How to get to Paris
Without any help from a travel agency you can use booking.com or any other site of this sort to find the perfect accommodation for you and your loved one or friend. With this site I found the perfect little apartment in Montmartre, very close of the most beautiful place in Paris: Sacre Coeur. Also, for flying tickets I use expedia.com, I found here the lowest prices. But you can also use orbitz.com, travelocity.com and many others. See what suits you and what the perfect combination for having a wonderful trip is.
Tips for using public transportation in Paris
The first thing I did when I arrived on Charles de Gaulle airport it was buying a public transportation pass. I’ve done my homework and Navigo weekly pass was the best for my needs because we arrived Monday morning and this pass was valid only from Monday until Sunday. If you arrived on Wednesday, the pass was valid only until Sunday, not a whole week regarding the ay of the purchase. So be very careful when you buy it! Aside from all these, Navigo Découverte weekly pass can be used on all public transportation, even for the train. Using this you can get from the airport to Paris with no fuss, and from Paris to Versailles also. You don’t need to buy other tickets. Have in mind also the fact that you need a photo for this pass. You can bring it with you or you can find there photo booths for 5 euros. The pass cost 5 euros plus charging it for the week 35euros.
How to see more for less
If you want to visit as much as possible a museum pass will come in handy. You can choose the Paris pass which includes besides free entering to lots of museums, hop on hop off bus tour, free travel card for public transport including metro also a river cruise and wine tasting. The price starts from 117 euros for two days and goes to 189 euros for 6 days. My pick was the Paris museum pass because after my calculation, this was the best option for me. The museum pass I bought it for four days and it was 56 euros and had only entries to the most important museums in Paris, the Eiffel tower was not included. So in the end, the Navigo Découverte weekly pass and Paris museum pass cost me around 96 euros. I saved at least 30 to 40 euros on entries to museums. It all comes to how much time you spend in every museum and how many you manage to see in the time you have the valid pass.
What to see in Paris
In my opinion, you should read a lot before you embark yourself to this beautiful journey. You should be well informed and go straight to the places you want to see because Paris is vast and has myriads of interesting places to see and visit and a week, even two are definitely not enough. So, know exactly what your priorities are.
Also it depends during what time of the year you visit Paris and how many tourists you encounter. I’m saying this having in mind the endless queues at the most important museums. You can end up waiting for hours to enter at Versailles or Eiffel Tower. I can declare myself fortunate not having spent much time waiting in line, maybe a little at Versailles, under half an hour. Also, at the Eiffel Tower I bought the tickets back home, online with no stress and no idle time, the same at Versailles gardens, to see the water show which I recommend.
Sacré Coeur and Place du Tertre
The first days of my trip to Paris I wondered a lot on those beautiful streets field with stories, old scents, covered in history, full of culture and a lot of color. I fell in love Place du Tertre, the square full of artists, cafes, restaurants and souvenirs shops, where once upon a time Picasso and Van Gogh wondered there and also Hemingway was familiar with this place where he often ate in the restaurant Au Clairon des Chausseurs. He once wrote “There are only two places in the world where one can live happily – at home and in Paris” and he is so true. Only when you get there you can realize the splendors and the complexity that this city has to offer. The amazing Sacré Coeur Cathedral is breathtaking and the view, from the highest point in Paris is without a doubt mesmerizing. I saw it at night and I could have stayed there for hours. The atmosphere is so friendly, everyone stays on those never-ending stairs chatting, drinking, eating and having fun. This was one of my favorite places in Paris.
Many stairs and lots of tombs
Try to see as much as possible, although you will never have the time to assimilate all that comes in contact with you, back home you’ll find that time. Now let me tell you what I’ve tried to see. For example, Louvre, or at least I tried to see the most important paintings and sculptures. Also, you need a day only for Versailles. Then I went on top of the Eiffel Tour, Arch of Triumph and Notre Dame Cathedral. I never climbed so many stairs in my entire life.
Another place with a beautiful view of Paris from above is Arab World Institute, where the entrance is free of charge. Then I went to see a lot of tombs. I’ve seen some famous ones in Père Lachaise cemetery, the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte at Dôme des Invalides, Pantheon where you can see Voltaire’s tomb and many others and Basilica of Saint Denis, a Gothic church where all the kings and queens of France are buried. Musée d’Orsey was very important on my must see list. There you can admire the Impressionists and Musée de l’Orangerie where you can see the stunning paintings of Monet. I didn’t forget the churches like: Sainte-Chapelle, La Madeline and Saint-Sulpice.
Gardens, cruise and cabaret
The gardens are very nice. I’ve gone for a walk through Luxembourg Gardens, Place de Vosges and Tuileries gardens. Another place to go for a beautiful walk is Le Marais, a historic district in Paris. And, not to mention, I took a cruise on the Seine, at night when the city sparkles and the Eiffel Tower shines and you can admire the mysterious and well known buildings along the Seine and, also, I’ve been to Mouline Rouge. It’s a must! It’s a pity to go to Paris and not go there, not having the pleasure to feel the fin de siècle atmosphere where Toulouse Lautrec painted some of his famous paintings.
I will definitely come back to Paris. A week was simply not enough. I have so many more interesting things to see. Until then, hope I’ve been of some help and maybe you can tell me what you’ve seen in Paris and what struck a chord with you.