A Trip to Paris (+ Travel Guide)



I'm really excited to write this blog post about mine and Shannon's recent trip to the beautiful city of Paris. We've wanted to visit Paris together for four and a half years and this year we were finally able to book something up.

We were originally going to book our trip for June but by the time we got around to it, it was craaaazy expensive, so we looked at September and managed to get a really good deal. In hindsight, we did the right thing going in September - not just for our bank accounts but also because it was quieter and beautiful weather.

We managed to pack quite a lot into the 3.5 days that we were there, but of course there is so much more we could have done!

Where we went:

Louvre

We kick-started our trip with some good ol' sight-seeing and the first place we stumbled across was The Louvre (or Musée du Louvre to give it its full and proper name). The Louvre, a museum of pre-21st-century historic artefacts, is located to the right of the River Seine.

We didn't actually go inside but we were still blown away with how blinking HUGE it is! Once we had taken this all in, we pratted around by the fountains and took photos (naturally). I'd love to look around the museum one day but I'm sure it would take at least 8 hours to walk around and this time, we had other places to cram in to our day.




Notre Dame

Again, we didn't fancy going inside the Notre Dame Cathedral (largely due to the gargantuan queue) but my goodness is the Notre Dame a beauty! It's one of those places, isn't it, that you hear about in storybooks and films (well, mainly just The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and when you're actually stood in front of the famous landmark it's quite amazing.



Seine Boat Tour

After a morning of walking around, sight-seeing and snapping lots of photos, an hour of sitting on a boat, listening to a soothing French voiced tour guide and sailing up and down the Seine seemed quite appealing. So that's what we did. I totally recommend doing a boat tour if you visit Paris because it's a fun and easy way to see and learn about the landmarks, and let's face it, it's soooo relaxing!



Disneyland Paris 

We simply could not visit Paris without spending a day in Disneyland (aka the world of dreams). And the first thing we did was buy minnie mouse ears, obvs!

OH, I love this place. Having only been to the Florida Disney parks, Disneyland Paris seemed blissfully quiet (I mean it wasn't quiet, but in comparison) and I felt so happy all day. I think that place just does that to you! We managed to get tickets at just £36 each (I think it was called the Mini ticket or something like that!) which included access to both of the parks and it's the best £36 I have ever spent!

Aside from Queen Elsa riding on a carriage through the park singing Let it Go in French which made me cry happy tears (something I probably shouldn't admit to but Disney just brings out all the emotions in me!!), the highlight was of course the rides, more specifically, not having to queue for the rides. Oh how I've missed you Tower of Terror. *

* and Rock'n'Roller Coaster
* and Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
* not so much Space Mountain (thought I was going to die, but still secretly loved it).


Eiffel Tower

We spent our final full day in Paris doing some more sight-seeing and photo-taking. First up was the Eiffel Tower. I don't even need to say any more do I?! It simply had to be done.


Champs Elysees/Arc de Triomphe 

Walking down the Champs Elysees was pretty crazy. People everywhere. Very much the Oxford Street of Paris. But then the best thing happened.... I found an M&S!!!!! Hallelujah, somewhere I can buy gluten free food where all the ingredients are in English!!

It's fair to say I was incredibly happy.

At the top (bottom?) of the Champs Elysees stands the Arc de Triomphe, so we had a little gaze at that, figured out there was no way of crossing the road without being hit by forty lorries all at once, and headed back down to the metro to take a look around Montmartre, which I think ended up being our joint favourite place that we visited.



Montmartre

Having taken the cable car up the hill, we were greeted with the most incredible view of the city. We sat under the beautiful Sacré-Coeur church for a while and just took it all in.

I had a little moment up there, hit by this new perspective of the hustling bustling city of Paris. Looking at it from above threw me a little - it looked so calm and peaceful. There was also a little girl sat next to us who appeared to be living with cancer and I gotta say, I blinked back a few tears and then instinctively took a few moments of gratitude for my own health and sent a heck of a lot of positive energy in her direction.

But yes, what a view, what a city.



Where we ate:

I was a little apprehensive about where we were going to eat in Paris due to my book-long list of allergies. Finding gluten/dairy/nut/lentil/cat-hair free food is hard enough in England let alone in a country that speaks another language and has different cuisines. But we managed, just about!

Café Panis

A lovely little café with an extensive and varied menu situated the other side of the Seine to the Notre Dame. I had lemon chicken and chips with salad and Shannon had a salmon pasta which she tells me was like a little piece of heaven (maybe not in those exact words, but basically really blimmin' yummy). The staff were friendly and helpful, and the food was delish.



East Side Burgers (Vegan/Vegetarian)

A small burger place with both eat-in and takeaway options. All burgers are vegetarian and can all be made vegan too. I had the vegan one as it was of course dairy-free. I was super impressed! I would say it's more of a 'drop by when you're hungry' type of place than a 'go for a lovely meal out' place but it was yummy all the same!


Noglu (Gluten Free Restaurant)

I discovered Noglu through some extensive googling of "gluten free restaurants in Paris" and it was high up on the list with really great reviews so we thought we'd check it out. We booked the table in advance after reading it can get busy quickly! It was a little on the pricey side (but gluten-free food always is!) but for those of you on a GF diet, it's definitely a little gem.

  

Top tips for visiting Paris:

  • Buy a day pass for the Metro if you know you're going to be exploring the city - it works out so much cheaper than buying single journey tickets!
  • Go to Disneyland on a weekday term-time if you can - a lot less humans/children dressed up as princesses. Although the children dressed up as princesses are adorable.
  • Stay central - if your plan is to go sight-seeing, definitely book accommodation in central Paris because it will make your life so much easier
  • Plan in advance where you want to go so you can visit places next to each other on the same day
  • There is a lot to do and see so being organised is a winner!
  • Download the Google Maps app because it allows you to access all the information you will ever need to plan your travel - the metro route planner was a life-saver for us!

     
     

    So, that's that - Paris ticked off the bucket list! Although I'm sure I won't be able to resist another trip there in the future.

    I hope you enjoyed this travel blog post. I'm hoping to do some UK city hopping over the next year so you may see some more travel guide style posts popping up soon!

    x



     

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