Travel

Tour the attraction most Parisian never visited: The Catacombs

France: Paris tour Most Parisians, I know, never visited the Catacombs (spelled Catacombes in French). I never did when I lived there. I finally visited them and I have to say it is truly unique. I recommend strongly touring the Catacombs.

This is one of the rare tourist attractions in Paris, where for just a few seconds you wonder if engineers have studied the place. They must..right...

A brief history:
The origin starts at the end of the XVIII century. After being used for 10 centuries the cemetery of the "Innocents" was starting to become a health hazard in this Paris neighborhood.

Paris Subway: Le Métro

Paris transportation

Most tourists and Parisians use the subway (i.e. metro) to move about in Paris. The state company that operates the metro is called the R.A.T.P.

Pros: It's fast, inexpensive and everywhere. It is also safe, mostly clean and easy to understand. Using the metro also simplifies estimating your travel time. For instance, when I lived in Paris I used the averaged scale of 1 minute and 30 seconds between metro stations. If my destination was 10 stops away, I knew it would take about 15 minutes to get there. Try it! Finally, if you enjoy 'people watching', the Metro is great.

Cons: Strikes; usually once or twice a year. Also, the metro is not open 24/7. Stations open between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m., with the last run ("le dernier métro" in French) between midnight and 1:00 a.m.

'Sure Value' places to visit in France: UNESCO Sites

Bourges CathedralFrance offers so many tourist attractions, it is difficult to know which ones are 'really good'.  Tourism is big business in France, and every city, town or village will vie for your attention.  At times, uninteresting sites are touted as 'encroyable!' when in fact they are just average or completely unworthy of your time.

South-West (Sud-Ouest); An Authentic French Region

French region Sud Ouest (South west) The South-West (Sud-Ouest) is one of the most diverse, beautiful and authentic regions of France. Some of it's most famous sub-regions are: Gascogne (stomping grounds of Cyrano de Bergerac), Pays-Basque (the Basque region), Périgord (famous for its fois gras) and Dordogne.

The Sud-Ouest covers a stretch of land delimited by Toulouse in the West, Perigueux in the North, the Atlantic Ocean in the East and Spain in the South.  Some of its most well known cities are: Bordeaux, Toulouse, Biarritz and Lourdes, but it also offers thousands of lesser known cities, villages and hamlets.

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