Now if you’ve been following me on Instagram or Snapchat, you will have seen that I’ve been spending the last week exploring the wonders of Paris!! So I thought this week, I will share with you my experiences, my recommendations and also, my top tips if you’re ever to make the journey (which I strongly recommend!!)
We were lucky enough to stay in a lovely hotel right in the centre of Paris, where we were in the centre of all the buzz and able to walk to most places. Even on a budget, it is possible to find a reasonably priced hotel right in the centre of everything, so I would certainly recommend doing this if you can. From the moment we stepped into our hotel, we felt like we were on a movie set- now this, of course was the theme of our hotel- each floor had a theme of a famous movie director, and each hotel room had a theme of a particular movie, which was pretty incredible. Ours was rocky balboa, much to my boyfriends delight! When we enter the hotel, were greeted by two very friendly and welcoming receptionists, who were pleased to accommodate our every request, and give us their best recommendations- as newbies to the area, we knew the great tourist attractions that we wanted to attend, however we had no idea where to eat, what the best way to get to certain places were, and where the best views would be.
Places to eat
Now as you walk along the boulevards of Paris, there are endless places to stop and eat, drink and have a socialise- so many in fact, it’s hard to know which to choose from. One slightly awkward experience was going into what claimed to be a ‘Thai restaurant’, however nothing on the menu seemed to actually reflect any form of Thai food, so we made a swift exit once the waiter turned his back!! We soon realised the best thing to do would be to ask the locals. We became friendly with the reception team at our hotel who gave us their very best tips on where to eat, and where would not rip us off (after all this is a huge tourist attraction and businesses can really capitalise on this). Our hotel recommended a traditional French restaurant called Le Mesturet. We entered the restaurant and it was packed- always a good sign. Even though we hadn’t booked, the waiting staff sat us down in the waiting area with some complimentary snacks whilst we waited for a table, which took only ten minutes. Once we were sat down, we had the waiters full attention, and shortly realising we were English tourists (we stood out like a beacon), he talked us through the menu for our ease. Now as you can see from the photos, they aren’t shy with their portion sizes, and this was truly value for money, so I would definitely recommend getting some tips from the locals if you are unsure on where to go.
You have multiple choices for getting around, including walking, the metro and taxis. Personally, I love to sightsee, and I believe the only way to do that is by walking as much as you can, to see and soak up as much of the French culture as possible. On day two, I convinced my boyfriend how lovely it would be to walk (in the rain I must add!) from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre, which took a good hour.. We saw some wonderful sights along the river, walked through some beautiful Parisian streets and the Louvre gardens which were idyllic and picturesque. The only downside was once we arrived… unfortunately they’d closed it for the day, so I had to do some extreme grovelling!!
The metro, again is another great way around- it’s quick and easy, and also very cheap if you’re on a budget. You do just have to be careful for pickpockets and beggars on this form of transport- at times I did feel quite uncomfortable, so I would always definitely choose walking over the metro, if I am able to. Taxi, again is another form of great transport. It is however, quite a luxury – the price can be extremely high, especially when the traffic is bad which in Paris, can be very similar to London. So my advice is to buy some good trainers (if anything it’s the perfect excuse to make a purchase!!) and walk as much as you can, so you truly get to experience the beautiful Paris.
Places to visit
Now there are too many beautiful places that we visited for me to name on here, but there are a couple that stood out for me. First of all, was the Notre Dame. It was completely free entry, and absolutely breathtaking inside. As you can see from the pictures, the whole place was completely majestic and there’s so much history there. I love even the smell of old buildings, you can feel the history coming alive inside.
Another place I absolutely loved was the louvre. I never really knew what to expect, as I hadn’t actually done much research on it- being quite naive, I knew the Mona Lisa was there but that’s about it!! And truly there was so much more to see- some incredible pieces from some incredible eras – my personal favourites being the African, Georgian Era and the Egyptian history. I’ve placed a few of my favourite pieces below for you to see here too. This place truly blew me away with the amount of art and history contained within it.
And last but never least, is the iconic Eiffel Tower. Now unfortunately for us, it started to rain just as we began our tour, but it didn’t spoil the true beauty and history that surrounded us. We had a friendly tour guide who introduced some history behind the Eiffel Tower, who then left us to our own devices whilst we were there to explore by ourselves. We bravely chose to take the lift to the very top floor (eek!) which was quite scary as I’m not the best person to be around when it comes to heights. But the views were truly breathtaking, to see the entirety of Paris at this level, literally watching the city continue its day.
So there you have it- my glorious experiences over a three day trip to the city of love. And what a wondrous place it was.