises. Let’s just call it the best one we’ve ever written!
Here’s yet another health update – December 2021
To enter France you now must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test, even if you are vaccinated. This is due to their current surge. The result can be from the rapid antigen test but must be taken within 48 hours of your flight time. (And remember, if you also end up needing a test once you are in Paris, Pharmacie Bader on Boulevard St. Michel happily accepts non-French visitors for the rapid test. The cost is around 25 euro.)
A delicious new restaurant will be featured in our upcoming 2022 Edition of Clued In Paris – November 2021
There will be a tasty refresh to our French Feasting chapter in our 2022 edition (which is already published and available now on Amazon.com.) During our October visit to the City of Lights, we were enthralled by several dining spots one of which must be revealed to our readers right now. On the left bank, not far form the Seine, is a happening little spot called Hugo & Co. It’s the creation of Chef Tomy Gousset who already has a Michelin star for his other restaurant Tomy & Co. The creative and thoughtful menu features interesting twists on European favorites such as octopus, salmon, veal, and duck all prepared in an open kitchen. Though Hugo & Co. was the winner of Best Bistro of the Year, this culinary spot could almost be described as fine dining; the attentive service and dim lighting nearly demand it. But no need to dress up if you don’t want to because everyone will feel welcome regardless. Hugo & Co. offers two seatings a night which must be confirmed ahead in order to secure a table. (Currently closed on Saturdays and Sundays.) Don’t miss it!
We just got home from Paris and this is what you need to know about Covid testing there… October 2021
If you need the health “Pass Sanitaire” and necessary QR Code but don’t know where to go, there is only one place we found that will help American tourists… and it’s quick and easy. Visit Pharmacie Bader at 10 Boulevard Saint-Michel, which is open every day. In less than 30 minutes you will have your code and be on your way for under €25.
The official Covid testing centers that have been set up in tents all around Paris will not give out the code unless you have a French cell phone. Who has that? Most pharmacies don’t even offer the testing! It’s very frustrating, so just go to this location instead and you’ll be very happy.
All of this could have been avoided of course if our French QR codes for being vaccinated had come through the official website but alas we waited 30 days to no avail. We flew here with nothing and went looking for the Covid testing right away and were lucky enough to stumble upon the pharmacy mentioned above.
IMPORTANT: For those “re-entering” the USA in the coming months- September 2021
If you’re a Covid vaccinated or antibodied American citizen and you go overseas, please know that you must still prove you are “virus free” in order to be allowed back into the United States. This can be done by showing proof of a negative Covid test that was taken within 48 hours of your departure flight home. If your test turns out to be positive for any reason (including test malfunction etc.) be prepared to quarantine in the country you were trying to leave until you test negative. (For some folks this might mean bringing a larger quantity of prescription medication, just in case!)
We are mentioning this because it is in effect now (July 2021) and few travelers seem to know about it. More information can be found on the government’s CDC website here. Look for the paragraph, “Before You Arrive in the United States”
Luckily, the Covid test is now quite easy to find at most pharmacies in Europe (not sure about elsewhere) but is not given for free to foreign travelers. You will have to pay for the test which currently ranges from around 29 euros to 47 euros. We hope this changes soon because it is clearly an overreach. American citizens should always be allowed to return home.
In Focus: Where to have breakfast if you don’t love what your hotel is offering – June 2021
For something smaller than a big breakfast, you can’t beat Au Petit Versailles du Marais, an exquisite bakery on Rue Tiron -just steps from the busy Rue de Rivoli. They have indoor and outdoor seating, and one of the best apricot croissants you ever sank your teeth into. The coffee is top notch too, making this the perfect spot to start your day, especially if you are staying in the Marais district on the Right Bank. For a similar treat on the Left Bank, we like Bertrand’s at 10 Rue Lagrange, 75005. They have a fantastic selection and make one of the best cappuccinos we’ve had in Paris. Both of these patisseries are too busy to bother with having a website and both are closed on Sundays.
Taxi Clues for Paris – March 2020
- There are fixed taxi rates between Paris and its airports… to and from the Right Bank is €53; to and from the Left Bank is €58. An extra cost for luggage handling is normal.
- Official taxis come in many colors but all of them will have a sign on top of the vehicle displaying “Taxi Parisien” that can light up, and a working meter inside showing the cost as you go. If the vehicle’s sign is lit up then it is available for hire. For your own safety DO NOT take unlicensed taxis. Pretending to be an official driver of some type is the easiest way for criminals to prey on unsuspecting tourists.
- If you call a taxi (or if your hotel or restaurant calls one for you) its meter will have started running from the moment the car started to come get you. Don’t be alarmed if you get in and already see a cost on the meter! Because it will already have the initial hire fee totaled in there, it might seem like a large sum. This is normal so don’t panic.
- Be sure to have cash on you as not all Paris taxis accept credit cards. Even when they do, the fare must be €15 or more to be allowed on a credit card.
- The general fee is €7.10 and the cost increments that follow will vary depending if it’s after 5pm or on a Sunday. They are between €1.07 per km. and €1,58 per km. In addition, there will be extra fees for groups larger than three people, and large items at the rate of €1 per piece.
- No tip is expected.
- Paris taxis will stop if you hail them, providing they are available of course. If no taxis seem to want to stop for you, it might be because you’re hailing them within a close distance of an official taxi queue. If you believe you might be near one of these then you had best go and look for it. Here is a list to help you find one:
Locations – Paris Taxi Queues: