(Not to be confused with the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie 😊)
I finally got my passport stamped!!!!! That kind of sounds weird however it is accurate. It took 29 years and a lot of dreaming, but I finally left the country. I have always loved traveling but finding someone to travel with is a little bit of a struggle. Some can’t afford it or have trouble saving, some don’t get a lot of time off from work, some of my friends are married and starting families so it is no longer easy to drop everything to travel, and then there is a portion of my friends who simply don’t want to go anywhere. At least for international travel, within the states is pretty easy. A stroke of luck from a friend in school brought me the opportunity to go overseas and I took it!!!! She was going to be studying abroad and taking a weekend trip to Paris and invited me to join.
Since I have always wanted to travel I have trips planned to many countries, I just needed to fit all those things into the time I had available, three days in Paris and three days in London. To come up with my budget and what I wanted to see I did a lot of research and looking on Pinterest, of course! Haha I have attached the itinerary that I used with a summary of what my costs were compared to what I budgeted here, ParisLondon2018.
DAY 1 PARIS: Catacombs, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and Champs-Elysees
I flew over night to arrive early in Paris and have the whole day in the city. Jet lag is definitely a thing, so sleep on the flight if you can. I unfortunately am an insomniac and didn’t sleep well on the plane, but since I’m up late normally the time difference didn’t hit me until later. Once I made my way through customs, figuring out where to catch the train, and dropping my luggage off until check-in my first stop was The Catacombs of Paris.
• The ticket to leave CDG to Gare du Nord is E10.50
• Buy carnet/booklet of metro tickets; 10 for E14.50 and get a Metro map!
The Catacombs: They are located in Montparnasse at the Denfert Rochereau Metro station. There is a park directly across from the metro station where the line starts. There are cafes, pizza, Starbucks, etc nearby, so pick up a snack and coffee and get in line. I got there 15 minutes after it opened and the line took 3 hours! PLAN ACCORDINGLY!
Luxembourg Palace: You can walk or hope back on the metro to get here. I walked and it wasn’t to far with the nice weather. Eat before you go or pick up some snacks and enjoy the Gardens. I did the former which was good, but next time I definitely would do the latter to enjoy the gardens more.
Go back to hotel and check-in, shower, nap, etc.
Arc de Triomphe: gets busy with people taking pictures and buses driving by, be patient for your pictures. Walked down Champs-Elysees and pick a cute place to eat and maybe stop by LADUREE for some macaroons.
DAY 2 PARIS: Eiffel, Invaildes, Place de la Concorde, Palais Garnier, Basilica of Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge
Breakfast at ERIC KAYSER was great! Get the tartine breakfast and if you want some bread and pastries to snack on later. Then we walked over to the Invaildes and Army Museum then on to Champs de Mars and Eiffel Tower.
Basilica of Sacre Coeur: There will be a lot of people. You are use one of your metro tickets to get a lift up to the church or walk the almost 300 steps. Tour the church and go to the dome which is about 150 steps up and 150 steps back down. The views are great for not a lot of money. We walked back down the 300 steps and ate at Le Carrousel. The food was good, you can sit outside, and after dessert a guy even came walking around playing music. Just like you see in the movies. It was kind of perfect.
Moulin Rouge: We walked here afterwards and if definitely got interesting the farther u went/ closer you got.
• We walked almost 12 miles this day. Bring comfortable shoes!!! Seriously!
DAY 3 PARIS: Louvre, Pont Neuf, Sainte-Chapelle, and Norte-Dame
There is a bakery and coffee shop close to the East end of the Louvre, so pick up some breakfast and walk to the Louvre.
Louvre: There weren’t benches so we just sat on the ground to eat and take our tourist pictures, or you could stand in line with your treats. We only had you wait about 30 minutes and we got there at opening not before. There are a ton of shops when you exit so do some shopping for gifts and then find a place for lunch.
If I had another day I would love to have gone to the Chateau de Versailles and probably see the Rodin Museum. Otherwise the food was great, everything we saw was beautiful, the music on the train, streets, and metro were impressive, and we didn’t have any problems or fee unsafe.