2 Days In Paris - A Whirlwind Visit
Never one to sit still, always one too look for my next adventure, when I was presented with a rare few days off in a row I decided to take advantage of it! Normally this entails returning home or going to Birmingham, however this time was a little different.
One thing that I sorely lack is spontaneity. I have to think everything through meticulously, but sometimes the best decisions come from taking a leap of faith. I took a look at my bank, deciding that I had enough to afford it. My savings technique is simple: assume I’m broke so save my default because I refuse to spend anything. But this means when it actually comes to something exciting, I can splurge – Paris was my something exciting!
I booked everything about a week in advance, hopping on an overnight coach with a carry on bag and one of my besties in tow. I don’t regret it for a second.
Here is how Courtney and I spent my 2 days in Paris – I strongly recommend them all if you’re looking to go!
We arrived in Paris at about half 9 in the morning, having got on the overnight bus from London Victoria at half 11 the evening before. The coach was about 9 and a half hours and I honestly slept through most of it. It took us about an hour to get to our hostel and, truth be told, this is because we couldn’t figure out how to work the ticket machines in the metro! But, since we are 2 clever, independent women, it only took us about…40 minutes to figure it out (you can laugh at us, we did too once we’d figured it out).
We stayed at Smart Place Paris Gare du Nord by Hiphophostels and once we’d checked in, we left the hostel to start exploring this fantastic city!
As we are 2 girls led very much by our stomachs – we started with food. We got the metro to the Notre Dame, our first tourist spot, and tried to find a breakfast place around there. Along our journey we found Au Vieux Paris D’Arcole an adorable, very Instagramable restaurant. Not quite right for breakfast, but still worth you visiting for lunch or dinner! We ended up just around the corner in a café called Quasimodo where we had crepes – because you obviously have to have a crepe everyday when in France!
From here we went to the Lourve for a couple hours, made a quick stop at Le Palais Royal, before heading all the way up to the Sacre Cour. It may seem like a super jam-packed day, but we found time for it all! I’m not one to miss a chance to experience something.
Tip: The Sacre Cour will be incredibly busy, so circle around the back of the Basilica for equally impressive views with much much less people.
Circling around the Sacre Cour into the streets of Montmatre, we stopped at the gorgeous Le Maison Rose – a little café nestled in the cobbled streets where we rested our feet and drank gorgeous hot chocolate.
By this time, it was approaching dinner time. We decided to go to a restaurant I’d read about named Pink Mamma, a very aesthetic Italian restaurant. On our way, we had to cross in front of the Moulin Rouge, so naturally we stopped for photos – couldn’t miss this opportunity. I would highly recommend Pink Mamma’s. The food is incredible and the staff are lovely! Their barman made my evening, funny and genuine and excellent at making cocktails!
Tip: Pink Mamma only opens for dinner at 6:45. It is also incredibly popular so get their early or be prepared to wait – they don’t take bookings.
Day started with another crepe, but this time in front of the Eiffel Tower. We sat on the banks of the Seine, on a bench, making a mess and getting Nutella everywhere (because I am 21 going on 2 apparently). Once our lovely snacks had been consumed, the ‘insta girl’ portion of our day started! We crossed to Trocadero Square, across the river from the Eiffel Tower to get some photos – by some, I mean I made poor Courtney take about 200 of me (it’s ok because I brought her macaroons later). Trocadero Square is incredibly popular, it’s literally on everyone’s Instagram, so be prepared to wait, or sacrifice that good location for somewhere quieter.
(Courtney and I refrained from taking any photos with the appearance that one of us was touching the point of the tower! Perception shots – never a good idea!)
After the tower, we walked over to the Champs Elysees to Laduree. What I thought was going to be a nice Parisian macaroon shop, turned out to be the boujee-ist restaurant and patisserie, with the widest selection of macaroons, cakes and pastries I’ve ever seen. The restaurant was marginally out our our price range, so I treated us to some macaroons, and we quickly left before my bank account had a seizure. Courtney and I have both decreed that we will return when we are super rich and order the caviar and champagne…just because.
Our next stop was super swanky department store: Galerie Lafayette – think Harrods and Selfridges and Liberty all rolled into one. With designer concessions and £167,000 Tiffany rings, it’s accurate to say it was a little bit fancy. It was fun to explore though and it even has a pier like glass platform suspended off the top floor into the central pavilion – there was a queue, but if you don’t mind waiting, you’ll get a view of the whole shop from above.
Tip: Galerie Lafayette has a completely free rooftop terrace with incredible views of the city.
Our final stop, was going back to where we started, back to the Notre Dame. This time, staying south of the river, we found our last little café: Odette. Courtney made me chuckle by confusing this name with Cosette, the Les Miserables character.
One last hot chocolate down, before we headed to the airport to return home. And that was that – we caught our flight at half 7, so we were back in London at 20 to 8 (time difference) and I was home by about half 9. 2 very full days in Paris, fitting in as much as we physically could, but it was worth it.
When you have limited time, there’s no point in stopping to catch your breath because you’ll miss something! I hope I have inspired you to visit some of these places. If you have any incredible places that you’ve been to that I should visit, feel free to let me know.
Take advantage of the time you’re given. I could’ve stayed at home on my 2 days off. Instead, I took a rare leap of faith, spent some money that I’m always so hesitant to spend, and did something incredibly cool – maybe you should too.
Get out there and see the world.
Stay Perfect, Messy People.