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What to do when you had an entire 4-day weekend trip planned to Paris, France and you found a ton of great tips, amazing hotels, made your Paris bucket list and planned out the best way to get around, only to have to cancel your trip a week shy of visiting?
Well, I could hold on to this information and share it whenever I do make it back… OR I could share it now with you. Having already been to Paris several times as a young teen and while studying abroad, I know how useful these tips will be, so why should I keep them to myself?
First and foremost, it’s important to make sure that you purchase a sim card in Paris, so that for any reason, should you be separated from friends or family, you can easily reconnect.
First up, How to Get Around!
Quite honestly, this is probably the most stressful part of any trip anywhere, nevermind about Paris! I can only remember the dreaded frustration I endured on my first visits. My first visit with family, we walked for an hour to our hotel because grandpa was too stubborn to pay for a taxi. Oh did I mention the 16 bags of luggage we had for 6 people!? Ya, fun times! The second time was like a scene straight out of “Taken”, when they arrive at the train station and are standing in line for what seems like an eternity to catch a cab. The metro is of course the best option, but when you’re lugging around your luggage, the last thing you want to do is run to catch the train or get your luggage slammed in the door, barely making it in time.
So what shall you do, you ask?
Hire the Top Paris Transfer Service Company to pick you up from any airport or train station, take you to your hotel at a designated time and place. Prior to leaving your house, you can pre-book a fully equipped private shuttle to be your own personal chauffeur without all the hassle and stress. The last thing you want is to start off your holiday stressed out or getting lost.
Like them so much, you can even pre-arrange a shuttle service to take you anywhere you want to go in Paris! Wanna go to Disneyland Paris? No problem! Wanna go to the Palace of Versailles? Easy-peasy! All for a set price! Gone are the days of getting ripped off by a taxi driver because you’re a tourist!
Up Next, Finding the Right Hotel For You!
Paris is one of those incredibly romantic destinations everyone should visit at least once in their life, so you gotta get it right the first time! You have to decide what’s best for you. Do you want to be near the major attractions? (Definitely!) Do you want a hotel with the iconic view of the Eiffel Tower? (Yes, please!) Are you looking for affordable accommodation or would you rather splurge a little? (It is Paris after all!)
I wanted all of them and I spent hours sifting though the options, only to come up with my top 5 hotels. So, after much decision I settled on the one that suited us best, but I’ll share all of them!
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Hôtel Balzac – located just a few steps away from both the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées with balcony views of the Eiffel Tower, this was the hotel I wanted the most!
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Elysées Régencia – Not far from the Champs Elysées, the prices here are more affordable and more in our budget. You’re not far from the Eiffel Tower and can shop till you drop at all the big name brands.
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Hotel du Petit Moulin – Completely decorated by Christian Lacroix, I highly considered staying here as it gave off that chic Paris vibe that no one can duplicate!
- ⭐⭐⭐ Hôtel du Lion d’Or Louvre – Closer to the Louvre Museum and Tuileries Gardens, this hotel came in a close second as being affordable and within a good location from some of the main sights!
- ⭐⭐⭐ Hôtel Henri 4– Simple yet classic, this hotel just a few feet away from Notre Dame came in as a top contender for its affordability and location.
Now, the Sights!
If you’re short on time, at least hit up five of the most important places in Paris, but while you can hit up all the main sights in Paris, there is so much more beyond the Eiffel Tower if you have more time! But, should the weather be bad, you can hit up some of the best attractions on a rainy day in Paris!
- Eiffel Tower – Built in 1889 for the World Fair, it was once considered an eyesore, but now this famous landmark is one of the most recognizable structures across the world. Take the elevator to the top for amazing views over all of Paris!
- Notre Dame – the famous Church which sits on the Île de la Cité worth visiting both for the impressive stained glassed windows and for climbing the towers to hang out with the gargoyles while enjoying a view of Paris.
- Moulin Rouge – is a cabaret show in Paris, France co-founded in 1889. Perhaps you’ve seen the film Moulin Rouge with Nicole Kidman?
- Sacre Coeur – a gorgeous white Basilica perched atop of Montmartre with views over the entire city. In 2007, I celebrated NYE here!
- Arc de Triomphe – It’s well worth the hike up the stairs to the viewing platform at the top. Sorry, no elevator here! From the top, it’s impressively obvious that all roads lead to the Arc. Quite literally as it’s located in the middle of a massive roundabout! It was designed to be the center of everything to celebrate Napoleon’s victory.
- Garnier Opera – The most amazing opera house in the world.
- Seine River Cruise – The Seine runs all through the center of Paris and a cruise down the river is a must! There are plenty of boat tours that take you from one end of the city to the other and offer audio along the ride. Want to take your time, you can also find ones that serve dinner and let the romance flourish.
- The Louvre – the most famous museum in the world is home to the Mona Lisa, a painting by Leonardo di Vinci. You just can’t not go here, and you’ll need a minimum of 5 hours, but a full day is also possible!
- Musee d’Orsay – Famous for its collections of impression art which includes well-known artists such Monet, Degas, Cézanne, and Van Gogh.
- Palace of Versailles – is a royal château in Versailles, just 20 minutes from Paris and was built by King Louis XIV “The Sun King” and was used until the French Revolution in 1789.
- La Conciergerie – former royal palace and prison has impressive Gothic architecture and famous prisoners include Marie Antoinette and Madame du Barry.
- Galleries LaFayette – the most iconic shopping store ever! Seven stories tall and filled with everything you can possibly imagine. For an amazing view over Paris, go up to the rooftop!
- Champs Elysées – lined with designer store, the main boulevard leads up to the Arc de Triomphe.
Lastly, the Fooood!!!
- Angelina Hot Chocolate – Audrey Hepburn was known for coming here often to get her hot chocolate fix! This is a must for me!
- Pierre Hermé – but if you’re looking for more exotic flavored Macarons, come here!
- Restaurant Astier – when in Paris, it’s absolutely essential to try a soufflé at least once!
- Berthillon – cool down with Paris’ most famous ice cream shop! There are 5 and people have been said to line up for this ice cream!
Where would I be without my trusty DK Travel Guides? Lost probably! With quick details, easy to follow suggested sightseeing routes, I can find my way through any city!
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