I've been to Paris twice, the first time in 1999 and then again towards the end of 2001. (Hopefully I'll be able to go again before long.) Both times I went with a mate (different ones), and the two trips could hardly have been more different. But one thing came through from both trips - Paris is my one of my favourite cities in the world.
My First Experience of Paris
I went with a friend who, like me, knew basically nothing of Paris, and spoke about as much French as me - virtually none! (Hey I'm not your average Englishman who thinks that everyone can understand me if I raise my voice and speak s l o w l y - I speak reasonable Spanish, and know a little Czech and German [resists urge to mention little Czech called Jan and little German called Hanz] - but I just don't do French!) This meant a few communication difficulties occasionally, but of course most people there could speak perfectly good English too.
Since we didn't know the layout of Paris we spent a lot of time wandering around wondering where we were, and also made the mistake of getting the 175F (Ã¯Â¿Â½.50) travel card - it's generally much cheaper to buy a pack of ten general purpose tickets instead. We flew in from Heathrow to Orly (not too far from the city centre) on a British Midland flight (breakfast included - an edible breakfast! I was seriously impressed...) for Ã¯Â¿Â½ from Lastminute.com - pretty good. We got a hotel in St Paul's for about Ã¯Â¿Â½ per night B&B - though finding a hotel with reasonable prices took a while.
The first thing we went to see was the Eiffel Tower, which impressed me immensely (and continues to do...