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Welcome 2 France Newsletter May 2008
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Weak Dollar? Not that Big of a Problem in Paris!

Many travelers today are questioning the wisdom of visiting Paris while the U.S. dollar remains weak against the Euro. The media is full of scary stories about how little the dollar will buy in the European Union.

Bottom line is that they are instilling unnecessary fear in many people as to whether or not to travel now, or later. Paris is the perfect travel destination just as it always has been.

American tourists who dare to come to Paris, despite media-inflamed fears, are finding a city
welcoming them with open arms. You can see and 'do' Paris without going bankrupt. It's all a matter of how you approach the situation.

May in Paris offers excellent weather, fewer tourist crowds than Summertime and cheaper air fares. It is always less expensive to travel during "shoulder season" which is that time just before, and just after, the more expensive high season, or during holidays. Shop online through the many airfare websites that sell cheaper tickets for the best rate.

Renting an apartment is less expensive than staying in a hotel, especially since you have a kitchen and can eat in restaurants less often. All of the apartments have fully equipped kitchens ready for you to create a true Parisian feast, after visiting one of the many street food markets. Creating your own 'haute cuisine' after shopping in one of the many Parisian food markets is an experience no hotel-renter can enjoy. offers many apartments with several bedrooms so that you can travel with friends and family. Sharing the apartment rental expense with others will make your U.S. dollars go quite a bit further by cutting the biggest budget item of any trip - where you sleep - in half.

With each group having their own bedroom, and often their own bathroom, privacy is affordable. Both the Luxury Longchamps apartment in the 16th Arrondissment and the Saint-Germain-des-Pres-Varenne apartment in the 7th Arrondissment would be great choices for sharing space and rental costs. Both have two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

If there are to be three people in your party, the Montorgueil-Saint Sauveur 2 in the 2nd Arrondissement is for you. Since all of the welcome2france apartments are in great locations, you have no worries about being well-situated in Paris, no matter which apartment fits your needs.

Cooking and eating together adds to the fun - and is very budget-conscience. Just choose the floorplan that best suits your group. There are dozens to choose from.

You cannot visit a city more affordable than Paris when it comes to local transportation costs and museum entry fees. The Metro passes are unbelievably inexpensive and will allow you unlimited use of all forms of transport to the entire city.

Fourteen national museums and monuments have stopped charging admission fees until July 1. Many of them are among the top Parisian sights. It is entirely possible to never pay a dime to see top-caliber museums.

You can buy a Museum Pass that will allow you unlimited visits to over 60 museums and monuments. This is a fabulous bargain. The pass comes in three choices: 2 days for € 30,00. 4 days for € 45,00 or 6 days for € 60,00. Using the Pass enables you to skip the long ticket lines (saving your valuable vacation time) and you have unlimited visits to each institution . Normal entry fees range from € 6,00 - 13,50. After using your Pass a mere three times, it pays for itself. More info at

Even buying a cup of café on Avenue de la Champs-Elysees can be daunting when faced with the tab at one of the more expensive restaurants (up to € 7,50 per cup). However, Paris has an answer for this, too. You can enjoy a cup of coffee on the world's most famous and expensive avenue in the world by patronizing the Brioche Doree, instead. You can sit in an upstairs window seat and enjoy the promenade on the avenue with the same view as the more expensive locations on the Champs and pay only € 2,10 for your cafe creme.

For € 1,50, you can ride Bus 69 across Paris from east to west and see the Eiffel Tower, Ecole Militaire (where Napoleon learned his military moves), Les Invalides (his tomb), the Louvre, Ile de la Cite (center of Paris), Ile St. Louis, Hotel-de-Ville (city hall), the Pompidou, Marais, Bastille and Pere Lachaise cemetery.

If you have a Carte Orange Pass, you can hop on/off at any stop. No need to spend $30.00 a seat for the tourist bus rides which follow the same route. You will really enjoy this ride at night when all the buildings, bridges and monuments are beautifully lit. Read about the Carte Orange in our March, 2008, newsletter. Please refer to our March, 2008 issue

Your vacation in Paris does not have to be postponed due to the fear of the weak dollar if you adjust your travel plans to make it work. There are 5 basic cost considerations to every vacation: Airfare, local transportation, sleeping/eating, sightseeing and shopping.

To Cut Costs in Paris:
1. The biggest ticket item is where you sleep. That's easily handled by renting an apartment from Sharing the rent with friends or family will save even more. To further ease your mind, consider purchasing cancellation insurance. Note the reference to such a policy on the Home Page of our website.

2. Eating in, instead of dining out, will save even more cash. (Although, you must enjoy some restaurant meals in this haute cuisine capital!) Shopping in local street food markets and grocery stores affords you, not only large savings, but also the opportunity to live like a local during your stay. Having a fully equipped kitchen in your own apartment equals huge savings.

3. Take advantage of the ultra-cheap local transportation system, which also just happens to be the best in the world. It is fast, efficient, effective and costs you pennies a day. An absolutely unheard of bargain. Check out the Metro passes for best ticket buys.

4. See world-class museums - many for free; others very cheap with the Pass - visit the most gorgeous parks in all of Europe (free) or take local bus rides (in addition to Bus 69, also try Bus 24, 63 and 87) in lieu of the expensive city tour bus trips.

5. Spend an afternoon with a cup of coffee (tres Parisian) sitting in a sidewalk café. Chain outlets (like Brioche Doree, Le Croissanterie, Pomme de Pain, etc.) have chairs on the same famous rues that the most expensive restaurants have - yet offer cups of coffee at far lower prices. One of the quintessential Parisian experiences, coffee at a sidewalk cafe, is one of the best bargains in Paris.

6. Airfares go up during summertime and other peak travel seasons. Whenever U.S. schools are on vacation is usually the time airfares rise. Avoid holiday periods for best rates. Timing and shopping the ticket websites is the key to the best airfare bargain.

7. Shopping in Paris can really break a budget. Little shops like La Vaissellerie, big department stores like H & M (Swedish) and unique shops like the RATP Boutique (Chatelet-les-Halles Metro station) or the E. Dehilleran cookware store can give you a big bang for your buck. The best souvenir you can take home from Paris is a ton of photographs - very inexpensive with a basic digital camera.

There's really no reason to skip a trip to Paris. If the weak dollar is an issue for you, try following our suggestions to ease your mind. It would be a true shame to miss the City of Light and all its treasures and adventures because of fear.

No one should ever consider, even for a moment, not visiting Paris - especially when it can be easily affordable....just take advantage of our little secrets to savings.

Jean E. Arnevick. Olympia, Washington. United States.



Until May 4: "The Cellar Door" - Loris Greaud, Artist
Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue de President Wilson, 16th Er
€ 4,50 - 6,00

Until May 18: "House Ur" - Gregor Schneider
Maison Rouge
10, boulevard de la Bastille, 12th Er
€ 6,50

During All of May
"Narrative Figuration" - Art from the 1960's
Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
3, avenue du General Eisenhower, 8th Er
€ 8,00 - 10,00

Musee du Louvre - Hall Napoleon
Rue de Rivoli, 1st Er
€ 9,50


Until May 12: "Blue, White, China" - Chinese costumes, shows, market, music
Jardin d'Acclimatation
In Bois de Boulogne, 16th Er
€ 1,35 - 2,70

Until May 16: "The Batak" - People of North Sumatra
Branly Museum
37, quai Branly, 7th Er
€ 6,00 - 8,50

Until May 25: "Expo Convergence" - Technology
Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie in Parc de Villette
30, avenue corentin-Cariou, 19th Er
€ 3,00 - 8,00; Under 7 - Free


May 5 - 6: "Portishead" - Concert
Zenith in Parc de Villette
211, avenue Jean-Jaures, 19th Er
€ 44,00 - 49,50

May 6: "Kylie Minogue" - Australian singer
Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy
8, boulevard de Bercy, 12th Er
€ 51,00 - 76,30

May 6-23: "Jazz Festival"
Quartier Saint-Germain-des-Pres, 6th Er

May 19 - 27: "Celine Dion"
Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy
8, boulevard de Bercy, 12th Er
€ 78,50 - 205,00

May 19 and May 30: "Jay Gottlieb" - Piano Concert
Elysees Biarritz
22-24, rue Quentin Bauchart, 8th Er

Every Tuesday in May: "The Expatriots" - NYC music in Paris
L'Etage Resto Music Bar
77, rue du Faubourg-du-Temple, 10th Er
Free from around 9:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m.


May 14: "Les Apres-Midi des Enfants" - Children's cinema afternoons, in French
Cinema Le Latina
20, rue du Temple, 4th Er
€ 3,50 - 5,50

May 22: "Iphigenie en Tauride" Opera
Palais Garnier
1, place de la Opera, 9th Er
€ 7,00 - 160,00

May 28 and May 31: "Les Capulets et Les Montaigus" Opera
Opera Bastille
Place de la Bastille
€ 5,00 - 150,00

Until May 29: "Le Barbier de Seville" Opera
Opera Bastille
Place de la Bastille
€ 5,00 - 130,00


May 1: "May Day" - Colorful parade
Place de la Bastille, 12th Er

May 4, May 11 and May 18: "Les Dimanches au Galop" - Sundays at the Racecourse
Hippodrome d'Auteuil
7, route d'Auteuil aux Lacs, 16th Er
Hippodrome de Longchamp
Bois de Boulogne, 16th Er

May 8 - 18: "Bastille Brocante" - Antique Fair
Place de la Bastille, 12th Er
€ 7,00

May 17: "Nuit des Musees" - Night of the Museums
Many museums included
Free entry from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight

During All of May: "Grandes Eaux Musicales" - Musical fountains
Parc du Chateau de Versailles
Versailles, France
€ 6,00 - 10,00; Under 10 - Free.

We highly appreciate our readers help in making this newsletter as interesting and helpful as possible.
If you have any comments or suggestions, they are quite welcome on our

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Thank you for your interest and best regards,

The Welcome 2 France team
Tel. 1 (650) 267-4328
(free local call number in U.S. or Canada)

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