Things to know when booking a place in Paris

Organizing a trip to Paris is not always easy. There is a lot to think about to plan the perfect city break. There are some useful things to know before booking a place in the French capital. Discover our little guide to plan the best Parisian trip.

When to go

It is not always easy to find affordable flights from Los Angeles to Paris (or from any other American city). Some periods are better than others to visit Paris at a good price. For example, during summer, prices are higher as it is the tourist season in the city. It is much more affordable in the winter even if the weather is less tempting to visit the City of Light. eiffel tower in paris As for renting a place during your trip, it is the same as getting cheap airline tickets to France, it is better to avoid summer. Spring and autumn are great alternatives as the weather can be quite nice and prices are lower.

Where to book an accommodation

As you probably know, Paris is a big city, composed of “arrondissements”. There are very different atmospheres in each neighborhood so you have to gather some information before choosing where to book your hotel according to the type of vacation you want and who you are going with. Here is a quick overview of some arrondissements, but know that there are a lot more:

 The Quartier Latin

The Quartier Latin is a very old Parisian area where numerous students, poets and artists live. There is a lot to do in this neighborhood like visiting the Pantheon or the Luxembourg Palace. You can also see the famous university of La Sorbonne and the old Gallo-Roman arenas.

Montmartre

The Montmartre area is situated on top of a little hill which makes it really typical. It is where you can find the famous Sacre-Coeur Basilica. Famous people used to live in this area like Picasso, Chaplin… You can find numerous restaurants and enjoy a romantic stay. sacre coeur basilica in paris

Around the Eiffel Tower

The neighborhood around the Eiffel Tower spreads over several arrondissements: the 7th, the 15th and 16th. There you can visit the Champs-Elysées Avenue, the Arc de Triomphe or the Tuileries garden. But keep in mind that these areas are quite expensive.

Better rent or buy an accommodation in a ski resort?

When going on holiday in a ski resort, whether it is in winter to ski or in summer to hike, you have to find a place to stay. Sometimes, you can wonder if it would be worth it to buy a place in a resort or if you should continue to rent. Let’s see some pros and cons for the two possibilities.

Pros and cons of buying

Buying an accommodation in Les Menuires, Les Arcs, Chamonix or any big ski resort is quite an investment. It is indeed just like buying a house but only to go on vacation. So it is something that needs to be carefully considered beforehand.   wooden chalet in a ski resort However, if you regularly go on holiday in a ski resort, you could save money in the long run. You would just have to go always in the same resort which can be both a disadvantage and an advantage because you can really enjoy a place you know well. Also, if you have a place of your own, you can go several times a year and not only for the winter holidays for example. If you don’t have to pay for the accommodation, the cost of the whole vacation is considerably reduced.

Pros and cons of renting

The main disadvantage of renting your place in a ski resort for your holidays is money. This is money forever lost whereas when buying a place, even if you have a loan to pay back, this is money invested in something that is yours. But the biggest advantage of renting is that you have the possibility to go wherever you want and change resort every year. Finally, when you rent a place in a ski resort, you can sometimes get some advantages with it like a promotion on ski passes or some groceries delivery service. To sum it up, you really have to think carefully before buying and make sure that it suits your needs but it does have a lot of advantages in the long run. If you choose to buy, you can look up properties for sale in St Martin de Belleville in the 3 Vallées resort for example. This is the largest ski area in the world!

What to do during your stay in Chamonix?

Whether you are staying in Chamonix for the weekend or for a whole week or two, there are many things to enjoy. Chamonix is a very well-known French ski resort but it offers many more activities besides skiing. Here’s a sample of what you can do there.

Discover famous spots

The Mont Blanc

Chamonix is located in the French Alps, at the foot of the famous Mont Blanc (reminder: it is the highest mountain in Europe). Thus, spending your holidays in Chamonix and seeing the Mont Blanc is quite incredible in itself. It is possible to hike on this moutain at a reasonable height or go to the top for those who can hike well, or hike on surrounding moutains, which guarantees an amazing view.
The famous Mont Blanc which you can see in Chamonix

Mont Blanc – Source: Wikipedia

The Aiguille du Midi

In chamonix you can also find another very famous moutain which is the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 meters high). Thanks to a cable car, you can go to the very top of this moutain and experience a unique sensation by “stepping into the void”! A room completely made of glass allows you to admire the Alps with the impression of floating in the air. If you are afraid of heights however, this might not be for you.

The Mer de Glace

If you like hiking, there is a beautiful path that leads to the Mer de Glace, which is a glacier situated in Chamonix. You can also go there by taking a small traditional train. Once up there (1,913 meters), you can admire the gacier and learn about its history and changes. You can even visit the glacier and go under the ice!

Experience new activities

If you want to try new sports or if you are a free-flight fan there are several activities that you can do in Chamonix.  For example, you can try para-gliding or hang-gliding to see Chamonix from the air and get a breathtaking view of the Alps. You can also fly over the valley with professionals. Para-gliding in the Alps If you’d rather stay on the ground, you can golf or go shopping in the numerous stores of the resort. You can also check the dates of famous festivals that take place in Chamonix and sports events like the World Rock-Climbing Cup or the UTMB for example. Finally, if you are staying in a MGM residence for instance, you can enjoy the fitness equipment or the spa to relax.