Haven Made in Heaven


Long considered the paragon of style, Paris is the most glamorous city in Europe. It is at once deeply traditional – a village-like metropolis whose inhabitants continue to be notorious for their hauteur – and famously cosmopolitan. While such contradictions and contrasts may be the reality of any city, they are the makings of Paris: consider the tiny lanes and alleyways of the Quartier Latin or Montmartre against the monumental vistas from the Louvre to La Défense; magnificent Hotels in Paris, the multiplicity of street markets and old-fashioned pedestrian arcades against the giant underground commercial complexes of Montparnasse and Les Halles; or the aristocratic wealth of the grand quarters against the vibrant chaos of the poorer districts.

At times, Paris can feel inhumanly magnificent, the arrogance of its monuments encompassing the chilly pomp of the Panthéon, the industrial chic of the Eiffel Tower and the almost spiritual glasswork of the Louvre pyramid. Yet it also operates on a very human scale, with exquisite, secretive little nooks tucked away from the Grands Boulevards and very definite little communities revolving around games of boules and the local boulangerie and café.

In the great local tradition of the flâneur, or thoughtful boulevard-stroller, Paris is a wonderful city for aimless wandering. Everywhere you go, historic landmark buildings and contemporary architectural wonders remind you of the city's pride and grandeur – and stop you getting lost.

To make your stay as comfortable as possible, you should consider some of the real differences between expensive full service Hotel Paris and private family homes that offer B&B in Paris in the original European style.

There are over 150 art galleries and museums in the city and an uncounted number of cafés, brasseries and restaurants lining every street and boulevard. The variety of style and decor is hard to beat, ranging from ultra-modern fashion temples to traditional, mirrored palaces, and from tiny bistrots where the emphasis is all on the cooking to bustling Vietnamese diners. After dark, the city's theatres and concert halls host inventive and world-leading productions of theatre and dance, while many classical concerts take place in fine architectural settings, particularly chapels and churches. Above all, Paris is a real cinema capital, and the city's vibrant cultural mix puts it at the forefront of the world music scene.

European destinations have become so expensive lately that hotel prices look like double the US rates. You can get over the sticker shock by paying half of those prices at some, selected Paris bed and breakfast or simply B & Bs.

The quality could widely vary but usually, this kind of accomodation is standardised and it is great to find really charmful B&Bs in France, especially in old houses and chateaux. At BedandBreakfastParis.biz, these are all possible.

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