PARIS TRAVEL GUIDE
Paris is one of the places where everyone wants to be once in the life. What makes Paris so special? What we heard the most was, Paris is the city of love. Also some of the world-famous painters, artists had been in Paris. Although, Love comes to mind at first in Paris for many, we do not agree! Maybe because we went to Paris as two sisters, but when we go as a couple in the future, we think the result will be the same. Paris is a beautiful city with its attractive energy but it doesn’t smell like love.
We had a very pleasant time with the effect of the beautiful weather in our second visit to Paris, which has so many points to visit. There are still many places remain to visit, so we will have to plan the third trip later. In our 4-day trip, we planned to live the city in Paris without rushing, and to devote a day to museums. This guide will include the route of us in October 2018, rather than all the places to visit in Paris.
SEASON OF THE PARIS
On average, the best times to go to Europe are May to September. This is also valid for Paris. However, this year the warm weather in Europe interestingly extended until October. We had a great trip in October with spring season clothes. It only rained for 1 day and it came to the first Sunday of October. So this means that, we were caught in the rain on the free museum day in Paris. Rain came on a very effective day and we spent that Sunday in the museums. You may think that we are very lucky, we will not object to this ;).
TRANSPORTATION IN PARIS
There are direct flights to Paris Charles De Gaulle and Orly (West) airports from Turkey. Since, the most of the flights are to Charles De Gaulle airport, we chose it. After a direct flight of about 3.5 hours and arriving in Paris, there are many different alternatives to reach the city center. The transportation option you choose can change the location of your accommodation.
The city of Paris and the airport are quite large compared to other European cities and the transportation from the airport to the city takes about 30 minutes by train and about 70 minutes by bus. We have summarized the alternatives we have investigated before the trip.
We don’t evaluate and suggest this option for Paris, because of traffic, parking problems and the width of the metro network.
Paris train RER and the connected subway network are quite extensive, you can access anywhere using this network. You can access the Metro map from this link and download it to your phone before traveling.
The important point here is that the metro lines are divided into certain zones and the ticket prices change accordingly. For example, while the prominent areas in the city center remain within the 1st Zone, the airport is located in the 5th Zone. We can summarize the prices as follows and you can also review this link in detail.
The most advantageous card available in all zones is Navigo Card and the weekly price of it is only 22.8 euro. This card includes transportation to places like Charles de Gaulle and Orly Airports, the Palace of Versailles, Disneyland and it is very advantageous even for 3-4 days travel. The only negative thing is about validation, it starts on Mondays and ends on Sundays. Unfortunately, it was not advantageous for us to use it since our trip started on Saturday and ended on Tuesday, but if the days fit you, bring 1 photo with you and get the card at the airport.
It offers one day unlimited transportation valid in all vehicles and the price changes between 7.5 euro and 17.8 euro according to the Zone. If you want to use mobilis card for transportation from airport to the city center, you must pay 17.8 euro. We didn’t choose this card in the city, because we didn’t use the metro heavily.
The single ticket price is 1.9 euro. The price of 10 tickets for adults is 14.9 euro and this is halved for children between the ages of 4-10. Children under 4 are free. These tickets are valid for 2 hours in subways, buses, trams in Zone 1 and Zone 2. This ticket is not valid when you reach the city center via the RER B line fron the airport. If you do not have a navigo card and you like to walk mostly in the city, we recommend you to purchase 10 tickets. It is very important to validate the tickets and keep them until the end of the trip for any audits.
Airport RER B Ticket
From the Charles-de-Gaulle airport, you can reach the city center with the RER B train line for about half an hour and the ticket price is 10.3 euros.
There are buses from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the city center, which costs just only 6 euro. The bus number 350 goes to Gare de l’Est and bus 351 goes to the Place de la Nation stop. İf getting Navigo card is not as advantageous due to the travel dates as us, if you don’t want to pay 2 times more for the train and the transportation to the city will not bother you, you can prefer the bus.
There are also Roissybus options available from the airport to the directly Opera area, but the price is 12 euro. Since the bus number 350 has reached the region near the opera area, we did not choose this option.
It is better to use metro within the city because of the traffic.
Our Experience in Transportation to the City Center by Bus
After reviewing the transportation options regarding the days between Saturday to Tuesday, we decided to reach city center from airport by bus 350 and use metro with in the city.
When you arrive at the airport, there are subways that go to the main stops of the transportation vehicles, but we get out of the first exit door pointing the bus stop. We started to wait at an intermediate station instead of the main station. The bus 350 passed, but it didn’t stop. After 5 minutes, when bus 351 stopped, we asked him why the other bus didn’t stop and we get in the bus when he told us that he could take us to the main station. We paid 12 euro totally, 6 euros per person, but the bus driver gave only 2 tickets instead of 6 tickets. However, when we got on the other bus at the main stop, we understood that we were fooled by the bus driver.
How long would this bad experience has continued?
The bus number 351, which left us, was already gone when we got in to the bus 350 on the main station. When the driver of the bus 350 wanted us to validate 4 more tickets, we understood the situation and were very surprised. This means that such situations can happen in everywhere. The driver could not speak English, we tried to explain by writing and the driver understood the situation. He didn’t charge us extra money, he even acted to complain to the other bus driver.
He called the complaint centers on the bus phone, described what we should do. He gave us the adress information and requested us to write a complaint letter describing the all details. We suggested to send e-mail or phone a call but the procedure only accepts letter. We understood that the communication is made with conventional ways in 2018 Paris :). On this occasion, we had the experience of sending letter in Paris. We remembered that pros and cons are everywhere, independent of the level of development of the country.
After this adrenaline-filled story, we reached the Gare Du Nord stop at 70 minutes. After a 10-minute walk from there, we reached our hotel. In the meantime, we use the same way on our return because this was the best price performance choice for us. Our hotel was located jonly 4 metro stops away from the famous districts of Paris and was within the walking distance.
ACCOMMODATION IN PARIS
When you search for Paris hotels online, you can find thousands of hotels and find it very difficult to choose from. Staying right in the center of the city is attractive, but if you are looking for comfort, the fee is quite high. Paris is a very touristy and expensive city, so it is very hard to find all that you are looking for at an affordable price. We have limited our choice of 4-day city trip in a certain frame and found the best hotel regarding price-value balance. If you want to experience the city and comfort is important to you, the best options are in 8, 9 and 2 arrondissements in the 1st Zone. In these north of the river area, you can reach popular destinations both by walking and metro.
Our Hotel Choice
We stayed the Best Western Premier Faubourg 88 hotel which is in the 1st Zone, 10 steps from the Poissonnière metro stop on La fayette Street from the Opera to Gare du Nord.
After getting off the bus, we walked to the hotel in 10 minutes and it was very easy to get to anywhere with the metro. Since we like walking, we have lived the city mostly without using metro. Although we went with low expectations, we left quite satisfied with this 4 star hotel.
Do not look for large, spacious rooms and a wide variety of breakfasts in Paris. Although our hotel is small, we liked the design of the room and the cleanliness was very good. However, the breakfast area was extremely small and the breakfast was very limited. We kept eating corn flakes with milk! Anyway, we recommend you to make your stay, including breakfast anyway, since, in the morning we thought unhappy when we start to explore with an empty stomach :).
PARIS DELICIOUS GUIDE
Paris is not a cheap city, one main course starts from 20-25 euros. Forget having meal with a reasonable price, but you are very lucky. Becausei we know of a place where you can have delicious food for just 4 euro and we leave our article right here. Have good appetite:).
A GLANCE FROM THE TOP OF PARIS
Our first stop was the basilica of Sacre Coeur and montmarte where we can watch the city of Paris from the top. Paris is usually a flat city, but on the first day we chose this hilltop. We reached Montmarte 25 minutes by foot from the hotel. The weather was nice, the area was crowded and colourful. After watching the beauties around the Sacre Coeur and the city view, we head towards the Montmarte. At the time, this hilltop was the meeting point of not only the famous painters, but also other artists such as sculptor, poet and writer and still you can feel the art here.
This hilltop, which makes you feel beautiful with its vibrant colors, is definitely one of the points to visit. The streets are full of painters who paint and sell the art pieces. There are cute cafes with macaroon around. Macaron lovers can give a coffe break. There are also many popular restaurants around Montmarte.
From the top of the Montmarte we are going down to the Moulin Rouge side. We realize that we are hungry at Rue Lepic Street where have many restaurants around. We prefer La Pain Quaditien and continue to the Moulin Rouge. In fact, we wanted to eat duck at Le Basilic restaurant on our way, but the service had not yet started for dinner. We continue our journey by taking Picture of the Moulin Rouge, which we reach in 15 minutes on foot from Montmarte. We do not prefer to participate the night shows, if your are interested in you can participate the events by reviewing their own website.
Palais Garnier (Opera)
Following the Moulin Rouge and the Rue Blanche, we reach the Opera after a 20-minute walk. The weather begins to darken and we pass by the lighted large Opera House (Palais Garnier) and the Galeries Lafayette shopping center. If you want to make shopping, you can spend time here. We arrive at our hotel in 15 minutes by walking from La Fayette Street, while considering how tidy and charming the buildings and the streets of Paris are.
MUSEUM DAY IN PARIS
The second day (Sunday) is rainy and very convenient for museum visits. Paris is an art city. World-famous artists somehow had been in Paris. Even now there are many artists at Montmarte, although we do not know them yet. Our first goal in our travels is to feel the city, as if we were from there. In this case, it turns out that we are not museum lovers. We visit museums, of course, but we don’t plan our whole trip accordingly. But we have to go to museums in places like Paris.
We had planned our trip for the first week of October without knowing how lucky we would be. In our research we learned that many museums are free on some Sundays. I wish we knew about this before we bought the tickets! Luckily you know now :). In the first Sunday of the specific months, you can visit museums free of charge. You can find details in that blog which we got this information.
Paris is a world-famous museum city that comes to mind first, and it should not be surprised that it is so famous. There are great artworks inside. You get lost in art; paintings, artifacts, magnificent veneer rooms.
The museum entrance fee is 17 euro normally but we are not paying money because the first Sunday of October is free. We are very lucky and save 34 euros;).
Let’s move to the museum now! We give you a trick that will save you a minimum of 1 hour! Don’t get into that Louvre from that beautiful glass pyramid! After leaving the Louvre metro stop, take Le Palais Royal back and head towards the Louvre. You will pass through a closed area. After the light, the glass pyramid will blink you but don’t be fooled! There is a security controlled museum entrance on the left as you move in the closed area. Head right there and take a 1-hour time by not wasting your time in the que, but by looking at unique artworks.
Mona Lisa in Louvre!
The most important piece in the museum is Monalisa, the most famous work of Leonarda Da Vinci. Yes Monalisa is in the Louvre museum and people come to visit her like crazy. You can see Monalisa live, if you can get out of the crowd! They’re showing Monalisa at a certain distance. If you look on the internet you will see more clearly! But people can occupy the space for minutes and they can bother you!
We want to draw your attention to a gigantic table just opposite Monalisa. The name of the piece is wedding dinner and includes Kanuni Sultan Suleyman. We are leaving the picture of the this table and we are waiting for your comments! Tell me, who is the Kanuni Sultan Suleyman :)?
There are many places to visit in the museum. If you want to visit all the fields in detail, 1 full day even may not be enough. When we get bored of the painting tables, we move to the magnificient palace rooms. We complete our museum trip in 4 hours.
After taking a coffee break at the Starbucks in the shopping center (Le Carrousel du Louvre) where you can switch from the museum, we pass to the other selected museum.
Jardin Des Tuileries ve Arc De Triomphe Du Carrousel
After you leave the Louvre museum, you can have a pleasant break in the greenery of the Tuileries park, which was opened to the public in 1667. You can also see Arc De Triomphe Du Carrousel, the smallest of the three most important Parisian monuments. 19 meters high and 23 meters wide, this monument was built by Napoleon in 1808 to celebrate his victory at battle of Austerlitz.
After the Louvre we could visit only one more museum and choose the Rodin Museum. The Rodin Museum is a 15-minute walk away from the Louvre. Besides the great art pieces inside, this museum also has fabulous garden. You can even visit the museum, just for spending time in the garden. The original sculpture of Düşünen Adam, located in Bakırköy Psychiatric Hospital, is located in this garden. Inside this museum there are some paintings by Van Gogh. We recommend that you do not miss this museum with various sculptures.
The museum entrance fee is 13 euro normally but we are not paying money because the first Sunday of October is free.
CLASSIC PARIS PHOTO ADDRESSES
The third day is sunny and it’s the perfect day for visiting Eiffel and Champs-Elysees. After eating the best Paris croissant at Du Pain Et Des Idees, we reach the Trocadero metro stop for the Eiffel Tower.
Our first stop is the Eiffel Tower, a symbol of Paris and even France. You have also heard; ‘Nobody wanted it to be done at first’, ‘seen as a heap of iron’. Isn’t it interesting that something undesirable then becomes the symbol of the city? Someone who comes to Paris must have a photograph here. If not, this means you have not been to Paris :).
The best pictures of the Eiffel Tower are taken from the Trocadero! This area face the Eiffel Tower from the opposite side, we approach the tower and try to catch all the sights. After that point, it is all about your artistry;). We have been on top of the tower before, so we do not prefer to do this again and we continue our walk from the edge of the river.
One of the most famous districts of Paris. Plaza Athens, where bloggers and artists stay, is located in Avenue Montaigne near Champs-Elysees, one of the most elegant boulevards in Paris.
In addition, we pass through Place de l’Alma, where the accident occurred and resulted with the death of Lady Diana. There is a small monument with Diana photos about this accident.
There is a very wide street, shops and cafes around. You can give a pleasant coffee break on the most famous street in Paris. At the end of the street there is the Arc de Triomphe de lıétoile. This arch is overlooking the Champs-Elysées and the biggest arch in the world. It was built by Napoleon in 1806 to celebrate his victory at Battle of Austerlitz, 1805. Don’t leave here without taking photo!
Before completing our third day, we head towards the Saint Germain district, where there are stylish cafes, famous shops and a slightly higher income segment. We give a coffe break in Cafe de Flora, one of the most well-known cafes, and watch the sunset as the sun goes down. We strongly suggest you to visit this area which has a lively and pleasant atmosphere.
NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL and GRAND MOSQUE OF PARIS
We devote our last day to the La Marais district, the Notre Dame cathedral and the Grand Mosque of Paris. We also have the opportunity to see that people from different religions live in harmony in close area.
This region, known as the Jewish quarter and where the Jewish population is mostly, is a very lively region with its shops, small boutiques and bakeries. To be honest, the main reason that brought us here was to taste the Lisbon Pasteis de Belem dessert :). We ate the dessert and we liked it very much. Also, If you like falafel, we recommend you to visit La Marais.
Notre Dame Cathedral
The Notre dame cathedral, which is very close to the La Marais district, is a 10-minute walk away. We didn’t have time to travel inside the cathedral. We are taking a lot of pictures by evaluating the beauty of the weather.
Grand Mosque of Paris
While we are here, we want to see the first built mosque in France, which is a 15-minute walk away. One of the largest mosques in Europe, the great mosque of Paris was opened in 1926. It was built by the French government in memory of the Muslims who fought against the Germans in the French colonies during World War I. Inside of the mosque can be visited with 5 euro entrance fee. When we went, it was closed during lunch. We take pictures from the main courtyard and we like it very much. It has an original architecture. We recommend that you visit if your path falls here.
We cannot experience some places like Versailles, Disneyland, Luxembourg gardens, La Defense this time and we leave them to our next trip. If you are planning a longer trip, we recommend adding them to your route.
Before we take our suitcases from the hotel and leave to airport, we eat our last desserts at Angelina and end our 4-day Paris trip with good memories.
Paris Tour in Four Minutes!