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Have you spent a month living in Paris?

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Have you spent a month living in Paris?

If you have spent a month living in Paris, what all did you do during that month? Did you spend time traveling to neighboring areas/countries as well or stay in Paris the whole time? Did you go to all of the touristy sights and spend the rest of the time wandering around? I'm curious! I plan to do this next year and I know the month will go by so quickly. I just want to make sure I don't get home afterward and think "I wish I would have done _____ or gone to _____." Did any of you go alone? I will (most likely) be going alone and I want my days to be full, rather than sitting in an apartment eating baguettes! I'm on the fence about spending 4 weeks in Paris or spending 1 week in 4 different European towns. It seems like having a "home base" in Paris and making day trips would definitely save money as far as housing goes, but then I would be spending money on train tickets. So much to think about! Let me know if you have any advice on how you've done it.

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11. Re: Have you spent a month living in Paris?

Yes, I’ve spent 5 - month long visits to Paris. Each in a different arrondissement, a different apartment and, I travelled alone. Loved it! Being there. Especially, the time to breathe, to savour, to have the luxury of…oh, maybe I’ll go tomorrow, or next week. But, even now I think why didn’t I do this or that! It would take years for me to experience ‘all of Paris’. Each day was rich and full and really, I only stayed home perhaps one day out of each month, exhausted!

I love Paris and think it is so unique that I suggest that you spend the month there and perhaps take a day trip or two, maybe even once a week? I did this and it was fabulous (ie: a Champagne day in Rheims and Epernay, Auvers-sur-Oise, Giverny etc.) There are wonderful options to fit each mood. You can take tours (ie Cityrama) but, the train fares are really not that expensive if you do it yourself. The best book I have read to date re: day trips is: Paris to the Past: Travelling through French History by Train, by Ina Caro. She writes an historical essay and details how to reach each destination, 25 day trips.

Beautiful Paris is more than enough for me. If you rent an apartment, this will immediately put you in a special state of being. If it is your first visit, the key tourist ‘things to do’ may be a given, or not. For this month, you will have your own neighborhood which will provide hours of delightful exploration. You may choose to eat ‘at home’ and thus you have the perfect reason to explore the Paris markets. Most mornings I’d begin the day at home with coffee, mulling over a rough plan, which could change in five hot seconds. Then, I’d head to the ‘chosen area’ and perhaps, begin with a coffee and croissant. Lunch was often the main meal for me and there are exceptional values to be found with the ‘formule’, ‘menu’. But, I would still eat dinners out, 2-3 nights, then, one luscious meal at home with bounty from the days’ market. I liked being around other people and sometimes had great conversations with other diners. This all depends on who you are as a person. A woman dining alone in Paris is treated beautifully, whatever her age.

Essentially, I love to walk, have un café ou un verre du vin and enjoy the day to day moments… take photographs, sketch, love the flea markets (especially Puces des Clignancourt and Vanves), spend time with the bouquinistes, the glorious museums, the parks, the Canal Saint Martin, enjoyed the inexpensive Batobus, long, long walks along the Seine, cemetaries,…Well…..there is so much! With each subsequent visit I ventured further into arrondissements that I knew little about. Most special…I met with a few Parisians that I had met on the forums and this totally enhanced my visits. Trust yourself and be open.

Sometimes I was a bit lonely, but was for me it was ‘out of time, out of place’ and I felt at home and happy.

The day of arrival I buy the weekly Metro Pass for bus and metro. The buses are fabulous! If you are exhausted from walking, hop on a bus and just ride to the end. Ie: The #69 is great.

Each Wed. at the newspaper stands you can buy a copy of Pariscope for only .50euro. This will tell you everything that is going on in Paris for the week.

It may be a good idea to build in some ‘formal’ events so that you are not spending all of your time alone. You don’t mention if you speak French at all, or to what degree. My French is minimal and sometimes I feel a need to be with others that I could talk to in English every now and then. (I spent 90% of my time with French speakers). Some ideas,

Meeting the French,

…meetingthefrench.com/category/tours-and-exp…

Good and inexpensive walking tours,

http://www.paris-walks.com/

Cheap and wonderful, Paris Greeters, http://www.parisgreeters.fr/?lang=en

A cooking course, half day, or lunch, boston.com/lifestyle/…

You will never be the same after a month in Paris.

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12. Re: Have you spent a month living in Paris?

So true and beautifully put, Jazz.

Paris did change my life in so many ways. Still does and will.

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13. Re: Have you spent a month living in Paris?

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! To answer your questions- I am thinking of going for the month of June 2014 and don't speak french, but am about to start learning. The cost of coming all the way over from the States definitely pushes me to want to get the most possible out of my trip. I'm not fully decided but I think having Paris as my "home base" sounds best, with a few short trips mixed in. Although I'm not wanting to stay in all day, I do want to shop the markets and cook at home quite a bit...maybe work through a cookbook. It would just be nice to have a balance between that type of visit and one where I feel like I've seen/done a lot. Sounds like I should just show up and let Paris suck me in instead of trying to plan it!

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14. Re: Have you spent a month living in Paris?

fhbrooks...I am sure with your approach you will have a great time.

Now for the important, but mind blowing bit......apartment hunting!. Start now for June 2014. The best ones get snapped up quickly. and believe me you will be dreaming about apartments by the time you have finished!

Denise

love from England.

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15. Re: Have you spent a month living in Paris?

Adored Paris so much we bought an apartment near rue du Bac. Make a list, your must sees, museums, music stuff etc. Take time out to eat a baquette in your place. For me near the Seine, plus quiet was really important. Love sitting inside listening to the soft rain over an espresso. Paris has 20 arrondissements, you could base yourself in one each day and see all there is to see there.

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16. Re: Have you spent a month living in Paris?

Denise,

I have definitely started looking for apartments! A lot of places I found within my price range (about 1150 euro) aren't accepting reservations this far in advance. One website I found does, but I couldn't find any apartments on that one to meet my needs. Any ideas?

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17. Re: Have you spent a month living in Paris?

fh, I have to ask if you have spent any time in Paris already. You didn't say. Someone who had visited Paris even once or twice, for a few days, and liked it, might be well advised to spend a longer time. Someone who had not, might be disappointed. Some people who like Paris don't love it that much.

My wife spent a full month there fairly recently. She knew what she wanted to do, day by day, and was happy. Personally, on a month's trip, I'd be more inclined to spend two weeks in Paris, and a week each somewhere else.

-- Steve

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18. Re: Have you spent a month living in Paris?

<<It would just be nice to have a balance between that type of visit and one where I feel like I've seen/done a lot.>>

In that case, I think YakkinYeti has a great suggestion - <<Personally, on a month's trip, I'd be more inclined to spend two weeks in Paris, and a week each somewhere else.>>

A week is still ALOT of time to spend in a location. You definitely won't be rushing any sightseeing, I'd call it a "light meal" vs. overeating ;-))))).

Also, in June, maybe you'd enjoy a more summery destination - like the countryside in Spain (which is gorgeous!) or Greece....Personally, a month in a busy city during the summer would be too much for me....

<<Some people who like Paris don't love it that much.>>

That's a great point too. Also, when you stay in one place for that long, it is easier to get lonely/homesick then if you're stimulated with new sights.

But it does all come down to personal preference. So you have to think of what you want to get out of this trip! If you do decide on a month in Paris, I highly recommend two/three overnight trips to the countryside - 1) it is beautiful 2) it's easier to appreciate capital cities when you compare them to the more peaceful surroundings.

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19. Re: Have you spent a month living in Paris?

Is that 1150 Euros for a week?

20. Re: Have you spent a month living in Paris?

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