I can see why people have built up this huge idea in their heads about Paris being a romantic city break. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for most of my trip. From the quaint Parisian hotel that had staff who went above and beyond their call of duty to experiencing lunch at the Eiffel Tower. It was everything I imagined, and more!
I went there for five nights with two close friends. We crammed in as much as we could whilst still taking time to enjoy lots of French cuisine (escargot) which we washed down with some vin rouge (red wine) and some not so French Irish coffee.
We arrived on a Saturday and walked from the Louvre, all the way up the Champs-Élysées, arriving at the Arc De Triomphe, where we climbed (and climbed and climbed!) up the stairs to the top where there were breathtaking 360 degree views of Paris.
Sunday we visited the Love Lock bridge and then took the lift to the top of the Eiffel Tower, where we saw Paris turn from day to night. Even with some clouds in the sky, the sunset was pretty spectacular. And that’s not the champagne talking. On that note, I definitely recommend buying a glass of fizz from the Champagne Bar whilst at the top!
Monday, we went back to the Eiffel Tower and enjoyed a three course meal and glass of wine at the restaurant, 58 Tour Eiffel. I wouldn’t necessarily rave about the food but the views and just knowing that you were eating at the Eiffel Tower made it extremely worthwhile for us! We then got on a boat and went up the river Seine where we visited Notre-Dame cathedral. Both the interior and exterior were unsurprisingly immaculately designed!
Tuesday was spent at Disneyland. Fortunately and unfortunately this fell on 11th November. Fortunately because it meant we were there to enjoy Disney’s Enchanted Christmas. And unfortunately, because that meant we were at Disneyland on a French public holiday. Public holiday and massive queues aside, the Christmas atmosphere was amazing. The large Christmas tree, fake falling snow and Christmas parade really made it a great day!
On Wednesday we decided to stroll through Paris, popping in and out of the shops. We stumbled across Abercrombie & Fitch and of course, we had to go in. The entrance to the shop is so extravagant and as you walk in, you’re met by one of their male models. Being on holiday, we decided to ask to get our photos taken with the male god who stood at the doorway. I don’t think all three of us had ever been so shy in all of our lives. Post-photo and too afraid to make eye contact, we sheepishly escaped the shop… pronto.
Wednesday evening we visited the Moulin Rouge which was definitely a unique and enjoyable experience. The evening was full of entertainment and laughs, the performers were all beautifully dressed and the venue was spectacular. As part of our evening, we opted for drinks to be included. We were given one large bottle of champagne as well as one smaller bottle. The show was largely in French however this didn’t cause much of an issue. I wish I could tell you about the events that unfolded in the show however I wouldn’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t been before. All I can say is go – you won’t regret it. Perhaps leave your young ones at home though! The Moulin Rouge is located in the Red Light District of Paris. You learn this pretty fast as soon as you step foot out of the taxi…
To finish this post, I’m going to share a few things with you about what I learnt whilst in Paris. Consider these tips from one traveller to another…
- Book the Eiffel Tower in advance. The queue looked painfully long both times we were in the vicinity. Booking online meant that we could walk up to a separate, much shorter queue!
- Don’t risk trying to jump on the metro when the doors are closing. The bells sound and instead of standing clear, people try their luck and ultimately get caught between the doors (awkward… and painful). We saw this happen three times. Even worse, we saw one man who sprinted to catch the metro whilst his young son didn’t make it in time and remained stranded on the platform. It was like a scene straight out of a movie. As an onlooker, I can say that it was pretty heart-breaking to witness!
- Always, always check when the public holidays are. As mentioned already, we decided to go to Disneyland midweek. Surely midweek and during low season the park would be quiet, no? Nope – each ride had roughly one hour queueing time. *Note to self – 11th November is a public holiday in France.
- Which leads to my next point – don’t necessarily believe what the signs say at Disneyland. The waiting time for one of the rides was displayed as one hour but the single riders queue displayed only 20 minutes waiting time. We’re big girls so we thought, why not!? Over one hour later… the joke was definitely on us…
- Do your research before going to a nightclub. It was a Saturday night so we each put on a dress and heels, rocked up and of course… everyone was in hoodies, jeans and trainers. Cringing ‘ell. Tourist alert!!
- Make sure to visit Paris before you have your mid, mid-life crisis (25) as a lot of museums offer free entry to EU citizens below that age. Paris on a budget – winning!
- Finally – Paris, c’est magnifique! If you haven’t been then I highly recommend you go!