Tuesday 31 July 2018

Paris Travel Guide - Where To Stay, What To See, What To Eat & More

A few months ago I wrote up a proper travel guide of York as George and I spent a few nights there and I wanted to share all of the wonderful things we did and got to see. I enjoyed writing that post so much so I really wanted to do the same for Paris, after enjoying our honeymoon there in May, it's just taken me ages to finally get round to it! We went for 3 nights and whilst there was still so much left to see by the time we left, in this post I'm going to share the things we did do, give hotel recommendations and more so if you're planning a trip to Paris in the future, hopefully this will give you some inspiration.
The Louvre

Where to stay

When it came to choosing a hotel for our trip to Paris, we didn't leave ourselves with a huge amount of choice. As we were looking at going via the Eurostar, we noticed they did package deals where you could get the train and hotel for a price much cheaper than booking separately and so that's how we ended up finding something. We'd looked at Holiday Inns, smaller boutique hotels and more but with going to a different country I just never really know where to start. Booking it through the Eurostar at the same time made the whole process really easy and in the end the hotel we managed to get was the Hotel Westside Arc De Triomphe. As I'm sure you can tell by the name this is located close-by to the Arc De Triomphe, about a ten minute walk and this means you pretty much see it whenever you're on your way out as it leads onto the Champs Elysee, has a view of the Eiffel Tower and is next to several metro stations. So in terms of location it's pretty brilliant, you really aren't far from anything, there's a supermarket just down the road and you're surrounded by restaurants. If you're after a budget friendly hotel with no fuss then this is for you, but if you really want something special then consider spending a little more. For a few nights it's great but it's very basic and on the first night we had the fire alarm go off 4 times which resulted in very little sleep and kind of hindered my view on the place for the rest of the stay. The staff were lovely and it didn't happen again after that so I'm sure it's not a regular occurrence but been woken up at 4am for the fourth time isn't brilliant and it definitely makes me think about booking somewhere else in future. There is a pool though so you know positives and negatives.
Hotel Westside Arc De Triomphe

What to see

There are so many wonderful places in Paris that I could include but I've just tried to keep it to the main ones we saw and visited as this post would just go on forever otherwise!

Eiffel Tower - The most iconic place in Paris, how could you not pay a trip to it? We saw this several times during our 4 days as it's just such a beautiful area. The first day it was unfortunately cloudy but the second it was so warm and sunny and it was just absolutely stunning. We didn't end up going up it but I'd love to next time.

The Louvre - Another go to place, it's incredible to see such a masterpiece in real life. On the day we visited the actual museum was closed so we just stayed outside but the weather was lovely so it was so nice to just sit and take in the views.

Arc De Triomphe - As I mentioned we saw this several times during our stay but each time I couldn't get over it. It was the first place we saw when we came out of the metro station on the first day and each time it still felt special. You can go to the top too if you want but I was definitely too scared for that!

Montmartre - If you get chance definitely pay a visit to the town of Montmartre. It's much more chilled out than the lots of other famous attractions in Paris as you can imagine but really lovely. Rows and rows of the most picturesque houses and it's also where the Moulin Rouge is located. We went during the day so didn't get the best photos but I'd absolutely love to see it all lit up at night.

Notre Dame - My favourite place in Paris! We visited the Latin quarter twice which is where the Notre Dame is located and I'd probably do the same again if we go back. It's far calmer than other areas I found, the cathedral is just outstanding and it has some of the loveliest restaurants. Here you'll also find the famous Shakespeare and Company book store.

Champs Elysee - One of the avenues leading off from the Arc De Triomphe that is just full of shops! I don't think I actually bought anything when we had a walk down but it's full of designer stores, restaurants and of course there is a Sephora.

Place de la Concorde - If you've seen the film The Devil Wears Prada then you'll recognise this place. It's from the end of the film where Andy leaves Miranda and throws her phone into the fountain. I actually didn't think about this place until we were there but I'm so glad we saw it.

Pont Alexandre III - This might just seem like a bridge but it is absolutely stunning! On the day we went over it, the sun was shining and the whole area was breathtaking. There are so many other attractions around this area too so it's definitely worth taking a walk around.
Eiffel Tower
Arc De Triomphe
Notre Dame

What to eat

Crepes - You've got to have a classic crepe in Paris! On our first morning we found a little Parisian restaurant near the Arc De Triomphe and the crepes were delicious. I so wish we'd gone back for more.

Pastries - Like crepes, pastries are a bit of a must in Paris aren't they? We found a little bakery near our hotel and we had the nicest fresh pain au chocolates. There are bakeries on pretty much every street so you won't struggle to find your daily dose of pastries.

Pasta at Cafe La Bucherie - If you take a visit to the Notre Dame, just across the road is a lovely little restaurant called Cafe La Bucherie, in fact just next door to Shakespeare and Company. The waiters are the friendliest people you could possibly meet and the food is just incredible. We both went for a pasta dish and it was one of the best meals I've ever had.

Amorino Ice Cream - The place to go for ice cream in Paris! The one we found was located near the Notre Dame but as far as I'm aware there are several dotted around. They shape your ice cream into a rose, you can have as many flavours as you want, and even a macaron and it just tastes divine. I had the vanilla and chocolate and it was some of the best ice cream I've ever had.

Granitas - If there is one thing you try in Paris, let it be a granita. It's basically a slush but they do some insane flavours and trust me on a warm day, there isn't much better. We had a few during our time in Paris but the best was definitely just by the Eiffel Tower. It was the peach and apricot flavour and trust me when I say I would go back just for one of those, it was that good.
Food to eat in Paris
Amorino Ice Cream
Food to eat in Paris

Travel and getting around

As I mentioned at the start of this post we got the Eurostar to Paris, it was such an easy process and I'd definitely do it again. We got the train down to London and then checked in at the Eurostar and we were on our way! The train was so comfortable and I really have no complaints. Of course you can get planes to Paris too which are affordable but I personally loved the option of getting the train there and it really wasn't much hassle. Once in Paris you have a few options of getting about. Whilst not all of the main attractions are close-by, there are quite a few where you can walk from one to the other, and when the weather is nice, it's a great way to take in the views. Though our first experience with the metro was quite stressful due to strikes, by the last two days we had got the hang of it and it's a great way of getting about. It's so cheap too! One thing I have to mention when planning travel for Paris is the bus tours. I couldn't recommend these enough! We booked tickets for two days via big bus tours before we went and this meant that on those two consecutive days we chose we could hop on and hop off whenever we wanted. There are a few different routes and they cover all of the main attractions. We got on at the Arc De Triomphe and then stayed on til wherever we had planned first for that day. One day we also got on the bus that takes you around Montmartre and this was such a lovely part of our trip as we just sat for the whole hour and took in the views. It's completely up to you where you get off, or if you chose to stay on and just see the sights of Paris, and totally worth the money!
Paris boat tours
I know this post is incredibly long but I just wanted to share everything I could regarding our little trip to Paris. It felt like we saw so much but looking back we only scratched the surface so I'm sure we'll pay another visit in a few years. Though at times it was stressful trying to navigate around a different country, it's just such a beautiful city, how could you not enjoy it? Reading this post back has made me miss it so much!

Have you ever been to Paris?

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1 comment


Wow.... It's like a guide book which will certainly be useful for the travellers......
Great post ��

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