My name is Philippe Lesigne and I am the Chef Concierge at InterContinental Paris Le Grand - welcome to this wonderful city! I have a large concierge team at your disposal so please contact me if you need any assistance in finding your way around Paris.
Our Concierge team will be available to answer of all your requests. Our information desk is just on the entrance of the hotel and in front of the front office desk. Feel free to contact us for any information you will need about the city and/or for all your activities.
If you wish to discover the real Parisian’s Paris, a visit to a market is a must. The ‘Marché d’Aligre’ is the largest outdoor and covered market and is a real treat for the senses. Afterwards, set off on foot passing by the ‘Place de la Bastille’ or by metro towards the ‘Place des Vosges’ with its beautiful arches and art galleries. Continue on to ‘Le Marais’, one of the oldest districts of Paris, stroll around and take a look in to the inner courtyards where you can discover hidden treasures. For lunch, choose from one of the many bistros, one of my favourite’s being ‘le Café des Musées’ on Rue de Turenne.
After lunch, head towards the Seine and visit ‘Ile St Louis’ and ‘Ile de la Cité’ where you will find Notre Dame de Paris, not forgetting to pass by the Marché aux Fleurs. On both banks of the Seine you will come across many second hand bookstalls, where you can chance upon old books, pictures, vintage postcards and other quirky items. Afterwards, continue to the Eglise Saint Germain des Près, whose history dates back to the year 576. On your way you will discover more art galleries and antique dealers. To end your afternoon, and before returning to the hotel, you could stop and have a drink at the Deux Magots or at the Café de Flore and will discover from where many writers and poets drew their inspiration.
For a typically Parisian evening, allow us to reserve for you tickets for a concert in a church, for example at the Sainte Chapelle where you can admire not only the stained-glass windows but also enjoy a very special atmosphere. To finish off your evening, why not savour a Gastronomical experience in one of our many splendid restaurants.
Taxis can be hard to find, especially at rush hour, at night, and on rainy days. Your best bet is to find a taxi rank marked with a blue sign, or to ask your hotel Doorman or the restaurant Maitre D' to call a taxi for you. A white light on a taxi's roof indicates the car is free. An orange light means the cab is busy. Most drivers will not take more than three people. Also, expect to pay an extra fee if someone sits in front, or if you place some heavy luggage in the trunk.
CAFE & RESTAURANT TIPPING
By law, all bills show "service compris"; that means the tip is included. You can leave a tip you decided with the amount that you think appropriated, this is not in percentage. But there is no obligation.
It usually helps if you make a little effort to speak a little French. A simple, friendly "Bonjour"; will do, as will asking if the person you are greeting speaks English.
Taking the metro is definitely the most efficient way to get around Paris. Fourteen metro lines and five RER (regional express network) lines crisscross Paris and its suburbs. It is essential to pay attention to the final stop on the line you are taking; it is that one that will indicate the direction you are going in. Look for the orange; correspondence; sign if you need to connect with another line. Look for the blue; Sortie; sign to find the station exit. The tickets can be purchased at machines or ticket counters in each station. Make sure to hold your ticket until the end of your journey, as inspectors may ask you for it. Metro service starts from 5:30am and continues until 1:00am.
Although shops are generally closed on Sundays, regulations have been greatly relaxed in the past decade, and you will find a number of stores open then too, most especially in the Marais, but also in tourist areas and at museums.
DID YOU KNOW ?
Above the two Paris Opera houses, hundreds of thousands of bees yearly produce two thousand kilos of honey. A 100 gram jar of honey available at the Opera houses boutiques and at the fine grocery store Fauchon, will set you back 16 euros.
THE VINEYARDS OF MONTMARTRE
Visit the small hill in autumn and you will be surrounded by the famous Grape-Harvest's party of Montmartre. The vineyards are an ancient landmark on the hill. Bacchus, the God of Wine had a temple here. The Abbotts had their own wine press close to Saint Pierre Church. On the first Saturday in October, the grapes are harvested by many important people including celebrities, delegations; Les Chevaliers du Taste-Wine; (the knights of Wine Tasting) from different French provinces. Always a most festive event.
VISIT OF THE SEWERS
For centuries, the main source of drinking water in Paris was the Seine river, which was also the main sewer. Constructions of an underground sewerage system began in 1825 under Napoleon. Today, Egouts de Paris is a smelly museum. Each sewer in the 2,100 km system is marked with a replica of the street sign above. Remember to bring a sweater, as it is always cool underground.
WHAT TO PACK
WHAT TO BRING?
Paris is a city in which the four seasons are quite clearly defined. When travelling to Paris during the summer, you will generally encounter a warm and dry climate with maximum temperatures averaging. Light clothes will do fine here but remember to pack some warmer clothing for evenings. Things start cooling down in autumn and the winter months are downright cold and chilly with temperatures coming down to around. Warm clothes are a must! Spring is a nice time during which to visit Paris although it does tend to rain a fair bit, so if you are travelling in the spring months, be sure to pack a raincoat. But whatever the weather, it is essential that you bring a jacket and tie! Many restaurants still insist the men are properly attired so they can dine in their fine restaurants.
There are two airports serving Paris - Charles de Gaulle and Orly. From both airports we recommend that you take a car - either a taxi or the limousine service, particularly if you have a large amount of luggage. A taxi from Paris, Charles de Gaulle airport will cost approximately € 60,00 and from Paris, Orly will cost approximately € 50,00. The limousine service can be arranged in advance by calling the concierge. This cost is € 185,00 up to € 270,00 according to the car type. If you are travelling light you may wish to take public transport. From Paris, Charles de Gaulle you may take the direct bus to the Opera, which is next to the hotel. This is called the Roissy bus and costs € 9.10 per person. However, with a 200 metre walk when you arrive at the Opera, we advise against this option if you have heavy bags.