England and France are very close together, especially now that the Euro Tunnel is in operation. It takes somewhere between 4 hours to travel from London to Paris, so when I have the funds for it, I spend the weekend in Paris when I can.

Paris is remarkably, a fairly small city but with so many interesting things to see, you may need more than two days to see everything. However, since I am a Paris weekend warrior, I have compiled the must-see sites that are perfect for a weekend stay in the City of Lights. read more

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French Bulldog BreedCulturally, the French absolutely love their dogs, but bureaucratically, there are few places where you can bring your dog without being chastised by the local police. France still has some issues with their dog laws, and dogs are typically not allowed to the majority of the places there.

There are no dog parks in France, and almost all of their beaches ban dogs from visiting throughout the year.

However, the big cities are still great places to bring your dog to, particularly within Paris, Cannes, and Marseille. Here are some of the things you can watch out for when taking your dogs to France:

Take Your Dogs On Holiday to France


There are many dog boutiques
Natural Dog FoodIn France, especially in Paris, you can find many dog boutiques so if you are looking for natural dog food, you can easily find them along the corner. More and more dog owners are choosing environmentally friendly, cruelty free dog food made out of natural ingredients. Healthy dog food is something that you can find everywhere in France.

You can also buy pet accessories and other things, but the majority will be for small breed dogs. The majority of city dwellers do not have the space for a big house, so many of them live in apartments that only have enough space for a small breed of dog.

There are dog friendly restaurants and hotels
Dog=Friendly RestaurantYou are allowed to take your dogs into restaurants and hotels for the most part. Most restaurants allow you to bring your dog as long as it is on a leash and that it does not bark or jump on people. Small dogs are often required to be inside a carrier bag to make sure that they stay out of the way.

About 50% of hotels in Paris allow dogs inside, but you will have to make sure that your pet is completely vaccinated and that you keep it clean – naturally, you do not want them soiling the carpets. I suggest that you bring a training pad to prevent your dog from making a mess.

You can ride the Métro and buses
Metro de Paris in FranceMost small dogs are allowed to ride the Métro and go on a bus ride provided that they are placed inside a carrier. If the dog is too large for a carrier, they are allowed to go on a train or bus ride if they are muzzled and on a leash.

I suggest buying a nice muzzle for your dog just in case, as this will be a requirement in many public places in France. Note that you will be required to buy your dog its own bus ticket, at discounted child fare rates.

Of course, in France, many places are off limits to dogs, but the regular streets are just fine. Sure, there are no dog parks, but there are always other places to visit. I love bringing my toy poodle along and having her sit on my lap while enjoying a nice cup of cappuccino. In my opinion, France is still friendlier towards dogs than most places in the UK.

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While I am a pretty fit girl who loves hiking, skiing, and mountain climbing in the Rhône-Alpes, spending on a ski trip or a climbing is a rather expensive excursion and not everyone can afford to go to the Alps everyday just for maintaining fitness.

Female Runner

I exercise at home in the UK everyday, but when I am in Paris (for I spend most of my time there), I have to become a bit more creative. For one thing, I cannot afford to spend for a gym membership in France because I am simply not there often enough to merit such an investment. On the other hand, if I do not get to exercise at least once a day, I kind of feel incomplete.

Best Outdoor Cardio Exercises


So what are the most affordable ways for you to stay fit within Paris? Well, check it out:

Try the Outdoor Gyms
Parcours de santéThere are free to use outside exercise equipment in the Parcour Sportif which is found along the Canal Saint-Martin. Compared to the more sophisticated outdoor gyms found in other places in Europe, the Parcour Sportif sure is simple with plain green bars and balancing beams. Simple as it is, you will be in good company because of the different fitness folks that frequent the area.

There are body builders that do pull ups religiously whether it is raining or snowing, and the area is also frequented by urban “ninjas” specialising in the French sports discipline of Parkour. I get so inspired to work out in the area because of its eclectic clientèle.

If you want something that is a bit more modern than the grungy green monkey bars of Parcour Sportif, you can head on over to Île aux Cygnes where they recently installed a brand new outdoor fitness gym. The island is narrow and covered in trees, and is also protected from the rain by Pont de Grenelle bridge. You can use the stationary bicycle while enjoying the fresh air and the beautiful view by the Seine. They even have a small climbing wall where mountain climbers like myself can literally “hang around”.

Go jogging along historical parks
Jardin des Tuileries in ParisI love jogging – it provides me with the high intensity cardio work out that I need while costing next to nothing. My favourite places to jog is along the well-trodden paths of the Jardin des Tuileries, which is located along the Champs Elysees. If you want your jog to double as a mini tour of Paris, I highly suggest you visit the historic Jardin des Tuileries! Some of the sights that you can see from the park include the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde, Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, and of course, the Eiffel Tower itself.

Alternatively, you can also take a jog at Jardin du Luxembourg, which is the largest public park within Paris. The perimeter of the park is about 2km, so taking a few laps around the area is enough to fill your five or ten kilometre run quota. The park is absolutely gorgeous, and you get to pass royal gardens, a grotto, and see beautiful architecture all around you. Paris is truly a wonderful place for fitness lovers such as myself.

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France's Arc de TriompheFrance is the dream destination of many young girls, women, and yes, even couples. There’s just something magical about the place… I think we can all admit that. The Eiffel tower is on the bucket list of just about half of the population (I can’t quantify this with statistics but come on, I’m pretty sure a lot of people in the world want to see France).

Paris is a magical, romantic place. It has been the subject AND the setting of many films, TV series, novels, and so on… It’s really no wonder that many people want to visit it. But a lot of people never do because they don’t think that it’s possible to do with kids.

And let’s admit it… finding family friendly holidays is never easy. Arranging holidays for yourself is no problem but when you have a child—or children!—to think of, things just change. You have so much more to worry about and you eventually decide not to bother with it anymore. But going on holiday with your kids doesn’t have to be so difficult! In fact in can be easy as long as you plan ahead well enough.

Things to Do in Paris for Kids


There are many activities that even kids can do in France, so that at least when you go, your children can come with you and they won’t be too bored. Here’s some of those activities right now!

Shopping
Let’s not deny that shopping can be a very expensive experience, especially in France where the currency is in Euros. But it’s not so bad, so long as you know how to bargain—and also as long as you know how to control your impulses.France's Canal Saint Martin

You can go shopping around Canal Saint Martin—it’s an amazing experience that will make you really feel as though you are in France. You can also go shopping around Rue de Bac. If you cannot afford to go shopping, then at the very least you can still go window shopping—just savour the experience.

Disneyland
If a great experience for children is what you are looking for, then look no further than Disneyland, where for sure you will find that your kids will enjoy themselves to no end. You can dedicate just a day of your holiday to this trip.Disneyland Hotel in Paris

The truth is, even though the park is designed for kids, even adults can enjoy it too—I know I have. It’s a really fun experience as even Mickey speaks and is fluent in French—now isn’t that interesting?

Biking Trails
One great way to spend some time in nature and to bond with your family all at once is to go biking. There are many biking trails across France that you can experience—just book ahead.French Biking Trail

You can bring your own equipment or rent, which in my opinion is better as there is much less hassle. In any case, you will find a new side of France to love all the same. Who knew France could be so family friendly too?

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