A short trip to Paris
It has been two years now since I went to Paris with my sister, though it still feels like yesterday.
This is why I think it is still relevant for me to write a post about the things to do in Paris.
A dream came true for me as I have always wanted to go there. We only stayed for two days, but we managed to do everything we wanted, including the Eiffel Tower and a long shopping trip along the Champs-Élysées.
At the time my sister was still a student and I was doing a training to become a Media Manager for Digital and Print media. Which means money was scarce. That is why we stayed in a cheap double bedroom for 30€ per night near the Gar de l’est. We found the hostel through hostelworld.com.
Where to start
Since we arrived around mid-day we had still a lot of time to do things in Paris.
We decided to start out at the Notre-Dame. The cathedral is beautiful and definitely worth the trip, though you should be aware that Paris is the capital city of France and attracts tons of tourists year round. So if you wish to go inside the sights, be prepared for long waiting times.
So on my sister and I went after we had seen the Notre-Dame from the inside.
We followed the streets along the Seine and decided not to go to the Louvre just yet. I had bought a map of Paris and after a long walk we finally made it to the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris
Seeing the Eiffel Tower alone made the trip worth to me, as I have been wanting to see it for such a long time. One of the reasons why I bought a cheap copy at one of the tourist shops that now stands in my childhood bedroom.
However we decided not to go up to the top as that is quite expensive and again they had super long queues. We did however buy some churros at the Eiffel Tower and maybe it was the cold, but those tasted absolutely amazing.
Once we were done taking a hundred pictures from all sides of the Eiffel Tower, we moved along to find the Arc De Triomphe. While walking there we found a small but very nice jewellery store, where I bought a silver ring, that I still constantly wear. (Always brings back the good memories of this trip.)
One thing that we could not figure out is how you get to the actual Arc De Triomphe, as it seemed that you had to cross the street around it and without any traffic lights, that seemed rather dangerous, and it was already dark, so we decided to move along and find something to eat.
Since we were travelling on a budget through Paris, we decided to go to a fast food place called Quick for dinner.
Don’t forget to shop!
After we had finished our food, which by the way was not really good, we walked along the Champs-Élysées. For some reason I expected all the shops there to be rather expensive, but that was not the case. They have a huge H&M store there, but also stores that vary in price. My sister and I decided to go to the stores that we are unfamiliar with such as Naf Naf, since it seemed rather pointless to shop in the same ones that we did at Home, after all that is not why we came to Paris.
Once we found some clothes and the time went on toward 10pm, we decided it was best to go back to the hostel. Since we did not really know how to get around with public transport and had to find an underground station where our subway was going, we decided to just follow the Champs-Élysées towards the Place de la Concorde. On the map that does not seem very far, but in the end we arrived there close to midnight.
One more day in Paris
Our second day, we got up quite early and bought our breakfast at a close-by Boulangerie, which I believe is French for bakery, and bought some baguettes and drinks. Now keep in mind that this was close to the Gar de l’est and not a fancy place at all, but the baguette was just fantastic. This is definitely something you have to try when you are in Paris.
That actually goes for most of the food. The French really have some great food in regards to baked goods, bread and cheese.
Which is why my sister and I used the second day to eat us through Paris. We tried great Crêpes in this little Crêperie that we s
tumbled upon after getting completely lost due to some bad directions.
This is one of the issues in all honesty. If you are going to Paris, be prepared that maybe not a lot of people will understand English and be able to help you.
However the positive thing was that we found many stores, that we most likely would not have come across had we just stuck to the typical touristy areas.
While we were trying to find our way back later that day, we found a great little place that sold Macaron. You can get Macaron outside of Paris of course, but in all honesty the ones that I had tried previously in Germany, were rather bad in comparison.
Another thing you should try are chocolate Éclair. These are just sent from heaven and taste absolutely amazing in France. I have never liked Éclairs before in my life, but the chocolate Éclair we had in Paris was just mouthwatering.
What else should you do?
In regards to other sites, I have to admit that my sister and I skipped to go inside of the Louvre, the queue was at least 1 hour long and just not worth it, to us. However if you love art, I would definitely recommend going there, but be prepared, the Mona Lisa is a tiny painting.
If you wish to have a great view over Paris, I would definitely recommend going up Montparnasse Tower for about 11€. That way you can see all of Paris from their rooftop terrace and can get some great pictures where you can get both the Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triomphe in one picture.
Supermarkets appeared to be rather scarce where my sister and I went or we just did not notice them. In the end we just went with the first one we found, since we wanted to take some great French Cheese with us back home to share with our family.
For dinner on our last night, we decided ironically to go to an Italian restaurant. While baked goods and cheese are just heavenly in France, we were not really up to trying out Escargot (which are snails), which is what most of the French restaurants advertised.
Something important to know, no matter if you go to Paris or somewhere else in France, tap water is for free and I would definitely recommend this as one of the most important things to do! Because normal soft drinks, alcohol and the like are just very expensive in France.
These are the things that I remember from our short trip and that I would recommend you to do while in Paris.
P.S.: Please excuse the bad quality of the pictures, at the time I did not own a camera at all and used my mobile phone to take them.