10 Things to Do If You’re Stuck in Paris

Air France mob scene

Yesterday, I was passing through the Place de l’Opéra, and saw this mob outside the Air France office. And the line snaked around the block. I took a picture and went home to happily finish packing for my trip, which was going to start tomorrow.

I must be living in a volcanic cloud of my own, and indeed, when I woke up, there was an e-mail that my trip has been canceled. So instead of facing the dreaded task of unpacking my suitcase, which included a swimsuit (grrrr….) I made a list of things you can do if you’re stuck in Paris:

1. Book a spa day. I can’t tell you where I’m going, because I’m waiting for my confirmation. But many folks like the Mosquée de Paris, which is inexpensive and located in a lovely building where you can sip mint tea after your steam. There are specific days for men and women and prices start at just €15. I’m not sure if the treatments there are as luxe as one might want, but my friend Heather is a bit more generous than I am and has a list of spas in Paris that are a bit more posh.

2. Hit each and every place on my 10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris.

3. The Rue Montorgeuil is a great place to spend the day. You can eat well, sit in a sunny café, shop for kitchenware, and buy phenomenal breads, chocolates, cheeses, and pastries.

4. Stressed out? Take a yoga class.

5. Do a wine tasting at O-Chateau. The basic tasting starts at €30, but they have a last minute deal for the “Tour de France” tasting for a tasting of six wines for €50, down from their normal price of €60.

6. Take a specially-priced tour at Context Travel. They twittered they’re offering special volcano-discounts. Why not take them up on it?

7. Buy a day pass and take the bus around Paris. You can buy a carnet of ten single-trip tickets for around €11, or the more expensive Paris Visite card (which has some discount admissions), which costs €9. But for €5.9, you can buy a Carte Mobilis good for a full-day. The pass is available at métro stations with cashiers, train stations, or check the list of points of sale in Paris by arrondissement.

The bus is a great way to see Paris; they start and stop at lots of places, they run frequently, the people are more helpful than on the crowded métros, and the bus lanes mean they move rapidly. You can hop on and hop off, as you wish. Just get on any…and go! The #29 bus is particularly interesting, and goes through the Place de l’Opéra, the Marais, and the Bastille. The #87 bus takes you from the Eiffel Tower and down the Boulevard St. Germain de Prés to the Right Bank. The bus lines are very clearly marked where they stop and stations have free maps, although there are more detailed ones at Monoprix stores. And should you wind up somewhere where you’re unfamiliar with, you’re never far from a métro station in Paris, so you can zoom back.

Since the weather has been so nice, Polly has reminded me of the Batobus, which costs just €13 and allows you to travel all day up and down the Seine, stopping at eight historic sites around Paris, and you’re free to get off and on as you wish.

(Tip: Because of all the stairs in the métro, many elderly people take the bus. So if you get on and want a seat, and see one at the rear, go take it. If you take a seat near the door, you’re likely going to have to give it up within a couple of stops.)

8. Hit the market. Every day in Paris, except on Mondays, there’s an outdoor market somewhere taking the place. The Marché d’Aligre takes place daily, and has a small flea market in the center, but you can find a market no matter where you are on the complete list of Paris Markets.

The markets are great places to soak in atmosphere. Those low on funds might be disappointed that markets in Paris are short on samples, but the food is relatively inexpensive and you can buy a slab of pâté for around €2 or a spit-roasted chicken for less than €10. Since the weather is currently lovely, assemble a picnic with a nice wedge of cheese, a baguette, and something to drink, and take it to a nearby park. For the truly budget-minded, show up around 1pm or so, when the market is closing, and almost everything gets sold off at very reduced prices.

9. Running low on funds? Find cheap eats at Chartier, or try handmade noodles at Les Pâtes Vivante. Feeling French? Visit one of my favorite crêperies in Paris. Or sip vinho verde and eat Portuguese roast chicken at Churrasqueira Galo.

10. See what Lonely Planet has to say, by downloading their Lonely Planet Paris City Guide (as well as other city guides) for free.

Thanks to a tip from Sara, I found out the most of their European city guides, normally priced between $10-$15, are free to download until April 22.

Related Paris Posts

Paris Favorites

Paris Transit Options

Paris dining guides

Sunday dining in Paris

The ice cream shops of Paris

Finding a hotel in Paris

Where is the best duck confit in Paris?

Two delicious dining guides to Paris

Where to find a good cup of coffee in Paris

My five favorite travel items

Where to find the best steak frites in Paris

My Paris

Paris restaurant archives

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  • April 20, 2010 6:41am

    Can’t wait to be stuck in Paris, David – I have ordered The Sweet Life in Paris through Amazon to have you handy in case of electric cuts

  • April 20, 2010 6:47am

    Thanks David…this is good info for anytime. My airline colleagues are taking day trips outside of Paris. It’s frustrating to be stuck, but you just have to make the best of it. I passed your site along to them.

    Sorry about your vacation, I hope you can salvage part of it.

  • April 20, 2010 6:59am

    I can only wish that I will one day be stuck in Paris!

  • April 20, 2010 7:10am

    What a great idea. I wish I was stuck in Paris.

  • April 20, 2010 7:16am

    Great ideas! Guess there are worse places to be stuck. Safe travels!

  • April 20, 2010 7:20am

    Hi Guys:

    I know everyone’s heart is in the right place, and it’s meant in fun, but for the people who are stuck here—not just people like me who had vacation plans, the situation is getting serious.

    Many people are missing work, a lot of small and large businesses are losing money, folks are sleeping in airports, and perishables and food that is awaiting transport is rotting at airports. For people in need of medical supplies and organ transplants, it’s obviously a grave situation.

    So as a courtesy to those stranded in this situation, I’d like to keep the comments for people to share ideas or that add to the discussion.


  • April 20, 2010 7:24am

    Great list of things to do in Paris. Will certainly file that for my next trip!

  • April 20, 2010 7:53am

    One precious day we hope to go.Thank you..I am sure I will refer back to many of your posts.

  • April 20, 2010 8:04am

    I’m sorry for your trip :/.

    as for places not far from paris, your readers stuck here could also choose to visit the northern coasts of france, they are two to three hours away from paris in a car, and 1h30 with the high speed train. (Ok, I live near there. But I’m pretty objective. Almost :) ).

    those northern parts of France are usually not so well known by tourists but they worth be discovered because they are part of France richness and surprising differences :). The Mont St Michel of course is well known, but the Normandy region and beaches are lovely, perfect to have a walk and with reasonable prices. Extrême north of France coast have a frontier with Belgium, are affordable and very welcoming. You’ll find there historical landmarks, museums, but also large beaches to make long bike rides. Dunkerque has sand yacht or kite classes to offer, and huge batches of “mussels with french fries” in it’s restaurants :). If you can, you may want to visit Lille and Valenciennes : at 1h45 from inside Paris by the TGV, they will offer a lot of cultural and architectural richnesses, as both cities are more than 1000 years old. the city of Bavay near Valenciennes is even old enough to have been a Gallic town, and you can see there ruins from gallo-roman period.

    Of course I wish anyone to have a plane as quick as possible, but in the meantime, I also wish that you’ll get a chance, at least, to discover more pleasant sides from the country you’re stuck in (when life gives you lemons and all this sort of things… Bon courage !)

  • Sunny
    April 20, 2010 8:12am

    more daytrips;

    Vaux-le-Vicomte (near Melun) – small chateau with gardens designed by Le Notre, who also designed the gardens at Versailles. Intriguing story presented as to whether or not Fouquet, the builder, was framed or was really up to no good. Very close to Blandy-les-Tours, a reconstructed fortified chateau. There’s a shuttle running between the two.

    Giverny (nearest town: Vernon) — the home and gardens of Claude Monet — worth a visit even if you’re NOT stuck!

    Chantilly (closest town: Roissy) — this one has the advantage of even being close to CDG airport. Another small chateau, nice gardens, with an excellent collection of Baroque art — but the stables are the true draw here. Has a large grassy lawn right next to the parking area that would be excellent for a picnic. Also very close to Senlis, with its lovely old church and village.

    Fontainebleau — an enormous chateau, where Napoleon and Josephine spent a large part of their time – nice gardens here, as well, but not as big as Versailles, so not quite so daunting. Very close to Barbizon, which was a stronghold of the Impressionist movement.

    Provins — a walled medieval city that was quite literally forgotten when the trade roads no longer went through the city. Very well preserved, and you can climb to the top of the Cesar Tower — the only octagonal tower on a square keep that exists anywhere in Europe (even on paper). They have a number of very nice presentations during the day — a birds of prey show, a horseriding show — and some decent restaurants (a little touristy).

    All my best to those whose vacations and business trips are lasting longer than you’d planned.

  • Mario
    April 20, 2010 8:29am

    What about visiting the new Ralph Lauren store on St. Germain? It’s supposed to be amazing. It also has a restaurant called Ralph’s serving American fare, and the patio looks inviting for summer.

  • Suzen
    April 20, 2010 8:34am

    Really good post David!

    I was supposed to go to Prague for work yesterday but my flight was cancelled. I am really lucky since I am already home and am just missing a few meetings. It would have been a lot worse to be stuck in Prague and unable to get home.

    My friend is 7 months pregnant and her husband was stuck in the US. He took a plane to Madrid, rented a car and drove back to Paris last night.

    It is true that being stuck in Paris is not the worst thing in the world. But you always want to have the option of going home when its needed.

  • April 20, 2010 8:40am

    My holiday to visit family in South Africa has disappeared in a cloud of volcanic ash. Last Thurday morning, we were literally, I kid you not, about to put the first items from on top of the bed into the suitcase when my partner’s Mum called to say “switch on the telly”. 24 hours later we made the decision to cancel, get a refund and just take it on the nose. :’-) . Thanks to the high pressure zone, which was causing the cloud to stagnate over the UK, we had a wonderful sunny weekend. There we were, out in the garden, in our swimsuits pretending we were on the beach. We even caught some colour. I feel so sorry for those stuck on the other side of the world running up loads of debt. We were really lucky in so many ways.

  • jj
    April 20, 2010 8:49am

    Were there any French in that line? I thought the French did not “faire la queue”? I would hate to be stuck in Paris with tempers flaring if someone dares cut in front of me if I’m waiting for a flight out.

  • Anne C
    April 20, 2010 8:57am

    Having gone to Paris on shoestring budget, I relied heavily one one thing: Lonely Planet Encounters.- Paris.

    The “Encouters” series is absolutely great and details a selection of things to do in each neighbourhood, but includes hidden gems, not just the standard tourist fare. It’s small enough to tuck away in a bag/purse, but big enough to include a subway map, things to know about the culture, local terminology, etc. There is also a fold out map of the city and it was by far the best I’d seen of Paris.

    One more suggestion is New Paris Tours http://www.newparistours.com/
    They do a variety of tours, including a free 3.5 hour walking tour. There’s is also a pub crawl, which isn’t for everyone, but as a female travelling alone it was a great way to go out at night safely.

  • April 20, 2010 9:15am

    Cheers David!!
    Given the weather, chilling in a park with a good book also sounds like a worthy option.

  • Mrs Redboots
    April 20, 2010 9:46am

    Sorry to hear about your holiday, that’s miserable. This whole thing is getting beyond a joke now. At least we can get to/from the UK easily, still!

    We are coming over again next month, on our way to the Alps, and this time we’re spending the night/following morning at Le Bourget, specifically to visit the Air and Space Museum in the old airport buildings. That might well be a feasible trip for someone who is stuck.

    And next time I have a spare day in Paris (I wonder when that will be!), I think I want to visit the Musée des Arts et Métiers, which has somehow escaped my notice until now, despite having a métro station called it that I went through every day for a couple of years back in the 1970s!

    Has anybody mentioned the Basilique de Saint-Denis, which is rather wonderful, and nearer to the city than Chartres (where we are calling in on our way home) or Orléans (where my husband is convinced we are calling in!).

  • April 20, 2010 10:15am

    I was supposed to be stuck in Paris. I was scheduled to leave the day this all began. Five glorious weeks in my own apartment in Paris! I’m rescheduled for tomorrow, fingers crossed.

    I know the situation is horrific, and I am blessed that I’m stuck at home. I just worked so hard for so long to make this happen. Oh well, maybe a beachy vacation is called for.

  • Abby
    April 20, 2010 10:16am

    One of my favorite museums is the Musee Carnavalet in the Marais — it’s a museum of the history of Paris, it’s huge, has lots of really neat stuff, and the best part is that it’s free, so I never feel the need to see everything in one trip.

    I also recommend any of the cemeteries as a great place to relax, especially the ones at Pere Lachaise, Montparnasse, or Montmartre — they’re beautiful, shady, not overwhelmed with people, and a great place to find a bench and read a book. It might sound weird to an American to go hang out in a cemetery, but the ones in Paris really are gorgeous, full of art, and full of famous people’s graves.

  • April 20, 2010 10:33am

    David, Your list makes me want to go to Paris, just to be stuck there for a while! Perhaps you should do all of it… that might make you forget about having to unpack your swimsuit?

  • ELC
    April 20, 2010 11:20am

    I’m studying in France this year, which is certainly not a hardship whatsoever. But it’s my 30th birthday this week and I had a big gathering of friends coming to Paris for dinner on Saturday night. But, sigh, many of them, including my husband, won’t make it!

    So if anyone fancies a rip-roaring good time in the Marais Saturday night with a newly minted 30 year old, you know where I am!

    Day Trip:
    FONTAINEBLEAU is 40 mins by train from Gare de Lyon. Stunning Chateau (which is all the more beautiful now that spring is here and the trees are green once again), vast forest for walking and mountain biking (bikes available for rent in town), some decent enough restaurants and salons du the. Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays are market days in the town square.

  • Darlene of VA
    April 20, 2010 11:21am

    Thanks for this timely posting. My uncle and his wife have been stranded while on vacation on Paris sinceApril 8 and was scheduled to fly back to the US on April 16, but the United flights out of CDG have been cancelled twice now and is not rescheduled for another week (volcano permitting)… he bought your Paris book and read your blog in preparation for this trip of a lifetime…

    I will email this new posting to him to see if he wants to try your other ideas… so nice of you to do this! I’ve suggested an out of town trip to Provence, bus tours to Giverny or Mont St Michel and other day trips but the lines for TGV train tickets have been long during the past weekend so they’ve put that idea on hold for now…

    …one downside of this delay is that the dozens of Pierre Hermes’ macarons he purchased as gifts for home on April 16 are now going stale… so they’ve slowly consumed half of it already…what is your favorite town in Provence for a gastronomic experience?

    Do you know of any internet cafes with printers around the Eiffel tower area?

    Merci beaucoup!

  • April 20, 2010 11:53am

    I didn’t know that ‘stuck’ and ‘paris’ could be used in the same sentence. But should I ever find myself putting them together, I will keep this list nearby. Thanks D!

  • April 20, 2010 12:07pm

    Yes I bet it is chaos with the volcano right now. Aren’t airports always a mess anyways? At least you were able to find out PRIOR to going and being stuck in the mess. You actually got to enjoy your day!! :)

    And thank you for the tips. Ahhh how I would love nothing more than to come to Paris. Any tips for 1st timers?

    Ooohh…and how I bet the croissants are divine. I just got done making my own watching the old Julia Childs video. What a task. I now appreciate them a whole lot more!


  • April 20, 2010 1:47pm

    Is train travel to a flight-cleared destination pretty much out of the question at this point? I haven’t seen any coverage regarding alternative means of travel, all of the news agencies are fixated on flying. I can imagine that the train seats and rental cars got snatched up tout de suite.

  • April 20, 2010 1:55pm

    Will: Train travel is still possible, although the Eurostar trains to England were selling out quickly and, of course, the French train system (the SNCF) has been on strike as well, which means there is reduced train service in France.

    I don’t know the car rental situation but likely it’s okay since this is mostly affecting long-distance travel.

    Goodie Girl: Yes, you’re right. At least I am home rather than stuck in the airport for a week, or in some hotel that is kicking me out because they need the room for another guests. The good news is that places have availability, I suppose, because of the cancellations.

    Darlene: Yikes! That’s a long time. I don’t know any internet cafes over there specifically (they’re not as widespread in Paris as in other cities), but a small chain called Milk has internet cafes in various places in Paris.

  • April 20, 2010 2:08pm

    For those with too much energy/too much anger and extra kilos because of an extended trip in Paris eating everywhere David recommended, I would suggest, a jog through either the Bois de Vincennes (also home of one of the oldest Medieval castle) or the Bois de Boulogne. Bigger than the Parc des Buttes Chaumont but not as steep.
    If biking is an option, then renting one of the Velib on a sunny day is the best thing to do, really. You can always drop your bike at any station and go back to your hotel by metro/bus/taxi…

  • April 20, 2010 3:29pm

    Merci for this post, Daveed. I am currently stuck in Paris, kinda. I arrived on one of the last fights allowed to land before the air space closed on Thursday of last week. I thought I was lucky. I no longer think so. I was to go to Nice for 12 days on Monday of this week (and then back to Paris for the night of May 1), but of course my flight was canceled and the trains were still on strike and way out of my budget anyway. So I am still in Paris until the 2nd of May when — fingers crossed — I am to fly home out of CDG. I am very worried that the volcano will erupt again (or keep erupting) and prevent me from flying home as scheduled. I have no credit cards, only cash/savings, so this could really get dicey. Who knows if my job will keep paying me if I can’t make it home. There are so many things to worry about if detained here. All my friends are like, “Oh, it’d be so great to be stuck in Paris.” Um, in theory, perhaps. But in reality, it could fast become a nightmare.

    At any rate. Thanks for this post for those of us presently stuck in Paris.

  • April 20, 2010 3:36pm

    Risamay: Sorry to hear you’ve been grounded. For those low on funds, you might want to check out Couchsurfing, an organization that matches people up with hosts who will let visitors sleep in their spare rooms, or couches.

    I haven’t used them before and am not affiliate with them, but have heard that it’s a good outfit, and it may be worth checking out for folks willing to ‘camp out’ in someone else’s apartment.

  • helen
    April 20, 2010 3:46pm

    THANK YOU. I will confirm that being stuck in Paris with not a lot of extra cash is not exactly a dream come true. I appreciate the suggestions for keeping busy while not draining my savings!

  • April 20, 2010 4:12pm

    Great article.

  • Jennifer
    April 20, 2010 5:01pm

    And everyone thought that we humans were running the planet – Ha!

    Hopefully this event will serve as a wake-up call to those who don’t really need plane travel, like business men who could just as easily arrange video-conferencing, and people who think they MUST take two holidays abroad every year.

    We blissfully potter along and forget that so much depends on the whims of nature, the direction the wind blows. In 1783 there was famine in Europe due to the Iceland volcano of Laki erupting. Let’s hope this current eruption will not have such far reaching and devasating effects. That would impact on your blog posts! Top 10 gruel kitchens in Paris. Making a bouillon with trainers. Paris parks that feature edible plants and so on.

    Seriously though, having to survive in a major city during a famine doesn’t bear thinking about.

  • April 20, 2010 5:11pm

    Hi Jennifer: Good points, but on the other hand, travel gives people a chance to broaden their scope of the world; so many people never leave their own borders and have a limited view of world affairs as a result.

    On the other hand, this is showing how being more locally-oriented, especially in terms of transportation and food production, is something that’s unfortunately been overlooked or ignored. These kinds of events always give people pause to reflect on all this, which ultimately, is probably a good thing. But for now, most people are just trying to make the best of the situation.

  • April 20, 2010 5:47pm

    Oh to have this problem. I’d do all of your suggestions and then a few more.

  • April 20, 2010 8:50pm

    Very nice suggestions. I’ll have to remember them if I’m ever stuck in Paris :) Right now, I’m so stressed out, the yoga class or the spa seem like the only two possible places anywhere.

  • April 20, 2010 10:17pm

    I think I could be quite content plopping myself down in a seat at a cafe and sipping some wine, having some bread and watching the sights.

  • john
    April 20, 2010 10:51pm

    There are some excellent small museums in Paris that generally go over looked:
    Nissim de Comondo off parc Monceau (which is a nice stroll too), rue de Monceau off blvd Malesherbes is one of my favorites…a town house filled with wonderful antiques, in a familial setting, so wonderful that the Louvre has a room with the cream of its crop.. (And speaking of the Louvre, it has some great sections on the upper floors, away from the mobs, that have specialty items, the suites of rooms used to be open certain days of the week, just check at the entry to see what is available, great variety). The Invalides (metro Invalides) has a good French military museum upstairs, again only open on certain days.

    The Picasso Museum in the Marais has not only the largest collection of his work, but also his private collection of contemporaries, in a terrific renovated town house. The Orangerie in the Tuileries garden, has 2 oval rooms with their walls covered with Monet’s water lilies mural paintings plus a great collection of Cezanne.

    Always the Cluny off St. Michel and St. Chapelle’s stain glass windows in the church on the big island of Cite. So, if you have the time and a good map, and comfortable shoes, you can stroll neighborhoods and poke around for a local restaurant, and a bite while you’re at it…always the best way to see Paris…no guarantees on the cooking…

    Thanks, and I love the windows at St. Chapelle, too. Just a note that the Picasso Museum is currently closed for renovations, reopening in 2012. -dl

  • Sunny
    April 21, 2010 1:12am

    Don’t be in too much of a hurry to get to the Picasso museum — it’s closed for structural repairs and renovations to the building until 2012.

  • Ann
    April 21, 2010 1:47am

    Feeling bad for those who are stuck, but I would love to have this excuse to stay in Paris!

  • April 21, 2010 1:56am

    Great post, merci, My husband was “stuck” in Paris this past Friday but managed to get on a flight back to the states the following day. I’ll forward your recommendations for his next trip!

    As Risamay and other respondents have expressed, being “stuck” in Paris is somewhat of an oxymoron, but it can get “dicey” if you have limited funds, no place to stay, and need to get home to family and jobs. I hope everyone is able to get to their destination soon.

  • Sophie
    April 21, 2010 3:21am

    The little-known Parc de Sceaux is particularly nice this time of year. The park was designed by Lenotre for Colbert, who wanted it to rival the gardens at Versailles. If you’re feeling antsy, take the Coulée Verte, a bike path that will take you from Place de Catalogne behind the Gare Montparnasse, all the way to Sceaux and beyond. If not, the RER B will take you there in 15 minutes (Sceaux, Parc de Sceaux, or La Croix de Berny are all minutes from the park.)
    Make sure to seek out the 2 cherry tree groves, they are in full flower, this week only – one pink, one white.
    In the neighboring town of Sceaux, there is a nice pedestrian street, rue Houdan, with the original chocolaterie Patrick Roger and several good bakeries. My favorite is L’étoile du Berger, across the street from the church on rue Berger, where they have a few tables and you can sit and have a pastry and tea or coffee. Or grab a sandwich and a pastry and make it a picnic in the park.

  • April 21, 2010 3:50am

    Great list! I am going to save it for when I am intentionally stuck in Paris.

  • Susan
    April 21, 2010 11:03am

    Well..since you too have a little time on your hands now, hows about whipping up a batch of your chocolate chip cookies and go cheer up those stuck at the station (and maybe take a few books as your calling card!) I’m sure a lot of people fear leaving the station in the event that they’ll miss an oportunity to get on a plane. Has there been any help from the local businesses to give some relief to those stranded? Just curious.

  • Susan McLaughlin
    April 21, 2010 12:35pm

    I lived in Belgium and couldn’t get to Paris ENOUGH!!!

  • April 21, 2010 12:43pm

    I am so glad that you mentioned Couchsurfing.com up there in a reply, David. I was thinking of just that organization the other day when talking with a friend of mine whose parents are getting an extra week in Antibes with their grandkids because of a delay in getting out of France. I was saying that I should check out signing up as a host, which I would, but we’re expecting my MIL on Friday, depending on how things go with th airlines, and our apartment is not that huge!

    There is another, similar kind of website here, where people can rent a home/apartment from real people/residents at great savings compared to hotels: AirBnB.

    I love Abby’s free suggestions up there of the Musée Carnavalet and the cemeteries Père Lachaise, Montparnasse and Monmartre, and there have been several mentions of parks, too. I recommend the Parc de la Villette and the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, both in the 19th. If I were one of the stranded, I’d be thinking FREE, for sure.

    I recommend coming up to the 19th arrondissement, which is not often visited by tourists. Some people say this is not without reason, but I don’t think that’s true! There are some very cool things to see and do in the 19th. I’ve written about some on my blog, and another blog friend of mine recently wrote a post where she gave her suggestions for the 19th, too: Paris (Im)perfect: Ever the Nomad

    I really do feel for people who are stranded with little money to spare. I hope that the situation can be dealt with expeditiously so all who are stranded can get home soon.

    I am sorry, too, about your foiled vacation. Much as we all enjoy Paris, it is nice to get away and be other places, too. It’s a big, beautiful world out there and each place has its charms.

    Here’s good vibes to all who need them!

  • Jean Marie
    April 21, 2010 4:39pm

    You’re right that it’s not always fun to be stuck. Years ago, my husband got stuck in the Bahamas with a business group while I was home in Washington with two small children in a blizzard. He and most of his traveling companions were frantic to get home for various reasons, got kicked out of their hotel. They finally made it three days later.

  • Veronica
    April 21, 2010 5:15pm

    It’s a difficult situation for ppl who needs to be in a place, with their families and their jobs. Maybe next year I’ll have those days in Paris.. who knows!! But, I really support the words of Jean M. and David.

  • April 22, 2010 6:33am

    Great post, David, and I second the comments that being stranded may not be a vacation for everyone – even if it is Paris! Thanks to Karin above for mentioning it and I’ll give the direct link to my article on free activities to do in Paris.

    Paris is such an expensive city; I can only imagine what a shock it may be to the budget for those who weren’t planning on staying so long. Hope some of these suggestions help: http://everthenomad.blogspot.com/2010/04/guest-post-paris.html

  • April 22, 2010 10:07pm

    What about a walking day in the city – or several of them. I don’t have any specific tours. We usually stay in the 6th and walking thru Luxemburg Gardens and have found many places just wondering to our next stop wherever that may be…

    And we have been through an unannounced British Airways strike and been “stuck” and know it’s not always an extra vacation to be stuck without lodging or a place to go.

    Take a few minutes to enjoy the lovely city in the spring.

  • Lisa Torres
    April 23, 2010 2:57pm

    Do you think the air will clear in 3 weeks??? Oh boy I hope so… I am soo looking forward to our trip to Paris. My husband and I will be there May 17 he will be working which gives me freedom to roam around at my leisure….I have only driven through Paris 21 years ago and didnt get to stop. I have so many things planned and all your suggestions are helping. I am flying Air France. I know that people from Paris that were stranded here in California have been able to go home and a man on the plane trip I was on 2 days ago told me he had to drive to from Paris to Amsterdam and then fly to Texas then to California…he said it was a nightmare. He told me the last time the volcano blew it tooks 2 years for the air to clear!

  • eli
    April 23, 2010 5:57pm

    I love your blog David! As I write this, I’m hanging out with a CouchSurfer who I’m hosting for a few nights…I recommend the site as someone who has surfed (in NY) and hosted numerous times here in Paris….it’s a great resource because it becomes more than just a place to crash…it’s a door to the way of life of the locals! You meet some great people and get to experience a city in a new way!

  • April 25, 2010 8:23am

    The O-Chateau Wine Tasting (we did the Wine & Cheese lunch) was fabulous. One of my fave Parisian tourist activities. I highly recommend it…

  • April 26, 2010 10:14pm

    When this was in the news, the first thing my husband and I thought was – we’d give anything to be stranded in Paris!!

  • April 27, 2010 8:00pm

    A wonderful list! You and I must have been walking in the same area on the same day because I saw that line and recoiled in horror. Luckily for me, my vacation wasn’t affected but I did feel bad for all of those stranded. But if you are stranded, I can’t think of a better place to be stranded than Paris.

  • May 3, 2010 3:01pm

    Couchsurfing.com is indeed a great organization, service, and suggestion. Thank you for posting that, David. Luckily I didn’t have to use them (I already had Parisian friends’ couches lined up for crashing, if necessary), but I imagine that more than a few people around the world did, due to this unprecedented disruption in air travel. I have friends who have used that site to travel to Tokyo and many other places, and I’ve only hear rave reviews. In the future, I would very much like to use Couchsurfing.com as an intended mode of travel. I think it could be a very interesting way to see a city and “meet the locals.”

    Made it home safe and sound and as planned last night. Never been happier to be home after a stint abroad. Whew!