Paris has been one of my favourite city’s since I visited in the summer of 2011 at the ripe old age of 13. For some reason, even though I was so young I fell in love with the beauty of the city. Finally I got to go back in January this year.
I didn’t think it was possible to fall more in love with a city, but this trip proved me wrong in many ways.
We didn’t stay in the heart of the city, as due to the tragic events of the previous year my family decided it would be safer to stay just outside the centre. This didn’t affect us though, we made the most of the situation and every experience we had was memorable.
The quickest and easiest way to get to Paris from London is via the Eurostar train, which leaves from London St Pancras. This train is amazing and can travel from London to Paris in just over 2 hours. This is what we did, and it was easy and super quick and just like that we were in Paris.
I have complied a list of all things Paris, including where to stay, what to eat and what to do. In the hope that it will help, if you are planning a trip to Paris.
Where to Stay:
If you have kids and don’t want to stay in the city, the ‘Explorer hotel’ we stayed in was wonderful. It’s out near Disneyland and had and indoor pool area along with a kids indoor playground. It was easy enough to get into central Paris using the hotels shuttle bus and the underground.
The other hotel we were going to stay in was actually a hostel, it’s called the Generator Hostel. It is in a great location right near the Gare Du Nord station. Hostels have changed so much and this one is super modern and affordable, I so wish we had the opportunity to stay there.
What to Eat:
You can’t go to Paris and not try some of their pastries, that is just a must do. After we explored the Notre Dame, we wandered over to a cafe opposite and although it was expensive due to its location, the macaroon I had was delicious. In Paris you have to eat as many croissants as humanly possible, I tell you I definitely did this every morning at breakfast and they were the freshest and tastiest I’ve ever had.
You also cannot leave Paris without having a crepe, you just can’t. Did you even really go Paris if you didn’t have a crepe?? I don’t think so. My favourite is Nutella and banana/strawberry!
The best meal we had, was recommended to us by locals, they also recommended the dish we should have, a Croque Monsieur is basically a fancy toasted sandwich but open style and oh so tasty!!
Always ask locals to recommend places to eat, they know best and it’s usually pretty damn good!
What to do:
Yes there is the obvious things to do in Paris like the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame but it’s how you go about doing these sights that makes your trip more enjoyable. For example, instead of just going to the Notre Dame and looking at it, taking a picture and leaving ‘just to say you’ve been’, go inside, it’s free and quite beautiful and there is some amazing history in there.
Then of course there is the Eiffel Tower, instead of booking to just go up, (or not at all) you can pay around the same price and get a 3 course meal in the beautiful restaurant on the 1st floor you then get access to the 1st floor. Then you can climb the stairs to the second level or for about 10 euros more you can get the lift up. We were incredibly lucky the day we were there as there was free ice skating on the Eiffel Tower, it was just so unexpected and so much fun! (Even though I was positively terrible)
Something I wish I did, was too see the Eiffel Tower at different times of the day, like sunset and at night when it sparkles. So make sure you do that for awesome photo opportunities Haha
Another amazing part of Paris’s history is the Catacombs, we caught the underground from the Eiffel Tower and got incredibly lost but eventually found it. The catacombs is a long dark tunnel filled with bones that were dug up when they were building in Paris, some creative people decided that it would be a good idea to make the bones into shapes which forms the catacombs. It’s interesting in a creepy kind of way. But definitely a must see!! Also if you can join onto the back of a tour down there, (they won’t notice an extra person or 2) chances are you will learn more than if you just race through. (And you didn’t pay for it ooops)
When in Paris don’t forget to Walk the Champs Elyse right up to the Arc De Triomphe, enjoy the walk, take in the Parisian life. We were lucky enough to still have Christmas markets around to slowly wander through and enjoy. Something we didn’t get time to do was go to the Lourve, I would have loved to see it. It’s also free to enter for under 26’s between 6 and 9:45 on Friday evenings which is quite cool!
One of my favourite memories from Paris was honestly standing under the Arc De Triomphe and watching the crazy traffic go around the round-about, it was actually quite entertaining. I also wish I had time to climb the Arc De Triomphe, to see Paris from a different perspective, I’ve heard the views are quite amazing.
One of the last things I recommend doing in Paris, is a Segway Tour. I know I know it sounds touristy but it was so much fun. It was on the more expensive side, and if you were on a budget you’d probably get the same information from a free walking tour, but for me it made my trip. I got to see parts of Paris that I had never seen before and our tour guide was amazing. Everywhere we stopped he would tell us stories or explain some history. It was just an amazing experience.
Paris is always a good idea, and please don’t let the events that have happened recently put you off seeing the beautiful city. You are truly missing out if you do. Plus there are so many soldiers around with massive guns, you will feel pretty safe!!
Jasmine x x x