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
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.
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.
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