14 Feb 2012

Paris, Paris...!

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I am delivering a post on how my boyfriend and I went on a short but wonderful trip to Paris last week. Pretty good timing, eh?!

Acting on the tip of a friend, we had gotten half price Eurostar tickets to go to Paris for a one-nighter in February. Being in a long-distance relationship, you kind of have to adjust special occasions to your needs and celebrate them within the little time actually spent together. Our romantic trip to Paris took place Wed - Thu (a week before actual Valentine's) and it was one of the best mini holidays I have ever had, although it was so bloody freezing cold that even the top of the Eiffel Tower was closed!!

Now, in case you're ever going to Paris and want some advice on how to spend two very touristy days strolling around Paris, you'll learn how to do that in the following. However, I'm not an expert on Paris and these are merely suggestions of how to cram the most famous sights of the city into 2 short days (for maps see bottom of blog post):
   
A La Tour Eiffel - B L'Hôtel des Invalides - C Grand Palais - D Musée d'Orsay - E Louvre - F Notre Dame - G Hôtel de Ville
Day 1
We arrived in Paris around noon after a very quick but boring journey on the Eurostar (if you were hoping for some landscape during that train journey, forget it!) and found our hotel within only 5 minutes from the Gare du Nord, which was absolutely perfect regarding the tight sightseeing schedule. It's called Hotel Gare du Nord Suede and might be a bit pricey; however, I booked via expedia and had a voucher so the expense didn't seem too bad. Rooms are tiny but clean, staff seemed nice, bed was very comfy after a long day of walking around. The location is brilliant and for the entire 2 days we didn't have to use any more than 5 métro (underground/tram) tickets each and, very conveniently, they can be bought in a pack of 10 for 12,50€ if I remember correctly.

Schedule for Day 1
La Tour Eiffel - L'Hôtel des Invalides - Grand Palais - Musée d'Orsay - Croque Monsieur for lunch - Louvre - Notre Dame - Hôtel de Ville

You can basically manage all of these simply by walking along the Seine and although it will be dark by the time you reach Notre Dame you'll be able to see everything without rushing. To start our day more quickly, my boyfriend and I had taken the tube to get to the Eiffel Tower (Champ de Mars) which is relatively painless from the train station; although, at first, we did get confused about why the Parisians need to have numbered and lettered tube lines of very similar colours. On a last note, the Musée d'Orsay and the Louvre are free for young people between 18 and 25 (from the EU), which I really appreciated!!

In the evening, we went for dinner in a place called Carpe Diem but the food was not overwhelmingly nice so I can't really recommend it... Atmosphere and staff were lovely though.
    
A Sacre Coeur - B Moulin Rouge - C Champs-Elysées - D Arc de Triomphe - E Catacombes Paris -
F Panthéon - G Jardin du Luxembourg - H Notre Dame
Day 2
"Early" start. We left the hotel around 10:30am and were greeted by the beaming sun, which made the freezing cold seem a lot less bad.

Schedule for Day 2
Sacre Coeur - Moulin Rouge - Champs-Elysées - Arc de Triomphe - (take the tube from Charles de Gaulle Etoile to Denfert Rochereau) Catacombes Paris - Panthéon - Jardin du Luxembourg - Notre Dame

As you can see, Notre Dame is mentioned again, this time at daylight. The catacombs of Paris are not for claustrophobic people or those who are major scared of anything to do with bones and dead people. Otherwise it's a pretty manageable day with lots of interesting impressions and sights. We walked everywhere except for the ride from the Arc de Triomphe to the Catacombes Paris.

Lovely postcards by Nouvelles Images 

During your stay, don't forget to eat Crème Brulée somewhere (because it is simply delightfulicious) and to kiss your partner under the Eiffel Tower (for good luck). So much about my trip. If you have any questions, feel free to ask :) xox

PS: They do actually walk around there with baguettes under their arms!!!!

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