Friday, August 30, 2013

Hey-I'm going to Paris

*Every once in a while I'll get an e-mail from a friend, like hey I'm going to (Paris, Puerto Rico, NYC ect.) what do you recommend, so I think I'm going to try to turn these e-mails into some sort of organized list of suggestions/ideas for their trip...and yours too, so here is my first 
Some things to know...
Coming from the airport you can get the train in and it's only like 6 euro (way better than some other cities like London where it's crazy expensive), most likely it will dump you at Chatalet Les Halles, which is the busiest most ghetto stop ever, watch your purse luggage wallet, everything...seriously
This is also where people experience Paris Syndrome, you wont faint, but even Mr. W was like,
"for real...this is Paris?"'s nar nar, but guys it only goes up from here.

Where to Stay-Anywhere you stay is cool as long as its in the city (this blog) will explain the differences in the arrondissements, (again last time Dianne and I stayed in Le Marais $$$, before that Casey and I stayed in the 17eme $$$$$$ crazy posh off the Champs Elysees and a few min from the Arc de Troimphe, but when I was a student I stayed in Montparnasse $...more affordable)

What to Do- Get yourself a Carte Musee, it's cheaper, and with it you get to cut the line and walk right in the museums,  I usually get the 2 day and knock all the Museums out, it's insane but doable
Day 1 Musee D'orsay for all the impressionist stuff don't forget to go up the clock for a view of the seine, Then the Louvre, make a list of what you want to see it's massive (but you can see all the major pieces in 1-2 hrs) then do the Arc de triomphe near sunset, once you're on top wait for all the lights to come on and for the Eiffel Tower to start sparkling.
Day 2 Notre Dame & la Sainte Chapelle are right by each other, they are also total opposites so it's fun to do them back to back, then head to Pompidou after for modern art
If you can squeeze Musee Rodin in somewhere, cool, if not it's pretty cheap and usually no lines if you can't tackle it with your carte musee.
If you wanted to do Versailles it's a day trip, so keep that in mind, (the hamlet is the best part)

I'm not sure how long you're in Paris, but maybe you don't want to do any museums (last time Dianne and I just went to le Hôtel de Ville because there was a free exhibit on Haute Couture, but that's it)

We just wanted to chill, so we walked around ate ice cream & macaroons (pierre herme is better than laduree) got ice cream (luxembourg gardens east entrance by the RER stop has the best ice cream tons of crazy flavors like violet-the best, and jasmin or lavender) or a picnic at the tip of Ile de la cite. We got all googlie eyed at the designer stuff at Galeries Layfayette, +the amazing glass dome, right by the Opera house-Phantom of the Opera that is, and super secret, if you go to the top floor of galeries layfayette there is an observation deck and AWESOME views of Paris.

If you want to do a Bateaux Mouches (the touristy seine boats) there aint no shame, I could tell that Mr. W kinda wanted to, so we went, and I was NOT disappointed, it's only like $12 and if the tour dude is annoying you can always step outside, Paris from the river is beautiful, you can really see the architecture better, and people watching on the seine is awesome. you pick them up down on the river by the Eiffel Tower. we took a sun setty one and by the time we got back it was dark, and by the time we walked up to Trocadero and got a crepe the Eiffel Tower started sparkling. I've mentioned this glittering tower like 5 times's so cheesy and touristy, but still every time I see, I'm all "squeeeeeeeee"

Eat Drink Be Merry- dang this is getting long and it's prolly WAY more than you ever wanted, but lets talk cafes how much it costs depends on where you sit, terrace $$$, inside $$, at the bar $ also lots of places have 1/2 off happy hr (seriously Europeans are more obsessed with happy hr than Americans) so if you want to sit at a cafe and do some people watching maybe just get a coffee, if ya want to eat, go inside.
Falafal- is super good, everyone says King falafal in le marais is the best, and there will be a long line, but all the surrounding places will be just as good (there are like 4) I think every time I go to Paris, I live mainly on street food crepes, falafal, sandwiches, pastries, etc. because well? it's expensive as hell and usually there's so much you want to do you don't really want to kill 2 hrs in a restaurant, it's better to grab something and eat on the way or find a parc between point A and B. also...I should say if you order a martini it's not going to be a martini, they'll ask you red or white and it's going to be this, just FYI
When you go to Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, stop and get a drink at la fourmi, next to la cigalle, super cheap, super cool.

and above all, learn Bonjour and say it every time you walk into a place, Merci when you leave or you know...just to say thanks, and Pardon and no one will ever be rude to you (unless they're jerks, in which case they're jerks to everyone not just tourists)

je cherche-I'm looking for
je voudrais-I would like
je suis completement perdu- I'm totally lost
*these are bonus.

Bon Vacances, have an awesome time!!
If you would like a guide that consists of more than a giant run on sentence please check out A Beautiful Journey


Samantha Scarlett Phoenix said...

I hope I can travel around Europe later on! Thanks for the tips! Will definitely keep those in mind. <3

but what about wardrobe? Like when do seasons change in Paris/London? I don't want to look like an obvious tourist but I also don't want to look like an obnoxious wanna-be either!

style-for-style said...

I'd check the weather before you leave, but generally I find that France is a bit more mild than Chicago weather wise but ya never know what you're going to get, bring layers! And remember Europeans are generally more dressy than Americans

rae said...