My itinerary for three weeks in Paris is done. Museums, street markets, churches, parks, and pâtisseries; color-coded, rain/shine options, and custom Google-mapped.
I’d have four weeks done if I wasn’t so distracted by the Louvre’s website. http://musee.louvre.fr/oal/scribe/indexEN.html. Checking out A Closer Look (videos of a specific work discussed in a historical and artistic context) and the various Louvre Trails (themed ninety minute audio tours) was fascinating. I selected a few Trails (Mighty Aphrodite, Alexander the Great, Lion Hunt, In Search Of Ideal Beauty) to plug in, though I reserve the right to turn left into any open door.
On days the street markets are open, I added churches and parks that are nearby. Street markets and parks are fair weather options only. It can be chilly, but not wet or bitter cold – that’s under 45 degrees for this southern woman.
My detailed agenda is not set in stone. It’s not a schedule, it’s more like a list of tempting possibilities I can follow or ignore, depending upon my whim. That’s one of the beauties of solo travel. You can pick up the pace or slack off at will. In a city like Paris, where there are more wonderful things to do than there are hours in the day, my itinerary serves more as a filter than a must see/do list.
Now, about apps. Tripadvisor’s City Guides app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tripadvisor-offline-city-guides/id480066121?mt=8 is free, has a great make your own map option and directions that guide you from where your feet are to the venue, plus those helpful crowd-sourced ratings. And it’s free. Love me some free.
Uber https://www.uber.com/https://www.uber.com/ will get a work out, unless the Parisian cabbies manage to ban it between now and when I arrive. Fly Delta http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/mobile.html because when you need flight info, you really need it.
I have two food centric apps, because who doesn’t need high quality caffeine and sugar? Paris Pastry http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/11/paris-pastry-app/ is curated by pastry chef David Lebovitz, and Paris Cafes https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/paris-cafes/id441859940?mt=8 is very Yelp-esque.
A Paris Metro app will come in handy, and the filter in the Ulmon Paris http://www.ulmon.com/ will obligingly show you the location of everything from monuments to pharmacies.
I’m going to try out the Cities Talking tour http://www.citiestalking.com/cities/paris/, as I have always loved the Venice/Rome/Paris Walks audio guides by Sonia Landes. I’d rather listen and look around than squint at a book while I stumble down the street. Rick Steves Audio Europe, http://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/audio-europe makes the cut for his reliable, salt of the earth perspective.
I downloaded all three of the official Louvre guides to the museum, http://www.louvre.fr/en/louvre-audio-guide-app though I will probably also rent an audio guide there. And of the four translation apps I checked out, I like Google Translate best https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-translate/id414706506?mt=8 It has worked reliably, will say your phrase in mellifluous tones, and show it on screen, bumped up to large font, if need be.