When I stayed in Paris, this was in the Spring time, almost 2 years ago. This blog is a long time coming. I've filtered through thousands and thousands of photos, reflected on key details and great memories, and have finally compiled everything into what I want to call a travel guide. Although I only stayed there for a few weeks, I feel like I definitely do have something to share, and when I think about it, I feel like I only went the other day.
There is something so timeless about it all, or maybe it's just my rose-coloured glasses?
I have broken down Paris the Series into 13 blog posts, separated by types of activities, types of food, and everything in between. I wouldn't consider it a thorough travel guide, but moreso how I experienced Paris in my short time and what I did and what I suggest.
It is also very much a travel diary, if not moreso. (Did I mention, that in the span of 2.5 months, I took about 8000 pictures? That does not include film footage that I captured. And yes, there were times that I actually didn't have my camera and enjoyed myself in the moment.)
I don't want to be cliché, but it's difficult to describe Paris without doing so. Every street, corner, and lane has incredible history and beauty.
At the Airport
Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport, it took me some time to figure out how to take the metro into the city. In Paris, the tarifs for the metro depends on distance traveled by zones. It cost me 11.50€, about $22.50 CAD to get into the city. I bought the single ride ticket from the machine.
If you can, I suggest taking the metro. It is cheaper than taking a cab. The one downside of it is that there are surely no elevators in the Paris metro, as it one of the oldest underground subways in the world. You will have to carry your luggage up the multiple flights of stairs. If you have a massive luggage on you, plus carry-on, it may sound easier than it seems, but it is definitely manageable. I also enjoy taking the metro - it's not only me, right? It's a great way to experience the city and become a part of it.
For my return trip, I ordered an Uber from the 16th arrondisement to Charles de Gaulle (CDG). My flight left at 7am so I had to be sure that I would get there early and on time. It was a 45€ flat rate, which converts to about $66.50 CAD.
One of the easiest ways to get around the city is to take the metro/RATP. There is a metro station around every corner. I would suggest buying a pack of 10 tickets which currently is sold for 14,90€. Also to consider if you have a short stay is the unlimited ride ticket, which starts from 12,00€ for 1 day to 38,35€ for 5 days. Just take a look at the website or at the station in person to find what best suits your needs. Carry around a metro map with you everywhere you go, you'll want to have a copy!
I also took Uber quite often in Paris, and found that all the drivers were exceptional. They were very polite and great to chat with. If I took Uber late at night, most of the drivers waited to make sure that once I got to my destination, I was able to get in. I had a very good experience with Uber in Paris.
During my first visit in Paris, I spent 1 night at a hotel in Sursense (just outside of Paris) called Premiere Classe Paris Ouest Pont de Suresnes Hotel. This 3-bed hotel was booked through Contiki, a tour guide company, with whom I started my trip with. Suresnes is a suburb of Paris and not does not connect to the metro. This means that you would have to drive or take a cab or Uber into the city to get into Paris. In this particular case, I have very little commentary on my hotel experience, only because I spent most of my time in the city, my nights at a friend's, and just one night at the hotel.
Another option in addition to hotels are hostels, which are usually backpacking centrals for youth. Usually, you can book a private room, up to a room with eight beds or even more. If you are travelling in a big group, you could book an entire room for your party, but if not, you might have some new roommates. That might be an advantage for you if you are looking to meet other travelers. Hostels usually have a common area as well, where people can either eat, order drinks or just lounge.
As for myself, I am a very lucky person! My best friend moved to Paris and for the last leg of my trip, I stayed with her during my 3 weeks. This is the view from her window; quintessential Paris, bien sûr. It was surreal to wake up to this view each morning.
She lived on the top floor of an eight-storey Haussmann building in the 16th arrondisement. The top floor of her building, which looks much like the one directly across the street, was previously the room and board for the maids of the wealthy families who lived on the larger, lower levels (fun fact!).