Stayed: Hotel Stanislas Duration: 2 nights
When: Valentines Weekend Good For: History Buffs/ Food lovers/ ME
So I went to Paris as the first stop in my 3 countries in 10 days tour lol. Sounds cool, and it is, but in Europe that’s so easy and so common. I landed in Geneva then went to France, The Netherlands, Germany, and back to Geneva.. but think of it as someone landing in Boston then going to New York, DC, Georgia, then back to Boston.
So I met my friend in Geneva, we had a few drinks, food, entertained some strangers (per us usual) then we took an overnight bus to leave for Paris…
Pros: Close to many major metro lines; to get to anywhere you’re looking to go is between a 5-10minute ride. With that said only about 15-25min walk to most locations. The hotel was reasonably priced. Near lots of restaurants and bars. They’re very accommodating, in our case we got to Paris around 6:30am and they let us check in with little to no hassle.
Cons: You have to leave your key at the desk before you leave, so regardless of what time you may return you have to buzz to get let in. Small room, smaller bathroom.
FAQ: do you need to know French? A: not necessarily . It’s definitely so much easier if you do, but you can struggle a bit and manage if you don’t.
The best darn food ever. Call me cliche or whatever, but croissants, crepes, fondue, cafe, every and anything you could think of France being known for was extremely popular and orgasmic.We only got to sit at one Bistro while there. They had a great lunch special, I can’t remember exactly but I want to say less than 20euros got us salad+ entree+ wine +coffee. My friend got paella (traditional to Spain) which tasted great, and I got this potato gratin/meat casserole type thing. (Dont have me lie and tell you what it’s called cause I don’t remember and google isn’t helping -_-.) But it was layered cheese, beef, and potatoes, I loved it. Before clubbing I had the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had in life, and before our walking tour the best crepe.
The Club Scene
We got to Paris on a weird day. It was a Sunday early early morning. So we got there right in time to see the people going home from clubs. We stayed in an area called “Saint-Germain-des-Prés” which is an area of the 6th arrondissement of Paris. Apparently during the weekend days Thursday-Saturday the area is extremely fun and has lots of things to do. We didn’t get to experience it that much with Sunday night being pretty quiet, we found ourselves going to the Beaubourg area that was suggested and hopped around a bit. One place we ended up at was a gay men’s bar which was extremely fun and entertaining. We went to a few bars and a private club. Of all the places we did go that night and people we met, I will say, the french are fun, smart and definitely more sexually liberal. Needless to say we had a great night despite it being Sunday and the nightlife being near non-existent. The next night (Monday) we decided to just go to the Eiffel Tower and call it a night. So with all that being said I unfortunately don’t have a lot of Paris night life experience but I do intend on going back.
Excursions Our first full day in Paris we went to visit the Notre Dame. The architecture is so precise and full of detail, to take it all in is overwhelming. Here’s a hint. When you get to the door there are two lines. One to be allowed in to sight-see, the other to join mass. We went through the one to join mass, because that was what we wanted to do. But once through the doors no-one is monitoring what you do or where you go. So if you do go through the “mass” door you get in immediately and could tour the cathedral without standing on that very long line.
After leaving the Notre Dame, we went looking for food and after that came across
what was like a street festival celebrating those who just finished a marathon run. It was awesome! great music, great energy, great beer, there were fondue platters, etc., just a great vibe. So we stayed there for awhile, got it turnt, met some great people and kept it going. The next day we went on Paris’s free walking tour. Our tour guide was great and knew a lot of small details about both tourist locations and local’s preferences. I highly recommend doing walking tours, you tip at your discretion, you see a lot, learn a lot about the history of the city and get tips from a native. It was
roughly a 2.5hour tour in which we saw…
- Notre Dame de Paris
- View of the Eiffel Tower
- Académie Française
- Tuileries Gardens
- Assemblée National
- View of the Grand & Petit Palais
- Haussmann’s Paris
- Pont Neuf
- Place de la Concorde
- View of the Champs-Elysées
- View of the Arc de Triomphe
- The Louvre
- Palais Royal
- Musée d’Orsay
- View of Les Invalides
The Eiffel Tower wasn’t included in the walking tour, it’s actually a little distance from all the other sites. So with that being the case we went to see the Eiffel Tower separately. Jaw dropping probably top 5 most beautiful things I’ve seen. First of all it was shorter than I had assumed. We went at night and saw it while it was sparkling, and were the only ones out there. Granted going later means we couldn’t take the tour to the top but being there alone embracing it all was great in itself. The City of Love is such a sight! Words and pictures can’t express how beautiful it was. I cannot wait to go back and explore more..
NEXT STOP ON THIS JOURNEY AMSTERDAM…