En route to our other destinations, but thought I’d share some pointers based solely on our experience the past couple days in Paris! Might be helpful for those stopping over or even staying longer; I figured since we go here and there, something like this could come in handy for others who also might be travelling to the same destination. Good idea, bad idea, something worth doing upon our next trip?! leave your thoughts below or send a message on snapchat/instagram if you like! Also thank you for your lovely messages on snapchat welcoming me to France! I felt special and all warm&fuzzy inside lol xoxo
-if you’re travelling within Europe itself, it might be worth checking out the Megabus as opposed to flying! It takes a bit longer, but you save a ton of money (especially if more than 1 person is travelling), and no one weighs your luggage (yes!) ; we took the megabus from London Victoria Coach Station and it took about 7-8 hours to get to Paris. There was a stop prior to that someplace in France, but smooth ride nonetheless. Passports were checked upon leaving the UK and the bus went onto the Euro tunnel and within 30 minutes voila we were in France! Not sure of exactly how many destinations the buses go to, but I did see one going to Milan and Amsterdam, and then ours was also continuing onward to Toulouse and Barcelona.
-Staying close to a metro station is definitely worth it. The metro stops right outside or is a 5 minute walk away from some of the main tourist attractions and is cost-effective, reliable, clean, and easy to use. We downloaded the ‘Paris Metro’ app which also came in handy (similar to the London Underground app) in terms of which stations to get off and change lines etc. We only paid 14 Euro (7 per person) for a day pass in zones 1-2, which covered the main attractions we wanted to see which worked out perfectly.
-if you want to stay relatively close by/near to the Eiffel tower, I suggest staying somewhere near the ‘Passy’, ‘Bir Hakeim’, or ‘Dupleix’ metro stations. We stayed 2 minutes from the Passy station which was literally a 10 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower itself and the top of the tower was pretty much visible through the buildings.
-definitely would recommend the Seine night cruise (on the river Seine lol). It’s about an hour long cruise and seeing the city at night is a beauty on its own. It’s also a guided tour which points out what you’re passing which acts as a great overview of attractions etc. **There’s a sign under the metro which points down steel steps which says ‘Seine river tour’ and there’s this downhill road; when you get to the bottom of the stairs walk towards the right, not the left! We made that mistake and had to ask someone lol but just remember to walk towards the tower and the merry-go-round. You’ll see café’s and other boats and probably a long line lol so it’s easy to spot! It’s 14euro per person for the scenic tour and then they’ve got other packages as well which I’m sure you can google if need be!
-the tower lights up and sparkles [every hour?!?!] not sure about that one lol but we saw it at 9 and at 10pm. So so beautiful! You just want to stare and go aw! We weren’t aware it did that until we were standing in line for the cruise and it lit up lol
In terms of tourist attractions corresponding to the metro stops:
–Eiffel Tower: Bir Hakeim Metro *loads of restaurants and cafes along the street which have the menus outside so you can always have a look for vegetarian options if need be (pastas, salmon, and salads were our ‘halal’ options lol) the Nutella crepes are also yum and the crème brulee is a must! *once you’re at the tower, on the left there are white tents selling souvenirs and food etc. They’re definitely open during the day, not sure about the evening, but there are a few eateries which offer halal options (shwarmas, chicken paella) **if you want to get a clean photo of yourself and the entire tower, don’t take it right near the tower or even on the patchy grass bit (unless you’d like to obviously!). Head towards the steps and the large building opposite the tower, crossing the bridge and going up those stairs you see everyone at. With the distance and height, you’re sure to get a great photo!
–Arc de Triomphe: Charles-de-Gaulle Etoile Metro **there’s a tuckshop/café straight ahead before you take the stairs to your left upon exiting; try the white chocolate and raspberry croissant! Delish!! *walking along Champs D’Elysees is also uber easy from the Arc! Loads of restaurants and shops and Laduree of course!
–Louvre Museum: Palais-Royal (Musee du Louvre) Metro *If you just want to see the infamous 3D glass pyramid, you don’t need to buy a ticket to enter the museum. Walk straight through the arched entrance way and straight out to the courtyard; uber hard to miss lol *if you are planning to go inside the museum, it may be worth googling the ‘Carousel Entrance’ which I remember reading up on; its meant to be less crowded and hectic of an entrance! *If you exit the same way and the Hotel Louvre is on your left, and another palace looking structure is in front of you, there’s a restaurant on the right, the second or third one I believe which serve ‘authentic’ French food and worth checking out! It’s got a typical French rustic vibe to it and they do an amazing roasted goat cheese salad which is yum in the tum! (also have vegetarian options which is a plus!)
–Notre Dame: Cite Metro *As soon as you exit the metro you see this beautiful palace type structure and it looks like something important lol this is not Notre Dame (as I genuinely mistook it to be!) it’s actually ‘Ste-Chapelle’ which you can also get tickets for, but walk along that street (not towards the bridges, the opposite direction!) and you’ll see a sign for Notre Dame towards the left.
We were only in Paris for about 1 and a half days so I was content with what we saw in the time we had. Didn’t actually go into the sites (museum, Notre Dame etc.) again because of time, but inshallah we’ll be back for a longer stay and get a chance to do so!