Paris – city of love, as they call it, does live up to the name. I don’t know how to describe what I was feeling when I first landed in Paris.
The plan was for my cousin, and I to go to Paris for a week before heading to our uncle’s party in Scotland. But sadly her passport didn’t come in time, so I was scrambling to figure out what I was going to do to get myself there. Luckily my brother was heading to Kent, UK to see some of our family friends so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to guilt him into going with me – which worked as you can see.
I flew to meet him at our friend’s house before taking the Eurostar train to Paris. We got a ride to London St Pancras International where we departed ways since he was flying to Paris. It was a smooth ride there and took about 2 hr 16 minutes to get to Paris Gare Du Nord. Once I arrived, I took the subway to my hotel which was right across the street when I got out – I was relieved.
Eurostar: $132.00 one way
We stayed in Art Hotel Eiffel which was a beautiful affordable hotel that had an amazing view of the Eiffel tower. The concierge was helpful with providing us directions to the sites we wanted to go and ordering us a cab. Once you walk out of the hotel, there was a McDonald at the end of the block, surrounded by expensive but nice restaurants. It’s in the perfect location for tourists to get around easily and quickly. The hotel is within 1 mile of Eiffel Tower, and Champ de Mars.
3 nights $161.53/ night = $533.04
While in Paris
We took the hop-on hop-off bus to go around to see most of the sites we were interested in. It is the best thing to do to get a big picture of Paris (because there is no roof) if you can’t go to all the sites on your own. We got to drive passed the Musee du Louvre, Pont des Arts, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower and more.
We hopped off at the Eiffel Tower, which was just breathtaking, and to my surprise it was not as crowded as I thought. My brother got the brilliant idea to take the stairs up the Eiffel Tower.We barely made it halfway to the top before wanting to pass out, but you get such a great view of Paris that will make you never want to leave. Once we were done exploring and taking pictures we quickly jumped on the elevator- I was NOT walking all the way down.
Musee du Louvre
From there we went to the Musee du Louvre. This is one of the biggest, well known Art museums in Paris. Not only is the outside of the Louvre an art piece in itself, but it is filled with beautiful sculptures, and painting inside. One painting I was dying to see was the tiny Mona Lisa. It was extremely crowded, so my brother grabbed my hand to push us through the crowd just to get a picture. The painting is sealed in a glass box, so that people won’t get too close and damage it. We did manage to get close enough to get a picture – you can see the determination in our faces -ha. Definitely didn’t turn out like the Beyoncé and Jay-z picture though.
Day tickets are around €12 EUR (about $17 USD)
There are also exclusive parties at night outside Louvre, but you do have to be invited or on the guest list. My brother and I were lucky to get in, we played the confused tourists pretty well. The party was outside, the music was great but the crowd was not as friendly as we thought. Can’t really interact with people when you don’t know the language, plus they were bit on the stuck up side.
After 30 minutes we decided leave, and explore the streets of Paris before heading to our hotel.
Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris)
Next thing on our list was the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was magnificent, and the architecture was amazing. After we stood in a ridiculously long line to get in, the first thing we did was light a candle- I couldn’t go there, and not pray for my family. There was also a mass happening so we had to be quiet when we were making our way around. If you are religious like my family, this was great place to get little souvenirs for them – but it is on the steep side.The cathedral itself is free, but if you want to climb all the way to the top — you’ll have to pay a fee. Make sure that your flash is not on when you are taking pictures in the church.
The only thing my brother wanted to do was go see the Moulin Rouge perform – go figure! But of course the Moulin rouge was sold out so the next best thing was Le Lido on Champs-Elysees. We got seated pretty close to the show, with a free bottle of champagne while watching the show – quite fancy. You can’t take any pictures when you are watching the cabaret but I got to sneak a few in.
To me the cabaret is a sexy upscale stripper show minus the pole but it was a great performance. After the show we walked passed all the luxurious shopping stores, and the scene on the strip was lively with people performing/busking. It’s a nice area to walk around just to see what is going on in Paris.
Pont des Arts (“love bridge”)
How unromantic is it to go to the love bridge with your brother? On top of that, he was complaining the whole time of how he was tired of walking, but that didn’t stop me. Seeing it in person does not compare. Yes! The area is a bit dirty – but things still shine in the ugliest areas. We also ran into a newly married couple taking pictures next to the love locks – very romantic.
Our Last day
We went to the Catacombs on our last day, which is supposedly to be a must see in Paris but since I was with my useless brother, he refused to wake up early so we missed the opportunity to go in. The line was crazy long, and we didn’t have enough time to wait there. My BIG takeaway on this would be to never go with a guy if you want to do a lot of sightseeing — unless they are into that.
I would definitely want to go back to Paris for a longer trip since there were more places, and things I wanted to explore. The last stop for me on this summer trip was Scotland — Click here to see what I was up to next…