As a teenager, the film Sabrina, featuring Audrey Hepburn was one of my all-time favorites, looking back now, I couldn’t agree with her more when she said, “Paris is Always a Good Idea!” No matter how many times I re-visit Paris I am always speechless when admiring it’s beauty – especially when seeing the Eiffel Tower.
We arrived at CDG Airport in the early hours of the morning May 2, 2017. You can take the Metro from the airport to basically anywhere you need to go. We were staying at St. Christopher’s Inn Hostel, as I mentioned in my previous post. You only need to take two lines to reach the hostel, the B line and the 7 (I think, the pine line). We could not check in to the hostel because we arrived too early but they allowed us to put our bags in the lockers downstairs, and we met up with Zack to explore the city.
Our First and Second days in Paris:
First Stop: Moulin Rouge
Alright, I know it’s a huge tourist trap and I was just reassured that is is. I always loved the movie Moulin Rouge but in my opinion it looks nothing like in the film. You can definitely take a pass on this stop…
Second Stop: Montmartre
This is a huge hill that we ended up stumbling upon, and walking to the top of, with the most amazing view. You don’t even realize how high up you are until you are at the top! At the hills summit you will find the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur.
Stop 3: Sacre Coeur Basilica
Located at the highest point in the city is this beautiful Roman-Catholic church, it is both a political and cultural monument.
Stop 4: Notre Dame
On the way to Notre Dame we did walk by bridges covered with locks, reminding me of when I left a lock on love-lock bridge back in 2014. Notre Dame is a beautiful church on both the outside and inside.
Stop 5: Eiffel Tower
If I ever return to Paris the main thing I want to do is have a picnic in the grass near the Eiffel Tower. I still have never been to the top of the tower – nor do I think I ever want to visit the top of the tower because when viewing Paris the Eiffel Tower is what I want to see! But for those of you who do it is: 7 Euro for adults 25 and up to take the stairs, and 11 euros to take the elevator to the second floor, and 17 euro for the elevator to the third floor.
Stop 6: The Catacombs
The line for the catacombs was about an hour long.. even with a ticket already! But they were definitely a cool site to see. The catacombs were established in the 1700’s and have the bones of over 6 million people. You walk down 130 steps into the cave-like catacombs (if you are over 5’10 you’re going to have some trouble because the ceilings are very low). I am not sure if we had a guide, if we did he ran off because we did much of our own free exploring. 12 Euros a ticket, but 11 Euro’s if you stay at St. Christopher’s Inn hostel and buy your ticket there in advance.
Our last day in Paris (and Europe) before departing to the U.S.:
Stop 7: Arc De Triumph
To get an up close look at the Arc you enter an underground walkway which leads to right under the Arc. You can buy tickets if you would like to go on top of the Arc and get a view of the city for 12 Euro.
Stop 8: Champs Elysees
I walked along the Champs Elysees only hours after the new president of France did! I was worried all of the shops would be closed but they weren’t, the streets were full of people. We grabbed a baguette sandwich at Brioche Doree and a coffee, and visited a few of the shops: Lauder for some macarons and Longchamp, so I could buy my sister a bag for her Graduation gift.
Stop 9: The Louvre
We did not visit the inside of the Louvre, only because we had visited before, and we were short on time. It is usually 9 Euro to enter the Louvre, but you can spend an entire day walking around this museum. If you have never been, a visit to the Louvre is a must when in Paris, to see the Venus Di Milo and of course, the Mona Lisa.
Final Stop: Eiffel Tower at Night
Of all my visits to Paris I had never seen the Eiffel Tower at night, and now that I finally have I don’t know how I waited until now. The entire tower is like something out of a dream during the day, but at night it is surreal. The entire building lit up with twinkling lights and I believe once an hour they begin to sparkle like diamonds. There are illegal street vendors (I guess you would call them?) walking around in the grass in front of the tower who sell champagne and wine – but I suggest buying your own and relaxing with a glass while taking in the view.
Places to Eat, Bon Apetit! :
Bouillon Chartier: a restaurant founded in 1896 with great food. They sit you anywhere they can fit you so chances are you will be dining with a local, which I find awesome. I had the steak and frites which was delicious and inexpensive. Highly recommend.
Brioche Doree: Great to just grab a baguette sandwich on the go
Le Petit Cler: Cute little restaurant within a short walk of the Eiffel Tower with good food and wine. I had the goat cheese – it was great.
Aux Merveilleux de Fred: This is a bakery and O-M-G the bread is so amazing, you can smell it almost a block away, it was the warmest, softest, most delicious bread I have ever eaten and I will never forget this place.
Chalet Du Grand Palais: This is just a crepe stand and there are a bunch of other stands around Paris, but you must get at least a few bites of a crepe while in Paris.
Places to Stay:
St. Christopher’s Inn Hostel: Fun, social, affordable hostel with private beds (they provide a sheet so you can sleep without anyone staring at you and an outlet by your bed. A bar and club are in the hostel and the bar has amazing hamburgers!
Ibis Paris CDG Airport: This is a nice, affordable airport that is literally connected to the airport – so if you have an early flight I definitely recommend this hotel. Once again, however, this hotel only has outlets on the other side of the room so it is difficult to charge your phone while in bed.
Next Stop: London, England