The city that stole my heart. I absolutely loved and miss Paris!
We stayed at a Luna-Park Hotel and the place wasn’t amazing, but it was fair enough. It wasn’t very close to the city center, and it was overpriced for the quality. The nice part was the receptionists were great and helpful!
We were starving when we arrived in Paris and found the best, authentic Parisian street crepe place not too far from the hotel. I’m telling you, we went to this place almost every single night and morning! Their Nutella crepe was thebomb.com and so was the eggs and ham one. I enjoyed the fact that they had a variety of crepes that were suitable for breakfast or just to cure a sweet tooth. There was also a McDonald’s and a couple food markets near the hotel, so I guess it wasn’t that bad in terms of our ability to get food.
We went to the Eiffel Tower twice while we were in Paris. We went there in the morning and tried to take those pictures people usually take with the tower, where the angle is manipulated and it seems like you’re touching the top of the Eiffel. It was more difficult than the pictures make it look. Lol, pictures are so deceiving. On a good note, there’s definitely less traffic around the tower during the day (tip). After seeing the tower in the morning, we walked around for a bit and discovered other parts of the city.
We had lunch at some random restaurant, and I can’t remember the name. Quick rant: one complaint that I have about some EU countries is that the food servings are too small. We are adults and travelers who should be feed according to how much energy we’ll be burning! Lol, European restaurants don’t understand this! It’s so unfair. The food was good, but a little more is all we ask— so we can rave about it to other people. Lol.
When we went back to the Eiffel Tower later on that evening, it was lit up with the colors of the Belgian flag because of the attack that happened a couple days earlier. We paid to go to the very top (it was fairly cheap, less than 20 euros and cheaper if you take the stairs (DON’T TAKE THE STAIRS UP, LOL)). The view from the Eiffel tower is one of the most incredible views I’ve witnessed in my life/all of the views I’ve seen while in EU!!! You have to go up with a group of people, but you can explore each level for as long as you want. Although I wouldn’t recommend taking the stairs up the tower, I’d definitely recommend taking the stairs down to each level instead of the elevator. This way you’re free to experience the tower and the views at different angles and marvel at how beautiful Paris truly is. After we climbed down from the tower, we lost our friend Akilah! Lol. It was getting late and we knew the trains would stop running, so we assumed she went back to the hotel and did the same. Turned out, she went to the restroom (probably around the same time we got to where we left her), so we just missed each other. We did wait and look around for awhile before we concluded on leaving, for the record.
We also spent a lot of time in the Champs-Elysees area and saw a movie at this cinema/cabaret place called UGC Normandie. It’s the fanciest theater I’ve ever been in, and I thought it was so funny how unique it was when we entered, so we asked and found out the other side was a cabaret and they had shows frequently. The movie we saw there was Batman v. Superman, and it was alright. We got a student discount and free M&M’s bowls, and that was nice lol. Champs-Elysees is definitely a place I’d recommend to take your time and explore while in Paris— lots of shops and restaurants and PEOPLE. So. Many. People. Lol, beware of tourist traps, pick-pockets, and all that good stuff. Although we didn’t experience any problems with pickpockets, there were more than enough people to make sure that you had your bags secure at all times.
Lastly, we visited The Louvre museum! I danced in front of it actually. Haha, later on we went inside and saw the infamous Mona Lisa herself :D! It was so hard to get a good picture of her because everyone else had the same goal, and you kind of just have to push through the crowd around the picture. Students enter for free at certain times, just make sure you have an ID (tip). The museum itself is wonderful and the different exhibits (especially the statues) were interesting to see. The art was magnificent and very extravagant. I think would’ve enjoyed it more if I wasn’t so hungry.
For the foodies: one day, we had lunch at a local burger joint called b&m Burger. It was kind of a create your own burger type of place and you get choose whatever you want in it. Their burgers were delicious and juicy!!! I don’t play with food and I don’t lie about food either. I’d definitely recommend the place.
SO, Paris was amazing. I loved everything about it. The French, the food, the attractions, the vibes. J’adore Paris!
Tips for traveling in Paris:
- Take your student ID!
- Stay somewhere near the city center so you don’t have to rely heavily on the train.
- Be mindful of traveling by train– they stop running around 12AM.
- A single train trip is 1.41 euros, but it’s cheaper if you get the bundle deal!
- Go to the Eiffel tower earlier in the day, but also see it at night.
- Lots of street vendors will try to sell you hats and selfie sticks, etc… just be mindful.
- Speak French if you know any, 😀
- The Ryanair airport is far away, so plan to leave for the airport 3 hours before the boarding time. A bus takes you to the airport, get your ticket and print it out ahead of time.