We are just back from our crazy whirlwind adventure in Paris. This was my second time visiting the beautiful French city and I cannot recommend it enough. For so many years I’ve waited to do things, travel, step out, be me. This year I’m throwing all that into the wind. This is 40, and we are going to love it! My hope is that I could help you overcome some of your fears too!
Okay, so travelling to Paris. We used points. We used points for every single cent, including taxes. I use my Visa for absolutely everything. Cup of coffee, bills, house renovations (that’s a big one!!). A couple of years ago they switched me to the Infinite Avion by accident, so I obviously am stubborn and made them pay for it and let me keep it a year. We actually liked it so much we kept it. Yes, I pay a hefty fee, no the interest rate is not good, but the perks are worth it. By upgrading we get 25% more points and a bunch of perks, free lounge access, free nights at hotels, etc. We definitely get our money’s worth out of the flights. Two years in a row we’ve flown to Europe, flights within Canada, it’s worth it, for us. Depending on how and where you spend money it might not be the right card for you, Don’t send me a bill in a year and be like, ‘Lady, you fibbed me!’ If you include the price of the card we paid 500$ (I know! It’s a lot!), but 500$ for 2 round trip tickets to Europe and we drank in the lounge all evening. We joked and said it was one of the nicest dates we’d been on this year, I think we were both feeling a little burnt out.
A little FYI, security in the airport in Paris is in the form of men with guns. Don’t be shocked, it’s just how it is.
The first time I went I used a shuttle service and it was great. I was the last person and they were waiting, I just walked on. Buuuut I think those people on the bus might have been waiting for me so this time we took a taxi. There is an official line and a set rate so its easy-peasy.
Where to stay
I’ve stayed in three areas of Paris and honestly I adored them all. The first time I went I stayed in Le Marais. I read an article that said stay within the central 20 arrondissements (their neighborhoods), so I started with that. Le Marais is a lovely and feels like classic Paris. Little flower shops, bakeries and cafes everywhere. Parisians love their cafes! They sit outdoors year round under little awnings and space heaters, just chatting and drinking tiny little cups of espresso. PRO TIP Speaking of, Sundays, not everyone serves food on Sundays and some stores won’t open. If you’re starving, start out with “Un Menu?” and they will politely tell you if they serve food. If they don’t just ask where they do. I think I paid around 170$/night last year for that hotel.
This trip we stayed in 2 neighborhoods. We started out in the Eiffel tower area. I’d heard it wasn’t the best but honestly I loved it and would stay there again, it’s my favourite of the three. Perhaps because we’re well into fall, it wasn’t as busy. We wandered cobblestone streets looking at all the sights, we ate Indian food and went to little cafes. Perfectly lovely! And the tower. Oh my gosh! A must see day and night. 130$ US a night, plus a tourist tax that you must pay in cash at check out, approx 6 euros! Husband booked through Hotwire.
The last part of our trip we stayed in Montmartre, the artist neighbourhood. It’s filled with winding streets, walking tours. Van Gogh lived here and there are little signs that talk about his crazy artist life and thanks to the wonders of Outlander, I could imagine myself at fancy flighty parties, and adored it. If you’re walking in this area, make sure you’re paying attention, there is beautiful art hidden everywhere, look up and down.
Despite how lovely it was probably my least favourite of the three. The hotel was the nicest, but more modern than the other areas. We could walk to Moulin Rouge and other little gems, but I think it being our last stop I was a little done being a tourist.
So glad I went but I loved the smaller hotels we stayed in where you just walked in and said your name and they gave you a key. But again I’m less artsy, more sparkle. If you’re an artist this is probably where you’d want to be. We booked through Hotwire ‘Hot Rate’ meaning we knew which hotel we were getting in advance. 160$ Canadian a night, plus 6 euro tax at check out.
This is an ongoing post, let me know what you want to know, things I can help with. How to ride the Metro? Anything at all.