Ah Paris! To many known as the city of love and to all known as the fashion hub of Europe, if not the world. But what’s it really like to navigate the twenty arrondissements that make up the French capital in just one day?
For this particular trip, Paris became an extension onto our original Brussels adventure and so we traveled there via train which took two and a bit hours. We used the SNCF trains on the Izy service by Thalys. It cost us €29 each way. This route left us right in the middle of Paris Nord station which leads me on to the next subsection;
The best and only way to get around with regards to transport, is to venture into the bowels of the city and board the Metro. When buying your tickets at the vendor machine make sure to select the 10 tickets option for €14.90 which will save you money and trust me you’ll use them up faster than you think. Otherwise, it’s time to strap on your best pair of fashion trainers and strut your stuff around the Parisian streets as walking is always the best way to see the sights and drink in the local atmosphere.
Where to stay:
Next up you’ll need to rest your head somewhere after a packed day of shopping and sight seeing. We checked into Hotel Andre Latin on 50 Rue Gay-Lussac. Just a 9 minute walk from the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg. This hotel was such a find at €79 for two people and one night and the interior was Insta worthy to say the least. The room had everything we needed and the beds were beyond comfortable. A definite ‘would recommend’ spot.
As we were only in Paris a day, we didn’t spend too much time checking out the food spots but we did end the night with dinner on a river boat cruise down the Seine. I can tell you once you’ve glided past the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower while stuffing your face with the best salmon I’ve tasted, no dinner experience will ever quite top it.
I don’t think a trip to France is complete without sitting roadside in colourful plastic crochet chairs smearing butter on a warm croissant, washing it down with alternate mouthfuls of orange juice and cafe noir. Our choice of location to fulfil this tourist cliche was Le Rostand on the roundabout at Jardin Luxembourg, the next morning before we ventured out to Versailles and then boarded the train back to Belgium.
There was nothing particularly niche about our trip with regards to this. As a Paris virgin I was desperate to see everything I knew the city for according to worldly cliches and movies. These included the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Pont des Arts and a day excursion to Versailles before heading back across the boarder.
- walking shoes are a must or the blisters will be the death of you!
- locate a Starbucks early! I’ve never been to a city where a soy chai latte in a white cup with a green mermaid was near impossible to find. Call me basic but let’s be real; we all love a good Starbucks when our energy levels need a boost.
- Versailles: the tour of the garden costs extra so be aware of this. The ticket for inside the palace is free for EU citizens if you show your passport but book it online to avoid crazy queueing. Also a point to note; the metro ticket on the way back to Versailles is priced higher so factor queueing to buy a new ticket into your travel time.