Updated: Oct 5
I visited Paris with my friends in the summer of 2019 – way before anyone knew what the Covid-19 pandemic was! We spent three nights and four days exploring Paris during what was one of the summer’s biggest heatwaves. Before going on the trip I researched about where to stay, what to do and how much everything would cost. This travel guide is designed to put all that research into one place so that you have everything you need for your trip to Paris!
We stayed in an AirBnB
· 21 Rue Monge
· Close to the Pantheon and the Notre-Dame Cathedral
· Cost £400
· Spacious apartment with double bed and sofa bed
· Kitchen facilities and good sized bathroom
· Only downside was that there was no air conditioning which made the heatwave almost unbearable!
Other recommendations for where to stay:
· Elysées Union – 3 Star - £82 per night – close to Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées.
· Le Parisis – Paris Tour Eiffel – 4 Star - £99 per night – 15 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower.
· Hôtel Le Relais Saint Charles – 3 Star - £69 per night – the River Seine is 650 yards away and the Eiffel Tower is a 15 minute walk away.
· Hôtel de Varenne – 4 Star - £117 per night – couples particularly like the location and it’s 1.6 miles from the centre.
· St Christopher’s Inn Gare du Nord (Hostel) – Private room from £40 and dorms from £17 per night – located 2.3km from the city centre and they offer free cancellation.
· Le Village Montmartre by Hiphophostels – Private room from £63 and dorms from £23 per night – located 2.1km from the city centre in the heart of the small district of Montmartre.
The best bakeries in Paris:
· La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac – located in the Saint Antoine District – this bakery’s main delicacy is bread and more specifically focaccia!
· Boulangerie Utopie – located in the 3rdarrondissement – you won’t be able to visit this bakery without there being a queue down the street but it’s more than worth it for the baguettes and pastries which many claim are the best in France!
· Chambelland – located in the 3rdarrondissement – this bakery specialises in gluten free bread, cakes and pastries.
The best restaurants in Paris (expensive and for those on a budget) – there are more than 44,000 restaurants in Paris, some expensive and some cheap, here’s a list of some of them:
· Septime – Faubourg Saint-Antoine area on Rue Saint-Bernard – evening menu 55 euros – head chef is Bertrand Grébaut who is one of the most talented chefs of this generation.
· Les Arlots – Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière – known for its modern take on traditional French meat dishes – one of its most well-known dishes is the sausage and mash which costs 17 euros.
· Restaurant Passerini – 12tharrondissement – traditional Italian restaurant owned by highly acclaimed chef Giovanni Passerini – le plat du jour costs 32 euros.
· La Résidence (Ground Control) – 12tharrondissement (81 Rue du Charolais) – this restaurant is a collaboration with the UNHCR-backed Refugee Food Festival. The chefs are refugees and the restaurant aims to provide them with a platform to share their country’s cuisine and become an established chef in Paris.
· Chez Alain Miam Miam – this market stall is very popular on social media with nearly 50,000 followers across all platforms, including over 12,000 on Instagram. It is one of the Marché des Enfants Rouges’ original street food vendors. Their famous galettes and sandwiches are a must try if you’re in Paris!
Top 5 Things To Do
· Seine River Cruise at night– Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world but in my opinion, it is most beautiful at night. Therefore, I’d highly recommend going on the night time cruise along the Seine. While on board you’ll be treated to a glass of champagne as you admire some of Paris’ most beautiful landmarks. Prices start from £22.50 per person, depending on when you book.
· Visit Montmartre – if you’re ever in Paris I’d highly recommend visiting the district of Montmartre. It is mostly known for its artistic history and the Sacré-Cœur at the very top. It is also well-known for its nightclub scene. Overall, Montmartre has a lot of character and charm so it’s a must visit if you’re in Paris.
· Visit the Louvre – you can’t go to Paris without seeing the Mona Lisa right?! It’s on everyone’s bucket list when visiting Paris. Tickets purchased online for the museum are 17 euros which ensures you a quick entry in less than half an hour. Whereas, tickets purchased at the museum are 15 euros but it may take longer to enter. The Louvre is one of Paris’ most famous museum’s and as such is a must visit when in Paris.
· Take a city bike tour – Paris is very accessible by bike with lots of bike lanes and paths to enable you to explore the city without having to use public transport. You can opt to take a private bike tour with a local guide or you can just rent some bikes and take the tour yourself.
· Visit the local bakeries - Without a doubt, Paris has some of the world’s best bakeries. Therefore, if you’re visiting Paris it is an unwritten law that you go and visit a few and try some local delicacies – you won’t regret it! Check out my recommendations for the best bakeries to visit above in the ‘food’ section.
We took the Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. At the time we went this was the cheapest option. If you booked to depart a month today (as of the time writing this) it will cost you £57 for a standard ticket. The journey takes approximately 2hr 16mins and there are up to 19 trains a day.
To travel around Paris we mainly walked or took the metro. A three day metro pass for zones 1-3 costs 27.30 euros and for zones 1-5 it costs 48.65 euros. If you’re planning a lot during your time in Paris I would recommend buying a Metro pass instead of individual tickets each time.
I hope you find this travel guide useful! As ever, this information has been put together using my personal experience and research online. There is no guarantee that the information is 100% accurate, especially now due to the global pandemic. Nevertheless, if you are planning to visit Paris one day I hope you can use this guide to help you during your time in the French capital!
This article was written 24/10/20.