LA VILLE DE L’AMOUR
This June I finally got to go to my dream city; Paris.
I’ve wanted to run around the city of love with baguette in hand and a beret perched atop my head since the olsen twins did it. That movie was underrated if you ask me .
The trip was a surprise birthday present for my boyfriend, a weekend getaway to go and eat, drink and stroll our way through the city of love.
I did a load of research before I went, because I’m a bit of a nerd like that when I go away. Nothing beats the lists of recommendations I got from family members and friends, so I thought that maybe MY own list could be of help to someone who’s being whisked away there too.
So, let’s run through our itinerary.
- We set off from Jersey to Liverpool. Living on an island means it’s difficult to get direct flights anywhere other than the UK, so we had a whole day of travel. The layover in Liverpool wasn’t so bad, and it was the cheapest option!
- We arrived at Paris airport at 9pm. Using my Giffgaff sim meant my data roaming was free, so I ordered us an uber direct to our hotel.
- Once we’d arrived, we dropped off our bags and checked in, then went for a stroll round the neighbourhood to get our bearings. There was a supermarket up the street so we got some snacks and water for the room, and discovered that the moulin rouge was a 2 minute walk away from us!
- Our first full day in Paris was cut a bit short due to use sleeping in. We went off exploring in Montmartre, and found the most beautiful little brasserie for breakfast. I love just having a wander and finding a hidden gem, and luckily so does my boyfriend so we took it easy for the morning.
- Once we’d filled up with all the carbs and coffee, we took on the metro. For two returns, it was about €7, which I thought was brilliant. It was so much easier than we had thought, and meant we really felt a part of the city, and not just lost tourists. We used the app citymapper to get around!
- We rode the metro to get to our first pit stop; the eiffel tower. It was absolutely dreamy.
- We then decided to walk down the river to find the Champs Elysee, and stumbled upon the Arc De Trimphe. I recommend trainers if like me you prefer to walk your way around a new city, it was the best way to see everything and we actually just stumbled across the sweetest places doing it.
- We stopped off for lunch at a little pizza place we found, and then got some macarons at Ladurée, on our way back to the hotel to get changed for dinner.
- We had planned to go to a trendy place for dinner, got there, and saw how cramped and busy it was and changed our minds. Instead, we strolled around and enjoyed feeling like locals. We ended up stumbling across this sweet little place on the corner of a bustling street, and sat outside all night sipping wine and watching the world go by. It was probably my favourite date night we’ve ever had.
- It was our last day, and stupidly we didn’t wake up early enough. Nevertheless, we had things to see! So we grabbed a coffee and a croissant (how cliche can I get?) and hopped back on the metro to the Tuileries Gardens.
- We wanted to see the Louvre and the Notre Dame. We were in Paris just a few weeks after the Notre Dame had caught on fire, so what we saw was a grand building wrapped in plastic and looking rather sorry for itself. It was highly secured with guards and policeman, which was quite sad.
- After strolling our way to the Latin Quarter, we found yet another quant cafe with tiny chairs and tables outside to prop up and have a drink, before finding lunch.
- We ended up getting the metro to a great little shopping area called Le Marais that was buzzing with people. We made it to a creperie called Breizh Cafe that was recommended to us, and ate our weight in crepes. If there’s two of you, I recommend one of you get a savoury galette, and one of you get a sweet one and share both!
- It was at this point when it started lashing down with rain, so we hopped in an uber and had a lovely little drive back to our hotel. I really love walking around a city, but I love how being in the car lets you see it from a different view. You have way more time to be nosey!
- For our final dinner, we decided to try an adorable traditional french bistro on the corner of our hotel. Every lunchtime, evening and even late into the night, we’d seen sweet old couples sitting and eating seafood and drinking wine, so we figured if it was good enough for the locals it would be brilliant. The place had its own fish and seafood stall attached to it, layden with oysters lobster and turbot. It was a lot more high end than we expected, but it was worth it.
WHERE WE STAYED
We found a charming little traditional parisian hotel on called Modern Hotel Montmartre. It was quaint, not stupidly expensive, and tidy. All we needed to dump our stuff and sleep for a couple of days. I do think that when we go again, which is inevitable, we’ll splash out for a bigger more ‘central’ hotel. Little things like having no air con, mini fridges or room service meant we spent a lot of money on water, eating out and sweating a LOT. So staying in maybe a chain hotel, or a hotel with more amenities would suit us better next time as we’d like to make our trip longer.
Our hotel was a short walk away from a host of gorgeous restaurants, shops and bars. If I had a pound for every time I’d say ‘Ooh look at that place!’, I’d be rich. Having the little ‘village’ of Montmartre just a stroll uphill from our hotel was brilliant, and there were plenty of metro stations too. It wasn’t quiet, but it felt safe and it was buzzing with life.
We used the metro a lot. I used citymapper to get around and find out which stop to get off at and which line to get on. We didn’t get lost at all, and it made the experience more fun and a lot cheaper. We only used ubers 4 times – two trips too and from the airport, one trip when it poured down with rain, and one when we got ourselves pleasantly lost and had had one too many wines to know where we were. Saying that, uber prices were really reasonable when compared to london! So I’d recommend using it rather than the local taxis, for both safety and price.
I found Paris to be a lot cheaper than people had warned me. When compared to say London, it wasn’t anything new. We didn’t set too much of a budget, but we both went with the same amount to spend so we’d take it in turns to pay for things. I’d say with transport, eating out three times a day, and buying souvenirs, we spent about €100/€150 each a day. We actually came home with euros still in our wallets, so it’s safe to say Paris was a treat
Would I recommend it?
AB-SO-LUTE-LY! Paris really has captured my imagination and stolen my heart. It is such a magical city, and we both left already talking about plans to visit again. I also don’t think you have to be a couple to enjoy it! It’s the perfect place for a weekend with friends or family, it all depends on what you do and what you make of it. I honestly could sit outside those cafes with a bottle of wine for hours on end and not be bored. If you can get there, be it alone or with a friend or partner, do it. Because I’m already itching to go back.