Paris: The City Of Love
Finally! This was my 3rd time in Paris and I finally fell in love with this city. The first time that I traveled to Paris I was 14 and I went there with my family and 50 other Chinese tourists (imagine that!) so no, I didn’t appreciate it. I also went there 4 years ago right after partying for 2 weeks in Ibiza and Barcelona, so I didn’t get a chance to really enjoy my time exploring the city. During that second time I came across some rude Parisians so that left a bad taste it my mouth. You can say 3rd time’s a charm! I went to Paris prepared for the site seeing, croissants and French cuisine. I spent 2 full days and it wasn’t enough time to enjoy this stunning city. The weather in October was perfect, not too hot and not too cold.
Travel Cost Breakdown
FCO –> CDG (I was flying from Rome) Vueling Airlines: $39 USD
Hotel: Les Boulevard: $246/night (split between 3 people) This hotel is in 2nd arrondissement which is a very lively area with many options of bars and restaurants.
How To Get From The Airport To The City
- From Terminal 3, you can take the RER train for 10.30€ to Gare Du Nord and then continue with the metro/bus from there.
- Since we were 3 people we opted for a taxi. I’m pretty sure we got ripped off from the airport to the city. After doing research, I found that the taxis are supposed to charge a flat rate of 50€ to destinations in the “right bank” (above the river) and 55€ to the “left bank” (below the river). See page here. From our experience, this particular taxi driver started the meter and charged us extra for the pickup fee and our luggages. In total we paid a little over 70€. On the way back it was a different story. Our hotel arranged for a taxi pickup and from the beginning the meter was already set to 55€. Then when we got to the airport we were charged another 7€ for an airport fee?**TIP** If you do decide to take a taxi make sure you ask about the flat rate since they seem to scam unsuspecting tourists. ALSO, not ALL taxis take credit cards so ask them before getting in or make sure to always have cash on you.
- Taxis: remember that some only take cash so ask.
- Metro: you can buy a 10 trip cartet for 16.30€. If you are to buy them individually it´s 1.90€. Tickets can be purchased at the automated kiosk or at any of the information desks down in the subway.
- Electric Razor Scooters!! This was my favorite way of getting around. Lime seems to be among the most popular brands and I saw plenty of them in the city. Please be aware that you can be fined up to 135€ for riding on the sidewalk, so make sure to use the bike lanes.
**TIP** Bring your gym arm band for your phone case and wrap it around your arm so you don’t have to stop and pull out your phone every time for directions. Oh yeah, and anti-bacterial soap.
What To Do/Places To See
- Arc De Triomphe – most famous monument built between 1806-1836
- Trocadero Gardens – for views of the Eiffel Tower
- Eiffel Tower – You can either take the elevator or walk up. Tickets sell out VERY fast so purchase in advance.
- Champs De Mar – green public space (when I went it was under construction)
- 228 Rue de l’ Universitè – for this view
- Rue Saint Dominique
- Pont Alexandre III – charming Parisian bridge that connects Champs Elysées quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower.
- Dior/Louis Vuitton in Champs Elysees (Flagship stores) if you plan on doing shopping. Don’t forget to bring your passport for duty free tax
- Moulin Rouge – This is where I first consumed alcohol ever so it was very nostalgic seeing this venue. That and I adore the movie Moulin Rouge with Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. You can see a cabaret show. Tickets start around 87€.
- Galerie Vivienne – beautiful covered passage built in 1823
- Les Deux Palace – controversial art installation by Daniel Buren
- Louvre Museum – Closed on Mondays. Buy your online tickets here 17€
- Catacombs – I didn’t get to visit this so learn from my mistake. I arrived an hour after it opened and the line was wrapped around the block. Even ticket holders were waiting about 1 hour. I suggest getting the earliest time slot and getting there early. Ticket information here.
- Notre Dame Cathedral – As you already know there was a fire on April 15, 2019. I thought that maybe we could still access and see the outside of it. NOPE. It’s completely blocked off so skip this part.
- Hôtel De Ville – city hall
- Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann – Department store with a lot of big named brands. Must check out the interior design. It’s so beautiful!
- La Maison Rose – “The Pink House”
There are so many other places I wanted to check out but that will be for another trip. I tried to cram as much as I could in the two days we had.
Places To Eat
- Le Bouillon Chartier: open till midnight. Decent food for the price and a large variety. It’s usually VERY busy during the day.
- Croissants: the first one I tried was from a small little bakery and it was okay. The next one hit the jackpot. It was from the chain Eric Kayser and I promise that you won’t be disappointed! Check google maps for all the locations.
- L’As du Fallafel: Since this place had so many reviews on TripAdvisor and Google, we decided to check it out. You’ll know you’re there when you see a long line outside. In one of the locations there is a small dining area. The other location, just a few feet away, has a bigger dine in section.
- Sacree Fleur: Reservations are a must!
Seb’on: Reservations are a must!
- Maison George Larnicol: for the macarons