Paris is known as the most romantic city in the world. So who better to go with, than 3 of your best friends? Who needs men anyway…
After getting too full on New Years Eve and not actually making it out on the town, we decided to just spontaneously book a 4 day trip. I use spontaneous loosely. I think the conversation went something along the lines of, ” I really need a holiday” “I really want to go to Paris” “ok, lets go?” and BAM. It was booked.
I have to say, the Eurostar is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever used. 2 hours and you’re in the middle of France. I still can’t get my head around travelling to another country on a train. (It’s the simple things…) But it is 100% easier than going to an airport and wasting your entire day just travelling.
Once we got into Paris, it was time to find out hotel. Cue getting extremely lost. After a brief walk around the corner, we thought we had hit the jackpot, but turns out, it was just a different hotel by the same chain. Following the directions we had just been given by a lovely French man, we ended up going the wrong way and not having a clue where the hell we were. Turns out, Paris is a hell of a lot bigger than we had all previously thought.
Now, the good thing about Paris, is its metro. A short ride on that, and we were at our hotel, if you could even call it that. It was more of a hostel, but to be honest, we couldn’t complain for £50 each for 3 nights. It was very basic. I wouldn’t recommend it for a romantic weekend, but it is perfect for backpacking, or a short stay.
We stayed in the Lumiere district, which is a little north from the center, but like I mentioned earlier, the metro was a godsend.
10 metro tickets are only 13e but they are worth it. If you think you can walk from one place to another, you might as well think again. Nothing is near each other! But like we discovered on our second day, you can also get various tours on tuk tuks, which are brilliant. A local guy will take you around Paris and point out places you will not find when you’re aimlessly wandering, and for 15e it was totally worth it. But make sure you have change for tips. Turns out, they getting pretty angry if you don’t tip them at the end!
We were lucky in the sense of we managed to cram everything we wanted to see in 3 days. This was mainly down to having a written itinerary before we had even left. Who doesn’t love a bit of organisation?
Day 1 – We grabbed a little lunch in a small cafe, then we made our way to the Moulin Rouge. If we have 200e, we would’ve seen a show, but you know, we hadn’t actually won the lottery, so we strolled around the district.
A little sleezy, but good fun nonetheless. We grabbed a map, and made our way down a little alley, purchased some macaroons, looked at some beautiful chocolate sculptures and found the Sacré Cœur. Its worth climbing what feels like a thousand steps to see what is inside. It was beautiful. Its worth taking note that you cannot take photos inside, and beggars are everywhere. Literally, everywhere. There was no escaping them bad boys! After a little epiphony, it was time to walk up more steps to Montmartre, to see some amazing street artists and have an overpriced hot chocolate.
Day 2 – We woke up early with massive expectations of it not to rain and headed towards the Centre Pompidou to see some paintings. Its not my cup of tea, but after going in with an open mind, I really enjoyed it. Plenty of original Picasso paintings in there, along with some modern pieces which really broke the morning up.
After we had exhausted the museum, we headed towards Bastille, along the Sienne. We stuffed our faces with delicious crepes and continued walking to the Notre Dame. It’s a long walk. Inside was breathtaking. It is huge and quite unbelievable. We were quite lucky to see a French service and their choir. None of us are even mildly religious, but we sat there for a good hour!
Being lazy, we then took the tuk tuk ride to the Louvre. We didn’t go in as we had read it can take 8 days to see absolutely everything! We gazed at the mini Arc de Triomphe, and could only just see the Eiffle Tower. Whilst waiting for nightfall to see the lightshows, we walked around the district and grabbed some food before heading back.
Day 3 – This was our last full day and the weather looked promising. Turns out if was flipping freezing though. We headed back to the Louvre, to walk towards the Champs Elysee. Once again, such a long old walk! The park is beautiful however and kept in fantastic condition, but hopped in another tuk tuk and admired all the amazing shops, before reaching the Arc de Triomphe.
After a few photos, it was time to look at everything, and literally everything, we couldn’t afford! Walking down one side, and back up the other, we headed back to the Arc, to climb to the top for amazing views of Paris. Then it was time to climb the Eiffle Tower. It was amazing! I’ve honestly never seen anything like that before. Everyone tells you that it is huge, but seeing is believing. Not a great lover of heights, I did well to make it to the second floor, even though I held a ticket for the summit, I just couldn’t do it. Vertigo got the best of me, but seeing the amazing photos from my friends made me proud of them to even get in that little lift! We then had dinner at a lovely little restaurant just around the corner from the tower and waited for nightfall. The light show was stunning. It was worth waiting for.
If you ever go to Paris, make sure that is the one thing you do see. Oh and climb to the top and don’t be a wimp like me. But getting to the second floor does mean I get to tick it off my bucket list! Woohoo!
So that was Paris for me in a nutshell. The one concern I had before leaving, was about how I was going to budget as everyone says it is expensive. I had 160e for 3 days and it was plenty!
My eurostar ticket was £66 for a return from London St Pancras and the Ibis Budget was £179 for 3 nights. So it is possible to visit Paris on a budget!