Ahh Paris - one of the most iconic cities in the world also known as the city of love.
Ooh la la. French kiss. French men. French accent. Write your name along with your partner on a love lock and put it on the lover’s bridge thing which will truly signify your strong, undying love for each other (til death do you part). Holding hands while walking in Montmarte - pasway sway pa. Stroll arm-in-arm down Canal St. Martin. Get that dream proposal with the view of the Eiffel tower - if only I was not single as ____. #Iwasbeingsarcastic
Well I absolutely had no plans to go to this city but a good friend of mine wanted to see Paris and the last time we saw each other was like a year ago back in Manila. So for the sake of friendship, camaraderie and 6 packs of pancit canton which she will give me - I booked my freaking expensive flight to Paris.
En Route to Paris
The most exciting part of this trip was my flight going to Paris. It was raining hard at the time that I reached the city and 10 minutes before landing there was some turbulence up in the air and for some reason our airplane just decided to stop and fall. Yes fall. I don’t even know how long we were falling because everything happened so fast. Some people were having panic attacks, the breathing thingamajig was released from the ceiling and everyone was trying to breathe in there, some were having fun it’s as if we were in some crazy ride in Disneyland and there I was praying the Apostles Creed thinking about my family with my eyes closed – kids I was shookt that I could still recite the prayer word per word. In my head I was thinking I cannot possibly die here! Seriously? Andi dies on a plane crash going to Paris – the city she didn’t even want to see at all? In the middle of my morbid thoughts and prayer the plane got back up and finally we managed to land safely but not gracefully (which is not a surprise since I never experienced a smooth landing here in Europe anyway hekhek).
We only had 48 hours to see what’s good and what’s not in the city so I didn’t even make any plans to go a museum or enter anything. I just wanted to check out the places and see how expensive everything were.. or are.
Getting Around In Paris
Shiver my timbers we booked an Uber! The first mistake we did was booking an uber – but since we arrived after midnight there was no other option for us. We spent 80€ for an uber ride from CDG airport to the city center. So note to self, book a flight that will arrive in Paris before midnight or at least after 4 in the morning.
My colleagues told me that everything is walkable in the city but uhm like which part? I guess when you are on a rush and you have a limited time to travel walking will not always be an option. We took the metro most of the time so we used the Paris Visite Pass which had an unlimited rides for 1,2,3 or 5 days. Note that this does not include train rides going to the airport!
CDG Airport to The City
The quickest and cheapest way to go the city from the airport and vice versa is taking the RER B train (blue line). The train runs from 4:46 to 23:00 everyday. Ticket costs 9.25 € one way .
The Best Things In Life Are For Free
If there’s one thing I like – it’s free stuff. I mean who doesn’t?
Contrary to the popular belief that free water in Paris is dirty, there are some spots where you can get clean water so when in Paris, do not forget to bring your water bottle! One of the convenient places to get water is right in front of the Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Rue de la Bûcherie.
There are also public toilets all around the city. (https://en.parisinfo.com/practical-paris/useful-info/public-toilets). I cannot say that all of these toilets are clean but the ones that we went to are clean and I have no complaints! Don’t forget to bring your own wetwipes because sometimes some of these toilets do not have toilet paper!
How Expensive Is Paris?
Kapag gipit sa croissant kumakapit! There are things that are inevitable and cannot be avoided in Paris and that would be the cost of food in restaurants. I cannot even fathom how a flat white in Shakespeare and Company costs 12 €. The workaround here is to eat croissants and buy cheap wine in any grocery stores for 2 € . 😊
Here’s the average price of daily expenses in Paris (taken from the Paris tourism site)
1 full-price museum admission: €7 to €12
1 sandwich: around €6
1 pizza: between €8 and €12
1 small coffee: €1 at the bar, €2 sitting down
1 full meal (starter, main dish, dessert, not including drinks): between €15 and €20 depending on the area
1 baguette of bread: €1
1 beer in a café: around €4
1 seat at the cinema: €10
What To See In Paris?
There are so many sights to choose from really but here are some of the must see for me:
The Eiffel Tower
The Arc de Triomphe
Château de Fontainebleau
The Louvre - free first Sunday of the month from October to March & free everyday for people under 26
Notre Dame Cathedral
Palace of Versaille
Musée d'Orsay — free every First Sunday of the month & free everyday for people under 26
River Seine Cruise
The queue is always crazy so make sure to book your tickets online!
My Favorite: Montmarte
Montmarte has its own charm. If anything this is the most romantic place for me. I love that is far away from the main attractions and that it has a world of its own.
Okay, okay. I gotta admit Paris is pretty cool. It has its unique charm let us say and surprisingly not swarmed with people making out in every corner. A weekend trip to Paris is enough to get a “preview” of the city but definitely not enough to dig deep into its roots, art and beauty. At least now I have an idea in which districts & museums I should focus on next time. What? Next time? Yep.
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So, see you soon Paris!