Going to France (Paris region and Besancon) in May/08 any advice? Such as where to stay? What to watch for? Thinking of renting a holiday apartment instead of a hotel. Is that a good idea or do some renters add last minute charges? My mothers family comes from Besancon in the 1600s so want to research that area. Would love to correspond with people from Besancon or Paris area. My father's side is from the Paris area. Any hotels you would reccomend? I want a clean place with charm close to tourist attractions.
I am not from Besançon and have never been there so I can't give you any insider's tips on the region. However, I think renting an apartment or house (in French: meublé or gîte) is a great idea. Normally there are no last minute charges but some owners include utilities in the weekly price, others don't. It will say in the contract, otherwise ask. However, when the utilities are calculated at the end of your stay based on your consumption, it shouldn't be more than a few euros. Some touristic towns apply a local "taxe de séjour" for tourists at the busiest times of the year. I doubt Besançon would have one in May but you can ask anyway (usually from 20 to 80 cents/day). Here is a list of websites for rentals. Most rentals are done by the week, from Saturday to Saturday: http://www.homelidays.com/EN-Holidays-Rental/100_Home/Home.asp http://www.cheznous.fr/vacances/allovac/consulter.php http://en.faserv.net/ http://www.abritel.fr/uk/index.php http://www.gites-de-france-doubs.fr/formules/gite.php Will you be taking the train from Paris to Besançon or will you be renting a car? Because some rentals are outside the city and may not be easy to get to (although public transportation is pretty good in France). Check the location of each place. Here is also the site of the Besançon tourist office. They also have a list of accomodations : http://www.besancon-tourisme.com/hotel.php Choose "Location de meublés de tourisme" You would find more info if you asked your question on the French Yahoo portal. If you don't speak French, you can copy and place this message: "Je suis américaine et je cherche à correspondre (en anglais) avec des personnes habitant ou originaires de Besançon et Paris d'où est originaire ma famille. Merci!" It means "I am American and I would like to correspond (in English) with people from Besançon and Paris where my family are from. Thanks!" Go to http://fr.answers.yahoo.com/;_ylc=X3oDMTFkcHJudnRjBF9TAzIxMTQ3MTYyOTEEX3MDMjExNDcxNjE5MARzZWMDZnAEc2xrA3Ryb3VnaA%20-- and choose categories Voyage > France ( > Franche-Comté for the Besançon area / Paris or Ile de france for Paris). As for hotels in Paris, ask your question again here without mentioning Besançon, it will bring more answers. I remember reading a lot of posts recommending Hôtel St-André des Arts: http://hotel-saintandredesarts.com/index.htm