Paris – Food, Stay and Getting around

Watching the cosy colorful cafe’s and the glittering Eiffel tower in movies and books, Paris had always been a dream destination. It wouldn’t be wrong if I say it is for most people. At least the people I know!
So on our first Wedding Anniversary we decided to make it happen!

I had 3 days to explore this beauty and I did just that with no rushing to see places outside of Paris. I wanted to get the true sense of this place and being a budget traveller ( Well I try to be) I had booked everything in advance and did a lot of research before booking my tickets.
Here are things you need to know before your trip to Paris. Highlighting Travel, Stay and Food. I have given you my ticket fare and Hotel prices to give you an idea at the end of this article.If you want to read about the places we visited while we were here, read my take on Paris for first timers

Where to Stay

There are 20 Arrondissements in this city. I am not going to cover all of them. Here is list of neighborhoods that is highly preferred to stay for tourists and travelers.

  • The Louvre – 1st Arrondissement: the business district with luxury hotels and trendy boutiques.
  • Le Marais – 4th Arrondissement: Known for its narrow streets and lively nightlifeThe Latin Quarter – 5th Arrondissement: The student center offering a central location and affordable accommodation
  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés – 6th Arrondissement: neighborhood vibe with chic cafes and galleries.
  • Eiffel Tower – 7th Arrondissement: Stay in the heart of all the action happening.
  • Champs-Elysées – 8th Arrondissement: an upscale neighborhood with luxury accommodation
  • Montmartre – 18th Arrondissement: affordable location with a neighborhood feel and excellent views
  • Montparnasse – 14 Arrondissement: experience the real Paris as the locals do.
    So we stayed in Montmartre and it was extremely convenient. The hotel we picked was Ibis Montmartre, Paris It was a less than 5 minutes walk to the Subway/Metro. Whenever we look for hotels while traveling, the criteria for us is Convenience, Cleanliness and of course the Price. It ticked all the boxes.
    Sacre Coeur, one of the must visits is 15 mins away and a delightful walk. A lot of food options within a walkable radius.

Travel – Getting around the city

By Metro

Paris is known for a great and affordable public transport system. We mostly used the Metro to get everywhere and some places we covered by foot.A single metro ticket costs €1.90, but it’s more economical to buy a carnet of ten for €14.50A one-day pass costs from €7.30 for zones 1 and 2 to €17.30 for zones 1-5 (not including airports)A one-day Paris Visit pass for zones 1-3 is €11.65; a five-day pass is €37.25, with discounts on some attractions. The Paris metro is the fastest and cheapest way of getting around. Trains run 5.30am-12.40am Mon-Thur, 5.30am-1.30am Fri-Sun. Individual lines are numbered, with each direction named after the last stop.

By Buses

Buses run 6.30am-8.30pm, with some routes continuing until 12.30am, Mon-Sat. Limited services operate on selected lines on Sun and public holidays. You can use a métro ticket, a ticket bought from the driver (€1.90) or a travel pass. Tickets should be punched in the machine next to the driver; passes should be shown to the driver. When you want to get off, press the red request button.The metro and other public transport is generally safe, but pickpockets operate on many lines. Keep your valuables close and safe.

By walk

My favorite way to explore the city. Walks in Paris are really the only way to enjoy the culture, charm and beauty of the city and to see how Parisians live, work and relax. Walk about Paris and you’re following in the footsteps of countless writers, artists, philosophers and intellectuals who once made the city their home.Opt for walking instead of taking the subway when you can. You might be surprised by the little streets, cute shops and amazing architecture you’d miss if you were simply taking the metro. Add the location you want to visit on our most beloved Google Maps, check the walking distance if it is less than 30-40 minutes, wear your best walking shoes and head out!Look at some of the amazing places I stumbled upon.

What Food to eat

Eat all out when in Paris. DO NOT plan to follow any sort of diet while you are in this city. Let me tell you why. Every street you walk you will see a cute little cafe selling macarons and cheese and pastries. Who in their right mind can say no to that!
We did enjoy some amazing pasta and pizza while we were exploring the city. Here’s what you definitely must try while you are here; Creme Brulee, Chocolates (all kinds of them) Cheese tasting, Pasta, Baguette and Pastries, and Macarons
While you are in Paris, there is so much to eat and so little time! Enjoy every second! Enjoy every bite. I know we did!

Here’s some quick advice to save some bucks – Avoid eating in Touristy spots. Restaurants in these areas aren’t usually the best. Restaurants around the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe or Notre-Dame may seem like typical French restaurants but you’ll spend a lot of money for a mediocre meal. Instead, search out little cafés in less touristy neighborhoods.

My travel and accommodation fare

The tickets were booked 3 months in advance.Washington DC Paris-Charles De Gaulle Airport – $387 (Round trip for one)
Rooms were booked 2 months prior.Hotel Ibis Paris, Montmartre – 3 nights – $250
If you want to know more about my travel stories and what places we explored, do read Paris for First time visitors

The Best Things To See In Paris For First Time Visitors

When we finally decided on our Paris trip we had a total of 4 days in hand. There is so much to see and do in this city that 4 days are definitely not enough. The inviting cafes, the stunning architecture, the mouth watery delicacies and so much more. But a girl has to make the most of what she gets right?
So I have made a list of things you must visit on your first trip to Paris. Thank me later.


You pay 10€ and get to check out all the top spots of Paris while you cruising on a boat in the Seine river. You don’t have to book the tickets in advance. If the weather is pleasant get yourself a seat on the roof terrace.


Do not miss this beautiful walk at any cost. I loved it so much that I tell all my friends to do this first. The walk to Sacre Coeur was probably one of the highlights of my trip. It’s a climb up the hill with beautiful cafes and artsy spots. You find the famous Place du Tertre. It holds over 150 artists each day who are allowed to make and sell works from the square. Thousands of visitors come to this spot from around the world just to see the artists in action. It is even interesting to know that the early 1900s artists like Monet and Picasso were often seen roaming the Place du Tertre or creating works from the benches.


This basilica is one of the most famous churches in Paris, even though it is relatively new. It is built from a stone that turns more and more white with every time it rains. The Sacre Coeur church is the crowning glory of Montmartre. The structure can be seen at the top of the hill from all over Paris. Because of its location so high up, the view from the outside of the church is phenomenal. The entry is free.


Situated on the Ile de la Cité, a short walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Sainte-Chapelle chapel is a jewel of Gothic art. It was built in the 13th century, upon the order of King Saint-Louis, to house Christ’s Crown of Thorns, now held at Notre-Dame. The upper chapel of the monument has remarkable stained-glass windows. If you love visiting cathedrals, this one is a must visit. Entry fee: 10 € for adults


Moulin Rouge is a historic and world famous cabaret and guess what? It is still in business over 150 years later. While the storyline of the Moulin Rouge movie may have been fictional, the venue and characters were all real. It sits on the main party strip of Pigalle at the foot of Montmartre hill. Here you’ll find bars and peepshows to your hearts content.The show tickets start from 100 € and if you don’t want to check out a show do visit it to just click a few pictures by the colorful historic windmill.


While the idea and design refer back to the ancient Roman ceremonial arches, the massive scale of the Arc de Triomphe is purely Napoleonic in its grandeur. Standing at the center of the busy Place Charles de Gaulle, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris is one of the city’s most distinctive, historic landmarks. This triumphal arch was envisioned as a dedication by Napoleon to his troops for their hard won victory at the battle of Austerlitz.You can enjoy walking around the base and under the arches of the Arc de Triomphe for free or pay a fee to climb about 280 stairs to the top for lovely views over Paris. Even if you’re not up for the climb, do make time to visit the base of the Arc de Triomphe. To safely reach the monument you can follow the underground passageway on the Champs-Elysées that comes up at the base of the Arc de Triomphe.Fee to get on top: 10 €


One of the world’s most-visited museums, the Musée d’Orsay houses the largest collection of paintings, sculpture, and decorative objects. You need a lot of time in hand to explore this place. Unfortunately there’s only one way to get into the museum (unless you have a museum pass), so, yes, that line is for you! Arriving super early is of course a great idea (around 9 AM). Otherwise, prepare to queue up to enter at 9:30 AM.Entree Fee: 14 €
The Louvre Museum is one of the largest museums in the world. It is the biggest Parisian museum. Located in the center of the city of Paris, in the right bank of the city, it is a former royal palace. If you stretched out all three wings into a straight line, the Louvre would run a whopping eight miles. The three most popular pieces here are, of course, the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory. Many visitors come to the Louvre just to see Mona Lisa. Good luck on trying to click a picture with her!Beyond these must-sees, your best bet is to focus on whatever interests you the most—and don’t despair about getting lost, for you’re bound to stumble on something memorable.Entree Fee: 17 €


What would Paris be without its symbolic Eiffel Tower? Built by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, it is one of the most visited monuments in the world with nearly 7 million visitors a year. Phew!The ascent of the Eiffel Tower is a must to enjoy the magnificent view of Paris.

No trip to Paris is complete without watching the twinkling lights on the tower. One of the best sights to view it from is Place du Trocadero.Place du Trocadero can be easily accessed by taking the Metro line 6 or 9 and exiting at the Trocadero stop. As soon as you get to the top of the stairs to exit the Metro station, you will be greeted with a magnificent view that leaves nobody indifferent. You’ll be able to see the well known iron lady lit up every day from sunset to 1AM.


Notre-Dame de Paris, referred to simply as Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral is consecrated to the Virgin Mary and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. After the recent fire that came as a sad news to the entire world, the plaza in front of the cathedral remains closed to the public, but people still gather at the barriers to get a limited view of the damaged church and to take selfies. I consider myself lucky to have witnessed this historic cathedral in full glory.

There’s so much more to see and do in this city however if you have a short time in this magical city do check these places above. To know details on Where to stay in Paris, what food to try and how to get around the city read my take on Paris-Food Stay & Getting Around.