'노민의 데일리 스케치'에 해당되는 글 2건

  1. 2011.08.08 Paris France Vacations Tourism Guides Hotels
  2. 2011.08.08 Mexico Travel Advisory

Paris is perennially one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. As a matter of fact, with over 74 million visitors in 2009 (latest available numbers from the World Tourism Organization), France ranks number 1 as the most visited country in the world. Paris itself is the most popular tourist destination in the world, with about 45 million tourist visits per year. Here are a few useful tips for your Paris holiday:

Paris was completely changed from 1852 to 1870: the urban planning reforms of Baron de Haussmann erased about 60% of medieval Paris and created the grand boulevards that we see today. This was brought on by poor hygiene standards that had resulted in cholera epidemics in the first half of the 1800s.


The Paris Museum Pass will help you with access to over 70 museums and monuments. A 2-day pass is 35 Euros and has to be used on consecutive days. There are also many free museums in Paris; for example, the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay offer free access every first Sunday of the month.

Paris has an excellent public transportation system with efficient buses and subways and offers one-day and multi-day passes. The “Metro” has 384 stops and 16 lines and will get you close to most place you’d want to see. 10 tickets can be bought for 12 Euros. 1, 2, 3 and 5 day tickets are available as well.

Late spring and summer are the most expensive seasons for a holiday in Paris. Hotels charge higher prices during that time. During low season budget hotels may be available from about 25 to 40 Euros a night, but this will be simple accommodation with shared bathrooms. If you are staying for several days, a reasonable alternative may be to rent a furnished apartment where you can cook your own meals. Some studio rentals might go for as low as $99 a night.

A great way to discover the City of Lights is through various guided tours of Paris. “See Paris with a Parisian” are free walking tours where you get the chance to explore the city with a local.

Bicycling is a great way to get to know Paris. “Velib” is a public bicycle rental program with about 17,000 bicycles and 1200 stations, with one station every 300 metres throughout the city. There are also many guided bicycle tours that you can take to get to know the city. You could also rent a scooter or a Segway and get around without getting sweaty.

Paris is one of the most photogenic destinations in the world. Taking photos in Paris is a wonderful way of preserving unforgettable moments. Regardless of whether you are beginner or a pro, take a photo tour and visit some of Paris’ most visually captivating places.

For some getaways from Paris, take the TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse, or high-speed train) and jet off to places like Brussels, Lyon or Marseille. The TGV has transported about 2 billion passengers since 1981 and reaches speeds up to 320 km/h.

There are many outstanding restaurants in Paris, but some of them can be rather pricey. Many restaurants also offer reasonably fixed-price meals for lunch. A 3-course prix-fixe meal might set you back about 15 Euros. Make your mid-day meal your biggest and you will save money in restaurants.

To save even more money on food in Paris, try one of the many food stands that serve sandwiches, crepes, Chinese food, falafels and much more. Or head to a supermarket, buy a baguette, some cheese, a bottle of wine and enjoy a nice picnic. Also check out some of the outdoor food markets for inexpensive prepared foods.

Paris is quite safe and has relatively little violent crime. Do be aware of your surroundings though and protect yourself against purse snatchers and pickpockets, particularly in crowded areas such as the subway and outdoor street markets.

Here are some great day trips from Paris that can be reached in about 30 minutes by train : Fontainebleau (a lovely historic town with a gorgeous chateau), Chartres with its 12th century Gothic cathedral, Versailles – King Louis XIV’s dream palace. Even Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley are easily reachable from Paris.

The Sacre-Coeur Basilica is located on Montmartre Hill, at the highest point of Paris and was consecrated in 1919. Montmartre Hill is also a popular nightclub district and is host to a large artists’ community. Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso all had studios here. It’s a great place to snap some atmospheric photos in Paris.

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Paris France Vacations Tourism Guides Hotels  (0) 2011.08.08
Mexico Travel Advisory  (0) 2011.08.08
Posted by ralfowen
Mexico is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. In 2008 almost 23 million visitors traveled there from abroad, not surprisingly, given Mexico’s outstanding attractions: its gorgeous beaches, its Meso-American ruins and amazing colonial cities. Mexico is particularly popular with Americans and Canadians. Tourism contributes more than 13% to Mexico’s economy, but a spate of bad news has many travelers wondering is Mexico safe to travel to.


In recent months Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has issued a travel advisory for Mexico and advises travelers to exercise a high degree of caution as the security situation continues to deteriorate. In particular, Northern Mexico and the cities bordering the US are especially affected by organized crime as the government fights with drug lords. Crimes reported on highways include illegal roadblocks, robberies and kidnappings and particularly affect travelers in luxury vehicles and SUVs. Travel warnings cover the states of Guerrero (Acapulco), the state of Sinaloa (Mazatlan), the state of Nayarit (Tepic) and a variety of states in the interior as well. The southern area of Chiapas continues to experience political problems and in Oaxaca demonstrators have clashed with government authorities.

Here are some practical safety tips for you that will help you stay safe in Mexico and other destinations:

- - Resort areas are quite safe as many of them have private security

- - Avoid travelling at night on highways

- - Use local guides who can show you around

- - Talk with trusted locals to find out what areas to avoid

-Dress down , don’t wear flashy jewellery & secure your purse: this will help protect you against pickpocketing and purse snatchings

- - Avoid carrying a purse altogether and wear a money belt underneath your shirt

- - Avoid walking after dark, especially as a woman

-Do not accept food or drinks from strangers

- - Stash passports and valuables in the hotel safe, not in your room

-Don’t exchange or withdraw money in public areas, and if so only during daylight hours

- - Be careful with taxi drivers: some of them might be impostors who might be involved in kidnappings or force victims to withdraw money from ABMs. Their main targets are usually wealthy and middle class residents, not necessarily foreigners.

- - One great way of staying safe is to study at a language school. You are automatically part of a network of experts who become your community and can give you great local safety tips.

- - Keep your family informed of your itinerary and stay in touch regularly.

Personally I have travelled to Mexico twice in the last five years and I always had a wonderful time. As a woman travelling by herself, I am particularly careful about safety. This past year I spent time in the cities of Guadalajara, and in the cities of Morelia and Guanjuato. In Guadalajara I studied Spanish at a language school in the enchanting neighbourhood of Tlaquepaque. I stayed with a local family and was often out by myself until 10 or 11 pm.

On weekend trips I also travelled by bus to the colonial cities of Morelia and Guanajuato where I went on various excursions with local guides. I spent evenings by myself, exploring the cities, walking around, experiencing local traditions and festivals, and talking with the locals. Naturally I followed standard safety guidelines, but looking back, there was actually not one moment where I did not feel safe in any of these places. By interacting with the locals and getting their advice on where to go and what areas to avoid, I was able to keep myself safe, even as a female travelling by herself.

To minimize risk I dressed down, carried little cash on me, sometimes stashed my credit card in my socks and always paid great attention to my surroundings. Mexico certainly has its share of political and security problems, but my own personal experience in this fascinating country has been outstanding. I am already looking forward to my next trip to Mexico.


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Paris France Vacations Tourism Guides Hotels  (0) 2011.08.08
Mexico Travel Advisory  (0) 2011.08.08
Posted by ralfowen


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