At long last I convinced my husband Paris was a good idea. With all the craziness happening in the world I couldn't blame him honestly. This trip was long overdue as we have decided to postpone our honeymoon by a year as I had decided to enrol in the Marketing program the fall after our wedding.
This was actually our first overseas trip together. We have been to Portugal and Spain way back when but haven't really flown together outside of the country. As cliche as it is I really did enjoy the trip very much and have plenty of fond memories together. Just the simple act of holding hands on take off and landing makes me feel so much more comfortable. As much as I love travelling and exploring new places I've always been an anxious flyer.
Our trip in the city of lights was an easy one. We flew with Iceland air and landed in Charles De Gaulle Airport around noon. I decided it would be a good idea to take the train to the city centre to experience Paris like a local. Boy was I mistaken in doing that, with our heavy luggages navigating the RER was quite difficult and actually took longer than I thought it would considering we were also on an express train that made fewer stops. I also wouldn't take the train if you are looking for the scenic route. I was actually quite surprised at how many old and dilapidated buildings we saw on the way. The train stations are also busy and kinda sketchy as warned by some websites and is considered a heavy pick pocket route. Anyway we reached Gare du Nord and was trying to find the right metro line that would go to our hotel this was another challenge in and upon itself. The Metro system even as it is convenient is not for somebody who has poor direction or in our case suffering from jet lag and carting around 2 big luggages. There was no escalators on certain entrances and the walk to transfer from one line to the next was a 15 minute walk. Alas we arrived in one piece in St George Station which is a 2 minute walk to our hotel. We decided to stay at Hotel Lorette- Astotel as it was a cute boutique hotel nestled in a pretty residential neighbourhood. So as to get the most Parisian experience we can. It is also a 15 minute walk to Sacre Coeur and 10 minutes to Montmartre boutique lined streets.
We were shocked at the prices of things in Paris but it may be partly the exchange rate from Canadian Dollars. We spent a pretty penny dining out and as much as I searched places online for more reasonable restaurants we kept ending up in places where the basic entree is about 25 Euros which is not bad if you only go out to eat once a day I guess but we had breakfast lunch and dinner out most days. Some days we ended up paying 50 euros for a simple breakfast for both of us...Because we were walking a lot we felt that having just pastries or bread and coffee was not sufficient enough for us which was both available at our hotel for free.
We decided to walk to most attractions as we felt the metro was mostly too hot during the days we were there in the end of May. There is no air conditioning in most subway trains.
From the notable attractions we went to see Sacre Coeur was definitely one of our top picks and if you have the extra energy you can also climb to the top of it to get view of Paris which is magnificent without having to pay crazy fees like the Eiffel Tower.
We also of course went to see the famous Louvre Museum which was honestly breathtaking just the architecture inside the building is enough to keep you occupied. I have been forewarned by a friend that the Mona Lisa is a bit underwhelming specially in size considering how many people travelled all round the world to see it. I glanced it from the side as there was way too many people piled up in front of it and moved on to the next exhibit.
We also decided to visit the Musee D'Orsay by recommendation of some blogs I've read. It was a small museum mainly filled with paintings and sculptures which you can easily finish in 2 hours.
The most magical moment was of course visiting the Eiffel Tower. We ended up catching the sunset on a warm and sunny day. And of course that alluring sparkling light display that comes every hour is worth it. We sat at the garden and soaked in the atmosphere. The only slightly annoying part of it was there was so many vendors selling trinkets and alcohol who asked you every 2 minutes if you wanted to buy something. If you were polite to decline and say no they immediately try to pull you in with a sales tactic asking you to buy as they will give you a good discount.. in these cases it would have been better to pretend not to understand lol
Overall it was a magical trip we also explored a lot of little neighbourhoods which was as interesting as the main attractions. Another tip I would say tho is if you are really interested In shopping make sure you hit the shops early and NEVER go on a weekend. The crowds are unbearable something I have never experienced even with Christmas Shopping season in Canada.
Paris was beautiful and I'm so happy that I can check it off my list. If I do decide to visit I will make sure to book more time as 6 days is definitely too short for all the things the city has to offer.