Honestly? We loved Paris. Despite the weather, despite the costs. But we love it not because it’s the city of romance or some lame thing like that – but because of the food.
Although certain restaurants were pretty pricey, but we could always get a great 3-course meal for 2 for around 30 Euros. Not that high, considering some places in Singapore are expensive as well, although we don’t eat that kind of dinner everyday. But what’s travelling in France without eating out at their fabulous restaurants?
The city of French-speaking folks were friendly to us. I heard things have changed a little and they are less snobbish already. Everywhere we went, people could communicate well in English and they were helpful. So our experience in Paris was really positive.
Apart from that – the Metro system is superb. You have trains weaving through the city and stations are near each other. We got the unlimited tourist Metro pass so we could get out at one station and explore down the street and then hop into another train to go somewhere else.
Of course, the shopping was amazing. But I couldn’t bring myself to get myself a Chanel something or a Celine thingy, so I stuck to window shopping most of the time. The only fashion item I got (I think) was a beret – yes how cheesy I know. (EDIT: I got a large Longchamp Le Pliage with the Eiffel Tower on it. I’ll use it for travel, I guess…)
Lastly, there are so many great museums in Paris. All of those that we’ve got the privilege of visiting were well-maintained and curated. I was particularly impressed with the Air and Space Museum for the great exhibits – considering it was quite out of town and in a rather dingy area, really.
Too bad about the grey Spring that welcomed us in Europe though. It would be even more amazing if the weather was a little less grey and wet.
Day 19 Paris
- Took taxi from Orly Sud terminal to our apartment at 26 euros. We were tired of lugging our luggage down train stations with no escalators
- Nice set lunch at 12 euros in Latin Quarter
- Dinner at Montmartre
- Sacre Couer was beautiful on the outside (but it was closed by then)
- Take the Funicular tram uphill instead of climbing!
- Walked around seedy area with strip clubs
Day 20 Paris
- Balenciaga to buy something for my dear Seekee
- Salmon and fish Lunch at touristy cafe in Latin Quarter
- Segway tours in freezing rain. It was frigging freezing. Our guide David was great! Too bad about the rain though.
- Dinner at surprisingly good place at St Germain Le Petite Perigourdine with cheese mashed potato and pork filet mignon n cheese risotto n yummy dessert
My review on TripAdvisor here!
- Registered for Velib rental bikes from the kiosk and cycled back home. Remember to kick the bike stand up before slotting it into the kiosk stand! We didn’t know that and I made the mistake of placing the bike in the wrong way and risked a 200 Euro fine :S Fortunately we managed to get it sorted out – so phew!
Day 21 Paris
- Picked up 2-day museum pass
- Louvre, Mona Lisa etc hurhur. To skip straight to Mona Lisa and the awesome Italian Renaissance paintings – go direct via Denon Wing entrance. Not via the Pyramid entrance!
- Lunch at Macdoodoo at the Louvre (yes, we planned to eat at all the McDonald’s everywhere we went)
- Musee D’Orsay (beautiful)
- Arc de Triomphe (horrifying, claustrophobic climb up… but it was worth it)
- Notre Dame
- Walked around Champ Elysees
- Om nom nom Laduree macarons!!!
- Went to Galaries LaFayette. CRAZY PLACE. It was so crazy I decided to forgo Printemps. Place was swarming with tourists buying stuff like there is no tomorrow.
- Dinner at another Le Petite something because Le Severes (where they say the most power steak was served – no Michelin stars) was closed…with provencal style stewed beef and etc
Day 22 Paris
- Awesome Air and Space museum. Jeffwee loved it because he loved aviation stuff.
- Longchamp to buy stuff
- Went to Tuileries Gardens to chill and played with 2 Euros kiddy game – pushing wooden sailboats from one end to another end of the pond
- Louvre at night again, this time we explored the wing with the Egyptian exhibits
- Hotel Costes was expensive but desserts were rather yum
- Ate at first restaurant that we visited and horrors – the food was soso. But lava cake zomgggg!!!!
Day 23 Paris
- Lazy morning… we lazed around in the wonderful heated studio apartment
- Seine river cruise and Eiffel Tower ruined because of Cityrama’s screw up &^&%&^%
Tip: DO NOT book with isango.com, I paid up and the allocation were not confirmed! Use Viator instead.
- Ate Pierre Hermes macarons! I find their crust is a little nicer than Laduree’s…
- Took train to Eiffel tower at Trocadero stn
- Shoes got wet and I got grumpy. We nearly went to the 1 Michelin Star restaurant on the Tower itself, but I was just too grumpy with cold and wet shoes.
- Ate at La Petite Perisomething again and had nice sweet wine
- Went tipsy to the first restaurant n ordered lava cake!!
- Went back to pack
Day 24 Going Home!
- Got a shared airport shuttle from Viator for 38E total. Not a bad deal and they were on time.
- Terrible terrible customs tax return queues at Charles De Gaulle airport terminal were insane. We spent 3 hours queuing and only made it to our flight on last call!
Tip: Check in your luggage, leave your tax return items (eg. bags etc) in your hand carry bag. Clear customs first and use the tax counter inside! No queues, no grief.
We would return to Paris for sure. We didn’t manage to do Versailles this time so I am thinking of a Paris countryside drive down the Normandy coast the next time… Or we could do Provence. Or…