If there is a place that should be seen once in a lifetime, it has to be Paris. Just the word Paris sums up beautiful scenery, wonderful food, wine and romance. It is gorgeous. The “city of lights” is the perfect gateway for people of all ages, especially for the romantics among us.  Paris is full of history with the well known symbols of the statuesque Eiffel tower, the stunning Champs Elysées, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre and so on.  There is, without a doubt, so much to see and do.  Paris is, a “veritable feast,” for the eyes, but Paris is not the sort of place where one should go for a vacation without some planning, especially for senior traveler.

Photo by Josh Hallett.

In all of Europe, Paris offers perhaps the best in luxury hotels, but it’s also not very cheap. Everything about Paris can seem high class and expensive, but for the seasoned traveler, bargains can be found as long as you spend time doing your research.  Some of the most economical ways to visit Paris are either by an organized coach tour or by choosing to stay in a bed and breakfast.  Renting an apartment in Paris is also another economical option to visit the city and not run up high accommodation costs.  Overall, Paris accommodation is slightly more expensive than elsewhere, but with careful research, bargains can be found.  With the lull in the economy, the majority of Paris  hotels are offering great discounts. Hotels previously going for $700 a night are at least 30-40% cheaper. In some cases, the discounts are close to 70% cheaper than in more prosperous times.  If a 5 star luxury hotel is beyond your budget for your vacation, you could always stay at one of the boutique hotels in Paris.  There are a wide choice of 4 and 5 star hotels in Paris offering you both comfort and luxury.

The best neighborhoods to find accommodation are near the Arc de Triomphe, Montmartre, and Tour Eiffel. You may also be able to find a bargain off the Champs Elysée.  When we stayed in Paris, we found a basic hotel for a great rate.  How to get around in Paris?  Finding a hotel or apartment in a central location will make it easier to walk around the city or use the Paris Metro (the underground or subway system) to visit most of the tourist attractions.  If money is no object, you can use the services of a taxi.  Since taxis are not inexpensive, it is better to use the very efficient metro service  of Paris.

Senior travel to Paris is done best with an experienced tour operator.  Go with the big name companies.  These companies are not very difficult to find because Paris is a very popular destination and has been for many years.  Coach tours and travel by train of western Europe with Paris as one of the destinations will provide very comfortable hotels included in the price.  Companies such as Globus and Trafalgar tours have long been offering European tours and include Paris as one of the destination cities.  Both companies offer reliable service for the senior traveler.  Trafalgar offers a package called “The Wonders of Europe” which will take you from Britain to Paris, through Switzerland and Italy for about $5,485 per person on the high-speed Eurostar train.  Globus Tours offers a 7 day escorted tour of London and Paris with a walking tour in Paris and accommodation at the superior first class hotel, Le Meridien Etoile from $1,892.

Do plan to see this city of marvels called Paris, whether it be spring, summer or fall.  Enjoy people watching from a small café, visit the museums and enjoy its offerings of fine wines and cuisine.  Don’t miss Paris and if you haven’t been there yet, it’s time to add this city to your bucket list of places to see.

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