Breathtaking views atop the Eiffel Tower, spectacular architecture, a history well-preserved, yummy crepes for breakfast, a glass of wine with dinner, and a sunset cruise on the Seine; Paris equals love.
Love of art, love of food, love of wine, love of music and dance. I first fell in love with Paris 10 years ago as a teen. A love so strong I knew I’d one day return to experience it again. The city was equally, if not more, amazing than it was during our first encounter many years ago. We opted to rent a flat for 2 nights using AirBnB instead of staying in a hotel to have a more local experience, and found one in the 19th arrondissement of Paris (more details on the flat and AirBnB in a later post). I would love to go and spend about 6 months to a year, to dive into the language, and submersed myself in the city and the country as a whole.2 days in city will have to do for now though.
The trip began with a relaxing ride 3 hour ride on the ICE train from Kaiserslautern, Germany into Paris Est (or Gare de l’Est, “East station” in English). We picked up metro passes and maps from the INFO center and made our way to our flat to drop off our bags.
We spent our first day walking around the city taking it all in, grabbed lunch, made the climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower just in time watch the sunset, and enjoyed drinks, dinner, and shots with the owner at an Italian Restaurant near our flat. The line to take the elevator to the top was reeeaaallly long, so feeling ambitious and knowing we were planning to indulge ourselves at dinner we opted to make the climb to the top via the stairs. And it was well worth the 670 steps to the observation deck. As the sunset it got cooler so we sipped hot chocolate and enjoy the amazing view before making our way back down the stairs.
That night, despite the a long day of traveling and walking, the flow of wine, and all of the yummy food I couldn’t sleep,
so I reviewed my DK Paris travel guide and researched the city and planned our Friday adventures. All of the “Must See” places, metro stops, historical info, and great places to eat.The metro system in Paris is very efficient; with trains running just mins apart, 303 stations, and 16 lines it is the fastest and easiest way to get around the city. We got an early start – walking and hopping from train to train exploring the city making stops at:
Sacre Coeur Basilica
Visible on its hill (highest point in Paris) in Montmartre from the Eiffel Tower it is absolutely beautiful on the inside. We used the Funicular instead of walking the 300 steps to the summit since we planned to make the climb to the dome. At 108 m (354 ft) long, the funicular climbs and drops the 36 m (118 ft) in under a minute and a half. It carries two million passengers a year.We walked around the main floor o the basilica, then purchased tickets to explore the crypt and the dome.
Moulin Rouge and the Red Light District
There are no tours available, but you can make dinner/show reservations
Arc de Triomphe
You can make the climb to the top here too, but we’d had about enough of steps by the time we got here.
Champs–Élysées – where were walked, window shopped (there was no room in anyones tiny luggage totes for anything else), and stopped for lunch
Musée du Louvre
After taking pictures near the main entrance, use the second entrance to enter the museum and purchase your ticket at the electronic kiosks. There’s little to no wait and and you’re inside making your way around the famed museum in no time while everyone else is still outside waiting to get in.
We must have been delirious from all of the walking and stair climbing because when we got off the metro we didn’t realize it was behind us and definitely ran in a big circle, make a mad dash hoping that it wasn’t closed. Out of breath we arrived to see the grand cathedral and made our way to the line to go inside.
We tried to stop at Verjus for dinner, I’d heard great things about it from Coco & Cowe,but unfortunately they were full booked for the night. Just around the corner we found an amazing restaurant to relax from the days adventures and enjoy happy hour and dinner.We opted for sleep instead of nightlife since we had an early flight to Rome Saturday morning.Getting to the airpot was a breeze – we opted to use the metro and connected to airport line. All in all it took us about 1 hour and 15min to get to the airport to jet-set off to Rome.
Make sure that Paris is on your travel list. It is a wonderful city to experience and so full of history. See the history, experience the love, take in the views, eat, drink, dance, and be merry! Here’s some additional info and tips for planning your trip!
- The earlier you book train and plane tickets the cheaper they are. I bought our tickets (everyone gave me their money) about 2 weeks out due to scheduling, but found that I got the best deal for my train tickets to Paris from Germany on www.raileurope.com. The ICE train tickets were $188 per person, and we went from Kaiserslautern to Paris and then from Paris to Stuttgart and we took the regular train from Stuttgart back to Kaiserslautern. We took the ICE train to Stuttgart on the return trip because of scheduling. Tickets from Stuttgart to Kaiserslautern were purchased in advance on www.bahn.de for $24 per person
- Download the Paris Metro App on your smart phone to help get around the subways without a giant map in your hand.
- Metro Passes are broken down in price by number of days and zones you’ll be traveling in. You’ll need a pass for Zones 1-3 if you only intend to explore the Parisian city center which is all of the museums and historical sites are.A 2 day unlimited pass was 17EUR.
- Taking the Metro is 2,50EUR per ride without a pass and getting to the airport is an additional 11,30EUR
If you have any additional questions or need help planning your trip I’d be happy to help, just leave a comment below or send me an email!
“No city seduces as skillfully as Paris. With a sly, knowing wink, the City of Light steals your heart with one clear, small joyous moment after another. Linger too long on the Pont des Arts and passion may nudge your slumbering spirit awake, or kiss your lips, or turn you into a whimsical work of art.”- H. Thompson
Wishing you safe and happy travels! –xo AGT