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France
Topic Started: Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:30 am (1,020 Views)
Pasaulis

The country of baguettes, strikes, cheese, wine and amazing pastries :D.

I don't know if anybody on the boards is interested in going there, but it is my home country, so feel free to ask questions!
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awaynfree

is it possible to get a student visa upon arrival? i am from canada, staying for one term. thanks in advance :)
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mburucuja

This is definitely something to check with the consulate or embassy on. Visa regulations can change frequently, and there can be serious repercussions for not complying. If you're with a reputable organization, they should also be providing some sort of guidance or support.

I know that the process for US students is quite expensive and time-consuming and definitely has to be done before departure, but it may be different for Canadians.
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Japanharris

I'm visiting France this summer! My ticket is booked, I will be leaving June 1st, and returning the 11th. Who has been here that can give me some must sees/do thats maybe off the beaten tourist trap?

Also has anyone traveled from France to Spain? I was thinking about doing a day trip bug im on a tight budget and im not sure if it's affordable
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mburucuja

European countries are small, but unless you're already going to be in the south of France near the border, I wouldn't think a day trip would be feasible/worth it. It's like a 10 hour drive from Paris to Barcelona, and even on high speed trains it's still over 6 hours. Maybe splitting your time between the two (5 days in France, 5 days in Spain, then flying back to Paris to go home or something) would work?
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Matsunoki
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We loved the behind the scenes tour of the Eiffel Tower. It wasn't too expensive at all, was really interesting, and it included tickets to the first level - and the tour group got to skip that line!

One interesting lunch we had was at Foyer de la Madeleine (read the reviews for details on finding the entrance, paying, etc.). It's a restaurant under a famous church and the proceeds are used for charity work. The menu is limited and it's only open for lunch but it's a really cool atmosphere, affordable, and for a good cause.

Our favorite museum was the Musee des Arts et Metiers. It's *amazing* if you have an interest in science and technology, and is worth a stop even if you aren't (but if you are, seriously, plan to spend a lot of time there!). It was on the Paris Museum Pass so we actually bought the pass there (no line) and really benefited at other sites, especially Versailles, from not having to purchase entrance tickets.

We did a Fat Tire bike tour the day we arrived. It was really good and going the first day went well for us. We were about to fall asleep in front of the Eiffel Tower just before it but it woke us right up and we had NO jet lag after!

I ended up taking 4 (!) guidebooks with us: Lonely Planet Encounter (portable and easy to navigate to maps of different neighborhoods, which I'd write in extra sights and restaurants on), Lonely Planet City Guide (it stayed in the room most of the time but was good for finding more restaurant options [pre-Yelp] to put in the Encounter book, Rick Steves (great at Versailles and a few other sights where his more in-depth but not too in-depth background info was perfect), and Michelin (some good walking tours and I loved that it gave more info on smaller sites than LP).
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Japanharris

Thanks for the suggestions! I'm not sure if a split like that would work, but I can try to extend it to maybe 2-3 days instead!

How much did you pay for food while in France? It's the last thing I have to budget for and I'm not sure how much money I'll need for it!
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Matsunoki
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Japanharris
Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:49 pm
Thanks for the suggestions! I'm not sure if a split like that would work, but I can try to extend it to maybe 2-3 days instead!

How much did you pay for food while in France? It's the last thing I have to budget for and I'm not sure how much money I'll need for it!
I don't remember, plus that was a few years ago so I'd check some travel sites and see what people are saying it runs now. Lonely Planet, at least in their paper guidebooks, will give daily budgets for budget, mid-range and high-end travel styles, but Tripadvisor's forum probably has recent enough posts on it too. I know we used a lot of prix fixe menus to keep costs down and were never disappointed. Usually that got us an app and entree or entree and dessert for the cost of a normal entree, with the catch that you had maybe 2 options to choose from for each dish. Foyer de la Madeleine and the roof of Le Printemps were more directly budget options (and Le Printemps has an amazing view from their roof). Mostly we walked around and picked places that looked good and were busy, and the prix fixe special was usually displayed outside so we could decide if we wanted to go for it or not.

Picnicking is always a great budget option but one I've never bothered with. Paris is supposed to be great for it if you like the idea though because of all the specialized shops.
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Japanharris

I thought I responded to this, sorry! But thanks for all the great advice!
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