Café de Flore

Guide to the cities of France

This western country of Europe allures many visitors and tourists in to the astounding world of fashion and beauty. With iconic monuments like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum, France is an ideal vacation destination. The rich cuisine and the diligent art and museums offer vast options to discover and indulge in.


parisThe city of lights with its serene beauty enraptures the heart of many travelers who come to visit this place. It is globally recognized for its art, history, fashion and culture. The Eiffel Tower is a historic site. This iron clad architecture has observation decks to view the city from the top. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris is an expression of historic Gothic architecture and a 13th century overall look. The Cathedral treasury stores century old relics which is a must see when you visit there. The Louvre Museum houses Da Vinci’s greatest masterpiece Mona Lisa along with Romanesque painting, sculptures and art work. This Massive museum is attributed as a landmark of Paris.


The most priceless possession of Nice is the French Riveria spreading across the Mediterranean coast of France. The stone-y sands and beach winds would add to the encapsulating landscape of waves and beautiful sunsets. Musée Matisse exhibits paintings of the 17th century artist Matisse who had captured the beauty of Nice on his palate of paints and brushes. St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral is a religious site open to public to experience the intrinsic architecture in an exquisite way. Basilique Notre-Dame de l’Assomption is another religious building dedicated as a neo-Gothic church. Mount Boron in Nice is great for trekking and hiking. Terra Amata is situated on Mount Boron only, which is an open air archeological exhibit.


lyonLyon is adequately situated at the junction of the Saone and Rhone Rivers. Vieux Lyon is greatly contributing the Renaissance District and stands as one the oldest districts in all of France. The entire city of Lyon is submerged the history old tales of the Renaissance inheritance. Fourvière is another district of Lyon It has ruins from the olden times when Romans ruled, like the Roman Baths, Roman Theatre and Roman Odeon. Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon exhibits a collection of ancient and modern creation of art and paintings. The giant hill side museum of Gallo-Roman Museum at Lyon-Fourvière has a large collection of findings from the olden times.


Cannes is well known for its celebratory recognition in numerous film festivals. It is a beautiful resort town located on the edge of the French Riveria. Marché Forville is a huge spread of a wholesale market place with flowers, garden equipment, grocery items etc. Eglise Notre-Dame de l’Espérance enjoys a place in the history books of Cannes for being as old as the time itself. It is a great site to absorb the exquisite architecture and the amazing view of the entire city. Le Vieux Port gives you a great chance to go fishing or enjoy your time on a luxurious yacht floating in the French Riveria.

Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Place de la Concorde

Place de la ConcordeChances are that if you spend any amount of time in Paris you are going to find yourself within Place de la Concorde at least once. As one of the major and by far the largest public squares throughout the city, there is of course plenty of things to do, see, and discover. The following information will help you in discovering everything you need to know before your visit there…

A Brief History

Designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in the year 1755 with the hopes of making it a moat-skirted octagon located right in between the Champs-Elysees (west) and the Tuileries Garden (east). Named originally Place Louis XV after the present day king at the time, it was dotted and decorated with numerous statues and fountains helping to make it very attractive. Other structures that were built within the square included two magnificently large and identical stone buildings separated by the rue Royale, the square took on many changes in the coming years after that and is now home to even more incredible sights to see and constructed marvels to admire.


As mentioned above, Place de la Concorde is located at the eastern end of Champs-Elysees and within the city’s eighth arrondissement.

Address: Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris, France

When to Visit

Seeing as it is a public square, you may happen to spend most of your time there outside. With this in mind, you will either want to bundle up during the winter months and plan on not as much time there if you cannot withstand the chill or spend possibly several hours there if visiting during the warmer spring and summer months.

Admission: FREE

What to do There

Of course if you want to explore its surroundings, head to the famous Champs-Elysees or more east to pay a visit to the Tuileries Gardens along with the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume or the Musee de l’Orangerie, which are conveniently located within the gardens. Then wander about the square and be sure to check out the previously mentioned identical stone buildings where one of them (the eastern one) houses the French Naval Ministry while the other western one is in fact the Hotel de Crillon. Other attractions include the Palais Bourbon – home of the French National Assembly – and a total of eight different statues all initiated by head architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorff that each help to represent a French city – Brest, Rouen, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lille, and Strasbourg. The very center of the Place de la Concorde is the Obelisk, a giant Egyptian monument decorated in hieroglyphics that help to exalt the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II. After a discovery of all of those, be sure to spend some time marveling at the many famous fountains scattered throughout, which you may recognize from a popular movie, The Devil Wears Prada where the main character decides to throw her phone into the Fontaines de la Concorde.

Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Centre Pompidou

Centre PompidouKnown as other similar names like Centre Georges Pompidou or simply Pompidou Center, this vastly unique and fun-filled place is an absolute must while in Paris if you are looking for some entertainment. If you are unaware of what this specific complex can offer, hopefully the following information can help…

A Brief History

Designed by an architectural team consisting of Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers,and Gianfranco Franchini, Centre Pompidou is essentially a complex building housing a library, a museum, and a center for both music and acoustic research along with a couple other things. It was named after the President of France (1969-1974) named Georges Pompidou. It took about six years to complete from the years 1971 to 1977 and is considered a high-tech architectural wonder by many. The entire goal and vision behind the Centre Pompidou was to allow for a place that would bring together in one single building a showcase of different forms of both art and literature, which is exactly what it does to this day.


You will find the Centre Pompidou in the Beaubourg area (city center), which is located in the city’s fourth arrondissement. Easily accessible by public transport (bus or metro) and so unique looking that it is extremely hard to miss. Metro lines 1, 3, 3, 7, 11, and 14 all take you there.

Address: Places Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France

When to Visit

The Centre Pompidou is open every day of the week except Tuesdays from the hours of 11am to 10pm. No matter what time of the year it is, chances of it being crowded towards the earlier hours of when it first opens are pretty usual. The best chance is to visit later at night if you are hoping to surpass the larger crowds.

Admission: Museum: Starting at 11 euro (sometimes up to 13 euro)

What to do There

If you are a lover of modern art and unique designs and displays, then you are undoubtedly going to love spending time at the Centre Pompidou. Start by heading to the Musee National d’Art Modern, the largest museum for modern art in Europe where you will find hundreds of impressive works by various artists before making your way to the Bibliotheque publique d’information (Public Information Library) where bookworms can gaze upon the thousands of books all available for reading and viewing. Next, be sure to check out the IRCAM (Institute of Research and Coordination Acoustic/Music) where you can learn about the science that takes place behind music and sound. After you are done with all of those fun features of Centre Pompidou, make your way to one of the two cinemas or the one theater for a featured showing sure to be nothing short of fun and entertaining. To end the perfect morning or afternoon at the complex, head up to the rooftop restaurant and enjoy great food while taking in views of the city. No matter what you decide to do while there, it is sure to be a time of fun, exploration, and learning.

Five myths about travel insurance

Diagram of Travel Insurance

Diagram of Travel Insurance

Travelers or backpackers have different views on travel insurance. Some see it as an essential tool other than the passport and sunscreen, while others see it as an added expense. Whatever concept you have in mind; there are five common myths on travel insurances which every backpacker should know. Understanding these myths will give you an idea whether such kind of insurance is essential or not.

Health and homeowner’s insurance are enough.

You may think that having a homeowner’s or health insurance are enough to give you protection from unexpected crisis of travelling. Unfortunately, these types of insurance have certain policies that are not applicable when you travel abroad. When something happens to you unexpectedly, you cannot make a claim from these insurances and you end up shelling a big amount of money. Accidental death, medical evacuation, lost luggage, trip cancellation, trip interruption and even travel assistance are some of the benefits that you can avail when you have your own travel insurance.

The airlines are responsible for covering delayed flights.

This may be true to some airlines but not all companies are willing to pay food and accommodation expenses associated with delayed flights. Even though there are extraordinary circumstances that caused the delay, some countries do not legally obligate the airline to provide compensation to passengers. This is the reason why travelers need to provide their own insurance policy to ensure that their meals, hotel room and other related expenses will be covered during a long haul of flight delay. Read more on US department of transportation.

There is no insurance policy for extreme adventures.

One of the reasons why some people do not buy a travel insurance is that it cannot cover some activities like scuba diving, trekking and many others. Although it is quite difficult to find a competitive insurance for extreme adventures, there are insurance companies that provide a coverage specific for these activities. Some of the insurance companies will also offer a rider to their existing insurance policy in order to lower the cost and give a better financial protection. World Nomads offers an insurance that covers extreme sports.

A travel insurance will cover the expenses to fly me home when I get injured or sick while traveling.

Typically, travel insurance policies will only transport the insured individual to the nearest medical facility when he/she gets sick or injured. They can also bring in medical help when the incident happens in a remote area, but they will not bring the person home or to his/her hospital of choice in his/her place of residency.

All travel insurance policies are the same.

There are several individuals who believe that travel insurance policies are the same. Although it is true that these policies protect someone from financial crisis, they all come in various coverage. Travel insurance have different scope, prices and perks. Most of them are tailor-made to meet the needs of a backpacker who either wants a sight-seeing tour or an adventurous activity. Read more on Rejseforsikring and Money Supermarket

Change your mind set about travel insurance policies. Stay protected against travel delays, cancellation, health injuries and many others. Have your own insurance to make sure you travel safe and you do not have to think of paying the expenses incurred from your backpacking adventures.

Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame CathedralFrom the history of the cathedral to the present-day condition of both its interior and exterior, Notre-Dame is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and most visited sites throughout all of Paris. If you are heading there for the first time in the next upcoming months, the following should help to make you familiar with it before stepping foot inside its beautiful doors…

A Brief History

French for “Our Lady of Paris”, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is a place of rich history, religion, and culture as well as an iconic symbol of the city itself. From the architectural standpoint, the structure is said to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture as well as being amongst the most well-known church buildings in the world along with the largest. Home to the official chair (cathedra) of the archbishop of Paris, Notre-Dame has endured extensive damage and destruction throughout the years but has now been restored to its present beautiful state.


The Catholic cathedral is located on the eastern half of the Ile de la Cite, which is in the fourth arrondissement of Paris and right along the Seine, making not only the building itself impressive and attractive but also its surroundings as well.

Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl., Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France

When to Visit

The Notre-Dame Cathedral is open every single day of the year and is completely free to visit and also participate in the services that start from the hours of 8am to 6:45pm with the exceptions of weekends, which start at 7:15am. The busiest times of the year include Christmas time and the summer months where the crowds will often be larger. Autumn and Spring are your best options for fewer people.

Admission: FREE

What to do There

The first thing you will want to do before even exploring the insides of the cathedral is to admire its incredibly impressive architecture. Climb the 380 steps up to the top of the cathedral towers and take notice of the statues on the sides and the incredible view of the river and of the surroundings before making your way inside. Once you do head inside, you will have the option to visit freely by yourself or participate in an audioguide available at the front reception desk, which gives you the chance to learn a bit more about the history if you are interested. Another option would be to join in on a group tour, which are led by volunteers of the cathedral and provide a real opportunity to dive into what truly makes this iconic cathedral so incredible unique and special. Wander about and light a candle or drop in an offering if you feel so inclined and simply take in the many works of art, the massive organs, and be overcome by the beauty in each of its many details.

Whether you decide to visit and explore the cathedral on your own terms or think a group tour would help to make your visit more meaningful, your time at the cathedral will surely be one for the books.

Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the Luxembourg Gardens

As the second largest public park in Paris and often regarded as the most beautiful one of all, the Luxembourg Gardens (dernier jour des vacances, last  day of the holiday) is a place that a visit to Paris simply would not feel complete without an exploration of its gorgeous grounds. With so much to see, do, and discover while there, the following should help to ensure your time spent there is all you were imagining…

A Brief History

The inspiration for the Luxembourg Gardens came from none other than Marie de Medici, who was nostalgic for the famous Boboli Gardens of Florence, where she was originally from. The year 1612 saw the beginning of the construction and after many years is now owned by the French Senate, which happens to meet in the Luxembourg Palace on grounds. Little by little, land was bought and turned into a place that is nothing short of extravagant and extraordinary in every sense of both terms. Experts were brought in to be in charge of making sure everything was up to Medici’s standards and was in line with her visions for the grounds. Thanks to her dreams becoming a reality, the Luxembourg Gardens are now one of the most visited landmarks in all of Paris.


You will find the Luxembourg Gardens within the city’s sixth arrondissement and surrounded by the two neighborhoods of the Quartier Latin and the St-Germain-des-Pres. Seeing as the public park is so extremely popular and so massive in size, it is extremely easy to find and very easily accessible by public transport.

Address: Borded by Bd. St-Michel and Rues de Vaugirard, de Medicis, Guynemer, and August-Comte, 75006 Paris, France

When to Visit

Depending on the season, the Luxembourg Gardens are typically open to the public daily from 7:30am to dusk. When to visit all depends on what you want to experience. For example, if blossoming flowers and lush green trees are what you are hoping for, then visit in the Spring. If warm weather and beaming sunshine is what you prefer, then come during the summer months. If you want to bundle up and see possible snow covered trees and twinkling lights, visit during the holidays in winter.

Admission: FREE

What to do There

As per everything mentioned above, you will not be surprised that there are in fact quite a number of fantastic things to do while paying a visit to the Luxembourg Gardens. If you are hoping for a leisurely afternoon, then grab a baguette, some meats and cheeses, along with some French wine and enjoy setting up a picnic on one of its many grassy fields. If you want to explore the grounds by bike, take a bike tour of the place. For some real fun, you and your fellow travelers can rent a row boat and head out on an adventure on its own small and private lake. Of course admire the many flower beds, elm trees, statues, and overall incredible design of the entire park while there and take it all in one at a time.

Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel towerWhether you are heading to Paris for the first time or have been there on multiple occasions without paying a visit to the iconic Eiffel Tower, the following are some facts, tips, and information to help ensure you make the most of your upcoming visit…

A Brief History

Taking a total of two years, two months, and five days to complete the construction headed by Gustave Eiffel, it was merely built for one sole purpose…the 1889 Exposition Universelle, which was to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the French Revolution. Showcasing the impressive talents of French engineers, it was nothing short of a technological marvel of the 19th century. Despite the fact that it was only intended to last a total of 20 years, due to proposed scientific experimentations of radio transmissions and telecommunication, it has now lasted decades; turning it into one of the most iconic landmarks of the world. With nearly seven million visitors per year, it is the single most visited monuments that you have to pay for on the globe.


Though fairly hard to miss, you will find the Eiffel Tower on the Champ de Mars, which is in the seventh arrondissement of Paris. Very close to the Seine River and nearby other popular attractions including Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame de Paris, and the Louvre Museum.

Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France

When to Visit

Although there truly is no bad season or day of the week to visit the beautiful tower, you may want to consider various aspects of your chosen date to visit based on your preferences. The Eiffel Tower is open 365 days a year, however, there are varying visiting times depending upon the season. In the summer months of June to September, you can expect the tower to be open until after midnight. Other months throughout the year, it will close an hour or two earlier than that. Summer is obviously the most popular time of the year to visit Paris in general, which means lines will be long and the crowds will be plenty.

Admission: Starting at 9 euro

What to do There

Once you get there and after standing in the possibly very long line, you can choose to either climb up the nearly 600 steps or take the elevators to the top. There are three different levels but stairs can only take you to the first one in which case you would then have to use the elevator if you would like to go beyond that. Once up top, take in the magnificent views at either day or night time. The best option would be to head up to the top just before sunset so you can enjoy it once you are there and then head back down and take in the twinkling lights that happen every single night. Many people opt to do this while enjoying dinner at a nearby restaurant that boasts spectacular views of the twinkling tower.

No matter how you decide to enjoy your visit to the famous Eiffel Tower, you can be proud to say you were added to the over 250 million visitors that the landmark has seen since 1889.

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Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the Arc de Triomphe

Arc de TriompheBeautiful from all angles and located right in the heart of all of the hustle and bustle of the city, the Arc de Triomphe is one of the most visited and famous sites throughout all of Paris. Whether you are making your way there soon or are trying to decide if you should, the following information should help for all of that and much more…

A Brief History

Honoring those soldiers who fought and died for France during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the Arc de Triomphe is a monument constructed with great attention to detail and great honor. You will notice that the names of all of the French generals and victories have been etched and inscribed on both its inner and outer surfaces. Though not quite visible, just below its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. Regarded as the cornerstone of the historic axis (Axe historique), it is right in the center of an entire sequence of multiple monuments in its pathway. A rich history, an evident construction of detail and dedication, and an overall impressive look to it, the Arc de Triomphe is well worth the visit.


This iconic landmark and monument – as mentioned above – is located right in the center of a ton of action. You will find it standing in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle toward the western end of the Champs-Elysees.

Address: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France

When to Visit

Many people consider the absolute best day of the year to visit the Arc de Triomphe is on July 14, which is Bastille Day and although it may be closed to enter into the monument, you will be joined with the large crowds of those celebrating and parading through the entire length of Champs Elysees. However, if crowds are not your thing then a visit during the autumn or spring months would be best.

Admission: Adults: 8 euro // Students: 5 euro

What to do There

Measuring a total of 50 meters (164 feet) tall with detail in nearly every single one of them, the first thing to do when arriving at the Arc de Triomphe is to simply marvel at its massive size, its surroundings, and its many engravings etched into each of its sides. Read the names of the 660 generals, stand under its central archway and look up, and enjoy a leisurely stroll around the entire base of the monument to make sure you don’t miss anything. Then of course make your way inside and proceed to make your up the nearly 280 steps to the top. When you finally reach it, catch your breath and take in the magnificent views of the city below. This is the time to snap plenty of pictures and enjoy looking down on all of the cars making their way around the Champs Elysees. If you feel you are unable to make it all the way up to the top, don’t let that stop you from paying a visit to this beautiful historical monument as you will find it is surely well worth the trip.

Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the Louvre

the louvreIn between all of the croissant indulging, marveling at the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, and spending leisurely afternoons at the many beautiful parks, at some point on your trip to Paris you will want to pay a visit to the Louvre. If you agree, the following are some great trinkets to know about how to make sure your time spent there is successful and enjoyable…

A Brief History of the Louvre

Dating way back to the 13th century, the Louvre originally was built upon a much smaller fortress that eventually had massive towers added to it as a sign of great French power amongst the monarch. Years later after destructions and additions, 1527 was the year that brought about what you see today at the Louvre. Now filled with not only a rich history of the French but also jammed packed with culture and a type of architecture unlike any other, it is nothing short of a magnificent and awe inspiring place to see and explore; boasting the title of one of the largest museums in the world.

Location of the Louvre

Located on the Right Bank of the river Seine in the city’s first arrondissement, it is easy to reach and very recognizable thanks to the massive building itself and the enormous crowds making their way to see all it has to offer.

Address: Musee du Louvre, 75001 Paris, France

When to Visit the Louvre

Unlike other major attractions in Paris like the Eiffel Tower, weather is typically not an issue for your visit. Since nearly everything you need or want to see is inside the museum, you won’t need to worry about being too chilly in the winter months or too hot during the summer months. For lesser crowds, visiting during the spring or autumn may be your best shot while the winter and summer seasons see more of a larger crowd base.

Admission: 15 euro // Sundays from October-March: FREE

What to do at the Louvre

As you have probably heard before, one of the main attractions featured inside the Louvre would be the famous Mona Lisa. However, the Mona Lisa is not the only fantastic and interesting piece to see there as the museum holds nearly 350,000 objects dating from prehistory to the 21st century that are scattered throughout the 60,600 square meters (652,300 square feet) of the place. Although you may want to see all of these objects, plan for only seeing a fraction of them as it would be nearly impossible to do so even over the span of many months. From Egyptian antiques and Islamic art to Sculptures, paintings, and drawings the Louvre is nothing short of an art lover’s paradise. Plan for at least a couple hours inside the museum as the facilities are extremely extensive and could take all day if you so choose. Admire the outside of the Louvre Palace, which the museum is located in, wander about the many works of art throughout the hallways and passageways, and simply take in the rich and diverse history that seems to exude its every meter and inch.

Crime in France

crime in franceFrance is comparatively safe and most offenses are non-violent. Offense in Paris is not dissimilar to that in big cities. Pickpockets are definitely the most important issue. Along with wallets and handbags, little electronic devices, and smart phones are special objectives. Pickpockets could be any sex, race, or age because they can be not simple to prosecute, but are generally kids beneath the age of 16. Popular tourist sites may also be popular with robbers, who favor regions that are congested to hide their actions. The busy lifts in the region enclosing the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre, escalators at museums, as well as the Eiffel Tower are favored by pickpockets and snatch and run thieves. There have been some cases of tourists being robbed and attacked near Metro stations that were less inhabited. Other places in Paris where additional security precautions are justified after dark are the Pigalle area and Les Halles.

Violent crime is comparatively unusual in the city center.

Most French residents take holidays in December and August; there’s normally a rise in the amount of residential break- ins. The bulk are credited to residents not using security measures set up, including neglecting to double lock windows and lock doors and install an alarm. Phone calls many times precede burglaries to find out whether the resident is at home. Frequently burglars symbolizing a utility company or who get use of the apartment building will rap on flat doors to find out whether anyone replies, maintaining they’re taking a survey.

Nevertheless, robberies including physical assault do happen in other major urban areas as well as Paris. Travelers should be conscious and attentive with their environment especially in congested places at airports, train stations, and subways. Offenses against visitors are often crimes of opportunity, though these offenses tend to be prone to entail violence late during the night or when the thieving is detected by the victim and resists the offender.

If you are travelling to some countries you may ned special training such hostile environment awareness training or special equipment such as bulletproof vests. But not in France. You only need your common sense and a travel insurance. That should do it!