The masterplan of the Paris city was redesigned by George Eugene Haussmann in the 17th century. The restructuring of the city shaped the Paris that we recognise today – long tree-lined avenues with cafes, wide boulevards aligned along axes and expansive parks and green spaces. These were significant elements that helped give the impression that Paris is a romantic city.
Although Paris is an old city, it is not so walkable as many other old European cities. Walking between two places that seem to be just a few blocks away on the map, or share the same avenue name usually takes much longer than expected. Once, we were so glad to have finally arrived at the street of our destination. Never did we know that we had to walk for another 30 minutes just to reach our destination, which was located at the opposite end of the street from where we were.
Paris has a very extensive and dense metro network. There is usually a metro stop within 10-15 minutes walking distance no matter where you may be in the city center. It always seems wiser to walk if the destination is located only one metro stop away, but it is a different matter if the travel distance is more than two stops.
For instance, there was an evening when we decided to walk to a restaurant located a metro station away from our hotel. Being careless with my navigation skills, we walked towards the wrong direction and then only realised it when we reached the next metro stop (and found out that it was the wrong one). To get back to the correct way, we had to head back to our origin point, and further down to another metro stop in the opposite direction. When we finally reached the restaurant after 30 minutes of walking, we saw that it was closed on the weekends.
We found another restaurant located another metro stop away further down the same road. We obviously decided to continue moving on our feet. We finally found our food after spending nearly an hour of wandering around the Parisian streets. All four metro stops that we passed by were located on the same “street”.