City Extras: Paris

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Clued In Paris – The Concise and Opinionated Guide to the City

Grab the new 2022 edition here

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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!

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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:

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