Welcome to Paris, fellow rubyist, how can we help?
You'll need WiFi (of course!), logding, traveling, visiting... and of most obviously, delicious french food! Feel free to comment.
France has a few WiFi communities with which you can get free (rate-limited) Internet access. Ask your hosts/friends for credentials, which may be helpful.
The usual for a big city and European capital I guess. Small hotels, in-town or suburban hotels, AirBnB and so...
Though most people in Paris have a tiny apartment, you're welcome to reach to local communities for couchsurfing.
Paris has a dense public transportation system (buses, metros, trams, RERs). I like to walk and use the metro and buses. If you're moving a lot, look for unlimited tickets for your stay, for convenience. If you're just having one or two journeys a day, that might not be necessary.
A single ride in the main center (zone 1-2) is around €1.4 when bought by 10; a one-day pass "Mobilis" is around €7. Note that the daily "Paris visite" ticket is more expensive ( http://www.transilien.com/static/tarifs/mobilis vs. http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/r_61654/parisvisite/ ). There might be a good reason for the price difference but don't ask me why.
"What to do?" http://quefaire.paris.fr/ also with a "kids" version: http://quefaire.paris.fr/enfants For non-obvious travels: http://www.transilien.com/static/touristique/info-touristique
Paris is actually very small. Walking along the river Seine from the Tour Eiffel to Notre Dame will lead you to most landmarks quite pleasantly. I like parks but you might not be impressed. They are nice places to relax and hang out though. Most of them have WiFi!
Here are all the parks in Paris:
- paris.fr - http://parcsetjardins.equipement.paris.fr/
- wikipedia - http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_des_espaces_verts_de_Paris
** Monuments, Places & Museums**
- Le Louvre (you'd need a few full days: plan a long trip and ticket, or just go to your favorite things. I like ancient Egypt ^^)
- Notre-Dame (note the very nice Archaeologic Crypt, underneath the place. Stairs on the opposite side of the place)
- Versailles (the travel is not obvious: RER C to Versailles Rive Gauche, "porte de Versailles" tram & metro do not lead there)
- Palais de la Découverte
- 14th: Catacombes, I recommend coming in early (also, it's cold, and not disabled-friendly: there are 120 steps down and 83 steps up)
- Salle du Jeu de Paume
- Grand Palais
- Musée Georges Pompidou (art museum: go to the rooftop for a view!)
- Institut du Monde Arabe (museum on arabic culture + café at the rooftop)
Parks & walks
- Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle & Jardin des Plantes
- 12th: Promenade Plantée, from Bastille to Vincennes http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promenade_plantée
- 13th: Parc Montsouris, Cité des Fleurs, Petite Alsace
- 18th: Montmartre
- 19th: Père Lachaise
- 19th: La Villette has Cité des Sciences, la Géode, and you can walk the canals to Bastille
- 20th: Campagne à Paris
- Bagatelle, Jardin d'Acclimatation
Entertainment Paris has many theaters, from huge to small. Some websites or beginning artists give you the opportunity of having entrance-free (tip-based) performances.
- Salle Pleyel
- Théâtre Athénée
We the French are passionate about food. Best addresses are open for debate. Previous great locations include Le Pied de Cochon and le Louchebem, in the same area you can also try l'Autobus Impérial.
Depending on your diet (allergies, beliefs...) you should definitely try:
- pastries, cheese, meat and charcuterie, wine and perhaps beer,
- buying a hot, straight out of the oven baguette and biting in it!