At the beginning of July my best friend Shannon and I went to Paris, we wanted to have a girly holiday so we hopped on a plane and explored the beauty of Paris for four days. We managed to book the whole trip at staggeringly low price, when booking our flights in advance they were £50 each way from Birmingham airport and we stayed in an Air B&B apartment in the centre of Montmarte which cost us £78 each for three nights.
After arriving in Paris to a sweltering 32 degrees, we lugged our suitcase up three flights of stairs to our apartment and breathed a sigh of relief. As soon as we managed to cool down we got all dressed up and head for the Eiffel Tower.
A short metro ride later we arrived at the Eiffel Tower and got the lift up to the very top. The views of Paris were breathtaking and it was the perfect way to start the trip. After soaking up all the views we walked down to the bottom and went to grab some dinner on a side street.
I was told numerous times that Paris was very expensive, however I was surprised how wrong those people were. As long as you don’t eat on a main road, by just wandering down a side street you can find delicious Parisian food for incredibly low prices. Most restaurants advertise a set menu which involves around 5 or 6 choices of starters, main courses and desserts and if you pick off the menu you can get a three course dinner for around fifteen euros.
As evening got darker we wandered back to the greenery surrounding the Eiffel Tower and joined the other tourists and Parisians all sat around having picnics, drinking and eating ice cream. It was the perfect ending to our first day in Paris.
The next morning we woke up and looked around Montmartre for a somewhere to have breakfast. It was lovely waking up in our apartment and walking straight out onto the street, we felt like we were living the real Parisian lifestyle. However we soon discovered that the French don’t seem to wake up very early, whilst we were out of our apartment before 9am, the streets were like a ghost town. All the cafe’s were opening up and barely anyone was around.
We found a delightful little cafe up the street that sold a truly french breakfast of a croissant, orange juice and a hot drink for merely six euros. We wanted to spend the day being the ultimate tourists so we discussed a plan over breakfast.
We then embarked on our adventure around Paris and our first stop was the River Seine for a boat trip around the city, it was a beautiful sunny day so we hopped on board and saw all the major sites of the city whilst a tour guide explained everything about each site and the history of it.
We then walked all the way from the Eiffel Tower, down the Champs Elysees to La Louvre. It was a magnificent building that really represented the old architecture of Paris. We didn’t have time to go in the museum but we took some photos and then walked over to Jardin Des Tuileries as there was a fete on.
After the fun of the fayre we then walked all the way back down the Champs Elysees to the Arc De Triomphe, we stopped for photos but immediately after we got there the heavens opened, so we ran down to the metro and got the train back to Montmartre.
A friend recommended we visited the Latin Quarter for dinner, so that evening we went and had a look and found some authentic French restaurants and had a delicious three course meal with a few glasses of wine.
The next morning we woke up super early and put on our pretty floral dresses for a day of shopping. Heading straight for the Champs Elysees, firstly we went into Tiffany’s and had a look round and then we were on a mission to find Laduree, the famous macaroon patisserie. The outside of the shop was decoratively divine, with an old style french feel to it, the gold accents on the building were simply exquisite.
The staff were dressed in adorable outfits, with cute little pinafore aprons that matched the shop’s exterior. They had an abundance of flavours and the aesthetic of the shop just made you want to purchase everything. After buying a few too many macaroons that tasted a little bit like heaven, we went in search of the most famous department store in Paris.
Galleries Lafayette is well known in Paris for being a visually stunning architectural masterpiece of a department store. It looks like a palace and is filled with everything a department store should contain, from make up, designer clothes to more importantly shoes.
I’d really recommend visiting the department store just to go up onto the rooftop terrace because the views of Paris are incredible, and it’s free!
I was most excited about visiting Blair Waldorf’s favourite cafe which is renowned for serving the best hot chocolate in the world. Cafe de Flore most definitely lived up to its expectation, luckily the weather had cooled down therefore we were able to taste the hot chocolate which truly is the best I’ve ever had.
We were then served our Croque Monsieur by a charming waitor in a full suit and bow tie, we genuinely felt like Serena and Blair from Gossip Girl.
We originally wanted to see Notre Dame in the evening, we felt it would have been a better ambience however we were running out of time so we got the metro over there. The queue to get inside was ridiculous but we mainly just wanted to walk around the outside.
I was desperate to see point zero in the grounds of Notre Dame as it is a significant place that’s featured heavily in the book Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins which is the book that made me want to visit Paris in the first place.
Keeping on the book theme I was desperate to go to the famous bookshop Shakespeare and Company which is just round the corner to Notre Dame.
There was a queue just to get inside the shop, but once inside it was magical. It’s a quaint little shop, with books overflowing on the shelves. The staff inside were really helpful, they were from all around the world and offered great recommendations.
That evening we decided to dress up and head over to the Monteparnasse Tower which is a huge building opposite the Eiffel Tower. You can pay to go up to the top of the building for views over the city, but for the price of a drink it’s much more comfortable to go to the American Bar in the Ceil De Paris restaurant.
We splashed out on overpriced cocktails and enjoyed the spectacular views of Paris.
On our last day we realised that we hadn’t actually discovered much in the area around out apartment, so a few hours before our flight we had a look around Montmartre. We went straight to the most famous building in Montmartre which is the Sacre Coeur, we discarded the funiculer and decided to walk all the way up to the top.
Paris was even more beautiful than I expected it to be, I was also surprised at how friendly the Parisians were especially since the French can have a reputation for rudeness. It’s up there for cities I plan to live in one day, but until then I’ll be returning back for many holidays.
I vlogged the whole trip and you can check that video out below.