I’ve decided to break our Paris trip down into three parts (shock horror, I have lots to say) so, check back for ‘Part 2’ next week…
Our trip to Paris was almost completely forgotten about having booked it on an impulse when travelling back from our last New Year’s adventure to Newquay. We loved celebrating the new year somewhere new and, with a booking.com sale, it was too good to resist!
Due to cheaper prices than flights, we travelled to Paris on the Eurostar from London St Pancras and I cannot recommend it enough! We arrived 40 minutes before our departure time, checked-in digitally and passed through security within minutes, and the train departed without a second’s delay. Within two hours, we were at the Gard du Nord train station, located in the city centre, and arrived at our hotel soon after!
Here’s a few of the touristy spots that we visited and a few tips:
Montparnasse 56 Tower
Aim for a clear and dry day to visit to get optimum views (and photographs!). With an ear-popping lift-trip to the top of the tower, you reach the indoor viewing platform for 360-degree views of Parisian streets, architecture and tourist attractions. I recommend venturing up to the outdoor viewing platform to get the best views – the Eiffel Tower looked amazing! Obviously, it was like pulling teeth to get acrophobic Joel to join me, but who else is going to get the photographs that keep this blog ticking?!
Also, if you’re a student, take your student card with you as so many of the attractions offer student discounts and, if you’re like me, every penny counts…
Shopaholics paradise. It’s an exceptionally busy department store (albeit very well-organised by security) with more designers that I have ever heard of! The store functions around a stunning centre-piece that spans from floor to roof, during our trip it was a decadently decorated Christmas tree. The interior design of the building is beautiful, especially the ceilings – you can even go out onto a clear platform for a photo-op (but even I chickened out of that one!).
Perfect for a wander, a picnic (weather-permitted!) and, over the Christmas period, perfect for a trip to the Christmas market to indulge in mulled wine, waffles and festive trinkets!
My word, you don’t realise how busy the base of the Eiffel Tower gets until you’re in the midst of it. The grass area makes for a peaceful walk up to the Tower and then you’re bombarded with street sellers from every angle. To get the best experience, definitely make a trip in the day and at night to see it lit up – when the lights sparkle, it’s like a 30 metre disco!
For the over 18 readers, there are also street-seller selling bottles of wine and champagne, which makes for a rather memorable date night – or just a wild weekday…
Seine River Cruise
We booked a round-trip cruise with a company on the riverfront by the Eiffel Tower, there are plenty to choose from. The cruises run every thirty minutes and lasts approximately an hour – we chose a night-time slot to see the Parisian sights all lit up. Nestle on the open top-deck of the boat and listen out for the detailed information that points of different attractions as you sail by. We loved the close-up of the Notre Dame, especially with none of the crowds!
For EU citizens, you can access the museum for free, which is such a privilege considering the amount of astounding art they host! A visit is a good way to bump up your step-count for the day and you are immersed in some extraordinary paintings and sculptures. As you can imagine, the world-famous Mona Lisa is a big attraction for visitors and if you manage to get to the front row for viewing let me know and I’ll give you a £10 reward for sheer commitment!
Joel also managed to convince my best friend Ella that “the museum does not have toilets as the moisture damages the paintings”. He’s the most well-thought-out liar going (it’s actually quite worrying), but do not fear, they DO have toilets…
Although, we love to visit the “off-the-beaten-track” elements of places, it’s also nice to visit and admire what makes a place so famous!
Check back next week for Part 2!
“Paris is always a good idea.”– Audrey Hepburn