During a 5 day stay in Paris, I tried to absorb as much as possible which came in with a lack of sleep and bruised feet, but the magic of Paris was worth it all.
I had put a lot of time into doing my research before this trip, as I knew august in Paris could mean wasting hours queueing for attractions. Doing a research about my travel destination is probably one of the most exciting parts for me, although it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But I must tell you that the result was that the most amount of time I spend queueing was around 15-20 min for the Orsay Museum, and I’ll be sharing all my useful information in future posts on how to save time and money on your trip to Paris.
There are two ways to explore Paris, you can either go hunting for masterpieces or just go for a relax stroll and enjoy the Parisian delight! While I was more on a mission to see as many of the artworks that I had read and studied about during uni years, I also tried to fit in a few relaxing ways of sightseeing, such as cruising the Seine.
There are a few great things about Paris that I absolutely loved.
1st: If you’re an EU residence under 25 you’ll be able to get into 90% percent of the places for free, which gives you the freedom to even enjoy the small museums without having to pay a 7€ entrance. If you’re not an EU residence but you’re a student under 25, you’ll probably be getting good discounts in many places as well.
2nd: The second thing was the transportation system. Paris has one of the most convenient transportation systems in Europe. The metro will take you absolutely everywhere and there are great trains that take you outside of Paris like to the Versailles, Disneyland or the airport. Although looking at the metro map it might seem very complicated and frustrating to find your way through all of those train routes that connect here and there, Paris has one of the best info graphic system I have ever seen. There are huge maps and signs everywhere in the metro stations and inside the trains showing all the directions, so your chances of getting lost in Paris are not very high.
3rd: One of the most amazing things about Paris is how cosmopolitan it is. You’ll see people from all around the world and you’ll never know who you’ll meet through out your journey.
4th: As for the third thing it would be the well spread picnic culture in a huge city like Paris. Where ever there is a fine grass there will be people chilling, having snacks and enjoying the sun. You’ll see a lot of tourists from all over the world having picnics in Paris even though they might not have the culture back home. So all and all it’s a great!
And last but not least is the Parisian beaches next to the Seine river! you’ll think it’s a joke but you’ll actually see people getting a tan while their kids are enjoying the sandpit. Now who needs to drive for hours to get to the beach when you can get a tan in the middle of Paris?!
There are plenty of rooftop views of Paris everywhere and some of them even come for free such as the rooftop of Galleries Lafayette, so don’t be so worried about spending hours to get up the Eiffel tower.
The French are famous for their spectacular lighting so you can imagine that Paris is a feast at night time! Many places are much more beautiful at night time then the day, so be sure to give your self some break and leave some of your exploring for when the sun is down.
– One of the greatest thing that helped me get the basic info was a lecture by Steve Smith, co-author of Rick Steves France guidebook. The lecture is 1.5 hours long and covers all of France but you can have a brief look and perhaps only watch the Paris section. It gives you a lot of good tips to make the best of your stay in Paris. You can watch it here.
– The paris metro website offers some great information about all of the attractions, tours and passes.
– If you’d like a good plan for your stay in Paris here you will find great 3-4-5 day plans to visit the most of Paris as well of great lists of attractions with information on each of them.
– And of course my DK top 10 Paris guide book which was my true companion through out this journey! While many would go for Lonely Planet I decided to go for this one as I found it more amusing with it’s colored pictures and nice editorial design.
How to get from the airport to central Paris?
This website gives you all you need to know about transportation in Paris. You’ll find anything you’ll need from how to get from CDG airport to Paris, how to go to Disneyland, the Versailles and so much more. It’s probably one the most helpful websites I found before my trip to Paris as you have all the options and everything is very clear.
You can also find airport information in Paris airport Website.
Tickets to Disneyland?!
Here is the biggest online guide to Disneyland Paris where you’ll find the cheapest ways to get your tickets. With the help of this website I got my tickets for 45€ while they were sold for 69€ inside Disneyland and 54€ in ticket selling offices in Paris! So it makes a good difference to know where to get your info from.
I’ll be writing individual posts on top attractions of Paris with their full information. So stay tuned for that. Until then you’re welcome to ask any further questions in the comment sections and I’ll be happy tp answer them.