Le Havre (Paris), France
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Le Havre (Paris), France Port Information
Language and Currency
What is Paris Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?
A passport is required, but no visa is required for stays less than 90 days.
The official language of France is French, but some English is spoken in many tourist areas. The official currency of France is the euro. Dollars are rarely accepted, other than at some souvenir shops and other high profile tourist locations. Even there, euros may be demanded. The best way to obtain euros is by using your ATM card at one of the plentiful ATM machines. Traveler's checks are rarely accepted as well.
Paris is one of the world's most wonderful and fascinating cities and offers a unique experience for every visitor. Paris should be on everyone's "must visit list". It is a bustling city with traffic, noise and some pollution, but its charm and character quickly negates these realities. Paris is laid out in a huge circle with a vast maze of streets everywhere creating one huge labyrinth that defies logic. It is quite clear that there was no general plan involved in Paris' evolution. This is one of its major attractions, as no matter where you are, you are experiencing pedestrian streets winding and curving their way to the next square where numerous streets come together. It would be quite easy to become lost in Paris if it were not for the way it identifies locations. Starting from the very center of Paris (the area around the Louvre) and working clockwise in an ever expanding circle, areas are identified as "arrondissements" There are 20 different arrondissements and all of the addresses identify which arrondissement that you are in. This makes it quite easy to identify where you are in relationship with the rest of Paris. Be sure to pick up a local tourist map that is color coded by arrondissements and you should have no problem finding you way.
Paris enjoys excellent weather with temperatures in the mid 70s during the summer and cooler winters. Paris averages about 8 days of precipitation per month during the summer increasing to 10 to 12 days at other times during the year, so it is a good idea to have a compact umbrella with you just in case one is needed.
The ships dock in Le Havre, France, a large commercial port that accommodates cruise ships It is located at the mouth of the river Seine that eventually leads to Paris, France some 2 hours away.
The Arc de Triomphe as Seen Down the Champs-Elysees
There is little shopping in Le Havre, but tons in Paris. To begin, no shopping trip to Paris would be complete without checking out the designer stores and boutiques on the Champs-Elysees (a major shopping street in a fashionable area of Paris) and its bordering streets and avenues. The Galeries Lafayette on Haussmann is a wonderful collection of designer shops in a huge department store environment. Be sure to check out the food court on the bottom level for a gourmet food treat for all of your senses. Paris' department stores are also well worth visiting. They are found on many of the shopping streets and normally take up an entire block, or more. Along the left bank of the river Seine across from Notre Dame are numerous artists drawing and painting scenes of Paris that are for sale. There are also many shops selling prints, books and other collectible material along the river's bank.
Each arrondissement has its own unique commercial identity, so be sure to explore them all. One of the most fascinating was the wholesale and outdoor market areas located in the 2nd and 9th arrondissements. The pedestrian streets wind their way through open air vegetable, cheese, wine, meat and other interesting local markets.
There is everything one could imagine to purchase. First and foremost, are the designer fashions. Every designer in the world has a presence in Paris and the boutiques, shops and department stores offer them in great abundance. Just to give you an idea, here is a list of product categories from the Where? magazine in Paris; Accessories, Books and Music, Clothing and Toys - Children, Clothing Men and Women, Department Stores and Malls, Discount Shops, Fabrics, Food and Wine, Hair and Beauty Products, Haute Couture, Home Deco and Gifts, Jewelry, Lingerie and Bathing Suits, Perfume and Makeup and Shoes. This should give you an idea of the kind of shopping that exists in Paris.
French wines, art, fashion designs, perfumes, beauty products, are all things to purchase in Paris, as are things one would shop for and expect competitive rates
Paris offers pedestrian opportunities galore. If you like to walk, you will love exploring Paris and its never ending maze of streets, avenues and walkways on foot. The network of squares (hubs) and avenues (spokes) is never ending and completely fascinating. Walking Paris' streets is like going to a visual candy store. Beyond spending a day shopping and exploring in Paris, there are numerous day sightseeing options available.
First, the big red double-decker sightseeing bus is available for "on and off" tours of Paris. This is a good option if your cruise does not offer an orientation of Paris on the transfer in from Le Havre. There are also wonderful river cruises on the Seine that leave from many points along the river. A major point of departure would be along the left bank opposite of the Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Eiffel Tower Seen Across the River Seine
Some of the more important sights in Paris are the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Champs-Elysees and the Left Bank.
One of the Buildings That Make Up the Louvre
The Louvre is one of the world's largest and most important museums (comparable to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia) and is well worth the investment of time it would take to enjoy it (weeks to see everything) While the Louvre is the most famous, there are dozens of museums in Paris to enjoy.
Another sight worth visiting is Notre Dame. Dating back to 1163, Notre Dame is an exquisite example of a preserved (and still operating) cathedral. Admission is free and you should plan to visit in the morning to take advantage of the sun's rays penetrating the fabulous stained glass work that makes up the cathedral's many windows.
Notre Dame's Interior and ceiling
You will see numerous monuments and statues as you walk Paris' labyrinth of streets, avenues and pedestrian walkways from arrondissement to arrondissement. There are also some wonderful parks within Paris itself that are well worth exploring. If one exhausts the opportunities in Paris, there are some excellent day trips that can be taken to Versailles, Chateau de Fontainebleau, Chateau de Vaux-le-Visomte and other wonderful spots just outside Paris. Of course, don't forget the Disneyland Resort Paris, if you need to get a fix of good old Disneyland.
Finally, there are restaurants and sidewalk cafes of Paris. You can enjoy three meals a day in some of the most wonderful surroundings with a huge selection of diverse restaurants. Dining in Paris is something to be enjoyed by everyone.
Yes, be sure to experience all that Paris has to offer. Enjoy fine dining, superb shopping, beautiful surroundings, unique villages and an architecture all its own.