Paris - What to do, Where to stay and Where to eat!

Recently myself and my boyfriend ventured off to Paris to celebrate our anniversary! It was such a lovely trip, definitely one of my favourites. I'd been to Paris twice before so I knew I'd enjoy it. Before we went we made of plan of the things we wanted to do over there, we'd done a little bit of research, however I never found anything that had it all, where to eat, what to do, what to avoid, how much money you can expect to spend etc so I'm hoping that this post will be a little more helpful!

Where to stay in Paris

We stayed in a beautiful hotel called the Mercure Paris 17 Batignolles. There are a few Mercure hotels in Paris as they are a franchised company but the one we stayed at was in a brilliant location. If you walk 10 minutes in one direction you'll come across a massive shopping centre, it has everything from Sephora, Kiko, food courts, pharmacy and all sorts of shops - very handy to have so close by. If you walk 10 minutes in the other direction of the hotel, you'll find a metro station that can bring you anywhere in the city! Around the hotel there was lots of restaurants and cafes and overall I felt very safe in that area. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The room was just beautiful, I did a little room tour and saved it to my highlights over on Instagram if you're interested. The room definitely exceeded my expectations!

What to do & How much it cost!
There is so much to do in Paris, I could write a full post on all the amazing things there is to do, but today I'll just share the few things that we did while we were over there. We arrived Thursday late afternoon and we were wrecked so we headed to the shopping centre that was only about 10 minutes away from the hotel, we browsed through the shops and ended up having dinner in a little diner across from it.

Paris is a very big city and it's very spread out in comparison to a lot of other European cities so definitely make a little plan of what you want to do and make a schedule. We didn't account for how long it would take to travel from one attraction to the next and that ate into our time! Also another thing to note is that if you're under the age of 26 (or 25 in some case) and an EU citizen, most of the famous attractions are actually free.

The Lourve - An obvious but must see attraction when you visit Paris. It's actually a lovely place to wander around, enjoy a coffee and take in some of the history through the artworks. Of course the main attraction for most is the Mona Lisa but bare in mind that the painting is quite small and there's usually a big queue to get a picture. I think the full fee was about €20 but as we're under 26 we got in for free! Yay! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Musee D'Orsay - Across from the Lourve is another museum the Musee D'Orsay. To be perfectly honest I much preferred this to the Lourve, not as many people, the art works were still beautiful, they actually have a whole section of Van Gogh's work. Also,the iconic clock image is up on the top floor in the restaurant - it took me way too long to find it! Entry to the museum was €17 but again thanks to being under 26 we got in for free!๐Ÿ™Œ

Montmarte and Sacre Coeur - One of my favourite spots in Paris is Montmarte, I just love the atmosphere there!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ If you want to do a little souvenir shopping then there's loads of little shops at the bottom of the Sacre Coeur as well as really cute cafes. The Sacre Coeur is a stunning cathedral that looks over all of Paris. It has amazing views and the basilica itself is just gorgeous! To reach the top of the Sacre Coeur you need to climb up 300 steps. Please be careful if you are climbing the steps, there are groups of men that hound you to buy their merch and they can be quite aggressive and forceful. There are three ways to reach the top. The first is the winding steps, very pretty and pictureque but this is where those men are! I would seriously recommend going up an alternative way. There is a kind of ski lift option which costs about €6 or there's steps to the left of the basilica that go straight up. There is no entrance fee to the basilica.

Notre Dame - When we arrived at Notre Dame it was the late evening and it was closed however we did arrive just on time to hear the bells. The building is beautiful and the little gargoyles are the exact same as the hunchback of Notre Dame movie so I enjoyed that quite a bit! No fee as we didn't go in!

Arc de Triomphe - This is a must see in my opinion, one of my favourite things about Paris! The Arc de Triomphe is in the middle of a massive roundabout, to access it you need to go through an underground passageway, there's one right across from the Champs Elysees. There's a €12 fee unless you're 26, then it's free! You need to climb up 284 steps and then you'll reach the rooftop which will give you the most amazing views over Paris. I would highly recommend viewing this at night time!

Eiffel Tower- An Iconic attraction, to be honest, it's not all it's cracked up to be. It's actually really dirty looking and very over hyped! You can go up to the very top or you can go to the second level, completely up to yourself. There is also a restaurant in the Eiffel Tower but you need to book it in advance otherwise you won't get a reservation it's also expensive AF! The fee to get into the Eiffel Tower can vary between €30 and €70 depending on what level you go to.

Science & Technology Museum - This was such much fun and if you're bringing kids (or are just nerds like me and James) then you'll probably love this too. The museum is massive and you could 100% spend a full day here, maybe even a day and a half. There are a couple of difference exhibitions so if you're planning on going, check them out before hand and book online because there was a planetarium exhibition I'd love to have gone to but didn't pre buy the tickets and they were sold out! The other exhibitions were very fun though, there's completely interactive and after spending four years studying interactive design, it made me verrrrry happy to see some of these exhibitions in real life! The entrance fee was €12 but that can vary depending on what exhibitions you go to.

Palais Royal - We actually only happened across this by accident on our way to the Lourve but it was a very happy accident! The garden is v cute, lots of benches to sit down and enjoy a coffee. There's also the Colonnes de Buren which is a controversial art installation created by the French artist Daniel Buren in 1985–1986! It was cool to see it. There was no fee to walk through it.

Boat Tour on River Seine -  This was really cute! We timed this as one of our last stops of the day and it was actually ideal because we'd walked miles so getting to sit down for an hour but still see Paris was great! It cost €14 but again depends on what company you go with. We walked along the River Seine until we found a tour that was leaving soon. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend doing one!

Versailles - The palace of Versailles was very impressive. It is massive like crazy stupidly massive! The gardens are beautiful and I can totally imagine spending lovely summer days here. From Paris it's about an hour away so if you're going, you'll most likely need at least a full day there. Be aware that the first Sunday of every month is free for everyone, which means lots of queuing, I think we queued for just over an hour!  On a normal day tickets are about €18 - €60 but again if you're under 26 you'll get in for free! 
That's everything we did for the few days we were in Paris, there's loads more to do though! I found this great post that I'll link HERE with a big long list of free things to do in Paris!

Where to eat!

I'm going to be very honest and say we found it really difficult to find good places to eat in Paris, especially for breakfast/lunch. In saying that though, here's a few places we did like!

Cafe de la comedie - This is just around the corner from the Lourve and they do lovely quiches!

Le Ronsard - This is at the bottom of Montmarte and it was great! Fab atmosphere, brilliant service and the most delicious crepes!

La Zuppiere - Myself and James happened upon this restaurant and omg it was our favourite place in Paris. We ate there two nights. It's insanely affordable, the service is great and the food was amazing! It's such an unassuming place and you'd miss it if you weren't looking for it but I would highly highly recommend this if you're in the mood for pizza or pasta

Chez Georges - I had the best steak and chips of my life here! OMG YUM!!! Very reasonably priced too, it's on the Champs Elysees and definitely worth tracking down!

Overall Paris is v cute, it's about the same prices as Ireland except for some reason their drinks are very expensive, not wine or alcohol but their soft drinks. I paid €8 one day for a small bottle of coke. ๐Ÿ™ƒ Be careful as Paris is known for pick pocketing. Wear good shoes as you'll end up walking loads! Their directions and sign posts are way worse than Ireland's so Google map will be your best friend!

I think I covered everything but if you've any questions, just let me know and I'll answer them!

Erin X 
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