Of course everyone will insist on Paris! But but beside Paris, there are other towns you can visit, and they are more french than Paris. For example:
From Paris, you can take a train to Versailles, about 1 hour, to see the very famous palace.
Also can take a longer train from Paris to Tours, about 4-5 hours, around this region are many nice and pretty french castles and catherals, famous river scenary along the river. You have to find a place to stay in/near Tours.
It's autum, supposingly would be better to go to the south few more weeks ago. i think it's still a good time to goto the South though i had never been there around this period last time when i was visiting my gf in Vibeuf.
Oh ya, the street, the bridges, street lamp posts, you must shoot.
Actually Tours is 1 of the major town in the Lorie Valley lah. You take a train from Paris to Tours, and then stay in Tours, then you either rent a bicycle (very romantic) or rent a car (not romantic but comfortable) to travel around the Lorie Valley region.
Versailles is just outside Paris, you can stay in Paris and take a day trip to Versailles and then back to Paris for dinner and hotel.
in my personal opinion, late april is the best time to go Europe, since it's the time when flowers bloom. By May, most of the flowers are beginning to wilt. It was a joke when I went to a rose garden somewhere in switzerland and saw only leaves.
The weather is cool (could be a bit cold if you are near the north) and there are no crowds. But some places like Resorts in the Alps are only open during the Summer holidays.
I am a self-confessed slightly reckless driver in Singapore. But when I see the traffic in France, I prefer not to drive .
When I was at the Loire Valley, we took an english speaking day tour which was very convenient and the time they gave you for each place you visit is rather generous - comparing to some Singapore tours I joined.
In Paris, we mainly used the metro and the bus which was rather convenient - provided there was no strike. (I had to carry my full luggage and walked for about 50 mins to catch the Eurostar to London when I met a strike. Si beh sway).
For towns further out, we took the TGV (accordingly, the fastest train in the world - does feel faster than the shin kan sen).
If you like to rollerblade, I think it should be all right. There are quite a number of locals on these. Just an unorthodox alternative.
I don't think the cabs will come cheap. What the heck, everything there don't come cheap.