Yes, after years of dreaming, I finally got to see the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomph, Mona Lisa and Disneyland with my own eyes! As dreamy as the major sights were, my favourite memories are people watching from the small cafes, getting lost on the streets of Paris, and the delicious croissants and Nutella crepes. You’ve honestly never had a croissant until you’ve tried one in Paris. Although we walked at least 20km every single day to make sure we saw everything, every step was worth it!
Before you visit Paris, there are a few things you’ll need to know:
1. Skip the hotels and book on Air BnB: Hotels are overrated and overpriced! Experience Paris like a local by renting out an apartment on AirBnB like we did.
2. Comfortable shoes: I can’t stress this enough. I was in my takkies/sneakers and boots for most of the trip and thank goodness for that!
3. Don’t eat close to major attractions: You will be ripped off. Instead, we took every free wifi opportunity (because roaming is too expensive) to search for restaurants and caffes on Trip Advisor – best travel app!
4. Paris Pass is a must: A Paris Pass is pricey but worth it if you’re visiting for more than 4 days. You get to skip queues, free access to the metro, and free entrance to most of the big attractions, saving you money in the end.
5. Take snacks: With so much walking we would get hungry before lunch time. Steven would laugh at me but I was always prepared with dried fruit and nuts to keep us going.
6. Take a small umbrella: Paris is a rainy city and a small umbrella saved us plenty times!
7. Avoid the major attractions first thing in the morning: Look, the Parisians are late risers (my kind of city) and most attractions only open at 9am. The problem? Everyone has the same idea as you to get there early, don’t do it. By 2-3pm the lines are much shorter and you’ll have more space to roam the attraction.
8. Do picnic beside the River Seine: Most likely the cheapest, yet most romantic lunch or dinner you could ever have. Enjoy a baguette, brie cheese, strawberries, chocolate, some French wine (of course), and macarons from Laduree for dessert.
9. Prebook your Disneyland Paris tickets online: Buying your Disneyland Paris tickets online gets you access to FastPass and you’ll skip the hour long queues!
10. Pack an empty bag: Look, in Paris you are going to shop, and to make sure you aren’t overweight when flying back, it’s a good idea to have a spare bag to take as hand luggage on your flight back home.
Paris was far more delightful than I ever could imagined and I definitely recommend visiting the City of Lights.