This time two years ago I visited one of my favourite cities for the first time! I wasn’t particularly great with the whole blogging thing back then and didn’t really share much from that trip (there was a blog post but I would advise against reading it – cringe!)
Paris is such a wonderful city, with so much culture and tourist attractions. The food is incredible and its just got a fab vibe to it. There are a few down sides, as there is to pretty much anything in life. The metro isn’t exactly the most fabulous thing in the world, some areas (especially on the outskirts or less seen areas) are a bit smelly and dirty. But the main parts are beautiful and there are some hidden gems too!
From the Uk you can obviously fly to France, get the ferry or even the Eurostar. I have been to Paris twice now and have flown and got the Eurostar. For my first trip I got the Eurostar. This involved me going to London the day before, we stayed in a cheap B&B right by St Pancras, then got the first Eurostar train on the Monday morning. This got us into Paris for 9:15am. Our hotel was literally a 2 minutes away from the Gare De Nord Station.
We booked a really cheap hotel/hostel type accommodation as we only needed to sleep there. It was quite central and there was a metro station 2 minutes away – Perfect!
We bought a metro card for our time there. We were there for 5 days – despite the name of this post! Which was €70 but a 2 day metro pass is €41 this gives you travel to pretty much anywhere you need to get to. Walking is an option too!
Everyone said to me that Paris would be so expensive. I say it is what you make it. Of course if you are going to stay in a 4 or 5* hotel and eat at the swankiest places and going designer shopping it all adds up. But if you are there to grab a pastry or two, see a whole load of sights and not too fussed on sleeping arrangements then it can be quite affordable!
Some top tips for making your trip super cheap and easy!
- use air B&B for cheap accommodation
- check which mode of transport to Paris is cheapest (any offers)
- If you are under 24 and european – take form of idea i.e. passport and you will get free entry to lots of tourist attractions such as the champsellyse and the louvre.
- Eat on the go to save time and save one night for a big splash out meal if you like!
- Get a map or plan where you are going to optimise travel rather than getting taxis or extra travel places
If you get the first Eurostar or an early flight and get there for early morning. drop your bags off at your accommodation and have a quick freshen up if you need to ahead of a jam packed day! I definitely recommend taking advantage of the cities many patisseries and grab a croissant and coffee whilst you get your bearings and plan your next move!
Next up hop onto the metro , you’re heading to the famous Arch De Triumph. Walk along the Champs-Élysées and glance in ore of all the designer shops you could dream of. It really starts to feel like you’re in Paris. Keep on walking until the small thing in the faint distance becomes a big arch with the most beautiful architecture. Inside the arch is a visiter centre, with information and where you can go to the top for some pretty fantastic views of paris. This was as I mentioned in my top tips, one of the attractions that is free if you are under 24 and european. But was not too expensive in price if you did have to pay!
After those views and wandering around the arch, maybe grab another coffee for on the way back down the long Champs-Élysées, before hopping back on the metro for your next destination!
Le louvre – now this is a massive museum, I was a fool to think we could do the whole thing in a day. But if you are after a quick glimpse of the infamous french treasure, the Mono lisa and a few selfies with the iconic Triangular prisom then make this your next stop. Grab a map to help you find your way (and makes a cute souvenir). I must say that I loved the museum however found the Mona Lisa rather disappointing. Le louvre itself was magnificent and I am so glad I got to go there and take in all the other art and culture.
You could probably fit in a night time visit to the eiffel tower at this point, trust me the queues are busy! I went in october and the queues were horrendous all day everyday. Or if you fancy going for a freshen up and then look for somewhere authentic and local to eat thats a good option too before getting a few hours sleep in for the next busy day of adventures!
For the second day you are going to be up early and the priority is finding somewhere cute for food! I would ideally like to give you a few places as recommendations but as I said, it was 2 years ago since this trip and my last trip was to disney land. I didnt write down the places we went to eat – how annoying! But the french do food very well so you will find something easily!
You need to hop back onto the metro to find the Notre Dame (My favourite!). This is honestly one of the most amazing things I have seen! The most amazing architecture and interesting features, the grounds around it are so beautiful and it was absolutely packed with tourists taking pictures of everything. Go on inside, its like no cathedral you have ever seen before, it oozes history and culture but feels so elegant and enchanted. Going to the Notre Dam really changed my opinion on cathedrals and churches, I was really drawn to the beauty of this building. Down the sides, on the street were cute restautaurnts and patisseries selling coffee and crepes. We couldn’t turn this down whilst queuing to go to the top of the Notre Dame, waiting in the freezing cold autumnal air. after waiting for a good hour we finally were going up. I completely underestimated how tall this building was. There were 2 different levels both with amazing views of the city. When we finally reached the top, and the gargoyles where far below us. The view of Paris was breathtaking and it was such a special moment. Afterwards we sat on a bench opposite the Notre dame to take it all in and listen as the bells went off, It was incredible. If you do one thing when you visit Paris, I would recommend this above everything!
If that was exciting enough, grab your bag (and possibly another coffee… caffeine overload). Its time for the EIFFEL TOWER! Get back on the metro, maybe grab a baguette or a bite to eat and prepare for a queue and a climb. The eiffel tower is on a lot of peoples list. It was certainly on mine. I am so happy I got to see it in person and go up to the top. I do feel like its slightly overrated, especially after doing this after the Notre dam. However once you get to the top, the views are like nothing you have seen in Paris yet. Try and spot the Arch De Triumph and the Notre Dam, they look so tiny from all the way up there. After seeing the views from each one it got grander each time. But the view from the top of the Eiffel tour are insane! It’s definitley something you have to do whilst in paris and I’m sure I will do it again! This was one of the only things that we went to that cost money. If you are under 24 its €14.50, over 24 €17 and for children under 11 its €8 to go to the top (its slightly cheaper just to go to the second floor).
If you are aren’t too tired then hop back on the metro to find some shops! Paris is a fashion capital and there is shopping just about anywhere. I went shopping on the Champs-Élysées. And before you think WHAT!? I wasn’t shopping in Chanel and Dior (I wish), theres tonnes of highsreet shops such as Zara, H&M and french hightstreet shops too! not to mention one of the best things about going away… SEPHORA!
To mark then end of the trip why not head back, dress up nice – maybe with something you’ve bought! and go out for a nice french meal, maybe some cocktails too! enjoy the french ambiance before heading back to reality!
I would also recommend if you have a chance to go to Disney for a day too! Disneyland Paris is as magical as it gets really! We added an extra day onto our trip after we accounted for all our touristy days and a shopping day to also have a day trip to Disney Land – it was our first time going there and we both loved it! Its not too expensive getting a day ticket either – it was around £45 each and you can hop on a RER train with your metro card which takes you right to the gates!
That’s what I love about Paris, there is so much amazing things to see and do and you can do loads in just a couple of days. There is of course so much more to see and do, but it gives you an excuse to go back again! As I said Paris is in fact one of my favourite cities and places I’ve visited in general. I can’t wait to go back again!
Let me know if you are planning a trip to Paris any time soon? Hopefully this post will give you some inspo for your trip or some ideas in how to cram in as much as possible!