PARIS, FRANCE – Sights of Paris
I knew that of all the cities I had to visit, Paris was one of them. So when I got some time off, I booked my ticket and started planning.
Getting there: I decided to go to Paris rather late. I had originally planned to go to the Mediterranean with another friend but differences of opinion led us to call the trip off. On a whim, I started scouting out for a well priced flight to Paris. Air France was the best at £139 as it was leaving from Heathrow and allowed me to check in baggage. Next time I go to Paris, I’d like to try the Eurostar. I think the prices are comparable and since it takes you right into Paris, you don’t have to figure out the metro from the airport (9 euros).
Accommodation: I searched for a good deal on lastminute.com, expedia.com, laterooms.com and found that there weren’t any good deals to be found. A lot of the time the rooms were exactly the same price as the hotel’s website. I stumbled upon a website called housetrip.com, very similar to airbnb and ended up booking through this website. We paid £120 each for 3 nights accommodation in the 11th Arrondissement (sp?). We rented a large studio apartment that was neat, clean and easily accessible. We had privacy and the opportunity to cook our own meals – keeps the price a bit lower. The only downside was that the studio was not in a well maintained building, but once we got past that, we were fine.
Money: I never change money when I travel abroad. I just use my debit card. I think the exchange rate is competitive.
Getting around: We used the day pass (6 euros or thereabouts). It allows you to get anywhere on the metro, buses and trams (like the one near Sacre Coeur – the third most visited landmark in Paris. Disneyland is the first).
Sights of Paris: My friend and I both decided from the start that we had no desire to go up the Eiffel Tower but rather wanted to find a nice spot to take a photo of it. As it’s so large this is pretty easy to do. Visiting the Arc de Triomf at sunset on the recommendation of a friend was a good choice. From here we got great views of Paris, including of the Tower.
A cruise on the Seine is a must do, as is visiting Notre Dame (free), Sacre Coeur (free), walking through the Tulieres (free) and sitting at a cafe while you people watch. We also did a walking tour of Montemartre with a company called Discover Walks. They do free tours around Paris with the option to tip at the end. Our guide for the day was Bertron. He told us lots of charming anecdotes about the area as we walked down cobbled streets that most people would probably never discover.
Four days in Paris wasn’t enough. I can’t wait to return. I’d like to explore the markets, restaurants and quaint shops more and perhaps venture outside the capital too. What’s your favourite thing to do in Paris?