Ahhhh bonjourrr your girl is all fresh faced and back from Paris. Okay, not so fresh faced and I have been back for a few days however nonetheless I have conquered Paris well and truly. Last week we hoped on a plane and went off to Paris Fashion Week for five days. As you know from one of my latest blog posts (click here to find out more) this was not my first fashion week. However it was my first time in Paris. I have been to France a countless amount of times however Paris was never on that list. Since it was my first time in the city, even though I loved it, I also found it very overwhelming at times. Lets just say I should have done a lot more research.
So I thought I would do a little guide about Paris. A guide which I would have found helpful. And one which I hope others might find helpful if they are planning their first time. Also I have only been once, and by no means do I think I am a know-it-all about Paris. In fact this guide is a beginners guide to a beginner from a beginner. I bet you will be saying ‘Merci beaucoup’ after this. FYI I have been back three days and I keep saying ‘merci’ to people. STOP.
So we stayed in the 10th arrondissement by the Colonel Fabien metro stop. It was an ‘okay’ area and is completely safe. But would I stay there again? Probably not. There are some really cute spots in this arrondissement however there are also some nicer spots that you could chose to stay. However it is a lot cheaper than other more central areas of Paris. So if you are looking for budget then this is a good option. But really have a look into the different arrondissements and where you will want to stay. There is so many guides out there for this however it is also down to preference. If you want to stay nearer all the attractions then you will end up paying more. However the 4th, 5th and 6th are also good for reasonably priced hotels or AirBnBs.
So I briefly knew about the metro and had been told its easier to use than the underground in London. But this was my first time in Paris and I also don’t speak very much French. So the travelling part was probably one of the most overwhelming parts. However, when we got out of security at the airport and went down to the ticket booths for the trains there were loads of friendly guides who spoke a rage of languages to help. We flew into Charles De Gaulle airport and had to get the RER B train to Gare de Nord train station. You can buy these tickets on the machines which have English speaking options.
Secondly, whilst we were in Paris we tried taking advantage out of walking to places. But saying that, the weather was pretty miserable. There are Ubers and taxis on hand in Paris, but we stuck to the metro. I will say, transport isn’t the cheapest however I have a few tips. When you are in the metro station you can buy tickets in books of ten for €16.90. A single tickets costs €1.9. If you know you will be using the metro frequently the cheaper option is to get a book of 10. When you are at the metro station you (sometimes) need your ticket to get out of the station the other side. If you don’t have it you will get a hefty fine. So make sure you keep hold of it until you are out the station the other side.
I can’t say I kept the healthiest of diets when I was in Paris, but I was on holiday so who gives a damn? Being a fussy eater I didn’t go for the traditional frogs legs or snails. However we found some nice places for a bite to eat. Some nights we did eat in our hostel, or grab a bite from Lidls, which if you are on a budget is the cheapest option.
Inner Paris is not the cheapest meal wise, perhaps the equivalent to a nice meal in England price wise. The most expensive to eat we found was on the Champs-Elysées. This tourist hotspot is bound to be pricey as it is among a street of high end shops. We ate in Cafe Di Roma where I bought a Calzone for €14.90. It was delicious though and the service was impeccable, with the staff being very humorous and friendly.
But without a doubt my favourite meal was at the Pink Mamma restaurant. I had seen this restaurant on Instagram and Pinterest and purely wanted to visit it for the gorgeous interior. But it was actually quite cheap in comparison to some of the other restaurants that we went to. I paid something like €26 for a two course meal and large glass of wine. This was a gorgeous place, the food was literally insane and the staff were really accommodating. This restaurant is probably a MUST and would recommend you squeezing it in. We were lucky to be able to walk in and get a table however if you are desperate about going then definitely book. It is also very close to the Moulin Rouge so you could plan that as a trip.
We had some many places that we wanted to see, and there was a fairly large group of us so it was hard accommodating for everyone. However we were literally out of the hostel at 9AM and back at 9Pm so we managed to squeeze in as much as we could. If you are destined to do ALL of the attractions though then I would recommend staying for a week. I mean you could spend a day getting lost in the Louvre itself.
I want to do a separate blog post about places to go for the best Instagram pics whilst you are in Paris. However there are some places that you have to go when you are there. I loved all the classic areas such as the Lourve and Palais Royal. We didn’t pay to go into the Lourve however I am planning to do that when I go back.
The Eiffel Tower is an obvious one, and is as beautiful in the day as it is at night. If you want to see it during the day then booking tickets to go up is recommend as the queues can be incredibly long. But at night, if you want to catch the light display, then it goes off for 5 minutes or so every hour on the hour. This is amazing to view from below, or from the Trocadero that looks onto it.
The Champs-Elysées and the Arc De Triumph go hand in hand and can be done on the same day. A lot of people think that the Champs-Elysées isn’t worth it as its touristy and just full of over priced shops. However I loved it. I am a shopping girl at heart and I was blown away at some of the in store experiences. Another break taking place is the Grand Palais which is the most grand and excessive department store you will walk into. You can also go up into the loft of the store and go onto the terrace which will leave you with a pretty breathtaking view of Paris.
If you followed me on Instagram you would have seen we did quite a bit. But if you didn’t then I have created an Instagram story highlight so you can see everything and also see the behind the scenes of some of the Paris Fashion Week shows!
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