Honeymoon in Paris Here are tips

Here are some tips for planning a honeymoon in Paris:

*Since it can take six to eight weeks to receive a passport, apply early.

*Check out the currency exchange rate on the Internet and arrange to get francs or euros in advance. We exchanged $500 for 3,500 francs before our trip through an Internet service. We also carried some American dollars with us to trade at an exchange service in Paris, but that service charges a fee.

*Do not rely solely on automated teller machine cards. Although they are good to have, the daily limits are prohibitive (we were able to get about 350 francs — about $90 American), and weekends often used up an entire day's withdrawal.

*Many restaurants, markets and shops are closed on Saturday and Sunday, so prepare yourself accordingly, especially if you want to shop for souvenirs.

* Wear and take comfortable shoes. You will walk more than you ever expected.

*If you book your trip over the Internet, call your hotel to verify. Even though we did this, when we got to our hotel for our honeymoon, they had us booked in a room with twin beds. We were moved to another hotel down the street for two days.

*Use the metro system. Once you figure out the various connections, it is a wonderful, fast and economical way to get around the city.

*Use your favorite Internet search engine to find out about sites, restaurants and hotels. Also, use the Internet to find out what the weather will be like during your stay.

*Be prepared to wait in lines everywhere you go. Tour buses often arrive at museums and other sites in mid-morning, so the earlier you get there to beat the crowds, the better.

*We flew into Charles de Gaulle, an airport where 48 million people arrived last year. Since the airport is quite far from the heart of Paris, we called ahead and got explicit instructions from a helpful English-speaking clerk at our hotel on what train to take, what stop to get off at and directions to the hotel from that stop. We were glad we called ahead, because we felt a little overwhelmed arriving in a seemingly deserted airport early in the morning. A strike that began that morning, however, diverted us off the train before the stop we needed, leaving us to make the remainder of the trip in a cab (morning rush hour in Paris is unlike any you've seen).

Bus drivers were on strike on the day we were leaving Paris, so we ended up sharing a cab with another traveler also on her way to the airport. The cost was about 150 francs, so don't spend all your French currency before you make it to the airport.

*Don't bother renting a car for getting around in Paris. They park on the street bumper-to-bumper, run lights and stop signs and pack five lanes into three-lane streets. It's sheer craziness.