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Self-drive Holidays in Paris for the Independent Motorist.

Driving holidays in Europe for the independent motorist. Ferries, hotels, holiday homes, camping.

Tourist information for Paris
Places of interest in Paris

banks of the seine

Left Bank (Rive Gauche) - Flowing along with the Seine as it heads toward the sea, its left bank will be found on the left. At Paris, the river flows roughly westwards, cutting the city into two halves; north and south. Left Bank has come to mean more than simply a geographical region of the city and can now refer to a particular style of life, fashion, or even `Look'. Some of its famous streets are Boulevard Saint Germain des Prs, Saint Michel, and Rue d'Ulm.

moulin rouge

Right Bank (Rive Droite) - Opposite the Left Bank, and generally refers to the northern half of the city. However, like the Left Bank, and due to its association with places such as Place Vendome, the Right Bank can now be used to refer to a level of elegance and sophistication now found in its more bohemian sister to the south. Its most famous street is undeniably the Champs Elysées, but there are others such as Rue de la Paix, Rue de Rivoli, and Av Montaigne.

the louvre

Arrondissement - Paris is divided up into twenty 'arrondissement' or districts. The 'First' is in the centre of the city, and the others are laid out in a clockwise manner about this. As these are such a basic unit to the city, they are constantly referred to in guides and literature; almost always using simply their associated number (1er, or 2em etc). The Louvre is in the First, the Arc de Triomphe is in the Eighth. You can determine the arrondissement of an address from its postal code. The last two digits of a Paris address give the arrondissement; 75018 is the eighteenth for example. The exception to this rule are addresses with the word 'CEDEX' appearing in them.

arc de triomphe

The Latin Quarter - a Left Bank region in the 5th arrondissement so named because it has been the center of the Paris's university life for over seven hundred years.

pavment café paris

The Marais - Comprised of roughly the 3rd and 4th arrondissements (Right Bank) it is a quartier which has retained many small streets and hints at how Old Paris looked.

Haussmann - Baron Haussmann was responsible for the significant urban planning project of 1852 - 1870. The twenty arrondissements date from this time. Haussmann constructed many of the major boulevards, involving widespread demolition of the old sections of the city.

Metro - the Paris subway is extensive and serves nearly every corner of the city. The last trains are around 00h30.
map of paris metro

RER - Rseau Express Regional; similar to the Metro except that it also serves the outlying suburbs and regions of Paris. In the centre of the city, the distance between RER stations is more significant than for the Metro; an advantage if you want to go larger distances quickly - even in the centre of the city.

Bateaux Mouches - This is the name given to tourist boats which ply the Seine. Literally translated it means the 'fly boats'. The name probably comes from the district of Lyon - 'La mouche' - the place where such boats were commonplace before they were in Paris. Others claim the name comes from one of the companies ('Bateaux-Mouches') owning these tourist boats, and named after its owner/founder: Mouche. There are of course other companies proposing boat tours of Paris: 'Vedettes du Pont Neuf'' and ``Bateaux Parisiens Tour Eiffel'' but Bateaux Mouches has come to mean all such tourist boats in general.

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