Episode 2: Prime 5 Paris must-dos

Bonjour, fellow vacationers! Discovering Alexx right here. On my quest to go to 52 nations in 52 weeks primarily based on the most cost effective flight each Tuesday, my first cease took me to the Metropolis of Lights – Paris.

From bread and cheese all day daily, to glowing monuments round virtually each nook, it’s simply a type of cities that’s spectacular in each means. Listed here are my suggestions and tips for what to eat, what to see and how one can get round –  and how one can do it on a backpacker finances if you need to.

The Eiffel Tower

Let’s begin with the plain, the Eiffel Tower! This iconic metallic triangle was truly hated by Parisians when it was first opened again in 1889 however has since develop into one of the vital well-known buildings on this planet. Going as much as the highest with the carry will set you again €25.50, and also you is perhaps ready some time in your flip, however you’ll be rewarded with a lovely view of the Champs de Mars and Trocadero on the opposite facet of the Seine.

If you happen to’re actually tight for cash and don’t need to pay to go up, there are many gorgeous viewpoints to get a glimpse (and an amazing shot) of the tower. Go to Trocadero to get a straight-on view from proper throughout the river. Have a picnic dinner within the Champs de Mars and see the tower sparkle each hour from sundown, or take the right Instagram shot from Pont Alexandre III or Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge with the Eiffel Tower within the background.

Take a historical past or art much lesson

Tradition, artwork or historical past buffs will LOVE this metropolis, with museums and galleries of all differing types dotted across the metropolis. Say bonjour to the Mona Lisa and hundreds of different artworks on the Louvre, dive into Europe’s largest assortment of recent artwork at Le Centre Pompidou, go to Musée des Arts et Métiers to wander round beautiful buildings full of scientific treasures, or head to Musée Picasso to see some masterpieces from Picasso himself in addition to his fellow artists.

On the lookout for one thing a bit extra obscure? Make sure you try the Catacombs, a 3000km community of tunnels working underneath the town, dwelling to the bones of over 6 million Parisians. Within the 1700s the town’s cemeteries had been getting full, so a little bit of ingenuity kicked off the motion from graves to the tunnels underground. Insane? Sure. Unbelievable to see? Additionally sure. Not for the faint-hearted, for apparent causes!

Store up a storm

Whether or not you’re into fancy designers, stylish boutiques or classic threads, Paris is assured to fulfill any shopaholic’s wants… However possibly on the detriment of their pockets! If you happen to’re trying to deal with your self to a particular buy you’ll want to take a look at the Faubourg Saint-Honoré district, you’ll find flagship shops of all completely different manufacturers and budgets down the Champs-Elysées, and Le Marais neighborhood is dwelling to a few of the trendiest boutiques round.

In case your finances doesn’t stretch previous window buying then I’d nonetheless suggest paying a go to to the big Galeries Lafayette flagship division retailer on Boulevard Hausmann within the ninth arrondissement, simply to see the beautiful stained-glass dome ceiling. It’s completely gorgeous!

A cabaret present

I haven’t been to Moulin Rouge so I can’t converse for that one particularly, however I can say that it was means out of my finances (at the very least €100 per individual not together with meals or drink). This was a disgrace as a result of I used to be tremendous eager to see one in all Paris’ well-known cabaret reveals!

Then a pal of mine informed me about La Nouvelle Eve, a smaller cabaret simply down the street from the Moulin Rouge with incredible critiques and far decrease costs. We paid €59 every which included half a bottle of champagne too, plus the venue was smaller and fewer individuals than the ‘primary’ reveals so it felt much more intimate. There have been the same old cabaret dancers plus some acrobats and different performers, and a few hilarious viewers participation. If you happen to’re on the lookout for a cabaret present on a finances, La Nouvelle Eve ought to be in your listing!


The lifeline of Paris is the River Seine, which snakes its means by way of the center of the town, separating the Proper Financial institution from the Left Financial institution. The river brings some calmness to the craziness of the capital, and its banks are hang around spots for locals all through summer time, spring and autumn.

Take a wander alongside the river banks, seize a drink at one of many many riverside bars, or hop on a Bateaux Parisiens (that’s what the river boats are known as) and cruise previous all the key landmarks. If you happen to can afford a night cruise then that’d be even higher, as a lot of the metropolis’s primary monuments mild up after darkish.


Paris is made up of 20 completely different arrondisements, numbered from 1 to 20, that are administritave districts (sort of like boroughs). Then there’s suburbs inside the arrondissements. Barely complicated! Listed here are a few of my favourite Paris suburbs.

Latin Quarter

Positioned proper by the river on the Left Financial institution, the Latin Quarter is a youthful suburb full of a great deal of low cost eats. The Latin Quarter is dwelling to eating places of all completely different ethnicities, and most of them supply fastened value menus that will provide you with a two or three course meal from solely €10, generally even together with the drink. That’s a win! I’d suggest Mobster Diner for an informal dinner, Chez le Libanais for a takeaway shawarma, or L’Époque for traditional French fare, and you’ll’t miss the panini, crepe and gentle drink deal for €5 at Crêperie Genia.

There are many scrumptious eateries that match a backpacker finances on this a part of city, so I’d recommend heading there for lunch to wander the streets and discover a menu that tickles your fancy.


Extra of a primary street than a neighborhood, this stretch within the central metropolis is 1.2 miles lengthy and leads from the Place de la Concorde all the way in which to the Arc de Triomphe. It’s probably the most touristy a part of the town for certain however the huge footpaths make it not too tough to get round, regardless of the hundreds of customers and guests. You may store ‘til you drop, refuel with a sugar hit with macarons from Ladurée or Pierre Hermé, then wrap up your day with a stroll as much as the highest of the Arc de Triomphe for a beautiful view over the town.


This hillside neighborhood has bought to be one of the vital arty locations in Paris, with native sketchers and painters lining the facet streets surrounding the attractive Sacré-Coeur sitting on high of the hill. Choose up a chunk in your wall, decide to take a seat for a caricature when you’ve bought the time and funds, or just wander round admiring the artists’ abilities.

Visiting the Sacré-Coeur is free and it’s open from 6am. It’s a incredible place to go for sundown too, with an unmissable view of the sprawling metropolis and a great deal of spots for a picnic dinner. Make sure you cease into Crêperie Brocéliande for a Nutella and banana crepe for dessert!

Le Marais

Palms down the trendiest suburb within the metropolis, Le Marais is dwelling to probably the most fashionable boutiques, cafés, bars, eating places, accommodations and even places of work! This place is finest found by strolling the streets with no specific finish level in thoughts, and I assure you’ll stumble throughout one thing particular. It’s additionally the guts of Paris’ LGBT scene, with rainbow installations scattered all through the neighborhood throughout pleasure month annually.

For a real Parisian expertise, gown up in one thing good, head to Le Marais within the early night and seize a patio desk and a glass of wine and other people watch the evening away. Les Philosophes is an area favourite!

get round

Top-of-the-line matters about Paris is that it’s tremendous simple to stroll between a great deal of the important thing spots, and on the way in which you’ll positively come throughout some beautiful nook cafés, funky present retailers and ultra-cool boutiques. When you have the time and vitality, I’d actually recommend difficult your self to a no-transport day, and see what you uncover.

If you happen to’re in a rush or need to give your toes a break, Paris has a good public transport system with buses, RER trains and the Metropolitain (underground). You should buy single tickets, packs of ten, or multi-day passes from most prepare and Metro stations. A single ticket prices €1.90, a pack of ten prices €14.90 and a 5 day cross prices €38.35.

Paris additionally has a great deal of bike (JUMP is the principle one) and e-scooters (like Lime, Dott and Chook) obtainable for rental, however word which you can solely trip in bike lanes or on the street or you may be stung with a €100+ positive.

Taxis will be costly however there are Ubers obtainable all around the metropolis that are extra inexpensive.

The place to remain

Paris is large, and with that comes hundreds of lodging selections! The town on an entire is fairly costly, however there are many hostels that can swimsuit a wallet-friendly finances, in addition to some respectable low cost accommodations.

Generator Paris is one in all my faves, proper throughout the street from Colonel Fabien Metro station which suggests simple transport into the central metropolis. They’ve bought fashionable, practical hostel rooms plus a candy rooftop bar with views of the Sacré-Coeur. They don’t have a kitchen although and you’ll’t take meals or drink into the hostel, which suggests you’ve bought to spend cash on meals out or on the hostel bar.

St Christopher’s additionally has two hostels in Paris, I stayed on the one subsequent to Gare du Nord (a serious prepare station and the arrival level for the Eurostar) and there’s one other one subsequent to St Martin’s Canal, a quieter, extra residential space.

The Gare du Nord hostel was a really perfect location for me as I used to be catching a prepare to Beauvais airport, however the space across the prepare station was sort of seedy and I didn’t really feel significantly secure strolling round on my own at evening. If you happen to’re in a gaggle or pair, when you’re a man, or when you’re solely planning on going out through the day then this spot might be positive, however for solo feminine vacationers who is perhaps out and about after the solar’s gone down then it’s not best.

How a lot to finances for Paris

My week in Paris was the primary week of a year-long journey, and I blew by way of my finances greater than I ought to have. If you happen to keep at a hostel with a full kitchen and cook dinner your individual meals then it’s positively doable on a finances, however sadly for me (and my checking account) I simply LOVE French meals and need to eat in any respect one of the best cafés and eating places!

Hostels will set you again anyplace from €15 to €30 for a dorm mattress relying on the time of 12 months you go, and low cost accommodations will begin at round €60 per room (however that’s actually no frills and doubtless no breakfast included).

Breakfast at a café can be between €5 for a espresso, juice and croissant by way of to €14-ish for a full cooked breakfast within the fancier components of the town, and a sit down dinner is prone to value at the very least €15 except you get a set value menu within the Latin Quarter.

Picnics are an amazing alternative for Paris on a finances, and you will get bread, cheese and deli meats in addition to a bottle of wine to share for between €10 and €15.

Count on to spend round €4-6 per day on transport when you’re taking two or three journeys, and also you’ll must finances further when you’re planning on visiting museums and galleries.

Some further suggestions in your Paris journey

  • If you happen to ever have the prospect to go to Paris for Bastille Day, you HAVE to go. The fireworks are probably the most unbelievable show I’ve ever seen! They begin at 11.30pm and go for half an hour, they usually’re set to an epic soundtrack too. You may see them from any excessive vantage level within the metropolis however I like to recommend getting a spot within the Champs de Mars (the park proper underneath the Eiffel Tower) totally free. The gates this 12 months opened at 4pm and there’s a safety examine, however when you get there early you’ll remember to get a good spot fairly rapidly. You may convey foods and drinks however no glass bottles, so pour your wine right into a Dopper bottle, an eco-friendly drink bottle that comes with a makeshift wine cup!
  • Paris has a few of the finest parks in Europe, so when you want a break from sightseeing through the day then you definitely most likely gained’t be removed from someplace to relaxation your legs. Jardin du Luxembourg is on the Left financial institution and is dwelling to a surprising palace and gardens, positively one in all my favorites.
  • To get photographs away from the lots you’ll most likely must get up early, I used to be there in summer time and took all my photographs on the key vacationer spots between 6am and 8am.
  • A few of my favourite photograph spots within the metropolis are Pigalle basketball court docket, the columns at Palais Royal, and the view of the Eiffel Tower from Pont Alexandre III.
  • If you wish to discover outdoors of Paris for the day, take into account a day journey to the Palace of Versailles, Monet’s Backyard in Giverny, or the castles within the Loire Valley
  • You’re by no means too outdated for curler coasters! If you happen to’re eager to go to Disneyland Paris I’d recommend making an attempt to go to on a weekday outdoors of faculty holidays, for apparent causes.

And in spite of everything that, now I need to return! I hope this Paris journey information has helped you intend your upcoming journey, and when you’re eager to observe all my adventures over the subsequent 12 months you may see.

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