Woman traveling alone in Paris, Jan 2003

Old Nov 13th, 2002, 10:45 AM
  #1  
Lindybeth
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Woman traveling alone in Paris, Jan 2003

At 26, I have decided to have my first adventure by myself! I will be traveling Paris as a first time visitor in Jan 2003 before continuing on to Nice for a business meeting. I'll be staying at the Hotel de Fleurie for 3 nights. Is the staff at this hotel helpful with restaurant recommendations, arranging tours, etc.? I was wondering about the safety of the area, especially at night, for a woman by herself. Also, will I feel really out of place eating alone in Paris restaurants? I think I am going to take a taxi from the airport (CDG) to the hotel, but is it really expensive to travel alone in a taxi? Thanks!
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 10:56 AM
  #2  
Christina
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That's a good choice of hotel because it's in a busy, central area, and a higher-end hotel, so you should have no worries on any point. It's very busy around there at night so is safe unless you plan on being out in the middle of the night, perhaps (I mean long past midnight). I haven't stayed at that hotel so can't comment specifically on their staff. If you are only there a couple days, you shouldn't need to arrange any tours as that's within walking distance of many main tourist attractions as it is.

I don't imagine you'll feel out of place eating alone if you are used to doing that in other large cities; if you have rarely done it at all, you probably will. There are tons of tourists around that location, though, and a lot of Americans, so I expect you won't feel too alone.

Taxis aren't that expensive in Paris in comparison to many cities; I prefer to take one even when alone for the ease and convenience and time-saving, I'd much rather save on other things. It should cost about 40 euro from CDG to that hotel.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 10:58 AM
  #3  
Grasshopper
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As a frequent solo traveller, I think Paris is a relatively easy place to be alone. Taxis cost the same for one person or 3. You might want to consider a shuttle (www.parishuttle.com) to save a little money.

As for dining, pick a cafe where you can people watch and you won't feel awkward at all. I've walked around at night alone and didn't feel uncomfortable. Have a great time.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 11:09 AM
  #4  
RnR
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You are in a perfect location - near Odean Metro station. I think that is one of Paris' most interesting, fun areas. You may bump into some leftover lost generationers from the early 20s. May I suggest a restaurant or two, not too far away - courtesy of the Paris Cheap eats book. In the 6th, where you are, Chez Maitre Paul - four of us dined here a year ago, and loved it (12, rue Monsieur-le-Prince). In the 7th, Bistrot Le P'Tit Troquest (28, rue de L'Exposition) and Le Petit Nicois (10, rue de Amelie) - the bouillabaise is wonderful, with a red, St. Joseph. Send youi hotel an email and request they telephone for your reservations - important to have them before you depart. Have a wonderful time! And go hang out late one night at Deux Magots - touristy, yes, but have a pernod and water, and send a toast our way.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 11:10 AM
  #5  
RnR
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whoops, Odeon Metro station.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 11:20 AM
  #6  
Rich
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The Fleurie is one of our favorites. Staff is very friendly and helpful. They arranged several tours for us and they did a good job.

The area is full of small restruants on little streets all around the hotel. The area is fairly busy, so I doubt you will be noticed by yourself.

You are within easy walking distance to almost anything to see in Paris and between two Metro stations and bus stops.

Easiest way to get to the hotel is a taxi, will cost around $40. Taxis are reasonable and easy to catch. Busses are everywhere and run often. I usually avoid the Metro because you can't see anything from them, but they are nice to move quickly from one side of town to the other.

January will usually be pretty cool so dress in layers and carry an umbrella. Outside dining or drinking will be less available than in warmer months, but you will find some with heaters.

Search for "Paris" here and you will find many helpful hints.

Enjoy . . Rich
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 11:20 AM
  #7  
Bree
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First of all, congratulations on your adventurous spirit! I'm not familiar with the hotel you mention, so I'll confine myself to your other questions. Eating alone in a Paris restaurant is pretty much the same as eating alone in a restaurant in a big U.S. city, like New York (I've done it in both places), so if you know how you feel about eating alone here, you'll probably feel the same way about doing it in Paris. Remember that a good restaurant will always make you feel welcome, whether you're alone or in company, and if they don't make you feel welcome, you can always get up and leave. Having said that, however, I can certainly understand how someone (especially someone of your tender years) might feel uncomfortable about eating alone. If you're not comfortable about it, you might want to eat at a restaurant where everyone eats at a big communal table. That way, you're pretty much guaranteed to fall into a conversation with whoever is sitting next to you -- which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who it is, but at worst will provide you with an amusing travel story for your friends back home. I know of two Paris restaurants like that: Polidor, in the 6th, and Trumilou, in the 4th. The food at both places is basic bistro fare: nothing spectacular, but a decent meal at a reasonable price.

As for the price of a taxi, the last time I took a taxi from CDG into central Paris, we ran into horrendous traffic, so it took over an hour and a half to get to my hotel in the 7th. As a result, the fare on the meter was close to 60 euros. However, I think that situation was the exception, rather than the rule, and under normal circumstances a taxi ride should cost under 50 euros.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 11:21 AM
  #8  
Rich
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One other thing . . the hotel is really good about answering e-mail so don't be shy about asking them anything.

Rich
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 11:46 AM
  #9  
RnR
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A few thoughts: as Rich suggested, email your hotel, ask them to help you, for anything. If you have an overnight flight to Paris/CDG, let them know what time yopu'll arrive at the hotel - eprhaps they'll have your room ready when you get there.

In restaurants, including the Cheap Eats place, lots of english spoken, and you'll find Americans there - you will not be eating alone, lol. And people talk to one another across tables.

The taxi in from CDG is the way to do it. Clearing Customs is fast - and nect thing, there are the taxis. Won't take you more than 30 minutes or so.

One decent guidebook - an easy one, especially in the areas you're likely to want to visit - Access. Lays it al out for you. You may wish to focus on these arrondiements: 7-6-5 and 4-1-8 areas, plus Montmartre.

Remember: the year 2000 bordeaux reds are "the wines of the century" - imbibe, please. They are silky, soft, ready to lay down or to drink.

have a great time!
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 12:12 PM
  #10  
Melissa
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I would also like to congratulate you on this fabulous adventure. I posted a while ago on my first solo Euro adventure, which I took in May. At the time, I wrote that while there were many advantages, the one time I felt lonely was at mealtime. However, now that I have done it, I feel so much more comfortable on subsequent solo trips. So even if you DO feel out of place at first, chin up. You will get used to it and be a better person for it!

On that trip, I liked eating in the area near Rue St. Dominique and Ave. Rapp. My warmest dining memory from that trip was at Sancerre (on Ave. Rapp), a homey bar that serves food & wine from that region. They do not speak much English at all but made me feel very much at home.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 01:17 PM
  #11  
Rich
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A second on Sancerre . . and it is right around the corner from your hotel!

We did not need a reservation last November, but it would not hurt to have one.

Rich
 
Old Nov 13th, 2002, 04:45 PM
  #12  
Top
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ttt
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 06:22 AM
  #13  
Lindybeth
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Thanks everyone for taking the time to post all of your great suggestions and support! Believe it or not, I actually have never eaten at a restaurant by myself before (either here in the States or traveling abroad)! Thanks Bree for the great suggestion of the restaurants with a 'communal table'!

I was wondering if there was a particular room that I should request at the Fleurie with a nice view. Low volume streetnoise not a problem for me, it's part of the Parisian experience for me!

Thanks again!
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 06:29 AM
  #14  
jenviolin
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If you want to find company for a meal or excursion, you might want to post a message on the Virtual Tourist website (www.VirtualTourist.com) - people do it there often and seem to hook up with others fairly easily. The average age seems to be a bit younger on their Forum than here. You have to join but it's free and the site is worth it!
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 06:30 AM
  #15  
Caro
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Hotel de Fleurie is a charming place. But please, don't expect a great view. It's on a very narrow street and rooms facing the courtyard won't give you much view either. Anyway, it's a very good choice and you won't have problems in that area. Usually, it's crowded till late at night.
Don't miss the new Laduree branch on 21, rue Bonaparte for tea or a light lunch. Their macaroons are a real must.
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 06:55 AM
  #16  
laurie
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Lindybeth
What better way of getting to know a new place than to join an organisation called Women Welcome Women Worldwide. They have almost 3000 members in 79 countries and for a modest annual subscription you get listings directory and newsletters. You could then contact a woman who lives in Paris and maybe get some unusual aspect/view of the city.
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 08:47 AM
  #17  
Rich
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Caro is right about the view . . I've stayed in four rooms and none had any view to speak of.

Rich
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 06:02 PM
  #18  
tjc
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Re:airport transportation I don't remember the costs involved, but I do remember is was much cheaper than a taxi all the way - and not long in time - I took the Airport bus shuttle which stops along the perimeter of the Arc de Triomphe ,and then took a taxi(that was waiting curbside) to my hotel.
 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 06:51 AM
  #19  
Ira
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Hi Lindybeth,

Out of curiosity I looked for shuttle service from CDG to Paris. It is less expensive for one person than a taxi.

Try
http://www.airport-shuttle-paris.com/
 
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