I’m lucky enough to have a few friends who live in Paris, so when David and I went there in February we had a brilliant list of recommendations ready for a brilliant weekend. 3 days is plenty long enough for a Paris trip. Here is what we got up to and ten tips if you’re going there soon.
We travelled on the Eurostar and got a really good deal with hotel included in the price on lastminute.com. We arrived at 13:00 on the Friday, went straight to the hotel to dump our bags, and then on to the Eiffel tower.
TIP 1: It doesn’t really matter where you stay. Paris is small compared to London. I chose somewhere close to the Champs Elysees but even Montemarte is walking distance and you can get around easily on the metro. So see which B&B ranks highest on trip advisor and go for it.
TIP 2: Take the stairs up the Eiffel Tower! You can just queue and get a ticket on the day. You only need to pre-book Eiffel Tower tickets online if you want to use the lift to get up to the 1st floor. But that’s not as fun! And you’ll need to burn off all the pastries!
TIP 3: The lonely planet pocket guide has a few good walks in it. On day one we stayed south of the river seine, after coming down from the Eiffel Tower, we slowly wandered through Parisian streets to the bohemian Latin quarter with its cute cafes.
TIP 4: Have wine with lunch. It’s so cheap it’s just rude not to and just the house red was delicious!
TIP 5: Go to the Shakespeare and Company book shop. I bought a lucky dip box from the cute suitcase outside and later found I had actually purchased a very early edition of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ which is probably worth much more than the 6 euro I paid for it! The shop is near Notre Dame Cathedral.
TIP 6: The best walk is from Notre Dame Cathedral, down the north side of the Seine to place de la Concorde. The views are beautiful and you pass the Louvre, and walk through the pretty Jardines des Tuileries.
TIP 7: For dinner we went to, Le Relais de L’Entrecote there are a few of these restaurants in different parts of Paris. If you like: steak frites, house wine and the idea of not choosing but being served salad, the main (TWICE ) and cheap wine… this place is for you. Get there when before it opens, it’s crazy popular, make sure you’re near the front of the queue.
TIP 8: Go to Montmarte. We saw the Moulin Rouge (which aint cheap be warned) and went to a brilliant restaurant. More on that in a minute. When in Montmarte make sure you go to Place du Tertre, or the artists square as well as the Sacré-Cœur. Amazing view from the front looking over Paris.
TIP 9: Our fav restaurant was ‘Refuge des Fondus’ in Montmarte. Not fine dining but a really fun experience if you like cheese fondu and wine out of baby bottles! It’s all about atmosphere and gets quite rowdy. Not expensive but small. Book ahead! Again, not much choice they just bring you the starter, main and desert but we found them all to be excellent! (Address: 17 Rue des 3 Freres, 18e, Montmarte)
TIP 10: For something relaxing on the last day, after a lot walking, we took boat trip down the river seine. There are a number of different companies that offer river cruises from different points and you learn a bit of history from the guide as you sail past some beautiful buildings