Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Paris 2012: One for the books





Sacre Coeur


On our way to our apartment


Our Apartment in Paris
eating Italian food in Paris

Eiffel Tower by Day

I have been dreaming of this place for quite along time and I finally went to Paris. I have bought and read so many tourist books and researched so many blogs about Paris in preparation for this trip. I am so happy, thankful and very lucky that my Aunt and Cousin treated my whole family to  Paris. I was so happy to spend my first trip in Paris with my close cousins. 
Arc de Triomphe
Avenue des Champs Elysees
Laduree
The Handsome men of Abercrombie & Fitch
Dinner in Montmatre


Stair Case to Sacre Couer

            We arrived in the evening in  Paris on our first day. It was very exhausting since we walked 4 blocks from the train station and we had to bring our entire luggage with us. I and my cousins stayed at a very large apartment in Paris.  Our apartment is located near Centres de Pompidou.   We are located in a very convenient area since there are bars, pubs and restaurants  outside our  apartment. It’s also 1 block away H&M store which is my favorite brand abroad. We ate at an Italian restaurant near our apartment, went to Centres de Pompidou, and then walked to Hotel de Ville. After that we walked to Notre-Dame then walked to the Louvre Museum so that we could see it at night. 
Cafe des 2 Moulins
Moulin Rouge
Eiffel Tower at Night
Picnic by the Eiffel Tour  @ Night
                  
Our second day in Paris was really memorable and very tiring. I cannot believe myself because we  were able to walk the whole city of Paris in just a one day. We were lucky that the weather was good. In the morning, we just decided to go first to the Eiffel Tower. We rested there for on our hour and ate French street food near the Trocadero. We decided to walk to the Arc de Triomphe and then went straight the Avenue des Champs Elysees.  While walking along the way, we went to the main Louis Vuitton Headquarters and saw how much cheaper it really is. The Louis Vuitton Handbags and wallet is cheaper by 200 USD to 300 USD especially when you get your tax refund at the airport. I just  want to warn you of the long lines and the rude French sales people at the Louis Vuitton Headquarters. They are not very friendly especially when you don’t speak French. After checking out the bag prices, we then decided to go straight to Hotel les Invalides. But then we decided to stop over at Laduree and bought French macaroons. My friend told me that Laduree serves the best Macaroons in Paris. It’s also expensive since a macaroon costs about 1.78 Euros per piece.  One taste of this macaroon is enough; two would be too many and too sweet.  After going to Hotel les Invalides, we got lost and then decide to take a train ride to Montmatre.  We got lost in Montmatre in finding Sacre Coeur because some of the signs were very misleading. I was so exhausted going up the stairs of Sacre Coeur, but it was worth it up there.  I just wished that we used the funicular on our way there. Here you will get to see the whole city of Paris. After that we tried to find a good restaurant in Montmatre we ate outside the restaurant doing it the Parisian way. After eating in Montmatre we got lost trying to find my cousin’s crepe place. My cousin and sister fought because she was so exhausted. While we were looking for the crepe place we accidentally saw the restaurant Café des 2 Moulins, where the film Amelie was shot and ate dessert there.  We then decided to buy wine and chips at a near grocery store for our picnic. I and my cousins had a picnic while seeing the light show of the Eiffel tower. Drinking wine while seeing the light show of the Eiffel Tower is a must try for tourists. We stayed there for about 4 hours at the Eiffel Tower and went straight to our apartment and rested. 
On our way to Versailles
Versailles


Rejano Cousins at the Louvre


 Very tired from all the walking at the Louvre
            Our last day in Paris, was quite exhausting. I and my cousins first went to a mall near our apartment to get no line tickets at the Louvre Museum. After that we went to Versailles. This was my favorite place since it was very clean, there were few gypsies and you will learn a lot from history of France.  We ended up staying there till 16:00. We decided to take the train ride back to Paris and we went to the Louvre Museum.  A night at the louvre museuem is a must since the lines are shorter and the ticket is cheaper. We didn’t get to see the whole of Louvre, but at least we saw the important works of art like Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa,  The Raft of Medusa, Rameses, Slaves and The Lacemaker. I didn't really get to enjoy the Louvre because there were so many beautiful things to see, so little time and my feet were very exhausted with all the walking but I must say if you will choose to see one museum in Europe the Louvre will be the best choice since it caters the biggest artifacts and also the best put into one place. The best advice would be exploring the Louvre Museum in one whole day.  After our tiring experience at the Louvre, we then ate at a restaurant near Champs Elysees with the whole family. We then went to our apartment, dressed up and partied the night away. We went bar hopping in Paris. It was a very nice experience to party in a foreign country. I even got a hangover and woke up late the next day. Good thing I didn’t missed my plane ride to Norway.
My Paris experience was definitely one for the books and I will treasure this trip forever.
The Yoga Pose
Who got drunk in Paris?






Related Blog Posts:  Paris Itinerary in 1-2 Days

 Paris Travel Tips:
-When arriving in Paris by Train or Plane go first to the Tourist Information Centre where you can get a free city map.
-Debit Cards are usually accepted in all over Europe. You must first remember to call your bank and get your International Pin before you leave. 
-Buy a no line ticket at the Louvre in advance.  
-Rent an Apartment/ Hotel which is in the Champs Elysees; Tuileries; Passy;  Chatelet  and St. Germain Area. These are walking distance from most famous landmarks in Paris.
-Read and research all about the History of these Places you want to go to in advance, so that you wouldn’t have to pay for the entrance fee and guided tours anymore.
-For every tourist attraction you go to, Just walk pass by it and quickly get a photo infront of the monument. Don't stress yourself in entering the monument itself. Tourist lines are so slow and some of the entrance fees are very expensive.  
-Have a big breakfast so that you will have energy for your big day.
-Do some stretching before walking & wear comfortable shoes.
-Buy a 1 day unlimited train  pass
-Always bring a photocopy of your passport and Schengen visa in case of emergency.
-Be careful of your belongings since there are a lot of pickpockets  in the famous landmarks. 
- Beware of the Gypsies.
-Buy some snacks and wine at a nearby grocery store for your picnic
-If you’re tired of walking take the train or get a hop on hop off tour.
- Bring a small bottle of water 
- Always bring a city map and the address of your Hotel/ Apartment in Case you get lost.
-If you only have 2 days in Paris, you don’t have to go inside every tourist spot, because it is very time consuming
- If you want to go shopping, just buy it at the Airport to save time and not anymore line up for your tax refund.
-Some Museums & Churches have a dress code; you must wear proper attire.
-Just sit down at a corner, enjoy the view or you can also do some people watching. 
- GET LOST, EAT MORE, WALK ,and  EXPLORE ALWAYS 
Paris Travel Information
Tourist Destination
Operating Hours and Admission Fee
Train Stops
Website
Centre Georges- Pompidou
 11:00-21:00 Wed-Mon; € 8-12
Hotel De Ville
http://www.centrepompidou.fr/
Notre-Dame
8:00-18:45 Daily;
 € 8 ; € 5(18-25yrs)
Cite
www.notredamedeparis.fr/-English-
Arc De Triomphe
10:00-23:00 Daily ;€10
Concorde; Franklin D. Roosevelt;
www.arc-de-triomphe.monuments-nationaux.fr
Avenue des Champs Elysees

Charles de Gaulle Etoille
www.champselysees.org/


Grand Palais
Open Wed- Mon depending upon exhibition
Champs-Elysées–Clemenceau
www.grandpalais.fr
Hotel des Invalides
€7; Free for under 18s
Varenne;  RER: Invalides
www.invalides.org


Sacre Coeur
6:00-23:00 Daily; €5
Anvers; Funiculaire de Montmatre
www.sacre-coeur-montmatre.com
Moulin Rouge
21:00 & 23:00 Daily
Blanche
www.moulinrouge.fr

Eiffel Tower
Elevator 9:30-23:45 Daily €4.50 (Stairs) € 12 (Elevator)
Ecole Militare; Bir-Hakeim- Champ De Mars Tour Eiffel
www.tour-eiffel.com
Versailles
8:00- 20:30 Daily; €18
Line C to Versailles- Rive Gauche
ww. chateauversailles.fr
Louvre Museum
9:00-18:00 Mon, Thu, Sat & Sun 9:00-22:00 Wed & Fri; €10 ; reduced price 18:00 onwards €6
Palais Royal- Musee du Louvre
www.louvre.fr
Laduree
( French Macaroons)
9:30- 22:30 Daily;
Address: 1 Rue Georges Clémenceau
Champs-Elysées–Clemenceau
www.laduree.fr/
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann
(Shopping)
9:30- 20:00 Mon, Wed, Fri  &Sat
9:30- 21:00 Thu
Chaussée d'Antin
www.galerieslafayette.com/ -


Café des 2 Moulins                  ( Amelie Café)
 Address: 12 Rue Coustou  
Abbesses
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Café_des_2_Moulins
Apartment Paris
70 Euros to 150 Euros per night

http://www.apartmentparis.fr/



*Photos were taken by Jerrick Ramos 

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